Hey, let’s play a game: What’s your favorite scary movie? Better yet: What’s your favorite Scream?

Since 1996, one franchise has dominated and defined the world of slashers. Written by Kevin Williamson, directed by the late, great Wes CravenScream reinvented the hackneyed horror genre for the 1990s with a metatextual twist. Unlike the usual bumbling victims-in-waiting, the characters in Scream were smart, and understood the rules and clichés of horror films (even if they didn’t always follow them, which led to their undoing). The first Scream became a surprise smash, launching careers and countless imitators. And every few years since then, its signature villain, Ghostface, has returned to terrorize Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, and to tweak more formulaic movies.

(By the way, did you know Ghostface wasn’t created for Scream? It’s actually an existing real-world Halloween mask by the Fun World costume company that the filmmakers licensed for their franchise.)

Williamson wrote the first two Screams plus the fourth; Craven directed the first four. The more recent installments were directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Through the decades, the franchise has had its own ups and downs. Some installments weren’t much better than the crummy horror movies they were designed to mock. Others changed the course of horror history forever.

Here are all the Scream films ranked from worst to best. (You can probably guess the number one pick...)

Every Scream Movie Ranked

Ghostface has slashed his way through more than two decades of horror movies. Here‘s how they all stack up against each other.

READ MORE: A Full Scream Recap, Up to Scream VI

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