(Last updated in April 2014)
The picture above is of the 'Godzilla Final Box' collection. One huge Japanese DVD boxset, because in Japan all the films are owned by the same studio, Toho. Problem is, their DVD and Blu-ray releases don't have English audio or subtitles on them.
Outside Japan, the rights to release these films have been sold to a dozen different distributors, so there's no hope of getting all the Godzilla films in one big box, in English. In fact, you can't even get all the films from the same country.
Through the years, I've tried to keep this page up to date with all the new DVD releases. With a new Godzilla film due in America, over half of the Japanese films will also be available on blu-ray.
Older Godzilla films were often re-edited for the American release. I'll mention where the Japanese and US versions are drastically different, but to keep this concise I won't be listing minor differences. For that level of minutia you'll need to refer to the articles in G-Fan magazine or a thorough guidebook.
The US titles often differ from the literal English translation of the Japanese titles, meaning that the same film can be listed in IMDB and on DVD sites under differing years and titles.
Another twist in the tail is that there can be two different English language tracks - one recorded to match the Japanese edit (refered to as 'international audio', usually for release in Hong Kong). The other is done in the US to match the re-edited release. I'll point out any releases where the English audio isn't the American version. (The Godzilla films shown on Channel 4 in the 1990s and then released on VHS in the UK all had this alternate 'Hong Kong' English language track, not used in the USA.)
The cover art is from the DVD release that I most recommend. All DVDs are US region 1 NTSC, unless otherwise stated. There have been 28 Japanese Godzilla movies in all, here we go...
1. GODZILLA / GOJIRA (1954)
There are two very different versions of this film. The original Japanese Gojira is longer and bleaker, portraying the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust. The US Godzilla includes cheaply reshot scenes of news reporter Steve Martin, played by Raymond Burr, talking us through the action. It favours monster action over the human devastation.
Both versions were shot fullscreen 4:3 (1.33) and in black and white.Classic Media released a two-disc set in the US that includes both versions, and is sold under the original Japanese title Gojira - complete with a couple of brief documentaries. This DVD set is the best release to date, though the scratchy source print could still do with further restoration. It was the first time the Japanese version was released in the US. The Japanese version is also available in the UK, released by the BFI on region 2 PAL DVD.
Classic Media also released a blu-ray of this version in 2009, not to be confused with the Criterion blu-ray (below).
The Criterion Collection released Godzilla and Gojira together on DVD and blu-ray (pictured) in January 2012 from a newly discovered print, which I believe offers much-needed, improved image quality.
2. GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955)
The second Godzilla movie was also known as Gigantis the Fire Monster, and also recut for the US. This film was originally made fullscreen 1.33 and in black and white. Godzilla fights the spiky four-legged Anguiras, destroying Osaka castle in the process.
Classic Media have released this on region 1 DVD as a special edition that includes the uncut Japanese version (with English subtitles), and the English language US edit.
3. KING KONG vs GODZILLA (1963)
The US version of this was cutdown, then extra scenes were filmed. It's now available on DVD and blu-ray in a beautiful 2.35 widescreen release in the US from Universal Home Video (pictured). This US version contains all the monster action of the Japanese version. (In addition, Universal have also released the non-Godzilla sequel King Kong Escapes on DVD and blu. It features King Kong, Mechani-Kong and Gorosaurus...).
The Japanese version of King Kong vs Godzilla is longer, with more dialogue scenes and humour. But it's only available in Japan and has never been released with English subtitles.
4. MOTHRA vs GODZILLA (1964)This was retitled Godzilla vs The Thing in the US.Classic Media have released a US special edition as Mothra vs Godzilla, containing both versions of the film. However the US version is only presented cropped down to 16:9 widescreen, instead of the full 2.35 widescreen. This is OK if you want to see the Japanese version, but if you prefer the Americanised English audio in the full widescreen, get the older DVD releases (from Sony or Simitar).
The Simitar DVD has non-anamorphic widescreen 2.35, and with only the English language audio.
5. GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (1964)
Despite the title, this is also a Godzilla movie. Classic Media released this as a marvellous special edition, in 2.35 anamorphic widescreen in Japanese with English subtitles, with an option of the English language US version.
6. INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER (1965)
The Simitar DVD is also watchable, presented in 2.35 widescreen (but non-anamorphic - not as good for widescreen TVs) with only the English language track.
7. GODZILLA vs THE SEA MONSTER (1966)
Kraken will also release this on blu-ray in May, 2014.
8. SON OF GODZILLA (1967)
9. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (1968)
A new transfer from Media Blasters heralded an anamorphic widescreen release on DVD and blu-ray in the US in October 2011 (with the above artwork). While the anamorphic widescreen was welcome, the blu-ray transfer wasn't as sharp as I'd hoped, possibly because the film elements were several generations down from the Japanese original.
ADV released this with two different covers in 2000 and 2004. It's only the US version of the film, in 2.35 non-anamorphic widescreen, and only has the American English audio track.
10. ALL MONSTERS ATTACK /
GODZILLA'S REVENGE (1969)
The earlier Simitar DVD was released as Godzilla's Revenge in 2.35 anamorphic widescreen, but only with an English language track.
11. GODZILLA vs HEDORAH /
GODZILLA vs THE SMOG MONSTER (1971)
Sony Pictures have released a 2.35 anamorphic widescreen DVD (pictured) , with the choice of English or the original Japanese soundtracks and English subtitles. The onscreen titles are in English.
Kraken will also release this on blu-ray on May, 2014.
12. GODZILLA vs GIGAN (1972)Sony Pictures released a 2.35 anamorphic widescreen region 1 DVD (pictured), with optional English or original Japanese soundtracks and English subtitles.
Kraken will also release this on blu-ray on May, 2014.
13. GODZILLA vs MEGALON (1973)
>The first US DVD release was issued by Media Blasters in 2012, and it should also be on blu-ray any week now (due April 2014). The DVD has optional Japanese or English audio and English subtitles.
Beware the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version - it's cropped to fullframe 4:3 and the team talk humorously over the entire movie.
14. GODZILLA vs MECHAGODZILLA (1974)
Sony Pictures have released a 2.35 anamorphic widescreen DVD (pictured), with optional English and Japanese soundtracks and English subtitles. Don't get confused with the other four films with MechaGodzilla in the title!
15. TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (1975)
Non-stop alien superspy action in the best seventies Godzilla movie. Only time you'll see breasts in the series (sort of)!
Classic Media released this as a special edition (pictured) in 2.35 widescreen in Japanese with English subtitles. It includes the English language US edit as well, but the title sequence is cropped to 16:9 widescreen, before branching back to the correct 2.35 aspect for the rest of the movie.
BEWARE both the Simitar and Sony DVD releases, they are cropped to full-frame 1.33.
16. THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (1985)
This has never been on DVD in the USA. The Japanese version has been released by Universe Video in Hong Kong, on an NTSC region 3 DVD as The Return of Godzilla (pictured). It's widescreen, with Japanese audio and English subtitles (that share the screen with Chinese subtitles). The US version was last seen on VHS as Godzilla - The Legend is Reborn.
17. GODZILLA vs BIOLLANTE (1989)
This finally hit DVD and blu-ray in the US in 2012. Optional Japanese (5.1) or English (mono) audio, and of course English subtitles.
18. GODZILLA vs KING GHIDRAH (1991)
What's more fearsome than MechaGodzilla? Mecha King Ghidorah! Great slamdown finale among the skyscrapers of Tokyo's financial district, Shinjuku.
Sony are releasing this on blu-ray in May as a double-bill with Godzilla vs Mothra (1992). I've heard that it will also get a DVD release, but be careful not to get their 1998 version of this double-bill on DVD - it was a very tightly-cropped 1.33 fullscreen version (pan-and-scanned), with English language only.
19. GODZILLA vs MOTHRA (1992)
One of the best 90s' Godzilla movies for monster action. Sony are releasing this on blu-ray in May as a double-bill with Godzilla vs King Ghidrah (1991). I've heard that it will also get a DVD release, but be careful not to get their 1998 version of this double-bill on DVD - it was a very tightly-cropped 1.33 fullscreen version (pan-and-scanned), with English language only.
20. GODZILLA vs MECHAGODZILLA II (1993)
Sony Pictures released a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen DVD in the US (pictured) with both the Japanese and English soundtracks.
They're now also releasing it on blu-ray, in May, on a double-bill with Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994).
21. GODZILLA vs SPACE GODZILLA (1994)
This old Columbia Tristar DVD double-bill (pictured above) is correctly presented in anamorphic widescreen, but with English language only.
In May, Sony are releasing Godzilla vs Space Godzilla on blu-ray, on a double-bill with Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993). That's rather confusing...
22. GODZILLA vs DESTOROYAH (1995)
Godzilla vs Destoroyah will hit blu-ray in May, on a double-bill with Godzilla vs Megaguiras (2000).
23. GODZILLA 2000 (1999)
The Madman Entertainment Australian PAL region 4 DVD (above) is almost the same as the US DVD, with 2.35 anamorphic widescreen and no Japanese audio. The advantage is a notably less grainy image.
The Columbia Tristar release in the USA (pictured) has only English (and French) audio on it, and is anamorphic widescreen 2.35. The letterbox looks too tight at the top, on this and all other versions that I've seen. This version is also slightly shorter compared to the Hong Kong disc. The American dubbing can't resist occasionally poking fun at the film in a bizarre and unfunny way, "Great Caesar's ghost!"
Universe Video released this in Hong Kong on region 3 NTSC. There are Chinese and Japanese audio tracks, but the English subtitles can only be selected with the Chinese audio track. The image is a tightly-framed transfer, the Japanese audio mix is muddy and therefore not recommended.
24. GODZILLA vs MEGAGUIRUS (2000)
This US DVD release (pictured above) marked the moment when Sony Pictures started listening to fans and releasing Godzilla DVDs with Japanese audio as well. There's also optional English audio and English subtitles. It's 2.35 anamorphic widescreen.
Sony will release this on blu-ray in May on a double-bill with Godzilla vs Destoroyah.
25. GODZILLA MOTHRA KING GHIDRAH -
GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (2001)
Sony Pictures DVD (pictured) has Japanese language, optional English language or subtitles, 2.35 anamorphic widescreen.
26. GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA (2002)
The Sony Pictures DVD (pictured) has Japanese language, optional English language or subtitles, 2.35 anamorphic widescreen. Reviewed here.
27. GODZILLA TOKYO S.O.S. (2003)
The Columbia Tristar DVD (pictured above) has Japanese language, optional English language or subtitles, 2.35 anamorphic widescreen.
This will be released on blu-ray in May on a double-bill with Godzilla Final Wars (2004).
28. GODZILLA FINAL WARS (2004)
The last Japanese Godzilla film. Bigger budget, international locations, electronic soundtrack, and ALL the Toho monsters they could possibly cram in... Review here.DVD released by Sony in the US (pictured above), with Japanese or English audio, and English subtitles.
Sony are releasing this on blu-ray in May, on a double-bill with Godzilla Tokyo SOS.
For online news about Japanese giants,try August Ragone's The Good the Bad and the Godzilla, and SciFi Japan.
Good luck, and happy hunting! The Hong Kong DVDs can be found here from YesAsia. Thanks also to Ian W. (Killer Meteor on the Classic Horror Forum) for info about the Australian releases.