All 4 ‘Ghostbusters’ Movies in Order (Including Animated TV Shows)

Ghostbusters movies in order
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Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! This phrase is certainly among the most popular phrases in the history of cinema, and we all know the music accompanying it, as well as the franchise it is from. The ‘Ghostbusters franchise began in 1984 and became a cult classic, despite releasing just two movies initially, before a two-decade-long pause. In 2021, Ghostbusters returned with ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife,’ thus revitalizing the franchise. Today, the franchise consists of 4 movies and two animated series, and we’re here to tell you how to watch in order.

Editor’s Note: This watch order was updated in November 2023 to include the latest news regarding the franchise.

All 4 ‘Ghostbusters’ movies & 2 animated series in release date order

The franchise was initially made famous by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis, playing the roles of Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz, and Dr. Egon Spengler. After the first movie was released in 1984, it took five years to make a sequel, and the crowds loved it. The franchise, however, went on hiatus until 2016 (not counting the animated series), and that movie flopped. The latest released movie is ‘Afterlife’ released in 2021 but fortunately, it’s not the last. Let’ see the release order of all ‘Ghostbusters’ movies and series.

  1. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
  2. ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ (1986-1991) – 7 Seasons
  3. ‘Ghostbusters II’ (1989)
  4. ‘Extreme Ghostbusters’ (1997) – 1 Season
  5. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)
  6. ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ (2021)

Are all ‘Ghostbusters’ movies & shows connected? What’s the best way to watch them?

‘Ghostbusters’ (1984), ‘Ghostbusters II’ and ‘Afterlife’ are connected to animated TV shows, and the projects are all set within the same continuity and follow the same group of characters. The tricky part of the franchise is ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016), which rebooted the franchise, or at least attempted to reboot it with an all-female cast, which means that it follows a set of completely different characters. In any case, the best way to watch the franchise is to follow the release date order since it fits the chronology perfectly. You can omit the ‘Ghostbusters’ released in 2016 altogether or watch it last.

All ‘Ghostbusters’ movies and shows in chronological order

As we’ve already said, the chronology of the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise is fairly simple. You start with ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984), continue with the first movie, watch the first show, and watch the second show until you end on ‘Afterlife’, which is the last thing on the timeline. Here’s the chronological order of the ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise:

  1. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
  2. ‘Ghostbusters II’ (1989)
  3. ‘The Real Ghostbusters’ (1986-1991)
  4. ‘Extreme Ghostbusters’ (1997)
  5. ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ (2021)
  6. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) – out of continuity, reboot

1. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)

Ghostbusters 1984

‘Ghostbusters’ is the starting point in the timeline because it introduces us to the trio of scientists and secondary characters that will make periodic appearances across other movies and shows. It sets the groundwork for continuity and every event continues building up from this point.

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2. ‘Ghostbusters II’ (1989)

Ghostbusters II 1989

‘Ghostbusters II’ takes place five years after the original movie and sees our original characters hit the brought patch following the massive amounts of property damage they have caused. This is the last live-action movie so far in the timeline, but the series will continue through an animated show.

3. ‘The Real Ghostbusters’

The Real Ghostbusters

‘The Real Ghostbusters’ ran for seven seasons, and technically, you can watch it straight after the first movie since it follows the events of the first installments, but it’s easier to watch after the second movie due to the next animated show on the list.

4.’Extreme Ghostbusters’ (1997)

Extreme Ghostbusters

‘Extreme Ghostbusters’ ran for a single season and takes place several years after the end of ‘The Real Ghostbusters.’ Egon is the only present member of the former crew, and he actually recruits some young blood to help him out with the sudden increase of paranormal energy that has lain dormant for years.

5. ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ (2021)

Ghostbusters Afterlife

‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ is set 32 years after the first two movies. Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd take center stage in the movie, joined by familiar faces as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and Sigourney Weaver reprise their roles from the previous films.

6. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)

Ghostbusters 2016

‘Ghostbusters’ (2016) doesn’t belong to the original continuity because it attempted to reboot it with a completely new cast of characters, ignoring the events that transpired during the first two movies or the animated TV shows; it’s set in its own alternative continuity. This is why it should be watched last or skipped.

Where to watch the above-mentioned movies and shows?

The entire ‘Ghostbusters’ franchise can be bought or streamed on Apple TV store, Google Play, or YouTube. The only exception to this is ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ which can be streamed on Starz, and ‘Extreme Ghostbusters’ which can be streamed on Roku.

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Will there be more movies and shows featuring Ghostbusters?

There will be more movies featuring Ghostbusters. In 2024 ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ is set to be released. Netflix announced a new animated series in June 2022, produced by Jason Reitman and Gil Kenan, known for their work on Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The untitled prequel series, possibly titled Ghostbusters High, has been in development since May 2019, with Dan Aykroyd revealing that he wrote the script. Set in 1969, New Jersey, it explores the main characters’ teenage years. The project is being considered for television, and Jason Reitman is involved in its development. Aykroyd sees it as a fitting conclusion to the filmmakers’ work so far.

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