If you’re a fan of boxing movies, chances are you’ve heard of Rocky and Creed movies. These films have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with their inspiring underdog stories, iconic characters, and thrilling fight sequences. But with multiple films in both series, it can be tough to track which ones came out first or how they fit into the overall timeline. In this article, we’ll break down the Rocky and Creed movies in order by their release date and chronological order within the stories themselves. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just getting into these classic films, we’ve got you covered
How Many Rocky and Creed Movies are There?
The Rocky series of movies has six movies in total, with the first one being released in 1976 and the last one in 2006. Meanwhile, the Creed series has three movies in total, with the last movie being released recently in 2023. If you plan on watching both series, your Rock and Creed watch order will consist of 9 movies in total, covering the span of 47 years.
Rocky and Creed Movies in Order – at a glance
Well, here’s a list of the Rocky Movies in order by release date.
- Rocky (1976)
- Rocky II (1979)
- Rocky III (1982)
- Rocky IV (1985)
- Rocky V (1990)
- Rocky Balboa (2006)
The Creed Movies, in order by release date, include the following :
- Creed (2015)
- Creed II (2018)
- Creed III (2023)
Are Rocky and Creed movies connected? Do you need to watch them in a specific order?
The Rocky and Creed movies are connected and should be watched in order. The Creed movies serve as a spin-off and continuation of the Rocky franchise. The films follow the story of Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s former opponent and friend, Apollo Creed.
Rocky Balboa becomes Adonis’s mentor and trainer, and the movies explore their relationship and Adonis’s journey to become a world champion boxer. The Creed movies are set in the same fictional universe as the Rocky movies and feature appearances from Rocky himself and other characters from the original franchise.
What is the best way to watch Rocky and Creed movies?
The best way to watch Rocky and Creed movies is in their release date order. The original released date order perfectly matches the chronology of films. Technically both franchises can be watched as standalone series as long as they are watched in their respective release date orders. However, it’s best to start with the first Rocky movies released in 1976 and end with the latest Creed movie released in 2023.
Rocky and Creed movies in order by release date
1. Rocky (1976)
Rocky describes the tale of Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer of no repute who works as a debt collector for Tony Gazzo in Philadelphia City, Pennsylvania. When he’s not carrying out his boss’s task collecting overdue debts or working in Mickey’s gym, he’s trying to woo his crush, Adrian Pennino. In November 1975, the world’s heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed came to Philadelphia. He was scheduled to fight Mac Lee Green for the upcoming United States Bicentennial. However, the man pulls out of the fight because of an injury. Left with no other fighters to duel with, Creed is stranded. For this reason, Creed decides to give a local fighter an unprecedented opportunity to fight him for a $150,000 reward.
He chooses to fight Rocky because of his alias, “The Italian Stallion,” and the excellent publicity it’d garner because he’s giving an underdog a shot at the title. Interestingly, Rocky declines at first but later agrees to it because of the money and the opportunity to prove to himself and everyone that he’s not a bum after all. He then acquires Mickey’s services as his manager and trainer. Additionally, Rocky recruits his best friend, Paulie, as his cornerman.
2. Rocky II (1979)
Rocky II is the sequel to the events that took place in the first franchise. After successfully defending his belt from the challenger Rocky Balboa, both boxers, Rocky and Creed, are hospitalized due to the injuries they sustained during the fight. However, Rocky sustained a detachment of his retina, and there was a risk of permanent blindness if there was a repeat trauma to the eye. So he decides to retire, and his girlfriend Adrian and the doctors share the same opinion.
However, Creed still wanted a rematch because he felt Rocky going the distance against him was just a fluke. Meanwhile, Rocky is now wealthy because of his money after the fight and the new sports endorsements. Buoyed by this fact, he proposes to Adrian, which she agrees to, and they get married. Sometime later, Adrian becomes pregnant. However, Creed won’t just give up the idea of having a rematch against Rocky. He tries every possible means to get Rocky out of retirement but is unable to.
Because Rocky doesn’t have experience managing money, he later runs out of money and becomes broke. Finally, after several failed attempts at securing a job, he starts thinking about the rematch. He visits his former manager and trainer, Mickey Goldmill, and asks for his help securing the rematch. Mickey declines because he is concerned for Rocky’s health but later changes his mind.
3. Rocky III (1982)
Rocky III follows the events of Rocky II. After defeating Creed in the 15th round, Rocky became the new world heavyweight champion. He’d then successfully defend his title against ten fighters. He garners a lot of wealth, endorsements, fame, and high celebrity status. As a result, he begins to consider retirement. At the same time, a new talented and upcoming boxer named Clubber Lang rises to become Rocky’s number-one contender. Lang wants a match, but Rocky turns him down.
After a series of verbal confrontations and some sexual comments about Rocky’s wife, Rocky accepts the challenge. So naturally, Mickey wants to have no part in it. But Rocky woos him over when he promises to train the way he used to. But he didn’t. After that, on the day of the fight, before Lang enters the ring, he shoves Mickey, which causes him to have a heart attack. Rocky is agitated and wants to knock out Lang as fast as possible.
He’s aggressive and lands Lang some lethal punches, but he can’t knock him out. Lang recovers and lands Rocky, a haymaker who eventually knocks Rocky out in the 2nd round and becomes the world heavyweight champion. Afterward, Mickey dies, and Rocky becomes depressed. Walking by his former trainer’s gym one day, he decides to go in. He finds his former nemesis, Creed, inside.
Interestingly, Creed offers to train Rocky for a rematch against Lang, which he agrees to. Creed takes him to his gym in Los Angeles and introduces him to his former manager and trainer, Tony Duke Evers. Who also agrees to train Rocky.
4. Rocky IV (1985)
Rocky IV is a sequel to the previous franchise. In 1985, a boxer from the Soviet Union, Ivan Drago, came to the United States with his wife, manager, and trainers. His manager boasts around, claiming that Soviet athletes are better than America. After that, Apollo Creed challenges Drago to an exhibition fight in a move of patriotism and a bid to prove himself. He gladly accepts. Creed persuades Rocky to be his trainer.
The match is fixed to take place in the MGM Grand Hotel. At first, Creed is offensive, landing some punches, but they are not strong enough to knock out Drago. Subsequently, Drago begins to counteract Creed’s punches. He ruthlessly beats the hell out of Creed. Luckily for Creed, the bell signals the end of the first round.
Rocky and Duke beg Creed not to continue, but he ignores them. Finally, he asks Rocky not to end the match on any account. After that, the second round begins. Creed continues to take a beating from Drago. Finally, Duke asks him to quit, but Rocky grants Apollo his wish. This allows Drago to land one final lethal punch that kills Apollo. Drago shows no remorse. Fueled by Drago’s emotionlessness and in a bid to avenge Creed, Rocky challenges Drago to a fight. He relinquishes his championship to do that. The fight is set for Christmas Day in Moscow.
5. Rocky V (1990)
Rocky V is the continuation of Rocky IV. Immediately after defeating Ivan Drago in Moscow, Rocky, Adrian, Tony Duke, and Paulie return to America. He has a press conference where George Washington Duke tried goading him into a fight with the current number 1 contender, Union Cane, for his championship. However, he declines. After that, it is revealed that he’s now bankrupt because his accountant stole his money, and he hasn’t been paying taxes for some years.
Rocky talks to his wife, Adrian, about fighting Cane to better their financial situation. Then, she asks him to go and see his doctors first. The doctors reveal that he had suffered a brain injury in the last fight and that it’d be detrimental to his health if he fought Cane. With this in mind, he reluctantly retires from boxing.
With all his assets seized, he returns to his old neighborhood with his family and Paulie. He begins to train boxers in Mickey’s gym while Adrian returns to working in the pet store. Meanwhile, Union Cane wins the vacant world heavyweight championship. Rocky then begins training Tommy Gunn, an upcoming talented boxer from Oklahoma.
This makes him spend little time with his son Robert, who is bullied in school. As a result, his relationship with his son Robert hits the rocks. At the same time, George Washington Duke manages to win over Tommy after Rocky has trained him to become the number one contender.
6. Rocky Balboa (2006)
Rocky Balboa is the sixth film in the Rocky Franchise. It’s set in the year 2006, with Rocky now in his fifties and a widower. Four years earlier, his wife, Adrian, succumbed to ovarian cancer. Rocky now manages a small but successful Italian restaurant called Adrian’s in Philadelphia. In the meantime, his son Robert works a corporate job in Philadelphia, and their relationship is strained.
He also struggles as a result of the grief from losing Adrian. However, when he meets with Marie and her son Stephenson, he begins to recuperate. Meanwhile, Mason Dixon, popularly known as ‘The Line,’ is the world heavyweight champion on the boxing front. However, he’s at loggerheads with the public and fights promoters, who claim that he’s never really fought someone strong enough.
Much later, ESPN broadcast a virtual match between Rocky in his prime and the modern-day Dixon. The game ends as a knockout victory for Rocky. Consequently, Dixon is enraged, but contrarily, Rocky is enthused. As a result, he wants to resume boxing again, but locally. After he successfully gains his license again, the public goes into a frenzy.
7. Creed (2015)
Creed is a follow-up and spin-off of the Rocky film series. It featured Adonis Johnson alias ‘Donnie,’ the son of Apollo Creed, the former world heavyweight champion from an extramarital affair. After Apollo’s widow takes him in, Adonis desires to be a boxer. He goes for an amateur boxing match in Tijuana, Mexico, which he wins easily.
After that, he returns to Los Angeles and quits his desk job to pursue his boxing dreams. Meanwhile, he goes to the Delphi Boxing Academy, where his father used to train.
Tony Duke Evers’ son now manages it, and Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr. challenges the boxers to fight. However, he eventually loses the battle to Danny Wheeler. Meanwhile, his stepmother discourages boxing because she lost her husband to boxing thirty years prior. Nevertheless, Creed is adamant and wants it his way.
After watching a boxing match between his father, Apollo, and Rocky, he decides to go to Philadelphia. He meets Rocky at Adrian’s, his Italian restaurant named after his late wife. Adonis then asks Rocky to become his trainer. Rocky declines because he doesn’t want to be involved in the boxing world anymore. However, after visiting Adrian’s and Paulie’s graveyard, he changes his mind and lets Adonis train under him.
8. Creed II (2018)
Three years after losing by default to Conlan, Adonis wins six consecutive matches and becomes the WBC World Heavyweight Champion. After that, he proposes to his girlfriend Bianca, and she agrees to marry him. Meanwhile, Rocky’s former adversary Ivan Drogo, his son Viktor and promoter Buddy Marcelle plot to fight Adonis.
After that, the Drogos and Buddy travel to Philadelphia to confront Rocky. Ivan meets up with Rocky in the restaurant and asks for a match between Adonis and Viktor, but Rocky refuses. Buddy then meets up with Adonis at one of Bianca’s concerts to goad him into accepting the challenge. After that, he meets up with Rocky to discuss it.
However, Rocky wants no part of it because he wants to avoid the circumstance that befell Adonis’ father, Creed. So he refuses to train Adonis. Finally, so adamantly, Bianca and Adonis leave for Los Angeles. After that, Adonis seeks out Tony Evers, “Little Duke,” his father’s former trainer’s son, to be his trainer. He accepts. Meanwhile, Adonis and Bianca visit Mary Anne, Apollo’s widow and his adoptive mother.
9. Creed III (2023)
In Creed III, the sequel to the 2018 film Creed II, Adonis Creed, also known as Donnie, is doing well in both his personal and professional life as a successful boxer and family man. However, his life is turned upside down when his childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian “Dame” Anderson, is released from prison and seeks redemption in the ring. Although Donnie and Dame were once close friends, their reunion becomes a fierce competition as Dame is determined to prove himself in the boxing world.
Where to watch Rock and Creed movies?
All six movies from the Rocky Franchise can be watched on Amazon Prime Video. The first two movies in the Creed series are likewise available on Amazon Prime Video, with the last movie currently being only in theaters.
Will there be more Rocky and Creed movies?
Michael B. Jordan confirmed back on February 2 that the fourth Creed movie will be made and that the studio is considering creating the spin-off franchise set in the existing universe. Those are great news for the fans, so the answer to the original question is yes, there will be more Creed movies. Considering that the third movie was just released, we don’t have any concrete news. Still, it’s nice to have confirmation.