Liquid methane (Methalox) has never been used in an orbital, or even very high flying rocket. It's a long story, but the short is methalox requires a bit better metal alloys then were available until recently, and that is why the sudden heavy interest in it. Methane in and of itself isn't optimal for atmospheric or above-atmosphere range, but has a good mix of the two properties. I haven't found a really great reason why it hasn't been used until recently, but it seems like other fuels were simply easier to make in to rocket engines.
So far as I can tell, the first reasonably large methane rocket test was in 2007 by XCOR. The altitude record appears to be 4 km. The size record of course is the Starship prototype recently launched, although Starhopper might have actually been more massive due to a thicker wall used for it.