There have been hundreds of science fiction films over the years but the top 10 classic science fiction movies are liked by mainstream people as well as hard core sci-fi fanatics. Good science fiction movies become classics when they find the balance between good drama and the science. Good sci-fi films survive the advancement of film technology, and these ten classic science fiction movies remain popular because they are well written, directed and acted.

  1. "The Empire Strikes Back," 1980. George Lucas took a back seat in this "Star Wars" movie and it shows because for all of his talents, he is neither a great scriptwriter or director and the fact that he hired a real writer and director for this movie makes it a lot better than the other films in the saga. This film has a dark edge to it not seen in the other "Star Wars" movies, and it has a cool snow battle.

  2. "Superman II,"1980. This classic science fiction movie also came out during 1980 and was also a sequel. Reeve remains the most popular incarnation of Superman, but the real star of this was the brilliantly over-the-top Terrance Stamp. 

  3. "War of the Worlds," 1953. This is one of the scariest classic science fiction movies which is surprising considering that it was made when Hollywood had fairly primitive special effects capabilities. Based on the classic H G Wells novel, it certainly stands the test of time. 

  4. "War of the World," 2005. Same title, same basic storyline, but this remake of the 1953 version brought the story up to date. When you combine sci-fi geniuses like H.G. Wells and Steven Spielberg, you cannot go wrong. Tom Cruise was excellent, and this is one of his best performances.   

  5. "The Island," 2005. This disturbing film really captured people's imaginations, and it helped Scarlett Johansson to become one of Hollywood's biggest stars. The notion of cloning people is a theoretical possibility that may soon become a reality, and this clever movie explored the ethics involved.

  6. "Metropolis," 1927. A film has to be really good if it is over 80 years old, black and white and silent and yet still good enough to be ranked among the ten classic science fiction movies of all time. Fritz Lang created a bleak portrait of the future and also made the first epic movie in this genre. 

  7. "E.T.," 1982. This was one of the first movies to show the benevolent side of aliens and is also the least scary of the ten classic science fiction movies of all time. A young Drew Barrymore starred alongside the bug eyed alien who was a great proponent of telephones. 

  8. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968. Computers are great until they go wrong and in this film, the super computer goes really wrong. A dark and scary film that brought Arthur C. Clarke's frightening book to life, this was one of Stanley Kubrick's greatest films. 

  9. "The Day the Earth Stood Still," 1951. This movie is a world away from the more recent remake that tanked at the box office. Michael Rennie was menacing in a cold matter of fact kind of way, and Patricia Neal was a tougher than usual science fiction movie heroine. This film also represents the paranoia of the era when people were living through the Cold War."

  10. "Terminator 2: Judgement day," 1991 He said he would "be back," and he was true to his word in the classic science fiction movie. The special effects were very costly for this one but worth every penny as it was a box office smash. Arnie helped the Terminator to become an iconic science fiction movie character.