Every Godzilla Movie, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

The Godzilla franchise is one of the most long-running in the history of cinema. Launched in 1954 with the original classic from geniuses Ishirō Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya, the franchise exploded into a pop culture phenomenon that enraptured the world in its blue atomic glow. Mixing giant monster action with biting social commentary, the Godzilla franchise is one that has stood the test of time, and has consistently sold out movie theaters across the world for decades.

The immensely popular and genre-defining series currently sits at a whopping 37 films and counting. As with any lengthy film series, it has had its fair share of high highs and low lows. In the list below, we’ve ranked every single feature-length entry into the Godzilla franchise in order of their freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes!

37 Godzilla (1998) – 19%

Godzilla '98
TriStar Pictures

No surprises here — The first American attempt at tackling the kaiju king, Roland Emmerich’s disastrous Godzilla, is the lowest rated out of all the Godzilla flicks on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie sees the redesigned creature attacking New York City, and laying lots of eggs in the process. Although it was a colossal box-office hit and is not unwatchable when taken as monster movie schlock, Godzilla ‘98 is nevertheless a terrible Godzilla movie.

36 Godzilla’s Revenge / All Monsters Attack (1969) – 25%

All Monsters Attack

Godzilla’s Revenge (also known as All Monsters Attack) is the tenth film in the Godzilla franchise. It follows a young boy who escapes bullies and loneliness by daydreaming of Monster Island and all the creatures that live there. With its ridiculous tone and incessant use of stock footage, Godzilla’s Revenge just doesn’t do it for most monster movie fans. In the brutally honest words of Screen Rant, “The film is beyond stupid. Not to mention, most of the film is just stock footage of other films. People who claim the American remake is the worst Godzilla film have never watched this downright painful film.”

35 Godzilla 1985 / The Return of Godzilla (1984) – 27%

Return of Godzilla 1985

After nine years of retirement, the kaiju king came back to wreak havoc upon Tokyo in Godzilla 1985. Originally released in Japan as the ultra-bleak The Return of Godzilla, the film was purchased for re-editing and distribution in the West by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Corman’s retooled version – which altered the tone and included newly shot material with actor Raymond Burr – was issued as Godzilla 1985.

Unfortunately, the edited and, by nearly all accounts, inferior version is the only one given a proper score on the Tomatometer, which explains its low rating of 27%. The original Japanese cut of The Return of Godzilla does have an audience score of 86%, however, which should tell you that this back-to-basics kaiju reboot is one of the best in the entire series.

34 Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) – 38%

Godzilla vs. Megalon

Of all the campy Godzilla flicks from the 1970s, Godzilla vs. Megalon takes the cake as the most delightfully cheesy of the bunch. The Showa Era Godzilla films seem to receive an equal amount of praise and derision from fans for their goofy rubber suits, pulpy alien plots, and family-friendly tone, but this one turns all of those divisive traits up to 11 and achieves an advanced level of schlock that may be difficult for some viewers to stomach.

Regardless, if one can turn off their brain for long enough, this kaiju adventure has more than enough action, colorful creatures, and amazing ’70s fashion to punch a little above its 38% on the Tomatometer. What’s more, the film is the debut feature for Godzilla’s iconic robot sidekick, Jet Jaguar.

Related: Why Godzilla Became a Hero Instead of the Villain Explained by Original Effects Director

33 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) – 42%

Godzilla King of the Monsters 2019
Warner Bros. Pictures 

2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters (not to be confused with 1956’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters!) is Legendary Pictures’ second Godzilla movie following their 2014 Hollywood reboot. It follows the mysterious Monarch agency’s attempts to do battle with a plethora of ancient beasts, including Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.

As far as big, dumb monster movies go, the film isn’t all that bad. It just isn’t all that good either; light on plot and character development, and sorely lacking the charming rubber suit mayhem of the Japanese originals to make up for it, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is perfectly represented by its 42% on the Tomatometer.

32 Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) – 43%

Terror of Mechagodzilla

The final Godzilla film to be made until the monster made his glorious comeback with 1984’s The Return of Godzilla, Terror of Mechagodzilla pits the King of the Monsters against his robot doppelgänger and a new creature raised by aliens known as Titanosaurus.

The movie is noteworthy for its dark and tragic tone, which came as a shock to moviegoers at the time, who were used to the silly lightheartedness of previous entries. Unfortunately, the movie is dragged down by many super talky scenes, and very little of Godzilla is seen until the final battle.

31 Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) – 50%

Godzilla Final Wars

Conceived as an epic swan song for Toho’s Godzilla series, Godzilla: Final Wars celebrated the 50th anniversary of the character in explosive fashion. Many actors and monsters from previous films populate this over-the-top entry, which follows the Earth Defense Force’s attempts to resurrect Godzilla in the hopes that he’ll help to ward off an assortment of other creatures who are attacking major cities across the globe.

Although slightly muddied by convoluted plot threads, an inconsistent tone, and a not-so-convincing mixture of practical effects and CGI, the overall effect of Godzilla: Final Wars is fittingly monumental and celebratory.

30 Invasion of Astro-Monster / Monster Zero (1965) – 50%

Invasion of Astro-Monster

Invasion of Astro-Monster (also known as Monster Zero) is the sixth film in the Godzilla franchise, and tracks the efforts of a race of aliens to use Earth’s Godzilla and Rodan to do battle with a mysterious beast that is terrorizing their home world. Their “Monster Zero” turns out to be the infamous King Ghidorah.

As the first film in the series to take the action to outer space, Invasion of Astro-Monster is a refreshing and wonderfully campy entry. It strikes a great balance between kaiju-crushing fun and sci-fi B-movie shenanigans, though it may come off as a being pretty silly to modern viewers.

29 King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) – 52%

King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong vs. Godzilla is the first movie to ever pit the two titular giant monsters against each other. This one is nothing other than pure dumb fun. Godzilla looks great as always, but poor Kong makes his first leap (fall?) from stop-motion to “suitmation” with less-than-stellar results. To be frank, he looks like a walking, half-digested hairball. Regardless, he gives Godzilla a helluva hard time, and their fight together is legendary.

28 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) – 56%

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah

1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is the third film in the franchise’s Heisei Era, and follows the devious actions of a pair of vengeful time travelers from the future who seek to unleash Ghidorah on Japan.

Though the film proved controversial due to its absurd plot and in-your-face nationalist themes, it managed to please many fans with its incredible special effects and memorable kaiju battle scenes.

27 Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) – 57% on the Tomatometer

Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is the sixth film in the Heisei series, and the 21st in the greater Godzilla franchise. It is about an alien creature created from Godzilla’s own particles landing on Earth to bring havoc to Japan.

Although it’s very light on story and logic, the movie has plenty of amazing, special effects-fueled fights and a rousing score, plus an awesome new opponent for the King of the Monsters.

26 Ebirah, Horror of the Deep / Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966) – 57% on the Tomatometer

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (also known as Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster) is an action-packed entry into the Godzilla franchise that originally wasn’t going to feature the kaiju king at all. The film was planned as a King Kong movie, though the American co-producers backed out over a disagreement (which would later be resolved and resulted in the 1967 film King Kong Escapes).

Unwilling to scrap their giant lobster monster movie script, Toho opted to rework it into a Godzilla vehicle. The result is a tropical South Seas trip for Godzilla, full of splish-splashy spectacle and told with a unique sense of humor.

25 Godzilla 2000 (2000) – 57%

Godzilla 2000 walking

Godzilla 2000 rebooted the Godzilla franchise and kicked off its Millennium Era with a bang. The beast is back and stronger than ever, wrecking Tokyo in classic fashion and dueling with a new bad guy: the formidable Orga.

Despite being a series reboot, Godzilla 2000 doesn’t bring all that much new to the table. What it does bring, however, is a lot of that classic kaiju action presented with a fresh coat of paint, and that’s alright.

24 Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018) – 60%

Godzilla City on the Edge of Battle

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle is the second film in an animated trilogy of Godzilla films created by Toho and Netflix. Like the rest of the films in the trilogy, City on the Edge of Battle is decent sci-fi entertainment, but not great Godzilla material. The King of the Monsters is out of his element here, with no Tokyo skyscrapers to tip over.

23 Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018) – 60%

Godzilla The Planet Eater

Godzilla: The Planet Eater is the third film in the previously mentioned animated trilogy, and it features the same highs and lows as City on the Edge of Battle. In the words of Collider, the movie “serves as a low point after a so-so first movie and a disappointing second. The non-monster scenes are dull and repetitive, the animation has become less appealing, and even a “fight” between Godzilla and King Ghidorah (with a new look) proves surprisingly boring.”

22 Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) – 60%

Godzilla vs Megaguirus

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is the second film in the Millennium period, and is about a weapons test malfunction that opens a wormhole through which a giant bug creature (Megaguirus) invades Japan.

This one is well-deserved of its fresh 60% rating on the Tomatometer; it’s fun, fast-paced, and features a surprising amount of horror movie-like chills to go with the usual giant monster thrills.

21 Son of Godzilla (1967) – 60%

Son of Godzilla-1

Another South Seas island vacation for Godzilla, Son of Godzilla presents the birth of Godzilla’s son and their subsequent father-son bonding as they battle oversized bugs on a remote island.

It’s nothing but fun, though it has received its fair share of criticism from fans who can’t stand the titular, goofy-looking son of the atomic monster.

20 Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster / Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) – 64%

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster

Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (also known as Godzilla vs. Hedorah) is a trippy, eco-minded monster movie that pits Godzilla up against a walking glob of radioactive sewage. Really.

The movie is fantastic. Goofy monster action collides with biting social commentary, and the result is an experimental oddity that could only have come out of Japan in the early 1970s. Easily the “farthest out” of any Godzilla picture.

19 Godzilla Raids Again (1959) – 64%

Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla Raids Again is the second Godzilla film ever made, and the first to depict the massive monster squaring off with a similarly-sized competitor. It’s Godzilla vs. Anguirus in an epic black-and-white showdown that used to be rather hard to track down. Fortunately, the original Japanese cut of this underrated sequel has been restored and is available to stream all over the place, including on Tubi and Max.

18 Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! (2001) – 65%

Godzilla, Mothra & Ghidorah Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

The Godzilla movie with the longest title ever is Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!, and luckily for kaiju fans, it delivers on every aspect of that promising title. Considered by many fans to be one of the greatest Godzilla films ever made, All-Out Attack is so good because the filmmakers pumped every bit of the budget that they could into the monster beat downs and their related urban destruction.