Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of 18 Marvel movies spanning 10 years, but does that mean you have to have watched all 18 previous movies to enjoy this one? If you’ve been holding off seeing Infinity War because you feel like you still need to watch a few MCU movies that you haven’t seen yet, there is hope.
Ultimately, yes, each of the 18 movies add something to the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I would highly recommend watching all of them eventually, but, for the Infinity War storyline, not all of them are necessary.
Here are the ten Marvel movies you should watch before seeing Avengers: Infinity War:
- Iron Man – This movie doesn’t mention Thanos or Infinity Stones or any other Avenger but it did kick off the entire MCU so it should be your starting place.
- Captain America: The First Avenger – This movie introduced us to the Tesseract which, we didn’t know at the time, is the Space Stone. It also may or may not have another reason for being on this list but it may or may not be a huge spoiler.
- The Avengers – The first time we see the team together. We also get more of the Tesseract and Loki’s staff (which is revealed later to house the Mind Stone) and the mid-credit scene gave us our first glimpse of Thanos himself.
- Thor: The Dark World – This movie is at the bottom of my list of favorite MCU movies but it does give us the Aether aka the Reality Stone and the post-credit scene uses the term “Infinity Stones” for the first time in the MCU.
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Guardians introduces us to the mythos of the Infinity Stones and to the Power Stone. We are also introduced to two of Thanos’ daughters: Gamora and Nebula. We also get to see more of Thanos, but he mostly just sits in a chair the whole time.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – The team is back together and we get more of the Infinity Stone mythos, the introduction of the Mind Stone and a post-credit scene of Thanos grabbing the gauntlet because he’s decided to go after the stones himself.
- Captain America: Civil War – While this movie doesn’t move the Infinity Stone storyline forward, it does set up where all of the Avengers are before Infinity War. It also introduces us to Spider-Man and Black Panther.
- Doctor Strange – Doctor Strange introduces us to the Time Stone and for those of you playing at home, that is the fifth Infinity Stone. There’s only one more stone unaccounted for – the Soul Stone.
- Thor: Ragnarok – This is the last movie to watch before Infinity War. Like Civil War, it doesn’t move the Infinity Stone story forward but it does put the last pieces into place for Infinity War. In fact, minor spoiler here, the movie starts just after Thor: Ragnarok ends.
Out of 18 movies, only half of them have direct connections to Avengers: Infinity War. That’s doable right?
How many MCU movies did you watch (or re-watch) before seeing Infinity War?
This is a great list of the bare essentials to check out before going to see Infinity War! You’ll get more out of it if you’ve seen all of the movies but this will give you a good idea of who everyone is and the stakes.