3. 'Creed II' (2018)
In terms of character-driven storytelling with emotionally-high stakes, pound for pound, "Creed II" is the best Rocky sequel. Adonis once again finds himself afraid of living in his father's shadow while having anxiety over the shadows cast by his own expectations. The end result is a movie that resonates more in scenes outside of the boxing ring, especially whenever Adonis and the pregnant Bianca (Tessa Thompson) confront issues of pending parenthood as B risks losing her hearing. All of this goes down as the man who killed Adonis' dad, Ivan Drago, forces his son to win back the honor he lost to Rocky in 1985. This is a sequel to both "Rocky IV" and the 2015 "Creed," and it delicately honors the legacy of the former while servicing the needs of the latter.