The “Rocky” series continues apace, even after Rocky himself has thrown in the towel, as Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed for “Creed III,” the latest installment in what might best be described as a spinoff franchise. How long can this go on? Well, consider this: At the very end of the new film, Adonis is playfully sparring in the ring with his school-age daughter — and the little girl already looks like a contender. So who knows?

It all began in 1976 with the Oscar-winning “Rocky,” in which scripter-star Sylvester Stallone created the iconic character of Rocky Balboa, a battered but proud palooka who’s inspired by shy sweetheart Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire), her boozy brother Paulie (Burt Young), and crusty trainer/manager Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith) to take his best shot in an improbable matchup with heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Several sequels later, we’re now focused on Adonis Creed, Apollo’s son, who took his own first shot under Rocky’s tutelage in “Creed” (2015).

There are nine titles in the franchise, which we have ranked from worst to best.