While the Die Hard franchise may be on hold for now–Die Hard 6 isn’t happening and neither is the prequel movie–the series holds a special place in all of our hearts. Bruce Willis has spent years in the role as New York police officer John McClane, who constantly finds himself in the middle of foiling terrorist plots. But what’s the best Die Hard movie?
Everyone has their favorites, whether it’s the original, as McClane walked barefoot on broken glass or the third movie, where McClane and Zues figured out a tricky logic puzzle featuring jugs and water. The best is obviously Die Hard Arcade, a video game not included on this list that has almost nothing to do with the movies.
And while this isn’t a huge, expansive franchise, people are still talking about it, even 35 years later. So using scores from GameSpot sister site Metacritic, we’re ranking all of the Die Hard movies, and you can check them out below.
5. A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)
Metacritic score: 28
John McClane (Willis) heads to Russia in the fifth installment of the series in order to help out his son Jack McClane (Jai Courtney). However, it’s revealed that Jack is working with the CIA to take on the underworld. What a bizarre departure from the original series. Out of the 41 critics that reviewed the movie, 24 of said reviews were negative, as this movie completely lost the feeling of what made the series great in the first place. It’s the only bad Die Hard movie.
4. Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)
Metacritic score: 58
The third installment of the Die Hard series finds McClane in New York City, teamed with a store owner named Zues (Samuel L. Jackson) as they take on a terrorist named Simon (Jeremy Irons) who is placing bombs around the city. There are no negative reviews out of the 19 that were released, as the majority were considered “mixed,” which is a shame because Die Hard With a Vengeance is a ton of fun.
3. Die Hard 2 (1990)
Metacritic score: 67
In the 1990 sequel, we learned that John McClane can’t catch a break. Former Colonel William Stuart (William Sadler) and a group of ex-military are holding Dulles airport hostage, hoping to rescue a drug lord. Of course, McClane is at the airport, waiting to pick up his wife, and it’s up to him to save the day. While it may not be as beloved as other Die Hard movies, it’s still a ton of fun. The film actually received three negative reviews when it was released; however, the overwhelming majority of reviews were very positive.
2. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
Metacritic score: 69
12 years after the last Die Hard movie, John McClane is back in one of the wildest films in the franchise–almost to the point where it’s a parody of the franchise in the best way possible. McClane has to join forces with a hacker named Matt (Justin Long) as the duo takes on a cyber-terrorist (Timothy Olyphant). Many people consider it to be a great throwback to the original series, and out of the 34 critical reviews, 28 were positive.
1. Die Hard (1988)
Metacritic score: 72
It’s obvious that the original movie was going to receive the highest rating, right? The original movie has 14 reviews listed, four of which are mixed. The film follows McClane, a New York cop, in Los Angeles as terrorists take over a skyscraper, in which McClane’s wife is at a holiday party. Not only is Die Hard one of the best action movies of the ’80s, it’s also the best Christmas movie. That’s right. The best Christmas movie.