If you’ve been a faithful Marvel fan since Tony Stark first uttered: “I am Iron Man,” in 2008, you probably watched the movies and TV shows in the order they were released. But have you watched all the Avengers movies in the order they were set?
As Marvel released more movies, they’ve filled in the gaps, adding more context and stories between the major movies. With each origin story, fans get more and more “a-ha” moments as the context clicks into place.
If you want to watch the Marvel movies in order based on their place in “the sacred timeline,” here’s how and where you can watch the Avenger movies in order based on their chronology.
Avengers Movies in Order: The Sacred Timeline
We’ve also noted the year or time period in which the film was set, and where it is currently available for you to watch! Enjoy!
1. Captain America: The First Avenger (1942-1943) – Disney+
Captain America is the first Avenger, as he becomes a superhero well before Iron Man makes his initial declaration. His origin story involves him becoming a super soldier to fight Nazis in World War II. At the end of the film, he makes a sacrifice that sets his body in a deep freeze, and when he unfreezes, he finds himself in 2011 Manhattan.
The sacrifice he made allowed this skinny boy from pre-war Brooklyn to become one of the modern Avengers.
2. Captain Marvel (1995) – Disney+
Even though Carol Danvers only joined the MCU in 2019, her movie is actually second when you go chronologically.
Like Rogers, Danvers is a part of the US military. Danvers starts as an Air Force pilot and her journey into the world of superheroes begins after a crash of an experimental aircraft. She trains to join Starforce Military and uncovers more about her past with the help of S.H.E.I.L.D.
3. Iron Man (2010) – Disney+
This origin story details how a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” adds “superhero” to his resume. He discovers where his company’s war tech is ending up and has an existential crisis; is he the bad guy? Is it possible to undo what he’s done with all the blood money he’s made?
4. Iron Man 2 (2011) – Disney+
Once again, Stark’s past as a weapons dealer comes back to haunt him. He needs to continue his journey of improving the suit and becoming a better Iron Man if he’s to best Anton Vanko.
5. The Incredible Hulk (2011) – Rent from Amazon Prime
Before Mark Ruffalo joined the team as the Hulk we all know and love, Edward Norton had a brief stint in the MCU.
This movie is rarely referenced in the following films, but it is still solidly a part of the MCU. It has an after-credits sequence where Tony talks to Banner about joining the Avengers, so even though Marvel tries to distance itself from the movie, it plays an important role in the franchise.
6. Thor (2011) – Disney+
As a punishment for his arrogance in battle, Thor’s father, Odin, banishes him from his home planet of Asgard. He must live among the humans of the earth to learn humility.
He develops a love for the people of earth, specifically Jane Foster. As he learns more about who he is and who he was born to be, he becomes one of the earth’s greatest defenders.
7. The Avengers (2012) – Disney+
Thor’s entrance to the MCU comes at an important moment, which is why watching the Avenger movies in order makes the films richer.
That’s because his brother acts as the villain in the original Avengers movie.
This movie is the first introduction to the concept of the Infinity Stones, which become increasingly important over the course of the franchise. This is the first time the Avengers must put aside their differences in order to assemble and save the universe.
8. Iron Man 3 (2012) – Disney+
After Loki’s attack on NYC, Tony struggles with one of his greatest adversaries: his own mind. He struggles with PTSD and insomnia, which makes his behavior erratic. He’s unable to think straight and when someone known as the Mandarin comes to attack, they take everything. Without his tech and wealth, he needs to discover if he’s enough of a superhero on his own to save the day.
9. Thor: The Dark World (2013) – Disney+
Centuries ago, a race called the Dark Elves tried to plunge the universe into the darkness with the aid of the weapon known as the Aether. The weapon cannot be destroyed, so one of the Dark Elves that survived lies in wait for a chance to strike. The problem hits much closer to home when Thor discovers that Jane Foster has now become entangled in the fate of the Aether.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Disney+
Just as Tony struggles with PTSD after the attack on New York, Steve Rogers struggles to adapt to modern times after 70 years of being frozen. Things seem much more complicated than they did when he went into the deep freeze. Evil isn’t just someone in a Nazi uniform.
He must reassess who his allies are when a dark assassin attacks S.H.E.I.L.D.
11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Disney+
We step outside Earth for this film and meet the ragtag team that becomes The Guardians of the Galaxy. You’ve got:
- Peter Quill, a man who grew up in space after being abducted by aliens
- Groot, a sentient tree who can only say his own name
- Rocket, a sentient raccoon with an anger management problem
- Gamora, a warrior and daughter of Thanos
- Drax, a Kylosian whose sole purpose is to kill Thanos
It’s an unlikely crew, and when they aren’t trying to kill each other, they can really get stuff done.
The movie has a fun tone and an excellent soundtrack.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2014) – Disney+
The first Guardians of the Galaxy is the team’s origin story, and this is the continuation of their journey. We discover who Peter’s father is and realize that his abduction may not have been quite as chance as we previously believed.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Disney+
Banner and Stark try to create a peacekeeping AI to protect the earth.
Of course, it goes horribly wrong.
The Avengers must assemble once again to defeat Ultron, the rogue AI.
14. Ant-Man (2015) – Disney+
With Scott Lang’s criminal record following him around, he’s having difficulty holding down a job. He’s trying to stay on the straight and narrow to stay in contact with his daughter, but his ex-wife is disappointed that he can’t hold down a job.
He takes a job from a friend to steal something classified. Once he finds that it’s a weird suit, it shrinks him down and gives him immense strength. He connects with the creator of the suit who thinks Lang can help him protect the technology that powers the suit.
15. Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Disney+
With the increased level of damage caused by superheroes, the world governments decide that superheroes must be regulated. They develop the Hero Registration Act, which will limit the rights of superheroes and put them under the control of the government.
Stark believes signing it is what’s best; Rogers vehemently disagrees. The Avengers fracture down the middle, half siding with Rogers, half siding with Stark. The fallout is explosive.
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016) – Rent from Amazon Prime
As the problems the Avengers face become more grandiose and complicated, it’s nice to take a step back and deal with a simple villain. Tom Holland gets his first film as Spider-Man and he knocks it out of the park.
We get to see the delightful balance of young Spider-Man handling the problems of both a superhero and an average high schooler
17. Doctor Strange (2016-2017) – Disney+
This movie ushers Dr. Steven Strange into the MCU. He loses his status as a world-renowned surgeon when a horrible accident robs him of his steady hands. He searches the world for answers and what he finds is an answer beyond science.
18. Black Widow (2017) – Disney+
We dive into Natasha Romanoff’s dark past as it catches up with her. We discover who and what she was before the Avengers and she must face the demons that haunt her in order to overcome a new villain.
19. Black Panther (2017) – Disney+
We journey to the land of Wakanda, a technologically advanced country hidden in Africa. Their superior technology is fueled by the Vibranium reserves they sit atop of. They hide from the world in order to protect this power from the wrong hands.
We watch T’Challa become king after the death of his father in Civil War and the struggles he must overcome to protect his people and lead them into the future.
20. Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Disney+
This Thor movie takes a significant turn from the tone of the two other Thor movies before it. Instead of a dark, brooding, serious superhero movie, it is colorful, fun, exciting, and funny.
It’s an interesting approach, as the movie deals with the death of a father, a previously hidden, evil sister, and the end of Asgard.
21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2017) – Disney+
After his involvement in Civil War, Lang must try to balance his life as a superhero and as a father. He must team up with the suit’s creator, Dr. Hank Pym, and the creator’s daughter, Hope van Dyne. Her superhero alias? The Wasp.
22. Avengers: Infinity War (2017) – Disney+
Thanos, a villain who’s stayed on the fringe of the plot since the first Avengers movie, has come to collect the Infinity Stones. He wants to use them to serve his Machiavellian purpose; eliminate half of all life in the universe to conserve resources and battle overpopulation.
23. Avengers: Endgame (2018-2023) – Disney+
The Avengers must fight the most difficult obstacle they’ve ever faced: failure.
In almost every superhero movie, the hero wins. That’s why Infinity War came as such a shock.
How do you come back and fight again when you’ve lost half your heroes and the villain has won?
24. Loki (It’s Complicated) – Disney+
It’s hard to know exactly where on the timeline Loki falls because the entire show’s premise occurs outside the sacred timeline, and possibly outside of time itself.
The show begins after the moment in Endgame when the Avengers return to the spot on the timeline when Loki was apprehended in the first Avengers movie.
25. WandaVision (2023) – Disney+
While the first episode may seem like WandaVision takes place in the 1960s, due to the black and white screen and the home being modeled directly after the Dick VanDyke show set, it actually takes place right after she returns from the snap. The show deals with her grief of, once again, losing the person she loves most. It dives deep into her trauma that made her the person she is today.
How does someone with overwhelming metaphysical powers take out their anger and grief when they’re in desperate need of therapy?
26. Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings (2023-2024) – In Theatres, Headed to Disney+
A new superhero has joined the ever-expanding MCU: Shang-Chi. His father was the legendary Wenwu, the finder and holder of the Ten Rings. These mystical weapons give the bearer immortality and power.
Wenwu gives it all away when he falls in love with Ying Li, resulting in Shang-Chi and Xialing’s birth. Shang-Chi must decide whether he will wield the Ten Rings or try to live the normal life he craves.
27. Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2023-2024) – Disney+
At the end of Endgame, Steve Rogers hands over the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson.
Wilson teams up with Bucky Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, to maintain order in a chaotic, post-blip world.
28. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2024) – Rent from Amazon Prime
After the madness of the snap and the blip, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man just wants to be your friendly neighborhood high schooler.
He takes a European trip with MJ, Ned, and other schoolmates, and even though he wants to just enjoy the trip, Nick Fury has other plans.
Start Enjoying the Avenger Movies in Order
If you want to watch all the MCU movies, your best bet is to grab a Disney+ subscription. It’s the home of all the Marvel intellectual property, and the TV shows like Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision were made exclusively for Disney+ viewers.
Watching the Avengers movies in order is quite the undertaking, but we think it’s worth taking the plunge. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about watching all the Marvel movies in order, start by watching the original Avengers movie. Seeing all the amazing characters come together for such an epic movie will inspire you to dive deeper into the MCU.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in