The Godly Dragon's Top 15 Godzilla Movies

Godzilla. The King of the Monsters. One of the most famous monsters in cinema history. Even if you've never seen a Godzilla film before, you know the name. That's how famous he is. The franchise has gone all over the place in its 65 year run and counting. The original film was meant to be warning against nuclear warfare, and as time went on Godzilla would go from being villainous to being a hero-like monster that takes on other monsters. These films are a genre of their own and have their very own style. These films are commonly criticized for its rubber suits, corny storylines, and bad English dubbing, but those things are actually what make Godzilla so fun to watch. I enjoy them for the monster fights, but also because they are tales of how humanity reacts to disaster.

There are 35 Godzilla films out right now, with a 36th film, Godzilla vs Kong, coming out this fall. I like all of these movies, so picking just 15 out of 35 movies is a difficult task. So these are my top 15 Godzilla films, ones that I like the most. The American Godzilla films also count. However, spin offs like the Rebirth of Mothra movies and the 50s Rodan movie don't count. If your favorite isn't on the list, don't feel bad. We all have our tastes and preferences. With that said, let's begin.

#15: Invasion of Astro-Monster

Out of all the monsters that have made an appearance throughout this franchise, King Ghidorah is probably my favorite. Because let's be honest, how can you not like a golden dragon with three heads? This film is the second film to feature this monster. In this film, some aliens called the Xilians ask for Godzilla and Rodan to be transported to their planet to take on King Ghidorah. But then the aliens demand Earth's surrender and threatens to unleash all three monsters on the earth. The reason it's the lowest on this list is because I think it didn't have the very best story, and that there are even better films with the king Ghidorah monster. But it's still really fun to watch and has some very memorable moments.

#14: Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla 2014 is a very significant film in Godzilla's current history. Sixteen years earlier, America tried making their own Godzilla film which was distributed by Tristar pictures. As a monster movie, it was okay and quite fun, but it just wasn't Godzilla, which led to backlash from fans. It seemed like only Japan could do Godzilla right and America could not. But then, in 2014, Legendary Pictures decided to try to make a Godzilla film. And, surprisingly, this studio got it right! They nailed Godzilla's look and the story and characters also really made it feel like a Godzilla film. It actually managed to do Godzilla justice. This was the very first Godzilla movie I ever watched. It's not my very favorite Godzilla film since I thought that there were too little monster fights between the storyline, but it's still very significant because of how it did a good job of re-introducing Godzilla to the public. So I think it is worth a watch.

#13: Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!

Boy, what a title. Rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? This is a more recent Godzilla film that was released in 2001. This is a return to Godzilla being a villain. In this movie, Godzilla is revived by the dead Japanese souls that were killed in the Pacific war, so Godzilla goes to seek revenge, and so it's up to Mothra and King Ghidorah to stop him. This film is very fun and it managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. If you don't think the old Godzilla movies look that good and that's a turn off for you, you'll probably like the recent Godzilla movies more. You can really tell how much better the Godzilla films looked between say the 60s and the 2000s. So if you're new to Godzilla, this is a fun monster movie. Give it a watch if you can.

#12: Godzilla vs King Ghidorah

Another King Ghidorah movie, and it's the first of the Godzilla films from the 90s. This is another sci fi kind of film like Invasion of Astro Monster was. This is a film that is pretty weird. It's about these people who come from the future to warn people about Godzilla's return to destroy Japan. So they time travel back to 1944 to get rid of the dinosaur before it was mutated by nuclear warfare, thus making it so that Godzilla never existed. But then the time traveling aliens leave behind three creatures called Dorats on the island, and they end up becoming King Ghidorah who comes terrorize Japan. So they find a way to recreate Godzilla, and the two have a big battle. From start to finish, this is a fun film, but a crazy film. The plot can be confusing and hard to follow or really take seriously, but you want to see a good film of Godzilla and King Ghidorah going at it once again, this is right up your alley.

#11: Godzilla vs Mothra

Released a year after Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, this film brings back Mothra for her 90s debut. In this film, a meteorite causes Godzilla to be reawakened as well as another moth monster called Battra. Two fairies known as the Cosmos come to warn everyone about Battra. On the way to Japan with Mothra's egg, Godzilla attacks, and it becomes a three way battle between Godzilla, Mothra, and Battra. This is a very good Godzilla movie, and nearly made it into the top ten. Other than King Ghidorah and Godzilla himself, Mothra is also a really great monster that I adore. So if you're looking for a good Mothra film but would prefer something more recent, this is a good monster movie to watch.

#10: Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II

Despite being called a sequel, this film has nothing to do with the original Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla released two decades prior. This film brings back two iconic monsters from the previous era, which are Rodan, and of course Mechagodzilla. In this movie, the U.N.G.C.C creates a weapon to destroy Godzilla called Mechagodzilla. Meanwhile on an island, some scientists come across a nest with a Pteranodon egg, and get attacked by Rodan. Then Godzilla comes to claim the egg as well, but the scientists manage to escape, and the egg hatches into a baby Godzilla. Can I just say that Godzilla Junior in the 90s films is just the more adorable little thing? So they intend to use the baby Godzilla as bait to lure Godzilla to the island, but then Rodan also intercedes, causing a conflict between the three monsters. This film is a ton of fun. Of the 90s Godzilla movies it's probably the most kid-friendly too. I'd be likely to show someone who's new to Godzilla this movie. This is the third Godzilla I watched, the first being Godzilla 2014 and the second being the English version of the original Godzilla film. This is another film I recommend that you watch to get into the franchise.

#9: Godzilla vs Destoroyah

This was a significant film in that this was supposed to be the end of Godzilla as we know it. It is the conclusion to the 90s era of Godzilla, and the last Godzilla movie until Godzilla 2000 which was a complete reboot. This is a film that basically has ties with the original Godzilla movie from 1954. In this film, a group of crustaceans mutated by the Oxygen Destroyer which was used to kill Godzilla, form a monster known as Destoroyah. Also, Godzilla has become so powerful with radiation that he becomes Burning Godzilla. Japan plans to have destoroyah fight Godzilla to stop Godzilla before his radiation destroys the world, but things don't go as planned as Destoroyah is still a force to be reckoned with. Out of all the Godzilla films ever released, this is the most tear jerking and one of the most terrifying too. While it's a great film, get some tissues ready, because this one will make you cry your eyes out.

#8: Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla

At #8 is the original Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla from 1974, which is the next to last film in the original Godzilla series. This film is Mechagodzilla's grand debut. This film also features the appearance of King Caesar, another fan favorite monster that rarely appears in the series. In this film, Godzilla fights his robotic doppelganger Mechagodzilla, that was created by aliens. Caesar also joins the fight to stop Mechagodzilla. While this is a really great film, it's also really violent. Probably the most violent Godzilla film in the series, You see Godzilla actually bleed out, which is pretty disturbing. But despite this, it's still a really good Godzilla movie, and one of the best from the original series.

#7: Godzilla vs Gigan

This is another one of my favorites from the original series. This film had two famous monsters, King Ghidorah and Anguirus, return. While also introducing a new foe for Godzilla called Gigan, who is a cyborg chicken with a chainsaw for a belly. In this movie, a manga artist is hired to work at a theme park run by aliens, who summon Gigan and King Ghidorah to destroy humanity. so Godzilla and Anguirus fight the two monsters while the main character try to sabotage the aliens' plan. This is an all around good monster movie. It has a good story, humorous human characters, and also great monster battles. It's great to see Godzilla and some fan favorites all fight to the death. Give this one a watch if you're interested in checking out the original series.

#6: Godzilla (1954)

The original movie that started it all. Usually, it would be sacrilege not to put the original movie at #1, but as it turns out, there are five other Godzilla movies I enjoy a lot more than this one. Nevertheless, this film is still a classic movie, and probably the darkest. The original film was meant to be a warning against nuclear warfare, and it has a very deep story. This film is of course about Godzilla, who is mutated by H-bomb testing in the pacific, but it's also centered around Dr. Serizawa, who invented a weapon called the Oxygen Destroyer which is designed to kill Godzilla, but he is hesitant to use it in fear that the weapon would be a worse weapon against humanity than Godzilla. You also not only see the horrible destruction that Godzilla causes, you also see the horrible aftermath of the destruction. It's a dark and depressing film, unlike the rest of the movies after it where Godzilla takes on other monsters. If you are new to the Godzilla franchise, the original one that started it all is a must see, and without this movie we wouldn't have had a franchise.

#5: Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster

Now we're getting into the top five, and these are the ones I consider the cream of the crop. At #5, we have Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, which is King Ghidorah's very first movie. It is also the return of Godzilla and Mothra, and also Rodan's introduction into the Godzilla franchise after his solo movie from 1956. Basically in this movie, a prophetess warns of great calamities as Rodan and Godzilla come to Japan. And from a meteorite, King Ghidorah emerges. So Mothra has to convince Godzilla and Rodan to join forces with her to defeat King Ghidorah, and! Back then, having Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra in one film, taking on a brand new giant monster, was a big deal. It is just a blast to watch, and the historical value also makes it worth watching. You may need to watch it multiple times to appreciate it, but in my opinion, it's the second best in the original series.

#4: Mothra vs Godzilla

Not to be confused with Godzilla vs Mothra from 1992, this is the debut of Mothra into the Godzilla universe after her solo spin off film from 1961. This right here is the cream of the crop of the original series, and it is the first crossover movie in the franchise between two of Toho's own monsters, unlike King Kong vs Godzilla which was a joint collaboration between Universal pictures and Toho. This film has a really good story. It's about greedy business who find a Mothra egg on the beach and want to sell it for financial gain. But then Godzilla returns to Japan, making its way to the egg, so the main characters have to travel to Infant Island to plead with Mothra to save Japan from Godzilla and to save her offsprings. The fight that ensues is fantastic. Like I said, this film is just great. The story, the characters, all of it. This is a film I highly recommend you watch. It is not to be missed.

#3: Godzilla 2000

Dang, I love this movie. This film is a reboot of the Godzilla series and the start of the 2000s era of Godzilla, even though it was released in 1999. This film ignores every other Godzilla movie since the original. In this film, Godzilla returns to threaten Japan. and the CCI find a UFO at the bottom of the ocean. The UFO defeat Godzilla in a fight, then hacks into all of the computer systems to steal data. After all this, Godzilla returns for revenge, and fights the UFO once more. The UFO then steals Godzilla DNA before getting destroyed again, and from the wreckage comes a giant alien kaiju named Orga, and they have a big climatic battle in the middle of the city, which is just a really awesome fight. This film was a great return to form after the American mess from Tristar pictures that was the 1998 Godzilla movie, and it made audiences excited about Godzilla again. One again, I love this movie, and I highly recommend it. But there are still two more movies I like more than this one.

#2: Godzilla vs Biollante

Godzilla vs Biollante is a fantastic movie. Not only is it the best of the second series that started with Godzilla 1985, it's one of the very best Godzilla movies period. This is the one and only Godzilla film to feature a plant monster known as Biollante, who is the result of mixing Godzilla's cells with the cells of a scientist's dead daughter. Then Godzilla ends up getting released from his prison, and the two monsters cross paths for a big showdown. I just love the story of this movie and how emotional it can get, and the fight between Godzilla and Biollante is also great. This film is a fan favorite, and for good reason. The sad part is however, this film is so hard to find on DVD or blu ray due to being out of print. The minimum price for one is $50 and can be up to over $200. But if you can find a copy of this film that is legit and not a bootleg, watch it. This movie really deserves a lot more attention.

Before I get to my #1 pick, I will go over three honorable mentions that just didn't quite make it.

HM #1: Destroy All Monsters

This film is the Avengers Infinity War of the original series. It brings together Toho's entire roster of monsters, even ones that had not appeared previously. The reason it didn't quite make the list is that I thought the plot was too similar to Invasion of Astro Monster, which is a film I like a little more. The plot is basically aliens taking control of all the monsters to have them destroy earth. But then after the monsters are out of mind control, they all have a final fight to the finish against King Ghidorah. That is an awesome fight. However, this big fight doesn't happen until the final ten minutes of the film. So, not my favorite, but still a fun film nonetheless.

HM #2: Godzilla Final Wars

This is a very different kind of Godzilla movie. This movie was made for the 50th anniversary of Godzilla, and brings backs many old monsters that haven't been seen in the franchise for a while such as Ceasar and Gigan. The film even has the American 1998 Godzilla, which gets roasted by the Godzilla we know and love in the third act. This film's plot is very similar to Destroy All Monsters, where aliens unleash the monsters onto planet Earth to destroy it. This film is focused more on the humans than the monsters, but when you do get to the monster stuff, it's awesome. But what makes this Godzilla movie different from the rest is that it's more like a big sci fi action movie like The Matrix and other similar films. So, if you are really into those kinds of movies, you will really enjoy Final Wars. It is definitely not as bad as some people think it is. This would be the final Godzilla movie until a decade later with the release of Godzilla 2014.

HM #3: Shin Godzilla

Released in 2016, this is the first Godzilla film from Toho themselves in 12 years. This film's style is just like the original Godzilla, with just Japan facing the threat of solely Godzilla and not any other monsters. But there's something different about this Godzilla. This Godzilla is ugly and gilled, and evolves into five different forms as the film goes on. It is nauseating, and truly a force to be reckoned with. It is the scariest and ugliest Godzilla that Japan has ever faced, which is what makes the film so intense. However, there isn't a whole lot of monster action. It's mostly a talky kind of film. If you can appreciate dialogue more than monster scenes, you'll probably really like it. But I don't think it's for everybody.

And finally, my #1 favorite Godzilla movie is...

#1: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I absolutely adore this movie. Out of all the Godzilla films that have been made over a span of 65 years, this one is of my absolute favorite. I saw this movie in IMAX on opening night and it was an absolutely amazing experience. This movie is significant because it's the very first time in years that we could get to see Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah all together on the big screen again, and their designs look absolutely amazing. We waited for five years for this film to come out after we got a Godzilla film in 2014, and the wait was incredibly worth it. Some people hate this film because of the story, or they hate it just because it's an American Godzilla movie, which by the way is unfounded since Toho had a hand in this film, but I can't hate this film. It has everything I love about Godzilla movies. It felt like an old Godzilla movie from the 60s, but done with modern special effects. If you are a fan of Godzilla, you will absolutely love this movie. I also think it's a great first Godzilla film so that people can see what these films are like. If you prefer CGI over costumes and puppets, check this film out as your first Godzilla film. If you like this film, then maybe you will like the other ones too. Again, I adore this movie, absolutely cherish it, and it is my #1 favorite Godzilla movie.

And that's it. What did you think of my list, and what are your top favorites? Let me know in the comments below. Long live the King of the Monsters! God bless!


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