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I have to say, I'm honestly very disappointed that so many people would vote for Fury Road. Even though I had a feeling that was going to be the case, because it's the most recent, and the one most (younger) people have likely seen.

I can't speak for Fury Road as a movie on its own merits, but as a "Mad Max" isn't. They should have just made it a spinoff, without any character that was supposed to be "Max". Mel Gibson was Max. The new guy wasn't. And the movie was about Furiosa anyway, "Max" was just there as window dressing.

So ignoring Fury Road, I think Road Warrior is obviously the best one. Mad Max 1 is important, because it shows us Max's early life as a cop, and it shows society still in the early stages of breaking down after whatever war/cataclysm occurred. The sequels are obviously years after that. In fact MM3 is supposed to be showing us "Old Max", basically, which is why he kinda disappears off into the sunset at the end.

But yeah as far as I'm concerned, Fury Road is a spinoff, and nothing more. The original trilogy is great, and I really don't know why people think Thunderdome is "bad". It isn't. It's a fun movie, and it's important, because it shows Max reconnecting to his humanity again. He's an antihero in MM2, but he's still distant/separate from humanity after the death of his family, for the most part.