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How to watch all The Hunger Games movies in order

With a dystopian timeline, a prequel, and Suzanne Collins' books all taken into account, here's all The Hunger Games movies in order.

How to watch the Hunger Games movies in order: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

How do you watch The Hunger Games movies in order? Suzanne Collins’ YA book series was a phenomenon among the wave of dystopian novels that boomed in the 2000s, earning a devoted fanbase that connected with its unlikely hero.

The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen molding into the reluctant Mockingjay: a symbol of revolution against Panem’s sadistic Capitol. Quickly earning her way into the lexicon of the best female characters, cruel fate lands her in the Hunger Games. Hands down the best teen movies from the 2010s YA explosion, The Hunger Games cast are split across a timeline that involves two separate Games, a prequel, and potential new movies. Who’s going to explain it all? …We volunteer!

Here’s how to watch The Hunger Games in chronological order:

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)
  2. The Hunger Games (2012)
  3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
  4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1  (2014)
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (2015)
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1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)

Where to watch: In theaters now

The newest movie in the franchise, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is set decades before The Hunger Games quadrilogy. 64 years, to be exact, when the 10th Annual Hunger Games were taking place.

Tom Blyth stars as a young Coriolanus Snow, before the title of President was added to his name. Coryo, as he’s nicknamed, is assigned to mentor young tribute Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) for the upcoming Games. As the pair bond, their relationship blossoms into a romantic connection, which proves problematic given their social standing.

Densely political, tense, and just as depressing as the rest, Songbirds and Snakes will give you a new insight into one of the greatest movie villains to come from the genre. See what we thought in our The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review.

Elizabeth Banks as Effy Trinket, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games

2. The Hunger Games (2012)

Where to watch: Peacock, Apple TV, Prime Video

The first of the Jennifer Lawrence movies, taking place 64 years after the prequel’s events, The Hunger Games kicked off Katniss’ legacy when she volunteers as tribute in place of her younger sister, Prim (Willow Shields), for the 74th Hunger Games.

With unique direction, a breakout performance from Lawrence, and a sobering plot, it’s one of the best movies in the franchise. Its incensed rage against the Capitol’s oppression, the authentic portrayal of a teenaged girl thrown into a role she wants no part of, and the Grammy award-winning soundtrack are just a few of its endearing traits.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games Catching Fire

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Where to watch: Peacock, Apple TV, Prime Video

Taking place around half a year after Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) survive the Games in the first movie, Catching Fire is the crown jewel of this franchise.

Hands down one of the best science-fiction movies of the dystopian genre, it takes more of an adventure route. It, thankfully, doesn’t abandon everything about the style of the original, but it ups the ante with the vindictive Quarter Quell: a twist on the Games that sees names reaped from the pool of previous victors.

Catching Fire introduces several important characters, such as Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), too. It’s also a major turning point in the franchise, leaving fans on an unforgettable cliffhanger.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

Where to watch: Peacock, Apple TV, Prime Video

After the roaring success of Catching Fire, things took a bit of a turn for the finale of the series, which was split into two parts. Mockingjay – Part 1 follows the months after Catching Fire, with allies in Snow’s clutches in the Capitol, and Katniss incensed by a tragedy revealed at the end of the previous installment.

Part 1 has its moments (The Hanging Tree), it’s an introspective and character-driven film with a thundering score that fully realizes the idea of Katniss not wanting to be a symbol of revolution — she’s manipulated by both sides of the war but ultimately does what she needs to do to protect her family. It’s a step down from the first two but still isn’t one you’ll find yourself dying to skip during a rewatch.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Mahershala Ali, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale in The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

Where to watch: Peacock, Apple TV, Prime Video

Mockingjay – Part 2, as you’d expect, directly ties into Part 1, timeline-wise. In fact, you could easily back-to-back them and experience them as a single thing.

Unfortunately, the life drains out of the franchise in this last chapter, which, save for a brave and shocking final act, is rather lackluster. More of a war movie than anything else, it has good ingredients but made a bit of a tasteless cake.

It’s the worst one (which, by most franchise standards, is still pretty damn good), but completionists will know you can’t miss the ending, so it’s not one we’d advise skipping because it’s the long-coming closure of Katniss’ story.

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How to watch The Hunger Games movies in release order:

  • The Hunger Games (2012)
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023)

We think release order is the way to go for the best experience, but due to the refreshingly simple timeline, either method will suffice!

For more complex franchises, we’ve got the Marvel movies in order, the X-Men movies in order, and the Star Wars movies in order. Or, for more Games and revolt, find out how to watch The Hunger Games, our feature on The Hunger Games renaissance, and Jennifer Lawrence’s advice for The Hunger Games prequel cast.

Talking of the prequel, you can check out our guides on how Songbirds and Snakes is connected to The Hunger Games, and check out the Hunger Games Easter eggs that were hidden. You can also read our interview with Francis Lawrence, for some insider scoops from the director himself.