It is difficult to design a Rocky movie without Sylvester Stallone, especially because the franchise was entirely his vision. He wrote the script for the first film, and when it came time to sell it, he turned down a huge salary from a major studio, just so he could play the title role himself.
It paid off; Rocky won Best Picture at the Oscars in 1976. And from then on, Rocky was iconic. Sometimes he was the underachievers with the chin of steel. Other times, he was a red, white, and blue American superhero. But even when the script didn’t hold up or the premise was too far-fetched, Stallone’s charisma pushed him over the line.
The common assumption after Rocky Balboa was that the story was over. SO Creedfeaturing Michael B. Jordan and directed by Ryan Coogler, came out in 2015, and suddenly everything old was new again. The story of the underdog is enduring. And now that Stallone is no longer front and center, we’ll see exactly how enduring this story is.
Creed III stars Jordan as Adonis Creed and Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson, a ghost from Adonis’ past. The film is the ninth official film in the Rocky franchise and the third film in the spin-off of the Creed franchise. It’s also, quite notably, the first Rocky movie without Stallone’s involvement, due to a falling out between him and longtime producer Irwin Winkler. Stallone has no grudge against Jordan, however, and wish him the best. Fans seem to have supported the movie even in Stallone’s absence, and it made history as the highest-grossing debut sports movie in its opening weekend.
For the moment, here are all the films of the Rocky And Creed franchise, ranked from worst to best.