The Predator and Terminator franchises are wildly different, but their core terror is the same. Both series ask: What if mankind was no longer at the top of the food chain? Essentially, both billion-dollar film franchises are about surviving a hunt, in one way or another. And both of the franchises' titular characters are horrifying hunters in their own right. But we at Screen Rant wondered, just which one is the scarier hunter? To answer that question, we came up with several different traits we think define a truly great hunter, then awarded them to both our characters. What we got was Predator Vs. Terminator: who's the deadliest hunter? Read on to find out more!
10 Strength: Terminator
Both the T-800 and Yautja possess more physical strength than a human being, and both use them in different ways. However, in a contest of pure, brute strength, we have to give this point to the Terminator.
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He is, after all, an inorganic life form with no need to consider muscle density on bone structure in his feats of power. The Predator, for all his skill, is still an organic life form, and there are a lot more limitations on the physical power of that type of villain.
9 Weapons: Predator
We can already hear you arguing, “the Terminator’s from the future! He is, himself, a future weapon!” And that is definitely true. However, in his hunt for Sarah and John Conner, the T-800 still chooses to use modern-day weapons such as a shotgun. That just doesn’t compete with the highly-advanced weaponry the Predator has on him at all times. Yes, we can argue about who ultimately uses the weapons more effectively, but in a match-up in just their gear, the Predator comes out on top.
8 Tracking: Terminator
One of the most important considerations in judging two hunters is, of course, the ability to track prey. And let’s be perfectly clear; the Predator is an incredible tracker. He can see in infrared, giving him the advantage over the majority of his human enemies.
However, Terminator’s got something more special in his computer brain. Not only can he see in infrared, but he can also run identity recognition software. Predator can hunt down humans even in the dark. But Terminator can do that and tell you who they are, too.
7 Stealth: Predator
Hunting is, more often than not, an exercise in patience. With that patience comes the ability to stay hidden. And in comparing these two hunters, we’ve got to give the “hidden” point to the one who can actually turn invisible. Though most of the categories on this list are pretty close, the Predator absolutely takes this round. It’s why we rejected the original idea for this article, “Predator Vs. Terminator: Who’s the Hide-and-Seek Champ?” We’re here for a good, clean debate, and that one would’ve just been unfair.
(Submit your fairer “Hide and Seek” debate ideas below. We still really want to do that one.)
6 Enemies: Terminator
In any competition between champions, you’ve got to look at their past rivals. And though the Predator has had some incredible competition in the past, the enemies of the Terminator are way more interesting.
Whether it’s John or Sarah Connor, or even a reformed T-800 himself, Skynet has faced and sometimes even defeated much cooler foes. Though we will give the Predator this admission: it was pretty neat that he fought Keegan Michael Key.
5 Commanders: Predator
Both Terminator and Predator are operating, in their first films, on someone else’s wishes. For Terminator, that’s the evil AI Skynet, who wants to eliminate the leader of human resistance before he can mature into an adult. For Predator, he’s following a time-honored tradition of his people; a hands-on approach to the survival of the fittest.
And though we would never want to be on the other side of that tradition, we’ve got to admit that the creatures that respect it are better commanders than Skynet. After all, Skynet is a relatively new creation. The Yautja civilization that influences the decisions of the Predator is centuries old. They just have more experience in leadership.
We wish they’d be nicer leaders, but that’s beside the point.
4 Upgrades: Terminator
Let’s delve into sequel territory for a moment. In the most recent Predator film, the Yautja life form gets a significant biological upgrade. This version of the Predator is stronger, faster, and far more deadly. However, we still don’t think he compares to the upgrade of the Terminator that we met in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The T-1000 isn’t just a better version of the original make, he’s actually a different being altogether, made of sentient metal that’s as visually interesting as it is dangerous. Plus, the T-1000 was played by Robert Patrick. He’d deserve the award for that alone.
3 Combat: Predator
The Terminator is a goal-driven machine. He cuts through enemies in the most efficient way, usually from behind a weapon. Therefore, he doesn’t have a ton going for him in the actual hand-to-hand combat area.
That’s not the case for Predator. He is highly trained not just as a hunter but as an expert combatant, especially skilled with his wrist-mounted blades. If a fight between the two of them came down to a straight-up boxing match, the more highly skilled combatant would definitely be Predator. However, the Terminator does have something to his advantage even in this situation...
2 Durability: Terminator
Again, the advantage goes to Terminator here mostly due to his not being an organic creature. Unlike Terminator, the Predator can feel pain, get tired, even, and well, die. Of course, Terminator can die, too (otherwise we wouldn't cry at the end of every viewing of T2), but it takes a lot more to take him offline.
Now, durability isn't always a key trait for a hunter, but it definitely is when they're hunting human beings. We're a pretty scrappy species, all things considered. Gotta be tough to take us out. Or just patient enough to let us screw up our own planet. Either way.
1 Winner: Terminator
This one was a tough match to decide. After all, both characters are incredible at what they do. However, the hunter we have to favor is the one made of metal. Of course, it would help if we ever got a filmed version of this fight (lookin' at you, Hollywood), but with the information we have available, this is the answer we got.
But what do you think? Did we judge these two hunters fairly? Or would you have used different categories to come to an answer? Let us know in the comments below, and happy debating!