Originally released as In Search of the Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones film was later marketed as Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark. See Indiana Jones, played again by Harrison Ford, in a race against the Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred religious artifact that the Nazis believe has the power to make them unstoppable. Indiana Jones has been capturing ancient artifacts and our hearts for more than 40 years. The iconic film series directed by Steven Spielberg is known for its exaggerated plot lines, action-packed scenes and suspenseful John Williams' themed music.
Of course, Harrison Ford's character khaki wardrobe, wide-brimmed hat, and mischievous smile are also quite memorable. The Indiana Jones franchise is a collection of films like no other, made up of the original film plus three sequels of films that somehow don't disappoint viewers. Every archaeological adventure and every victory over the villains serves as a reminder that Indy is, and always will be, the most heroic fictional crusade in the world. Despite being the second Indiana Jones film released, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a prequel to the original film (set in 193), making it the first in the franchise chronologically.
That said, it's not really an origin story as most of the prequels these days are more like revisiting Indiana Jones while going on another adventure. The original Indiana Jones movie, often known simply as In Search of the Lost Ark (as originally released), is where it all began for Indiana (although it is set in 1936, a year after Temple of Doom). In the definitive Indiana Jones movie, Indiana competes against a group of Nazis to find a religious relic, which would help the Nazis dominate the world. It's one of the classic adventure movies of the 1980s and it's a good place to start if you want to start strong.
In terms of chronological order, it is the second film in the Indiana Jones franchise. After the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucas let the series end as he felt he couldn't think of a good plot device to drive the next installment, and instead chose to produce The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which explored the character in his early years. Two additional books (Young Indiana Jones and the Mask of the Madman and Young Indiana Jones and the Ring of Power) were planned, but they were never published. Martin Caidin wrote the next two novels in the Bantam series, Indiana Jones and the Sky Pirates and Indiana Jones and the White Witch.
But if the arrival of a new Indiana Jones movie has made you want to review the old ones, you should figure out how to watch Indiana Jones movies in the right order. One would think that this television series based on the adventures of a young Indiana Jones would come first chronologically, but the series actually takes place in the 90s, with an elderly Indiana (George Hall) starting each episode recalling an adventure from his youth. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the second Indiana Jones movie released, but it's actually the first on the timeline. Harrison Ford even appears in one episode (Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues) as Indiana Jones.
In the later adult adventures of Indiana Jones, the setting becomes a kind of cross-fiction, as all the myths, legends, legendary and sacred objects, turn out to be true and real, along with the supernatural powers and related deities in the world of Indiana Jones.