Which Metroid game is the best of all time? Since the announcement and release of “Metroid 5,” also known as “Metroid Dread,” many of us have gone back to play games in the series again or play ones we missed the first time around. We compiled our personal ranking of the best Metroid games long ago with the sublime Metroid Prime in the number one spot, but while we enjoy Dread — and patiently await more information on the ever-in-development Metroid Prime 4 — we thought it was time to let Nintendo Life readers have their say.
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We asked you to rank your favourites, and here is a list of every Metroid game ever made based on how you ranked them. Don’t forget that this list is not written in stone. The list below changes based on the User Rating for each game in the Nintendo Life game database. This means that the order can still be changed right now. If you haven’t already, you can click the “star” next to the Metroid game you want to rate, give it a score, and possibly change the list.
Note: We’ve included remakes and spin-offs, but there are a few movies that didn’t make the list: Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt and Metroid Prime: Blast Ball are basically demos of games on this list, so they were left off. The NES Classics GBA port of the original game was also left off.
We’ve also included Metroid Prime Trilogy, which, as the name suggests, is a collection of the three Prime games. If this bothers you, just pretend it’s not there, and you’ll know how to rank the different games. Voilà!
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)
Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a very impressive, well-polished, and playable game, but it has been unfairly criticised since it came out. Our only real complaint is that the lack of voice chat during online play was frustrating, and the game’s built-in chat function was not a good substitute. Aside from that, Next Level Games treated the franchise with the respect it deserves and added co-op multiplayer to the Prime universe, even though it wasn’t in a way that “real” Metroid fans would have liked.
Even though you don’t play as Samus, this game is all about the unknown soldier, who is just an average marine who joined the Galactic Federation military. Once you accept Federation Force for what it is and not for what it isn’t, it becomes a much easier game to enjoy and a good Metroid spin-off in general.
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Some fans would rather not hear anything about Metroid: Other M. Some people think that Team Ninja’s Metroid game is a jumble of 2D and 3D ideas, with a lot of flashy filler to hide a very linear experience that goes against the “spirit” of the series. Many players didn’t like how the game mixed 2D platforming and 3D combat, and the single Wiimote-on-its-side control scheme didn’t help.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t like it, though, and even though it’s not as good as most of the other games in the series, we don’t think Other M deserves as much hate as it usually gets. It tried some things, but most of them didn’t work. It wasn’t just “more of the same,” though, and for that we respect it.
Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)
Metroid Prime: Hunters was Nintendo’s attempt to bring the 3D first-person gameplay of Metroid Prime to the DS, and it was a pretty good attempt overall. It takes place between the first two games in the Prime series, and Samus is looking for artefacts all over the solar system by exploring the Alimbic Cluster. She is also being chased by six other people who want to kill her.
It seems pretty limited now, but when I played it on a DS in 2006 with three other people and a single card, it felt like a little bit of magic.
Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)
Samus is right up there with Kirby as a prime candidate for a pinball game (get it?). Metroid Prime Pinball was as good a spin-off as you could want, and the two screens of the DS worked well with the creative Metroid-themed tables in the game. It also came with a “rumble pak” that fit into the GBA slot on your DS “Phat” or DS “Lite” and gave you a subtle vibration when you tapped Samus around the table. No mistake, it’s a fun game.
Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
Metroid II: Return of Samus is a nice addition to the first game. Even though the game is linear, there is still no map for its huge world. This isn’t always a problem, but it can be if you put it down for a while and can’t remember where you were. You can do some exploring and find some hidden items, and the hunt to find and kill all 39 Metroids is pretty fun. Even though it’s not as polished as Super Metroid, which is a great 2D game, Metroid II has held up better than the original NES game and is still a great game to play. The 3DS remake is probably the best way to play the game now, but the original, with its low-tech charm, is still fun to play.
Even though it was the first game in the series and set the standard for how exploration and gradual power-ups work together, the first Metroid can be hard to go back to, even if you played it when it came out. The sound and atmosphere it creates are still amazing, but the Famicom Disk System/NES original doesn’t have many of the controls and quality-of-life features we’re used to today. Going back to it without the right mindset and context can be jarring.
The biggest problem with it is that Metroid: Zero Mission, a great remake for the Game Boy Advance, is the best way to play Samus’s first adventure. But the original has its own charms. These days, you just have to dig a little deeper to find them.
Masterpiece.” “Timeless.” “This is one of the best video games ever made.” These are just some of the things you could say about Super Metroid and should say about it. A true classic of the 16-bit era, Super Metroid is a solitary and isolating adventure that finds success in leaving Samus alone to explore a sprawling, suffocating, and hostile alien world. Super Metroid’s ability to do so much and tell such a powerful story without a single spoken word is as impressive now as it was when it came out in 1994. So is the game’s careful progression and pacing. In Super Metroid, getting lost on Zebes wasn’t a problem; it was the whole point.