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Best Metroid Games of All Time, Ranked



Best Metroid Games

Metroid is one of the earliest and most popular game series in the action-adventure genre, with a history dating back almost four decades ago. The series comprises 11 installments. While all Metroid games follow the same narrative, they feature varying story segments, 2D/3D designs, environments, and gameplay features. Samus’ abilities also vary, and the enemies come in varying shapes and sizes.

Most Metroid games are impressive and worth playing, while a few are disappointing. Here, we review and rank the best Metroid games of all time.

5. Metroid Fusion

Metroid Fusion - Game Boy Advance - Nintendo Switch Online

The fact that Metroid Fusion was released on the same day as Metroid Prime, the first 3D game in the series, says a lot about this simplistic 2D game. Notably, it is linear and shares some of the shortcomings of Metroid: Other M. However, it also boasts several outstanding features, including a well-balanced story and gameplay that expand the narrative.

Most notably, the game introduces a new character called Adam Malkovich. The character relates well with Western audiences and later becomes integral to Samus’ background story.

Overall, tension is one of Metroid Fusion’s most captivating elements. Arguably, it is the only installment in the series that qualifies as a survival horror game. In a horrifying turn of events, Samus accidentally absorbs a baby Metroid’s DNA, threatening her fundamental being. To make matters worse, she gets infected with X, a biological weapon that replicates its victims. Shockingly, the virus produces a copy of Samus with similar abilities, posing the biggest threat to the beloved character to date.

4. Metroid: Zero Mission

Metroid Zero Mission - Trailer (Wii U)

Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of the first Metroid game. It also incorporates elements from other Metroid games before it, including Metroid Fusion and Super Metroid. Moreover, it adds several new elements that make it more interesting and fun. Arguably, this remake nails it, delivering a balanced gameplay design where everything works like clockwork.

Zero Suit Samus is one of the best aspects of Metroid: Zero Mission. In fact, it is a legendary feature that made its mark on popular games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and still features at cosplay conventions today. It involves a separate story segment featuring Samus trying to make her way through a space pirate base with nothing but a simple stun gun and stealth, making for a thrilling experience worth remembering.

Upgrades in Metroid: Zero Mission make it arguably the best of all 2D Metroid games. For example, it features quality-of-life improvements and power upgrades for Samus, making her more formidable and reliable. Additionally, it expands the environment for a more engaging exploration experience. Last but not least, it introduces new formidable mini-bosses for Samus to fight.

3. Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread - Trailer 2 - Nintendo Switch

Nintendo took a break of about two decades before releasing Nintendo Dread, creating intense anticipation among players. Fortunately, the game didn’t disappoint, as Nintendo collaborated with MercurySteam to bring the series back to its 2D beginnings.

Metroid Dread delivers a thrilling experience because of everything going on in the story. For starters, Samus must confront her history with all her worst enemies, including the Metroids, space pirates, the mysterious Chozos, and the dangerous X parasite. Certainly, everything in the series has led up to this moment.

The combination of enemies makes Metroid Dread one of the most challenging installments in the series. Fortunately, Samus is well-equipped to handle the challenge, considering her classic abilities and the upgrades she has been collecting over time. Overall, Samus has everything needed to win, and it is up to you to utilize her abilities properly. Notably, the fighting scenes are action-packed and seamless, and the installment makes for a befitting end to the series.

2. Metroid Prime

Longplay of Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime revolutionized the Metroid series in two ways. First, it pioneered the series’ switch from 2D to 3D, making the visuals sharper and more realistic. Second, Retro Studios turned it into a first-person shooter (FPS) game, creating a whole new perspective and making the gameplay more immersive. The transition was so flawless that it revamped and renewed the gameplay experience for Metroid fans, bringing the series into the modern era.

Besides the 3D design and FPS perspective, Metroid Prime also introduced a few new elements that made it more engaging. For example, it introduced new technology to let you scan items, making exploration easier. Additionally, the Tallon IV planet was beautifully modeled and detailed, making exploration more engaging.

Metroid Prime’s story is set between the events of Metroid and Metroid II, elaborating on the overall story. Interestingly, Samus can use her scanning technology to uncover crucial details about the past.

Interestingly, Metroid Prime’s popularity inspired Nintendo to release a remastered version in 2023. Metroid Prime Remastered features new dual-analog controls, better visuals, and several other upgrades that give it a modern touch.

1. Super Metroid

Longplay of Super Metroid

Super Metroid is arguably the best Metroid game of all time. It is the third installment in the series, but it is so engaging that it feels like the first time playing. Obviously, the game benefits from Nintendo’s experience with the first two games.

The original Metroid game set the theme and feel, while the second installment elaborated on the story to make the series more engaging. Super Metroid utilizes and improves all of the elements in the first two games, making everything look and feel more polished. Moreover, it introduces new elements that add to the game’s mechanical depth, including bigger stripes and action-packed boss battles, turning the series into the masterpiece it is today. In a nutshell, this installment brought out the series’ full potential.

The introduction of power-up acquisitions to upgrade Samus’ abilities is one of the game’s best features. Interestingly, most video games featured characters with fixed abilities at the time of Super Metroid’s release. The freedom to explore the alien world in a free-range style and the addition of a map also helped make the game more engaging.

So, what’s your take on our picks for the five best Metroid games of all time? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below. 

Cynthia Wambui is a gamer who has a knack for writing video gaming content. Blending words to express one of my biggest interests keeps me in the loop on trendy gaming topics. Aside from gaming and writing, Cynthia is a tech nerd and coding enthusiast.