I rank them the way they were released.
I have fond memories of seeing the Coming Soon theatrical poster of Phantasm II in a display at some eatery we went on a regular basis back in the day. "This Summer ... The Ball Is Back!" and the fact that it was distributed by Universal got me excited every time. The movie did not disappoint and I sometimes prefer it over the first.
I still think part 4 is one of the most overrated "underrated" horror movies ever.