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How to watch the X-Men movies in order

If you want to know how to watch the X-Men movies in order, here is a list of all the mutant Marvel movies as well as their release and chronological orders.

How to watch the X-Men movies in order

How do you watch the X-Men movies in order? That’s a complicated question with no easy answer. There was more time-twisting than a Doctor Who episode in the X-Men movies, to the point that they adapted the Dark Phoenix arc twice.

Between those time shifts, the ever-rotating cast, and the broad spectrum of quality (to put it mildly), coherence is not a strong suit of the X-Men, and it makes trying to watch these Marvel movies in order a nightmare. There are a couple of ways to watch the big-screen adventures of the best X-Men characters that will give you something resembling a full story and, fortunately, we’re here to guide you.

The first solution to watching the X-Men movies in order is simply going through them by release. The second, chronological order, results in something that has a bit more thematic substance to it, even if it requires some streaming jiggery-pokery. We’ve got both ways below.

How to watch the X-Men movies in chronological order:

  • X-Men: First Class
  • X-Men: Days Of Future Past
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • X-Men
  • X2
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • The Wolverine
  • Deadpool
  • Deadpool 2
  • The New Mutants
  • Logan

Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, and James McAvoy in X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Where to watch: Starz

First Class is the first movie in the rebooted series. These films act as prequels to the events of the original trilogy. Well, until the timelines change the future, but there’s much more to come on that.

First Class introduces us to a younger Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and adds heft to their relationship. The two leading men’s performances have a gravitational pull that would make a black hole jealous, and instead of souring what comes later in the timeline, it actually just adds pathos. The story is set against the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and depicts the beginning of the X-Men.

James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart in X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

Where to watch: Max

Things are starting to get a bit complicated (already), but bear with us. Days of Future Past — one of the best superhero movies to date, if you’re asking us — is set in 1973 and 2023. This is because Wolverine from 2023, aided by the remaining X-Men during a war against the mutant-hunting Sentinels (played by the actors from the original story), travels to the 1970s to try to correct history and change the future.

He meets young Professor X and Magneto (the McAvoy and Fassbender versions) and succeeds in averting the things that cause the Sentinels to kill most mutants in the future. In the end, Logan wakes up in a different future, having changed crucial events in the past. Most notably, the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, ie. Jean’s (Famke Janssen) death never occurred.

It’s a satisfying ending and a good way to send off the original cast, until Kevin Feige dredges them up for Deadpool 3, presumably.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Where to watch: Starz

This movie technically takes place in 1979, but because Days of Future Past is set before it, we can ascertain that this story’s events were wiped from canon after Wolverine changed the past, like the original trilogy. Sorry fans, who we presume are out there somewhere. We’ve just never met any.

Still, there’s no reason to never watch any of the old timeline’s movies just because a new timeline was created, so we’re including them. This film is bad, and there are much better Wolverine solo outings. If you do watch it, it covers Logan’s time before joining up with Charles in 2000’s X-Men.

Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Apocalypse is the first movie of the newly established timeline created when Wolverine changed things in Days of Future Past. With the new stakes of not knowing what may occur without the original trilogy’s framing, the X-Men face an ancient threat who seeks to rid the Earth of non-mutants.

This one’s a mixed bag, but definitely worth watching for the climactic showdown that saw Sophie Turner’s young Jean Grey flirt with the Phoenix Force for the first time.

Jessica Chastain as Vuk in Dark Phoenix

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

We first saw the Dark Phoenix storyline from Marvel comics (it’s one of the best) adapted in X-Men: The Last Stand, ending in Jean’s death. But remember, we’re in new territory now after Days of Future Past, so all we knew when Dark Phoenix was released in 2019 was that eventually, Jean would end up at Xavier’s School for Gifted Children when Wolverine wakes up in 2023.

That meant there was ample time for some chaos involving the alluring psychic force beckoning Jean. These movies with McAvoy leading the team are now into the ’90s, with this one set in 1992. It has some good ideas, but ultimately the story it uses has never been adapted well, so you should try reading it for the full experience.

X-Men movies in order: Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men

X-Men (2000)

Where to watch: Starz

The OG. This is the original film in the release order (and is also seemingly set in 2000 or thereabout) and introduced the world to the denizens of the X-Mansion, expanding the audience beyond comic readers and fans of the ’90s animated series.

X-Men came out over 20 years ago and we’re still swimming in casting rumors when it comes to these guys popping up in the likes of Secret Wars and Deadpool 3, so fair’s fair, it’s a pop culture centerpiece.

X-Men movies in order: Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler in X-Men 2

X2: X-Men United (2003)

Where to watch: Starz

The second film released and with a title showcasing its status among the best 2000s movies (there’s nothing more early 2k than simply ‘X2’), this might be the best X-Men movie ever made. It has an ahead-of-its-time cold open set in the White House, and expands deeply on the sociopolitical allegory of mutants, referencing racism and homophobia in the subtext.

This really is a fantastic movie. It’s set shortly after the events of the original, so there’s not much complicated time-hopping going on. It’s just a great story, and one absolutely worth revisiting.

X-Men movies in order: James Marsden as Cyclops in X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Things went slightly awry here right at the end of the original trilogy, but it’s not one to skip in your marathon, despite being the weakest of the three (the third is always the worst, as Scott points out in X-Men: Apocalypse).

The Last Stand is the first stab at the Dark Phoenix story in live-action, and while it’s missing a lot of things, it’s still solid enough. The tragic ending of X2 which left the team believing Jean was dead leads right into this finisher, where it’s revealed she’s actually alive but has been taken over by the cosmic entity drawn to her power.

It didn’t do everything right, but unlike the MCU with Wanda Maximoff, it didn’t waste any time utilizing Jean’s untapped potential to the grimmest extent, with her decimating even Professor X at one point.

X-Men movies in order: Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in The Wolverine

The Wolverine (2013)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Like the other original X-Men movies, this one’s setting aligns with its release year, or near it, in the timeline. And honestly, it’s better than you may remember, thanks to James Mangold’s muscular direction. The Japanese setting is a breath of fresh air, and it has a steelier tone and aesthetic that sets it apart.

If Logan is your favored X-Man and you enjoy his clawing fighting style, this one’s worth a whirl. It was never followed up in any real way, but the detour feels a bit like a comic book one-shot.

X-Men movies in order: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool

Deadpool (2016)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Deadpool entered the fray in 2016, and the film is set in the present day. At first, it was unclear if it would have any connection to the X-Men established before.

But there have been cameos in further films and an announcement about Wolverine ahead of Deadpool 3 to clear things up: Deadpool is officially in the MCU.

X-Men movies in order: Zazie Beetz as Domino in Deadpool

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Deadpool 2 is set not long after the first, and even though there is a fun little cameo with the new X-Men seen in Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, it was more of a joke than a proclamation of the timeline we’re in.

This movie is clearly set in the modern day, but the young X-Men still looked as young as they did in Dark Phoenix, which was set in the ’90s, so we probably weren’t meant to take it seriously. Sorry, we’ve over-analyzed that one.

X-Men movies in order: The New Mutants

The New Mutants (2017)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

Despite it taking what seemed like 84 years to come out thanks to production chaos behind the scenes and pandemic-induced delays, The New Mutants takes place in the late 2010s, by our best guesstimate.

It’s not great, but if you’re interested in a horror genre flick fused with mutant powers, you may not hate it. It certainly deserves better than its notorious reputation. There are some cool moments in among all of the rest, but it just has a terrible script. It is apparently set in the Fox universe, but it’s an isolated story.

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Logan (2017)

Where to watch: Disney Plus

A trailer with a bite, a weathered Jackman performance, an ending in a superhero movie that actually had finality, gravitas, and teeth… maybe we were wrong when we said X2 was the best X-Men movie. What a nice problem to have.

Logan does everything most super-powered blockbusters don’t do and was all the better for it. It’s effectively a tale about what the X-Men stand for at their core and how Logan’s tattered soul can’t help but stand up for that one last time. Had this been the last outing for Jackman, it would have been the perfect goodbye.

Logan is set in a bleak future where most of the X-Men have fallen. It’s not exactly canon to the rest of the movies, but if you smudge them all together, it is further ahead than the rest, time-wise.

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How to watch The X-Men movies in release order:

  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine(2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)
  • The New Mutants (2020)

Upcoming X-Men movies:

  • Deadpool 3 (2024)

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman in Deadpool 3

There they are, the best ways to watch the X-Men movies in order, and most of them are on Disney Plus. It’s all a bit of a shambles, really, in terms of continuity, but these films have their merits. And now you have the perfect list to guide you through it all. Thank us later.

Be sure and check out our guide to the X-Men 97 release date. You can also check out everything new on Disney Plus this month, as well as our list of the best movies of all time. (And new movies, too!)

You can also check out how the Deadpool 3 set photos prove how weird that film’s going to be, and see why Hugh Jackman admits that playing Wolverine has damaged him forever.