20 Best Movie Series of All Time – Top Franchises to Binge!

best movie franchises

Sometimes, you just want to binge a whole franchise with your friends, or do a marathon on your own from beneath a big blanket. But with all the movie series hitting our screens lately, from fantasy to action, thriller to superheroes, it can be difficult to make the right choice – especially in an era that loves sequels, prequels and spin-offs.

So to make things easier for you, we’ve made a helpful list of all the best movie series everyone has to watch in their lifetime. You only have to choose in what order you’re going to binge-watch them all….

1. Harry Potter

Sit through eight magical movies and go on a spellbinding journey with Harry Potter. A young wizard is chosen to defeat Lord Voldemort, a dark lord who wants to rule the wizarding world, even if it means murdering wizards and muggles (AKA, normal people like you and me) alike. You’ll meet fascinating creatures, evil and loving characters, and a magnificent world you wished you lived in.

Once you’re done with the eight Harry Potter films, dive right in to the spin-off films, Fantastic Beasts. In eight movies and two spin-offs, the popular Harry Potter saga has everything any movie lover might want – magic, friendship, action, mystery, and so much more. You’ll be begging your parents to go to Hogwarts by the end of it.

Films: 10
Time to Binge-Watch: 24h 6m (inc. Fantastic Beasts)

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2. Superman

Just like any superhero, Superman has been embodied by many actors. From Christopher Reeve’s version in the 1980s to Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel, there have been many famous adaptations for the big screen in the last century. There’s a total of eight Superman films (including Batman v Superman and Justice League), all promising a fun adventure whilst watching the man in blue tights fly through the sky, fight off iconic supervillains, and save the day.

The caped vigilante Superman is one of the greatest heroes on Earth, and his movies are some of the best on the planet (if you’re ignoring the worst sequel, Quest for Peace). So, if you’ve yet to tuck into the long legacy of Superman movies, now’s the right time.

Films: 8
Time to Binge-Watch: 17h 33m

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3. Marvel Cinematic Universe

The MCU isn’t exactly easy to summarize – there have been 23 Marvel movies to date! But if you like watching badass superheroes get together to fight the bad guys, you’ll be satisfied. From the earth-defending Avengers to the space-cruising Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel films have a lot of action to give but also a lot of heart. Let’s not forget the brilliant CGI and undeniably intense fight scenes – Marvel might be the best there is out there for visual entertainment!

The movies can be watched in any order, but try to stick to the correct MCU timeline if you truly want to understand what’s going on by the end of it. Tuck into some Iron Man action, swing through the streets of New York with Spider-Man, or have a laugh with Ant-Man. This franchise gets so addictive, we promise you’ll be begging for more by the time you reach the end…if there even is one (more MCU movies are on their way!).

Fun fact? There are NINE MCU movies listed as the highest-grossing films ever!

Films: 23
Hours to Binge-Watch: 50h 15m

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4. Batman

It’s a tale as old as time: Young Bruce Wayne walks out of the theatre with his wealthy parents. *Spoiler* – they’re killed by a mugger, a horrific memory which acts as the trigger for Bruce’s thirst for justice and eventually leads him to become Batman.

You know the drill by now, but if you’re not DC’s biggest fan, it’s unlikely you’ve seen the countless adaptations that exist. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is probably the best example of an adaptation done right (The Dark Knight is THE best movie around), but let’s not forget Michael Keaton’s take on it, and Ben Affleck’s version. All in all, the Batman film franchise is truly DC’s greatest work (other than Superman) and it features the world’s BEST villains. Whichever version you dive into, every movie promises a dark, gritty and intense tale – except for Batman & Robin – you might want to skip that one altogether.

Films: 7
Hours to Binge-Watch: 20h 25m (inc. Batman v Superman & Justice League)

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5. James Bond

If you’re a human being living on planet earth, you know who James Bond is. Of course, the British spy has been embodied by a whole lot of actors over the years, but at its core, the story never changes: a suave spy is tasked by the MI6 to help defeat evil masterminds. Whether you prefer Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, or Roger Moore, the options never end.

From the music, the sets, and all the way to the stunts and special effects, James Bond’s movies will always impress, even if some of them do go way back into the 60s. We might have said Batman fought the best villains of all time, but 007’s nemeses are also legendary. Get your guns out and grab some popcorn – a lot of it! Because this movie series is one of the biggest of all time!

Films: 26
Hours to Binge-Watch: 55h 7m

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6. Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… there was a franchise that spawned a legion of die-hard fans, animated adaptations and spin-offs…one that your grandchildren’s children will probably still hear about it decades from now.

It all started with a trio of rebels leading the fight against the evil Galactic Empire in A New Hope (1977) and it ended… with a trio of rebels leading the fight against the First Order (The Last Jedi 2019). Yes, that might sound like history repeating itself, but all the action and lovable characters in between make the Star Wars movie series a must-watch. If you’ve yet to binge-watch Star Wars, now’s the time, especially if you’re craving fantasy and adventure, action and sci-fi and epic storytelling – yes this saga blends all movie genres into one magnificent galactical story.

Films: 11
Hours to Binge-Watch: 25h 25m

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7. DC Cinematic Universe

The DC Cinematic Universe doesn’t have a great reputation, we all know that. But even if the list is shorter than the MCU’s, there’s still some fun to be had if you just want to sit back and enjoy blockbuster-type action scenes and kick-ass heroes that could take on the best Marvel superheros anytime.

DC was the first to have a female superhero headline her own movie, so it goes without saying that Wonder Woman is a must-watch. There’s Suicide Squad which is all-round fun; Shazam! which is a goofy spin on cliche superhero movies; Aquaman which is possibly one of the best of the bunch, and of course, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. The DC movie list goes on, and despite the few flops in between, this cinematic universe is still worth watching.

Films: 7
Hours to Binge-Watch: 18h 6m

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8. Saw

This one isn’t quite as fun as the others, but if you can handle gore (a lot of it) and you crave your yearly dose of horror in two hours, the Saw movies are the way to go. In each opus, strangers find themselves trapped in a deadly game orchestrated by the mysterious Jigsaw, a sadistic man who thrives on making innocent folks go through hours of physical and mental torture.

Right when you thought blood and gore didn’t scare you, the Saw movies step right in to make you squirm and scream. From Saw (2004) all the way to Jigsaw (2017), each movie in this frightening franchise is a gruesome ride of twists, turns and torture. This saga isn’t for the faintest of hearts, but horror movie lovers will be at their happiest. Do you want to play a game? Dive right in.

Films: 8
Hours to Binge-Watch: 12h 51m

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9. Despicable Me

Horror and gore aren’t for you? This saga is the total opposite! To lighten up the mood, here’s a concept that can never go wrong – an evil mastermind softens up when his three adopted orphans help him steal the moon and start considering him as their father. Yep, Despicable Me is just as good and adorable as it sounds.

If you’re a fan of heart-warming animations, and have a family who enjoy it too, binge-watch this top trilogy for the ultimate relaxed night in. It’s rare nowadays to see animated movies that aren’t made by Pixar kill it at the box-office, but Despicable Me did just that with a perfect dose of humor and adorable characters.

Films: 3
Hours to Binge-Watch: 4h 43m

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10. Jurassic Park

Dinosaurs living on a remote island sounds like a nightmare in real life, right? Of course! But the Jurassic Park blockbusters are so much fun, that it’s hard not to wish you could catch a ride to the famous park at least once. While the original trilogy will entertain you most, the two recent spin-offs are not so bad either and definitely offer some improved visual effects.

Head back to the 90’s to watch Jeff Goldblum and co. fight off T-rexes, and then step back into the future to catch up on Chris Pratt’s escapade with monstrous dino-friends. Jurassic Park is a thrilling ride with heart-stopping moments, and a memorable one at that too. It never gets old – no matter how many times you see that dinosaur rampaging after that jeep, it will always give you the creeps.

Films: 5
Hours to Binge-Watch: 10h 1m

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Find more movie suggestions in our list of the best drama films on Amazon Prime right now!

11. The Fast & Furious

Okay, maybe this franchise has been going for a little too long (there have been 8 movies since 2001, and it’s not stopping anytime soon), but if you love car races and over-the-top action scenes, this saga is for you. The story largely revolves around illegal street racing, but many dangerous elements invite themselves into each movie, making the ride more than worthwhile if you can stand plots that don’t always make sense.

Fast & Furious isn’t just non-stop action, but an emotional car-ride,too, as you’ll grow to love the characters throughout the years and envelop yourself in their love stories and personal dilemmas. Buckle up for super-cool cars and badass car chases. This movie series is as fast and furious as it sounds and offers some fun escapism entertainment for anyone up for a joyride.

Films: 8
Hours to Binge-Watch: 15h 57m

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12. Toy Story

Pixar movies never fail to make anyone cry, and the Toy Story series is no exception. You would think the concept of toys coming to life would get old, especially after four movies, and yet this saga has managed to renew itself every step of the way and stay fresh for new generations. Even as adults, this saga is enjoyable, and for kids, it’s a fascinating and magical wander.

Sweet storytelling with comic and emotional touches, iconic music, groundbreaking animations and talented vocal performances are just a few reasons why Toy Story is so legendary. Sit through four fabulous films and you’ll be convinced your toys are coming to life when your back is turned. This movie franchise will have you gripped to infinity and beyond…

Films: 4
Hours to Binge-Watch: 6h 19m

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13. X-Men

There have definitely been a few ups and downs in the fantastic world of X-Men, but the story of mutants living among us and training at Charles Xavier’s school is still beloved by many. X-Men is a little more mature, darker and grittier than its fellow Marvel movies – it covers real-life issues and it has awesome origin stories and spin-offs that are occasionally just as badass as their predecessors.

This absolutely good movie series isn’t just jam-packed with typical superhero tropes like fight scenes and villains, they also cover darker themes like racism, social justice, and governmental control. Also included in the saga are the two hilarious Deadpool movies which will come as a breath of fresh air after viewing the more serious X-Men films. With a whopping 12 titles, the X-Men series is a fun, action-packed adventure with a strong message of unity at its core that you’d be crazy not to binge on.

Films: 12
Hours to Binge-Watch: 24h 19m

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14. The Hunger Games

Three books and four movies, that’s all it took to create a phenomenon. In The Hunger Games, children and teenagers are selected from various districts of a post-apocalyptic society to fight in a murderous competition in which they have to kill each other to survive. Katniss Everdeen soon becomes the face of a revolution, and every film follows her long and painful journey to winning these gruesome games.

The saga is full of adventure and action, all the while providing heart and emotion, as well as bizarre fashion! If you’re in the mood for a marathon of magnificence, become a tribute and dive right into one of the best fantasy/sci-fi movies ever.

Films: 4
Hours to Binge-Watch: 9h 8m

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15. Shrek

Although Shrek 1 and 2 are the most acclaimed, the whole Shrek saga is a joy to behold for children and adults alike. Indeed, the story about an ogre falling in love with a princess kick-started one of the greatest animated movie series of all time. You’ll really let your hair down during this saga as you laugh along to the timeless jokes (they make fun of fairytales!) and groove to the epic soundtrack.

With iconic characters voiced by talented actors (Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and more!), and a story that teaches great moral lessons, Shrek is superb for a night of belly laughs. Its international success is the proof that goofy characters living in a parodic fairytale world can be just as fun as any other Disney movie.

Films: 4
Hours to Binge-Watch: 6h 9m

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16. Spider-Man

Whether you prefer the early 2000 movies with Tobey Maguire, the Andrew Garfield collection, or the more recent installments with Tom Holland, there is no shortage of Spider-Man stories for everyone. The story is the same: the web-slinger starts out as a nerdy kid trying to live his life in New York, when suddenly he’s gifted with superpowers after being bitten by a spider. Even if people often disagree as to which film is the better adaptation, it’s unlikely you’ll get bored watching either of them.

Get entwined in a web of fun, action and love, and enjoy not just the hero-vs-villain factor of these films, but the goofy and cheeky innocence they bring, too. Once you’re done with the Spider-Man saga, come back to let us know which Spidey-actor stole your web heart, most!

Films: 8
Hours to Binge-Watch: 17h 24m (inc. Into the Spider-Verse)

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17. Mission Impossible

The Mission: Impossible universe is so successful, that it’s still here twenty-four years later. Catch up on the six movies (ever since 1996!) and follow badass spy, Ethan Hunt as he’s tasked to go on life-challenging missions across the globe.

Stylish action scenes (that Tom Cruise performed himself!) featuring wild car chases, heart racing gunplay, exploding helicopters, and dangerous jumps (out of a plane!) are enough to take your breath away when you’re stuck at home and in need of a crazy adrenaline rush. Mission Impossible is certainly one of one of the most treasured action movie series of the modern era – tune in if you dare.

Films: 6
Hours to Binge-Watch: 13h 2m

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18. The Lord of the Rings

Gripping storytelling and exciting sequences, Lord of the Rings is an adventure that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The three movies and The Hobbit trilogies are some of the best fantasy movies out there. Scratch that, they are THE best fantasy movies, and we’d be insane not to include them on this list. While the former tells the story of a handful of men, elves and hobbits trying to defeat the growing evil that has started spreading chaos in Middle Earth, the latter goes back in time to introduce Bilbo, a Hobbit who goes on an adventure to reclaim a lost kingdom.

Filled with epic characters you won’t forget (Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry will be your new BFFs), marvelous visual effects and enticing scenery and cinematography, this great saga is a must-watch for anyone who needs to escape a new reality. In fact, this franchise offers an experience of a lifetime.

Films: 6
Hours to Binge-Watch: 19h 39m (inc. The Hobbit trilogy)

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19. Rocky

You don’t have to love boxing to enjoy the Rocky saga. The franchise centers on the eponymous character, Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, a boxer who struggles to make a name for himself. When he is challenged by a big-time boxer, Rocky sees this as his opportunity to finally shine. The Rocky movies have led to countless great sequels and the Creed spinoff series, which is testament to their quality and the strength of their fanbase.

It’s a tale of heart, romance, bravery and determination that definitely deserves its cherished spot in movie history. Whether you’re in it for the fights, romance, or drama, this top movie series is guaranteed to be enjoyed by you.

Films: 7
Hours to Binge-Watch: 13h 15m (inc. Creed)

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20. Scream

The Scream series started in 1996 and has been seducing fans of slasher movies ever since. Although each opus seems a little repetitive, the formula of a blood-thirsty killer going after a group of young people with a ghost mask is still one of the most iconic tropes in horror.

A brilliant blend of teen drama and spine-chilling thriller, the Scream franchise is ideal for those who want a thrill on a night in. With 4 movies and a fifth on the way, it’s unlikely you’ve heard the last of it. Cuddle up on the sofa, grab a blankie, and sip on some tea whilst catching up on this top slasher saga.

Films: 4
Hours to Binge-Watch: 7h 39m

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Now more than ever, finding a movie that’s worth your time can be more difficult than climbing a mountain, but if you know where to look then it’s all easy breezy from there!

What did you think of our list of the best movie series? Let us know in the comments which film franchise you intend to binge first, and don’t hesitate to let us know if we forgot other titles in here!



Tale Teller
Maria Supplisson

Maria Supplisson

Maria is a screenwriting student at the London Film Academy with a Bachelors' degree in English & Creative Writing, blogger and storytelling-obsessed, from literature to TV shows, movies to documentaries. During her time at the London Film Academy, Maria wrote two short films that were produced by the school, one of which was showcased at the BFI for graduation, and she is now working on multiple projects from a short film to a play, while also translating articles from English to French about film, series, and celebrities for a London-based entertainment news agency. Unhealthily addicted to Game of Thrones lore.

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