Brian Cronin is a true gentleman for compiling this and I respect the heck out of that guy.
Here is the list:
50. Phalanx Covenant Only read the Excalibur portion of this, Life Signs
49. Trial of Magneto Magneto in France, takes over the New Mutants and joins the X-Men
48. Wounded Wolf Solo Wolverine tale
47. Magik Where Illyanan becomes the character she is today
46. I, Magneto Awesome Magneto battle, he believes he kills Kitty and realizes he is a monster
45. In the Shadow of … Sauron Classic X-Men
44. Imperial Morrison
43. World Tour Half of the X-Men believe the other half are dead, leads to Proteus Saga
42. An Age Undreamed Of Never quite “got” this story, a fun alternate history story, reminds me of Busiek/Perez’s first Avengers arc
41. Rise and Fall of the Shi-Ar Empire Skipped this, don’t care for the X-Men in space. Shame we lost Nightcrawler and Rachel for a year for this
40. Professor Xavier is a Jerk! Classic Paul Smith! Kitty earning her role on the X-Men.
39. House of M Kitty doesn’t play a huge role but I like that in that timeline, she became a teacher.
38. Earthfall Sequel to the Brood Saga
37. From the Ashes The two part Mastermind epic, by Paul Smith
36. He’ll Never Make Me Cry Colossus breaks up with Kitty and Wolverine gets Juggernaut to beat the crap out of him
35. Blood Fued Dracula vs the X-Men! Storm and Kitty in the Mutant X universe are based on if this went wrong
34. The Rise of the Phoenix The precursor of the Dark Phoenix Saga
33. A Green and Pleasant Land
32. Here Comes Tomorrow Morrison
31. Second Coming Nightcrawler dies in this
30. X-Tinction Agenda
29. SuperNovas Mike Carey!
27. X-Cutioner’s Song
26. Torn Whedon’s best arc and can’t believe it’s the lowest of the ranked. Danger did not make the list
25. Mutant Genesis Claremont’s farewell to the X-Men
24. Dancin’ in the Dark The Morlocks’ origins done by Paul Smith
23. Demon John Bryne’s final issue of his legendary run. Kitty Pryde is put to a test that she has to pass, such a great issue. I own this as a novelized Marvel Chiller
22. Magneto Triumphant
21. LifeDeath Storm solo
20. Planet X Morrison, probably my favorite until Marvel undid everything about it. Magneto on a grand stage and this is the last time Jean died, and she remains dead to this day. I’m sure that’s the only lasting effect to Morrison’s run now that I think of it.
19. The Sentinel Live! Classic X-Men
18. Second Genesis The All New All Different team, first apperances of Nightcrawler, Storm, Illyana – which is why I own it for her. I really need to find that short box and see if I own a first edition or not, it was like $30 on eBay and in a “readable” condition, so I doubt its first edition but I am curious to figure it out
17. Riot at Xavier’s Morrison
16. The Brood Saga Starts with Cockrum and ends with Paul Smith, probably the only time I liked the X-Men in space.
15. Fatal Attractions Magneto rips out Wolverine’s adamantium
14. Fall of the Mutants So many characters are changed, Doug dies and Angel becomes Archangel
13. Asgardian Wars People usually just think about the Art Adams two parter but there is an X-Men/Alpha Flight mini that sets it up drawn by Paul Smith
12. Messiah Complex Kitty is barely in this but its Hope Summers’ first appearance
11. Inferno The storyline that cost us both Maddie Pryor and Illyana Rasputin
10. The Proteus Saga The storyline that takes place right before Dark Phoenix Saga
9. Unstoppable A decent story, X-Men in space, Cassaday gets to draw most people’s favorite Marvel characters. The ending was rough for the three years she was stranded, until Matt Fraction corrected it
8. To Have and Have Not Paul Smith, Wolverine’s failed wedding, Storm gets 80s
7. Mutant Massacre Kitty and Kurt get so hurt they are sent to England, Excalibur is born later
6. Gifted Whedon’s first arc, put Kitty Pryde back on the map.
5. E is for Extinction Morrison’s first arc, Emma joins the team proper
4. God Loves, Man Kills Amazing story, basis of X2, really wish they kept it religious instead of military for the movie. Has more punch that way.
3. Age of Apocalypse This gave the world Kitty Pryde with an extreme edge that I really dug. My disdain for Colossus starts with this
2. Days of Future Past Two part story that changed X-Men forever. Time travel and alternate timelines, plus they come back to this so much. Battle of the Atom future X-Men are from this, the next X-Men movie uses this as an inspiration
1. Dark Phoenix Saga Kitty’s first appearance and Emma Frost’s first appearance. Kitty never meets the real Jean Grey until so many years later.