The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an amazing achievement. The way Marvel has created a shared movie universe, known as the MCU, and continued to deliver one quality entry after another, will go down in history as one of the best movie franchises ever. However, Fox's "X-Men" movies, in general, are better.
Now, this isn't a knock on the Marvel movies. The shared universe is impressive, but that's not the only factor that movies are judged by. Based on the individual movies, "X-Men" is a more impressive series. Of course there have been some misfires, but that's true of Marvel as well. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009) is no worse than "Iron Man 2" (2010). They might not get the praise that they deserve, but here are all the reasons why the "X-Men" movies are better than the MCU movies.View article on one page
As a prominent character from both the "X-Men" and "Avengers" comics, Quicksilver was able to appear in both movie series, as long as neither series referenced his existence in the other. He appeared in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014), helping Xavier, Beast and Wolverine break Magneto out of prison. His speed powers are showcased in an amazing sequence where time slows to a crawl. As the guards shoot at Xavier, Quicksilver speeds around the room and moves the bullets off course, and sends guards flying simply by touching them while moving at super speed.
The Marvel version made his debut during the end credits of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014) played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, before playing a major role in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015). As one of Baron Strucker's "miracles," he first used his speed powers to fight the Avengers before switching sides and teaming up with them against Ultron. While he plays a bigger role in this movie than in "X-Men," his speed sequences just aren't as memorable. Also, Fox's Quicksilver's entire personality is built around his speed, making for many funny moments, while the Marvel version is mostly just a moody jerk.
The opening scene in "X-Men" (2000) shows a young Erik Lensherr being led into a Nazi concentration camp when his magnetic powers begin to develop. This is further explored in "X-Men: First Class" when it's revealed that Sebastian Shaw was posing as a Nazi scientist in the camp, and tortured Erik until he learned to use his powers correctly. This experience caused Erik to lose faith in humanity, fueling his turn to villainy. As Magneto, his pain causes him to see himself as the savior of the downtrodden mutants, which justifies having to do bad things, up to and including murder.
Meanwhile in the MCU, Iron Monger from "Iron Man" (2008) is evil because he's greedy. So is Justin Hammer from "Iron Man 2" (2010) and Darren Cross/Yellowjacket from "Ant-Man" (2015). Red Skull is just a power-mad Nazi in "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011), and Ronan from "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) is a Kree radical that hates the Nova Corps because they're not Kree. Even Loki, from "Thor" (2011), is mostly motivated by jealousy of Thor. These villains are all great characters, but their motivations just aren't as interesting or as complex as Magneto's.
13X-MEN ACTUALLY HAS A MESSAGE
Mutants are typically born looking and behaving just like normal humans, and it isn't until puberty that their powers develop. The series often deals with teenagers coming to terms with the fact that not only are they different, but also they now have to deal with discrimination on a daily basis. Regular humans are afraid of mutants, which leads to fear and hatred. Most mutants are good people, and they can't help that they were born different, so society should just learn to accept them for who they are.
The message in the "X-Men" films is pretty blatant, and "X2: X-Men United" (2003) even had a scene where Iceman came out to his parents, obviously mirroring a scene many gay kids have lived through. Meanwhile, the main message of the Marvel movies seems to be "people, gods and aliens who are evil are bad." "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (2014) could also be said to be about the government spying on its own citizens, but that wasn't even the main focus of the movie.
When "Black Panther" is released in 2018, it will be the 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will also be the the first movie where the main character isn't a white guy. "Captain America," "Thor," and "Guardians of the Galaxy" are well regarded movies, but they've been criticized because they all star a white guy named Chris. Black Widow, a hugely popular character, still isn't slated to star in her own movie at any point.
Now, this isn't an entirely fair comparison, because the "X-Men" films are almost all ensemble movies, so it's easier for them to include a wider variety of characters. Still, Storm had one of the most prominent roles in "X2: X-Men United" (2003) and became the team leader in "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006). "The Wolverine" took place in Japan and featured almost an entirely Asian cast, aside from Hugh Jackman. Also, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique became a central character in "Days of Future Past" (2014) and "Apocalypse" (2016).