Film Industry

Best Marvel Movies Ranked: What Is The Best Marvel Movie?

Photograph of the blog post author, Dylan Easton

Dylan Easton

5.8.2021

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With so many films under their belt, it seems weird to think of a world without the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Disney has been entertaining us for over 10 years, starting when some of us were merely children. These films have aged wonderfully and have matured with us as we got older. The best Marvel movies are truly in a world of their own and nothing provides escapism like the 24 Marvel movies currently out. The stories range from as insignificant as a corrupt arms dealer to multiverse-wide consequences. But what are the best Marvel movies ranked?

best marvel movies

In this article, we will go through the best order to watch all MCU movies in and then count down our top 10 best Marvel movies of all time.

Be sure to stick around until the very end to see our top spot, it might surprise you!`

What Is The Best Order To Watch The Marvel Movies?

Marvel logo

Since their release dates don’t correspond with their chronological order, let’s first take a look at the best order to watch the Marvel movies.

Here are all the Marvel movies in order:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (1942)
  • Captain Marvel (1995)
  • Iron Man (2010)
  • Iron Man 2 (2011)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2011)
  • Thor (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (2012)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2014)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Black Widow (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016-2017)
  • Black Panther (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2017)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2017)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2017-2022)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2023)

10 Of The Best Marvel Movies Of All Time

Now that we’ve cleared up the order to watch the MCU in, let’s count down our top 10 Marvel movies. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

10. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a criminally underrated movie in the MCU. While not perfect, James Spader puts on a great performance as our primary antagonist, Ultron. This is a worthy film to take the first spot on our best Marvel movies ranked.

Again, Whedon does an excellent job of creating fun dynamics between our heroes as they begin to get to know each other. For example, Thor and Cap’s friendship begins to blossom as well as Stark and Banner. Not to mention the scene where each character attempts to pick up Mjölnir is both entertaining and offers a lot of insight into each of our heroes.

We also get introduced to our new characters, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff who introduce a new dynamic to the MCU. Their pain and hatred for Stark, while shared by many, is potent and has you rooting for them. It is a memorable and entertaining movie in the MCU so give it another watch if you weren’t impressed upon your first viewing! Out of all the best Marvel movies ranked on this list, it’s easily one of the best Marvel movies on Amazon Prime currently!

9. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-man: Homecoming

To understand the scale of Tom Holland’s impact on the MCU, you only have to look at the insane casting around the upcoming Spiderman: No Way Home. By the time the credits rolled on his first full-length instalment as Peter Parker, Holland was well on his way to stepping into Robert Downey Jr’s shoes as the golden boy of the Universe. And for good reason too. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming hit the perfect balance between typical high school genre beats, such as dealing with bullies and chasing girls, and being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man and his public role as defender of New York City. As a result, Homecoming is a smart and heartfelt addition to the MCU. 

The best MCU villains aren’t the ones shooting sky beams into the air and taking over the universe, they’re often much simpler. Michael Keaton’s performance as our primary antagonist has us rooting for the villain in a stellar introduction for Spiderman into the MCU.

8. Avengers Assemble (2012)

Avengers Assemble best marvel movies ranked

This movie had all of the building blocks it needed to be superb, and it didn’t disappoint. Joss Whedon’s first Avengers movie is incredibly quotable and seeing all our favourite heroes in one space for the first time was extremely exciting.

The film is less about the Avengers vs Loki and more about the Avengers vs the Avengers. For example, one of the most notable sequences, arguably in the MCU, is the Shakespeare in the park scene. All the Avengers coming together in physical conflict also shows how their personalities are wildly different from each other. If they want to succeed, they have to put their differences aside and serve the greater good. 

In this film, Ruffalo took the reins of Bruce Banner and breathed life into the character that was left in limbo after Edward Norton’s performance. As always, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki steals every scene he is in and continues to be an excellent antagonist in the MCU. Out of the best Marvel movies ranked, we adore this one for being the start of the iconic avengers.

7. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War

The movie includes its fair share of men shouting at each other in rooms. It sees Captain America and Iron Man falling out over whether or not to nationalise the Avengers. 

It’s essentially an Avengers movie in everything but name, with a larger crew of superheroes involved than anything that came before it; not to mention the first appearance of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. 

For the first time, our superheroes finally face some consequences for their actions after they had inadvertently destroyed a large part of fictional Sokovia and killed innocent civilians in Lagos. The Russo brothers introduce an excellent conflict involving politics and vengeance, not to mention an excellent performance from Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo. 

6. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame

The culmination of the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends in an emotional rollercoaster. No movie before it has carried the weight of twenty-one other films with it. However, Avengers: Endgame is able to serve as one hell of a payoff. Out of all the best Marvel movies ranked in this list, the film marks the end of a very special era.

The Russo brothers pay homage to everything that came before by taking viewers down memory lane. Additionally, they provide a fulfilling conclusion to plenty of character arcs along the way. The spectacle is off the charts in a film where the stakes couldn’t be higher. 

Despite the huge scale of this film, it never loses sight of that Marvel charm that has made this franchise a success.

While Infinity War was told with Thanos at the centre of everything, Endgame reinserted our heroes as the main event. There are so many great parts to choose from: from Tony reconciling with his father to Cap wielding Mjölnir, not to mention Thor Lebowski. 

There will probably never be another movie like Endgame outside of the MCU because of the unique way this story was told. 

5. Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

Guardians Of The Galaxy

The Guardians Of The Galaxy was the blueprint to the all-important back third of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first 23-film run. Writer and director James Gunn injected humour and life into the film series with a bunch of rag-tag, bottom-of-the-pile comic book heroes.

In Starlord, Gunn manufactured the archetype for the endearingly incompetent leading man that would carry the series forward. The huge role they played in Infinity War is a testament to their massive popularity amongst Marvel fans.

As a stand-alone movie, they have one of the best Marvel movies of the bunch. A group of alien loners are forced to team up to take down a villain. There’s a heist, some scuffles with bounty hunters, a couple of spaceship getaways.

The core cast involves a stellar performance from Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper as a talking raccoon, Vin Diesel as a talking tree.

We haven’t even got to the soundtrack yet. Starlord’s mixtape is packed with disco bangers from the 1970s and 1980s and is arguably one of the great movie soundtracks of the 21st century. This film, and the entire Guardians series so far, in general, is a great way for young people to discover some of the best music that was made decades before their birth. 

Guardians Of The Galaxy has earned its spot in our top 5 best Marvel movies. Out of the best Marvel movies ranked in this article, this stands out as one of the biggest fan favourites.

4. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infiniti War

Despite the title, this isn’t an Avengers film; it’s a Thanos film. The Russo Brothers inject a much-needed dark ending to the MCU, where, for the first time, earth’s mightiest heroes lose the battle. This results in a huge portion of our favourite heroes being reduced to dust. 

While not necessarily one of the best Marvel movies for kids, it is perfect for those that grew up with the series. Seeing our favourite heroes perish and get beaten certainly had a profound effect that left many scraping their jaws off the floor as they left the cinema.

Josh Brolin is an excellent Thanos, who is so terrifying, even the Hulk cowers away from him. There is so much to say about how well the Russo Brothers balance each story and giving each character their time in the spotlight.

The interplay between the Guardians and Thor is hilarious as a power struggle for who is the alpha in the group comes into question. The final act battle includes some quick-witted and sharp one-liners, such as the ‘I see you’ve copied my beard’ and Rocket going after Bucky’s arm in a running joke from the first Guardians film. 

Infinity War is easily one of the most rewatchable films in the saga and certainly belongs on this list.

3. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok

‘He’s a friend from work’. That Hulk reveal gets Thor: Ragnarok into the top half of this list on its own. However, if we throw in Taika Waititi’s other antics; from romping, acid-trip humour to a hard-hitting Led Zeppelin soundtrack, not to mention the edition of Jeff Goldblum, we get one of the best MCU films.

Taika Waititi jammed as many different genre aesthetics as he could into the 130 minutes he had to play with. While the first two Thor films were fairly underwhelming, Waititi put his own spin on the Thor franchise that handsomely paid off. Ragnarok looked excellent, moved fast, and somehow mixed Tron and Gladiator in equal parts.

There are fantastic performances all round, with Waititi’s dry yet hilarious Korg, Chris Hemsworth’s comic timing and Cate Blanchett’s menacing Hela. The result is a movie that’s not only hilarious but also big, bold, bright, and colourful.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America: Winter Soldier best marvel movies ranked

This is the Russo Brothers’ first outing in the MCU and they smashed it out of the park. Captain America wasn’t your favourite Avenger before this film, that’s for sure. Now you see Cap as you’ve never seen him before: useful and now a hard hitter amongst the other Avengers.

The directors construct a conspiracy and political thriller, as an ode to 1970s cinema, within the MCU. Cap is at the centre of it all, with excellent direction, writing and storytelling. 

Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson bring to the table the experience and acting chops to this film that totally sells the world the Russo Brothers are trying to build. The film follows mind-bending twist after twist that leaves us all on the edge of our seats. 

1. Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man

In the history of superhero movies, the importance of Iron Man can’t be understated. Iron Man was a character that was largely unknown and not particularly well-loved within Marvel Comics.

However, through the strength of perfect casting and Jon Favreau’s unshakable vision, they came away with a film that largely defined the MCU. If Iron Man had faltered in any significant way, the MCU, and the landscape of superhero movies as a whole, would look completely different, and perhaps would have died off years ago. 

As the quintessential, standalone, Marvel superhero movie, Iron Man is a joyful origin story that’s incredibly well told. The film rests comfortably on the back of Robert Downey Jr. and is the film responsible for rebooting his career. In 2008, Downey was still considered a huge risk, and yet fans knew that he was an inspired choice to play narcissistic playboy inventor Tony Stark. 

Despite the great action sequences, Favreau put the character and casting first, which became a blueprint for MCU films to come.  

The film itself remains an absolute delight even this far down the line. It sets the template for everything going forward, and it doesn’t have to worry about the implications of the larger MCU. 

World-building is all well and good, however, the reason the MCU got a strong start, unlike other extended universes, is because the start focused on just one film rather than rushing towards The Avengers. We invested in Tony Stark and his journey rather than how a franchise will benefit a studio. All in all, a great film with a highly memorable Jeff Bridges as our villain and even more memorable Tony Stark who we will cherish forever.

Out of the best Marvel movies ranked on this list, Iron Man stands out as the top contender.

That Was Our Review Of The Best Marvel Movies Of All Time

Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy best marvel movies ranked

So there we have it! That was our review of the best Marvel movies of all time. We’ve answered your question ‘what is the best way to watch the Marvel movies’ and covered our list of the best films in the MCU, minus the best Marvel animated movies of course.

Marvel movies are such a huge part of any movie fan’s life, and love them or hate them, they’re here to stay. Sorry Martin Scorsese fans!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your popcorn and have yourself the ultimate MCU movie marathon! It may take you a few days but is totally worth it! Follow our best Marvel movies ranked if you don’t think you can handle them all.

Why not read up on some other film buff content? Our blog is full of articles that will be right up your street! Get started with Best Sci-Fi Movies, 10 Of Our Favourite Cyberpunk Films and Best Disney Villains.

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