Top 10 Godzilla Movies

Credits: Rebecca Brayton Rebecca Brayton
He's the King of the Monsters! This giant lizard has both menaced and protected Japan, following his creation thanks to nuclear radiation. A beloved icon of Japan, the lizard with the signature screech and atomic breath has fought countless creative and deadly creatures over the years. These range from Mothra, to King Ghidorah and even his doppelganger Mechagodzilla. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 Godzilla movies.
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*Script written by writer Max Lett Lafond.

Top 10 Godzilla Movies

Rev up the tanks and prepare the rocket launcher, Godzilla is coming to town. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 “Godzilla” movies.

#10: “Invasion of Astro-Monster” (1965)

What do aliens, Godzilla, and a miracle cure for cancer have in common? Absolutely nothing, but that didn’t stop these elements from taking over the central plot of the sixth entry in the “Godzilla” franchise. Better known in North America as “Monster Zero,” “Invasion of Astro-Monster” was one of the kookier takes in the series, but it nonetheless manages to deliver a good old kaiju showdown.

#9: “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” (1964)

Monsters abound in this, the fifth “Godzilla” film, when Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra must put their grievances aside to battle three-headed mega-dragon Ghidorah. Widely regarded as the first film to introduce Godzilla’s tender side, “Three-Headed Monster” sees the big green galoot fighting on the side of the humans to stop the end of the world, as opposed to his usual hobby of actively destroying it.

#8: “The Return of Godzilla” (1984)

After a spattering of films that pit the eponymous monster against big rubber foes, it was high time to reintroduce Godzilla in his own solo adventure. Politically charged and more calmly paced than its predecessors, “The Return of Godzilla” brings back the elements that made these movies scary as opposed to grandiose. And this reboot is anything but a tired retread; as a direct sequel to the original, the 16th entry brings glory back to the series.

#7: “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” (1971)

In the 11th film in the franchise, we see a real shift of Godzilla from occasional destroyer of Japan to defender of the Earth. When a mysterious alien spore shows up from outer space, it merges with the pollution at a toxic waste dump and inevitably runs amok in downtown Tokyo. Godzilla emerges once again to protect the earth from this deadly threat.

#6: “Terror of Mechagodzilla” (1975)

Aliens are at it again in the big, bad showdown in the big, bad final installment of the original series. Directly following the events of “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” – where the latter comes off worse for wear –Godzilla’s cyborg analogue is drudged up from the ocean depths, dusted off and thrown back into battle by a conquering alien army. Normally this would be old hat for the big green lug, but this time Mechagodzilla brought a friend.

#5: “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah” (1995)

Godzilla is close to death and has conveniently developed a condition which super-charges his power in the final installment of the second series. He soon joins forces with an adopted son, “Little Godzilla,” and the pair battles their way through dangers both human and monster. This time around, it appears the humans have gotten themselves into their own mess and created a super-monster named Destroyah. Will Godzilla and son be a match for this new threat?

#4: “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964)

A story of human greed takes center stage when a prominent land developer unwittingly awakensGodzilla from his deep-sea slumber. In an effort to recoup his losses, the land developer steals a giant monster egg and puts it on display. Predictably, the fourth “Godzilla” movie in the franchise includes an epic battle between two legends and Tokyo is threatened once again. But in an unlikely twist, Godzilla’s nemesis Mothra is attempting to protect the human race.

#3: “Godzilla: Final Wars” (2004)

Aliens are the cause of yet another Earth shattering showdown in the 28th episode in this epic series. But this time, they’ve unleashed all the monsters and it’s up to Godzilla to put them in their place. This film serves more as an homage than an actual Godzilla movie: in fact, fans of the franchise will find many little winks and nods to past appearances, and that the characters are lovingly treated.

#2: “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” (1991)

Time travel was really the only element missing in the “Godzilla” series. That problem is solved by the 18th movie, “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.” People from the future come to the past to warn Japan thatGodzilla will destroy their country, and that they themselves must not go back in time to stop the atom bomb from mutating a dinosaur. Simple enough, except the future people are also an evil invading army!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” (1956)
- “Godzilla” (1998)
- “King Kong vs. Godzilla” (1962)
- “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” (2001)
- “Destroy All Monsters” (1968)

#1: “Godzilla” [aka “Gojira”] (1954)

You can never beat the original. Finally and fittingly we come to the very first film iteration of the big atomic dinosaur to hit the big screen. This is the origin story that spawned countless sequels, prequels, reboots and reimaginings, and it still holds up. Though it’s dated by its special effects and acting, the overall impression is charming and timeless. It’s not wonder this film inspired the entire kaiju genre.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Godzilla movie? For more epic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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