While some movie series are easy to follow, this isn’t the case with the Marvel X-Men movies. The story’s timeline wasn’t given the proper attention when these movies were made. In other words, the timeline of the X-Men storyline isn’t the same as the chronological order of the movies. So, if you watch the X-Men movies by release date, there is much of the story that you won’t understand. For example, the relationship between Magneto and Professor X is a critical part of the plot. If you understand this at the beginning, you’ll enjoy the story even more. This relationship is explained in X-Men: First Class, which is the fourth X-Men movie. The following is the correct order of the Marvel X-Men Movies, regardless of their release date. If you watch them in this order, the mutant brawl will make more sense!
This movie takes place back in the 1960s, during the height of the cold war between the USA and former USSR. In First Class, young Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr join forces to stop the Cold War and potentially, nuclear Armageddon. By the end of the movie, the gap between their views on mutant-human relationships become obvious. This movie will help you understand the feud between Professor X and Magneto, which is a major part of the plot.
This is a great movie to watch when you’re getting started with X-Men movies, as it covers the story of Wolverine. This includes getting adamantium bonded to his skeleton and how he lost his memory. Since Wolverine is a key character in the Marvel X-Men movies it, we recommend watching this movie right after First Class. Also, Origins takes place in the 70s, so it makes sense chronologically to watch it after First Class.
In 2023, humans have developed a plan to wipe out all mutants from existence. They created A Sentinels army that hunted mutants down to the edge of extinction. After that, the sentinel army turned on humans as well. To prevent this future, Professor X sends Wolverine to the past (1973) to change the course of history.
At this point in the X-Men storyline, ordinary people know what mutants. And you’ve guessed, they’re discriminated against. This movie is where the first major clash between the X-Men and the Brotherhood takes place. On one side, Magneto’s Brotherhood despises humans and wants to exterminate them. On the other side, Professor X’s pacifist X-Men want to give peace a chance.
Colonel William Stryker -who gave Wolverine the adamantium in the Origins Movie- attacks Professor X’s mutants school and captures most of the students. This happened after the Brotherhood attempted to assassinate the president. To stop Stryker and free the captured mutants, Wolverine and the X-Men have to work with their archenemy, Magneto.
Jean Grey is one of the few Omega-level (class 5) mutants. This movie sheds the light on her background story and how she became the Phoenix. Jean plays a major role in the next movie, so it’s recommended that you know her story before watching it.
In the height of the anti-mutant sentiments, scientists discover a “cure” for the mutant gene. When applied to any mutant, they lose their mutant powers and become regular people. Unpleased by this escalation, Magneto declares war on humans and their so-called cure. This leads to an all-out battle between the X-Men and the Brotherhood. Jean Gey plays a major role in this mutant war.
Once again, Professor X leads his X-Men to save the world from a terrible danger. Needless to say, this is a pretty common theme in the Marvel X-Men movies. Anyways, Apocalypse takes place in the 80s, where the X-Men face an ancient mutant with unlimited powers. After thousands of years in hibernation, En Sabah Nur is back to destroy humanity and create a new world order.
Logan gets an invitation to visit Japan by a soldier he saved his life during the Nagasaki bombing in World War II. During his visit, Wolverine finds himself in a fight that includes Samurai, Yakuza and killer robots (lots of slashing involved!). In this movie, Wolverine rediscovers the healing factor that grants him near-immortality status and becomes even stronger.
The days of taking the mutants head-on are now over. In 2029, the government succeeds in drastically reducing the mutant population. Using genetically-modified crops that suppress the X genes, mutants are almost extinct. The X-Men are disbanded, Logan lost most of his healing powers and Professor X is an aging man who needs care. In this movie, Wolverine finds himself face-to-face with a little girl who shares his DNA. Putting his remaining powers to good use, Logan decides to help the girl -Laura- escape the corporate mercenaries hunting her.
Marvel X-Men Movies: Frequently Asked Questions
Is Deadpool one of the X-Men?
No. Deadpool -Wade Winston Wilson- is a part of the Marvel X-Men Universe and has mutant powers. However, he isn’t a member of Charles Xavier’s X-men or Erik Lehnsherr’s Brotherhood. In fact, Deadpool did fight Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. If you’re familiar with the Deadpool storyline, you know that he was subjected to torture and cruel scientific experiments. This transformed him from a normal mercenary to the anti-hero, Deadpool. Asides from the healing factor and adamantium, Deadpool and Wolverine have something else in common: William Stryker. This anti-mutant is one thing that both Wolverine and Deadpool would love to tear apart!
Are X-Men and The Avengers in the same universe?
Yes. X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk, Deadpool, Spider-Man and all the other Marvel characters are in the same universe.
Do I have to watch all the Marvel X-Men Movies to follow the story?
Not really. The stories of the movies aren’t that based on each other. However, if you watch them all in the order we specified, you’ll find them to be better connected.
Do the Marvel X-Men movies and comics have the same storyline?
Not exactly. While the movies take many elements from the comics, there are some differences. For example, in the comics version of Days of Future Past, it wasn’t Wolverine who was sent back in time. It was Kitty Pryde, with the help of another telekinetic mutant named Rachel Summers. While the story might be the same, differences like this do exist. If you’re a Marvel fan, make sure to check out our must-have Marvel Funk Pops list!