All 35 live-action Godzilla movies in chronological order

Dive into the monstrous world of Godzilla with our complete live-action movie guide, spanning from the original 1954 classic to the thrilling 2024 showdown in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.
Godzilla Minus One. Image courtesy Toho International, Inc.
Godzilla Minus One. Image courtesy Toho International, Inc. /

Ah, Godzilla, the king of the monsters and cinema's most famous giant lizard. What a King.

Godzilla is a colossal dinosaur-like creature that stomps around cities, battles other monstrous titans, and occasionally, believe it or not, saves humanity. This iconic creature first roared onto the scene in 1954 in Godzilla, from Toho Studios in Japan. The original Godzilla was a metaphor for the devastating effects of nuclear weapons, reflecting Japan's post-World War II anxieties. Over time, Toho's Godzilla evolved from a terrifying force of nature to a sort of grumpy hero, fighting off even scarier monsters to protect Earth. The Toho franchise is like a long-running TV show with over 30 films; it's got drama, action, and even a bit of monster comedy, if you can imagine Godzilla in a sitcom. There are plenty of giggle-inducing moments in these films, whether they're there to be giggled at or not. That happens.

Then there's Legendary Entertainment's take on Godzilla, kick-started by another movie simply called Godzilla in 2014. Think of it as Hollywood rolling out the red carpet for Japan's most famous export. This version of Godzilla is like the cool, mysterious new kid on the block, with high-tech CGI making him more lifelike and terrifying than ever. Legendary's films, which include epic crossovers like Godzilla vs. Kong, bring together monsters from both Western and Eastern lore to duke it out on the big screen, much to the delight of popcorn-munching audiences worldwide.

While Toho's Godzilla has the charm of classic monster movies, Legendary gives us the thrill of seeing these giants battle it out with the latest special effects.

Let's honor my favorite giant lizard and take a look at all 34 movies where he makes an appearance.

1. Godzilla (Gojira), Toho Studios,1954 — The atomic-powered origin story that introduced the world to its favorite monster.

2. Godzilla Raids Again, Toho Studios, 1955 — Godzilla’s first sequel, bringing monster battles to the big screen. This time, Japan is also dealing with the arrival of a giant monster named Anguirus.

3. King Kong vs. Godzilla, Toho Studios, 1962 — The monumental clash between two cinematic giants.

4. Mothra vs. Godzilla, Toho Studios, 1964 — After introducing her in her own movie in 1961, simply called Mothra, Toho pit the ever-beautiful Mothra in this new feature.

5. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Toho Studios, 1964 - The debut of the fearsome King Ghidorah, whom Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan must team up to fight.

6. Invasion of Astro-Monster, Toho Studios, 1965 — Right after defeating Ghidorah, Godzilla takes his fury to outer space. Toho was turning out new kaiju movies out at a furious rate in this period.

7. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Toho Studios, 1966 — A tropical adventure featuring a giant lobster.

8. Son of Godzilla, Toho Studios, 1967 — This one introduces Minilla, Godzilla's adorable son.

9. Destroy All Monsters, Toho Studios, 1968 — A monster extravaganza featuring an all-star kaiju cast.

10. All Monsters Attack, Toho Studios, 1969 — A unique entry focusing on a child's imaginative adventures with Godzilla.

11. Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Toho Studios, 1971 — Godzilla battles pollution in the form of a smog monster.

12. Godzilla vs. Gigan, Toho Studios, 1972 — A tag-team battle featuring the debut of Gigan.

13. Godzilla vs. Megalon, Toho Studios, 1973 - Godzilla and the mechanized hero Jet Jaguar team up to face Megalon and Gigan.

14. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Toho Studios, 1974 — The first appearance of Godzilla’s robotic doppelganger.

15. Terror of Mechagodzilla, Toho Studios, 1975 — The sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, introducing Titanosaurus.

16. The Return of Godzilla, Toho Studios, 1984 — After about a decade away from the big screen, this movie sees a return to Godzilla’s roots as a menacing force of nature.

17. Godzilla vs. Biollante, Toho Studios, 1989 — Godzilla faces off against a genetically engineered monster.

18. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Toho Studios, 1991 — A time-travel tale with epic monster battles.

19. Godzilla vs. Mothra, Toho Studios, 1992 — The environmental-themed rematch with Mothra.

20. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Toho Studios, 1993 — A new Mechagodzilla appears, along with Rodan.

21. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, Toho Studios, 1994 — Godzilla battles his cosmic clone.

22. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Toho Studios, 1995 — A heart-wrenching battle with life-and-death stakes.

23. Godzilla 2000: Millennium, Toho Studios, 1999 — A new millennium brings a new Godzilla.

24. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Toho Studios, 2000 — Godzilla battles a dragonfly monster and faces a black hole weapon.

25. Godzilla, Tri-Star Pictures, 1998 — This is the first American Godzilla movie, starring Matthew Broderick and helmed by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich. It's a wild ride through New York City, where the towering creature plays a monstrous game of hide-and-seek.

26. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Toho Studios, 2001 — An extra-lenghty title to describe a supernatural movie where various kaiju have to defend Japan against Godzilla, who has been possessed of the souls of people who died fighting in the Pacific theater during World War II.

27. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Toho Studios, 2002 — A new Mechagodzilla is built on the bones of the original Godzilla.

28. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., Toho Studios, 2003 — A direct sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, featuring Mothra.

29. Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho Studios, 2004 — Godzilla’s 50th-anniversary celebration, featuring a plethora of monsters.

30. Godzilla, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014 — Once again, we have a movie simply called Godzilla. This is the first Godzilla movie in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and features Godzilla fighting against huge monsters called MUTOs.

31. Shin Godzilla, Toho Studios, 2016 — A Toho reboot that presents a new origin for Godzilla with a contemporary twist.

32. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Legendary Studios, 2019 - The action-packed sequel to Legendary's first Godzilla movie, with Godzilla facing off against Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah.

33. Godzilla vs. Kong, Legendary Studios, 2021 — The phenomenal face-off between cinema’s most iconic monsters, updated for the 21st century.

34. Godzilla Minus One, Toho Studios, 2023Easily the best Godzilla movie ever made and Toho’s latest addition to its pantheon. This movie starts a fresh chapter in the Japanese Godzilla saga.

35. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Legendary Studios, 2024 - More Titans and even bigger battles where the two Titans join forces against a new baddie and save the world together. Again.

Oh, and here's a playlist with the trailers for every single one of these gems. You're welcome. Toho also put out a trio of animated Godzilla movies in 2017 and 2018: Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and Godzilla: The Planet Eater.

Whether you're team Toho or team Legendary, one thing's for sure: Godzilla's reign as the monarch of monsters is far from over, and we're all just living in his gigantic, stompy shadow.

dark. Next. godzilla x kong 5 best monsters. Beyond Godzilla x Kong: The 5 best monsters in the MonsterVerse

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