Top Gun movies are one of the many reasons why people love watching movies. Since the release of the first movie way back in 1986, it became clear that that was going to be one of the all-time classics. The Top Gun movies follow Captain Pete Mitchell, a.k.a. Maverick through his journey of being accepted into Top Gun, an elite Fighter School. From the beginning, Mitchell starts to show exceptional skills in the air and is able to perform maneuvers that can not be taught in the books. However, his boldness and rebellious nature get him in trouble very often.
Thirty-six years after the first movie not much has changed, Maverick is still prone to get on other people’s nerves as usual, and that’s what makes him so special. In this article, you can find answers about how many movies are there in the Top Gun franchise and read about Top Gun movies in order.
How many Top Gun movies are there?
There are currently two Top Gun movies with Tom Cruise starring in both of them. The first film was released in 1986, and the second in 2022, thirty-six years after the first one. This franchise follows Pete Mitchell, a.k.a. Maverick. Pete is at first an exceptional pilot in the U.S. Navy whose skills granted him a place in Top Gun, United States Navy Fighter Weapons School.
When he arrived at the school, he showed almost immediately that he is an exceptional pilot with a bit of cockiness so he also made some minor ‘enemies’ along the way. However, he was remembered as one of the best students Top Gun ever had, and decades later, he returns to school as an instructor.
Top Gun movies in order – at a glance
When the first Top Gun movie was released in 1986 it became an instant hit so it was only a matter of time before the sequel will show up. As years passed, fans of the movie gradually made peace with the fact that the sequel will probably never happen. Then, thirty-six years later, we finally got what we so badly wanted, a long-awaited sequel. The second movie in the franchise, Top Gun: Maverick was released in 2022, it was an extremely popular movie and it gave us goosebumps just like the first one. These are Top Gun movies in order of their release:
- Top Gun ( 1986 )
- Top Gun: Maverick ( 2022 )
In the first movie, Mitchell is a student in the Top Gun competing to win a Top Gun Trophy alongside other skilled pilots, Iceman ( Val Kilmer) being one of them. Throughout the whole movie, there is this strong friendship between Mitchell and Goose, his fellow pilot that was sent to Top Gun alongside the Maverick.
Maverick considered Goose to be the only family he got, so when the tragedy happened he was devastated. In the second installment of the franchise, Maverick returns to Top Gun but this time as an instructor. So, when he finds out that one of the students is actually Goose’s son, Bradley Bradshaw, things get heated.
What is the best way to watch Top Gun movies?
Top Gun movies are best enjoyed by watching them in order of release, in my experience. This means starting with the first movie, then watching the second movie. By watching the movies in this order, you’ll be able to connect more with the characters and the storyline which is advisable because this storyline is really unique and special.
By watching it this way, you’ll understand better what drives Maverick to be so daring and bold while on the other hand also loyal and a good friend. For example, if you just watch the second Top Gun movie without watching the first one before that, you will surely enjoy the movie, but you just won’t be able to connect as much with Bradley Bradshaw’s anger and resentment toward Maverick.
Top Gun movies in order by release date
The Top Gun movies are released as followed:
1. Top Gun ( 1986 )
This synopsis might contain spoilers if you hadn’t already seen the movie. Two of the best Navy pilots, Maverick and Goose are accepted into Top Gun, the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School. There they have to compete against some of the most skilled pilots in order to win the Top Gun Trophy. Maverick is an exceptional pilot that likes to show off and perform maneuvers others wouldn’t dream of and Goose is always there for him and got his back. Things went sideways in the air and tragedy struck Maverick and Goose and nothing was the same afterward. Maverick must find the strength to carry on forward.
2. Top Gun: Maverick ( 2022 )
It’s been decades since the events of the first Top Gun movie. Pete Mitchell gets his superior angry and, as a punishment, is sent to Top Gun to be an instructor. Maverick arrives at Top Gun and takes his position as an instructor rather well. However, his past catches up with him when he realizes that one of the students is actually Bradley Bradshaw, Goose’s son. Bradley holds a grudge against Maverick and is not able to trust him as he blames him for his father’s death.
Where to watch Top Gun movies?
You can watch the first Top Gun movie on Amazon Prime Video. The second installment of the franchise is still in the theatrical release period so it is still not available for streaming. However, it will be available for rent on Amazon Prime Video and to stream on Paramount+ for start.
Do you need to watch Top Gun movies in order?
You can watch each of these Top Gun movies as a stand-alone movie and you will surely be entertained, in my experience. But, in order to get the full experience of this amazing franchise, it is advisable that you watch it by its release date. That way, you’re really able to connect with this unique and well-written storyline. If you watch them by the release date, the friendship that Goose and Maverick have becomes more clear and more appreciated.
For example, if you watch the second movie before the first one, you’ll know that Goose’s son doesn’t trust Maverick because he blames him for the accident that took his father, but you wouldn’t be able to understand what actually happened and how it actually happened and that is not Maverick’s fault, even though he took Gooses’s demise very hard.
Are Top Gun movies connected?
Yes, Top Gun movies are connected, but they are also watchable as stand-alone movies. Tom Cruise is starring in both movies and his role as Maverick is at the center of it. However, it’s not only him that deserves praise for these movies to be so successful. In the first movie he was best friends with Goose and that friendship had a huge impact on the complete storyline. A part of the second movie storyline is also based on this as the relationship between Maverick and Goose’s son is one of the central ones. So yes, these movies are very well connected.
Will there be more Top Gun movies?
The release of the third installment in this franchise has not yet been confirmed so the answer to this question, for now, is no. Just the fact that Tom Cruise revived this franchise with the sequel thirty-six years after the first movie was a huge surprise and I am sure that the fans would be thrilled to witness the release of the third movie. If that is going to happen, we are yet to see it.