Tokusatsu has been gaining more popularity thanks to the success of the recent Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series. These classic franchises have stood the test of the time, but there’s a tokusatsu franchise that’s the granddaddy of them all, one that’s been in hibernation for a few years now; Godzilla, king of the monsters. Since his debut in 1954, Godzilla has been the classic tokusatsu monster, and he’s had nearly 30 movies and dozens of game and comic book tie-ins. He hasn’t had a movie since Final Wars in 2004, which might change if that new American Godzilla movie ever gets made, but what I want to see is another Godzilla movie done by Toho themselves.
One of the key parts of any Godzilla film is the monster match-ups. With the exception of the original 1954 film and the 1985 Heisei reboot, Godzilla has always fought another giant monster, whether it be against another mutant reptile or something completely out of the ordinary. Since I want to get people talking Godzilla again, I’ve decided to make a top ten list dedicated to this part of the Godzilla franchise. What are the rules for this? Simple enough, any monster that’s appeared in the Godzilla movies beside Godzilla qualify. I’ll be judging based on design, powers, and success in battle. This is the Top Ten Godzilla Monsters (Besides Godzilla)!
You might think it’s weird starting off a list that specifically bans Godzilla with the monster that most resembles Godzilla, but he’s different enough to qualify. SpaceGodzilla debuted in Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla. He was born from Godzilla’s DNA falling into a black hole. He’s low on the list for being a lazy copy of Godzilla, but he has a pretty neat powerset. He can create force fields, fly through space, and create giant crystals that can be used as missiles. He also had the gonads to kidnap Godzilla’s son, so that earns him some villain cred.
Orga is one of the strangest monsters in the Godzilla franchise. Premiering in Godzilla 2000, it was originally an alien spaceship that started attacking Earth and collecting data on Godzilla. It eventually mutated into Orga, which looks like a bigger and more grotesque version of Zilla from the American remake. He was big enough to partially swallow Godzilla, no small feat. Unfortunately, Godzilla blew him up from the inside with his atomic breath. Not the most impressive of Godzilla’s monsters, but cool enough to get a spot on this list.
Here’s another monster born from Godzilla’s DNA, but this monster is more unique. Debuting in Godzilla vs Biollante, a scientist was experimenting with Godzilla’s DNA and accidentally poured it on a plant that mutated into Biollante, a giant plant monster that fight with tentacle vines. It has a crocodile head for some reason despite being a plant, but it adds to the creativity of the creature. She’s only made one appearance in the movies, but she was a good choice for Godzilla’s first adversary in the Heisei series.
Now here’s a fight that needs to happen again. Obviously he debuted in his own movie years before the Godzilla franchise, but he would return in color in King Kong vs Godzilla. The movie hasn’t aged as well as some of the other Showa Godzilla movies, but the concept of King Kong and Godzilla, two of the most iconic giant monsters going head to head, was stupendous. King Kong got a boost of power in the movie, having lightning powers to help even the odds against Godzilla. There’s even a hint that he beats Godzilla at the end of the movie, which boosts his ranking on the list.
He’s the most simple of Godzilla’s enemies, but one of the most classic. He was the first monster to ever fight Godzilla in Godzilla Raids Again. He’s appeared several more times, but usually as an ally of Godzilla. You’ve got to be a pretty kickass monster if Godzilla is willing to depend on you every now and then. He’s a spiky dinosaur who has no extra powers, so he’s not as flashy as some of the other monsters on this list, but he makes up for it with his toughness and determination.
Another Godzilla monster who only made one appearance, but man was it an appearance. In Godzilla vs DESTOROYAH, he did what so many other monsters failed to do; he killed Godzilla. Godzilla has lost to other monsters before, but he usually lives to fight another day. DESTOROYAH took no mercy on the king of the monsters. On top of that, his name and appearance are extremely intimidating. James Rolfe put it best, “he looks like the goddamn devil.”
Although Godzilla vs Gigan is definitely one of the weaker entries in the franchise, Gigan himself is no slouch. He’s another adversary created by aliens, but like Destoroyah, he’s a scary-looking bastard. Red mono-eye, giant hooks for hands, a buzz saw on his chest, he has it all. In Godzilla Final Wars, he’d receive an upgrade in the form of dual wielding chainsaws for hands. He’s like a giant serial killer armed to the teeth.
There was no way I could leave up King Ghidorah off the list. He debuted in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, which was the first Godzilla movie to feature more than two monsters fighting each other. The character was so popular that was would return in Invasion of the Astro-Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs Gigan, and the extremely popular Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. He even ended up being the final monster in Final Wars, being one of the few monsters to put up a good fight with Godzilla in that movie. It’s also hard to go wrong with a three-headed dragon. However, he’s only number 3 for a reason. He’s basically lost every encounter with Godzilla he’s ever had. He gets points for tenacity, but he loses out to two monsters on the list due to them having better track records.
You might think I’d put MechaGodzilla lower on the list due to my views on SpaceGodzilla being a lazy clone, but MechaGodzilla is anything but lazy. The Godzilla franchise had been getting weaker with every movie since Destroy All Monsters, but near the end of the Showa era, there was a ray of light in the form of MechaGodzilla. Giant robots are cool, and so is Godzilla, thus combining the two concepts was a stroke of genius. The most impressive thing about MechaGodzilla is the sheer size of his artillery. He has force fields, eye lasers, chest lasers, finger missiles, toe missiles, the ability to shoot from behind and the front, flight, and in later movies he gains a freeze ray. All of those would be deadly on their own, but MechaGodzilla is able to fire all of his weapons at once for an unstoppable barrage. He’s made nearly as many appearances as Ghidorah, but every time he shows up, he comes with a new trick. The concept of a MechaGodzilla was so popular that even Ghidorah became mechanized for one movie, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.
For those unfamiliar with Godzilla, Mothra might seem like an odd choice to claim as the greatest Godzilla monster. How is a giant moth a match for a giant fire-breathing lizard? Well, despite how unlikely it is, Mothra has the best track record when it comes to fighting Godzilla. Pretty much every time she’s faced off against Godzilla, she’s won, or had her babies defeat Godzilla. Yes, her larvae were able to defeat Godzilla way back in Mothra vs Godzilla using clever strategy and a ton of silk. She’s one of the few good monsters in the Godzilla franchise, usually siding with the humans to defeat another giant monster. In Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, she was the only monster wise enough to realize that Ghidorah was the big threat and didn’t waste time bickering like Godzilla and Rodan. She’s also notably the only monster to get her own series after her appearance in the Godzilla franchise, starring in three Rebirth of Mothra films. Despite being killed by Gigan in Final Wars, she was able to take him
Felt like I left out some monsters or disagree with my rankings? Feel free to talk about your favorite Godzilla monsters in the comments.