All 5 MonsterVerse movies ranked from worst to best, including Godzilla x Kong

While each and every one of these movies packs a punch, they're not all equal. There can only be one "best" MonsterVerse movie.
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved /

It was a beautiful day when Legendary Pictures decided to team up with Warner Bros. in order to create a universe where monsters could freely stomp around and make incredibly majestic noises, where the likes of Godzilla and King Kong could go head-to-head and toe-to-toe with other monsters, and where lots of cities would be absolutely leveled for our entertainment. I’m talking epic showdowns that make your jaw drop and make you flinch with every ridiculously overpowered monster punch thrown.

If that sounds awesome and you have no clue what I’m talking about, chances are that you’ve been living under a rock. I am talking about the MonsterVerse, a wicked cool cinematic universe that’s basically a mega playground for our favorite colossal creatures. Imagine Godzilla, the iconic lizard with a serious attitude and the most amazing roar I have ever heard, stomping around like he owns the place (which he kind of does, honestly). Then there’s Kong, the giant ape who’s got more swagger than a rockstar and is kind of a softy under all that fury. These two heavyweights are the VIPs of the Monsterverse, and they’re throwing down on a colossal scale.

It all began with Godzilla in 2014, a movie that rebooted the ‘Zilla and made me realize I can find a gigantic angry lizard who thrives in radiation adorable and amazing us realize that our planet is basically a monster wrestling ring and that we’re all expandable. Then came Kong: Skull Island in 2017, where we saw how Kong became the king of his turf. Godzilla roared back in 2019 with King of the Monsters, which introduced us to an entire gang of iconic MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) to spice things up.

Finally, the ultimate clash went down in 2021 with Godzilla vs. Kong, a colossal face-off that left us all wondering who would come out on top. It was basically the Super Bowl for monster lovers, but with fewer touchdowns and more property damage.

While we didn’t get a new MonsterVerse movie this year, Apple TV+ blessed us with the absolutely incredible series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. With multiple timelines — one in 1952 and another in 2015 — the series is both a sequel to the 2014 Godzilla movie and a prequel to Kong: Skull Island, which also means that it takes place before both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. Got it? Good.

In all seriousness, if you haven’t watched Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, you are absolutely missing out. Check out new episodes every Friday through January 12 on Apple TV+. Thank me later. Also, keep an eye on Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, a new MonsterVerse movie that will arrive on April 12th, 2024; thank you, Warner Bros for the sweet birthday present.

While every one of these movies packs a punch, they’re not all equal. There can only be one “best” MonsterVerse movie. Which one comes out on top? Let’s find out, shall we?

5) Kong: Skull Island (2017)

As a Godzilla fangirl, Kong: Skull Island was an interesting watch, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. The movie takes us to the mystical Skull Island, home to the legendary giant ape we all know as Kong. As a fan of colossal creatures in general, seeing Kong in action was definitely a treat. His battles against other monstrous inhabitants of the island were visually stunning and adrenaline-pumping. Also, having Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson in this movie was a huge plus for a giant Marvel fan like myself.

The setting was beautifully rendered, capturing the wild and untamed essence of this mysterious place. However, for someone who’s all about Godzilla, this movie felt a bit off-track. The story didn’t resonate as deeply, and the human characters, while interesting, didn’t quite fill the void left by the absence of my beloved Godzilla. It was a good monster movie, don’t get me wrong, but as a Godzilla fan, it felt like watching a rival team play: exciting, but not quite the same as cheering for your favorite.

4) Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a rollercoaster of excitement for me. Finally, a movie that brought Godzilla back into the spotlight so he could face off against a list of iconic titans! The return of classic monsters like Mothra, Rodan, and the formidable King Ghidorah was a nostalgic and thrilling experience. Watching Godzilla battle these legendary creatures was a dream come true, each fight more epic than the last. The scale of destruction and the intensity of the battles was spectacular, displaying Zilla’s might and dominance; I mean, he is King of the Monsters.

But it can’t all be perfect. The human element of the story didn’t quite match the monster mayhem. While the action was everything I could have hoped for, the acting, characters, and overall plot often felt like they were taking precious screentime away from Godzilla and his epic adversaries. Still, the sheer joy of seeing Godzilla assert his dominance as the one true king was almost enough for me to overlook these minor shortcomings. Also, controversial as this opinion may be, I am not a big fan of Millie Bobby Brown in the role of Madison.

3) Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Now, Godzilla vs. Kong…this was a monumental event in the MonsterVerse. As a Godzilla enthusiast, the anticipation for this clash was real. The movie didn’t disappoint, delivering a heavyweight fight between the King of Monsters and the second best Mighty Kong. The battles were epic in every sense of the word, with Godzilla showcasing his raw power and tactical fighting skills while Kong showed us his spirit and that he has a soft spot for humans deep in his heart. It was exciting and entertaining to see these two titans clash in such a spectacular fashion, with the special effects and sound design adding to the grandeur of each encounter.

On the flip side, the film does a great job of humanizing Kong, giving him a storyline that added depth to his character. He kind of grew on me in this movie. However, as I prefer the Zilla, I couldn’t help but root for the big G all the way; I was even screaming at the screen during their final battle against Mechagodzilla. The film balances the screentime between the two icons well, though I secretly wished for more Godzilla scenes. The human subplot is actually pretty decent, but let’s be honest: we were all there for the titanic matchup, and in that regard, the movie is a knockout.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved /

2) Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

The newest MonsterVerse installment hip-bumps its predecessor, Godzilla v. Kong, and takes its place as 2nd best in these rankings. The amount of adrenaline-pumping action, emotional connections, and incredibly cool and terrifying new Titans is enough to satisfy any MonsterVerse addict and keep them thoroughly entertained.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire gives us more lore to play with, an entire new Hollow Earth area that had been uncharted until now, and new possibilities for future installments in the franchise. Also, let's be honest here: Godzilla and Kong's mini-brawl before Kong literally punches Godzilla to sleep and drags him to the portal is epic. Also, the movie's big bad is pretty scary, not just visually but psychologically as well. The New Empire gives us so much more than just a Titan brawl; it gives us expressive Titans, new horrors, non-stop action, tasteful humor, and new ground for the next MonsterVerse movie to explore.

Also, tiny baby Kong. He kinda steals the show a bit.

1) Godzilla (2014)

I remember the day I realized a new Godzilla movie had hit theaters, and I decided to go watch it alone. And that… is when I rediscovered my deeply buried love for this gigantic lizard with the roar to make even someone with auditory sensory issues (hi, it’s me, I have auditory sensory issues) bask in the glory of those sound waves. Godzilla (2014) was a cinematic revival for fans like me. It was a return to form for the King of Monsters, reintroducing him in a way that was both respectful to the original and thrilling for modern audience. The slow build-up to Godzilla’s full reveal is masterfully done, creating a sense of creeping anticipation. When Godzilla finally makes his appearance, it’s nothing short of majestic. The movie captures his immense power and the awe he inspires; each scene he’s in feels like a homage to the legacy of this iconic and terrifying creature.

The human story is seamlessly integrated with Godzilla’s narrative, adding emotional depth to the movie. The portrayal of Godzilla as not just a monster but a force of nature was something that resonated deeply with me. The battle scenes are spectacular, displaying Godzilla’s might against the MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) in a breathtaking display of special effects. This movie is a tribute to Godzilla fans everywhere, rekindling the love for the king in a way that was both nostalgic and exhilarating.

While we await the fifth installment in this super-fun and action-packed franchise, here’s another movie you can check out: Toho Studio’s masterpiece Godzilla Minus One. Unlike our usual MonsterVerse movies, this movie takes place in post-WW2 Japan; we watch as Japanese citizens try to piece their lives back together after the devastation of WW2, only to have Godzilla show up and complicate things. This isn’t just another Godzilla movie; it’s quite literally movie of the year material and I highly recommend it.

How do these movies rank for you? Are you more of a Godzilla fan or a Kong fan? Or just an overall destruction fan?

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