X-Men Movies in Order: Chronological & Release Date

If you are a fan of the X-Men franchise, you would agree that the timeline revolving around its movies is very confusing, making it difficult to understand the correct order to watch the X-Men movies. There’s a lot of time travel involved, along with quite complex characters who we don’t get to understand with a much greater depth.

X-Men is a movie franchise that brought us the very concept of superhero teams with its first movie titled X-Men in 2000, and it became an instant hit starting off the golden era of superhero movies. In this article, I’m gonna help you understand the concept of the X-Men timeline and how to watch all X-Men movies in order. So let’s dive right into it!

What is the X-Men Timeline?

Out of all the superhero timelines, X-Men movies create the most confusing one. Now, to understand the timeline, let me explain certain aspects of it to you. The X-Men timeline does not follow a singular path but instead diverges into two timelines after Wolverine travels back in time in X-Men: Days of Future Past and prevents the abduction of Mystique.

Now, if the abduction of Mystique is prevented, the events of the X-Men: The Last Stand movie are prevented from happening altogether. This caused the creation of two X-Men movie orders in two distinct timelines namely — Timeline A and Timeline B. Let’s see how you should watch X-Men movies in order as per the two timelines.

Timeline ATimeline B
X-Men First ClassX-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Origins WolverineX-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men X-Men: Dark Phoenix
X2: X Men UnitedDeadpool
X-Men: The Last StandDeadpool 2
The WolverineThe New Mutants
X-Men: Days of Future PastLogan

X-Men Movies Chronological Order in Timeline A

1. X-Men: First Class (set in 1962)

X-Men Movies in Order: Chronological & Release Date
Source: IMDB

Cast- James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jeniffer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz, Lucas Still, Caleb Landry Jones, Edi Gathegi, Jason Flemyng, Álex González
Release Date25 May 2011
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.7/ 86%

X-Men: First Class is the movie that can be called the beginning of everything that has happened in the X-Men universe. To understand what is happening in the world of X-Men, you should definitely watch this movie before anything else.

X-Men: First Class is the movie that introduces us to the reason behind the enmity between Professor X and Magneto and how their relationship turned from an unbreakable brotherlike bond to that of rivals. It also introduces us to the first X-Men team and how a group of mutants came together to serve a noble cause.

2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (set in 1981)

X-Men Movies in Order: Chronological & Release Date
Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schreiber, Lynn Collins, Danny Huston, Tim Pocock, Dominic Monaghan
Release Date1 May 2009
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 6.5/ 38%

Now, in this timeline, Wolverine escaped the facility that gave him the adamantium bones and lives up to the final movie of this timeline, The Wolverine. This movie revolves around the backstory of our beloved Logan and gives us a deeper insight into why he is the way he is.

It was mostly a standalone movie that made us aware of what happened in the life of Wolverine, basically, his origin story. Nothing more, nothing less.

3. X-Men (set in 2000)

X-Men- 2000
Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Jansenne, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Shawn Ashmore
Release Date14 July 2000
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.3/ 82%

X-Men, the first X-Men movie released in 2000, was where it all started. Keep in mind the fact that in this universe, Wolverine has not yet gone back in time and is part of the primary timeline, not the branched timeline that is timeline B.

This was the movie that gave us the most phenomenal casting of Hugh Jackman for the first time. Jackman grew into a fan favorite almost overnight and to date is the first and last choice for fans to play Wolverine. In this movie, we get to see Professor X and his team of X-Men take a stand against Magneto. It was a pretty classic action flick with a star studded cast and is still counted as the OG X-Men movie.

4. X2: X-Men United (set in 2003)

X2: X-Men United
Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Kelly Hu, Rebecca Romijn, Alan Cumming, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Famke Janssen, Brian Cox, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Daniel Cudmore, Steve Bacic
Release Date2 May 2003
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.4/ 85%

X2: X-Men United is to date considered to be one of the best superhero movies to be made. This movie primarily focuses on the character development Wolverine goes through. From being someone who used to work alone and preferred to be alone and in general, didn’t do very well with people, turned out to be a leader.

He took the young students of Xavier’s school under his wing and made it possible for them to rescue Professor X. X2 is very well made and it is the last movie where the timeline is not yet branched.

5. X-Men: The Last Stand (set in 2006)

X-Men: The Last Stand-2006
Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Ian McKellen, Elliot Page, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn, Anna Paquin, Vinnie Jones, Kelsey Grammer, Shawn Ashmore
Release Date26 May 2006
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 6.6/57%

This movie is considered to be one of the most badly directed X-Men movies to date. X-Men: The Last Stand showcases a cure for the mutant gene that is being used without the consent of these mutants to eradicate the whole species altogether one by one.

In the movie, Jean Grey kills Professor X under the heavy corruption of the Dark Phoenix Force. However, in the post-credit scene, we see that before being killed, Professor X transfers his cautiousness to a mindless body in a deep coma. Jean is ultimately killed, bringing an end to the original trilogy of X-Men.

6. The Wolverine (set in 2013)

The Wolverine-2013
Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee
Release Date26 July 2013
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 6.7/ 71%

Released in 2013, this is the final standalone Wolverine movie in this timeline where Jean Grey is dead and Wolverine is mourning her. He is called upon by his old WW2 friend, whom he saved from dying during the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki seeking Wolverine’s help from an imminent threat hanging over the head of his tech company.

However, the truth is quite different than that. The only relation this movie has with timeline A is Wolverine is shown mourning for Jean’s death. The Wolverine was a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand.

7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (set in 2023)

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Source: IMDB

Cast- James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Jeniffer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Josh Helman
Release Date23 May 2014
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.9/90%

This movie is what you would call the point from where the whole X-Men timeline completely changed. It revolves around Wolverine who sends his cautiousness back in time to his younger self from an apocalyptic future in 2023 where sentinels are hunting down mutants.

He came back in time to make sure Mystique’s abduction was prevented so the sentinels could never be made using her DNA. Wolverine alters the timeline in the movie and makes a whole new timeline. That is, the timeline B. Now you must understand that timeline A is our primary timeline because the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past did happen here. It is the reason why Wolverine traveled back in time in the first place. Quite complicated, I know.

X-Men Movies Chronological Order in Timeline B

Now if we talk about Timeline B, the initial event is similar to Timeline A, that is the events of X-Men: First Class. But after the pivotal movie that is X-Men Days of Future Past, everything changes in this timeline. Now you must be wondering how, so keep reading and be ready to have your mind blown.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (set in 1973)

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Source: IMDB

Cast- James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Jeniffer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Josh Helman
Release Date23 May 2014
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.9/90%

As we mentioned above, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a movie that acts as the point from where Timeline B branched out when a younger Wolverine along with Professor X and Beast set out on an adventure to save Mystique from getting captured and change the past for good.

This slight change caused a whole new series of events because if Mystique had never been captured, the sentinels would never have been created using her DNA. Hence, in this timeline, the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2023, will never happen. However, another major change happens in this timeline. Wolverine never escapes like he did in X-Men Origins and is successfully kept prisoner as Weapon X. Crazy, right?

2. X-Men: Apocalypse (set in 1983)

X-Men: Apocalypse
Source: IMDB

Cast- James McAvoy, Oscar Issac, Sophie Turner, Evan Peters, Olivia Munn, Jeniffer Lawrence, Alexandra Shipp, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan
Release Date 27 May 2016
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 6.9/ 47%

In this timeline, the X-Men stand against an ancient God-like mutant called Apocalypse who has come to life after 5000 years and is hell-bent on the destruction of the world. Here, he recruits mutants like Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) to be his 4 horsemen turning them against Professor X and his team of X-Men. This movie was largely based on Professor X but also shows us a small tease for the upcoming Dark Phoenix when we see Jean slowly getting stronger by the Dark Phoenix force.

Another important detail of this movie is we get to see Jackman’s Wolverine still being held captive as Weapon X who escaped the facility in front of Jean, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops. The thing to note here is the fact that X-Men Origins: Wolverine never happened in this universe.

When Wolverine travels back in time to his younger self, the year is 1973 and he has not yet gone through the Adamantium experiment. In this timeline, he was never able to escape the facility and now when he does, he never joins the X-Men during the events we see in the movies. He might have joined them later on after the events of Dark Phoenix. Yes, Old Man Logan is none other than the same Weapon X that escapes the facility in Apocalypse.

3. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (set in 1992)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Source: IMDB

Cast- Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Tye Sheridan, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp
Release Date7 June 2019
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 5.7/ 22%

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is like an unchangeable event on the timeline. The movie shows us a Jean who is completely corrupted by the Dark Phoenix Force which causes Professor X’s mental barrier to break bringing back all of Jean’s trauma at once. She completely loses control over her powers and even kills Mystique.

Jean Grey dies in this movie and it seems as if her death is inevitable, no matter the timeline. With this movie, the X-Men saga came to an end, and we are yet to see a future project with the official X-Men title.

4. Deadpool (set in 2016)

Source: IMDB

Cast- Ryan Reynolds, Karan Soni, Ed Skrein, Michael Benyaer, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, Morena Baccarin
Release Date12 February 2016
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 8/ 85%

Deadpool might be the first movie after Dark Phoenix where we got to see a whole array of mutants, including two members of the official X-Men team, Colossus and Megasonic Teenage Warhead. The movie centers around our favorite R-rated hero, Deadpool who himself is a mutant.

Deadpool is not directly linked to the previous X-Men movies but it seems that it happens in the same universe, since Deadpool is aware of everything that has happened in the X-Men universe.

5. Deadpool 2 (set in 2018)

Deadpool 2
Source: IMDB

Cast- Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Fred Savage, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Shioli Kutsuna, Stefan Kapičić, Karan Soni, Leslie Uggams, Terry Crews, Jack Kesy, Eddie Marsan, Rob Delaney, Bill Skarsgård, Lewis Tan, Brad Pitt
Release Date1 May 2018
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 7.6/ 84%

Deadpool 2 expands the universe of mutants when we see Deadpool trying to protect a kid who is being hunted by a time-traveling Cable. We see an array of other mutants and a much deeper look into the X-Men mansion.

Deadpool 2 is again a fun watch where we witness a lot of A-rated humor and funny action sequences. However, as far as I feel, this movie had the sole purpose of introducing Deadpool to time travel setting up Deadpool 3.

6. The New Mutants (set in 2020)

The New Mutants
Source: IMDB

Cast- Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga, Dustin Ceithamer
Release Date28 August 2020
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 5.3/ 36%

The New Mutants was a spinoff set in the year 2020 and had no direct relation to previous X-Men titles. This movie was initially supposed to be a three-movie trilogy but before it could happen, the MCU decided to introduce the X-Men in their cinematic universe. On top of that, this movie was not well received by the audience creating a very bleak chance of the trilogy being successful in the long run.

7. Logan (Set in 2029)

Source: IMDB

Cast- Hugh Jackman, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Patrick Stewart, Stephan Merchant, Richard E.Grant
Release Date3 March 2017
IMDB/ Rotten Tomatoes- 8.1/ 94%

Logan was the final appearance of Jackman as Wolverine but here’s the interesting part. In this movie, Wolverine is the same Weapon X that ran away from the facility in X-Men: Apocalypse. Now you might ask, how did he come across Professor X if he never joined the X-Men in this timeline? Well, he did join the X-Men in this timeline but after the events of Dark Phoenix, which we never get to witness on screen.

X-Men Movies Release Date Order

Now, if you don’t want to get into all of that timeline confusion and would like to watch X-Men movies in just the release date order, refer to the table below!

MovieRelease Date
X-Men14 July 2000
X2: X-Men United3 May 2003
X-Men: The Last Stand26 May 2006
X-Men Origins: Wolverine1 May 2009
X-Men: First Class25 May 2011
The Wolverine26 July 2013
X-Men: Days of Future Past23 May 2014
Deadpool12 February 2016
X-Men: Apocalypse27 May 2016
Logan3 March 2017
Deadpool 218 May 2018
X-Men: Dark Phoenix7 July 2019
The New Mutants28 August 2020

Upcoming X-Men Movies

It has been a while since we’ve seen anything related to mutants on screen from Marvel. The last thing based in the X-Men universe was Deadpool and Deadpool 2 and if we believe the leaks and rumors around the upcoming Deadpool 3, The X-Men and Mutants are coming back to our screens.

Honestly, we saw this coming when Marvel decided to include Professor Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange 2 as a member of the Illuminati, proving that the X-Men might still exist in both alternate realities. Wherever the mutant verse goes in the future, we’ll be here to witness it but till then, cherish the glorious past of X-Men and binge on!

comment Comments 0
Leave a Reply