10 Best Godzilla Franchise Monsters

Why do we love monsters? Iconic filmmaker Guillermo del Toro theorises that “In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome… monsters are here in our world to help us understand it.” Perhaps so.

Then again, it’s also just really fun to watch a giant creature, usually played on film by stunt guys in elaborate but uncomfortable rubber suits, smash miniature cities and grapple like sumo wrestlers.

The most famous Kaiju (giant monster) in cinema is without doubt Gojira / Godzilla, Japan’s post-WWII trauma manifested as a radioactive mutant dinosaur. Over 38 films, Godzilla has changed from being an unknowable elemental force to a guardian of the planet and humanity and back again, but he’s rarely stomping around on his own.

To answer the Godzilla franchise’s ongoing question of “who would win in a fight between…”, a lot of other monsters – usually mutated animals or alien invaders – have clashed with Godzilla over the decades. So here is an effort to provide a definitive top 10 of the most most deadly, memorable and weird opponents of the King of the Monsters. These are the 10 Best Godzilla Franchise Monsters.

Without further ado, let us head off on safari into the Monsterverse… 

Honourable mention: King Kong

Later dropping his royal title due to rights issues, the apex ape is rightly iconic.

The two most iconic giant monsters of the 20th Century first clashed in 1962 and kept their own separate franchises going strong while occasionally re-matching and reluctantly allying with each other as needed.

Kong predates Godzilla by 20 years so you can’t really lump him in with the other Kaiju who regularly encounter the big lizard, but him being more anthropomorphic and able to emote than his scaly counterpart has been key in making him the de facto hero of the recent Legendary movies.

Honourable Mention: Rodan

The third in the triumvirate of iconic classic monsters brought back to face Godzilla in Legendary’s Monsterverse, Rodan is a big old Pteranadon who lives in a volcano.

Being able to fly and dive bomb his targets should give Rodan the edge, but he isn’t the most durable creature in the world; the wirework used to achieve his airborne form in the classic movies was complex and potentially dangerous for the stunt team and operators, so this monster has usually been paired with more powerful creatures like Ghidorah or Godzilla himself.

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10. Megaguirus

A ferocious giant prehistoric dragonfly arrives through a time portal with its swarm to terrorise modern Japan.

Megaguirus has a very cool design based on the ancestors of real-world insects, and makes up for its lack of strength versus creatures many times its size with numbers that swell with exposure to radiation, as well as speed and the ability to shatter the glass in Tokyo’s many skyscrapers with shockwaves from its wings.

Most Monstrous Moment: After syphoning atomic energy from Godzilla, Megaguirus attempts to end the fight by stabbing Godzilla in the head with its stinger, but this proves to be a costly mistake. (Godzilla vs Megaguirus)

Recommended for you: Showa Era Godzilla Movies Ranked (1954-1975)

9. Kumonga

The native inhabitants of a tropical island avoid a particular valley not because of superstition or because of a curse, but because it is home to Kumonga, a very real arachnid the size of a building that makes Shelob look like a house spider in comparison.

In his first and most prominent appearance, Kumonga the giant spider torments Godzilla and his son Minilla and is impressively, and horribly, portrayed by a giant puppet that must have been seriously awkward for multiple people to operate.

Most Monstrous Moment: After feasting on giant praying mantises, Kumonga is prevented from tucking into Minilla by the arrival of his daddy Godzilla and so he attempts to trap both monsters in silk to gain the advantage. (Son of Godzilla)

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