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The Superhero Movies Top 25: The Best Superhero Movies in the World

Updated on February 25, 2017
The Dark Knight (2008) - the greatest superhero flick ever released into cinemas
The Dark Knight (2008) - the greatest superhero flick ever released into cinemas

Which are the Best Superhero Movies?

Superhero movies have/and will always be a part of the movie industries line-up for stories given the tremendous amount of imagination and adventurous stories that they provide for movie story-telling.

Superhero movies have changed tremendously since they first became a part of the Hollywood movie mix, as they have gone from being the cheesy one-liner movies and comedic, humorous story adaptations onto the big-screen, to now becoming some of the biggest box office hits of the year which take themselves if anything a little too seriously.

The two comic book studios which lye at the helm of the mass creations for most superhero movies are Marvel (titles owned by Disney) and DC Comics (titles owned by Warner Bros.).

Both studios, Marvel and DC Comics have had their fair share of successes where the box office end is concerned, and critically speaking most of the modern day releases from both studios have been favourable, both from movie-goers and the critics.

How to judge the best superhero movies ever made? There are many great superhero movies that are currently streaming in cinema theatres and that have already been released over the past, but to seek out the best it takes a fair amount of critical analysis looking at audience ratings, reviews (both from movie-goers and critics) and personal views on movies watched.

What makes superhero movies great? Superhero movies have long been/if not more-so now the most exciting and invigorating end of the action genre, given the elements of fantasy, adventure and heart-pumping action that superhero movies provide.

These days superhero movies strive to offer the real deal, meaning that they try to make the entire movie make-up as realistic and as thrilling as technologically possible. This is of course helped by the larger budgets that these productions tend to receive given their typically larger returns at the global box office.

Superhero movies have also got the element of humour attached, and where there is a superhero movie there will likely be a fair amount of humour along the way, and some studios manage to do the perfect amount fitting in alongside the action and tension, but others like 20th Century Fox (Spider-Man, Fantastic Four) overload the movies with mediocre action and a little too much desperate attempts at humour.

Would you want to be a superhero? Superheroes in the movies are usually quite dashing, well-dressed and all have unique qualities and lifestyles when they take of their cape and mask.

But, the point here is more-so about the actors/actresses playing the usually well-dressed and attractive superheroes as clearly they were willing to become a superhero, even if it is only on the set of a movie.

The actor/actress playing the superhero is the miracle maker when it comes to the make-it or break-it for a superhero movie as audiences want someone who they can connect with and follow throughout what will likely be a franchise.

A few great examples of actors/actresses who have played superheroes and did so perfectly in the eyes of the wider audiences are Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman).

What would a superhero movie be without the villain? A simple question with a simple answer... terrible! The villain in the superhero movie is the plot thickener who keeps the audiences on edge as they fear for the life of the superhero even though it is quite to the contrary that the superhero need not be feared over given that they cannot be killed (in most circumstances).

Would you want to be a villain? The villain in a superhero movie truly earns the right to be the word given that they are sinister beings that only want to see the world in flames.

The actors/actresses who have best embraced the villain characters are Heath Ledger (The Joker), Jack Nicholson (The Joker) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki).

The Superheroes "Top 25" Movies List

Here is a collective list of the greatest superhero movies ever made. The 21st Century has brought the superhero movies to life in all new and exciting ways, as technology within the movie industry has adapted and enabled a new form of movie-making which has made superhero movies more exhilarating than ever before to watch.

The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)

No.1 - The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight is by far the greatest superhero movie ever made, and perhaps even the best super villain movie. Given the scope of creation by Christopher Nolan in creating a city where criminal activity has far outweighed the abilities of its law enforcement it opens opportunities for some insane villain castings.

The joker is probably the all time greatest DC comics villain that there is, and played by Heath Ledger the character truly shone in The Dark Knight shining a new light on the villainy world of Gotham City.

An edge of your seat action fantasy movie that is well adjusted to the special effects of a top class movie. Without a doubt the darkest and most exciting superhero/villain movie on this list.

No.2 - The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers brings together Marvel's ultimate alliance of superheroes to fight off the super villains on earth. The villain for the movie being that of Loki, the brother of the muscular god, Thor.

The Avengers alliance brings together the superheroes, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and Hulk to battle earths greatest threats.

No.3 - The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The third and final chapter for The Dark Knight trilogy, with Bane at the helm of the villain empire in Gotham City, no one is safe.

No.4 - The Incredibles (2004)

The first animated superhero movie to make it as a commercially successful flick at the box office. Pixar storytellers tell it best, and their trend of hit animated flicks continued with the success of The Incredibles.

No.5 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

The Winter Soldier is the sequel to The First Avenger which blew audiences away with a great cast line up and story that truly brought Captain America into the lime light for top superheroes in the Marvel franchise.

No.6 - X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Days of Future Past is the X-Men movie that redeemed itself after the mediocre line up of movies that came before it, including the likes of X-Men 3: The Last Stand and X-Men: Wolverine Origins.

No.7 - X-Men (2000)

One of the few descent comic book movies that was released in the early 21st Century in the 2000s back before the 2010s mashup of superhero movies.

No.8 - Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man truly came in fists first with a great action-superhero movie that would offer up one of the most spectacular superhero movies to date.

No.9 - Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins set out to bring Batman into the 21st Century, and what a job Christopher Nolan had done. The first Batman movie before the star studded sequel, The Dark Knight.

Watchmen (2009)
Watchmen (2009)

No.10 - Watchmen (2009)

Probably not one of the best known or though of superhero movies when we think of masked men taking down the bad guys, but sure made for good viewing.

No.11 - Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

The second Avengers movie to take on the leap from singular superhero movies taking down bad guys, to groups of superheroes taking down the ultra-bad guys.

No.12 - Thor (2011)

Thor is the prince god of his world thrust into the human world without his powers. What entertainment!

No.13 - X2 (2003)

X2 is the second X-Men movie in the franchise, offering up even more action and back story to the Wolverine character.

No.14 - Man of Steel (2013)

The superhero movie to make all superhero movies for the DC Comics superhero, Superman. The Superman movie to safely bring the character into the 21st Century.

No.15 - The Wolverine (2013)

The standalone Wolverine movie for the X-Men franchise that sees Logan (Wolverine) lose his healing powers and have to go on to face his enemies vulnerable to their attacks.

No.16 - The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Spider-Man movie reboot that sees even more of Spidey kicking bad guy butt as the franchise continues.

No.17 - Spider-Man (2002)

The original Spider-Man movie that sees Tobey Maguire as the suited superhero taking down bad guys.

No.18 - Iron Man 3 (2013)

The third Iron Man movie that has more action, more story and more of Iron Man/Tony Stark than ever before in an Iron Man movie.

No.19 - Kick-Ass (2010)

The comedy movie to make all comedy movie bad guys run for their lives in Kick-Ass, the superhero comedy flick that shows off a superhero costumed teen get his ass kicked in order to kick the bad guys ass.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

No.20 - Spider-Man 2 (2004)

The Spider-Man sequel that sees an even better and more challenging villain for Spider-Man to face-off against.

No.21 - Unbreakable (2000)

M.Night Shyamalan's superhero movie about a man who cannot die. Truly breathtaking acting work and a plot that keeps the story entertaining throughout.

No.22 - Deadpool (2016)

Deadpool is perhaps the funniest superhero movie ever made starring Ryan Reynolds as the masked superhero.

No.23 - The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Hulk reboot movie that was a visual spectacular as we see Hulk stronger and more stunning than ever before.

No.24 - Iron Man 2 (2010)

The Iron Man sequel movie that has even more robot fights than ever before in an Iron Man movie. Iron Man constantly ups the ante when it comes to its robot fight sequences.

No.25 - Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy is an off beat superhero movie about the devil taking on the bad guys for the human world.

So, there we have it, the greatest superhero movies ever made.

Any comments, be sure to drop them below.

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    • kotobukijake profile image

      kotobukijake 4 months ago

      This is a very interesting list, and I applaud your choice of topic. I also fully agree with you that The Dark Knight is the greatest superhero film of all time, and that The Incredibles is in the Top 5 (I'd probably rate it #2). However, there is one MAJOR gaffe: you term this a list of "The Best Superhero Movies in the World," yet every one is from this century, and not one is from any country other than the U.S. On the first point: if we are talking greatest EVER, there is no way Tim Burton's Batman (1989) does not make the Top 25; similarly, you've just got to make room for Superman: The Movie (1978). One the second, I must concede I myself have seen few international films that could definitively be called "superhero movies," but I have seen at least one: the anime Tiger & Bunny: The Movie--The Beginning. It has a sequel, Tiger & Bunny: The Rising, and both are attached to an excellent series of the same name. If we are talking worldwide superhero properties, Tiger & Bunny has to be on the list, so the first film would be on my Top 25 (have not seen the second one yet). One could also argue any number of other anime franchises as "superhero," though they are seldom thought of that way. As far as films that do fall within the parameters you set, I agree with most but differ in my order (Hellboy and Deadpool should be higher, Winter Soldier would be lower, the Spider-Man order would be changed right up, etc.). However, I would have to make room for at least four newer films left off the list: Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. Anyway, enjoyed reading your list, and hope you get to check out some of the ones you may have missed.

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