Consisting of two releases, the X-Men Legends games play similar to other action RPGs like Champions of Norrath and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance. The games allow a party of up to four different X-men at a time. In single player, the character controls one of the X-men while the other three are controlled by the AI. The player can switch X-men on the fly using the D-pad on consoles or the arrow keys on the PC. Alternatively, the games can be played cooperatively with up to four different players, each controlling their own X-man. Though this could only be done locally in the first game, the sequel allowed for online co-op play.
A Classless System
Unlike a lot of RPGs, the X-men Legends series does not have a traditional class system. However, each character has one of three (Physical, Elemental, or Mental) specific damage types that they deal against enemies. Physical X-men, like Wolverine, are especially effective at ground combat and are used in a similar fashion as traditional "tanks" in other RPGs. Elemental (like Cyclops) and Mental (like Jean Grey) damage types are usually more effective from a further distance. Enemies often have at least one specific resistance and this makes it especially important that the player have a varied group of X-men at any given time.
Traditional RPG Elements
Despite the lack of a rigid class system, the series does have a lot of other traditional RPG elements.
Leveling system - Defeating enemies and completing objectives will earn XP points that allows the player to level their character using a traditional skill tree. This allows the player to appropriate stats to how they want to spec out their character. The highest level in the first game is 45 while the second game features levels up to 99.
Loot system - There are random loot drops throughout the game. These are in the form of equipment that can be used to increase the stats of each individual X-man. The three different types of loot are armor, belts, and backpacks (changed to gloves in the sequel). The loot can come in both Rare and Unique variants. Unwanted loot can be sold to the mutant Forge via the in-game Xtraction points.
Connection to Film
Neither game has a direct connection to the X-men film trilogy released in the same time frame as the games. However, Patrick Stewart does provide his voice talents for the game, reprising his role as Professor X. Additionally, director of the first two films Bryan Singer is thanked at the end of the first game.