Believe it or not, Rambo started life in a different place than where he ended up, as you'll see in our list of Rambo Movies Ranked Worst to Best.

Back in 1982, when the initial movie in the series, First Blood, came out, it was somewhat touted as a thoughtful, if occasionally violent, meditation on the way Vietnam War veterans were treated when they returned to the U.S. John Rambo, an ex-Green Beret who's spent the years after his service wandering the States, runs into some trouble in a small town.

Before you know it, the local authorities have set a mini militia on Rambo, who's holed up in the woods and whose only goal is to survive. As the film's poster put it, "This time he's fighting for his life."

The movie had something to say about PTSD and the way young vets weren't treated with the same respect as troops from earlier wars. But, the movie-going public being what it is, First Blood's focus soon turned to something way less reflective as more and more people saw it: a ripped Sylvester Stallone brandishing an arsenal of weapons as he brutally takes down one enemy law official after another.

So when Rambo returned three years later for Rambo: First Blood Part II, the social message at the first movie's core was all but replaced by images of a buffer, madder Stallone with bigger guns and a bigger grudge as he returned to Vietnam to rescue some captive POWs. (Don't worry, government-paid officials were the baddies here too.)

By 1988's Rambo III, the series had completely transformed into an ultra-violent action vehicle for Stallone, and Rambo himself became flag-waving patriots' unkillable poster boy for the way real Americans get things done. No surprise then that our below list of Rambo Movies Ranked Worst to Best turns out like you'd expect.

Rambo Movies Ranked Worst to Best

It started out with good intentions, then swerved into something entirely different. 

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