With Phase Four now confirmed, it’s possible the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never stop expanding. And with a decline in quality across a number of projects, from The Eternals (2021) to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (2022), it’s important to look back at some of the MCU’s better work.
Enter the Avengers movies. They’re not all perfect, but superhero ensembles are never easy, and we think it’s time to celebrate the Avengers movies, especially now with two more movies on the horizon — Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2025).
So here are all four Avengers movies ranked from worst to best.
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Joss Whedon went on to direct the critical and financial train wreck that was Justice League (2017), which would later be “re-cut” in the form of Zack Snyder’s epic 2021 HBO Max movie event, he gave us Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the follow-up to the first Avengers movie. But how does it compare to his DCEU disaster?
The film sees the return of Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This time, they must face off against James Spader’s terrifying AI threat Ultron.
The Avengers are joined by twins Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), as well as Vision (Paul Bettany), all of whom make their MCU debut. So, needless to say, Avengers: Age of Ultron boasts an impressive superhero line-up, and therefore some engaging character arcs.
Unlike Avengers movies to follow, however, Age of Ultron struggles to find balance, and characters like Vision feel shoehorned into an already-bloated affair. As for the Avengers as a whole, they feel a little too “assembled” — you only need to watch the following two sequels to realize that they’re far more entertaining when they’re not functioning as a single unit.
3. Marvel’s The Avengers
There was a time when Joss Whedon could do no wrong in the world of film and television (and we’re not even referring to all the post-Justice League off-screen controversy). Such a time was when he made his first mark on the MCU, which came in the form of Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), known also as The Avengers or Marvel Avengers Assemble.
Assembling superheroes, most of whom had already enjoyed their own solo MCU movie by that point, must have seemed an incredibly daunting task. But somehow, Whedon and the rest of the filmmakers managed to pull it off, making Marvel’s The Avengers (it’s the title we’ll stick with) an awesome superhero crossover romp.
Watching Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Hulk team up on the streets of New York City as they take on Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is a memorable cinematic experience, and there were many reasons why it shouldn’t have worked. Alas, it did, and the film remains one of the most entertaining entries in the MCU.
It isn’t without its problems, though, which only seem to have emerged in hindsight, largely because movies like Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) are vastly superior. The CGI hasn’t aged all that well, either, and sometimes, those Whedon-esque jokes just don’t land. Nevertheless, Marvel’s The Avengers is a truly impressive superhero ensemble.
2. Avengers: Infinity War
When Marvel promised a two-part movie event that would conclude The Infinity Saga, it’s fair to say that most of us shared the same fear — how could a single film, let alone two, deal with all the characters from previous movies in the series, from Iron Man (2008) all the way through to Black Panther (2018), leaving no stone unturned (no pun intended).
But Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t make it by the skin of its teeth — it’s a huge cinematic feat that should be applauded for balancing a huge roster of characters alone. And the stakes have never been higher, as Josh Brolin’s Thanos sets out to find all the Infinity Stones so that he can re-shape the universe according to his vision, which would mean dire consequences for all.
The movie has an insane amount of moving parts — not only is the Avengers line-up back, there are also characters like Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and Dr. Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) — and this barely scratches the surface.
Infinity War isn’t just one thing — it’s an epic space opera, an emotional roller coaster, an action-packed crossover event, and a tragic entry in the Avengers series. And we can only pray for the day that Marvel decides to cut it together with Avengers: Endgame and re-release it in theaters. That’s 5 hours and 31 minutes of sitting we think audiences would be more than willing to endure.
1. Avengers: Endgame
What’s particularly impressive about Avengers: Endgame is that it isn’t just the epic culmination of the Avengers movies — it’s the conclusion to The Infinity Saga, which is comprised of all the 21 MCU movies that were released up until April 2019 (which now also includes Endgame, of course). And that’s just one of the film’s many accomplishments.
Five years after Thanos’ Snap, which wiped out half of all life in the entire universe, we’re reunited with what’s left of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But racked with guilt in each their own way, they’re no longer the same people they once were. However, there might be a chance to bring everyone back, but it will involve meddling with the space/time continuum…
It’s difficult to sum up Endgame in just a few paragraphs. Everyone is on top form, whether it’s Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, or Chris Hemsworth as Thor, each of whom give stand-out performances as people who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in very different ways.
Perhaps that’s the key word here: people. The film might assemble dozens of superheroes that span the previous 21 movies, but it reminds us that they are people first, as fractured and as flawed as the rest of us. Endgame is nothing short of a masterpiece, and its time-travelling visits to some of the previous movies is a victory lap it so deserves.
Marvel’s Phase Four will end on November 11 with this year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), and Phase Five will begin on February 17 next year with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).
Other upcoming MCU movies are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), The Marvels (2023), Blade (2023), Captain America: New World Order (2024), Thunderbolts (2024), Fantastic Four (2024), Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars.
How would you rank all the Avengers movies? Let us know in the comments down below!