The Purge franchise began with a modest home invasion thriller in 2013, but has since expanded into a sprawling, multi-platform and cross-country series that can frankly be killer to keep track of.


So, to make sense of it all, we have our guide on how to watch all The Purge movies in order - with a full chronological timeline and release order.

Successful horror movies never stop at one film - Nun II, part of The Conjuring series, will be the ninth in the franchise, after all - but luckily, The Purge series has an interesting premise that deserves exploring: what if all crime, including murder, was legal for one night?

The movies have used the concept to explore the Purge's impact on different classes and races, as well as linking to politics - but not in order, it would seem, with The First Purge rewinding to explore the origins of such a dystopian event.

To muddle things even further, The Purge series also had a TV spin-off, meaning keeping track is much like trying to watch all the Marvel movies in order with the many Disney Plus shows.

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However, with The Forever Purge having come and gone, we have restored structure to the franchise's timeline - here's how to watch all The Purge movies in order.

How to watch The Purge movies: chronological timeline order

While The Purge films are mostly anthologies with a rotating cast of main characters, they do mostly follow on from each other chronologically.

There are, of course, two notable standouts: The Purge TV show and, you guessed it, The First Purge.

Although it was the fourth movie to be released in cinemas, as the name would suggest The First Purge is actually the very first instalment of the series. The prequel rewinds back to 21st March 2017, when The Purge was simply a sociological experiment limited to Staten Island.

While the remaining films then chronologically take place in release order, the TV show slots in after the first two films and before The Purge: Election Year.

The first film's protagonist James Sandin, played by Ethan Hawke, even makes an appearance to link the universe together.

Here are the Purge movies in chronological order:

  1. The First Purge (2018)
  2. The Purge (2013)
  3. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
  4. The Purge television series (2018-2019)
  5. The Purge: Election Year (2016)
  6. The Forever Purge (2021)

The Purge Timeline

A man sat on a chair, surrounding by people holding blades
The Purge.

For those really into their Purge lore, the fact that most of the films take place over the same night every year means we can pinpoint the exact dates of many of the films.

Spanning 30 years, here's the surprisingly coherent timeline of The Purge universe, which all kicks off after The New Founding Fathers of America take office in 2014.

  1. The First Purge (21st March 2017)
  2. The Purge (21st March 2022)
  3. The Purge: Anarchy (21st March 2023)
  4. The Purge television series (2027-2031)
  5. The Purge: Election Year (21st March 2040)
  6. The Forever Purge (2048)

How to watch The Purge movies in release order

Despite a few prequels, The Purge films can still be enjoyed in release order, which is definitely the easiest way to watch them for new viewers.

After all, the films mostly follow chronological order - besides the clear exception of The First Purge, as well as the TV series, which is an optional extra to your Purge movie marathon.

Here's how you watch The Purge movies in order of release:

  • The Purge (2013)
  • The Purge: Anarachy (2014)
  • The Purge: Election Year (2016)
  • The First Purge (2018)
  • The Purge television series (2018-2019)
  • The Forever Purge (2021)

The Purge (2013)

Two masked figures holding weapons in The Purge
The Purge.

The first Purge film - but not a depiction of the very first Purge - is set in 2022, when The Purge is accepted and an annual part of life. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey star as James and Mary Sandin, a wealthy couple who become the target of a group of Purgers after saving a stranger from their clutches.

Where to watch: NowTV

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

LaKeith Stanfield in The Purge: Anarchy holding a weapon aloft
The Purge: Anarchy. Universal Pictures

One year after the events of the first film, The Purge: Anarchy follows Frank Grillo's Sergeant who uses the night as an excuse to exact revenge on those responsible for his murdered son, while a rebellion group also starts forming.

Where to watch: NowTV

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

Brittany Mirabile in The Purge: Election Year wearing a mask that says Kiss Me
The Purge: Election Year. Universal Pictures

The only instalment to bring back a previous character, Sergeant returns to protect Presidential nominee Charlene "Charlie" Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) as she campaigns for the 2040 election on an anti-Purge platform.

Where to watch: NowTV

The First Purge (2018)

A person wearing a horned mask in The First Purge
The First Purge. Universal Pictures

The fourth film rewinds back to 2017 to explore the political machinations behind The Purge, when The New Founding Fathers of America implement a test Purge limited to Staten Island.

Where to watch: Amazon

The Purge TV series (2018-19)

A masked Max Calder in The Purge TV series
The Purge TV series. Universal Pictures

Four films would be enough for most franchises, but The Purge slashed its way to the small screen in 2018 to explore its concept over a longer period of time. The show tackled new approaches - for example, season two followed the interim period between two Purges - and even featured a flashback starring Ethan Hawke to link the show to the films.

Where to watch: Amazon

The Forever Purge (2021)

A riot in The Forever Purge
The Forever Purge. Universal

Taking place eight years after The Purge: Election Year, the film sees the New Founding Fathers of America reinstate the annual Purge after an eight-year absence - until an anti-immigration hate group continues purging long after daybreak.

Where to watch: Netflix

Where to watch The Purge movies

Sorry for those feeling the urge to Purge online - The Purge films are sadly not all available on a single streaming service. The first three films - The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year - are available on NowTV (£6.99-£9.99 a month). Both seasons of The Purge television show are available on Amazon Prime (£8.99 a month) for no extra cost.

The First Purge can be bought on Blu-ray for £2.99 from Amazon and finally, The Forever Purge can be streamed on Netflix (£4.99, £10.99, £15.99).


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