In 1987, Predator arrived in cinemas. The film, about a deadly, alien hunter stalking prey in the Central American jungle, was a box office smash and led to a series of sequels, spin-offs, and a crossover with the Alien franchise.

But how many Predator movies are there and what is the best order to view them? Details below!

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The original Predator timeline

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Disney

OK, let’s kick things off with the original Predator timeline which began in 1987 with Predator – a film about a group of mercenaries (led by Arnold Schwarzenegger), who find themselves trapped in a game of survival with an alien.

Directed by John McTiernan (who later directed Die Hard), Predator was a box office hit and this convinced 20th Century Fox to greenlight a follow-up – the appropriately titled Predator II (1990). Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t return for this sequel, so Lethal Weapon star, Danny Glover took on the lead role, which relocated the action to an urban jungle.

Predator II was less successful than its predecessor, yet more Predator movies soon followed, all set within the same timeline. These additional films were Predators, released in 2010, and The Predator released in 2018.

If you wish to watch all four Predator movies in this timeline, then follow this list:

  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1990)
  • Predators (2010)
  • The Predator (2018)

Pretty simple stuff, right? From here on out it gets a little more confusing.

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The Alien vs. Predator timeline

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Disney

In 2004, 14 years after Predator 2 was released and six years before Predators hit cinema screens, 20th Century Fox experimented with a spin-off series, which would combine the Predator films with another Fox-owned property: Alien. The series, simply titled Alien vs. Predator, would see the creatures of both franchises come together for a monumental big screen battle.

The first entry in the series was titled Alien Vs. Predator. This was followed in 2007 with Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem.

In total, 20th Century Fox released two films under the AvP banner. If you wish to watch them both, then view them in this order:

  • Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
  • Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)

These two films can be watched separately from the main Predator films, or they can be combined with the entries in the original Predator timeline to create a more expansive viewing experience. If you wish to combine the Predator films with the AvP films, then watch them in this order:

  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1990)
  • Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
  • Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
  • Predators (2010)
  • The Predator (2018)

And now for an even bigger collection of films…

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The Predator and Alien shared universe

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Disney

When 20th Century Fox released Alien Vs. Predator the studio not only expanded the Predator series through these spin-off tales, it also gave birth to a shared cinematic universe. This shared universe would link Fox’s four Alien movies: Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997), with the Predator films.

Now before you rush into this viewing order, it should be noted that the two franchises are only loosely connected via the AvP films (and a brief in-joke in Predator 2), so you don’t need to watch the Alien movies if you don’t want to. But if you do wish to combine the Predator and Alien series, here is the viewing order you’re going to need:

  • Predator (1987)
  • Predator 2 (1990)
  • Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
  • Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)
  • Predators (2010)
  • The Predator (2018)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Aliens (1986)
  • Alien 3 (1992)
  • Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Is that it? Pretty much – but there is just one other thing.

In addition to the four Alien films listed above, 20th Century Fox released two additional Alien movies: Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), which are also part of the Alien movie series. However, they SHOULD NOT be included in the Predator/Alien shared universe, as both films contradict events in the AvP movies (so just ignore them and stick to the list above).

I hope the information in this post makes your journey through the Predator movie series easy to navigate. If you wish to know more about the Alien films, including where Prometheus & Alien: Covenant fit into the Alien timeline, then check out my post: What is the best order to watch the Alien movies?

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All of the Predator movies are currently available to purchase or rent on home video, including DVD, Blu-ray, and digital.

In addition to the movies, you might also like to know that the Predator series has spawned various comics. Predator: The Essential Comics Vol 1, (published by Dark Horse Comics) collects together a number of these stories and is available via all good book stores and through Amazon UK.

And that’s your lot. Now get to the chopper!

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