There’s plenty of Godzilla media to choose from. The numerous films, spin-offs, continuities, characters, and monsters that span an extended period of time make it challenging for those new to establish themselves in the franchise world.
This is exacerbated because Godzilla movies are widely diverse in tone, quality, and subject matter. Certain are somber reflections about the flaws that plague humanity, whereas others are straightforward kaiju wrestling adventures. It’s difficult to figure out where to begin.
It is good news for those who are just beginning their journey, as the majority of Godzilla movies are self-contained in a way, with just a few references and the occasional character that links the sequels to their predecessors. In addition, the wide range of themes and subjects within the Godzilla franchise makes it likely that anyone will find something they enjoy within Godzilla‘s collection.
10 Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1974)
Betrayal, love and betrayal, aliens, Kaiju, and Mechagodzilla (currently re-launched in Godzilla Vs. Kong) meet to form Godzilla director Ishiro’s final film in the Godzilla series. The film is a story about humans interfering in the affairs of Kaiju this time. Aliens are playing with Mechagodzilla, that promise to make the situation more complex.
Terror of Mechagodzilla is a darker affair than the majority of the other films in the series. It’s also, particularly, it is this is the sole Godzilla movie that features a female screenwriter, Yukiko Takayama, credited as the screenwriter in charge. There’s plenty of humor in the character drama, and even the main kaiju character, Titanosaurus, has a tragic twist. It’s a truly moving human tale that is interspersed perfectly with the action of monsters while keeping a clear view of the original Godzilla legacy.
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9 Godzilla (2014)
The first film in the Legendary’s “Monsterverse” series, 2014’s Godzilla is an enthralling dramatic reimagining of the classic monster. The plot may not offer something particularly original in terms of Kaiju (Godzilla takes on cities, battles certain monsters, and humans attempt to figure out ways to defeat it). However, the film includes some great action scenes and a few notable sets, which make it an excellent Kaiju action romp.
Director Gareth Edwards does an outstanding job in capturing the massive size of Godzilla and his adversaries and his foes, frequently shooting close to the eye to show the sheer size of the monsters in the film. The spectacle Godzilla can stomp into the screen is worth the admission price and makes it an authentic incarnation of the legendary G’s legacy.
8 Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
One of the best things concerning Godzilla is that the Godzilla brand is the stories vary from serious reflections about humanity’s inclination to self-destructing through nuclear explosions to completely absurd stories about time-traveling Furbies as well as robotic dinosaurs that fly. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah is one of the most absurd stories in the series. However, it’s difficult to beat with the adorability of schlock.
With an incoherent and confusing timeline plot that is completely unintelligible, a handful of scenes that are blatantly ripping off from the Terminator films, a few unintentionally disguised Japanese historical revisionism, and stunningly hammy dub acting. Ghidorah is an enjoyable mess that is best shared with a group of friends and a bowl of popcorn. It’s also one of the most memorable performances that have ever been made by King Ghidorah Godzilla, one of the most formidable adversaries.
7 Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971)
Hedorahis a strange one, even for a series that revolves around raunchy battles between gigantic monsters. Hedorah is the symbol of pollution, transforming into a terrifying beast due to the harmful byproducts of the human race’s greed for industrial goods, and Japan is once more in danger. This may sound like a typical scenario; however, the story is filled with an incredible quantity of surreal psychedelics, which creates a distinct brand identity within the genre.
The acid-trip imagery and disco beats are shockingly graphic scenes of the human costs incurred by Kaiju that give Hedorahan an edge that’s absent from numerous shows from the Showa era Godzilla film.
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6 Godzilla, Mothra, And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
In addition, many fans shorten the title to a basic GMK instead of the mouthful it’s usually called, which is great because it’s impossible to exaggerate the quality of this film, despite its hefty title. The director Shusuke Kaneko brings a fresh perspective to the series by creating the movie Godzilla the most blatantly evil (and terrifying) Godzilla version that has yet to be created on film.
Away from the unsympathetic power of nature and misunderstood human creature shield that has been his role in earlier films Godzilla, this Godzilla is an angry specter that is borne of the historical atrocities as the vessel through which the ghosts of past conflict or imperialist goals will take revenge on the artificial comforts of the modern world. It’s a thrilling, exhilarating, and completely modern take on the classic monster that shouldn’t be missed by both new and long-time fans alike.
5 Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)
A favorite fan monster Mothra makes her debut appearance alongside Godzilla in the appropriately-titled Mothra Vs. Godzilla (not to be confused with 1991’s Godzilla vs. Mothra), and it’s one of her most memorable films. Mothra is distinct from the other Kaiju catalog by being a force that is unambiguous to good and guardian of Earth and its inhabitants if no greedy businessmen try to profit from her eggs. Profits, which is.
Unfortunately, the greedy businessmen of The Godzilla universe seem to be taking classes at business schools on exploiting the kaiju eggs to make money. It often happens, with this movie being the latest example. The only issue has to do with the fact it is Godzilla himself is in hiding and that Mothra is the only thing standing between Japan and total destruction.
4 Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
The critics may describe Final Wars as dumb or unintelligible. This is the opinion of those who aren’t educated. It is true that Final Wars, in reality, a film that, is a movie with a maximum re-creation of a kid smacking the kaiju action figures and creating a story in the process (in the best way). Are the plot and characters stand against any kind of critical analysis? Absolutely not. Does it really make for a great film, regardless? Absolutely.
Nearly every famous Kaiju within the Toho library is grouped in this movie to fight it out against Godzilla in a crazy, full-on battle between Kaiju. When the film starts, it doesn’t slow down, and the action gets more chaotic by swapping the normally somber human drama in other titles for superpowered combat with aliens, which occurs in conjunction with the never-ending kaiju battle.
3 Godzilla Vs. Biollante (1989)
Godzilla against. Biollante features all of the elements one would expect from a good Godzilla film — amazing technology, special effects that run wild, and a fascinating story that plays with the tensions in the political landscape of the period. In the aftermath of one of Godzilla’s assaults on Tokyo, governments worldwide are scrambling to find some of the samples from his cell to start an arms race in the search for military uses for the man’s tissues. In the meantime, a grieving father sets off the chain of events that can bring Godzilla’s most terrifying foe to the forefront to date.
An intelligent, well-paced, and thrilling film. Godzilla vs. Biollante is rightly considered to be among the top of the Heisei time Godzilla films.
2 Shin Godzilla (2016)
Director Hideaki Anno of Evangelion fame was charged with returning Godzilla to his previous glory on the big screen, and he did a great job on every level. Shin Godzilla is an enthralling reimagining of the monster to reflect the times of modernity which presents Godzilla as a powerful powerhouse capable of making governments fall to their knees.
Shin Godzilla also offers a humorous take on an administrative black hole that is revealed when a federal crisis response is launched. Anno meticulously exposes how the Japanese government’s hierarchy could function when confronting a Godzilla-level crisis. This makes the film feel real to life and heartfelt.
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1 Gojira (1954)
The film sets the tone for all, uncontrolled nuclear testing awakes an ancient monster determined to punish humanity for its technological and scientific pride. Godzilla can be described as the animated symbol of the horrors of atomic conflict and a stark reminder that humanity’s claimed “mastery” over nature is not real. In stark contrast to the zany humor of the subsequent films, the first Gojira can be described as an unsettling tale that conveys the generational pain of that Second World War and the nuclear war that brought it to an end. The film also reveals an unsettling fear of how the post-war world will develop in Japan, which suggests that the notion of security for the nation is a falsehood that can be easily destroyed by monsters that are a result of previous mistakes and here in the shape of Godzilla.