How to Watch Godzilla Movies In Order

Untangling the Godzilla series continuity and watching the movies in order can be a kaiju-sized endeavor, but if you get lost, just remember one thing: Green lizard bad. But also sometimes good!

The franchise launched in 1954 with the black-and-white original, both a creature feature that was en vogue for the decade and a metaphor for nuclear fallout and atomic fear. Today, the lizard is loved as much as any time in his 70-year history, with Japan’s Shin Godzilla and Godzilla Minus One stomping box office and awards records, and running parallel to America’s Monsterverse, the royal rumble featuring Godzilla, Kong, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah, with more challengers to come.

The Monsterverse, which launched in 2014, is driven by Legendary Entertainment, while in Japan, Toho has held and steered Godzilla since deep-sea birth. In our guide to Godzilla movies in order, we’ll start at the very beginning and then navigate the separate eras of our dear god of destruction. (Thanks to IGN and Wikizilla for details and reference.)


Showa era (1954-1975)
The Showa era (named so after the Japan’s then-reigning emperor) is one storyline that can be separated by three periods. There is the original duology of Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla Raids Again (1955), with Godzilla, King of the Monsters! being the widely-seen American cut of Godzilla starring Raymond Burr. Godzilla was released from his long ice bath in the revival period of the ’60s, which sees his evolution as an anti-hero, and where we’re first introduced to his monster rivals and allies. Toho then held their Champion Film Festival from 1969 to 1978, and the movies produced for the fest re-framed Godzilla as a children’s matinee idol. These as-such Champion movies take place between 1967’s Son of Godzilla and 1968’s Destroy All Monsters. All of these are collected in Criterion Collection’s epic box set from 2019.

Original duology (1954-1955)



Revival period (1962-1968)







Champion period (1969-1975)







Heisei era (1984-1995)
The Heisei era (again named after the Emperor of Japan who reigned over most of this timeline) pulls a Halloween and ignores every sequel after the first, following then its own separate continuity.









TriStar era (1998)
This era, as it were (named after the producing studio), resulted in the American would-be blockbuster.


Millennium era (1999-2004)
After 1998’s failure to launch, Toho took what opportunity there was to set up a new story that could boast spanning millennia. Once again, these steer clear of all sequels after the 1954 original.







Monsterverse (2014-)
Legendary Entertainment produced a solo Godzilla movie in 2014, with rights being subsequently secured for apex axe Kong for future fights, plus more from the Toho stable. Godzilla vs. Kong swatted the pandemic blues away, with the two forces collaborating in The New Empire.





Reiwa era (2016-)
Encouraged again by the American counterpart run, the Reiwa era began with Shin Godzilla, part of a loose branding that saw other Japanese pop culture titans like Ultraman and Kamen Rider. An animated trilogy was released in theaters in Japan and saw release in America on Netflix. Godzilla Minus One, the first period piece of the series, is set post-World War II and won Gojira-san his first Oscar for Best Visual Effects.





See below for the full continuous list of Godzilla movies in order.

#1

Godzilla (1954)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102106%
Critics Consensus: More than straight monster-movie fare, Gojira offers potent, sobering postwar commentary.
Synopsis: A fire-breathing behemoth terrorizes Japan after an atomic bomb awakens it from its centuries-old sleep.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 64396%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring: Godzilla
Directed By: Unknown Director

#3
Adjusted Score: 86010%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A U.S. newsman (Raymond Burr) in Tokyo recounts the story of a huge dinosaur roused from the sea by an... [More]
Directed By: Terry Morse, Ishirô Honda

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 53931%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The monster ape and dinosaur toss around a boulder and slug it out on Mount Fuji.... [More]

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 92613%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Japan comes under attack from two monsters in a giant monster battle between a rampaging Godzilla and the colossal genetically... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#6
Adjusted Score: 77924%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra team up to save mankind from the deadliest threat of all -- a fire-breathing space monster.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#7
Adjusted Score: 50184%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An astronaut (Akira Takarada) goes to Planet X to fetch Rodan and Godzilla, lent to aliens supposedly in distress.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#8
Adjusted Score: 63153%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla and Mothra put aside their differences to battle a giant crustacean that can regenerate its broken limbs.... [More]
Directed By: Fukuda Jun

#9

Son of Godzilla (1967)
63%

#9
Adjusted Score: 64089%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this Japanese monster movie, the massive Godzilla comes to the aid of his newborn son, who hatches from an... [More]
Directed By: Fukuda Jun

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 82549%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scientists (Jun Tazaki, Yoshio Tsuchiya) face Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and more obscure Japanese monsters sent by she-aliens.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 29093%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A bullied schoolboy dreams of traveling to Monster Island, where Godzilla's son, Minya, is also dealing with the the problems... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 64825%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla fights pollution in the form of living sludge found by a scientist (Akira Yamauchi) and his son (Toshie Kimura).... [More]
Directed By: Yoshimitu Banno

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 62199%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla and Angorus fight three-headed dragon Ghidrah and huge bird Gigan at a cartoonist's theme park.... [More]
Directed By: Fukuda Jun

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 38111%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla and flying cyborg Jet Jaguar meet a giant cockroach and a big black chicken sent by Seatopians.... [More]
Directed By: Fukuda Jun

#15
Adjusted Score: 76802%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An Okinawan monster-god helps Godzilla defeat his bionic double.... [More]
Directed By: Fukuda Jun

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 38530%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The real Godzilla fights a cyborg Godzilla and another monster sent by aliens.... [More]
Directed By: Ishirô Honda

#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

#18

Godzilla 1985 (1984)
27%

#18
Adjusted Score: 27127%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Japanese dinosaur wakes up and swims toward Tokyo, leaving a wake of nuclear destruction.... [More]

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 50709%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The monster dinosaur wrecks Tokyo some more and meets a monster plant created from his own cells.... [More]
Directed By: Kazuki Omori

#20
Adjusted Score: 49942%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Time-travelers' efforts to prevent a dinosaur's mutation result in the creation of a three-headed dragon that terrorizes Japan.... [More]
Directed By: Kazuki Omori

#21
Adjusted Score: 70615%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a meteorite awakens Godzilla, Mothra and a dark counterpart named Battra join forces to defeat him.... [More]
Directed By: Takao Okawara

#22
Adjusted Score: 52943%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A radioactive dinosaur fights a genetically engineered monster and battles pterodactyl Rodan for custody of a reptilian infant.... [More]
Directed By: Takao Okawara

#23
Adjusted Score: 32868%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Godzilla prepares for battle with an extraterrestrial creature that was formed from his own particles in space.... [More]
Directed By: Kensho Yamashita

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 50342%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scientists freeze a radioactive dinosaur and contend with a horde of lethal creatures formed from its cells.... [More]
Directed By: Takao Okawara

#25

Godzilla (1998)
20%

#25
Adjusted Score: 29342%
Critics Consensus: Without compelling characters or heart, Godzilla stomps on everything that made the original (or any monster movie worth its salt) a classic.
Synopsis: During a nuclear test, the French government inadvertently mutates a lizard nest; years later, a giant lizard makes its way... [More]
Directed By: Roland Emmerich

#26

Godzilla 2000 (2000)
57%

#26
Adjusted Score: 59160%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla 2000 is cheesy, laughable, and good entertaining fun.
Synopsis: It has razor sharp teeth in a gargantuan mouth; claws that can cut through steel; a roar that echoes back... [More]
Directed By: Takao Okawara

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 13541%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Japanese government has devised a new weapon, dubbed the Dimension Tide, in their fight against radioactive monster Godzilla (Toshiyuki... [More]
Directed By: Masaaki Tezuka

#28
Adjusted Score: 45308%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three monsters battle the giant lizard to prevent it from destroying Japan.... [More]
Directed By: Shusuke Kaneko

#29
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Japanese scientists create a robotic creature to fight a destructive monster.... [More]
Directed By: Masaaki Tezuka

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 15766%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Mothra's twin fairies appear with a warning to Japan... Kiryu (aka Mechagodzilla) must be put to rest at the bottom... [More]
Directed By: Masaaki Tezuka

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 22472%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Humans revive a frozen and gargantuan creature to save the Earth from sinister aliens and the monsters they control.... [More]
Directed By: Ryûhei Kitamura

#32

Godzilla (2014)
76%

#32
Adjusted Score: 91931%
Critics Consensus: With just enough human drama to anchor the sweeping spectacle of giant monsters smashing everything in sight, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla satisfyingly restores the franchise's fire-breathing glory.
Synopsis: Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a Navy bomb expert, has just reunited with his family in San Francisco when he is... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#33

Shin Godzilla (2016)
86%

#33
Adjusted Score: 88774%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla Resurgence offers a refreshingly low-fi -- and altogether entertaining -- return to the monster's classic creature-feature roots.
Synopsis: A mysterious monster emerges from Tokyo Bay and wreaks havoc upon Japan.... [More]

#34
Adjusted Score: 35090%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The planet is beset by the emergence of colossal creatures that roam the earth, and king among them is "Godzilla".... [More]

#35
Adjusted Score: 17591%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Haruo and his allies encounter a mysterious aboriginal tribe descended from the humans left behind on Earth 20,000 years ago,... [More]

#36
Adjusted Score: 17591%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The powerful, three-headed Ghidorah threatens to destroy the world.... [More]

#37
Adjusted Score: 60610%
Critics Consensus: Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers spectacular kaiju action -- and reaffirms that cutting-edge effects are still no substitute for a good story.
Synopsis: Members of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 96163%
Critics Consensus: Delivering squarely on its title, Godzilla vs. Kong swats away character development and human drama to deliver all the spectacle you'd expect from giant monsters slugging it out.
Synopsis: Legends collide in "Godzilla vs. Kong" as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the... [More]
Directed By: Adam Wingard

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: 107536%
Critics Consensus: With engaging human stories anchoring the action, Godzilla Minus One is one kaiju movie that remains truly compelling between the scenes of mass destruction.
Synopsis: Japan is already devastated by the war when a new crisis emerges in the form of a giant monster.... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Yamazaki

#40
Adjusted Score: 71777%
Critics Consensus: Come to Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire for the sheer monster-mashing spectacle -- and stay for that too, because the movie doesn't have much else to offer.
Synopsis: This latest entry in the Monsterverse franchise follows up the explosive showdown of Godzilla vs. Kong with an all-new cinematic... [More]
Directed By: Adam Wingard