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What Is The Best Order To Watch The X-Men Movies?

The first X-Men movie was released in 2000

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With the arrival of 2020, the X-Men Cinematic Universe is officially 20 years old. The first X-Men movie was released all the way back in 2000 and concluded with the Sophie Turner starred Dark Phoneix. However, with Marvel acquiring the rights to the X-Men, fans can be sure of seeing the X-Men in action again.  While the X-Men movies are fun to watch, their timelines can get quite jumbled at times. It takes a severe amount of concentration or the right viewing order to fully grasp the storylines. Though we can’t help you with the first, we can certainly help you sort the X Men movies in an order that best explains the story while not giving away too many spoilers.

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We have compiled a watching order for the X-Men movies that can fit all the puzzle pieces together without giving away any major plot twists. However, since we will be discussing the films there might be a few spoilers on our list. If you wish to avoid any spoilers about the movies, jump to the end of the article to view the two X-Men movie watching orders.

X-Men Movies In Chronological Order

X-Men: First Class (2011)

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Although X-Men: First Class is the fifth X-Men film by Fox, it contains the origin stories of some of the most important characters in the X-Men Cinematic Universe. This is why it should be the first of X-Men movies in the watching order. X-Men: First Class follows the journey of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr as they transform into Professor X and Magneto.

The film is based in 1962 with Kevin Bacon taking on the role of antagonist Sebastian Shaw who wants to ignite a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union. This film works perfectly as an introduction to the X-Men movies and should be the first film in chronological viewing order.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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Set in the dystopian future of 2023, X-Men: Days of Future Past captures a time where mutants are murdered mercilessly by Sentinels. In the present, Kitty Pryde teleports Wolverine to the past to prevent Mystique from murdering Bolivar Trask who would go on to invent the Sentinels.

While not the best of the X-Men series, it is an important movie to understand the order of things in the X-Men movies.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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X-Men Origins: Wolverine was massively panned when it came out and with good reason. It is the weakest of the X-Men offerings. However, it sheds light on the life of Wolverine making it an important part of the chronological watch order for X-Men movies. It reveals the history of Logan’s childhood in the 1840s and his time in the army alongside his brother Victor Creed. Since they are both nearly indestructible, they run through every American war with ease. The movie also reveals how the two brothers end up on different sides of a fight when they’re recruited by William Stryker to join Team X.

Besides revealing Wolverine’s past though, the movie adds little to the viewer’s cinematic experience. It also has one of the worse botch ups of a superhero in movie history in the form of Deadpool (second to Green Lantern, which also coincidentally stars Ryan Reynolds). The Merc with a Mouth has his mouth taped shut in this installment and is disposed of quickly by Logan and Creed. Thankfully, Deadpool was revived in a spectacular fashion.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

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Apocalypse is the first mutant who was buried in ancient Egypt and escapes his prison in 1983. He amasses his team of mutants, The Four Horsemen, to destroy the world. Charles Xavier and the X-Men defend the earth against the all-powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur, who intends to thrive through bringing destruction to the world. X-Men: Apocalypse received a mixed reception with criticism being heaped on the movies over-reliance on CGI as well as its formulaic approach.

Dark Phoenix (2019)

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Dark Phoenix was the final X-Men film by 20th Century Fox and the end of the original X-Men saga. In the movie, the X-Men are now revered heroes after their defeat of Apocalypse. They are sent into space but things go awry and Phoenix’s powers are multiplied causing her to revisit the traumatic memories suppressed by Professor X.

As X-Men: Days of Future Past erased the events of X-Men: The Last Stand from the series’ timeline, the story of Phoenix had to be rewritten. Watch this movie to complete the X-Men movies chronological order. However, do not go in with high hopes. The movie offers a lukewarm conclusion to a franchise that started out red hot but couldn’t maintain the momentum.

X-Men (2000)

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X-Men is where it all began. Fans of the X-Men franchise cannot go back and watch this movie without a hint of nostalgia. This is where the X-Men series started out with arguably their best casting to date. Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Ian McKellan as Magneto work magnificently well, portraying old friends on opposite sides of a debate. The debate is over the Mutant Registration Act that requires all mutants to reveal themselves to the government. While Magneto wants to turn the world’s leaders into mutants, Professor X believes that non-mutants can be won over by communication.

X2 (2003)

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X2 was the second installment in the X-Men movies order and the sequel to X-Men. The movie’s plot was inspired by the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills. The story revolves around Colonel William Stryker and his plans to eliminate mutants. Stryker leads an attack on Professor Xavier’s school to construct his own version of Xavier’s mutant-tracking computer Cerebro. This forces the X-Men to team up with their former enemies, the Brotherhood of Mutants in order to stop Stryker and save the mutants from extinction.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

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X-Men: The Last Stand was erased from the X-Men timeline by the events that occur in X-Men: Days of Future so this is not strictly relevant to the main plot. However, it is still the conclusion to the original X-Men trilogy and an important movie in the X-Men movies chronology.

The movie focuses on a mutant cure being marketed by Worthington Labs. It creates an instant divide between the mutant population as some mutants want to get rid of their powers while others are offended by their mutation being treated as a sickness. In addition, Jean Grey also comes to life after her sacrifice in X2. However, the X-Men soon discover that it is not the same Jean Grey that they know. Her death ar Alkali Lake has unleashed the long-repressed Phoenix side of her.

The Wolverine (2013)

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The Wolverine sees a reclusive Logan who is dealing with the events of The Last Stand where he ends up killing the love of his life, Jean Grey. Yukio finds Logan and asks him to meet Ichiro Yashida. Yashida was saved by Wolverine during the Nagasaki atomic bombing. The movie sees Logan struggling with guilt over Jean’s death while he is weaker than ever before as he has been stripped of his healing factor.

Deadpool (2016)

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Deadpool single-handedly revived a Superhero that X-Men Origins: Wolverine buried alive. The Merc with a Mouth returned in 2016 in a completely revamped look. However, since the movie does make references to the X-Men timeline and exists within the same universe, it has to be included in the chronological order of the X-Men films.

Deadpool retells the story of mercenary Wade Wilson and his quirky love story with Vanessa. Sadly, things do not go their way as Wade learns that he has terminal cancer soon after their engagement. This prompts Wade to leave Vanessa to spare her the suffering while he enrolls in an experimental program to awaken his dormant mutant genes.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

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Deadpool 2 has the Merc with a Mouth forming his own team of Superheros called the X-Force. He teams up with Domino, Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and Peter to stop Cable from killing a young mutant named Russel Collins. It turns out that Russel kills Cable’s family in the future and so the time-traveling soldier is coming to kill the young mutant once and for all.

Logan (2017)

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Logan is Hugh Jackman’s swan song as the adamantium clawed Wolverine. The movie takes its inspiration from ‘Old Man Logan’ by Mark Miller and Steve McNiven. The story is based in 2029 where Logan has age and is living out his days as a limo driver. The mutants are all gone and haven’t been seen for 25 years. Logan’s mutant powers have also faded with age and he is left to care of Charles Xavier. The once-powerful Professor X is now a frail 90-year-old suffering from dementia. However, the world as they know it is turned upside down when a young mutant named Laura comes under attack by the Reavers. Laura has powers that are strikingly similar to Logan.

X-Men movies in chronological order

This is the chronological order as listed above.

  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Dark Phoenix (2019)
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2 (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • Logan (2017)

X-Men movies in order of release

  • X-Men (2000)
  • X2 (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)
  • Logan (2017)
  • Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • Dark Phoenix (2019)

ALSO READ: The Perfect Order To Watch 22 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Movies

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