Every Movie In The MonsterVerse, Ranked

Kong punching Gidzilla
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

You know what's comical to me? If you had asked me years ago which extended universe I thought would do better – the one with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in it, or the one with Godzilla and King Kong – I would have said the former, of course. 

But, here we are in 2023, the year of our God(zilla), and the MonsterVerse is still going strong, with a sequel to Godzilla vs. Kong with Brian Tyree Henry on the way, and James Gunn having to be brought in to save the DC universe now that the Snyderverse is (thankfully) over.    

Even so, I'm not saying that the MonsterVerse is perfect. With four movies available to critique, I think it's time to rank them. Because, you know. Let them fight!

Oh, and minor spoilers up ahead. 

Towering Godzilla in King of the Monsters movie

(Image credit: Legendary Pictures)

4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) 

On paper, Godzilla: King of the Monsters should have been the greatest American movie of all time. Check this out. Not only does it have Godzilla in it, but it also has two of Godzilla’s greatest enemies in Rodan and King Ghidorah, as well as the sometimes friend, sometimes enemy, Mothra. I mean, could you get a better American movie? It may not have been Destroy All Monsters, but it was about as close as we were going to get.  

So, why is it at the bottom of this list then? Well, because it was a colossal misfire. Directed by Michael Dougherty, and starring the likes of Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, and Charles Dance, amongst others, it had the same problem as its predecessor of having too many lackluster human characters, but magnified. 

It also didn’t help that the movie was incredibly dark. Whenever we got massive monster action, it was usually shown in some kind of dark storm, hiding most of the best bits. Yes, the film definitely has its moments, most notably in the scenes featuring Rodan taking on some fighter jets. But, between all of the boring family drama, and the dark battles, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is decidedly mid.     

Godzilla roaring

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

3. Godzilla (2014) 

You know, I’ve kind of warmed up to 2014’s Godzilla. While I still prefer the 1998 Godzilla movie to the MonsterVerse Godzilla movies (I’m sorry, but I do), I think it’s taken me all these years to truly appreciate what 2014’s film was trying to accomplish. Now, I’m not saying that it actually did accomplish what it set out to do, which was create a wholly different Godzilla from that of Toho, and also separate it from 1998’s movie (a hard reset, if you will), I still admire its restraint, which I’ll get back to in a second. 

Directed by Gareth Edwards, and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston (sort of), Godzilla is one big tantalizing tease of a movie. We’re shown several shots of Godzilla just about to fight, or the wreckage after he fought, but it’s only in the last few minutes of the film that we actually get to see him go to war (and in the dark, no less).  

I know a lot of Godzilla fans (I’m one of them, mind you) are quick to point out that the big G wasn’t much in the original movie either, but that movie didn’t need to tease Godzilla to make him a threat. The 1954 movie had an apocalyptic tone to it that is unnerving all the way through. The 2014 version, however, is the equivalent of blue balls. Not only that, but they even kill off Cranston halfway through. That alone keeps it out of the top two.  

Godzilla and King Kong fighting in Hong Kong

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

2. Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021) 

Directed by Adam Wingard, and starring KING KONG AND GODZILLA (oh, and Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, and some other people, yada, yada, yada), I think you can probably already tell from that introduction why Godzilla vs. Kong is better than the two Godzilla movies in the MonsterVerse, and that’s because the main stars of this epic battle are undoubtedly King Kong and Godzilla. 

Not only that, but Godzilla (because of reasons) is actually the bad guy in this movie, whereas which side he was on in the previous MonsterVerse movies was always a bit more nebulous. (Is he fighting for humans, or is he fighting for nature?) Godzilla vs. Kong is also just a genuinely entertaining movie. Here’s the plot: Godzilla doesn’t like King Kong, and King Kong doesn’t like Godzilla. So, they gotta duke it out. Honestly, a lot can be said for just giving the people what they want, and people wanted to see Godzilla fight King Kong, so that’s what we got.

I’m a huge Godzilla fan who’s seen every last one of the Toho movies, and I can honestly say that America’s Godzilla vs. Kong is superior to Japan’s King Kong vs. Godzilla. I would put it at the top of this list if not for one other movie in the MonsterVerse. 

Kong in Kong: Skull Island

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

1. Kong: Skull Island (2017) 

When I ranked the King Kong movies, I put Kong: Skull Island at number 2, placing it just below the original, 1933, movie, and for good reason: it is an absolute banger. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly, Kong: Skull Island is the only MonsterVerse movie that I think did everything right.   

One, King Kong is amazing, full of personality and pathos. Two, the action is always well lit and fun. Three, the time period is well established and utilized perfectly. And four, even the human characters are interesting! I think that last point is the most important of all, because unlike the other MonsterVerse movies, where the human characters are sort of just there, this movie actually makes us feel something for them. So much so, in fact, that King Kong almost feels like a side character in his own movie. 

Some fans might not like this last point, but honestly, I much prefer a human story FEATURING monsters (a la Cloverfield), rather than just a straight up slobberknocker. Sure, I do love my monster battles, but what’s the point of a monster battle if we don’t have human characters to get behind? I might as well just watch Kaiju Big Battel if I wanted to see two monsters wrasslin’.  

So, for that human element alone, I think Kong: Skull Island is the best movie in the MonsterVerse. But, what do you think? For more news on all things MonsterVerse, make sure to stomp by here often. 

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.