The single most important feature that we care about a utility function is that if a bundle $X$ is preferred to a bundle $Y$ then $U(X)>U(Y)$ (with weak inequalities whenever appropriate). This is how we define a utility function. You can immediately see that if a function has that property, any monotonic increasing transformation of it will also have that property. However, if the transformation is decreasing, call it $V(X)=f(U(X))$ with $f'<0$, then $V(X)<V(Y)$ i.e. now $X$ gives less utility. Therefore, we see that $V$ cannot represent the same preferences.
What about the MRS invariance property? Well, once you understand that utility representations are not unique, (or unique up to monotonic increasing transformations), you can ask what is constant across all functions that represent the same preferences? The answer is: they have the same MRS.
You can clearly see that it is necessary for two functions to have the same MRS if they represent the same preferences, but it is not sufficient. As you pointed out, decreasing transformations also have the same MRS. Note however, that the interpretations of the MRS slightly changes when considering monotonic decreasing transformations.