All the X-Men movies in order – full timeline and where to watch them

From First Class, to Deadpool and Logan, here's the best way to watch the mutant movies with Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence.

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x-men-films

Fun fact: the modern superhero boom wasn’t sparked by Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. In fact, 12 years before The Avengers assembled into their first blockbuster in 2012, Fox’s debut X-Men film first proved the potential of a comic-book team-up, the movie not only finding critical acclaim, but also kick-starting a hit franchise.

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Since then Professor Xavier’s band of super-powered mutants have starred in 11 further big-screen outings, often facing the forces of Magneto’s misguided Brotherhood of Mutants. And in the process, they’ve gifted us some of the most beloved characters in cinema, from Hugh Jackman’s adamantium-clawed Wolverine, to merc with a mouth Deadpool (ignoring the Origins: Wolverine one, obviously).

And now with the launch of Disney Plus in the UK, it’s the perfect time for an X-Men marathon, many of the titles available on the service. You can sign up with a seven-day trial or subscribe for £59.99 annually or £5.99 monthly.

However, these movies aren’t the most straightforward to binge. From prequels, soft-reboots, spin-offs and whatever on earth Days of Future Past counts as, the X-men chronology is by no means linear.

Considering all this, what order should you watch the series in? Well, you’ve got several options. We’ve compiled all your options for when you’ve got some spare hours to kill.

X-Men movies in release order

Here’s how to watch the X-men movies in chronological order, from the dates they were released in cinemas. 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 of they thought cinemagoers would be left completely miffed.

X-Men (2000)

X-Men
(L-R): Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Cyclops (James Marsden), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Storm (Halle Berry)

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The debut instalment of the X-men franchise introduces audiences to Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), founder and 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 one 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)

X2 X-men United

Watch X2 on Disney Plus

The events of the first X-Men saw the titular team of mutants 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 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)

X-Men: The Last Stand
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)

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 document’s 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’ Deadpool. Although not as you know him.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

X Men First Class,Sky Movies
X Men First Class

Watch X-Men: First Class on NOW TV

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). In 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 (2013)
20th Century Fox

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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)

X-Men: Days of Future Past

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

Arguably the best instalment of 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 2

Rent Deadpool on Amazon Prime Video

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 (20th Century Fox, HF)

Rent X-Men: Apocalypse on Amazon Prime Video

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/Logan in Logan (20th Century Fox, HF)

Rent Logan on Amazon Prime Video

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-2

Rent Deadpool 2 on Amazon Prime Video

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)

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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

(released delayed to the coronavirus crisis)

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 (2018, released in 2018)
  12. 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 where 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? Young 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. Logan (2029, released in 2017)
Zazie Beetz as Domino, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 (20th Century Fox, HF)
Zazie Beetz as Domino, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2 

Which X-Men movies are on Disney Plus?

As studio Fox is now owned by Disney, you can watch some X-Men movies by subscribing to streaming service Disney Plus. You can see which movies are available to watch on the platform below.

  • X-Men
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • The Wolverine

Wondering what to watch on Disney Plus? Take a look at our best Disney Plus series guide or the best movies on Disney Plus.

Where can I watch the other X-Men movies?

Unfortunately, thanks to previous licence deals, not all X-Men titles are available in one place.

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  • X-Men: First Class – available to watch on NOW TV
  • Deadpool – not currently available on a subscriptions service. But available to rent on Amazon.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse – not currently available on a subscriptions service. But available to rent on Amazon.
  • Logan – not currently available on a subscriptions service. But available to rent on Amazon.
  • Deadpool 2 – not currently available on a subscriptions service. But available to buy on Amazon
  • Dark Phoenix – not currently available on a subscriptions service. But available to buy on Amazon.
If you’re looking for something to watch on TV tonight or what to watch now then check out our TV guide.