Rocky Movies Ranked from Worst to Best

Ranking all the Rocky movies from worst to best

The Rocky story all started in 1976, and has since become one of the most iconic movie franchises of all time.  After much deliberation, Green Beans ranks all the Rocky films (not including the recent Creed movies) in order from worst to best.

Do you agree with this list?  It's bound to be a little controversial, so we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.  Remember though, all film is subjective, so keep it clean and respect the opinions of others...

#6 - Rocky 2

After the masterful gritty realism of the first movie, this sequel fell a bit flat on its face with more cartoon-ish aspects to it. The action-adventure theme started creeping into the franchise in Rocky 2, and the storyline actually lacked the depth and heart of the first movie. Rocky ultimately secures the world title after a gruelling bout in the rematch with world champ Apollo Creed. The fight itself was entertaining, but no where near as realistic and as tense as the fight in the first movie.  All-in-all, Rocky 2 was a bit of a let down after such a high from Rocky.

#5 - Rocky 4

We've placed Rocky 4 low on this list, but that's not to say it isn't a decent film. In fact, it's a very good film, but just not as good as four others in front of it.  Taking place amid a Cold War backdrop, this movie tends to get a bit over political, which kind of moves away from what the Rocky movies are supposed to be all about. In Ivan Drago, this movie definitely has the most feared of all the Rocky villains, but again, this feels like an 80s action movie that is so far fetched from the reality of the first movie. Rocky 4 did gross $300 million worldwide, more than any other Rocky film, and was the highest-grossing sports film of all time until 2009, but as a movie, it lacked depth in the storyline absolutely no character building.  It was more about the USA vs Russia!

#4 - Rocky 5

Slated by fans, the media, and Stallone himself, as the worst of all the Rocky movies, Rocky 5 doesn't get the same treatment from us. We actually think this film is pretty good, and it has a far more meaningful storyline than Rocky 4. This movie shows how Rocky goes back to pretty much where he started, facing new challenges in life, as a father, a husband, and as a trainer.  Rocky 5 shows his most inner demons and contains some of the most emotional scenes in the whole franchise.  This movie is very underrated indeed.

#3 - Rocky 3

Rocky 3 was considerably shorter than the first two movies, but it managed to pack quite a bit of punch into its 100 minute duration. Mickey’s tragic death set the tone for the rest of this film, showing us how Rocky would comes to terms with this tragedy and move forward with the help of his former arch nemesis, Apollo Creed. This movie did come across as slightly cheesy in parts, but nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable piece. It was certainly interesting seeing Rocky in a new life of money and fame, with a different kind of opponent in Clubber Lang.

#2 - Rocky Balboa

On paper, this should have been the worst of all the Rocky movies - an old, washed up Balboa coming back from retirement in his late 50s to fight the best fighter on the planet at the time. So when the sixth Rocky film was announced almost three decades on from the poorly received fifth movie, the general reaction was quite dismissive. However, this film was far better than is should have been, and many, including us, rank it was the best movie in the franchise since Rocky. Gone were the action-adventure scenes, and in came a more realistic and humble theme, great character building, and a pretty decent fight at the end.

#1 - Rocky

Rocky was a touching drama and easily the best film in the series, winning Best Picture and Best Director at the 1977 Academy Awards. You could also argue it is still Stallone's best ever acting performance.  This iconic movie was real, heartfelt, and represented, to many, the 'America Dream'.  Funnily enough, there wasn't a heck of a lot of boxing in this movie, but its real charm came from the development of the characters, the beautiful storyline, and its capacity to keep the audience enthralled throughout.  Rocky may not be the most watchable of the franchise, but it's certainly the best.

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