Marvel movie universe is getting bigger and bigger, and sometimes it is hard to follow which MCU movies fit where in a timeline. That is why we have decided to make this article, to make it simpler for you to sort all Marvel movies in order. There are currently 25 MCU movies, and this is their chronological order of watching.
Whether you’re just getting started with the Marvel movie universe or you’ve already watched it and want to rewatch them, this is a good list for you. We will update Marvel movies in order list as new movies come out.
If you are looking to watch the whole Marvel universe again, or for the first time, we have an article about how long would it take to watch all of the MCU movies, so check it out.
We will first start this list by telling you the chronological order of all marvel movies, and then we will let you know the order of Marvel movies by release date as well, so you can choose which way would you like to watch them.
Marvel Movies in Order: Chronologically
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: Dark World
- Captain America: Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Black Widow
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Black Panther
- Doctor Strange
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Ant-Man and The Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Steve Rogers is known as Captain America (Chris Evans), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) join forces to oppose the HYDRA organization, led by the crime of Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).
Captain America: The First Avenger focuses on the early days of the Marvel universe, in which Steve Rogers voluntarily applies to participate in an experimental program that turns him into a super-soldier known as Captain America.
2. Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel’s story follows the development of Carol Danvers into one of the most powerful heroines of the Marvel movie world at a time when Earth is in the middle of a galactic war between two races of aliens. Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel is a completely new adventure that reveals a previously unseen part of the past of the Marvel movie world.
The first Marvel female solo movie, very important for the further course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because its characters will directly affect the Avengers Endgame. Also, in post-credit scenes, there is a direct link to the Endgame movie.
Let’s see what awaits us next in Marvel movies order.
3. Iron Man (2008)
The great bon vivant and complete playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is also an unsurpassed ingenious engineer and constructor. During the presentation of his latest weapon in Afghanistan, he is wounded and arrested, and the terrorists want him to create a dangerous aircraft just for them.
However, Stark manages to create a steel suit from the limited material, which even prevents the expected death from the shrapnel that remained stuck in his chest after the attack. With the help of his suit, Stark escapes from the hands of the kidnappers, and upon his return to America, he announces that his company will stop producing weapons. He soon learns that his assistant Obadiah Stone (Jeff Bridges) has different plans.
The first released MCU movie, also one of the best. He introduced us to the at that time relatively unknown hero Iron Man, and new technologies that will be used in other Marvel movies.
4. Iron Man 2 (2010)
The plot of the film revolves around multi-billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who is facing increasing pressure from the government, the public and journalists who are trying to force him to share his technology with the military, which he does not want to do because he is afraid it could fall into the wrong hands. With the help of the faithful Pepper Potts (Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow) and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Oscar nominee Don Cheadle), Tony will create new alliances and resist powerful, evil forces.
A very good sequel to the first Iron Man movie. It’s not that important for the entire MCU, but it introduces us to some very important characters, Black Widow and Howard Stark.
5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) is hiding from military instigators, but also from his alter ego, the Hulk. He travels the world in search of a cure that will allow him to get rid of his anger and forget about Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), but neither is easy to achieve. Betty is the daughter of Bruce’s enemy General Ross (William Hurt), so the situation is even harder for Bruce. Finally, Bruce decides to return to civilization, where he is greeted by The Abomination, created when KGB agent Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) was exposed to a large dose of the same radiation that turned Bruce into the Hulk. Unlike the Hulk, The Abomination cannot regain its human form and blames Bruce for its misfortune.
Somehow the least mentioned movie of the Marvel universe. Otherwise, a movie that isn’t bad at all. A good “origin” story with a couple of great actors. It’s a bit problematic where to put it inside Marvel chronological order because its plot is taking place about the same time as Iron Man 2.
6. Thor (2011)
At the heart of the story is Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior from another world whose reckless actions trigger an ancient war. As punishment, he was banished to Earth and forced to live with humans. Here he learns what makes a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the dark forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
We are now heading into space with the Asgardians. Here we meet worlds outside the Earth, not to mention Thor and Loki. Thor is one of the major movies in the Marvel universe, as it sets all the intergalactic plots that will go through the story all the way to Infinity War. We also got our first look at Hawkeye.
7. The Avengers (2012)
When an unexpected hostile threat arises that threatens global security and protection, Nick Fury – head of the International Peace Agency better known as S.H.I.E.L.D. – will have to put together the only team that will be able to restore balance to the world and save it from disaster. A search for heroes soon begins that will take Nick from one side of the hemisphere to the other.
The culmination of everything so far. The movie that brought Marvel everything. From criticism to the box office. Somehow the film managed to bring together the seven main characters (plus Loki and the others) so it seemed just natural. Everyone got their chance in the movie and Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends with style. Plus in the movie we see two Infinity stones (“Mind Gem” and “Cosmic Cube”). Let’s see what’s next for us in chronological order of Marvel movies.
8. Iron Man 3 (2013)
After the enemy completely destroys Stark’s personal life, he embarks on a fateful search for those responsible. At every step of the adventure, his courage will be tested, and when he finds himself leaning against a wall, Stark will have to survive using his own innovations, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he struggles for his own return, Stark discovers the answer to a question that has secretly haunted him: does a man make a suit or does a suit make a man?
Tony is going through an existential crisis after fighting an alien army in The Avengers movie. Luckily in this sequel, he gets exactly what he needs to bring his talent and self-confidence back. Marvel fans didn’t really like the way they treated Mandarin in the movie, but the movie is still a lot of fun, even though not directly so important for the chronological order of the whole Marvel universe.
9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
An ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) threatens to return the universe to eternal darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has failed to defeat, the powerful hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will have to embark on his most dangerous journey to date – a journey that will reunite him with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and force him to sacrifice everything to save the inhabitants of the Earth.
Very important movie in the MCU, because it introduces another infinity stone, Aether, which will play a big role later in the chronological order of Marvel movies.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Two years after an event known as The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Captain America) lives peacefully in Washington DC, trying to adapt to modern society. However, after S.H.I.E.L.D. action a compatriot is attacked and Steve becomes entangled in a mystery that could potentially threaten the globe. Together with Natasha Romanoff, Captain America tries to unravel the secret of the mystery but does not expect that a strong opponent will be in his way – The Winter Soldier.
One of the more acclaimed Marvel movies. Here we see the problems Captain has with adapting to the 21st century which will lead to a variety of new problems when he decides to go on a solo mission. And of course the first encounter with the very important character Winter Soldier which will directly impact other Marvel movies.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
After super-popular franchises about superheroes like Ironman, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, Marvel brings another blockbuster: Guardians of the Galaxy. This time the protagonists of the film represent a team of apostates of literally cosmic proportions, led by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). After finding himself the target of a ruthless Ronan who desperately wants an item in his possession, Quill is forced to join forces with the most unusual team of outlaws including Rocket, a revolver raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the vengeful Drax the Destroyer. It won’t take Quill long for the mystical orb that Ronan wants to bring nothing but the horrors and threat of balance in space, so he’ll have to do everything he can to prevent the stability from being disrupted.
While it may not be part of the main story we’ve seen so far in chronological order, this is one fantastic story in itself, which will play a big part in MCU Phase Three. The film introduced us to another Infinity Stone – the Power Stone.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the adventure of a team that crosses the boundaries of space. The Guardians must fight to keep their newly acquired family together as they uncover the secret of Peter Quill’s true origins. Old enemies become allies, and fans favorite characters from classic comics will jump in to help our heroes as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
A sequel to the super-popular Guardians of the Galaxy. For the overall story of the Marvel universe not so important (although a couple of important characters have appeared), but a very entertaining film, which of course you should definitely watch.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
When Tony Stark tries to launch a latent peace program, things go wrong and the most powerful heroes on Earth, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, must pass the final test while the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. When the villain Ultron appears, the Avengers must stop him from realizing his evil plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected actions create an epic and unique global adventure.
Another time that all the Avengers are in one movie. Plus a couple more additions of some new characters (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and more). There is no need to say it, but a very important movie for the Marvel chronological order.
14. Ant-Man (2015)
Marvel’s superhero Ant-Man is armed with an ingenious suit with an incredible ability to increase his power proportionally by decreasing to the size of an ant. Scott Lang must accept and find his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, in planning a robbery that will save the world and future generations.
Even though it is not directly so important for the chronology of Marvel Cinematic Universe, it introduces some important characters that will have a big role in the future of MCU.
15. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
After another incident involving the Avengers results in major collateral damage, the U.S. government establishes a political body that should oversee and control this team of superheroes. Such a development of the situation will divide the Avengers and make rivals out of old friends. Steve Rogers still wants to protect humanity without government interference, while Tony Stark is convinced the time has come for change. At the same time, as the Avengers were destroyed by internal conflicts, a new threat loomed over the Earth.
This movie plays a crucial role in the Marvel universe, it has a huge scale, something like Avengers 2.5. The actions from this movie will be felt through the whole Marvel movie timeline.
16. Black Widow (2021)
The events of Captain America: Civil War directly lead to the events of Black Widow, which finds Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff on the run.
It is the first movie of MCU Phase Four, but chronologically, it is set in the past. This is probably the last time we will see Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, but the movie did build a stage for some new characters that will certainly play a bigger role in the MCU in the later stage.
17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)
Excited about the experience he had with the Avengers, Peter returns to the house where he lives with Aunt May, where he is kept under a watchful eye by his new mentor Tony Stark. Peter tries to return to his normal daily routine, although he is prevented from doing so by the thought that he still has to prove himself as a real superhero. And the right moment for that may come much earlier than Peter had hoped when a new villain appears in the city – The Vulture (Michael Keaton).
The transition of Spider-Man from Sony to MCU was marked as a big event and a lot of dust was raised about it. When we know that along with the new Spider-Man, Iron Man also appears in the film, then we know that this is something that should not be missed.
18. Black Panther (2018)
Marvel’s Black Panther follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, King Wakanda, returns home to a closed, technically advanced African country to ascend the throne and become the new king. But then the old enemy reappears, and TChall’s character of the King and Black Panther is put to the test when he is drawn into a terrible conflict that threatens the survival of Wakanda and the whole world.
The first black superhero in MCU to get his solo film. It introduces one very important character in the Marvel movie order, and the equally important land of Wakanda, that will play a big role down the line.
19. Doctor Strange (2016)
From Marvel comes Doctor Strange, the story of world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident in which his hands end up crushed and unusable. Medicine cannot help him and he is forced to seek healing and hope in an unusual place, the mysterious enclave of Kamar-Taj. He soon realizes that it is not only a healing center but also the first line in the struggle between the unseen forces of darkness that are determined to destroy our world. Strange is soon, armed with newly acquired magical powers, forced to choose whether to return to his life in which he has wealth and high social status or to abandon it all and defend the world as the most powerful existing wizard.
Fantastic “origin” story of the long-awaited Doctor Strange. In the movie, we see another “Infinity” stone (Time Stone) and we see a fusion of Doctor Strange with Thor: Ragnarok movie.
20. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor is trapped on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time when he must return to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his native world and the end of Asgard civilization – led by the almighty and ruthless Hela. But before that, he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest in which he faces his former ally and fellow Avengers – the Incredible Hulk!
Not only is Ragnarok one of the funniest and best Marvel movies, but it is also extremely important for the rest of the Marvel movie timeline. We get to know some new characters, see Thor’s and Hulk’s transformation, as well as Loki’s. There is no jumping over this one in Marvel movie order.
21. Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018)
The plot of the film continues after the events from the sequel “Captain America: Civil War”. Scott Lang has to deal with the consequences of his choices both as a superhero and as a father. And while he tries to balance as an exemplary father and Ant-Man, Hope and Dr. Hank need his help. Scott will once again have to jump into his suit and learn to fight as a team.
It’s not overly important for Marvel’s timeline, but it definitely has some links with Infinity War and Endgame, so if you want to stick to the order, you should watch it before those movies. Plus, it is a very entertaining movie.
22. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is an unprecedented film journey created over ten years and encompasses the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. It brings us the final, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their superhero allies must be willing to sacrifice everything to defeat the mighty Thanos before he ends the universe with his destruction.
The culmination of everything we have been waiting for the last 10 years! The film definitely didn’t disappoint, moreover, it was amazing. Thanos landed for the first time and became the strongest and best MCU villain to date.
23. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After the devastating events in the movie Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of the remaining allies, the Avengers reunite to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to space.
While not the last Phase 3 movie, this is the ‘real’ ending to everything we’ve watched in the past 11 years. The biggest gathering of heroes in one movie ever, a bunch of emotional moments, and a deserved end of the Infinity Saga!
But let’s see where Marvel’s chronological order will lead us next.
24. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
After the event with the Avengers Peter Parker along with Ned, MJ and the rest of the team goes on a trip to Europe but his summer plans will be disrupted by Nick Fury who needs Spider-Man’s help in the fight against powerful elemental beings.
A direct sequel to Avengers: Endgame and the last movie of Phase 3, and the whole Infinity Sage.
25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Since the dawn of the Chinese Empire, Wenwu, now known under the pseudonym of the Mandarin, has exploited the powers contained in the Ten Rings to create the terrorist organization of the same name and manipulate events to his advantage. In 1996, in search of a mystical power located in Ta-Lo in China, he had the opportunity to clash with his future wife, Jiang Li.
Although losing, the man became infatuated with the woman, a love for which he was reciprocated and abandoned his previous lifestyle. A few years later, Jiang Li was killed by an adverse criminal gang in the past in Wenwu and the latter retaliated by killing them all, albeit not finding the boss, and returned to his previous life, including the then son of only 7 years, Shang-Chi.
Instructed to be a murderer, at 14, Shang-Chi killed, on Wenwu’s orders, the gang leader responsible for his mother’s death but, after that, decided to flee home, leaving his sister Xialing behind. At present, in San Francisco, Shang-Chi works as a car parker with his best friend Katy. One day, the two are attacked by the Ten Rings, who intend to appropriate a green pendant that Jiang Li gave to Shang-Chi in the past; the assassin Razor Fist succeeds and Shang-Chi understands that now, the Ten Rings, will also go to take another pendant identical to him, which Xialing possesses.
These pendants are connected to the mystical world of Ta-Lo and have to do with the Great Protector, a sea dragon. Shang-Chi and Katy travel to Macau, from where Xialing had sent a letter to Shang-Chi a few months earlier about her presence there. Once there, Shang-Chi inadvertently signs up for a wrestling match in a fight club, where Xialing is supposed to be. Shortly before his meeting, the master of the mystical arts Wong gets the better of Abomination.
When it’s his turn, Shang-Chi discovers that his opponent is his sister, who is also the owner of the fight club. Her sister, resentful of Shang-Chi for abandoning her to her father 10 years before her, furiously defeats him. Shortly thereafter, the Ten Rings arrive; at the end of furious fighting and a daring escape, Wenwu also retrieves Xialing’s pendant and captures the latter, Shang-Chi and Katy, taking them back to his fortress.
Shang-Chi is a standalone movie set in real time, after the events of Endgame and seemingly before the events of the upcoming movies.
Marvel Movies in Order: Release Date
MCU Phase One
Phase One, also known as Avengers Assembled, is the first part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first part of the Infinity Saga.
The first set of movies introduces the main universe in which the films are set, as well as core characters such as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury, and organizations such as S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA. Many of the films in Phase One focus on the Tesseract, an extraterrestrial artifact that is later established to contain one of the six Infinity Stones. The final film, The Avengers, involves the villains Loki and Thanos allying to steal the Tesseract and conquer Earth, leading to the formation of the Avengers.
Marvel movies in order of release date in Phase One are:
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
MCU Phase Two
The phase began in 2013 with the release of Iron Man 3 and concluded in 2015 with the release of Ant-Man. It includes the crossover film Avengers: Age of Ultron, also released in 2015. Kevin Feige produced every film in the phase. The six films of the phase grossed over $5.2 billion at the global box office and received generally positive critical and public responses.
Chris Evans appeared the most in the phase, starring or making cameo appearances in four of the Phase Two movies. Marvel Studios created two more short films for their Marvel One-Shots to expand the MCU, while each of the feature films received tie-in comic books. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier also received video game tie-ins, while Lego Marvel’s Avengers was also released, which adapted the storyline of multiple films of the franchise.
Marvel movies in order of release date in Phase Two are:
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
MCU Phase Three
Phase Three is the third part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the third and final part of the Infinity Saga. From 2016 to 2019, the Phase Three films grossed $13.504 billion worldwide, surpassing the Phase Two movies.
Phase Three is set during a time of discord generated from the aftermath of Ultron’s attack against the Earth. With public opinion of superheroes becoming increasingly divided, the Avengers become fragmented. In the midst of the Avengers’ turmoils, a number of new heroes are introduced, such as Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Mantis, Spider-Man, Valkyrie, and Captain Marvel. Thanos’ plot to collect all of the Infinity Stones, which began late in Phase One, is drawn to a close in this saga.
Marvel movies in order of release date in Phase Three are:
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
MCU Phase Four
MCU phase four should’ve started in 2020, but because of the COVID pandemic, it was postponed for 2021 with its first movie, Black Widow.
Marvel movies in order of release date in Phase Four are:
- Black Widow (2021)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)