Best Kaiju Video Games
With a concept as fist-pumping awesome as Kaiju aka giant monsters, it was bound to see many colossal beasties enter the world of video games. Sure, a giant monster pops up several times as a boss or two in video games, but we’re looking at video games where giant monsters are front and center. It’s surprising how despite how prolific giant monsters and kaiju are in other forms of media, the selection of kaiju-related video games is quite small compared to other famous monsters such as vampires and zombies.
When a kaiju video game is good, it’s a (no pun intended) smash hit. As such we have picked out eight of the best kaiju video games! We’ve curated a list of some of the biggest and indie titles that you have to try playing. Some are industry classics, some are contemporary hits-to-be. Regardless, if you’re a giant monster fanatic like us, we’re sure you’ll find something on this list to enjoy playing with friends.
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Godzilla: Save the Earth (2004)
(PlayStation 2, Xbox)
Let’s start with a heavyweight when it comes to kaiju video games with Godzilla: Save the Earth. Developed by Pipeworks Software and published by Atari, Godzilla: Save the Earth is the second in Pipeworks Software’s trilogy of Godzilla video games starting with 2002’s Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and concluding with 2007’s Godzilla: Unleashed.
For many, no other kaiju game has yet to reach the levels of balls-to-the-wall fun that was Godzilla: Save the Earth. An area fighter, the game includes 18 playable monsters such as the Big G himself (in both is 90 Heisei design and his look from Godzilla 2000), King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Mothra to name a few. Featuring solid controls, diverse arenas, a campy story, and a solid roster, Godzilla: Save the Earth is the gold standard for kaiju video games.
Dawn of the Monsters (2022)
(PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia)
One of a few major kaiju video games to be released in 2022, Dawn of the Monsters became a darling of the kaiju fandom (along with another game on this list) once it was released. Developed by 13 AM Games and published by Wayforward, Dawn of the Monsters is a love letter to both the kaiju genre and good old-fashioned 2D beat-em-ups.
With gameplay similar to beat-em-up classics such as Double Dragon and Final Fight, Dawn of the Monsters features 4 playable characters with their own special gimmicks such as the Godzilla-Esque Megadon, the crustation kaiju Ganira, the Ultraman-inspired Eigis Prime, and giant mecha Tempest Galahad. Add on the comic book inspire aesthetic with a story that blends Saturday morning cartoons and weird pulpy fiction, Dawn of the Monsters is bound to be a favorite for kaiju fans for years to come!
(PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows)
Another 2022 kaiju video game that took the fandom by storm, GigaBash is a love letter to both giant monsters and party fighting games such as Super Smash Bros and Power Stone. Developed and published by Passion Republic Games, GigaBash is meant to be a spiritual successor/tribute to past kaiju arena fighters but has enough to set itself apart from its peers.
Featuring (at the moment) 10 different monsters that pay tribute to different aspects of the kaiju/tokusatsu genre, GigaBash is a great game to play with friends like Super Smash Bros the fighting system encourages a free for all manic energy that is super fun and addicting once you get combos going. And that’s not the end of how great this game is as it was recently announced that GigaBash will get official Godzilla DLC with Godzilla himself poised to be a playable character along with other Godzilla series monsters as potential additions as well.
Rampage: Total Destruction (2006)
(PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Wii)
When it comes to kaiju video games franchises, few are as well-known as Rampage. Starting out as an arcade game in 1986, Rampage became a cult favorite game series that even had a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But if we had to pick one entry from the Rampage series, then it has to go to 2006’s Rampage: Total Destruction.
Developed by Pipeworks Software (who are almost synonymous with great kaiju video games) and published by Midway Games, Rampage: Total Destruction is something of a reboot to the series, retelling the origin of series staple monsters George the Gorilla, Lizzie the Lizard, and Ralph the Wolf along with 27 other monsters (37 in the Wii version) With that gigantic roster you travel the world and cause havoc in a city while Mad Magazine-style antics happen around you. A dumb fun game that is recommended to be played with friends.
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Monster Hunter: World (2018)
(PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)
Before someone goes “um actually” on whether or not the Monster Hunter series counts as a kaiju video game, we can agree on two things: it has monsters and they’re (usually) giant. So let us have this one for a change! Plus Monster Hunter: World is an awesome game! Developed and published by Capcom, Monster Hunter: World is the fifth mainline entry of the Monster Hunter series and is arguably the one to put the series on the map worldwide.
Sure it has been very popular in Japan, but the Monster Hunter series was something of a cult hit in the West until the release of Monster Hunter: World skyrocketed the franchise into one of Japan’s biggest gaming franchises. In the game, you play as a titular Monster Hunter as you explore the “New World” hunting various colossal beasts and turning their body parts into new weapons. A fun game both solo and on co-op, if you have picked it up yet we highly recommend it!
Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005)
(PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable)
Movie tie-in games have something of a rocky history as many of the worse video games of all time tend to be movie tie-ins (E.T on the Atari 2600). Peter Jackon’s King Kong, however, is actually an example of not only a good movie tie-in game, but overall a great game in general (along with kaiju video games of course)! Peter Jackson’s King Kong was developed and published by Ubisoft.
An expanded adaptation of Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong, the game features both the human male lead Jack Driscoll and Kong himself as playable characters. When playing as Driscoll the game becomes a first-person shooter/survival horror experience as you try to save Ann Darrow from Kong along with surviving Skull Islands’ ravenous predators. As Kong, the game becomes a fun third-person brawler/platformer as you traverse Skull Island while protecting Ann from giant dinosaurs and other monsters. A hidden gem of the sixth/seventh generation of video games.
War of the Monsters (2003)
(PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5)
Kaiju and arena fighters go together like peanut butter and chocolate! A cult classic PS2 kaiju video game, War of the Monsters is a tribute to 1950s sci-fi films that mix alien invasions, mad science running amok, and good old-fashioned giant monsters. It was developed by Incognito Entertainment and published by both Sony Computer Entertainment and Capcom.
In War of the Monsters, you play as one of eleven different monsters, each a tribute to various 1950s-era sci-fi films such as (of course) Godzilla, The Deadly Mantis, and War of the Worlds to name a few. The stages you battle in are massive and the game encourages players to use their environments as weapons as well as traverse in their own unique way. The game also features a story mode that includes unique scenarios, unlockable monsters/costumes, and some awesome boss fights.
Godzilla: Domination! (2002)
(Game Boy Advance)
To conclude our look at the best kaiju video games, we had Godzilla kick it off and it is fitting the King of the Monsters sends us off with Godzilla: Domination! on the Game Boy Advance. A companion game to Pipeworks Entertainment Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Godzilla: Domination! holds its own as a great sidescroller beat-em-up. Developed by WayForward Technologies and published by Atari, you can see the of this game’s DNA that would end up being in Dawn of the Monsters.
A mix of a 2D beat-em-up and fighting game, Godzilla: Domination! allows you to choose one of six Godzilla franchise monsters such as Godzilla himself, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Megalon, Mothra, and Rodan. Featuring either a story mode and PvP via the Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable, Godzilla: Domination! really emulates one of the best aspects of both kaiju video games and the Kaiju genre as a whole: the awesomeness of giant monsters kicking the crap out of each other!
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What Are Some Of Your Favorite Kaiju Video Games?
What are some of your favorite kaiju video games? Did any of your favorites make it to our list? Let us know on social media today!