X-Men: All 5 Magneto actors ranked from worst to best

We've seen more actors play Magneto than you might think, but which version of the legendary X-Men character is the best?

akb_dtlra_stills_120415.089228 – Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has the power to manipulate magnetic fields. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.
akb_dtlra_stills_120415.089228 – Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has the power to manipulate magnetic fields. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox. /
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1. Ian McKellen

Appeared in: X-Men film series

Ian McKellen is unquestionably one of the finest actors to ever grace the stage and screen, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to see him at the top of this list. His performance as Magneto in Fox's X-Men film series is nothing short of legendary, and for darn good reason.

McKellen's rich theater background showed here, as he channelled all of that and more into making Magneto a larger-than-life character. From his quiet, dramatic monologues to his loud bellowing impassioned speeches, he commanded the screen with such ease that you couldn't help but sit up and pay attention whenever he was on it.

There was a nuance to his performance too that only an actor of McKellen's caliber could pull off. It was subtle, but ever-present beneath the theatrics, and it made it clear why Magneto was willing to fight for the mutant representation in the way that he did. And even though the character had a knack for going too far every time, you could see the driving force behind his actions.

Ian McKellen's performance was the one that brought Magneto into a live-action production for the first time ever, and it's still the one that reigns supreme among his many great portrayals all these years later. He is the definitive Magneto, and he will remain so for a long time to come.

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