Every Godzilla Movie Ranked Worst To Best

Who doesn't like a good kaiju film? There's just something satisfying about giant monsters beating the crap out of each other, destroying buildings and cities, while humans frantically scramble to survive the threat. And there's no fuller franchise when it comes to these oversized menaces than Godzilla.

Godzilla films have been around for over 65 years, totaling an impressive 36 installments. The majority of them aren't grand by the cinematic standards of today, but that's not really what we look for in a Godzilla movie, anyway. We want the rubber suit and miniature scale model of Tokyo. We want the dubbing and silly humor intertwined with odd storylines. We watch these movies not for the quality of their special effects but for the fun and nostalgia of an expressionless rubber mask rising from the sea.

Of course, there's no argument that some movies in the franchise are better than others. So, grab your popcorn, dust off the old VCR, and read on to see which of these B-movie delights are most worth your time. Here's every Godzilla movie ranked from worst to best.

#34: Godzilla (1998)

Let's start with the worst of the worst: Godzilla – not the original but the heaping mess of CGI that somehow made it into theaters in 1998. This movie tried really hard to do some cool stuff with story and modern special effects that didn't pay off. The Godzilla creature is barely seen as it hides among buildings in New York. Somehow, nobody could find a giant lizard the height of a skyscraper. Speaking of which, how was this skyscraper-sized Godzilla able to squeeze through subway tunnels?

The film's only saving grace was Matthew Broderick, but even his acting and his collection of giant worms couldn't save this movie from being a complete blunder. To make things unique, the movie makes Godzilla capable of asexual reproduction — and ready to lay eggs. It shakes things up. The movie also uses nuclear testing as the route of Godzilla's creation, staying mildly in line with the franchise's tendency toward social commentary, but it failed to give us a real look at the monster behind the action and lacked the drawing-in factor you'd expect from a Godzilla movie.

#33: The Netflix anime trilogy

They tried, you can tell they did, but Netflix didn't quite pull off the Godzilla we expected when they put out their run of animated movies. Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, and Godzilla: The Planet Eater released through 2017 and 2018 thanks to Netflix capitalizing on yet another already established franchise. And, while these movies aren't as outrageously out-of-place in the Godzilla universe as the 1998 film, they're like a weak cup of tea compared to both other Godzilla movies and other Netflix extended universes. The movies try desperately to compensate for their lack of compelling story with mostly great animation. The drama isn't there because the characters aren't very likable, making it difficult to emotionally invest in the story.

This series gives a look at a post-apocalyptic future Earth where humans have traveled into space to escape Godzilla and other monsters' continuous destruction. The theme is there and had the potential to be something awesome, had the character drama been compelling and the pace been faster than a slug on hot concrete.

#32: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus was another attempt at creativity within the Godzilla universe that came out lukewarm at best. The film starts out slow, and the monsters are ... well ... they're akin to a swarm of annoying flies Godzilla swats around. That is until the end of the movie, when they make the queen big, powerful, and badass. Then, there's a decent fight scene, but that's about it.

The plot was mediocre at best, and it did something crazy enough to push most fans away from good reviews: It reworked this millennium-era Godzilla into its own original while somehow managing to stay disconnected from every film that came before it. If you don't know, this is pretty blasphemous. Each Godzilla died for a reason. Add that to the bad acting this film is famous for, and you get one of many poor millennium attempts to further the franchise.

#31: Godzilla's Revenge (1969)

Most viewers would agree this isn't the worst of films, but it's a tedious watch and among the more "skippable" in the franchise. Reviewers likewise aren't fans of the picture, and some, like Million Monkey Theater, didn't even want to review the film because they thought it was that stinkin' bad. To give some context, Godzilla's Revenge was geared toward small children to enjoy during the Christmas season. The franchise had just started its downturn, and they figured, "Hey, we can still sell this to the kiddos at least." This didn't settle well with adults.

The premise is basically a bullied child watching poorly cut-together stock fights between Godzilla and other monsters. It sold well as a late '60's kid movie, and it's kind of fun if you can watch it from that perspective, but the movie was a sign of the dark times ahead for the Godzilla franchise. Stock monster fights aren't awful on their own, so no one will blame you for watching this amateurly cut string of them.

#30: Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)

With Ebirah, Horror of the Deep at number 30, we're moving away from the more disliked films and getting into "mixed reviews" territory. The main drawback of this film is how different it is than the more traditional Godzilla movies. The big G doesn't show up until late in the movie, and since he's the main reason we tend to watch these pictures, viewers are disappointed by the wait. The plot is pretty decent, though. The main character loses his brother at sea, finds out from a mystic that he might still be alive, and heads out on a stolen sailboat to find him but instead runs into a nasty, oversized lobster named Ebirah. 'Zilla snoozes for a while before finally doing his thing, taking down the crustacean.

The effects and quality hadn't gotten any better than the earliest films, but that's one of the things fans like about it. It's the major lack of Godzilla that really drives this movie down.

#29: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. gets a bit confusing. For instance, Mothra shows up. We love Mothra. Everyone loves Mothra. But by this point, Mothra has become way overplayed. The franchise realized the monster was a hit, so they threw it in everywhere whether it fit or not. Anyway, Mothra comes in and tells everybody they need to get the original Godzilla's bones out of Mechagodzilla and lay them to rest because, well, it's pretty disrespectful to use lizard's bones to raise a new monster. Then, Godzilla shows up. Yes, there has been more than one Godzilla. The confusing part is when Mothra helps Mechagodzilla beat up on the G man instead of going through with dismantling the mechanical beast.

This movie definitely wasn't as bad as the others, but many, like Cinema Or Cine-meh, think it was lazily pushed out as an attempt for the millennium films to keep up with the old rate of production.

#28: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla was the last Godzilla film in what is largely considered the tail end of a declining franchise. Well, that's before the franchise was resurrected with The Return of Godzilla in 1984. By this point, Godzilla movies had largely moved away from the kaiju horror genre the franchise started as and into the realm of poorly created films only a child's imagination could really appreciate. According to The Dusty Reel, this film bombed at the box office, but there are fans who really enjoy it.

Any love for this movie can be traced to the return of director Ishirō Honda. This guy had a profound knowledge of the Godzilla universe and a finesse in directing that made subtle points amid the action. He didn't save the movie entirely, but he did make it feel more like a Godzilla flick of old. The battles were on the weak side, and the Godzilla suit looked to be on its last legs, but the human storyline was pretty okay.

#27: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

If Rotten Tomatoes' scoring system is to be considered a trustworthy source of film analysis, and it's generally considered one of the best out there, then Godzilla: Final Wars is the most mediocre of mediocre Godzilla movies, weighing in at a perfect 50 percent. It's one of the millennium films, made in a time when creators seemed to be under the impression that they could add whatever fancy-shmancy twists to the franchise they desired as if a few zeros had changed moviegoers' tastes drastically from the years before. As you'd expect, Final Wars was unique, and that's not necessarily a good thing.

The film might be hit and miss among fans, but it is fun. A variable trove of classic monsters and aliens descends on the Earth while Godzilla saves the day. Classic stylings with modern effects bring the action to life, but the acting was bad enough to pull you away from it all. Not to mention, the franchise's best monsters fought under mind control instead of acting on their own volition.

#26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is another of the "meh" movies that appeared after the Y2K scare. This movie wasn't that great, but it deserves a bump in status because of one important "first" among Godzilla films. As Not Coming to a Theater Near You points out, this seems to be the first movie in the franchise where the female characters are truly essential to the plot. Kaiju aren't just for boys, after all. The film also had a more progressive and diverse cast, which the franchise had been trending toward since the '90s.

The Mechagodzilla suit comes into question. Some think the new design is badass, while others, purists, seem to think it should've kept its classic look. Either way you sit, you'll probably agree the plot is on the weird side. The old Godzilla is dead, a new Godzilla has risen to take the former's place, and now the old Godzilla's bones are used to create the Mechagodzilla cyborg. At least it's still an easier storyline to follow than its direct sequel, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

#25: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon actually scores lower on "official" ranking sites, like IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes, than many of the movies we've already listed. Why, then, are we breaking from those standards? Well, official rankings have nothing to do with what Godzilla fans enjoy, and most fans tend to like this one better than the millennium runs. The film is still a "versus" movie in the downturned Shōwa era of the Godzilla franchise, but it was better than most at the time, even being marketed toward children as a desperate hope to keep the G man suit filled.

The movie, though the franchise revenues were continually dwindling, happened to have a modicum of success at the box office, which Toho Kingdom says was mostly due to efficient advertising. But that counts, right? Either way, love it or hate it, this entry actually felt like a Godzilla film, and for that, it's earned its place at number 25.

#24: Godzilla 2000 (2000)

In an odd twist of confusing fate, to any real Godzilla fan at least, fans of the 1998 film-of-which-we-don't-speak were disappointed that Godzilla 2000 wasn't a direct sequel. For the rest of fans, it helped bump Godzilla 2000 to number 24 on this list. It was a relieving breath of classic air, so to speak.

The movie had the stylings of the older films, giving viewers the King of Monsters they feared had been lost to the new world of computer-generated imaging. Nothing beats a rubber suit, and the most classic of all kaiju was back in one. The story, however, was off. For some reason, this movie was disconnected from all previous Godzilla films and raised enough questions about continuity to leave you with a lingering sense of confusion. To cap it off, as IGN points out, the sound could've been done better. All in all, though, it was a decent movie that blended modern animatronics with a suit we were pleased to see hadn't quite made it to the metaphorical trash.

#23: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Mechagodzilla has become a man-made answer to stopping Godzilla from destroying Tokyo in modern films, but he wasn't always that way. This is the first appearance of the character within the franchise, and instead of being the human-rebuilt hero, Mechagodzilla was a robot sent by aliens to destroy Japan. Since it's the '70s, Godzilla is playing the hero.

The movie gave us one of the most iconic Godzilla monsters, and for that, fans can't thank it enough. That being said, it certainly wasn't the best movie it could've been. The beginning was an absolute crawl. The movie was also gorier than any of the previous ones, which is plus for some and a minus for others. The real kicker here is the music, which, quite frankly, seemed to belong to a different movie entirely. The tunes were so out of place that they pulled audience attention from the action that was already sparse. Maybe playing the movie on mute would give it a better score, but for now, it stays at number 23.

#22: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)

When it comes to Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, most fans have one of two opinions: Either it's one of the best Godzilla films they've ever seen, or it's barely worth watching. If you're into Godzilla for all of the monster's kaiju-ness, then you'll really enjoy this movie. You get two Godzillas for the price of one. SpaceGodzilla seems to be the giant offspring of the original lizard. He even looks similar, if not more badass with the massive crystal spikes growing out his back. There's some fun tension between SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla Junior, too, reminiscent of an abandoned child taking out his parental qualms on the sibling who got all the attention.

Outside of what's already mentioned, the movie wasn't very good. They continue on with the psychic theme from the movies before, but it doesn't have much impact on the film, which introduces the silly-looking robot that is Moguera. The special effects weren't on par with other Heisei-era films, either.

#21: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II scored pretty high with critics, which, in turn, led to an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 83 percent, but not all fans would agree with that assessment. The website's audience ranking is hovering just above 70 percent, which feels to be in line with the "fun" factor of this film.

Mechagodzilla is built from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah and is, this time, meant to be humanity's savior. The movie also introduces Godzilla Junior. This is confusing, of course, since Godzilla had another child in earlier films who's also colloquially referred to as "Godzilla Junior" but whose real name is Minilla. Minilla is the Barney-looking, overly cute creature of the past, while Junior is more like a small, badass Godzilla.

The final fight scene of this movie is a little drawn out, but it's an exciting, three-way battle that includes Rodan. The only issue fans really seem to have with the film is in the new Mechagodzilla design that lacks some of the classic elements, such as the finger rockets.

#20: Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)

While Mothra is played out at this point, she doesn't just show up for no reason in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth like she does in other films. This moth-based benevolent monster is an integral part of the storyline. It's also the film in which she leaves Earth, taking some of the pressure off the overworked creature. So, Godzilla rampages, a space caterpillar falls from the sky to teach the world a lesson, and Mothra joins in the fight to stop Godzilla, eventually sealing him under the sea. Then, Mothra takes off to tour the universe for some reason or another.

The effects in this movie are sublime, and Mothra looks cooler than ever before, with bigger wings and better coloring. There really aren't too many negatives about this movie, but there aren't many highlights, either. It was good, a regular Godzilla film and nothing more. You'll find a copy in most fans' collections with dust unstirred on the cover, but it's not a movie they'll easily get rid of.

#19: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

The battle between King Kong and Godzilla, in whatever form it may take, is probably the most iconic of all the kaiju fights in the genre. We have the warm-blooded primate pitted against the sea-dwelling reptile. It's so popular, in fact, that there was a remake released in 2021. It's also the reason this movie is so high on the list.

Unfortunately, King Kong vs. Godzilla serves as a negative mark among hardcore fans and those watching the franchise from the start, not because it wasn't a good movie — this is a classic, after all — but because it's a symbol of when the Godzilla movies switched from being horror-themed to family films that grew increasingly marketed toward the younger generations. If you're planning on watching the modern reboot, you should definitely pop this in the VCR first and witness the original battle between the world's two most beloved monsters.

#18: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

If you pop over to Rotten Tomatoes or put the long, hard minutes it takes to scour the internet for critical reviews, you'll notice official critics weren't too pleased with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Many cite the plot mechanics as "tricky" and hard to follow. Others say the storytelling was worthless and couldn't be saved. Fans definitely disagree with these know-it-alls.

Sure, the plot and story are everything the critics claim, but the action and spectacular effects drove audience reviews far into the realm of "favorable." There's no man in a rubber suit, so it doesn't offer much in the way of cheesy, classic appeal. It is, however, a pretty dope kaiju movie. It features some of our favorite monsters, such as Mothra, Rodan, and the magnificent three-headed menace, King Ghidorah, painted in more lifelike modern images. For all the negatives with this film's plot, the action and stylings make it a movie Godzillaheads and non-fans can both enjoy.

#17: Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

In an era where the Godzilla franchise had moved to child audiences, it was rare to see an installment that pandered to an adult crowd the way the early, horror-type G films did. Godzilla vs. Gigan was pretty much the only Godzilla movie from the '70s adults really got down with. This movie is the shining star of that era.

The film has what looks like a fairly predictable plot at first. Some business owners want to capture the world's monsters and put them on display in their theme park. As you'd assume, this doesn't work out, but not in the way you'd think. The business owners are actually space cockroaches trying to off humans and take over Earth by calling on Gigan and King Ghidorah to do their thing. There's a two-on-two fight with Godzilla and Anguirus battling the two destroyers. In all, this movie is worth watching if you have the time, but like the others up to this point, it likely won't be your favorite.

#16: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) is another one of the '70s-era films that isn't particularly good. If we're talking about "watchability," Godzilla vs. Gigan is probably better, but this movie's theme, however poorly executed, pulls it ahead.

One of the aspects of the Godzilla franchise that made it a beast over half a century old is the social commentary with which it packs its best films. This started with the original and has been present here and there since. Often, those that break this precedent are simply action for action's sake with no other redeeming qualities. Sure, you can live off that occasionally, but when it's a habit, things grow rough for a fandom. This movie, however, has plenty to say. 

The plot revolves around the pollution that plagues the planet, making it hospitable for a smog-consuming monster to drop in from space like that unwanted cousin who "only needs to sleep on your couch for a couple of days" and never leaves. Godzilla saves the day, and the world is schooled on their less-than-green practices.

#15: Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965)

The title we commonly refer to as Godzilla vs. Monster Zero has gone by three different names depending on date and location. So when you see Invasion of Astro-Monster or Godzilla vs. Astro-Monster, know we're talking about the same movie. Other than that minor confusion, which really doesn't factor into the quality of the feature, it's pretty good. 

Since the movie is a direct sequel to Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, one of the fan-favorite characters comes back for a second helping. The movie is enjoyable but not quite as good as the first. Either of these Ghidorah movies could've done without the other since they were practically the same story, with only a couple of differences. First, this one takes place on the alien Planet X. Second, the plot involves aliens wanting to secretly mind-control the great monsters to destroy Earth, making it slightly more of a man vs. alien movie than a kaiju slugfest.

#14: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

In order to really appreciate the Heisei era of the Godzilla franchise and take in all the fun these '80s and '90s entries have to offer, it's best to view them as a similar yet separate string of films. If you do, you'll likely enjoy Godzilla vs. Biollante since it's the epitome of this age.

Some of Godzilla's cells have been recovered from a volcano, and different groups either want to study them or do something more malicious. Naturally, this causes a fight, and the cells ultimately land in the hands of the Japanese military, which accidentally creates the creature known as Biollante. Well, you can guess who Biollante ends up in a big kaiju battle against. Godzilla vs. Biollante has plot, action, and rubber suits, making it a darn good Godzilla film. On the other hand, the production, acting, and character development were far from perfect.

#13: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

The first Godzilla movie of the 2020s secures the number 13 slot on the list. Godzilla vs. Kong is a film worth seeing, with cutting-edge effects and CGI. Now, purists might not enjoy the film's phenomenal production quality, but as far as Godzilla vs. Kong being a modern kaiju movie, it's one of the best.

The story does fall a little flat when it comes to the character elements and drama. Likewise, Kong seems to change sizes depending on what is happening in the film, but the scale isn't what's important here. The action and the monster rendering overshadow the dramatic flaws. Indeed, the movie has received a good bit of love from both audiences and critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Simply put, if you want to see two of the world's best kaiju duke it out in modern cinematic brilliance, this is the movie you want to watch.

#12: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)

King Ghidorah makes any Godzilla movie worth watching, even if said films don't make it to the top ten. These movies aren't meant to be cinematic masterpieces, and when it comes to fun, monster-y goodness, King Ghidorah's three heads are hard to beat. This flick falls directly into the spirit of the Godzilla franchise. It's supposed to be a delightfully bad B-level movie that entertains the heck out of us, and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah does not disappoint in this respect. It does, however, have some serious problems when it comes to the weird time-travel storyline. So, how'd it make it so far up the list?

The special effects are fantastic for this type of film. We don't only get to see this applied to the fight between Godzilla and Ghidorah, but we have the luxury of seeing these effects in a second epic battle between Godzilla and the future resurrected Mecha-King Ghidorah. That's two boss fights for the price of one. Get yourself a bowl of popcorn, a couple of friends, and a night in front of the TV with this film, and you won't be disappointed.

#11: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Some may see this film as problematic within the Godzilla mythos, but it's an important piece of the franchise's history and needs to be included high on the list. Son of Godzilla is the first time the G man's offspring is present. It gives an entirely new dimension to the character as well as an annoyingly cute little runt that can't help but get into trouble like a confused toddler. This reptilian child, Manilla, locks in the lighthearted humor the series was shifting toward.

Many view the inclusion of Manilla as an even further push in a childish direction, and honestly, it was, but that doesn't take away the classic value of this movie. With the franchise having been built on the embodiment of all things B-movie, the classics are what it's about. Without Son of Godzilla, there wouldn't have been any other kaiju youngsters in the franchise, making the collection a different beast than the one we know today.

#10: Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Destroy All Monsters is generally considered the last good Godzilla film before the franchise went into its '70s downturn. The movie is exceedingly fun, if not chaotic, and packs a heavy punch. It has the largest monster brawl out of any Godzilla film, bringing 11 of the classics — including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah — to duke it out. Not all of these monsters get the luxury of full screen time, with some only having short cameos, but Toho provided quite the soiree when it comes to the epic final battle.

Unfortunately, viewers have to wade through the movie's slow start to get to the surplus kaiju action, but every ounce of patience you spend tapping your foot and willing yourself not to fast-forward is worth the wait. It's the last remnants of "the good old days" going out with a bang. To be completely honest, you want to watch this film with subtitles. The English dubbing is pretty awful and hard to follow.

#9: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)

Other than the name taking six or seven breaths to get out in its entirety — it has the longest title of any film in the Godzilla franchise – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack was fantastic. It's technically a millennium-era movie, which might seem shocking since few of them were worth their salt, but this movie doesn't feel like an early 21st century garbage heap like most of the others. We get the man in the big, green rubber suit and everything.

Godzilla is back with a vengeance, ready to give Japan a beating over the country's actions in World War II until three powerful protector monsters come to the country's aid. These three guardians are, of course, Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. Even without these fan favorites on screen, the movie's spirit is the political commentary of Godzilla's past, and for that, it weighs in at number nine.

#8: Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

As you'd expect, the top ten is getting highly competitive, and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is no lightweight. In fact, it's the only Godzilla movie to score a perfect 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a pretty big deal. The movie was the last in the Heisei series, and like we've seen with previous Godzilla series, this one brought the Heisei era to a banging halt. It could've ended the entire franchise like a fireworks show. Godzilla was built up over a decade so he could meet his end in the final moments of this film. That may be a bit of a spoiler, but the movie is more than 20 years old, so hopefully you've seen it already.

The finale to this era, according to Birth Movies Death, was originally going to be Godzilla dueling with the ghost of the first Godzilla, which would've made at least as awesome a movie as Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Instead, we got Godzilla having a literal nuclear meltdown while looking like he needed the world's largest Tums. That's not to say the film wasn't absolutely fantastic. It was, and you should probably watch it.

#7: The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Godzilla franchise had been sitting near death on a nine-year hiatus. The Shōwa era had put a lot of people off, and if the big guy was going to grace the screen once more, the film would have to be exceptional. And it was. In 1984, the nuclear lizard rose from the sea, resurrected, in The Return of Godzilla. This movie brought back not only the world's favorite kaiju but the mean, green machine's roots. The plot made heavy commentary on the Cold War tensions that had been weighing the world down for years leading up to the film. It also returned Godzilla to a mature, less childlike format.

Not everyone was as happy as they should've been with G man's revitalization, though. The franchise had dwindled and died, and there were some who believed it should've stayed that way, but most Godzilla fans would have a difficult time internalizing this view. The movie pulls an unexpected move by ignoring every Godzilla film before it with the exception of the original. It's a little confusing, but it wipes away the grime produced during the '70s.

#6: Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

There's no denying Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster has flaws when it comes to production quality, and its stature is more a product of nostalgia than anything else. It's definitely a good movie, and it's such a fan favorite that anyone who denies this film a high place on the list would likely find themselves spit-roasted and served up to whichever kaiju is enticed by the smell. Why? Well, no other movie in the franchise introduced King Ghidorah. The three-headed creature is one of the most powerful and awesome monsters in the franchise — not a city destroyer but a world-ending threat — and for that alone, this movie shines. That's not to say the film doesn't have other premium qualities.

Ghidorah gave fans a truly monstrous monster, as opposed to the increasingly humanized beasts they'd come to expect, while the characterizations of the other kaiju in this film were a direct contrast. The human character development was likewise plentiful, and the action weaved humor effortlessly throughout the tension. The movie earned its spot at number six, and it wasn't given lightly.

#5: Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

Godzilla Raids Again was released the year following the original Godzilla and proved to be a stunning sequel. It had a ferocity in its choreography that other kaiju pictures were lacking, driving the action and helping the franchise cement itself into popular culture, not to mention showing the world what could be done with a scale model city and a rubber lizard suit. This suit, however, wasn't as heavy as the one used in the film before, according to The B-Movie Film Vault, and gave substantially more mobility for the actor to bring Godzilla to life. It helps Anguirus and Godzilla really go to town on each other in that final battle.

For all of its high points, Godzilla Raids Again has its faults when it comes to plot that prevent it from reaching higher in the top 10, such as erasing Godzilla's death at the end of the first movie, but its importance to the growth of the franchise brings it at least this far.

#4: Godzilla (2014)

There are going to be plenty of purists who argue against any of the more modern Godzilla flicks making it this high up the list, but entertainment is just as important as historical and intellectual value when it comes to ranking kaiju B movies, and the 2014 Godzilla was just about as entertaining as they come. Nobody could've expected a Godzilla film with advanced special effects to work — 1998 killed that idea for us — but this movie showed us that one bad apple doesn't ruin a bunch of awesome giant monsters beating the crap out of each other.

The way this movie was shot has a lot to do with its quality. Instead of watching monsters rampage in the distance, the 2014 film gave viewers a point of view that made us feel we were looking up at the carnage. The progression withholds details in just the right amounts, feeding them back in crumbs until we're burdened by the crushing weight of a sci-fi horror. The movie was masterfully done in just about every way.

#3: Shin Godzilla (2016)

Another modern Godzilla movie, Shin Godzilla is not only one of the best movies about the giant lizard but also a graceful piece of political satire. Godzilla, in essence, is a symbol of cosmic retribution. It's what the character was always intended to be, even if the Heisei era turned him into Earth's protector for a short time. In this movie, Godzilla returns to being that force as he gets rambunctiously out of hand while punishing Japan for the Fukushima disaster and humanity's generally poor use of nuclear power. He's also, you know, pretty upset about being woken up from his decade-long nap.

The movie spends a lot of time inside human meetings while they discuss crisis management regarding the angry kaiju, but it doesn't detract at all from the film's power. This movie embodied the soul of Godzilla that seemed to have been lost in the millennium's need for mindless action.

#2: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

The introduction of the benevolent Mothra in Mothra vs. Godzilla became an anchor point for the franchise, from which they could replay the soon-to-be overused monster. Mothra is the bomb, plain and simple. This movie is generally considered the greatest Godzilla installment from its decade, not to mention the second best in the entire series, and it's not just for bringing the moth-inspired creature to the screen.

Comedic overtones mesh with a serious storyline to bring us the underdog fight of a lifetime. Godzilla is a powerhouse bent on raising hell, and Mothra is forced to dig deep and use more strength than she has to save Japan from his destructive rampage. It's a classic story of overcoming evil, but with a two giant kaiju and all the cutting-edge effects the early '60s could muster. The human storyline isn't quite as good, but the villainous redemption more than makes up for the weaker human protagonists.

#1: Godzilla (1954)

You're probably not surprised to see the first-ever Godzilla movie at the top of the list, and why would you be? Godzilla is the film that sparked more than 65 years of sequels, reboots, and series based on the King of Monsters. What you might not know is that this movie was a powerful piece raised high on its own merit.

Movie critic Roger Ebert called this movie "the Fahrenheit 9/11 of its time," and for good reason. The film was made after an American hydrogen bomb was tested in Pacific waters, resulting in radiation sickness for Japanese fishermen. The movie was commentary as well as a warning about nuclear technology in the hands of human beings and the destructive force such a power could have if used incorrectly. Sure, the movie is a bit silly, but its concept is brilliant, setting a precedent for the use of other Godzilla storylines to speak out about human folly.