With a total of 12 movies, the Friday the 13th franchise has had a few solid entries, but most have been duds and critics have been very harsh on them.
Rotten Tomatoes has ranked all the Friday the 13th films in order of the highest to lowest critics scores. We’re also adding the audience scores to the list as we feel that’s more important to fans.
Here is the list of Friday the 13th movies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes critics scores.
1. Friday the 13th (1980)
Of course the first film tops the list with critics given it was unique for the time. But if you came into the series later on and expect to see Jason in this you’ll be very disappointed. [Buy the 4K Blu-ray on Amazon]
2. Friday the 13th Part VI – Jason Lives (1986)
Our personal favourite in the series, Jason Lives is more comical than the other entries and also has some of the best Jason kills. It also marks the final film in the Tommy Jarvis trilogy.
3. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
The crossover every kid that grew up in the ’80s wanted to see. While it has its moments (and some fun kills), Freddy vs. Jason wasn’t that great overall.
4. Friday the 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988)
This was a hot mess of a film and went a bit too far off track of what makes Friday the 13th movies enjoyable.
5. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Fans enjoyed this one more than some of the others, but critics were very harsh to it. First appearance by adult Jason but he wears a burlap bag on his head instead of the famous hockey mask.
6. Friday the 13th (2009)
The 2009 reboot wasn’t terrible. Jason was bigger and meaner and the kills were pretty good but critics hated it.
7. Jason X (2002)
Also known as “Jason in Space”, Jason X is ridiculous and shouldn’t even be considered a real Friday the 13th movie.
8. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Part 4 in the series gives viewers a fun Crispin Glover and introduces the character of Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman). It’s an okay entry in the series but pretty mid-tier.
9. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Part 5 continues the Tommy Jarvis storyline (he’s an adult now) as he deals with the trauma of Jason while in a halfway house. For some reason the mask in this one doesn’t sit well with us and the whole film feels weird.
10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Not the final Friday at all. Like Jason X, it also strays way off course from what makes the Friday the 13th movies work.
11. Friday the 13th VIII – Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
This would come in third on our list as seeing Jason in New York City is so much fun (even Scream 6 references it).
12. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
The biggest difference between the critics and audience score, Friday the 13th Part 3 is best known as the one where Jason gets his hockey mask. It was released in 3-D when it hit theatres back in 1982 so the gimmick probably turned critics off at the time. This would be second on our list (right after Jason Lives).
How we would rank the Friday the 13th movies
- Friday the 13th Part VI – Jason Lives (1986)
- Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
- Friday the 13th VIII – Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
- Friday the 13th (2009)
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
- Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
- Friday the 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988)
- Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
- Jason X (2002)
You can buy the original Friday the 13th 8-Movie Collection on Blu-ray from Amazon for $51.99 or get the entire Friday the 13th deluxe collection on Blu-ray (all 12 films) for $183.81. Most of the original films are also available to stream on Paramount+ Canada.
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Photo credit: A scene from Friday the 13th Part VI – Jason Lives. Courtesy Paramount Pictures.