Through retrospective analysis of 13 cases of magnetic resonance image (MRI) manifestations of atypical meningiomas confirmed by operation and pathology in the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, the objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of MRI in order to improve the accuracy rate of preoperative diagnosis. In this retrospective analysis of MRI findings for atypical meningiomas in First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University from January to July in 2012, the location, morphology and tumor signals and other tumor imaging characteristics were covered. In 13 cases of atypical meningioma patients of this group, most tumors were located at typical sites (10/13), mainly the falx cerebri, parasagittal, convexity, saddle area. Only two cases were at atypical locations, 1 in the cerebellar hemisphere and 1 in a lateral ventricle. Most of the tumors showed T1 and T2 isointensity signals, and necrosis, calcification, and peritumoral edema were always featured. DWI showed isointensity in 11 cases (11/13), and hyperintensity in 2. Some 9 cases had dural tail signs, 12 had accurate positioning (12/13), and 2 were postoperative recurrences. MRI has high value in the diagnosis of atypical meningiomas, with important roles in early clinical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis evaluation.