How to watch every Godzilla movie in chronological order


Key Takeaways

  • The MonsterVerse, similar to the MCU, brings together original and classic monster characters, such as Godzilla and King Kong.
  • The chronological order to watch the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies are: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (upcoming in 2024).
  • We’ve also listed every Godzilla movie ever made, at the bottom of our guide.

It’s a great time to be a Godzilla fan.

The MonsterVerse – aka Legendary Entertainment’s version of the MCU, but featuring giant monsters – has been bringing together a mix of original monster characters and reimagined versions of classic monsters from film history, most notably those from the Godzilla and King Kong franchises. For instance, there is a new series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, airing on Apple TV. There’s also a new movie, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, due in April 2024.

Oh, and there’s a new Japanese Godzilla film, Godzilla Minus One, which is currently in theaters and one of the highest rated films of the year.

Unfortunately, Godzilla Minus One isn’t part of the Legendary MonsterVerse universe, which started in 2014 with the release of Godzilla. But that film’s success did spawn three (about to be four sequels), along with the new Apple TV spin-off series. With all this fresh giant fire-breathing lizard content, we thought it would be a good idea to round up the Godzilla films, including the classics, so you know how to watch them all in chronological order.

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How to watch the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies in chronological order

Godzilla is a lot like modern comic superheroes. Not that Godzilla is similar to Batman or Superman as a character, but all of them have film adaptations going back to the 1950s. So Godzilla, like Batman and Superman, has gone through a few iterations, which can make it hard to narrow down to a simple watchlist for every Godzilla movie. The best way to watch them all in chronological order is to separate them out into the different eras of Godzilla films.

Jump to the bottom of our guide to see other Godzilla movie orders listed, spoiler-free. We’ve even listed every Godzilla movie ever made for the ultra-dedicated to binge during their re-watch.

We’ve fleshed out our guide with the most recent MonsterVerse films from Legendary. After that, you’ll find listed chronological orders for the classic Toho-produced Japanese films (that have also been rebooted twice). You’ll also find handy at-a-glance, spoiler-free guides for the other eras of Godzilla films.

There are two standalone films, the recently released Godzilla Minus One and the 1998 version of Godzilla from TriStar, which are re-tellings of Godzilla’s origin story. In terms of where they’d fit in chronologically, neither go with the MonsterVerse plotline. But Godzilla Minus One would work as a new jumping off point for the original Godzilla films, since it’s set 10 years before the first film, and its portrayal of Godzilla as the antagonist aligns more with the earliest Godzilla films.

1 Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023)

Years in the MonsterVerse: 1950s and 2015

The new Apple TV spin-off series jumps between the origin of the Monster hunting organization known as Monarch in the 1950s and the aftermath of Godzilla’s attack on San Francisco in 2014.

Creator
Chris Black

Director
Matt Shakman, Julian Holmes

Writers:
Chris Black, Matt Fraction, Andrew Colville, Milla Bell-Hart, Amanda Overton

Starring
Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, Wyatt Russell, Kurt Russell

Number of episodes
10

Format
Apple+ TV series

Monarch: The Legacy of Monsters premiered in November 2023, and four episodes have aired so far.

This is the most difficult entry to place in the MonsterVerse, because it shifts between the creation of Monarch in the 1950s and a survivor of Godzilla’s attack on San Francisco in 2014. We’re placing it first in our order because the 1950s scenes provide the backstory for the Monarch organization that’s present throughout the rest of the films. The series also shows how the US military attempted to kill Godzilla in 1952, which leads to him staying dormant until 2014.

There are some very minor spoilers for the 2014 Godzilla film in the scenes set in 2015.

Anders Holm’s character of Bill Randa, who helps to found Monarch in the 50s, also appears in the next film in our watch order.

2 Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Year in the MonsterVerse: 1973

Set in 1973, the head of Monarch assembles a team to search for massive organisms on a recently discovered Skull Island.

Director
Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Starring
Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman

Writers
Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein

Format
Movie

Rating
PG-13

Run Time
118 minutes

This film picks up in 1973, with Bill Randa (played by John Goodman,) who’s now the head of Monarch, assembling a team to check out Skull Island where he believes he can prove his hollow Earth hypothesis. Randa brings a Vietnam vet who’s a tracking specialist played by Tom Hiddleston and an anti-war photographer played by Brie Larson. They also bring a small army led by Samuel L. Jackson’s Preston Packard along with him.

Shortly after the group gets to the island, they have an encounter with Kong that turns their expedition into a fight for survival.

Max Borenstein helped write this movie, as well as 2014’s Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Kong.

3 Godzilla

Godzilla (2014)

When two insect monsters awaken and begin rampaging towards one another in an effort to breed, Godzilla is the only hope to stop them.

Director
Gareth Edwards

Writers
Max Borenstein

Starring
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston

Format
Movie

Rating
PG-13

Run Time
128 minutes

This is the film that started the MonsterVerse.

It sees a global race against time erupt when two insects-like monsters emerge and begin stomping their way toward one another. Making matters a little more destructive, Godzilla is on their trail. This film has a little bit more of a somber tone than the later films in the series, as it follows Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brady search for the cause of the nuclear accident that took his wife’s life, but it was still a huge success that grossed $529 million.

4 Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Year in the MonsterVerse: 2019

A plot from within Monarch begins, awakening monsters, including the three-headed monster Ghidorah who wants to destroy the world. The only one that can stop him is Godzilla.

Director
Michael Dougherty

Writers
Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields

Starring
Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown

Format
Movie

Rating
PG-13

Run Time
132 minutes

King of the Monsters sees Dr. Mark Russel (Kyle Chandler) reluctantly return to Monarch, following his wife and daughter’s abduction at the hands of eco-terrorists who want to awaken every titan in the belief it will help heal the Earth. Unfortunately, one of the first titans they decide to wake up is King Ghidorah, a three-headed alien monster that wants to terraform the planet for itself. With all the other monsters kneeling to Ghidorah, Godzilla is the only titan left to fight.

5 Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Year in the MonsterVerse: 2024

An insidious corporation manipulates both Godzilla and Kong, leading the two towards a showdown for the ages.

Director
Adam Wingard

Writers
Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein

Starring
Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall

Format
Movie

Rating
PG-13

Run Time
113 minutes

This globe-trotting sequel is set 5 years after the events of King of the Monsters, with the gigantic titans now a fact of life for humanity. One half of this film follows scientists working with Kong in order to find a power source inside the hollow Earth. The other half follows Millie Bobby Browns’ Madison Russell, who returns from the previous film, as she works to uncover a conspiracy involving Godzilla within a corporation called Apex.

The storylines come together to set up a showdown between the two titans.

6 Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

Year in the MonsterVerse: 2024 or later

An insidious corporation manipulates both Godzilla and Kong, leading the two toward a showdown for the ages.

Director
Adam Wingard

Writers
Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, Jeremy Slater

Starring
Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns, Fala Chen

Format
Movie

Rating
PG-13

In theatres
April 12, 2024

The next film in the MonsterVerse is slated to hit theaters on April 12, 2024. It’ll see Godzilla and Kong teaming up to take on a new threat from the hollow Earth known as the Scar King. He’s a giant ape like Kong who appears to be ruling over the hollow Earth. Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kaylee Hottle will all reprise their roles from Godzilla vs. Kong, while Adam Wingard is returning to direct as well.


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MonsterVerse’s Godzilla movies in chronological order

Here’s the at-a-glance list of the MonsterVerse movie order for Godzilla:

  1. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023)
  2. Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  3. Godzilla (2014)
  4. Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019)
  5. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
  6. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

Showa-era Godzilla movies in chronological order

The Showa era of Godzilla films is where the idea of cinematic universes really got started.

It includes 15 Godzilla films, including the 1955 original, as well as spin-off films that set up characters like Mothra and Rodan. The first two entries in the series see Godzilla as a terrifying force attacking Japan, but later entries in the series see the giant radioactive lizard evolve into a protector for Japan against other gigantic monsters. To watch the series in chronological order, you’ll need to save 1968’s Destroy All Monsters for last. It was designed to be the last Godzilla film, and is set in the far away future of 1999. You could also kick off a rewatch with Godzilla Minus One.

  1. Godzilla (1954)
  2. Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  3. Rodan (1956)
  4. Varan (1958)
  5. Mothra (1961)
  6. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
  7. Atragon (1963)
  8. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
  9. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  10. Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)
  11. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
  12. The War of the Gargantuas (1966)
  13. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
  14. King Kong Escapes (1967)
  15. Son of Godzilla (1967)
  16. All Monsters Attack (1969)
  17. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
  18. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
  19. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
  20. Zone Fighter (TV 1973; 26 episodes)
  21. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  22. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
  23. Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Heisei-era Godzilla movies in chronological order

Another way Godzilla was ahead of its time: a reboot that ignores everything but the original.

The Heisei Era begins with 1984’s The Return of Godzilla, which is a direct sequel to the 1954 original that ignores all the other Showa era films. The films lead up to Godzilla’s death in Godzilla vs. Destroyah, but if you want to watch them in order, you should start with the original Godzilla film.

  1. Godzilla (1954)
  2. The Return of Godzilla (1984)
  3. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
  4. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
  5. Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
  6. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  7. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
  8. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

Millennium series of Godzilla movies

Toho, the Japanese company that produces Godzilla films, had planned to stop making Godzilla films while a new trilogy was released in America.

The first film in that series was the 1998 mega-bomb Godzilla, which ended up not getting any sequels. In that film’s smoking crater, Toho saw an opportunity to release more Godzilla films and what’s known as the Millennium series of Godzilla films is what followed. These films all seem to take place in their own separate universes except for Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, which is a direct sequel to Godzilla against Mechagodzilla.

  1. Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)
  2. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
  3. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
  4. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
  5. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)
  6. Godzilla Final Wars (2004)

Godzilla movie order by release date

Here’s every Godzilla film in order of when they first hit theaters. There’s a few.

  1. Godzilla (1954)
  2. Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  3. Rodan (1956)
  4. Varan (1958)
  5. Mothra (1961)
  6. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
  7. Atragon (1963)
  8. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
  9. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  10. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
  11. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
  12. Son of Godzilla (1967)
  13. Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  14. All Monsters Attack (1969)
  15. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
  16. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
  17. Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
  18. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  19. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
  20. The Return of Godzilla (1984)
  21. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
  22. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
  23. Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
  24. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  25. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
  26. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
  27. Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)
  28. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
  29. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
  30. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
  31. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)
  32. Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
  33. Shin Godzilla (2016)
  34. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
  35. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)



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