Last Updated on 18 September 2023

I searched the Internet for lists of best sci-fi movies of all time. Criteria included the movies being ranked, not just listed, and covering all time, not just a decade. The lists were generally created by groups, whether teams or committees or based on general public voting (like Ranker.com).

I was able to find 34 lists. I took the 34 lists and added all their content into a spreadsheet, noting the rank of every film. The total number was over 2,200 including all the repeats. I experimented with different formulas, trying to balance the value of being ranked high on any list and being included on the most lists. I ended up averaging the rankings each movie got (there were 259 that were on at least 2 lists) and dividing that average by a factor of the number of lists that movie was on. The lowest score meant a high ranking average on many lists. The complete spreadsheet is attached at the bottom.

The movies that were on the most lists (out of 34) were:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – 34
  • Blade Runner (1982) – 32
  • Alien (1979) – 30
  • The Matrix (1999)- 29
  • Back to the Future (1985) – 26
  • Jurassic Park (1993) – 26
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) – 25
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – 25
  • The Thing (1982) – 25
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – 25
  • The Terminator (1984) – 25
  • Children of Men (2006) – 25
  • Solaris (1972) – 25
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – 24
  • Aliens (1986) – 24
  • E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) – 24
  • Metropolis (1927) – 23
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – 23
  • Planet of the Apes (1968) – 23

Here are links to the lists I used along with dates the lists were last updated:

Attached is the Excel spreadsheet with the raw data and the full list with scores and weighting.

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