Tom Power, entertainment reporter
With Guardians of the Galaxy 3 flying into theaters, we've added it to our chronological and release date order sections. We've also updated other parts of this guide, such as the best-rated MCU movies and Marvel films coming soon, with the latest news and information.
Welcome to our Marvel movies in order guide. In this extensive article, you'll find every important piece of information about how to watch them in chronological and release date order. So, if you've been wondering how to do so in either or both ways, we've got you covered.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is becoming increasingly hard to follow, with a host of new films and Disney Plus shows – not to mention Avengers: Endgame's time travel-centric plot – muddying the waters in recent years. If you've been left baffled about the order of the MCU timelines since then, our expert guide breaks each part of it down, so you'll leave this page with a greater understanding of when and where each movie and TV series takes place.
You'll also find other vital information in this article, too. That includes details on each Marvel Phase 5 and Marvel Phase 6 project, the best place to stream every Marvel films and TV show, what the best MCU movies are, and more.
Without further ado, then, here's how to watch the Marvel movies and TV shows in order.
Stream Marvel movies and TV on Disney Plus
Almost every Marvel movie is available on Disney Plus. A standard subscription costs $10.99 / £7.99 / AU$11.99 a month, but you can also buy an annual subscription for $109.99 / £79.90 / AU$119.99. Alternatively, US viewers can grab a subscription for $7.99 a month with Disney Plus' ad-supported tier. If your country's price isn't listed here, check out our Disney Plus price guide.
What's the best order to watch the Marvel movies for the first time?
Are you an MCU novice? You're best sticking to watching the Marvel movies in release date order, then.
Streaming some of the best superhero films and best Disney Plus shows chronologically is great if you're a veteran Marvel viewer. Watching them this way gives you a new perspective on how events play out in the MCU and ensures repeat viewings won't become boring.
However, streaming these films in chronological order becomes messy from an MCU timeline perspective. Based on the year they're set, events depicted in one film – 2010's Captain America: The First Avenger, for example – precede what happens in, say, 2008's Iron Man. However, you're supposed to watch present days events in Iron Man unfold before parts of Cap's first solo movie, such as Cap waking up in modern day New York and meeting Nick Fury for the first time.
Watching the MCU films chronologically, then, can make things confusing for first-time viewers. If that's you, stick to release date order.
How to watch the Marvel movies in chronological order
Best for: MCU fans who want to try something new.
Here's how to watch the Marvel movies in order of chronoolgy, aka the year they're set. We've listed every film and TV show in the order they take place on the Marvel timeline, with a quick rundown on why we've listed them this way.
Due to Avengers: Endgame, the MCU timeline has become more complex. However, the Marvel movies timeline is about to become much easier to follow, with an official timeline book coming in September. For now, we've done our best with the information we have.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cap's first adventure was the fifth Marvel movie released in theaters. However, because it's set between 1942 and 1945, you need to watch this one first if you're tackling them in chronological order.
Carol Danvers didn't burst onto the scene until MCU Phase 3, but her origins story is set in 1995.
The film that kickstarted the MCU is technically the third film in order of chronology. Tony Stark's heel turn from weapons expert to superhero takes places in 2008.
Following swiftly on its predecessor's heels, Stark's second solo flick occurs in 2010.
The Stark MCU appearances keep coming – this time, he cameos at the end of the Hulk's first (and only) solo Marvel movie, which also takes place in 2010.
The god of thunder stormed his way into the MCU in 2011.
With the MCU's original major players established, we finally got the superhero movie of our dreams when the Avengers' official formed in 2012.
One of the most maligned MCU films ever, Thor's second cinematic adventure is set in 2013.
Iron Man's third and final solo movie takes place around six months after The Avengers.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The first movie set in 2014, Cap's second solo flick – one billed as a political/spy thriller – was the first Marvel film to explore genres outside of the superhero field.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1
Star-Lord's lovable ragtag crew were first introduced to a wider audience in spectacularly humorous and music-laced fashion in 2014.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
The Guardians' second movie is set around six months after their first.
I Am Groot
The first Marvel Disney Plus show to appear in this list, I Am Groot's cute five-part miniseries takes place in and around Guardians Volume 2.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The superhero ensemble reunited for another tentpole offering in 2015 – this time, taking down the menacing AI/superbot known as Ultron.
Earth's mightiest miniature hero made his MCU debut in 2015.
The third Captain America film was a mini-Avengers movie in all but name. It's set in 2016 and sees the group disband over the divisive Sokovia Accords, though it also introduced us to two of the most beloved MCU heroes in Spider-Man and Black Panther.
The first Marvel Phase 4 flick, Black Widow was released in 2021 but is actually set in 2016 – just a few months after Civil War.
After making his debut in Civil War, Spidey received his first MCU solo movie in 2016.
Marvel's first Best Picture Oscar nominee takes place in 2016.
The fourth and final film set in 2016 introduced audiences to the Sorcerer Supreme. Or, rather, the former Sorcerer Supreme – Strange being replaced by Wong due to Infinity War's events. But more on that later.
The last movie to launch in theaters before that Thanos moment, Thor: Ragnarok takes place in 2017.
Avengers: Infinity War
The Marvel movie that changed it all. We witnessed our heroes lose for a first, catastrophic time in the third Avengers movie, which occurs in 2018.
Events in Ant-Man's second film run concurrent to Infinity War, i.e. in 2018.
This is where things get messy from a Marvel movies in chronological order perspective. Endgame begins in 2018 but ends in 2023 – thus beginning an era where we don't know where every film and show is really set. From now on, we're doing our best with the information we have about the Marvel timeline.
One of two Marvel TV shows to span the entire Marvel multiverse, Loki is best watched after Avengers: Endgame.
Like Loki, What If...? is a multiversal affair. It isn't set in a particular year, so it's also best streamed after Endgame.
Set three weeks after Endgame in our Marvel movies in order guide.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Another 2023-based TV series, but one that takes place six months after Endgame's, erm, end.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Occurs eight months after Endgame and sees Peter Parker dealing with Tony Stark's death (amid other issues) in mid-2024.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi's MCU debut contains flashbacks to his childhood, so it could be listed earlier. However, the bulk of the film is set in mid-2024.
This one could technically be the first entry in our Marvel movies in chronological order list as it begins 7,000 years before 2010's Captain America. Like Shang-Chi, though, it's mostly set in the present. According to Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore, it takes place around the same time as Far From Home, i.e. mid-2024.
Thanks to the Halloween and Christmas/Holiday season decorations seen throughout this movie, we know it's set in late 2024.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Strange's multiverse-spanning sequel takes place after Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel's official timeline places it in 2024, preceding what happens in Hawkeye.
Just like No Way Home, Hawkeye's first solo adventure occurs around the Holiday season, placing it in late 2024.
This show doesn't have a specified chronological date. However, it appears to take place in 2025, with Marvel's official timeline placing it after Hawkeye.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
You'd think this one is set in 2024, given its main events take place a year after T'Challa dies. T'Challa appeared in 2023's Endgame, so that would make sense. However, Nate Moore confirmed it plays out alongside Thor: Love and Thunder, so it must be set in 2025.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
The third Ant-Man movie runs concurrent to events in Wakanda Forever, which places it in 2025. We know this because Scott Lang's autobiography, which he's promoting at the start of Quantumania, is also shown briefly in Black Panther 2 (it's seen on a TV screen in the background of one scene).
Previously, we thought She-Hulk took place around Shang-Chi. However, the official MCU timeline positions it after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and before Ms Marvel, meaning it occurs in 2025.
Ms Marvel producer Sana Amanat suggests it's set "one or two years" after Endgame, which puts it anywhere between 2024 and 2025. To make things easier, let's say 2025.
Thor's fourth solo movie is set in 2025. We know this as he tells former flame Jane Foster that it's been over eight years since they split up. Meanwhile, he tells Loki in 2017's Ragnarok that the pair mutually broke up. Add eight years to 2017 and you get 2025. Simple.
The first MCU Special Presentation is the most difficult production to pin down in this Marvel movies in order of chronology list. Our opinion? It's set in modern day, which puts it in 2025.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
As it takes place prior to Guardians of the Galaxy 3, we think it occurs in 2025, making it the penultimate entry in our Marvel movies in chronological order list.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
Given it follows the Guardians' Holiday Special, Guardians Vol. 3 is set a few months after the above special's festive-themed events.
How to watch the Marvel movies in release date order
Best for: first-time viewers.
Want to watch the Marvel movies in order of their release dates? Try this list instead. You'll start with 2008's Iron Man and end with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which space jumped into theaters in May 2023.
It's an easier blueprint to follow than streaming every MCU production chronologically, so Marvel newcomers should stick to this release date order guide.
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
- 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)
- 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)
- WandaVision (TV show, 2021)
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV show, 2021)
- Loki (TV show, 2021)
- Black Widow (2021)
- What If...? (TV show, 2021)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
- Eternals (2021)
- Hawkeye (TV show, 2021)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- Moon Knight (TV show, 2022)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
- Ms Marvel (TV show, 2022)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
- I Am Groot (TV show, 2022)
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (TV show, 2022)
- Werewolf by Night (TV special, 2022)
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (TV special, 2022)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
How to watch the Avengers movies in order
Best for: fans who only want to watch the Avengers movies.
We already covered the best way to stream the Avengers films in the sections above. If you only want to stream these specific Marvel movies in order, though, this is how to do so.
- The Avengers (2012)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
How to watch the Netflix Marvel TV shows in order
Best for: viewers who want to understand Daredevil's MCU arrival.
She-Hulk episode 8 seemingly confirmed Netflix's Daredevil TV show is canon in the MCU. That's because Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock/Daredevil is supposedly the same version of the character who appeared in Netflix's Marvel universe between 2015 and 2019.
If Daredevil's Netflix series is canon, all the others must be, too. Every Netflix Marvel TV show is available to stream on Disney Plus, so you can catch up on these characters and their stories over there.
- Daredevil season 1 (April 2015)
- Jessica Jones season 1 (November 2015)
- Daredevil season 2 (March 2016)
- Luke Cage season 1 (September 2016)
- Iron Fist season 1 (March 2017)
- The Defenders (August 2017)
- The Punisher season 1 (November 2017)
- Jessica Jones season 2 (March 2018)
- Luke Cage season 2 (June 2018)
- Iron Fist season 2 (September 2018)
- Daredevil season 3 (October 2018)
- The Punisher season 2 (January 2019)
- Jessica Jones season 3 (June 2019)
What Marvel movies are coming out in 2023?
Here's every Marvel movie and TV show coming in 2023 and beyond, including the official release date for Secret Invasion on Disney Plus:
- Secret Invasion (TV show, June 21, 2023)
- The Marvels (November 10, 2023)
- Loki season 2 (TV show, 2023)
- Echo (TV show, expected 2023)
- Ironheart (TV show, expected 2023)
- X-Men 97 (animated TV show, expected 2023)
- What If...? season 2 (TV show, expected 2023)
- Captain America: New World Order (May 3, 2024)
- Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024)
- Blade (September 6, 2024)
- Deadpool 3 (November 8, 2024)
- Agatha: Coven of Chaos (TV show, expected 2024)
- Daredevil: Born Again (TV show, expected 2024)
- Marvel Zombies (animated TV show, expected 2024)
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year (animated TV show, expected 2024)
- Fantastic Four (February 14, 2025)
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (May 2, 2025)
- Avengers: Secret Wars (May 1, 2026)
- Armor Wars (TBA)
- Spider-Man 4 (TBA)
- Wonder Man (TV show, TBA)
How many Marvel movies are there?
32 MCU movies have been released so far. By the end of 2026, there could be 42 movies (at least) to fit in our Marvel movies in order guide.
If you want to watch all of the Marvel movies in order, you'll need to set aside 4,246 minutes – that's over 70.8 hours or 2.95 total days. Add in the TV shows and specials, and it'll take a whopping 6,456 minutes (107.6 hours or 4.48 days) to watch them all.
Where to watch the Marvel movies
You can stream the Marvel movies in order, as well as the TV shows, on Disney Plus (read our Disney Plus review while you're here). You can watch them in chronological order or release date order, too.
However, The Incredible Hulk and some Spider-Man movies aren't available on Disney Plus. That's because Universal and Sony hold their distribution rights.
The Incredible Hulk used to be on HBO Max in territories where this streamer is available, but it's been delisted as of March 31, 2023. It's currently available to stream on Prime Video in the UK, plus Binge and Stan in Australia (you can only rent or buy it in the US).
Meanwhile, a bunch of Spider-Man movies recently returned to Disney Plus in the US and UK. The Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy, Andrew Garfield-starring The Amazing Spider-Man, and Tom Holland's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Sony Pictures' Venom are on the platform. Those returnees aside, Disney Plus' Spider-Man movie deal isn't as good as you think.
Marvel movies in order: all MCU films and TV shows ranked
For us, the Avengers movies are the best MCU films, but the whole thing is subjective. You can check our best Marvel movies piece for more on our rankings of each flick.
We've also listed the Marvel movies and TV shows based on their IMDb user scores. Now that the Netflix Marvel shows are canon, we've added them to the rankings below. We've done likewise with Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius, too, given their multiversal ties to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
- Daredevil (2015 - 2018) – 8.6
- The Punisher (2017 - 2019) – 8.5
- Avengers: Endgame (2019) – 8.4
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – 8.4
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) – 8.3
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – 8.2
- Loki (2021) – 8.2
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (2014) – 8.0
- The Avengers (2012) – 8.0
- WandaVision (2021) – 7.9
- Iron Man (2008) – 7.9
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – 7.9
- Jessica Jones (2015 - 2019) – 7.9
- Agent Carter (2015 - 2016) – 7.9
- Captain America: Civil War (2016) – 7.8
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – 7.8
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – 7.6
- Hawkeye (2021) – 7.5
- Doctor Strange (2016) – 7.5
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 7.4
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) – 7.4
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – 7.4
- Ant-Man (2015) – 7.3
- Black Panther (2018) – 7.3
- Moon Knight (2022) – 7.3
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 7.3
- Luke Cage (2016 - 2018) – 7.3
- Werewolf by Night (2022) – 7.2
- The Defenders (2017) – 7.2
- Iron Man 3 (2013) – 7.1
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021) – 7.1
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – 7.0
- Thor (2011) – 7.0
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) – 6.9
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – 6.9
- Iron Man 2 (2010) – 6.9
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) – 6.9
- Captain Marvel (2019) – 6.8
- Thor: The Dark World (2013) – 6.8
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) – 6.7
- Black Widow (2021) – 6.7
- I Am Groot (2022) – 6.7
- Venom (2018) – 6.6
- The Incredible Hulk (2008) – 6.6
- Iron Fist (2017 - 2018) – 6.4
- Eternals (2021) – 6.3
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) – 6.2
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – 6.2
- Ms Marvel (2022) – 6.2
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) – 5.9
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022) – 5.2
- Morbius (2022) – 5.2
For more Marvel movies in order content, find out how to watch the Spider-Man movies in order,, read up on how to stream the X-Men movies in order, oand check out our Marvel villains ranked list.