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There are some movie franchises through the years that have somehow not only been a delight to watch but have also become a part of our lives. One of such franchises is the Godzilla movies franchise.
Since it began in 1954, we have gone through many storylines and many characters and the franchise has come to be a pop-culture staple with many more releases that have somehow gone through different thematic paths. Nonetheless, it still remains a highly loved and followed franchise with over 30 films, many of which were produced by the Japanese film company Toho. The remaining few were released by American studios; TriStar Pictures and Legendary Pictures.
How Many Godzilla Movies Are There?
Since the first release, the monster film franchise has produced a total of 33 projects; 29 by Japanese studios and 4 by American studios. Here is a quick look at how the franchise has evolved and all the Godzilla movies that have ever been produced.
A Complete List In Order Of Release
1. Godzilla (1954)
Although it started the franchise, this is no way the best film in the lot. Interestingly, though, it introduces us to what the franchise is all about as it is not actually about the giant monster. It gives an understanding of what the creature means as well as the decisions that characters have to make following the mistake made by humanity from its nuclear power testing.
2. Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
This time around, we get to meet the giant monster for the first time as he slugs it out against another monster. Arguably, this is one of the worst films in the franchise as it is simply a rehash of the movie before it without any serious plot that one can appreciate.
3. King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962)
And then came this film which gives us an iconic battle of two of the biggest monsters we have seen on cinema. King Kong Vs. Godzilla can boldly lay a claim to being the film that attracted a wider audience to the iconic franchise.
4. Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1964)
This would have been another great battle between Godzilla and another Kaiju, but somehow, it has managed to relapsed from what King Kong vs. Godzilla has achieved. The battles are at best horrible, but it is still a part of the Godzilla franchise.
5. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
This marks the start of the Godzilla: King of Monsters film sweries as well as the first of the mash kaiju monster films. It brings together Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra in a story that centers mainly on the Japanese monarchy. This became the second Godzilla movie that was released in 1964.
6. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
This time around, we are taken to an alien planet where a mysterious monster (Ghidorah) is causing serious havoc. To deal with the Monster X, Rodan and Godzilla are taken to the planet to take out the three-headed dragon. While it is not one of the Godzilla films that can be thrown aside, it sometimes gets boring as it dwells on the human plot.
7. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
Imagine Godzilla slugging it out in the sea with a giant crab, Ebirah. That is what you get with this movie. The two battle each other blow for blow and continue to exchange stones and more in an epic battle. Initially, it was supposed to be a King Kong film but after it was rejected, it ended up on this list.
8. Son of Godzilla (1967)
This time around, we get introduced to the adorable offspring of Godzilla whose name is Minilla. You may struggle to love the film, but there are still some great parts most especially as Godzilla makes an effort to train his son on how to use weapons.
9. Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Just as the name must have suggested, this is a battle that brings all the monsters to have featured in the Godzilla Movies. The monsters have been brainwashed and their destruction is coming. While it is great, the monsters only make brief appearances.
10. Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)
Also known as All Monsters Attack, this is one of the Godzilla movies that will be thrown away from the good ones. Painful to watch, it tells the story of a bullied schoolboy who imagines Minilla is coming to fight for him.
11. Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971)
In the franchise, this is one that one may hardly get tired of watching mainly because it takes a different and interesting approach from all others. More so, the monster, Hedorah, is different from all others. He secretes dangerous substances that are dangerous to the skin. The battle between Godzilla and Hedorah is nice to watch.
12. Godzilla Vs. Gigan (1972)
Godzilla vs. Gigan is another one that is beloved, most especially because of Gigan who is probably the coolest Kaiju among all others that appear in the franchise. And yes, the battle can get bloody sometimes as Anguirus and Godzilla join forces against Ghidorah and Gigan.
13. Godzilla Vs. Megalon (1973)
The only thing that is memorable about this film is a scene that featured a notorious flying kick. Apart from that, the battle between Godzilla and Megalon is as bad as the entire plot.
14. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
This marks the debut of Mechadozilla, a monster terminator put together by aliens to destroy Godzilla.
15. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus, a Kaiju we are meeting for the first time are under the control of a mad genius who is trying to have them destroy the world. The fight between Godzilla and the monsters gets great at some point, but that is all about it.
16. The Return of Godzilla (1984)
For the first time, we are seeing Godzilla coming out against Japan as a solo-monster. A reboot of the original Godzilla, it comes as a direct sequel to the very first movie in the franchise as it overlooks everything else.
17. Godzilla Vs. Biollante (1989)
It is pretty much surprising to see how much this movie is overlooked in the franchise. That said, among other Kaiju, Biollante is interesting and the movie is great to watch because of the emotions it brings.
18. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
The twists and turns that come with this film make it a great addition to the franchise as we are taken back to the origin of the Kaiju.
19. Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)
This film takes a mystic approach that makes it easy to love. It gets exciting to realize that Battra and Mothra join forces towards defeating Godzilla, a titan of destruction. This is one of the best Mothra films in the franchise.
20. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
From Godzilla’s son to Rodan, and Mechagodzilla, this film brings together various characters in an edgy production which still manages to turn out fine. It builds upon Godzilla vs. Ghidorah.
21. Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla (1994)
Sppacegodzilla is an evil clone of Godzilla that has come from space to battle its counterpart. With all the potentials of becoming a great film and introducing an interesting monster in Spacegodzilla, something just didn’t go right.
22. Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah (1995)
This is another attempt at making a family-friendly Godzilla movie. In the battle that ensues with various characters, Godzilla Jr. would later lay dead.
23. Godzilla (1998)
This Godzilla remake has managed to get for itself, even more, hate than it can handle. The monster, this time around, attacks New York and it lays its eggs in Madison Square Garden. In the battle that ensues, it falls to the military. You will be disappointed watching it as a Godzilla film but if you watch it as a monster film, you may have something to take away.
24. Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)
This movie also ignores all others to go back and come up with yer another direct sequel to the original Godzilla movie.
25. Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus (2000)
One cannot help but have this film that is set in an alternate universe among the favorite Godzilla movies. The sci-fi film sees the birth of an army of Megaguirus by a magical dragonfly that will clash with Godzilla.
27. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
Although the title makes it sound like something boring, it is pretty much among the most interesting Godzilla movies. The storyline that builds upon Godzilla as an embodiment of the souls that were lost in WWII is something entirely great and the action is also good.
28. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
This is yet another great millennium film with great storyline and action. Failing to kill Godzilla, a Mechagodzilla that runs on the battery is brought in for human fighters. But then, something goes terribly wrong.
29. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
For a fan of Mothra action, this may be the best in the franchise. However, it is not as unique as one would have loved as it cuts a lot from the past.
30. Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
This is the wild one in every sense, the one everyone has no option but to love. It slaps fans with all the likable monsters and those not so liked. Instead of dwelling on a plot that will bore, it goes all out for action.
31. Shin Godzilla (2016)
This gives a fresh breath to the franchise. Godzilla doesn’t get to battle any monster this time around, but instead, it is Japan that is reacting to it. More so its realism adds something great to it.
32. Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017)
This is also in a line of its own completely. It has a wonderful storyline and action that sustains. Humans are forced to leave earth for another planet because various kaiju have taken over with a new king; Godzilla. Two decades on, humans are back to take over their home.
33. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Being one of the newest, you will expect it to also be the best, but it manages not to be. It dwells so much on things that many fans may not love, sacrificing minimality.