Forget disastrous remakes and follow on flops - here are the few film franchises where the sequel was officially BETTER than the original.

We’ve all had some of our favourite films ruined by an ill-advised sequel - just think of the disappointment that was The Godfather III, or those infamous nipples on Batman and Robin.

But what about those franchises where later films are actually considered superior to their predecessors?

These may be few and far between, but analysis of data from the Internet Movie Database by The Wharf can finally reveal a definitive list of the best movie sequels.

Topping the list is The Dark Knight , the second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot.

Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

While the first film in the trilogy, Batman Begins, managed to garner a rating of 8.3 stars out of 10 from viewers, The Dark Knight had an even higher rating of nine stars – in part thanks to Heath Ledger’s unforgettable performance as the Joker.

The follow up of The Dark Knight Rises wasn’t quite as popular, scoring 8.5 - but still came ahead of the original remake.

Next up in our top 10 is cowboy classic The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, the final film in the Dollars Trilogy starring Clint Eastwood.

With 8.9 stars out of 10 the spaghetti Western blows the original out of the water– A Fistful of Dollars scored just eight, while For a Few Dollars More wrangled 8.3 out of 10.

Also included in the top 10 are The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Not quite making it into the top spots but still worthy of note are Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Fast & Furious 5 and Bridget Jones’s Baby, which all scored higher than their predecessors.

The Empire Strikes Back

In terms of the worst rated sequels of all time, it seems that the success of the original can often count for nothing.

For example, Home Alone 4 scored very badly with just 2.5 stars out of 10, despite the original Christmas classic boasting 7.5 stars overall.

Other films that are widely considered to be some of the most terrible sequels ever haven’t fared so badly when it comes to ratings.

Despite being thought of as one of Steven Spielberg’s worst films, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull has managed to get 6.2 stars out of 10 - still the lowest score of the franchise.

What’s your favourite sequel?

Top 10 film sequels that are better than the original

Film / rating (out of 10)

  1. The Dark Knight / 9.0 (1.7m votes)
  2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / 8.9 (0.5m votes)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King / 8.9 (1.2m votes)
  4. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back / 8.8 (0.87m votes)
  5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day / 8.5 (0.77m votes)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 / 8.1 (0.57m votes)
  7. Mad Max: Fury Road / 8.1 (0.6m votes)
  8. The Bourne Ultimatum / 8.1 (0.5m votes)
  9. The Raid 2 / 8.0 (88k votes)
  10. X-Men: Days of Future Past / 8.0 (0.5m votes)

Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf

Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook