The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for so long it's become its own movie genre. With 23 movies already released and over a dozen more currently in the works, the thought of ranking them all feels like a task only the Avengers could handle.
Here at Inverse, we might not have a Hulk, but we have the next best thing: Over 6,000 movie fans (6,349 at last count) who participated in our MCU movie rankings over the past few months. Now, to kick off our first-ever Superhero Issue, we're sharing the results. Below, you'll find the definitive rankings of every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to the people who know these movies best: you.
To get this data, we asked our readers to fill out a Google Form ranked every single Marvel movie on a scale of 1 to 10. Once 6,000 people had voted, we took those votes and found the average score of each movie. There were some close calls — Avengers: Age of Ultron only beat Spider-Man: Homecoming by a fraction of a point — but the results speak for themselves. (You can dive into the data for yourself right here.)
23. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
This Edward Norton reboot of Big Green has mostly been written out of the MCU, with Marvel recasting Mark Ruffalo for 2012's The Avengers and never leaking back. As the direct follow-up to Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk reflects a time when Marvel Studios was still finding its voice, and this ain't it. As a result, the only Hulk movie in the MCU has the distinction of only being the only film to get a failing grade, with an average reader score of 5.682249293. Bruce Banner may be a genius, but that's an F+ at best.
22. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Almost as forgotten as The Incredible Hulk, Thor 2 marks a low point in Chris Hemsworth's MCU career before he resurrected the character with his own sense of human (and an assist from Ragnarok director Taika Waititi). The only good part of Dark World is Rene Russo as Thor's mom, and thanks to her Endgame, there's no reason to rewatch this movie anyway. Average reader score: 6.642512196.
21. Captain Marvel (2019)
Marvel's first movie with a female lead faced a backlash from angry white dudes in their parents' basements across the world, but it also has some legitimate flaws. In a world where Ragnarok and Black Panther already existed, Captain Marvel's take on '90s nostalgia was surprisingly basic, and the movie's big twist might have been obvious to some. Still, Ben Mendelson's delightful performance as a shapeshifting alien alone should have earned this movie a higher ranking. Average reader score: 7.116761818.
20. Iron Man 2 (2010)
The worst Iron Man movie is still pretty good. Despite a bizarre plot and som gender politics that are confused at best, Iron Man 2 mostly holds up. Average reader score: 7.178407704.
19. Iron Man 3 (2013)
Just barely edging out its predecessor, Tony Stark's moody threequel explores Iron Man's mental state as he reckons with the events of The Avengers and a totally forgettable new supervillain. Average reader score: 7.346018424.
18. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
The MCU's funniest superhero (fight me) shares the marquee in this entertaining sequel. Despite great performances from its two stars — along with Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, and Hannah John-Kamen — this movie is kind of forgettable. Maybe because it spent to much time setting up quantum pseudo-science for Avengers: Endgame. Average reader score: 7.368756486.
17. Thor (2011)
Chris Hemsworth's first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was mostly unremarkable. While not as much of a slog as its sequel, Thor is basically a few decent memes and fight scenes stitched together with too much exposition. Average reader score: 7.433079175
16. Ant-Man (2015)
Paul Rudd's introduction to the MCU marks a turning point in tone and style as the franchise reached the midpoint of its Infinity Saga. Ant-Man isn't the best Marvel movie, but it's still a lot of fun — though we can't help but wonder what might have been if directed Edgar Wright was never fired. Average reader score: 7.583658753.
15. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Marvel's first period piece took audiences back in time to World War II to witness the rise of Chris Evans (and also Captain America). While not quite a Marvel movie in tone or style, The First Avenger still holds up today, mostly thanks to impassioned performances by Evans, Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), and, of course, Hugo Weaving as Red Skull. Average reader score: 7.834241679.
14. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
It took almost a decade, but Spider-Man finally got his MCU movie and it was pretty great. Director Jon Watts gave us Peter Parker the highschool student as we'd never seen him before while exploring a new dynamic between Spider-Man and Iron Man. Homecoming slides in just below the worst Avengers movie, but I'd personally rank it far higher. Average reader score: 7.86002325.
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The MCU's least-exciting crossover suffered from a mediocre supervillain (Ultron is great in the comics, less so in this movie) and Marvel Studio's obsession with shoehorning in Infinity Stones. Spare yourself the 2-and-a-half-hour runtime and just revisit Joss Whedon's post-release whining instead. Average reader score: 7.862132343.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a breakthrough moment for the MCU, bringing Marvel Studios into space and establishing a new comedic tone. The sequel... is fine. Average reader score: 7.928978305.
11. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
After swinging into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man actor Tom Holland's first solo movie could have been yet another Spidey origin story. Instead, director Jon Watts deftly avoided that pitfall to offer a fresh cinematic take on Peter Parker: an actual high school student. Average reader score: 7.985524694.
10. Doctor Strange (2016)
We're officially in the top 10. Everything from this point is pretty much gold, and this Benedict Cumberbatch movie from director Scott Derrickson is no exception. Without a doubt the trippiest entry in the MCU. We can't wait to see how horror legend Sam Raimi plans to top it in his forthcoming sequel. Average reader score: 8.108765037.
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2
Arguably the best Marvel movie ever (at least as a standalone piece of cinema), The Winter Soldier wasn't even the best-ranked Captain America movie according to Inverse readers. Then again, as you'll soon see, this list favors big ensemble casts over tightly paced thrillers. Average reader score: 8.187722192.
8. Iron Man (2008)
Over a decade after its release, the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe still holds up. From Robert Downey Jr.'s unexpected winning performance (director Jon Favreau had to fight to cast his star) to Samuel L. Jackson's quotable first appearance in the post-credits scene, there's a lot to love in Iron Man. Average reader score: 8.313602971.
7. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Maybe not the best Captain America story, but arguably the most important movie that bears his name, Civil War is basically an Avengers film in disguise. It might not be the most visually stunning, but that airport fight scene is always a good time — and who can forget the introductions of both Black Panther and Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Average reader score: 8.366567509.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
James Gunn's debut Marvel movie earns its spot in the top 10 based on its soundtrack alone. Combine that with loads of comedy, action, and a misfit ensemble cast and you have a timeless superhero classic. Average reader score: 8.515172504.
5. Black Panther (2018)
What can we say about Black Panther that hasn't already been said? Undeniably the most important Marvel movie and a cultural moment that echoed far beyond superhero fandom, T'Challah's solo film is a beautiful film in almost every way — made all the more powerful by Chadwick Boseman's untimely death just two years later. Average reader score: 8.579936306.
4. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
After two middling movies, the God of Thunder finally got his moment thanks to the distinct direction of Taika Waititi. This cast is absolutely stacked, from Cate Blanchett to Jeff Goldblum, but it's Chris Hemsworth who carries the film as that rare movie star who's just as funny as he is good-looking. Average reader score: 8.722950326.
3. The Avengers (2012)
From here on out, it's Avengers all the way down. Joss Whedon's first major crossover solidified the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a force to be reckoned with and gave us Thanos. What more could you possibly want? Average reader score: 8.743200721.
2. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
In 2018, Marvel did the unthinkable, it ended a huge blockbuster superhero movie on an epic downer. But by closing the film with a supervillain victory that wiped out half the universe and many of our favorite Avengers, Marvel kicked off a year of speculation and fan theories that solidified Infinity War as one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. Average reader score: 9.113218919.
1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The only thing better than a depressing cliffhanger is the thrilling conclusion, and Avengers: Endgame definitely delivers. The final chapter in the Infinity Saga provided closure on a level unseen since Peter Jackson's The Return of the King, beating out Infinity War by a fraction of a point to take the crown as best Marvel movie ever... for now. Average reader score: 9.188257948.