The 7 Best Sequels In the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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tom holland as peter parker aka spider-man in captain america civil war with shield

Credit: Marvel Studios

There are now 29 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there are many more on the horizon, from solo movies to sequels, and even more epic ensembles.

Phase 3 will end with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) later this year, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) will mark the beginning of Phase Five. But rather than look forward too much, we’ve decided to look back at some of the best entries in the franchise.

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

So here are the seven best sequels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Related: The 5 Best Movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America the Winter Soldier
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Russo brothers’ first mark on the MCU came in the form of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), the first sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). And their talents show, as this solo series goes from war movie to spy action thriller!

Chris Evans is on top form as Steve Rogers/Captain America (and in top shape too), and Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Falcon is an excellent addition to this universe. Together, they must take on Steve’s old friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who has become the formidable Winter Soldier.

(Left) Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon (Right) Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/ Captain America in Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier Running Scene On Your Left
Credit: Marvel Studios

If there’s one thing the Russo brothers are particularly good at, it’s directing action sequences, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier certainly raised the bar for the rest of the series. As such, it’s just as well that the pair returned to helm Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Related: 10 Female Superheroes In the MCU Ranked From Worst to Best

6. Captain America: Civil War

chris evans as steve rogers aka captain america in captain america civil war holding helicopter
Credit: Marvel Studios

It wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to think of Captain America: Civil War as an Avengers movie in its own right. After all, it “assembles” most of the then-Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, with the exception of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

And taking the film to such heights makes it all the more entertaining, while the fact that there isn’t necessarily a villain per se doesn’t lose it any points. In fact, this is one of the film’s stronger elements, as is its insane third act-battle at an airport.

Captain America: Civil War
Credit: Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War also introduces T’Challa/Black Panther (the late Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), yet somehow, with so much going on, the film never once feels boated like previous MCU movies such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron (2015).

Seeing Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) fight it out amongst themselves is far more entertaining than seeing them team up against a common foe (unless it’s Thanos, of course).

Related: Unexpected ‘Office’ Star Imagined as the Next Wolverine

5. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Tom holland as spider-man
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

Bringing Peter Parker/Spider-Man into the MCU was always going to be a tall order. While Sony had already messed up two Spider-Man movie franchises, cinemagoers simply weren’t accustomed to seeing the wall-crawler join an expanded superhero universe.

Fortunately, Captain America: Civil War did a great job of introducing the character, without the already-told-twice origin story. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is also a great solo MCU movie, but Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) delivers even more Spidey-packed action.

tom holland as peter parker spiderman in spiderman far from home
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

The first MCU Spider-Man sequel follows Peter Parker beyond the borders of his usual Manhattan haunts as he takes a school trip to Europe. However, in true Spider-Man fashion, trouble follows, this time in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck/Mysterio.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a solid sequel, and though at first it feels strange not seeing Spidey web-sling through the Big Apple, the new locations make for a refreshing change of scenery. The film’s mid-credits scene is also the first time the MCU becomes interconnected with non-MCU Marvel movies, as JK Simmons reprises his role as J Jonah Jameson.

Related: All the ‘Spider-Man’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Credit: Marvel Studios

Before Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) upset many Marvel fans (the consensus is that director Taika Waititi takes the comedy too far), Thor: Ragnarok (2017) gave us an overhaul of the Thor movies, bringing in some much-needed levity and dazzling, ’80s-inspired aesthetics.

Thor: Ragnarok strikes a perfect balance between comedy and seriousness, while introducing some incredibly fun new characters along the way, such as Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), while also bringing in a very different version of the Hulk.

Hela tipping over Infinity Gauntlet replica
Credit: Marvel Studios

As for the villain, Cate Blanchett brings plenty of menace as Hela, Thor’s estranged sister (for lack of a better term). The film also utilizes Loki (Tom Hiddleston) far better than the previous installment, exploiting his comedy potential instead of all that whiney angst (it gets old fast).

It’s also nice to see Chris Hemsworth sporting much shorter locks this time around, and the watered-down Shakespearean talk comes much appreciated. And then there’s the soundtrack, which really helps make Thor: Ragnarok one of the more “rock ‘n’ roll” movies in the MCU, giving even Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) a run for its money!

Related: 10 Actors From ‘The Office’ Who Appeared In the MCU and the DCEU

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

For a long time, Marvel fans wanted to see Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the MCU, and when Marvel finally made a deal with Sony, fans rejoiced. But no one could have ever predicted that, along with Tom Holland’s version of the web-slinger, two originals would eventually come along!

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) is something of a dream come true for many Marvel fans. Tapping into the Spider-Verse concept from the comic books, the third movie in the MCU Spider-Man series unites Spidey with the two previous live-action iterations.

Tobey Maguire, Tom Holland, and Andrew Garfield as SPider-man
Credit: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

Yes – we’re reunited with Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy, and Andrew Garfield’s version from The Amazing Spider-Man movies. And seeing all three friendly neighborhood Spideys interact with one another gives us the warm and fuzzies!

And then there are the villains — Willem Dafoe’s Dr. Norman Osborn, Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillon/Electro, Thomas Haden Church’s Flint Marko/Sandman, Rhys Ifan’s Dr. Curt Connors/Lizard, and Alfred Molina’s Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus. No Way Home is a pretty surreal experience, which helps makes it the most satisfying Spidey movie of them all.

Related: 5 Actors Who Could Play Professor X In the MCU

2. Avengers: Infinity War

dr. strange, iron man, bruce banner, wong
Credit: Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War is the epic penultimate movie in The Infinity Saga, and the third installment in the Avengers film series. And the whole gang’s here — from the original Avengers line up to the Guardians of the Galaxy, and everyone in between!

But this time, all bets are off, as Josh Brolin’s Thanos returns to the fold to collect all the Infinity Stones, so that he can reshape the entire universe according to his vision — which just so happens to involve wiping out half of all life.

Infinity War
Credit: Marvel Studios

So, it’s up to Tony Stark/Iron Man, Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Wanda Maximoff, Vision, T’Challa/Black Panther, Dr. Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Thor, Steve Rogers/Captain America, and many, many more, to save the entire universe.

Related: 5 Actors Who Could Play Wolverine In the MCU

1. Avengers: Endgame

Chris Evans as Captain America
Credit: Marvel Studios

There’s simply no denying that Avengers: Endgame is a huge cinematic feat. Not only did it have to exceed expectations following Avengers: Infinity War, while also concluding a story 10 years in the making, it had the very unenviable task of dealing with numerous characters and storylines.

But somehow, Endgame is even better than its 2018 predecessor. It’s also the best of the four Avengers movies, and offers a more than satisfying conclusion to The Infinity Saga. But above all else, this film is a roller coaster of emotion.

Robert Downey, Jr,. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

And the stakes have never been higher — perhaps they never will be this high again — as the Avengers “assemble” against Thanos’ powerful forces, with the fate of every soul in the universe hanging in the balance.

Needless to say, Endgame isn’t your average MCU movie — it’s an MCU event. In fact, there may never be another movie like it in this franchise, even if it is on track to outlive us all! Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2025) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2025) definitely have a lot to live up to.

Avengers Endgame characters running in (left to right), M'Baku, Hulk, Captain America, Korg, Thor
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: 5 Actors From the MCU Who Could Play James Bond

Along with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, other upcoming MCU movies are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), Blade (2023), Captain America: New World Order (2024), Thunderbolts (2024), Fantastic Four (2024), Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars.

Do you agree that these are the best sequels in the MCU? Let us know in the comments down below!

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