Smash 'n' grab: Fighting GODZILLA in your lounge? Read this first

Fat and bloated? How dare you!

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Monster productions

Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Mêlée (2003) for Xbox and Gamecube had mainly positive reviews, as it stands out as the most polished of the Godzilla games. There were 11 playable monsters looking for a brawl, they have been enslaved by the Vortaak to attack Earth's cities.

Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Mêlée

Polished performance: Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Mêlée

I play a monster who breaks free of the Vortaak mind control to battle the brainwashed behemoths. Megalon, Mechagodzilla and the usual stable of Toho stalwarts bash each other with punches, kicks and – my favourite – the tail attack, while the military takes potshots. The most fun and best-looking game of the franchise Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Mêlée (2003) gave us hope.

Godzilla Save the Earth (2004) for Xbox and PS2 was the sequel to Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Mêlée and has a huge roster of characters (most locked away) but again manages to miss the spot. An inaudible score and shoddy graphics – even though it did have some of the best character models of the Toho monsters to date – it also features unbearably clunky fight mechanics.

Godzilla: Save the Earth

Godzilla Save the Earth: great characters, poor execution

Trying to confine such a large lizard to a handheld device always seems doomed to fail and Godzilla Unleashed Double Smash (2007) for Nintendo DS ends up being a somewhat confusing sidescroller. The split screen complicates gameplay with flying kaiji or military planes on the top screen and Godzilla below.

A funny EDM soundtrack and low poly graphics notwithstanding, I enjoyed knocking the army planes out of the sky before the boss fight with SpaceGodzilla. Fingered for being one of the worst Godzilla games, I have to disagree, but with no save points, this game could be horribly frustrating.

Godzilla Unleashed

What's that smell? Oh dear, it's Godzilla Unleashed

Godzilla Unleashed (2008) is a 3D fighting game and was much less buggy on PS2 than on Wii but still considered a critical stinker. Looking cheaper than a 1950s Toho movie and with game mechanics and environments to match, it's almost a shame the only way to unlock most of the cool creatures was to spend hours on painfully repetitive game play.

Fan-made, free Flash game Godzilla Daikaiju Battle Royale is a 2D fighter made with a real passion for the big green guy. This game takes an age to load in your browser but is worth the wait for its retro roster of monsters, including the 1962 Toho version of King Kong and the Legendary Beastman, of Godzilla vs Wolfman fame. This game comes across as very mod-like but is a knowing wink to true Toho fans.

Free Flash game Godzilla Daikaiju Battle Royale

Free Flash game Godzilla Daikaiju Battle Royale

The lizard king has somehow lost his gaming crown since ye arcade games of old. Hopefully with the release of the new Godzilla movie the franchise will return revitalised from the dead and, fingers crossed, there is a student somewhere learning Unity 3D who will be inspired to make the next Rampage. Godzilla fans deserve better than what’s available at the moment.

Most Godzilla games listed here aren’t as pretty or as compelling as wearing a kaiji’s skin should be. The Toho behemoths have an extensive and comprehensive history that should provide an exceptional foundation for games.

It's an injustice that the licence is continually squandered on clumsy game mechanics, horrid aesthetics and monotonous gameplay. Unforgivable in my opinion, considering the amount goodwill there is towards Godzilla, even after successive disappointments. As my favourite band Groovie Ghoulies sang in The Lizard King....

Jim Morrison is not the Lizard King, he didn't do much of anything. You could have crushed him with just one stare, and that's why we like you the best

Godzilla! Godzilla! Go! Go! Go! Go! Godzilla!


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