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THE X-FILES, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny

(Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection)

The X-Files Seasons Ranked by Tomatometer

Classic sci-fi/horror series The X-Files celebrates its 30th anniversary on September 10, so we decided to have a look back at the series season-by-season by Tomatometer. Created by Chris Carter and starring Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, the series originally ran for nine seasons from 1993 to 2001 and was revived for two more seasons in 2016. The series told the story of a team of FBI special agents — Mulder, a believer in aliens and supernatural phenomenon, and Scully, a scientist and skeptic — assigned to “investigate unexplained, mind-bending cases.”

Of the 11 seasons, all are Fresh except for 2001’s season 9, and only the first and the last seasons are Certified Fresh. Seasons 1, 10, and 11 are the only ones with more than 10 reviews making up their Tomatometer scores, so it’s worth keeping in mind, for instance, when considering that season 4 tops the list with a 100% score on only six reviews. The series was nominated for 12 Emmys for the season, however, including Outstanding Drama Series Emmy, and Anderson won her first Emmy — for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series — that year. Season 4 also holds one of the creepiest episodes of the entire series: Episode 2, “Home,” is about a small-town family of disfigured inbreds, who refuse to adapt to a changing world. The episode was banned from re-airing on Fox because of its disturbing subject matter.

The franchise also released two films: The X-Files in 1998 (66% Tomatometer score) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008 (32% Tomatometer score).

Have a look at how The X-Files’ seasons ranked by Tomatometer, and let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with the results.

The X-Files: Season 4 (1996)

Adjusted Score: 100029%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 89140%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 88107%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 86717%
Critics Consensus: A serious approach to its premise helps establish The X-Files as a sci-fi procedural with a genuinely creepy twist -- and a thrilling drama that avoids devolving into pure camp.

Adjusted Score: 78780%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 78594%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 79375%
Critics Consensus: Though it may not make many new believers, The X-Files' return to business as usual is a refreshing upgrade from the show's underwhelming previous outing.

Adjusted Score: 67271%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 57806%
Critics Consensus:

Adjusted Score: 66594%
Critics Consensus: Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny's chemistry remains intact, but overall, The X-Files revival lacks the creative spark necessary to sustain the initial rush of nostalgia.

Adjusted Score: 22315%
Critics Consensus:

74% The X-Files is available to stream in its entirety on Hulu. The series is also available to purchase on Vudu, Prime Video, Apple TV, and other on demand services.