With fan favorites like Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the X-Men franchise started in 2000 and now consists of 13 films. On the other hand, the movies use a Star Wars-like strategy and start many of the characters’ adventures later on before returning to their beginnings.
This implies numerous ways to watch these movies. Your chosen method will affect how particular revelations and moments pay off. While it might be tempting to simply watch the 13 movies as they are released, it is better to arrange them chronologically so that they essentially follow one long timeline. By doing so, you can start the X-Men story at the beginning.
Here is our largely spoiler-free guide to seeing the X-Men films in order!
X-Men: First Class
Release Date: June 3, 2011
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
The new X-Men chapter that begins with X-Men: First Class returns to the beginning of the film series. The movie opens in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 before cutting to 1962. The narrative follows a teenage Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, and the beginnings of the Brotherhood of Mutants and the X-Men.
Fun Fact – The original plan was X-Men Origins: Magneto, later replaced by First Class.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Cast: Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman
Because it includes the X-Men from both the first movie and the more recent ones, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a little difficult to position in the timeline. Most of the plot takes place in 1973, but there is also a significant amount of time in a different version of 2023. While having a soft spot for the original cast undoubtedly contributes to making it a more memorable moviegoing experience, some plot elements that we won’t reveal here make us comfortable placing it here in the timeline. This implies that, if you so choose, it might also fit exactly near the conclusion of this list.
Fun Fact – Watch “The Rogue Cut” if you want something extra. It is a version that adds Rogue to the mainstream.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Release Date: May 1, 2009
Cast: Danny Huston, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber.
The first X-Men spinoff film is set in 1845, although most of the action takes place in 1979 as Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine origin is explored. Not only do we learn how Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson/Deadpool acquired his recognizable adamantium claws, but we also meet him for the first time.
Fun fact: The actor who plays Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, acknowledged he didn’t enjoy the film. However, he asserted that because it didn’t dive far enough into the character, it felt like a fourth X-Men film with different characters.
Release Date: May 27, 2016
Cast: James McAvoy, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender
Oscar Isaac plays En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse in the movie X-Men: Apocalypse, which pits him against our resurrected X-Men team. Although the movie begins in the distant past, in 3600 BC, much of the action takes place in 1983.
Fun Fact – Before filming, Olivia Munn, a fan of her character Psylocke, insisted that she wear the comic-accurate purple suit.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Release Date: June 7, 2019
Cast: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Tye Sheridan
X-Men: Dark Phoenix, starring Sophie Turner as Jean Gray (who becomes the Phoenix by the movie’s conclusion), is the final installment in the series that follows the lives of the teenage ensemble and is set in 1992.
Fun fact – Hugh Jackman doesn’t play a major role in this X-Men movie and hasn’t done so since 2000.
Release Date: July 14, 2000
Cast: Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman
The initial film in the franchise to be released in the real world was X-Men. It is the sixth film in the general chronology of the XMCU (the X-Men Cinematic Universe). X-Men takes place in 2000, the same year that the film had its theatrical debut. The Brotherhood and, of course, the X-Men are introduced in this film, establishing the X-Men universe.
Fun Fact – Despite being well-known for their chess matches in movies, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen had no prior experience; a chess master had to teach them.
X-2: X-Men United
Release Date: May 2, 2003
Cast: James Marsden, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen
The events in the franchise’s first sequel, X2: X-Men United, which debuted in 2003, are likewise set in that year. Colonel William Stryker, an anti-mutant, ignites the situation when he kidnaps Professor X, compelling the X-Men to work with their archenemy.
Fun Fact – To make a scenario where parents learn of their child’s mutation like a “coming out” dialogue feasible, openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen collaborated with the production.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Release Date: May 26, 2006
Cast: Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry
X-Men: The Last Stand, which made its debut in 2006, served as the series’ climactic movie. In this sort of sequel, the government discovers a treatment for mutations. Phoenix, Jean Gray’s other identity, also makes its series debut—release-date rather than chronologically—for the first time.
Fun Fact – Kelsey Grammar attended an audition for the first time in more than 20 years because he was eager to portray Hank McCoy/Beast.
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Cast: Tao Okamoto, Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima
In this 2013 movie, a prequel to both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine made a comeback. The character, played by Jackman, travels to Japan to meet with an old acquaintance he had previously helped. Wolverine is there, bereaved over the death of Jean Grey and caught up in a plot involving mutants and the yakuza.
Fun Fact – On the Blu-ray bonus scene, Yukio gives Logan his iconic, comic-accurate yellow costume. To the disappointment of the audience, the scene was cut.
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Cast: Ed Skrein, Ryan Reynold, Morena Baccarin
The Ryan Reynolds-starring Deadpool movie, which tells the story of a cancer patient who will stop at nothing to save his own life, generated buzz simply because it was a terrific movie. And while watching Deadpool as part of the X-Men series isn’t strictly necessary, you might want to include it in your marathon if you’re feeling extra thorough.
Fun Fact – Reynolds had been starring as Deadpool in Origins: Wolverine. Thus the movie was put on hold for a while. However, the fan response was so strong once the test video emerged that the studio had no choice but to move forward.
The New Mutants (2020)
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Cast: Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Anya Taylor-Joy
It can be difficult to situate The New Mutants because it was originally intended to occur in the 1990s. Still, the higher-ups ultimately suggested that it occur in the present. (For whatever reason, you know.) So although it technically takes place in 2017 and introduces five new, young mutants, this film’s events don’t really impact those in prior films and vice versa. It just sort of exists on its own, dangling in space.
Fun Fact – The MCU’s inclusion of mutants makes the possibility of sequels, which were once envisaged as a horror trilogy, increasingly remote.
Release Date: May 18, 2018
Cast: Josh Brolin, Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin
The sequel to Deadpool, released two years after the first, even has a juvenile X-Men appearance. Although it was released in 2018 and takes place in 2018, Deadpool also goes back in time to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Fun Fact – Stay updated on how the upcoming third Deadpool movie fits into the chronological order of the X-Men movies.
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Patrick Stewart
Logan was first released in 2017, but it is set in 2029 when mutants are all but extinct. Even though Logan (Jackman) is much older and no longer the adventurous Wolverine, he feels obliged to lend a hand when a mutant child named Laura asks for it. Additionally, it effectively wraps up the entire series.
Fun Fact – Dafne Keen (X-23), who was too young to shoot some scenes inside a casino, was either green-screened in, or a body double older than 18 was employed in her place.