Top Ten Godzilla Movies

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

With Godzilla Vs Kong only a few days away from being released, audiences everywhere, especially those with HBOMAX, are getting hyped for the end of this month. Two of history’s greatest monsters, Godzilla, the king of the monster, and Kong, the eighth wonder of the world will go head to head in one of the greatest fights in cinema history. With this in mind, I think that it is time to get in the mood, so to speak. With almost 30 films to watch before Godzilla Vs Kong’s release, I wanted to narrow down what I think is the best the series has to offer. The only caveat to this list is that the 1954 original will not be included. While it is, in my opinion, the best movie in the series, it is also the most well-known, and I wanted to spotlight some other movies in the series. So, without any more delay, the top ten best Godzilla movies.


Number 10- Godzilla Vs Hedorah

Hey kids! You like drugs? Because you’ll feel like you’re high when watching this movie. This rather unique entry in the series has Godzilla take on the scourge of pollution, in the form of a giant sludge monster, Hedorah.

The movie’s strong suits largely revolved around Godzilla’s opponent in this movie, Hedorah. Hedorah is an excellent monster for Godzilla to face off against, due to its intense power and creepy design. He puts up one hell of a fight and is behind some of the most iconic scenes of destruction from the series, as well as one of the best monster showdowns in the series.

However, much of the movie’s other aspects are extremely strange and, as such, extremely dependent on audience taste. The movie at times feels like a fever dream, with strange visuals, bizarre and creepy animation sequences, and other odd scenes that make this movie either loved or loathed by most of the fan base. I like these aspects, as I find the movie somewhat creepy, which I think makes the movie as a whole better.

As I said, however, this is a very decisive movie. You may love it or hate it, but one thing is for certain: You most likely have never seen anything quite like it before.


Number 9- Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah

This one is often listed as a fan favorite, and rightly so.

Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah is an extremely fun movie, with vicious monster fights and an interesting plot involving time travel. As a reintroduction of Godzilla’s arch-enemy, King Ghidorah, it tells a new, innovative origin to the three-headed monster that is fairly unexpected and fits with the time travel aspects pretty well (I won’t spoil much more). 

As said, the battles between Godzilla and Ghidorah are some of the best and most brutal the series has to offer, with lots of general destruction in the mix as well just in case you somehow get bored. Overall, a great entry to the series.


Number 8- King Kong Vs Godzilla

The one that has been remade. And to be honest, it’s rather warranted, although the original is still a fun movie. Let’s face it, how can you not enjoy a movie featuring two of the greatest movie monsters in history fighting to the death?

The monster action is the biggest reason to see this movie. Even outside of the fights between Godzilla and Kong, there are plenty of entertaining rampage scenes and Godzilla extermination attempts to make the movie fun. The human plot isn’t that bad either, but it’s rather stupid and very silly, although if you could buy a giant monkey fighting a radioactive dinosaur, you might not even notice.

That being said, there is one massive drawback that prevents King Kong Vs Godzilla from being its absolute best. The movie is quite ugly, and this dampens the movie as a whole somewhat. It’s great that King Kong Vs Godzilla is being remade, but if you haven’t, the original is worth watching as well.


Number 7- Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla ll 

The first Mechagodzilla movie to appear on the list, and not the last.

Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla ll (despite what the title says, this movie isn’t a sequel to Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla, it’s just the second time the character was introduced) is an exciting entry in the series that brings Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Pterodactyl looking thing Roda pm front and center for modem excellent pulled off monster action.

The human side of the situation is also well done, although the main male lead can get a bit annoying at times. The plot itself is also completely written, with the humans’ attempts on the monsters’ lives and the introduction of a small baby Godzilla bringing out some good plot points, action, and dialogue that wraps the whole movie up nicely. Similar to Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah, this movie is another solid movie, and a worthy send-up to Mechagodzilla’s previous romps.


Number 6- Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monster All-Out Attack

The name just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Another solid, as well as more modern entry to the Godzilla franchise, this entry concerns yet another Godzilla rampage, and the humans and monsters who try to stop him. GMK features some great moments and scenes in it, with the final Attlee, of course standing out the most.

The best scenes of this movie, of course, involve the monster. The monster suits and monster action in this movie are some of the best in the series, owing to good direction and costume design. The movie is also fairly dark as well, even by the standards of a Godzilla movie, with themes of World War ll atrocities being fairly prevalent in the movie. Whether or not this makes the movie better is somewhat controversial. I’m personally ambivalent due to its execution, but you may feel differently.

Regardless of this, GMK is still a well-made and exciting movie, and I feel like it makes a great entry point for new fans.  Check it out.


Number 5- Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla is one you most likely haven’t heard of, as aside from a very brief and limited theatrical run and home video releases, Shin Godzilla has been largely unknown to western audiences (most likely because it wasn’t fully released). It’s a shame too because it is an excellent addition to the franchise.

Shin Godzilla is effectively a remake of the 1954 original, retelling the story of a radioactive monster surfacing from the ocean and attacking Tokyo. There are many changes made to the story, most notably that the movie takes place in the modern-day, and that Godzilla, far from being a radioactive dinosaur, is a constantly evolving creature. While these are pretty major departures, the movie makes good use of them, especially with making Godzilla into a truly monstrous creature that is as unpredictable as it is dangerous.

The movie also has a fairly interesting political bent to it, with the Japanese’s political pins being extremely slow to respond to the crisis, and 5e American government being secondary villains for vowing to nuke Tokyo to be rid of Godzilla. Aside from this being an interesting look at the politics of other countries, and their actions intersect with the tensions brought on by Godzilla’s rampage, adding to the movie’s overall feel and tone.

Shin Godzilla may not be the easiest to find, but it’s well worth watching. The changes to the series are interesting, and I cannot wait to see what they do with this new Godzilla next.


Number 4- Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla

This is a movie that you most likely have heard of already simply because of the title. Let’s face it, the image of Godzilla fighting a robot version of himself probably brings to mind images of campy, cheesy fun, assuming you aren’t a complete grouch.

Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla has everything you would expect from a title like that. Explosive monster duels, flashy rampages, and an entertaining, if somewhat generic plot about an alien invasion tying everything together. As mentioned before, the fight scenes are truly spectacular, especially the first confrontation with Godzilla and Mechagodzilla’s nighttime duel in an oil refinery. Top it off with a bonus monster, and the movie becomes a blast to watch.

Overall, Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla is everything you want in a cheesy monster movie, and maybe even a little more.

And to make it even better, it got one hell of a sequel.


Number 3- Terror Of Mechagodzilla

Terror Of Mechagodzilla has, to this day, been the worst performing Godzilla movie. This is a shame because it’s far better than most people would expect from a movie released near the end of the original Godzilla series run.

Terror Of Mechagodzilla is a sequel to the previous film (and previous entry on the list), Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla. The basic plot of this movie is that the alien invaders from last time have returned with another Mechagodzilla to defeat the king of the monster and take over the world, assisted by a bitter mad scientist and his own pet monster, Titanosaurus. 

What follows are some of the best monster fights and scenes of destruction in the series, complemented by truly explosive confrontations and a dark, brooding score from longtime series composer Akira Ifukube. In addition to this, Terror Of Mechagodzilla also features a surprisingly well-done human subplot that adds extra hints or tragedy and drama to an already well-done monster movie. The movie’s flaws are few and far between, making this one an addition well worth watching, if far darker than the more lighthearted Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla. 

After this movie, the Godzilla series would go on hiatus for about 9 years. It’s sad that there were no more movies until the Return Of Godzilla, but it’s still a great way to end the original series.


Number 2- Godzilla Vs Mothra

This movie is another one you may have heard about and is one of the most famous and critically acclaimed movies within the series, and with good reason.

Godzilla Vs Mothra is home to some of the best the series has to offer. The movie has both great monster actions and a well-done human plotline, all wrapped up with the themes of greed and corporate exploitation.

After a Mothra egg washes up during a Typhoon, it is quickly found Toby greedy businessmen who wish to use it as a tourist attraction of sorts. Not only does this anger Mothra, for obvious reasons, but it attracts Godzilla to the eggs resting place, leading to many confrontations with the military and a final duel between Godzilla and Mothra that has gone down as one of the most iconic in the series. An excellent movie, and another great start to the series if you are looking to get into Godzilla.


Number 1- Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster

To some of you that are already familiar with the Godzilla series, this may be a bit surprising to you. Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, while regarded as a favorite in the series, isn’t usually rated as one of the best in the series. So why is it at the top of my (objectively true) list? Simple. It’s a hell of a lotta fun. 

For me, everything in this movie just works well to create a cheesy monster-sized smackdown, with all of the additions this movie makes to the series is extremely well done and fun to watch.

One of these additions is the introduction of King Ghidorah, who has become Godzillas de facto arch-nemesis. In his first outing, he does not disappoint at all. His introduction scene is still one of the highlights of the entire franchise, and its rampage is still impressive even 50 years later. The filmmakers really did a good job of making it seem like the imposing, destructive menace it is portrayed as.

Other additions, like having Godzilla and Mothra team up, as well as reintroducing the monster Rodan (who has his own movie in the fifties), are also welcomed, and like King Ghidorah introduction, would have lasting impacts throughout the rest of the franchise, with each monster reappearing multiple times. The movie’s pace is also well done, with each monster getting plenty of time to shine, and the movie does not drag its feet in showing them. Even the human subplot, involving an assassination attempt during the chaos, is entertaining and well done, especially with the way the two plots interact, which I won’t spoil here. 

Overall, while it may not be the cinematic masterpiece like the first movie, nor has a whole lot of meaning behind its story like the original or Godzilla vs Mothra, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster makes up for it by being one of the most entertaining monster movies to date. The human plot is solid, the monsters all get their own time, the final battle is excellently done, with each monster working to take out Ghidorah, and is overall delightfully cheesy and well for seeking out. It may not be very smart or meaningful, but it’s one hell of a ride.