In a dimly lit bathroom, a chilling voice uttered six infamous words – “I want to play a game.” Little did we know back then that this seemingly simple premise in James Wan’s 2004 horror film Saw would become the gruesome cornerstone of a legendary film franchise, one which now boasts ten terrifying movies.

From the iconic tricycle-riding puppet Billy to the diabolical mind of John Kramer aka Jigsaw, over the course of ten films spanning nearly two decades, the Saw franchise has evolved into a complex nightmare. With each instalment twisting the narrative further, fans have been left both perplexed and captivated at the same time.

Now, with the release of the tenth instalment, Saw X, on September 28 (just in time for the Halloween season), Jigsaw’s legacy continues to grow (and haunt us) on the big screen. However, if you’re contemplating a rewatch of the franchise before watching Saw X, you might have to rethink your plans. After all, the franchise’s timeline is quite convoluted, with Saw X itself being a prequel that throws us back into the dark origins of this grotesque saga.

But fear not! We’re here to help you navigate the nightmarish chaos of the Saw movies. Below, you’ll discover the simplest way to experience the Saw films in order of their release. And for those brave enough to delve into the intricate timeline, we’ve meticulously crafted a chronological breakdown that will leave you questioning your own sanity (consider saving that option for after you’ve survived the games.)

‘Saw’ movies in order of release date


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Before we dive headlong into the depths of the Saw movies in order of chronology, let’s begin with the straightforward path – their order of release. This is a good way to watch the Saw movies if you are just warming up to the gruesome world of Jigsaw, are more interested in the gore and don’t really care about the interconnected storyline. 

  • Saw (2004)
  • Saw II (2005)
  • Saw III (2006)
  • Saw IV (2007)
  • Saw V (2008)
  • Saw VI (2009)
  • Saw 3D (Also known as Saw: The Final Chapter) (2010)
  • Jigsaw (2017)
  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)
  • Saw X (2023)

Now, let’s explore the ‘Saw’ movies in order of chronology

saw movies in order

Prepare to embark on a harrowing journey by witnessing the Saw movies in chronological order. The franchise will take you on a terrifying path, one where mysteries unravel, horrors await and the evolution of cinematic terror takes centre stage. Let the games begin.

The first half of ‘Jigsaw’ (2017)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Jigsaw

Starring: Tobin Bell, Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett
Directed by: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
IMDb rating: 5.7/10
Where to watch
: Prime Video and FuboTV

If you want to watch the Saw movies in order of chronology, your descent into the malicious psyche of John Kramer begins with Jigsaw in 2017. This instalment delves into the origins of Jigsaw’s reign of terror, unveiling a chilling early test orchestrated by John Kramer himself. In a nightmarish barn, five individuals, each harbouring a haunting secret, wake up to confront death traps, setting the stage for one of the earliest trials of John Kramer. It’s a bone-chilling prologue to the mayhem that unfolds throughout the series, shedding light on an aspect of Jigsaw we’ve never witnessed before.

Important note: The remaining half of Jigsaw unfolds between Saw 3D and Spiral: From the Book of Saw. The storyline follows detectives Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Hunt (Cle Bennett) a decade after John Kramer’s death.

Saw (2004)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw

Starring: Cary Elwes, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Michael Emerson
Directed by: James Wan
IMDb rating: 7.6/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock and DirecTV

The second Saw film in order of chronology marks the very inception of the Saw franchise with James Wan’s original masterpiece in 2004. Set roughly a year before the events of Saw II, the film delves into the mystery of the Jigsaw Killer as he subjects his victims to harrowing trials, forcing them to endure extreme physical suffering in order to prove their will to survive.

The central narrative revolves around Jigsaw’s most recent targets, portrayed by Whannell and Elwes, who awaken in a dingy bathroom. In a cruel twist, one of them is compelled to take the life of the other to safeguard his own family. Additionally, the movie introduces us to Amanda Young, the lone survivor of one of Jigsaw’s sadistic contraptions.

Saw X (2023)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw X

Starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Synnøve Macody Lund, Steven Brand
Directed by: Kevin Greutert
IMDb rating: 7.2/10
Where to watch: Currently in theatres (will come to streaming in the future)

Our chronological order of Saw movies continues with the latest addition to the franchise – Saw X.

Set a few weeks after the harrowing events of the original Saw, this tenth instalment unravels the life of John Kramer, who has recently received a devastating cancer diagnosis. Amidst a glimmer of hope for a cure, he embarks on a journey to Mexico. However, when it becomes painfully clear that the treatment is nothing but a heartless scam, John decides to team up with his protegé Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith). Amanda, still navigating her newfound role after surviving her own trial just weeks earlier, develops reservations about one of their victims due to her own battle with addiction. Together, they concoct a twisted game to serve the culprits a taste of their own malevolence.

This film’s timeline also shows us the events of the year before Saw II, offering pivotal details about Amanda’s apprenticeship and eventual takeover of the Jigsaw mantle, as well as her remarkably close bond with Kramer. Saw X also weaves threads that connect it with later films in the franchise, particularly Saw IV, shedding light on Kramer’s collaboration with Detective Hoffman before the events of that film, and Saw VI.

Saw II (2005)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw II

Starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Franky G, Eric Knudsen
Directed by: Darren Bousman
IMDb rating: 6.6/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock, and DirecTV

The grotesque timeline of the Saw series now leads us to Saw II, set approximately a year after the events of Saw I.

The film focuses on Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) as he takes the lead and relentlessly pursues the enigmatic Jigsaw Killer while desperately searching for his son, Daniel (Eric Knudsen). At the same time, the film immerses us in a nerve-wracking Jigsaw test featuring a group of eight individuals trapped in a house slowly filling with deadly gas. 

A significant plot twist in Saw II unveils Amanda Young as, not a victim, but an apprentice to John Kramer, an intentional participant seeking redemption through her involvement in his maniacal mission.

Saw III (2006)

Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw III

Starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Bahar Soomekh, Angus Macfadyen
Directed by: Darren Bousman
IMDb rating: 6.2/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock, DirecTV

The release of Saw III saw the term ‘torture porn’ being increasingly used to describe the franchise.  

In this film, Jigsaw, teetering on the brink of death due to terminal cancer, orchestrates what appears to be one last deadly game. But who is the true target, and how are all the pieces connected? Amidst the chaos, a grieving father (Angus Macfadyen) is subjected to a gruelling trial, while a doctor (Bahar Soomekh) is forced to keep Jigsaw alive long enough to complete his sinister plans. Remarkably, this marks (somewhat) the final film in which Jigsaw is alive in the present.

Saw IV (2007)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw IV

Starring: Tobin Bell, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor
Directed by: Darren Bousman
IMDb rating: 5.9/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock, DirecTV

While John Kramer may have departed this world, his legacy and deadly games persist. Saw IV delves further into Jigsaw’s intricate web of vengeance, showcasing his enmity not only towards criminals but also those who uphold the law. Despite Jigsaw’s demise in the previous film, an unwavering and overly determined cop (Lyriq Bent) follows a trail of maniacal clues in a bid to save the day. Additionally, Saw IV introduces us to Detective Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), marking the dawn of the Hoffman Era.

Saw V (2008)

Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw V

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Scott Patterson
Directed by: David Hackl
IMDb rating: 5.8/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock, DirecTV

Saw V picks things up after the chilling conclusion of Saw IV and the demise of John Kramer.

In this film, FBI agent Strahm embarks on a relentless pursuit to unravel the late Jigsaw Killer’s latest crimes. However, he soon discovers that a new threat appears to be lurking in the shadows. As the narrative unfolds, we are taken into the intricate trap that opens this chapter—a colossal pendulum that gruesomely claims the life of convicted murderer Seth Baxter. Yet, what makes this trap even more chilling is the revelation that it was crafted by Detective Hoffman, solely to mimic a Jigsaw killing. 

While the conclusion is indeed gruesome and shocking, it marks a departure from the ambush-style endings seen in the previous four films.

Saw VI (2009)

Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw VI

Starring: Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston
Directed by: Kevin Greutert
IMDb rating: 6/10
Where to watch: Starz, Prime Video, Peacock, DirecTV

Saw VI kicks off mere days after the disturbing events of Saw V.

In this instalment, we are given the backstory of William Easton (Peter Outerbridge), a health insurance executive who is at the centre of another gory game. Situated amidst ‘the Hoffmanaissance’, this instalment is often considered the pinnacle of the latter half of the Saw franchise. This chapter pits Detective Hoffman against Jigsaw’s ex-wife, Jill (Betsy Russell), while also subjecting the repugnant Easton and some predatory lenders to a diabolical game. The narrative culminates in one of the series’ most gruesome and unforgettable kills.

In this film, it’s also revealed that Easton had denied John Kramer coverage that could have potentially saved his life. Additionally, we uncover the unsettling revelation that Amanda Young played a role in Jill’s miscarriage, information that Hoffman later exploits to manipulate Amanda into committing murder in Saw III.

‘Saw 3D’ aka ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ (2010)

saw movies in order
Picture Credits: IMDb/Saw 3D

Starring: Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor, Sean Patrick Flanery
Directed by: Kevin Greutert
IMDb rating: 5.5/10
Where to watch: Starz, Peacock, DirecTV

Saw 3D is set mere weeks after the spine-tingling events of Saw VI.

In a jaw-dropping flashback, we unravel the fate of Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes), who, as it turns out, had miraculously survived the harrowing events of Saw I. Struggling to survive, Gordon had to take desperate measures, cauterising his severed leg on a pipe before passing out. Fate led John Kramer to discover him in the hallway, ultimately convincing Gordon to join the ranks of Jigsaw’s acolytes. It’s Gordon’s unseen influence that looms over every subsequent instalment in the series.

Another character in the film is Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), who garnered fame by deceitfully claiming to have escaped a Jigsaw game that transpired between Saw and Saw II. The film also reveals the final fate of Detective Hoffman, marking an end to his tenure in the Saw movies. 

‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’ (2021)

Picture Credits: IMDb/Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Starring: Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols
Directed by: Darren Bousman
IMDb rating: 5.2/10
Where to watch: Stream on Hulu or rent on Amazon and most other platforms

Spiral: From The Book of Saw ventures into a chilling new chapter in the Saw universe, though it refrains from placing itself in a specific year and abstains from the trademark timeline twists. Positioned a few years after the modern-day storyline in Jigsaw, this film marks a fresh entry into the franchise.

It stars Chris Rock who, inspired by his own concept, chose to join the Saw franchise. In the film, Rock assumes the role of a detective tasked with tracking a genuine Jigsaw copycat who is targeting corrupt police officers. Spiral stands as the first movie in the series to not feature Tobin Bell as Jigsaw/John Kramer. While Bell’s absence is palpable, the film brings a new layer of intrigue to the saga.

For the unversed


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The Saw universe comprises ten harrowing movies, with the latest instalment released on September 28. Conceived by the creative minds of James Wan (known for The Conjuring series and the Insidious franchise) and Leigh Whannell (renowned for his work on The Invisible Man), the Saw franchise struck box office gold in 2004. Following its inception, the series delivered an annual dose of dread, often becoming an October tradition, until 2010. Then, after a brief hiatus, the eighth film, Jigsaw, arrived in 2017. Fast forward four more years, and we were treated to an in-universe spinoff, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, followed by the 2023 release of Saw X.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– How to watch all the Saw movies in chronological order?
To watch all the Saw movies in order of chronology, begin with Jigsaw, followed by Saw, Saw X, Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, Saw 3D, and conclude with Spiral: From the Book of Saw.

– Which Saw movie should I watch first?
Start your Saw movie journey with Jigsaw to experience the chronological beginning of the story.

– How many Saw movies are there?
There are ten Saw movies in total, with the latest instalment, Saw X, being released on September 28, 2023.

(Header and feature image courtesy: Credits: IMDb/Saw (2004) and Saw X)

written by.

Kratagya Rathore

Senior Digital Writer, Growth, Augustman
Kratagya Rathore could possibly be your passport into the world of style, grooming, skincare, and mindful living. Fashion is as imperative to him as his daily 10,000 steps count. He is a raconteur, almost living his life in a musical; A social firefly who is also fluent in silence. A journalism grad, Kratagya has previously worked for Times Internet and The Times of India.
How To Watch All 10 ‘Saw’ Movies In Chronological Order