In this game, the player must assemble eight of Professor Xavier's X-Men, then lead them to triumph against their various enemies. Catch Nightcrawler as he teleports around the field, ricochet pinballs against Gambit's playing cards, then slide down Iceman's ramp and brawl with Wolverine. Start Magneto Multiball and get past his magnetic defenses to challenge the Brotherhood, then go up against the Hellfire Club, Sabretooth, the Shadow King, Omega Red, the Juggernaut, and the Sentinels. Chain your teammates together in powerful Combos, then test their mettle in the Danger Room and against Dark Phoenix in a point-scoring frenzy.
In addition to the basic "Pro" table, X-Men was also available in Wolverine Blue and Magneto Red Limited Editions. Along with custom backbox translite art and color-coordinated metalwork, these games included a magnetic spinning disc and a swing-out Ice Slide that sends balls across the playfield.
The X-Men pinball table demonstrates the following tropes:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Wolverine's claws are shown slicing through the playfield and gouging the sides of his Limited Edition backbox.
- Combos: Making combos of various X-Men sequences will give assorted bonus points, along with Idiosyncratic Combo Levels for the pair. Examples include "Savage Animals" (Beast and Wolverine), "Teacher's Pet" (Cyclops and Xavier), "Brain Freeze" (Xavier and Iceman), and "Lover's Triangle" (Storm, Phoenix, Cyclops, Wolverine).
- Death Dealer: Gambit's energized playing cards are featured on the pop bumpers.
- Deflector Shields: Magneto uses his magnetic powers to capture and deflect pinballs before they can strike him.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: As noted in the description, X-Men was available in Wolverine Blue and Magneto Red Limited Editions, featuring custom translite art, color-coordinated metalwork, a magnetic spinning disc and a swing-out Ice Slide. 250 tables of each version were made.
- Match Sequence: Colossus holds up the robot head of a Sentinel, then throws it towards the player. It explodes, leaving behind a few parts that spell the match number.
- P.O.V. Cam: During "Weapon X Multiball", the display shows Logan's view as he runs down the corridors of the Weapon X facility and fights the guards in his way.
- Shock and Awe: Magneto is shown throwing bright red electrical bolts around his Limited Edition table.
- Skill Shot: Soft plunge the ball to the upper right flipper, then shoot either the Rogue lane or the left ramp for an X-Men cameo (Psylocke and Angel, respectively).
- Villainous Glutton: The evil Shadow King is shown as an obese bald man.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Gambit and Rogue's voice actors only vaguely affect a Cajun and Mississippi accent, respectively.
- Wizard Mode: The game features two sub-Wizard Modes and a final Wizard Mode:
- "Danger Room" is the sub-Wizard Mode available after completing all of the X-Men's modes. This is a four-ball multiball mode, where the goal is to hit every major shot twice, then shoot the Blackbird scoop and collect the Super Jackpot.
- "Dark Phoenix" is the sub-Wizard Mode for completing all of the Villains' modes. Jean goes mad with power and lights up (nearly) every target on the table. With a single ball, hit every lit target twice for a progressively increasing Jackpot, then shoot the Blackbird scoop and collect the Super Jackpot.
- There is also supposed to be a final Wizard Mode, but it is currently Dummied Out with a "Multiball Wizard Mode" placeholder text.
- Wolverine Publicity: Eventually subverted with Deadpool. He was teased in the initial game menus, but did not actually appear until an early 2014 software update added a mechanic where he can show up during a Villain Mode.