After countless theories and a mountain of hype, Spider-Man: No Way Home changed everything. Now that some time has passed, and spoilers shouldn’t be a concern anymore, it felt only right to address how it’s also changed the conversation around ranking each of the Spider-Man films that came before it.
So, let’s swing right into it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
As mentioned above, this film changed absolutely every idea about not only Spider-Man films but superhero films in general that fans thought were possible. Essentially serving as a culmination of every other Spidey movie that came before it, there seems no other choice but to cement this as the best of the best.
It did exactly what it needed to do, and not only does this film create endless possibilities moving forward for both Peter Parker and the MCU as a whole, it made any debate about the best Spider-Man film infinitely more enjoyable. The arguments don’t feel hostile anymore, they’re simply fun and based largely out of nostalgia. Spider-Man: No Way Home put it all into perspective and gave each Spider-Man their proper time to shine. And truly for that reason alone, it’s earned the top spot forever - but also give some credit to the tremendous nerdy fan service that’s laced throughout the entire runtime.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This is a Spider-Man film through and through. It’s not live action like its companions but it just does everything so, so right. As the one and only film to be led by Miles Morales, it’s got it all from a heartfelt story with plenty of quippy Spider-Man variants to stunningly gorgeous animated visuals.
That sequel can’t come soon enough.
When you pair Tobey Maguire at his peak Parker performance with Sam Raimi’s most complete film, you definitely find yourself at the top of Spider-Man rankings. Spider-Man 2 feels like a comic book story come to life and is executed to near perfection. Not to mention, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock gives Willem Dafoe’s portrayal as Green Goblin a run for his money in terms of iconic villains.
After being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s first solo run as Spider-Man had a lot to live up to and it delivered. Forget the issues about this film being too Iron Man-centric, it gave our friendly neighborhood hero his proper introduction that fit perfectly into the larger MCU. Michael Keaton’s Vulture was also an astounding villain to kick off Holland’s run as the wall-crawler.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
A Spider-Man film not set in New York City definitely feels strange, but it ultimately worked in creating an incredibly fun and unique take on a Mysterio plot. It also had the daunting task of being the first MCU film to address the world post Endgame, but served beautifully as a passing of the torch from Tony Stark to Peter Parker.
It’s hard to compare to the MCU and sure, the “high schoolers” in this film definitely look at least like college graduates, but Spider-Man is a lot of fans’ childhood in a film. Maguire perfectly encapsulated Peter Parker and brought him to the big screen for the first time in the best way possible. It’s a movie full of nostalgia in every rewatch.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Give Andrew Garfield the respect he deserves.
Look, his movies weren’t perfect and everyone is aware of that. And even with his Peter Parker being a bit edgier than most prefer, Garfield has so much clear heart and joy that he pours into these films and this character, that it’s amazing the recognition he’s getting now didn’t happen when the films he actually led came out. Hate all you want on Sony for how these were executed, but you can’t deny any positives were carried completely on Garfield’s back.
It’s tempting to rank this one higher for its contribution to meme culture, but the film is ultimately too bloated and weighed down by awkward writing that it’s time to start putting it at least one notch below Garfield’s first outing. Don’t take this the wrong way, it’s so much fun to look back on this film and laugh, but it’s just difficult to realistically climb the list of Spidey flicks when you have an emo Peter Parker dancing down a busy New York City street to music that no one else can hear.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
While this film was even messier and more disjointed than its predecessor, Emma Stone also deserves all the praise in the world for her time as Gwen Stacy. Garfield and Stone’s dynamic would top the list of Spider-Man relationships for sure, and her death scene pulled straight from the comic pages is unlike anything we’ve seen in any of the other Spider-Man films.
With the multiverse officially open and ready for business in the MCU, those Disney higher ups might be wise to give the likes of Garfield and Maguire some more time to reprise their beloved roles. And if they’re feeling especially giving, maybe even add to the joyful chaos with a Spider-Gwen twist of a return for Emma Stone. Needless to say, it’ll be a blast to see what else gets added to this list in the years to come.
Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.