The Best Metroid Games, Ranked | digital trends

The Metroid saga is one of Nintendo’s oldest franchises, with the original metroid debuting in 1986 (in Japan). Since then, numerous Metroid games have been released on various Nintendo consoles and handheld devices, along with spin-offs and remakes.

Metroid has a reputation for being atmospheric, with satisfying gameplay that encourages exploration. Although the franchise has primarily been presented from a 2D perspective, the Prime sub-series consists of first-person shooters, which was a major shift at the time. Either way, it’s one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, with most games earning positive reviews from critics and fans. metroid terror received fantastic ratings across the board when it released in 2021, the original first metroid has arrived on Switch, and fans are eagerly awaiting details on the development of metroid prime 4.

But which Metroid games are the best? Here’s our definitive ranking of the Metroid series in order.

13. Metroid Prime: Federation Force

predictably, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is our pick for the worst Metroid game. Truth be told, it’s not terrible, but it does prioritize online co-op on the 3DS, a system that isn’t known for being a multiplayer device. This game left a bad taste in the mouths of many because, at that time, six years had passed since Metroid: Another Mthe last game in the series. Other M was considered one of the worst in the series, so federation force It was more of a disappointment than anything else. If you can get over the fact that it doesn’t star Samus, but rather unnamed Galactic Federation Marines, you can have a good time with this one, but otherwise you can definitely skip it.

12. Metroid Prime: Hunters

Samus on the cover of Metroid Prime: Hunters.

Keeping with the theme of all the “bad” games in the series, Metroid Prime: Hunters he didn’t like it because it didn’t feel like Metroid. Instead, it’s a first-person shooter, but much more watered down than the Prime series. Surprisingly, the game looks and runs well enough on the Nintendo DS, but the foundation of what’s there feels very different from what Metroid fans fell in love with. hunters it also leans towards online PvP play, likely trying to capitalize on the trends popularized by Call of Duty. It’s not bad, it’s just nothing like the original games.

11. Metroid: Another M

Cover of Metroid: Another M.

It is interesting because the reviews of Metroid: Another M they don’t seem to align with how fans feel about it. critically, Other M it was a “good” but flawed game, but is often considered one of the most terrible things ever released. While we don’t think it’s as bad as its reputation seems, Other M certainly not great. Its biggest problem is how linear it is, which is a far cry from what made the original installments so much fun. The sense of exploration was practically eliminated in Other M, in favor of a more restricted experience. He also prioritized the narrative much more than other entries. To some this may be appealing, but longtime Metroid fans were left disappointed with Other M. To make matters worse, the game required you to hold the Wii Remote horizontally to control Samus instead of having a more traditional control scheme.

10. Metroid II: The Return of Samus

Samus next to a statue in Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Metroid II: The Return of Samus released for the Game Boy in 1991, and is very much a product of its time. In 1991 it had a positive reception, but time has not been as kind as one might expect. Bogged down by hardware limitations, levels tend to get mixed up in The return of Samus and everything looks the same. By today’s standards, it feels stiff and clunky to play, despite improving on the original in some ways. It’s an important game in the Metroid series due to its narrative, but luckily, you can skip playing this one in favor of the 3DS remake (which we’ll cover next).

9. metroid

Samus on the cover of Metroid.

It’s hard not to have a soft spot for the original. metroid for NES. Arguably one of the greatest games of all time, with timeless visuals that still look great today. Even better is the way it encourages exploration by rewarding players with items and power-ups that allow new areas to be discovered. Although, 35 years later, it just doesn’t hold up quite as well. Obtuse, slow, and finicky at times, making it hard to recommend in 2021. Without a map, the original metroid it feels almost impossible to get through. But she gets points for being so influential, and for being one of the first major examples of a strong female lead in video games.

8. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Cover of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.

Moving on to the Prime trilogy, our next pick is Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. This is the GameCube sequel to the fantastic first metroidshowcasing the doppelganger Dark Samus, and serving as the first game in the series to feature multiplayer. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes it is more narrative-oriented than the first Prime game, while maintaining an emphasis on top-tier gameplay. Like the first Prime game, it is presented from a first-person perspective and features puzzles, platforming, exploration, and shooting. We’d rate this one higher, but its relentless difficulty spikes make it less fun than we’d like.

7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Samus posing for the cover of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the conclusion to the Prime trilogy, which was released for the Wii in 2007. While there is often debate as to whether this is better positioned than its predecessor, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has some of the best shots in the series, while nicely wrapping up the story (despite metroid prime 4 arriving at some point in the future). Visually, it was impressive at the time and still looks decent today, if a bit dated. Finally, Corruption it’s a union of the best features of the series up to that point, refining the first-person shooter, puzzle-solving, and exploration aspects. The only thing that bogs this game down is its controls, which require the use of the Wii Remote.

6. Metroid Fusion

Cover of Metroid: Fusion.

Metroid Fusion is the successor of super metroidand while those are very big shoes to fill, it does a great job of continuing the beloved formula while adding new ideas. Fusion it still features a large open map to explore, with power-ups and items scattered throughout. This game leans more towards combat and narrative than super metroid it did, with a greater focus on linearity limiting the scan. Depending on your tastes, this may or may not be a positive thing. One thing this game does excellently is that it sprinkles bits of narrative rather than one big exposition dump at the start. We won’t spoil it here, but it does have its fair share of twists and turns that work in tandem with the excellent gameplay.

5. Metroid: Mission Zero

Samus on the cover of Metroid: Zero Mission.

we are excited Metroid: Mission Zero exists because it allows players to experience metroid in a modern way. zero mission It’s a complete remake of the original. metroid, released for the GBA in 2004. After playing the new version, it’s amazing how many small improvements were made over the original. The controls in zero mission feels tighter, character movement is faster, jumps feel less buoyant; All in all, it’s an improvement in almost every way. Visually, it’s still impressive, even 17 years later, and will likely hold up in another 17 years. We just wish this game (and many others on this list) were easier to get your hands on, because as it stands, it’s stuck on the GBA and Wii U’s Virtual Console.

4. Metroid: The Return of Samus

Samus on the cover of Metroid: Samus Returns.

The most modern 2D Metroid release in the series is Metroid: The Return of Samus. This new 3DS version of Metroid II released in 2017 and was a notable take on the series. More importantly, it allowed a modern generation of gamers to experience the second game’s story without all the baggage of the Game Boy’s limited specs. But apart from that, samus returns implemented new ideas, such as 2.5D camera perspective changes, along with a host of improvements to controls and mechanics. Fear actually borrows many of the ideas presented in samus returns, like the fancy melee counter and even some of the perspective changes. If you want to catch up on the series sooner Fear, samus returns not one to jump.

3. Metroid Prime

Samus on the cover of Metroid Prime.

A first-person 3D version of Metroid? Surely that couldn’t work, right? Well, it didn’t just work on first metroid, but in many ways, it felt like a natural evolution from 2D to 3D in the most elegant way. The transition from 2D to 3D could have been disastrous, but Major it integrates all the mechanics that give Metroid its identity, while mixing new features thanks to the change of perspective. Of many ways, Major it’s much more involving because it’s presented through Samus’s eyes. This degree of immersion raises the stakes of the entire adventure, and we can’t praise it enough for that. This could have easily turned into a mindless first-person shooter, but instead, it feels more like Metroid than anyone would have expected.

This Gamecube classic has also been remastered for Switch and is playing better than ever in 2023.

2. Super metroid

Samus fighting Ridley on the cover of Super Metroid.

As expected, super metroid is one of the best games in the series, which was first released for the SNES in 1994. The fact that it ranks so highly despite being 27 years old is a testament to how well designed this game is. The original games certainly had their fair share of clever mechanics, but super metroid he refined them to the point of withstanding the test of time. In addition to the mechanics and level structure, super metroid it also holds up aesthetically. It’s right in that sweet spot of having beautiful 2D sprites that look much better than most 1990s 3D games. super metroid It’s not perfect and it has some outdated aspects, it’s amazing how well it plays all these years later. Best of all, it’s easy to get thanks to being available on Nintendo Switch Online.

1. Metroid Terror

Metroid Dread cover art.

if it is that good. metroid terror It came out and not only was it excellent, it somehow made the last 19 years worth the wait. Few games have lived up to such huge expectations, but Nintendo and MercurySteam absolutely nailed it. The level design adds to the enjoyment, giving you plenty of places to explore, with a progression system that feels satisfying. This game will definitely test your skills, so check out our beginner’s guide. It’s also clever how the game teases you with inaccessible areas so that when do finally get the power-up that allows you to reach those places, there is a moment of excitement that always unfolds when you revisit those places. The bosses are expertly crafted, the sense of atmosphere is immense, and the visuals are the best in the series, hands down. Play this game.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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