The 15 Best Legacy Sequels, From ‘Creed’ to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (Photos)

·1-min read

The recent success — both critically and commercially — of “Top Gun: Maverick” solidifies the “Top Gun” follow-up as one of the best legacy sequels in recent memory.

But what is a legacy sequel, exactly? And how many other great ones are there?

Loosely speaking, it’s a sequel that usually takes place decades after the original film. It continues the story, sometimes bringing back actors and characters from the original movie and sometimes having new performers give life to a different version of those earlier characters. Usually nostalgia is played up or amplified, giving the viewers a sense of comfort, while hopefully also pushing the material to new places. They have become increasingly important to studios and producers as a way of reintroducing a dormant (but still familiar) brand and then taking that brand elsewhere in subsequent installments, spin-offs and sequels.

Only the best of the best have the delicate alchemy figured out. And, in celebration of “Top Gun: Maverick,” here are the greatest legacy sequels ever.