Best Order to Watch Marvel Movies Before Avengers Endgame

Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly one of the greatest superhero universes ever created with an array of jaw-dropping movies and a perfectly stable storyline that follows up in every phase of the MCU. With an ever-growing audience, many new fans struggle with the order in which they should watch the huge pile of Marvel movies to grasp what happened before the ultimate showdown in Avengers: Endgame. So, all the new fans, welcome to the world of Marvel and sit back, relax, and go through this article where I help you out with the best order to watch Pre-Endgame Marvel movies and TV shows.

Movie NameRelease Date
Captain America: The First AvengerJuly 19, 2011
Captain MarvelMarch 8, 2019
Iron ManMay 2, 2008
Iron Man 2May 7, 2010
The Incredible HulkJune 13, 2008
Thor May 2, 2011
The AvengersMay 4, 2012
Iron Man 3May 3, 2013
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.September 24, 2013
Thor: The Dark WorldNovember 8, 2013
Captain America: Winter SoldierApril 4, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1.August 1, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.May 5, 2017
Avengers: Age of UltronMay 1, 2015
Ant-ManJune 29, 2015
Captain America: Civil WarMay 6, 2016
Spiderman: HomecomingJuly 7, 2017
Doctor StrangeNovember 4, 2016
Black PantherNovember 11, 2022
Thor: RagnarokNovember 3, 2017
Ant-Man and the WaspJuly 6, 2018
Avengers: Infinity WarApril 27, 2018

1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Best Order to Watch Marvel Movies Before Avengers Endgame
  • Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Hugo Weaving
  • Director: Joe Johnston
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.9 / 80%

Captain America might not be the first movie to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this is the movie that sets the stage for everything, you know, Marvel. This movie is set in the World War 2 era when Steve Rogers was given the super soldier serum which turned him into our beloved Captain America. This movie also introduced us to the Tesseract, which we later came to know as one of the Infinity Stones.

This is also the movie that introduces us to HYDRA, a scientific division of Nazis, that later became independent and played an important antagonist part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

2. Captain Marvel (2019)

  • Release Date: March 8, 2019
  • Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law
  • Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Nia DaCosta
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.8/ 79%

I know what you must be thinking, “But this movie came out in 2019?” Yeah, it did. But hear me out, the release date is irrelevant in this context as the setting of the movie is in the year 1995, which sets it before any other Avenger movie or even the Avengers initiative. This movie is great for some insight and sheds light on some key MCU flashbacks, including the famous story of how Nick Fury lost his eye.

3. Iron Man (2008)

  • Release Date: May 2, 2008
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrance Howards
  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.9/94%

If you are wondering where the MCU kicked off, the answer is 2008’s Iron Man. Even though Iron Man was released in 2008, the movie was set in the year 2010 around Tony Stark, a brilliant scientist, millionaire, philanthropist, and playboy. Tony Stark was an extremely successful arms manufacturer who was captured by terrorists. While being captive, he saw his weapons being used to take innocent lives and he has a moment of self-realization.

He created a mechanical armor while being captive to escape and later modified it to be a fully functional Iron Man armor. This movie isn’t just important in the MCU context but also marks the introduction of one of the most loved characters in the whole MCU, who is also one of the most powerful Avengers.

4. Iron Man 2 (2010)

  • Release Date: May 7, 2010
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson
  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 4 minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.9/ 71 %

Iron Man 2 follows up on the ending of the first movie, where Tony Stark is facing the outcome of revealing his superhero identity. After his revelation, the United States government aggressively persuades him to hand over the Ironman suit as they consider it a weapon but Stark refuses to comply. A new villain is also seen trying to replicate the Iron Man armor to use it for monetary gains. This pre-endgame Marvel movie also introduced us to two of the key members of Avengers – Natasha Romanoff and War Machine (Rhodey).

5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

  • Release Date: June 13, 2008
  • Cast: Edward Norton, Tim Roth, Liv Tyler, William Hurt
  • Director: Louis Leterrier
  • Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.6/ 67%

Even though the events of The Incredible Hulk take place at the same time as those of Iron Man, according to Kevin Feige, it’s suggested to watch the former before watching The Incredible Hulk.

Anyway, initially, the Hulk was played by Edward Norton but was later replaced by Mark Ruffalo. In The Incredible Hulk, we witness Bruce Banner trying to find a cure for himself and get rid of his alter ego, i.e. the Hulk.

6. Thor (2011)

  • Release Date: May 2, 2011
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Antony Hopkins
  • Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7 / 77%

This movie marks the introduction of mystical characters to the MCU in the form of Thor, the son of Odin and the God of thunder. Thor has been banished to Earth by his father and will have to prove his worthiness to lift his hammer again and regain his powers. He is assisted by earth-dwelling scientist Jane Foster who later becomes his love interest. This movie also introduces us to Loki as well as Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.

7. The Avengers (2012)

  • Release Date: May 4, 2012
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner
  • Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Joss Whedon
  • Runtime: 2 Hours, 23 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8/ 91%

Marking the conclusion of MCU Phase One, The Avengers showed us a team of the Earth’s mightiest heroes who had to work together in order to save the Earth from Loki’s attack. In this Marvel movie, we see the struggles met by these heroes to work together as a team. We see Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye work together in this movie to save the Earth.

8. Iron Man 3 (2013)

  • Release Date: May 3, 2013
  • Cast: Rober Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle
  • Director: Shane Black
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.1/ 79 %

Marking the last standalone Iron Man movie, Iron Man 3 took place six months after the events of The Avengers where Tony Stark almost died. We see him suffering from a literal shell shock while a new threat comes knocking on his door in the form of an international terrorist called Mandarin. We’re also introduced to the Extremis Virus in this movie, which will play a major part in the upcoming Marvel movies and TV shows.

9. Agents of SHIELD Season 1 (2013)

  • Release Date: September 24, 2013
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker,Ming-Na Wen, Elizabeth Henstridge
  • Director: Joss Whedon
  • Runtime: 15 Hours 46 Minutes (22 Episodes)
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.5/ 88%

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a web series based on how S.H.I.E.L.D. operates and works while giving us an insight into all the things that happened in S.H.I.E.L.D. after the events of Avengers. It is a great watch if you liked the character of Agent Phil Coulson because this series basically revolves around him and his team.

10. Thor: The Dark World (2013)

  • Release Date: November 8, 2013
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston
  • Director: Alan Taylor
  • Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.8 / 66%

In his second standalone film, Chris Hemsworth marks his return as the Mighty Thor. In the movie, Thor returns to his home, Asgard, but before he could settle back into his old life, another ancient threat resurfaces, called the Dark Elves. They came back to claim the Aether, a powerful weapon of mass destruction that was later discovered to be an infinity stone.

This Marvel movie before Endgame also explores the romantic life of Thor where he tries to stir up his complicated relationship with Jane Foster as she gets entangled in the conflict between Thor and the Dark Elves.

11. Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)

  • Release Date: April 4, 2014
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Director: Anthony Russo
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.8/ 90%

Captain America, the super soldier we all love so dearly, is seen in a dilemma in this faction of Captain America. We see that the Captain is questioning the motives of S.H.I.E.L.D. and his doubts start turning into a reality when it is uncovered that the old enemy of Captain America, HYDRA has been infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. The organization has now come out of the shadows and had started attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside leading to its eventual collapse.

We also see that Captain America’s past is back to haunt him with the introduction of the Winter Soldier, who turns out to be Bucky Barnes, Captain’s best friend who he thought to be dead a long time back. HYDRA was able to recover him and turn him into an assassin by brainwashing him. This film also introduces us to the Falcon who is seen fighting side by side with Captain America to take a stand against the infiltration of HYDRA into S.H.I.E.L.D.

12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1 (2014)

  • Release Date: August 1, 2014
  • Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillian
  • Director: James Gunn
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8/ 92%

Guardians of the Galaxy follows Peter Quill, a rogue Scavenger who accidentally finds an Infinity Stone on an uncharted planet. The task of protecting the universe from the destructive powers of this Infinity Stone falls upon Peter and he forms a team to help him out in this task of his. His team consists of Gamora an assassin, Rocket, a talking, trigger-happy raccoon, Drax, a being driven by vengeance, and Groot, a talking, incredibly powerful tree-like being. This band of misfits called themselves The Guardians of the Galaxy. They are standing against Ronan the Accuser who plans to use the Infinity Stone and bring doom across the universe.

13. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (2017)

  • Release Date: May 5, 2017
  • Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillian, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone
  • Director: James Gunn
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.6 /85%

This segment of the Guardians of the Galaxy takes place after a few months of Peter and his team defeating Ronan. In this movie, we see that Peter is becoming romantically involved with Gamora, and while he was busy exploring his emotions he was approached by his father, Ego. His father is a sentient who explained to Peter how he was able to withstand holding the infinity stone without dying instantly.

The second movie revolves around Peter discovering his true identity and what he actually stands for. This movie also plays a huge role in connecting the Guardians of the Galaxy to the wider MCU.

14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

  • Release Date: May 1, 2015
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Elizabeth Olsen, Aron Taylor Johnson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, James Spader
  • Director: Joss Whedon
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 6.2/ 76%

In this segment of the Avengers, titled Avengers: Age of Ultron, the team of our heroes is seen taking a stand against an enemy created by Tony Stark. An artificial intelligence program called Ultron went rogue and hell-bent on causing the extinction of the human race.

The battle is fierce and the stakes are as high as it gets. This movie also introduces fans to a few new members of the Avengers, including Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision.

15. Ant-Man (2015)

  • Release Date: June 29, 2015
  • Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, Corey Stoll
  • Director: Peyton Reed
  • Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.3 / 83%

One of the most loved superheroes in the MCU, Ant-Man made his debut in his stand-alone movie. Scott Lang, a thief was hired by Hank Pym, the creator of the Pym Particle, a formula that could turn anything into miniature sizes. He used his formula to form a suit of armor that could turn a human into the size of an ant. Meanwhile, Hank’s former apprentice Darren Cross wants to weaponize this technology and use it for monetary gains.

Hank, with the help of Scott and his daughter, plans to fail Darren’s attempts to recreate the Pym Particle and use it for personal gains.

16. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

  • Release Date: May 6, 2016
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman
  • Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating:7.8 / 90 %

Even after revolving majorly around Captain America, Civil War stars the whole Avengers cast. We see Captain America in an emotional conflict when his old friend Bucky Barnes, now, The Winter Soldier, is held accountable for a bomb blast in the UN. Bucky claims he was not responsible for the attack and the Captain believes him but Tony Stark doesn’t. This leads to a divide among the Avengers, which results in a conflict between the two factions.

This movie also introduces us to Tom Holland’s Spiderman and the Black Panther who later grow into being a part of the Avengers team.

17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

  • Release Date: July 7, 2017
  • Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya,Marisa Tomie, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon
  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.4 / 92 %

After the events of the Civil War, Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, comes under the wing of Tony Stark as a mentor. In this movie we see Tom Holland reappear as Spider-Man who is trying to figure out a balance between his superhero life and the life of a high schooler. He is seen facing the Vulture, a construction worker turned arms dealer who got his hands on alien technology after the attacks on New York in the first Avengers movie. We also see Spider-Man trying to figure out how to make his way into the Avengers team, constantly trying to prove himself to Tony Stark.

18. Doctor Strange (2016)

  • Release Date: November 4, 2016
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelson
  • Director: Scott Derrickson
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.5 / 89 %

Doctor Stephen Strange, a successful, brilliant, and arrogant neurosurgeon, who loses the stability of his hands after a car accident is devastated because he won’t be able to perform medicine with unstable hands. In his search for a cure, he finds Kamar-Taj, a school of mystical arts. There, he meets the ancient one who turns into his mentor and trains Doctor Strange to be a master of the mystical arts.

19. Black Panther (2018)

  • Release Date: February 16, 2018
  • Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira
  • Director: Ryan Coogler
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.3/ 96%

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’challa returns to his home, the nation of Wakanda, where he is about to be crowned the king. Being the King of Wakanda and now, an Avenger, he faces a situation where he is conflicted between maintaining the secrecy of Wakanda or sharing the resources and advancements of Wakanda with the rest of the world.

The Killmonger is also introduced to us in the movie who wants to Challange T’Challa’s claim to the throne to fulfill his vengeance against the royal family of Wakanda.

20. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

  • Release Date: November 3, 2017
  • Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett
  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Runtime:2 Hours 1o Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7.9 / 93%

Thor: Ragnarok marks the third standalone movie revolving around Thor. This movie is basically a journey of self-realization for Thor where he loses almost everything, his hammer is broken by Hella, his vengeful sister, and he has been banished from Asgard after the death of his father, Odin.

After being banished, he is forced to fight his old ally, the Hulk or Bruce Banner who had been missing since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. We see Thor forming an unusual alliance with Loki and Valkyrie in this Marvel movie that happens before Avengers Endgame.

21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

  • Release Date: July 6, 2018
  • Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Peña
  • Director: Peyton Reed
  • Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 7/ 87 %

After the events of Avengers: Civil War, Scott Lang is put on house arrest causing a strain on his relationship with Hank and Hope, Hank’s daughter. Even after the strain in their relationship, Hank approaches Scott for a mission to retrieve Hank’s wife who had been stuck in the quantum realm. For Scott, this mission is an opportunity to reconnect and replenish his relationship with Hank and Hope.

22. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

  • Release Date: April 27, 2018
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, J0sh Brolin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillian
  • Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
  • Runtime: 2 Hours 29 Minutes
  • IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 9.6 / 85%

Avengers: Infinity War shows us the tale of the Mad Titan, Thanos, who has come out from the shadows and is now out looking for all the infinity stones. He wishes to use these stones in order to wipe out half of all life present in the universe. The Avengers, who are scattered completely around the universe, need to come together and stop Thanos before he could snap his fingers and accomplish his insane goal.

If you have finished watching all these Pre-endgame Marvel movies, check out our list of Marvel movies in order to watch the events that have unfolded after Endgame. Also, browse through our list of upcoming Marvel movies to see what Marvel has in store for its fans.

Comments 1
  • Nik says:

    Agents of SHIELD is not part of the MCU!!

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