The BEST Episodes of The X-Files

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Network: FOX

`The truth is out there,' and FBI agents Scully and Mulder seek it in this sci-fi phenomenon about their quest to explain the seemingly unexplainable. Their strange cases include UFO sightings, alien abductions and just about anything else paranormal.

Bad Blood

#1 - Bad Blood

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 22, 1998

After Mulder chases down and kills a young man who he believes to be a vampire, the agents return to DC aware of the mistake they just made. Faced with a lawsuit from the family of the man, they recount each of their sides to the story leading up to the event. In the extremely humorous stories that follow we see how Scully and Mulder both perceive each other.

star 8.27
970 votes
Directors: Clifford Bole
Writers: Vince Gilligan
Existence (2)

#2 - Existence (2)

Season 8 - Episode 21 - Aired May 20, 2001

Mulder, Doggett and Skinner attempt to fight off the alien replicants, and they find a connection to the conspiracy that leads into the FBI. Reyes and Scully head to a remote farm to safeguard the birth of Scully's child.

star 8.19
907 votes
Directors: Kim Manners
Writers: Chris Carter
Anasazi (1)

#3 - Anasazi (1)

Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired May 19, 1995

When Mulder obtains what could be the original and uncut MJ documents containing information about the government's knowledge of extraterrestrial life; his shadowy enemies step up their harassment of him, eventually leading to his apparent murder.

star 8.18
1,569 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
The Erlenmeyer Flask

#4 - The Erlenmeyer Flask

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired May 13, 1994

When Deep Throat points out a news story about a fugitive who apparently drowned, Mulder and Scully cannot see what makes the case special but follow it up anyway. With Deep Throat's insistence, they discover evidence of a secret government project code-named Purity Control, which uses human test subjects and infects them with extraterrestrial DNA. However, the evidence and everyone who has seen it is quickly being eliminated.

star 8.13
1,692 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Dreamland (1)

#5 - Dreamland (1)

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 29, 1998

While being detained near the famed "Dreamland" Area 51, a strange craft flies overhead and Mulder swaps bodies with an Area 51 "Man-in-Black". While the other agent has fun in Mulder's body, Mulder himself finds it difficult to fit into someone else's life, especially a shadowy one. Mulder contacts Scully about the body swap and tries to get her the flight data recorder from the UFO test flight, but his alter ego uses Mulder's FBI persona to have him arrested.

star 8.09
1,036 votes
Directors: Kim Manners
Writers: Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan
Redux II (3)

#6 - Redux II (3)

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 9, 1997

The Cigarette-Smoking Man helps Mulder to obtain Scully's cure and also lets him see his real sister who doesn't turn out to be as happy to see Mulder as he would've liked. In return for this, the Cigarette-Smoking Man asks that Mulder quit the FBI and work for him in the Syndicate where he could have power and respect which Mulder turns down, deciding to stay on the side of justice. While Scully's cure appears to have worked, the Cigarette-Smoking Man faces his own enemies and disappears, presumed dead.

star 8.09
1,104 votes
Directors: Kim Manners
Writers: Chris Carter
Small Potatoes

#7 - Small Potatoes

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 20, 1997

Five babies in the same town are all born with tails and the local OB-GYN is blamed for tampering with fertilized eggs. However, Mulder discovers the culprit to be a simple man with a genetic deformity who may have the ability to alter his appearance.

star 8.07
1,008 votes
Directors: Clifford Bole
Writers: Vince Gilligan
Redux (2)

#8 - Redux (2)

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 2, 1997

Scully helps Mulder fake his own death in order for him to go undetected through the Department of Defence and find out the answers to his new questions about the government hoax concerning the existence of extraterrestrial life. Meanwhile, at a joint FBI/DOD inquiry, Scully's attempt to drive out the Conspiracy's informant is halted as her cancer takes a bad turn.

star 8.05
1,232 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Gethsemane (1)

#9 - Gethsemane (1)

Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired May 18, 1997

While investigating the discovery of a preserved alien body found in the mountains of Canada, Mulder is contacted by Michael Kritschgau. He tells Mulder about a government conspiracy to make people believe in aliens without question, and Mulder has been the prime target.

star 8.03
998 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
The Red and the Black (2)

#10 - The Red and the Black (2)

Season 5 - Episode 14 - Aired Mar 8, 1998

After the gathering at the abduction site where everyone is killed by the rebel bounty hunters, Cassandra Spender disappears and Mulder is blamed by her son, Jeffrey, who is an up-and-coming FBI agent. Meanwhile, the Syndicate is continuing their tests to create a vaccine for the Black Cancer and Marita Covarrubias becomes an unwilling test subject.

star 8.02
895 votes
Directors: Chris Carter
Writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz
One Son (2)

#11 - One Son (2)

Season 6 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 14, 1999

The Cigarette-Smoking Man reveals all the government secrets from the past 50 years in order for his son, Jeffery Spender, to join him in his work. Mulder learns that the final stage of the conspiracy will soon begin with the hybridization of the Syndicate members, and he must stop it from happening. Agent Spender deceives his father and arranges for Mulder and Scully to be reassigned to the X-Files, which doesn't sit too well with the Cigarette-Smoking Man.

star 8.02
984 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz
Herrenvolk (2)

#12 - Herrenvolk (2)

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 4, 1996

Jeremiah Smith and Mulder are on the run from the alien bounty hunter, and Smith takes Mulder to a small farm tended to by identical sets of children, and all the girls are clones of his sister when she was still a child. Mulder prepares to take Jeremiah and one of the clones to see his mother in the hospital, but the bounty hunter catches up with them. Meanwhile, the Syndicate suspects that they have a traitor in their midst and plan a trap which results in X being executed by the Cigarette-Smoking Man.

star 8.00
1,375 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Ice

#13 - Ice

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 5, 1993

When members of an Arctic research team mysteriously kill each other and themselves only days after drilling deeper into the ice than ever before, Mulder and Scully accompany a team of doctors and scientists to investigate. They discover an organism that infects living creatures and accelerates the hosts' feelings of anger and paranoia, and the agents' colleagues on the expedition begin to question their government knowledge.

star 7.98
2,346 votes
Directors: David Nutter
Writers: Glen Morgan, James Wong
The Goldberg Variation

#14 - The Goldberg Variation

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 12, 1999

Mulder and Scully get caught in a real-life Rube Goldberg device when they meet Henry Weems, who just may be the luckiest man on Earth—except everyone around him doesn't seem to be that lucky.

star 7.96
906 votes
Writers: Jeffrey Bell
Without (2)

#15 - Without (2)

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 12, 2000

As the search for Mulder intensifies in the Arizona desert, Gibson Praise leads Scully to believe that she is truly closer to her target. Kersh informs Doggett that he has been assigned as Mulder's successor on the X-Files.

star 7.96
945 votes
Directors: Kim Manners
Writers: Chris Carter
The Truth (2)

#16 - The Truth (2)

Season 9 - Episode 20 - Aired May 19, 2002

When an unexpected person comes to Mulder's rescue, Mulder refuses to slip north over the border to safety. Instead, he heads southwest to the Anasazi ruins of New Mexico seeking a mysterious wise man who the Indians call "The Keeper of the Truth".

star 7.95
416 votes
Directors: Kim Manners
Writers: Chris Carter
The End

#17 - The End

Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired May 17, 1998

The Cigarette-Smoking Man returns as Mulder investigates the attempted assassination of a young boy with psychic powers who may be the proof that he has looked for all his life.

star 7.95
1,038 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

#18 - Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 13, 1995

In the midst of a psychic sideshow while on a murder case, Mulder and Scully enlist the help of a man who may have a true psychic ability to foresee how people will die to help the agents catch a man killing fortune tellers.

star 7.94
1,490 votes
Directors: David Nutter
Writers: Darin Morgan
Tempus Fugit (1)

#19 - Tempus Fugit (1)

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 16, 1997

While celebrating Scully's 33rd birthday, a strange woman informs Mulder that NICAP member Max Fenig (see Fallen Angel) has recently died in a plane crash. After a visit to the crash site and finding Max's body with radiation burns on it, Mulder suggests that the plane was intercepted by a UFO and is rapidly being covered up by the military.

star 7.92
1,170 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz
Paper Clip (3)

#20 - Paper Clip (3)

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 1995

A.D. Skinner and Scully are at a standoff when Mulder bursts in and discovers that Skinner has the digital tape. Reunited, Mulder and Scully travel to a secret vault inside a mine and find an elaborate filing system of medical records which reveals that Mulder's sister may not have been the first choice for abduction. Meanwhile, Skinner deals with the Cigarette-Smoking Man for their safety.

star 7.92
1,670 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Chris Carter
Talitha Cumi (1)

#21 - Talitha Cumi (1)

Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired May 17, 1996

Mulder and Scully search for a mysterious man with the power to heal. His actions risk exposing the existence of aliens on Earth, while a confrontation between Mrs. Mulder and the Cigarette-Smoking Man leads Mulder to the discovery of the only weapon which can kill the aliens.

star 7.92
1,311 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Colony (1)

#22 - Colony (1)

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 10, 1995

After the obituaries of four identical men are e-mailed to Mulder, the agents are contacted by a shadowy CIA agent who tells them about a bounty hunter sent to wipe out the beginning of a colony of clones. Meanwhile Mulder is distracted by the sudden reappearance of his sister Samantha.

star 7.92
1,532 votes
Directors: Nick Marck
Writers: Chris Carter
The Blessing Way (2)

#23 - The Blessing Way (2)

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 22, 1995

Scully finds her career with the FBI in jeopardy as Mulder is still missing and the Cigarette-Smoking Man is pursuing the stolen files. The Navajo elders find Mulder's body in a cave and perform an ancient ceremony to call the spirit back to the empty vessel.

star 7.90
1,692 votes
Directors: R.W. Goodwin
Writers: Chris Carter
Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man

#24 - Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 17, 1996

Frohike pieces together and recites to Mulder and Scully what could be the possible life story of the Cigarette Smoking Man; from a young captain in the U.S. Army recruited to assassinate President Kennedy, to becoming the mysterious man in the shadows at the height of a global conspiracy. What measures will the Cigarette Smoking Man take to ensure that he remains a mystery forever?

star 7.89
1,337 votes
Directors: James Wong
Writers: Glen Morgan
Tunguska (1)

#25 - Tunguska (1)

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 24, 1996

A rock sample taken from Mars is intercepted at an airport and infects a security officer with the Black Cancer, while Mulder is given a tip about potentially dangerous paramilitary operations but is doubtful when the informant turns out to be Alex Krycek. Reluctantly, Mulder accepts Krycek's help and tracks the rock to Russia where he discovers an elaborate test being performed by Russian scientists.

star 7.89
1,384 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz