More than 55 years. 25 movies. Six different Bonds. Dozens of gadgets. Hundreds of shaken martinis. And at least one set of flamethrowing bagpipes.

The James Bond series can be intimidating. Where do you even begin? The obvious answer on paper would be the first Bond movie, 1962’s Dr. No. But Dr. No wasn’t an origin story, and later 007 films followed a younger version of the character as he evolved into the dashing gentlemen spy with a license to kill. And while you can go in strict chronological order through the entire franchise, that will leave you stuck watching a bunch of crummy Bonds along the way. (Take this from someone who has seen all of them multiple times.)

With that in mind, I decided to put together what I believe is the best possible viewing order for Bond. Somewhat arbitrarily, I set a limit of 10 films, and tried to put together what I think is the best overview of the franchise. I reshuffled some of the movies, and excluded others. I did my best to construct a loose overarching narrative to my 10 picks — my preferred order takes James Bond from rookie spy to emotionally and physically scarred veteran, and follows the movies as they get bigger and more outlandish, before returning to a more classical style — but the reality is there‘s no way to truly reconcile all these versions of Bond, Blofeld, M, Moneypenny, and the rest. They were mostly made in an era before cinematic universes and carefully constructed mega-franchises. They tend to work better out of context, rather than in it. Comparing their various continuities will hurt your brain more than a headbutt from Jaws.

Still, if you follow my order, you will get a taste of all six Bonds, witness all of the highs and at least a couple of lows, and walk away with a very good sense of the series. Whether you’re looking to dive into Bond for the first time or do a rewatch to prep for No Time to Die, this is the way would approach things.

So here it one more time; what you might call my #JamesBond10 in their suggested viewing order:

  1. Casino Royale
  2. Dr. No
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. Goldfinger
  5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  6. The Living Daylights
  7. The Spy Who Loved Me
  8. Moonraker
  9. GoldenEye
  10. Skyfall

What do you think? Did I leave anything important out? What movies would be in your #JamesBond10? I’d genuinely like to know.

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Gallery — Every James Bond Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best:

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