4. Phase 2 (2013 to 2015)
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Avengers: Age of Ultron
While many of Marvel's sequels managed to evade the dreaded sophomore slump, the same can't be said of Phase 2 of the MCU.
Phase 2 was a major building stage for the MCU paving the way for what would come in Phase 3. There were some true standouts in the second phase, but there were also some underwhelming entries that left fans wanting a bit more.
This phase brought us a disappointing Iron Man movie, the worst Thor movie in the franchise, and arguably the least successful overall Avengers movie. It also saw Marvel take some of its biggest risks by betting big on new and lesser-known characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. These heroes' respective debuts were true standouts with Marvel delivering compelling origin stories that captivated audiences.
The true standout of Phase 2 though was without a doubt Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The sequel to Captain America was one of Marvel's finest sequels, ranking as one of the best Marvel movies of all-time. That film's inclusion in Phase 2 alone gave us reason to consider ranking it higher on this list, but sadly Thor: The Dark World tipped the scale back in the other direction,