The follow up to last year’s Infinity War is fast approaching.  In preparation, many fans are watching all the Marvel Cinematic Universe over again.  So, what is the best order to watch them in?  There are a ton of MCU watch order lists to choose from. 

Honestly, the best way to probably watch these movies is in release order.  Marvel has had a plan from the moment Iron Man premiered introducing each Avenger with their own film and finishing with The Avengers movie. While the timelines jump around, this order works because the post-credit scenes set up the next movie.

MCU Watch Order

But what is the best MCU watch order?

Most watch lists reorder the films to be watched chronologically by the timeline within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  For example, Iron Man was the first film released in 2008 with Captain America: The First Avengers in 2011 and Captain Marvel in 2019.  However, if you look at what year each of those movies takes place in within the MCU, Captain America: The First Avengers occurs in the 1940s, Captain Marvel in 1995 and Iron Man in 2008. 

In addition, if you feel like a real over-achiever you can throw in Marvel’s one-shot videos and TV series that tie directly in to the MCU.  Some MCU watch order lists will include the Netflix Marvel series and other TV shows like The Runaways and Cloak & Dagger.  I choose to leave these shows of my watch order for several reasons.  For the Netflix series, they have as canceled all their shows and while there were some references early on, they mostly ignore the larger MCU.  With regards to the other two, there appear to be no references, nor do they add to the overall storyline of the larger MCU.

Here is what I consider the best MCU watch order:

  • 1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  • 2. Agent Carter (season 1)
  • 3. Agent Carter (season 2)
  • 4. Agent Carter (one-shot on Iron Man 3 DVD)
  • 5. Captain Marvel
  • 6. Iron Man
  • 7. Iron Man 2
  • 8. The Incredible Hulk
  • 9. The Consultant (one-shot on the Thor DVD)
  • 10. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (one-shot on the Captain America: The First Avenger DVD)
  • 11. Thor
  • 12. The Avengers
  • 13. Item 47 (one-shot on the Avengers Assemble DVD)
  • 14. Iron Man 3
  • 15. All Hail the King (one-shot on the Thor: The Dark World DVD)
  • 16. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 1-7)
  • 17. Thor: The Dark World
  • 18. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 8-16)
  • 19. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • 20. Agents of SHIELD (season 1, eps 17-22)
  • 21. Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 22. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
  • 23. Agents of SHIELD (season 2, eps 1-19)
  • 24. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • 25. Agents of SHIELD (season 2, eps 20-22)
  • 26. Ant-Man
  • 27. Agents of SHIELD (season 3, eps 1-19)
  • 28. Captain America: Civil War
  • 29. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • 30. Agents of SHIELD (season 3, eps 20-22)
  • 31. Agents of SHIELD (season 4, eps 1-6)
  • 32. Doctor Strange
  • 33. Black Panther
  • 34. Agents of SHIELD (season 4, eps 7-8)
  • 35. Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot (season 1, eps 1-6)
  • 36. Agents of SHIELD (season 4, eps 9-22)
  • 37. Thor: Ragnarok
  • 38. Agents of SHIELD (season 5, eps 1-18)
  • 39. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • 40. Avengers: Infinity War
  • 41. Agents of SHIELD (season 5, eps 19-22) – Concurrent with Infinity War

No matter how you watch the MCU, it is the right way! The MCU watch order gains one more on April 26th when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters.