Spider-Man: No Way Home was easily the biggest film ever since 2019's Endgame, but is it the best Spider-Man film ever? With nine live-action adaptations grossing several billions of dollars at the global box office, everybody's friendly neighborhood superhero has seen his fair share of hits and misses on the big screen.
Scroll down below to see where we placed your favorite Spider-Man films in our ranks and check in with us if you agree or not.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The expectations heading into 2007's Spider-Man 3 and what audiences eventually got has got to be one of the biggest tragedies in modern cinema, which earns Tobey Maguire's third and final Spider-Man feature film this dubious distinction. Make no mistake, Spider-Man 3 is far from the worst comic book film adaptation of all time. But, when you consider how so much better Sam Raimi's first two outings were then compare it to the finger guns, apple pie, and that image of emo Maguire shaking his booty while walking confidently all over the streets of New York, it's easy to see why Spider-Man 3 is, by far, the worst of the Spider-Man films.
The only silver lining here is that Spider-Man 3 eventually led to the cancelation of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, which ultimately resulted in a pair of failed reboots before Sony partnered with Marvel Studios to bring the webhead into the MCU.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failure to learn from all the mistakes that 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man made doomed it right from the start. To make matters worse, it even tried to prove that you could pull off featuring multiple classic comic book villains in one film, bringing in Electro, Green Golbing, and Rhino, all into a lengthy but relatively weak narrative that never really could get its point across. The film's only saving grace is the chemistry between the-then real-life couple, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
If we're being honest, you could switch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 with each other. Both are terrible films that fell flat on their faces worse than Tobey did when he tried jumping off from one building to another in the iconic "I'm back! My back!" scene from 2004's Spider-Man.
On that note, if Sony does bring back Garfield for another Spider-Man film as earlier rumors suggested, we're hoping that they've learned from their mistakes in the past.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Less than five years after the official cancellation of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, Sony confirmed that it was working on a new series with the full intention of birthing an entirely new cinematic universe. The only problem? Sony knew nothing about making this happen, which is a shame. We maintain that Garfield's take on Peter Parker and Spider-Man is still the most comic accurate, showcasing an aloof and incredibly smart social outcast who could be a jerk, because, well, he's not perfect.
Watching both Garfield and Stone was more than enough to justify reviving a defunct series so soon, which is why it's a shame that Sony never really nailed the follow-up.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home was an unnecessary but very welcome respite for Tom Holland's Peter Parker after everything that his character had just gone through. Marvel Studios could have just cashed in on all the hype that 2019's Endgame generated. Instead, what audiences got with Far From Home was pure eye candy. Not only did Jake Gyllenhall's Mysterio need to fool the universe's people and its superheroes that he was a true hero, but he also had to make audiences believe this, and it's safe to say that he succeeded.
Unfortunately, Far From Home suffers from Marvel Studios' attempt to try and reintegrate Spider-Man back into the MCU just months after he had technically died. Between all the spy talk, Skrulls, and hints at the multiverse, the film very rarely feels like a Spider-Man movie and more like one that just so happens to feature the Web-Head.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Jon Watts' third and final Spider-Man film (don't worry, he won't be exiting the MCU) is easily one of the biggest films of all time, having beaten out Avatar and grossing $1.85 billion at the global box office. No Way Home is also a celebration of Spider-Man, culminating in an unforgettable cinematic experience that marries all the best things about every film on this list while also tacking on just enough of the MCU without making Spider-Man feel like a deuteragonist like Far From Home did.
Unfortunately, No Way Home's biggest strength is also its worst weakness: it's not a good standalone Spider-Man film. The only way to appreciate No Way Home is to watch all the other Spider-Man films that were released before it, much to the film's detriment.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
As Spider-Man's second reboot in less than a decade, Spider-Man: Homecoming knew what it wanted to do. Instead of giving the MCU's Peter Parker yet another origin story, its job was to get audiences to suspend their disbelief and get them invested in yet another high schooler moonlighting as one of the most iconic superheroes of all time - and that's exactly what it did.
Homecoming glossed over how Holland's Peter Parker became Spider-Man and focused on a teenager desperate for more responsibility with little thought for the consequences of getting what he wants. While No Way Home drove this point, well, home, Homecoming guaranteed that Peter's behavior and development in subsequent outings had some basis. It also doesn't hurt that Peter's friends such as Jacob Batalon's Ned Leeds and Zendaya's MJ as well as the rest of the crew all pass as quirky high school students who still don't know their place in the world.
Homecoming very much felt like that annoying kid brother that you have that you know needs some growing up to be but can't help but love anyway.
Watching 2002's Spider-Man now will make you cringe at what passed as funny and acceptable at the time, but not necessarily in a bad way. For as much as Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man film was a product of its time, it was also a genuinely good starting point for Tobey's Peter Parker that borrowed a lot from the budding hero's comic book origins and had just the exact amount of absurdity without leaving you scratching your head from all the silliness.
Striking that balance between serious and ridiculous isn't easy, but Sam Raimi found a way to do that with the first Spider-Man.
All things considered, Spider-Man is worth the price of admission even today if only to get a chance to watch a sprier Willem Dafoe at his peak.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
If the first Spider-Man film was the cinematic equivalent of catching lightning in a bottle, Spider-Man 2 was proof that it is possible to make an engaging and entertaining film based on a comic book twice in a row. After introducing fans to a nerdy and quirky high school Peter Parker, Spider-Man 2 saw him try to navigate life as a college student who also has to work to make ends meet while living up to his potential all the while trying to save New York from a misguided genius trying to solve a real-world problem.
Watching Spider-Man 2 will remind audiences today just how much the casting directors deserve praise for choosing the perfect actors for the movie. Maguire paints a believable portrait of an imperfect hero trying to do things right to the point that he ends up losing his power temporarily. Meanwhile, Alfred Molina's performance stands the test of time as you can't help but be mesmerized whenever he pops up on the screen as the demented and self-righteous Dr. Octopus.
Spider-Man 2 raised the bar for superhero films, and the genre hasn't had much luck matching up to its high standards since.