[Error: unknown template qotd]For me the movie that outdoes it's predecessor that jumped out to me is: Evil Dead II.... it's more of a remake than a sequel and if you are looking for more straight up horror the original is a classic. However part II is in my opinion the best of the three. The third one (Army of Darkness) is more straight up comedy and action. The second one however is a nice middle ground. It also established everything that made Bruce Campbell's Ash famous.
I used to feel that way about Phantasm II in its series but I have rewatched both it and part one recently and I don't feel that way about it anymore really and think part one is just as good if not better. So right now I can only honestly say I feel that way about Evil Dead II.
Personally I wouldn't say Aliens or Terminator 2 or the like that most people would list here. They can do that if they like but I appreciate the predecessors of those movies too much for me to say that myself. Especially Alien... so the sequel has "more action, more 'splosions, a cute girl etc" but in my opinion stuff like that doesn't automatically make a movie better otherwise Michael Bay movies would be the best. ;) No seriously I liked Aliens and it's one of my favorite movies but I like Alien for the things that it DOESN'T have compared to Aliens or the differences. Like it's more of a slower paced cerebral horror film compared to the popcorn sci-fi action that's in Aliens.
It also has the direct involvement of H.R. Giger and much of the creature effects and art was in my opinion better for it. The facehugger dissection scene looked a lot more natural in Alien than the rubbery equivalent in Aliens. I also prefer the smooth headed H.R. Giger Alien over the ridged headed James Cameron alien.
For very different reasons and standing on their own feet I would put Alien and Aliens on equal footing to be honest. I look forward to a return to the tone of the original film in Prometheus.
Terminator 2 was a really good film although I feel the franchise had been going downhill ever since Arnold got into his head that his terminator should be a good guy. I preferred the villainous T800 in the original film and I liked more of the punk feel it had. So in a way I do agree T2 is probably better I still think the original has things going for it. But not so much as Alien has to Aliens in my opinion.
As far as Star Wars goes I probably would agree with the general consensus that Empire Strikes back is the best. However ever since the prequels I am less biased towards it and appreciate every installation in the original trilogy quite a bit especially compared to the phantom menace which was very disappointing to me.
I say all that even after having watched all those films dozens of times and have them memorized.