The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a resounding success for well over a decade now, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Throughout the years we have been treated with some of our favourite superheroes beating the crap out of some evil foe of some sort. Finally now that one of my favourite X-men villains will be making his debut in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), I want to run down the top ten of the best on this list. Although some of you may prefer one hero over the other, it is still about what the movie quality is in comparison to the hero themselves. So don’t shoot me.

10. Blade 2 (2004)

I would genuinely rank this film up so much higher, but unfortunately many of you would disagree. Although we can thank the films predecessor for actually getting the Marvel movies a kick off the ground back in 1998, it is this sequel that deserves the spot. Helmed by one of my favourite directors Guillermo Del Toro, the film is bloodier, wittier, the weapons are cooler, and those vampires with the split jaw are just so bad ass. Also starring a young Norman Reedus, well before his Walking Dead (2010-present) fame.

9. Thor (2011)

The film that introduced the world to one of the most lovable villains in present day cinema, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Thor is a great fish out of water story as our leading man (played by Chris Hemsworth) is banished from his home and forced to exile in a small New Mexico town. The film itself is quite fun, knowing full well of its own humour and a charismatic performance by our lead men. Especially Hiddleston.

8. Ant-Man (2015)

When I first heard about this film being in production, I was really quite annoyed. I’m not a big comic book person but I would know my fair share of superheroes, and it just seemed like Hollywood was clutching at straws just to make another movie series. And Ant-Man is most definitely not on my radar. However, with Paul Rudd playing the lead spot, expectations were put much higher. And the film turned out a lot better than really anybody expected. Not as good as other films on this list, but not a lot of people walked out disappointed.

7. Deadpool (2016)

It really, really kills me to put this at a lower position as this was the mainstream blockbuster movie I had waited for for years. And I loved it so much. However there are better films to get ahead on this list. Full of great self-awareness, ludicrously stupid humour, and more violence you could wave a chainsaw at, this, along with Blade 2, is why some movies should not be aimed at kids. Because the majority of the time, they are just so much better. Who doesn’t want a bit of sex and violence in their action movies? And a few curse words to throw in there for fun.

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Although Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) didn’t rub people the right way upon its release, this sequel more than made up for it. Now that the Captain (Chris Evans) is in the present day, the film has a good mix of our hero trying to keep up with the modern day, whilst struggling with demons from his past. And now that a new terrorist threat is about to take down the S.H.I.E.L.D agency, it’s up to our hero with the big shield to fight back. A big step up from its predecessor and filled with brilliant action segments. Good comeback.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Again, like the previously mentioned Ant-Man, Guardians was another film which I had a lot of scepticism about. Having never heard of Chris Pratt at the time and being completely oblivious to these characters, I was really quite surprised by how good, and funny, the film was in the end. Along with some heart-stopping action sequences, it was way more fun than I could have ever expected.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

The ­X-Men film franchise (2000-present) has had its fair shares of ups and downs (let us just forget a certain Origins movie). Some of the definite highs being the first sequel X2 (2003) or the prequel X-Men: First Class (2011). However it is the 2014 title that makes the list as arguably the best X-men film from the entire franchise. Nearly all your favourite characters (and actors) come together for battle against some big ass robots called the sentinels. Huge action set pieces and some really brilliant acting too. Definitely for the top of the list.

3. The Avengers (2012)

The film that sparked the return of our favourite Marvel movie villain, Loki. Directed by the great Joss Whedon, The Avengers was one film that comic book nerds across the world were dying to see. Pitting some of our favourite heroes together for an incredible showdown in the middle of New York City, that quite honestly left my jaw on the floor. And even some scenes of our heroes fighting amongst themselves is surely to nab a few more brownie points. Let us just thank Hulk for that epic beat down of Loki. One of the films many, many highlights.

2. Iron Man (2008)

Inevitably, we all knew that this film would rank somewhere near the top. Robert Downey Jr. portrays the eccentric arms dealer Tony Stark, who, after an attack while overseas, is fitted with a battery powered heart, and tries to rid the world of terrorism, as Iron Man. After several duds the previous few years, Jon Favreau directs this kick ass Marvel adaptation which delivers on charm, one-liners, awesome action, and an unforgettable portrayal of Downey Jr. who would continue the character in years to come. It was almost like Tony Stark was created in his image.

1. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

The film that helped solidify the fact that the Marvel movies were here to stay, for a long time coming. Although director Sam Raimi delivered really well in the first Spider-Man back in 2002, it’s the sequel that really knocked it out of the park. Upping the ante on everything including character development, action segments, and an unforgettable performance from Alfred Molina as the deranged Doctor Octopus. It was the pinnacle Marvel movie when the universe was just beginning to get its bearings, and will go down as one of the all-time greats.

Part time film maker, writer and film enthusiast based in Dublin.