With over 50 years of movies, Godzilla has faced a lot of monsters — with over 30, in fact! Throughout his film history, Godzilla has faced many foes multiple times, and sometimes multiples at once. Diving into this rogue’s gallery, it’s clear that Godzilla has faced many enemies that he should have lost to, at least on paper. (If you’re looking for MechaGodzilla on this list, he isn’t on here, as he as only ever been 100% synthetic since his inception in 1974.) Here are the 10 strongest foes the King of the Monsters has ever faced.
10 Rodan (First Appearance: 1956)
First appearing in his own film before joining the Godzilla universe, he would go on to become one of Godzilla’s most persistent supporting players.
Able to reach Mach 3 and powerful enough to level cities with thunderclaps generated by its wings, Rodan is a force to be reckoned with.
9 Hedorah (First Appearance: 1971)
Whereas Godzilla was a symbol of Japanese concerns over nuclear weapons, Hedorah was envisioned as an embodiment of Yokkaichi asthma, caused by Japan's widespread urban pollution at the time.
A clear warning on the dangers of environmental destruction, he’s the least subtle message a Godzilla movie ever attempted to deliver. Still, he’s a very memorable foe for Godzilla with such powers and abilities as turning into a flying saucer, liquefying himself, and reducing people into skeletons.
8 Orga (First Appearance: 1999)
Orga is a Millennian that mutates after absorbing Godzilla's DNA. Orga is a hunch-backed monster with a thick, rubbery gray hide; most prominent is his massive three-clawed hands, which he uses to walk like a gorilla. He can fire an energy wave from the hole in his left shoulder and is able to leap vast distances and heights. He also has an accelerated healing factor. Orga can even detach his upper and lower jaws like a snake to unfold a hidden membrane in order to swallow an enemy whole — a move he even attempted on Godzilla.
7 King Caesar (First Appearance: 1974)
King Caesar's character concept was inspired by a traditional Okinawan folk tale in which a Shisa protects a village from a rampaging dragon. It is portrayed as a loyal and powerful protector of mankind, in reference to the role Shisa play in Okinawan tradition.
King Caesar is shown to be swift and athletic. It can also draw an enemy's energy weapons into its right eye and reflect them back from its left eye with 10 times the force, empowering itself with solar energy.
6 Anguirus (First Appearance: 1955)
Anguirus was the first enemy that Godzilla ever faced. Godzilla and Anguirus battled in Osaka, and after a fierce struggle, Godzilla won with a bite to the neck and incinerated Anguirus' body by using its atomic breath.
Anguirus was reintroduced with a brand new look (presumably as a different member of the same species) in 1968 film as an ally of Godzilla living with it on Monsterland, a man-made habitat for all of Earth's monsters in the Ogasawara Islands created at the end of the 20th century.
5 Destoroyah (First Appearance: 1995)
Destoroyah originated as a colony of microscopic Precambrian crustaceans that had been awakened and mutated in Tokyo Bay when the Oxygen Destroyer was detonated to kill the original Godzilla in 1954.
In 1996, the Destoroyahs eventually mature into man-sized creatures which repel a Japanese military assault. The Destoroyahs later combine into a flying form which fights Godzilla Junior. Destoroyah is defeated but then morphs into an even larger form that dwarfs Godzilla. The creature proceeds to kill Godzilla Junior and faces Godzilla in Haneda Airport, but is finally killed through the combined efforts of Godzilla and the Japanese army.
4 Gigan (First Appearance: 1972)
The first monster to make Godzilla visibly bleed, Gigan is a cyborg space monster sporting a buzzsaw weapon in its frontal abdominal region with large metallic hooks for hands. Gigan is one of several monsters that is continuously revived and upgraded after each defeat, slowly becoming more machine than monster.
3 Mothra (First Appearance: 1961)
Mothra is the most commonly appearing kaiju other than Godzilla himself in the Godzilla series. She's a beloved figure popular enough to receive several stand-alone films of her own.
She was the original flying Godzilla opponent, and it’s hard to argue against the classic value of her first appearance, Godzilla vs. Mothra. She introduced the concept of a “good monster” fighting to protect the Earth from Godzilla, but would then go on to team up with him many times to take down greater threats.
2 Biollante (First Appearance: 1989)
Biollante is unquestionably the most creative monster design to come out of the Heisei series of Godzilla flicks, and when he showed up, it was really a breath of fresh air for the series. This plant-based monster was the first Godzilla enemy to be born using his DNA as a base. The design is absolutely wicked; a tangled mess of vines and a massive mouth full of sharp teeth. Biollante is legitimately scary-looking, and he also possesses the ability to regenerate large amounts of his body if they’re destroyed. The fact that this is still a costume intended to be worn by a human being is incredible. He remains one of Godzilla’s most creepily unique opponents.
1 King Ghidorah (First Appearance: 1964)
The three-headed golden dragon is probably Godzilla’s most recognizable foe and is rightly considered his arch-enemy, appearing in nearly as many films as Mothra and almost always in the role of villain.
In many of his films, Ghidorah is a “super boss,” such as in Destroy All Monsters, where it takes half a dozen combatants to go toe-to-toe with him. Couple that with a distinctive and cool-looking design, and you’ve just got a great monster, one who looks even cooler once he becomes “Mecha-King Ghidorah”