A while back before the release of X-Men: Apocalypse I sat down and watched every single X-Men film put to the big screen (not all in one sitting of course). While watching the films I ranked them all in order from best to worst. This list is only for the main canon so Deadpool will not be included.
(Update) This list has been updated to include Logan and will continue to be updated in the future with the addition of more X-Men films to the main canon.
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Rogue Cut) (2015)
This is by far my number one pick of the films and the one I will reach for most often. I specified the “Rogue Cut” because it adds in plot elements I feel enhance the film and doesn’t add too much to the runtime, thus making it the preferred version for viewing. I gave this film the top spot because the story, blend of old and new characters, and overall production design is simply marvelous. Waiting 16 years for this film is absolutely worth it even if we had to slog through the mess of some of the films on this list.
2. X-Men: First Class (2011)
This was a close competitor for the number #1 spot, because the performances, story, and action are just superb.
3. X2: X-Men United (2003)
When I was a child this film scared the crud out of me. Revisiting it as an adult helped me see this is a great superhero film with a solid plot and really upped the ante the first one brought.
4. Logan (2017)
The third Wolverine movie packs a massive punch. It has heart, extreme violence, great characters, and an intriguing plot. This is the most down-to-earth X-Men film and the hardest to watch due to the sad nature of what the two beloved remaining X-Men have become. The movie suffers from some pacing issues towards the middle, but otherwise it is a solid addition to the franchise that at times doesn’t even feel like an X-Men film.
5. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Sadly the third installment in the second trilogy didn’t impress me like I hoped it would. The film feels far too long and sadly not a whole lot happens or at least not what I was hoping to happen. Due to story and pacing issues that disappointed me, this film will be hard for me to justify reaching for on my shelf that often. I still enjoyed the new characters and it was well done in parts.
6. X-Men (2000)
Does this surprise you? It may. The original X-Men is fun and just fine. It debuted in 2000 which means there’s been ample time for sequels to one-up the original and I do feel that is exactly what’s happened. In the later films the actors have grown into their characters, the stories have been beefed up along with the visual effects. It’s definitely still one I’ll watch, just not as often as those above it.
The films below this line are not that great and one in particular is plain bad. It will be a rare day when I reach for that one.
7. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
I appreciate what the new director tried to do and yes it would be hard taking over someone else’s vision for the capstone to a trilogy so this film was clearly going to have issues before it was released. The plot is far too muddled, almost to the point of being not salvageable. That being said, the action is pretty good towards the end and it does introduce some new X-Men characters fans had been wanting to see (When I was young I had a classic Juggernaut action figure so I was happy to see him in the movie even though it’s not the best portrayal) so it has those things going for it. A major issue with this film is that it introduces some horrendous continuity issues that left most audiences members (myself included) scratching their heads, confused out of their minds, and not caring to find out what the heck is going on.
8. The Wolverine (2013)
From a technical standpoint this film is quite well done. From a story standpoint it’s interesting until it isn’t. Honestly, it’s really just an odd film in general. Personally, I feel it doesn’t fit into the X-Men franchise very well. Still, this film is miles ahead of it’s ugly red-headed step child sitting below it. Thankfully the sequel redeemed ‘The Wolverine Trilogy’ in a big way.
9. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Most of you will hopefully know this…this film is just downright bad. The dialogue is horribly plain, the acting is off and the story is off its rocker. There are a few good action scenes but nothing worth sitting through an hour and a half to watch. Plus MORE continuity errors that are better off forgotten.