The best Spider-Man movies, ranked from worst to best

Miles Morales fires his webshooters in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, one of the best Spider-Man movies
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is out now in theaters. (Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Looking for a guide on the best Spider-Man movies? You've come to the right place.

Below, we've rounded up every live-action and animated Spider-Man-starring film, debated which ones we think are some of the best superhero movies around (and those that aren't), and ranked them from worst to best. So, if you've been wondering where 2002's Spider-Man sits when compared to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – the newest addition to our guide on how to watch the Spider-Man movies in order – you'll want to read on.

Something to note before we begin: we haven't included any team-up missions here, so don't expect to find Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, or Avengers: Endgame below. We haven't included any films starring Spidey's rogues gallery of villains, such as Venom, either, but that might change in the future.

Without further ado, then, these are the best Spider-Man movies, ranked from worst to best.

Best Spider-Man movies: 10 to 6

10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a messy follow-up to Andrew Garfield's first outing as the legendary wallcrawler. It's a scattered film with an unsatisfying plot, and it actually could've benefitted from a more pared-down approach like its predecessor.

It's not short on villains, packing in Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and, to a lesser extent, the Rhino (Paul Giamatti), but none of them really stand out. Additionally, it was also a mistake for the film to try and re-tread the ground of Peter Parker and Harry Osborn's friendship – something explored so comprehensively in Sam Raimi's beloved trilogy. 

Given what came before, the two Amazing Spider-Man movies feel inessential, and the running plot thread in these two films about what happened to Peter's parents feels weirdly off-brand – not to mention boring for a Spider-Man story. 

Still, Garfield's excellent portrayal of the wallcrawler deserved a better final movie than this. The chemistry he shared with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy was the highlight of this duology and, save for Garfield's crowd-pleasing return in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it's a slight disappointment that his Spider-Man films weren't as good as what came before or after them. Definitely not one of the best Spider-Man movies around.

9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man 3's issues are well-documented. The laughable (but meme-worthy) dancing, the overload of villains, and the film's messy structure ensured that the final instalment in Maguire and Raimi's webhead trilogy ended it on a sour note.

The film isn't a total write-off, but it lacks the strong characterization of the first two movies, which focused on a single villain with a believable motivation, and made Peter Parker's personal life fit around that to interesting dramatic effect. 

Instead, Tobey Maguire's Parker is (deliberately) harder to like, and the introduction of Venom to the series was a bit botched. It feels like a film that had too many cooks behind-the-scenes, and seemed to be the nail in the proverbial coffin for this film series overall (a fourth movie had been in the works before Raimi departed it in 2010).

Still, given how The Amazing Spider-Man movies turned out, we can't help but wish Raimi had one more roll of the dice to get Spidey back on track with a fourth movie.

8. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

A perfectly fine reboot of the webslinger's film series saw Garfield assume the mantle of Peter Parker and convincingly bring his own vibe to the webslinger. 

Unfortunately, The Amazing Spider-Man lacked a fundamentally different and interesting creative angle to the Raimi movies, and only seemed to exist at all because Sony Pictures felt that a reboot was necessary. It wasn't, in our view, but money talks.

Rhys Ifans made for a decent enough villain as Curt Connors, aka the Lizard, and Garfield and Stone's on-screen relationship fizzes and sparkles with energy. The world just didn't really need The Amazing Spider-Man, though, and the end result showed. And the less said about turning Parker into a skateboarding, semi-popular kid, the better.

7. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Spider-Man: Far From Home was the perfect post-Avengers: Endgame tonic. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) takes a school trip to Venice and tries to win the heart of MJ (Zendaya) – albeit in the deeply sanitized and un-horny way we've come to expect from the MCU.

Along the way he encounters Quintin Beck, better known as Mysterio, who (spoilers!) is essentially a con artist masquerading as a superhero, and who has an axe to grind with Tony Stark. Yep, another villain who owes their existence to the now-deceased Iron Man. Still, Mysterio is brought to life with real gusto by a fun Jake Gyllenhaal, and it's a pity that he's killed off by the film's finale.

While the way Mysterio is introduced as a hero works really well, Far From Home definitely lacks the impact of the Raimi movies on an emotional level. It treads a lot of the ground that its predecessor – Spider-Man: Homecoming – did, too, which isn't what you want from a sequel that's supposed to build on what came before.

That said, the ending reveal, which features JK Simmons reprising his role as J Jonah Jameson from the Raimi films was a big surprise to many, and set up the events of No Way Home nicely. All in all, a middling entry in our best Spider-Man movies guide.

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The MCU's Spider-Man made an strong debut in Captain America: Civil War as Stark's thankless protégé, tasked with fighting a bunch of rogue Avengers in Leipzig airport, Germany. 

As a follow-up film to Civil War's events, Spider-Man: Homecoming definitely brings the best out of Holland's Marty McFly-esque Peter Parker, and actually explores what student life is like for Spidey, which the previous movie series didn't lean into as heavily. It's also fun to explore Holland's Parker and Jacob Batalon's Ned Leeds' friendship, which hasn't been examined in live-action before the 2017 flick, either.

Michael Keaton's Vulture is a pretty solid villain with an interesting working class edge and the subject of a great twist. The brief appearances from Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark, too, help to root Homecoming in the MCU further. This flick does feel a bit safe overall but, given the poor critical reception to The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, playing it safe wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Best Spider-Man movies: 5 to 1

5. Spider-Man (2002)

Fox's 2000 X-Men movie (read more in our X-Men movies in order guide) came first and set the stage for the superhero boom in the early 2000s, but 2002's Spider-Man felt like the real start of how the genre has established itself in the mainstream over the last 23 years.

Raimi's first film set a template of putting the hero's personal life at the center of the story, with the superhero action growing out of that. Almost every MCU movie has followed a similar format since so, while 2002's Spider-Man isn't a part of that (well, it technically is now, thanks to No Way Home), it pioneered the formula that has made the MCU the cinematic juggernaut that it is today.

Tobey Maguire's affable Spidey was spot-on casting and, while Willem Dafoe is often mocked for a touch of overacting as Norman Osborn's Green Goblin, everything about this film felt right. It makes for a highly enjoyable re-watch almost two decades later, and will always feel like the primary on-screen version of Spidey to a certain generation. 

4. Spider-Man: No Way Home

It may be the second of two Spider-Man multiverse movies to arrive in theaters (and it's not as good as the other one, which we'll get to), but Spider-Man: No Way Home is certainly the strongest of the Tom Holland era.

Holland revels in his funnier and slightly darker take on Spider-Man, utilizing his full range of emotions to deliver an extremely poignant, comical, and moving performance in what may be his final outing as the iconic hero. The return of multiple Spidey villains in Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx's Electro, Rhys Ifans' Lizard, and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman may have led to No Way Home befalling a similar fate as The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But, here, they're all given ample time to flex their muscles and feel necessary to the story.

No Way Home is an action-packed, humorous and emotional gut-punch of a movie that arguably wouldn't be in our top three even if Holland was the only Spider-Man on screen. But, with Maguire and Garfield reprising their roles as the beloved superhero – a decision that proves to be more than just pure fan service as it gives both Spider-Men some much needed closure to their own turns as the webhead – No Way Home catapults itself into our hearts and into fourth place on our best Spider-Man movies list. 

A truly breath taking film that'll have Spider-Man fans cheering wildly, laughing uncontrollably, and even shedding a tear or two.

3. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Raimi's dual focus on Peter Parker's personal and superhero lives is perfected in one of the greatest superhero movies of all-time in this 2004 sequel.

Alfred Molina's Doc Ock is a brilliantly-conceived, tragic villain – a scientist with good intentions, who ends up terrorizing New York after his wife is killed in an accident, and his brain is warped by a chip that alters his behavior. And yep, he has robot arms, which must have been a nightmare for Molina to work with but, ultimately, brought Doc Ock to life on the big screen in an identical way to how he's portrayed in the comics.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man 2 explores the idea of Parker stepping away from the limelight of being the iconic webhead when it all gets a bit too much, which is lifted from the famous 'Spider-Man: No More!' story in the comics. The film also features numerous great set pieces – most memorably Spider-Man's efforts to stop a runaway train by firing as many webs off as possible in order to stop it after a pulsating one-on-one fight with Doc Ock. 

This is probably as good as live-action Spidey movies will ever get, but No Way Home certainly gave it a run for its money.

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

As well as being one of the nicest-looking animated films ever made – that animated comic book aesthetic is right on the money – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a funny, inventive and well-written crossover movie of multiple Spider-folk. 

Here, this universe's version of Peter Parker (Chris Pine) dies at the hands of the Kingpin, and young student Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) steps up to replace the iconic webslinger.

Except he's not alone. Miles is soon joined by another universe's slightly less perfect, dadbod-bearing Peter B Parker (Jake Johnson), and other Spider-heroes from across different realities, including Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (Jon Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), and Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage). The quintet, though, need to get back to their realities or they'll die in Miles' world (they can't survive in another hero's dimension), so the group team up to take Kingpin's Super Collider project down so they can return home. 

Not only is this a great, ambitious sci-fi spin on a superhero team-up movie, it's incredibly heartfelt, with terrific characterization across the board. It's one of the best animated movies ever made, and set the stage for No Way Home and the MCU in general.

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)

It might have seemed impossible to improve on the aesthetic, rich themes, laugh out loud humor, and emotional relatability of Into the Spider-Verse. Somehow, though, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse elevates every aspect of its predecessor.

Set 16 months after Into the Spider-Verse, the now-teenage Miles embarks on a new multiverse-spanning mission – alongside returning friend/love interest Gwen Stacy – to tackle a new threat. However, when Miles butts heads with Miguel O'Hara/Spider-Man 2099, the self-elected leader of the Spider Society (which keeps the Spider-Verse safe from interdimensional threats), things get way out of control and then some.

A delightfully darker sequel to its multi-award winning forebear, Across the Spider-Verse is a stunning piece of cinema. In our Across the Spider-Verse review, we said it "fulfils its ambitious promise to deliver an amazing follow-up to its 2018 predecessor" and "makes for an animated movie unlike anything we've seen before". If that doesn't help it take top spot in our best Spider-Man movies guide, we're not sure what will.

Oh, and once you've seen it in theaters, be sure to read our Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ending explained article to see how it sets up 2024's Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.

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