Throughout its whopping 25-year run, The X-Files delighted, transfixed, and traumatised audiences with its imaginative stories, intriguing characters, and gruesome monsters. Led by FBI Agents Mulder and Scully (then later, Doggett and Reyes), The X-Files was not only a damn good television show, it was also a smash hit – becoming appointment TV during its heyday in the 1990s.
But the show didn’t just exist in the ‘90s, and wasn’t just confined to television screens. During its run The X-Files also clocked up two feature-length movies, as well as a belated follow-up series.
The good news is that both movies and all of the episodes – all 218 of them – are part of the same timeline. The bad news is, if you’re new to the series you may not know what order to watch everything in.
But don’t worry, in this post I aim to uncomplicate things. Below you will find a list of all the series and movies in order, to help you out.
Explaining The X-Files
Before I get to the list, let me provide you with a quick explanation about the production order of the series and movies, to help you better understand the show.
The X-Files first hit screens in 1993, where it became an instant global success. From here, the show ran continuously for five seasons until 1998.
In 1998, due to the popularity of the series worldwide, The X-Files received its first big screen adventure in the form of a film called, The X-Files (1998) aka X-Files: Fight the Future. The movie hit cinema screens during summer 1998, shortly after the conclusion of the fifth season.
In the winter of 1998, and following on from the events of the movie, The X-Files TV show returned to television screens for its sixth season. It ran continuously for four seasons until it concluded with its ninth season in summer 2001.
From this point on, the show was effectively over and there was no new content for seven years. However, due to continued interest in the property (strong VHS and DVD sales etc), The X-Files was revived for a second feature-length movie, called The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe arrived in cinemas during summer 2008. The film was set years after the events of the series as a standalone tale, and at the time of its release was essentially the end of The X-Files (again).
For the next eight years, The X-Files maintained its loyal fan-base and continued to sell well on Blu-ray and digital platforms. As a result of the ongoing interest in the original series, the show was revived for a one-off ‘event’ series.
The ‘event’ series (aka Season 10), aired in 2016 and received strong viewing figures. Because of how well it performed with viewers, Season 10 was followed in 2018 by an 11th season, which once again brought The X-Files to a close.
The X-Files in order
If you plan to watch The X-Files for the first time, or you are revisiting it after a long period of absence, here is a list of the all the seasons and movies in timeline order.
- The X-Files Season 1 (1993)
- The X-Files Season 2 (1994)
- The X-Files Season 3 (1995)
- The X-Files Season 4 (1996)
- The X-Files Season 5 (1997)
- The X-Files Movie (aka The X-Files: Fight the Future) (1998)
- The X-Files Season 6 (1998)
- The X-Files Season 7 (1999)
- The X-Files Season 8 (2000)
- The X-Files Season 9 (2001)
- The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
- The X-Files Season 10 (2016)
- The X-Files Season 11 (2018)
If you watch the show/movies in this order, you will follow the show from start to finish and not miss out on anything.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read about the viewing order of The X-Files – I hope it helps you on your journey with Mulder and Scully. For more X-Files-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
- What are the best episodes of The X-Files?
- The X-Files Barbie® Dolls from Mattel
- Review: The X-Files finale