Globular clusters (GCs) harbour a large number of close binaries which are hard to identify optically due to high stellar densities. Observing these GCs in X-rays, in which the compact binaries are bright, diminishes the over-crowding problem. Using the new generation of X-ray observatories, it is possible to identify populations of neutron star low mass X-ray binaries, cataclysmic variables and millisecond pulsars as well as other types of binaries. We present the spectra of a variety of binaries that we have identified in four GCs observed by XMM-Newton. We show that through population studies we can begin to understand the formation of individual classes of binaries in GCs and hence start to unfold the complex evolutionary paths of these systems.