Few Marvel superheroes have the enduring appeal of the X-Men.

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Not only did they provide one of the first modern superhero on-screen team-ups, but they continue to pop up in other powered beings' films (looking at you, Deadpool & Wolverine) and inspire new storylines.

Their enduring power was further proven with Disney Plus's critically acclaimed animation X-Men '97, a direct continuation of the beloved '90s cartoon – almost 30 years after it ended.

Of course, the mutants are yet to make their MCU debut, though plans are currently in the works and The Marvels certainly set the scene for it, so you might also want to check out how to watch the Marvel movies in order in preparation.

Still, Fox's X-Men films certainly hold a special place in our hearts, even if the genre has come a long way since 2000s X-Men.

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That first introduction of Professor Xavier and his students inspired 11 more films. But the timeline is admittedly a little fuzzy, particularly when you throw the likes of Days of Future Past and Logan into the mix.

Considering all this, what order should you watch the X-Men series in? Well, you’ve got several options.

We've compiled all of them for when you've got some spare hours to kill.

How to watch X-Men movies in release order

Here’s how to watch the X-men movies in order of their cinematic release dates. Although the timeline will be somewhat jumbled, most viewers will be able to understand the overall plot arc. Studio Fox wouldn’t have released the movies in this order if they thought cinemagoers would be left completely miffed.

The X-Men movies by release date order is as follows:

  • 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)
  • The New Mutants (2020)

We asked a panel of pop-culture enthusiasts to share their thoughts on the release of The Marvels this November. Watch the full Marvel versus DC debate show now.

X-Men (2000)

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Sir Patrick Stewart's Professor X and others walking down a lit path
X-Men.

Watch X-Men on Disney Plus

The debut instalment of the X-men franchise introduces audiences to Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), founder of the prestigious Institute for Higher Learning. Attending pupils and students don’t just possess genius-level IQ, though: each wields a special superpower, result of genetic mutation.

The students aren’t the only ones with superpowers – the teachers are also mutants. The telepathic Xavier – or Professor X – joins lightning-summoning Storm (Halle Berry), telekinetic Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Cyclops (James Marsden), a man who fires uncontrollable red beams from his eyes. And, last but certainly not least, there’s the almost invincible Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman.

While this team of superhumans use their powers to protect society, their position is threatened by a gang of rogue mutants led by the metal-manipulating Magneto (Ian McKellen).

X2 (2003)

Hugh Jackman wearing a tank top with his claws out
Hugh Jackman in X2.

Watch X2 on Disney Plus

The events of the first X-Men saw the titular team of heroes battle against Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants, but both sides are forced to form an alliance in the sequel.

Based on the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, X2 sees the ruthless Colonel William Stryker launch a deadly attack on the X-Mansion. The reason? To hijack the mutant-tracking computer Cerebro for his own evil purposes.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Sir Patrick Stewart wearing a grey suit, sitting in a chair
X-Men: The Last Stand. Twentieth Century Fox

Watch X-Men: The Last Stand on Disney Plus

Although the first two X-Men movies focused on virtually the same cast of heroes and villains, The Last Stand threw every mutant possible into the climax to the original trilogy. A real highlight here is the outstandingly ridiculous Juggernaut, played by Vinnie Jones.

However, despite the new cast, one mutant takes centre stage: Jean Grey. Following the classic Dark Phoenix saga of the original comic books, the film sees the telepath struggle to deal with newfound limitless powers.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber tied to posts, screaming
Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. 20th Century Fox

Watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine on Disney Plus

Delving into the backstory of, you guessed it, Wolverine, the action-packed adventure documents Logan’s time with William Stryker and the black ops Team X group. Although criticised for its use of CGI (particularly those godawful computer-generated claws), the movie gives Hugh Jackman a fantastic platform as the franchise’s most popular hero.

Also, another reason to watch: it features the first appearance of Ryan Reynolds's Deadpool. Although not as you know him.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

The cast of X-Men: First Class standing together
X Men: First Class.

Watch X-Men: First Class on Disney Plus

A prequel to the first X-Men movie, the 1960s-set First Class follows the early days of Professor X (now played by James McAvoy) and his then-friend Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Against the backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis, the pair battle the Hellfire Club, led by mutant supremacist (Kevin Bacon) - who’s hell-bent on launching nuclear war.

Significantly, First Class also introduces the Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence to the franchise, the actress playing shapeshifter Mystique.

The Wolverine (2013)

Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine, in a black suit and running
Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine. 20th Century Fox

Watch The Wolverine on Disney Plus

Following the events of The Last Stand, The Wolverine follows the titular mutant as he journeys to Japan to meet an old acquaintance – and deal with the guilt of a close friend’s death.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in Days of Future Past, wearing a purple outfit
Michael Fassbender in Days of Future Past.

Watch X-Men: Days of Future Past on Disney Plus

Arguably the best instalment in the film series, Days of Future Past connects the prequel stars with the franchise’s original cast in this time-bending tale. Starting off in a dystopian 2023, Wolverine (once again played by Jackman) is forced to jump back to 1973 to prevent the rise of an army of evil Sentinels.

Deadpool (2016)

Deadpool
Deadpool.

Watch Deadpool on Disney Plus

Although set in the X-Men universe, this is by no means your average superhero film. Starring Ryan Reynolds as the red-suited merc-with-a-mouth, Deadpool offers a comedic and downright meta twist on the mutant saga.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

The cast of X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse.

Watch X-Men: Apocalypse on Disney Plus

A sequel to Days of Future Past, Apocalypse is set in 1983 and sees Xavier’s band of mutants battle it out against the world's first mutant, played by Oscar Isaac in some very heavy prosthetics. And he’s no easy match, summoning powers of telekinesis and teleportation – plus the ability to change powers of other mutants.

Logan (2017)

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Logan, with cuts on his face and neck
Hugh Jackman in Logan.

Watch Logan on Disney Plus

While Deadpool offered a refreshingly comedic take on the X-Men franchise, Logan goes the opposite direction, serving up a gritty and downright violent tale centred on Wolverine (Jackman). However, he isn’t the indestructible mutant from previous movies: set in 2019, the film portrays an ageing Logan whose powers are fading.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool shooting a gun
Deadpool 2.

Watch Deadpool 2 on Disney Plus

Sequel to Deadpool’s 2016 outing, Deadpool 2 offers more of the same: meta gags aplenty, a stellar performance from Ryan Reynolds and a surprisingly emotional punch. This time the titular hero battles time-travelling cybernetic hero Cable (Josh Brolin), a fight that requires him to form the X-Force – with mixed results.

Dark Phoenix (2019)

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey
Sophie Turner in Dark Phoenix.

Watch Dark Phoenix on Disney Plus

The franchise’s second attempt at portraying the Dark Phoenix saga, the 2019 outing sees Sophie Turner (Sansa from Game of Thrones) take centre stage as a young Jean Grey. Exactly like The Last Stand, her new powers threaten not only her fellow mutants, but the entire planet.

The New Mutants (2020)

Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy in The New Mutants
The New Mutants. FOX

Watch The New Mutants on Disney Plus

After facing delays due to the pandemic, The New Mutants is the latest X-Men release, although it tends to be seen more as a standalone film, mimicking Chris Claremont's original The New Mutants comic run in the 1980s.

Featuring another Game of Thrones star in Maisie Williams (Wolfsbane) alongside Anya Taylor-Joy (Magik) and Charlie Heaton (Cannonball), it sees a young group of mutants locked up in a secret facility which claims it will cure them of their powers.

X-Men movies in chronological order

Although the first three X-Men movies followed a straight linear order, soon the franchise jumps back in time to explore the backstory of Wolverine, arguably the saga’s most successful character. From there the time-hopping is constant, with prequel movie First Class exploring the younger days of Professor X and Magneto, and Days of Future Past splitting the movies into two timelines (more on that below).

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the first X-Men movie

Sounds confusing? That’s because it is. However, there’s an easy way to simplify things: watch the films in chronological order.

And that order looks like…

  1. X-Men: First Class (set in 1962, released in 2011)
  2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (primarily set in 1973, released in 2014)
  3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (set in 1981, released in 2009)
  4. X-Men: Apocalypse (set in 1983, released in 2016)
  5. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (set in 1992, released in 2019)
  6. X-Men (set in 2000, released in 2000)
  7. X2: X-Men United (set in 2003, released in 2003)
  8. X-Men: The Last Stand (set in 2006, released in 2006)
  9. The Wolverine (set in 2013, released in 2013)
  10. Deadpool (set in 2016, released in 2016)​
  11. Deadpool 2 (set 2018, released in 2018)
  12. The New Mutants (set in 2020, released in 2020)
  13. Logan (2029, released in 2017)
Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor X in X-Men: First Class
Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor X in X-Men: First Class.

X-Men movies in dual timeline order

X-Men: Days of Future Past is, according to most of the franchise’s fanbase, the best film of the lot. However, it’s a movie that scrambles the timeline of the entire franchise. Why? Well, it’s complicated.

Days of Future Past kickstarts in a dystopian future of 2023, a time when all X-Men are hunted down by killer robots known as sentinels. In these scenes, the main mutants are played by their original actors – Ian McKellen is Magneto, while Patrick Stewart portrays Professor X.

To ensure their survival, the remaining mutants adopt a drastic plan: launch Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to prevent the genocidal bots from ever existing. How? Logan has to stop the capture of a young shape-shifting Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) by scientists who go on to use her DNA to develop the sentinels.

As you’ve probably guessed by now (SPOILER INCOMING) Wolverine succeeds, with the help of younger versions of Professor X (played by James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

However, by altering the past, Wolverine created two contradicting timelines, which split at 1973. There are now two versions of history: one depicted by the original three X-Men movies, and one by the more recent movies set in the 1980s and early 1990s. Although they contain the same characters, different events occur in each timeline.

Sure, it’s a little perplexing, but these parallel timelines offer viewers two possible binges…

Timeline A

  1. X-Men: First Class (set in 1962, released in 2011)
  2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (primarily set in 1973, released in 2014)
  3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (set in 1981, released in 2009)
  4. X-Men (set in 2000, released in 2000)
  5. X2: X-Men United (set in 2003, released in 2003)
  6. X-Men: The Last Stand (set in 2006, released in 2006)
  7. The Wolverine (set in 2013, released in 2013)

Timeline B

  1. X-Men: First Class (set in 1962, released in 2011)
  2. X-Men: Days of Future Past (primarily set in 1973, released in 2014)
  3. X-Men: Apocalypse (set in 1983, released in 2016)
  4. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (set in 1992, released in 2019)
  5. Deadpool (set in 2016, released in 2016)​
  6. Deadpool 2 (2018, released in 2018)
  7. The New Mutants (set in 2020, released in 2020)
  8. Logan (2029, released in 2017)
Zazie Beetz as Domino, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2
Zazie Beetz as Domino, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2. Fox

Upcoming X-Men movies and TV series

With Disney's acquisition of Fox, X-Men fans are awaiting the inevitable introduction of their favourite mutants into the MCU.

In fact, we've already seen mutants in the MCU, with Professor X making an appearance in an alternate universe during Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.

The Ms Marvel finale also confirmed Kamala Khan's identity as a mutant, potentially tying in The Marvels to the mutant saga.

However, the only upcoming film firmly relating to X-Men is Deadpool 3, set to release in 2024.

Which X-Men movies are on Disney Plus?

As studio Fox is now owned by Disney, you can watch every X-Men movie by subscribing to the streaming service Disney Plus, alongside a handful of other Marvel films created in the same era, including Fantastic Four and Daredevil.

Alongside the X-Men movies, several other X-Men properties are also available on Disney Plus. These include:

  • Legion (TV series, 2017-2019)
  • The Gifted (TV series, 2017-2018)
  • X-Men (Animated TV series, 1992-1996)
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