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The best Metroid games ever

The best Metroid games ever

We added Metroid Dread to this list, but remember – this ranking is dynamic and based on the user rating of each title in our game database. Once you’ve played Dread and rated it for yourself, find the entry below (or go to our Metroid Dread game page), give it a rating of 10, and we’ll see where it goes this round of every Metroid game of all Times. Enjoy!


What’s the best Metroid Game ever? The reveal and release of ‘Metroid 5’, better known as Metroid Dread, has led many of us to either revisit games in the franchise or catch up on the ones we missed the first time around. We compiled our personal ranking of the best Metroid games a long time ago with the great Metroid Prime ranked number one, but while we enjoy Dread – and patiently wait for more information on the ever-evolving development Metroid Prime 4 – we thought it was time to let Nintendo Life readers have their say.

We asked you to rate your favorites and now proudly present the rejigged Reader ranking Keep track of every Metroid game ever made. Recall, this list is not set in stone. The following ranking is updated dynamically based on the user rating of each game in the Nintendo Life game database. This means that it is already possible to influence the order. If you haven’t rated your favorite Metroid games yet, just click on the “star” of the game you want to rate, give a score, and possibly influence the list.

Ready? Let’s load up our gun cannons, fill up our missiles and be on our way …

Metroid Fusion
Image: Nintendo

Note: We have added both remakes and spin-offs, although there are some exclusions: Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt and Metroid Prime: Blast Ball are both essentially demo versions of the games listed below, so they have been omitted, as has the NES Classics GBA port of the original.

We also added Metroid Prime Trilogy, which, as the title suggests, is a compilation of the three Prime games. If that irritates you, just imagine that it isn’t there and you have your ranking of the individual games. Voil√†!

Metroid Prime: Federation Forces (3DS)Metroid Prime: Federation Forces (3DS)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Next level games

Release date: 08/19/2016 (United States of America) / 02.09.2016 (UK / EU)

Despite the undue hatred it faced after its release, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a very impressive, polished, and playable package – the only real hassle we had was that the lack of voice chat during online Game went mad and the game was built -in chat functionality was an inadequate replacement. That being said, Next Level Games treated the franchise with the respect it deserves while successfully bringing co-op multiplayer into the Prime Universe, albeit in a form that made hardcore fans hungry for “real” Metroid content , did not like.

Although you can’t play as Samus, this game is all about the Unknown Soldier – the average Marine who signed up for military service in the Galactic Federation. Once you have accepted what Federation Force is rather than what it is not, it’s going to be a much simpler game and a thoroughly decent Metroid spin-off.

Metroid Prime: Hunter (DS)Metroid Prime: Hunter (DS)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo software technology

Release date: March 20, 2006 (United States of America) / May 5, 2006 (UK / EU)

Metroid Prime: Hunters was Nintendo’s attempt to squeeze 3D first-person Metroid Prime gameplay onto your DS, and it was a pretty good one overall. It takes place between the events of the first two games in the Prime series and shows Samus examining the alimbic cluster to find and retrieve artifacts scattered across the solar system. She is now being hunted by six other bounty hunters who are fighting for her blood.

It feels pretty limited these days, but on a DS in 2006, with three other players huddled together for a single-card multiplayer, this felt like a little bit of magic.

Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Backup games

Release date: Oct 24, 2005 (United States of America) / June 22, 2007 (UK / EU)

Samus is up there with Kirby as the prime contestant for a pinball game (see what we did there?). The Metroid Prime Pinball was as solidly a spin (ball) -off as could be imagined, and the DS’s dual screens went perfectly with the inventive Metroid-themed tables within. It also came with a “Rumble Pak” that plugged into the GBA slot on your DS “Phat” or DS “Lite” that added subtle feedback as you pinged Samus around the table. A fun game and not a bug.

Metroid: Other M (Wii)Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Team ninja

Release date: August 31, 2010 (United States of America) / 03.09.2010 (UK / EU)

For some fans, the less that is said about Metroid: Other M, the better. In some circles, Team Ninja’s version of a Metroid game is viewed as a jumble of 2D and 3D ideas; a game that introduced a lot of flashy fluffs to disguise a very linear experience that feels against the “ghost” of Metroid. The mixture of 2D platforming and 3D combat did not go down well with many players, nor did the individual Wiimote-on-it-side control scheme.

We’d be lying if we said we didn’t like it, and while it’s far from the classic entries on the series (which most of them are, to be fair), we don’t think Other M deserves it the amount of vitriol it often gets. It tried a few things, many of which didn’t work, but it certainly wasn’t just “more of the same” – we respect it for that.

Metroid II: Return of Samus (UK)Metroid II: Return of Samus (UK)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1

Release date: Nov. 1991 (United States of America) / May 21, 1992 (UK / EU)

Metroid II: Return of Samus extends the original title well. There is still no map for the game’s vast world, which isn’t necessarily a problem due to the linearity of the game, although if you put it down for a while and don’t remember where you went can be a problem. There’s a decent amount of exploration and hidden items to find, and hunting to find and kill the 39 Metroids is pretty much fun. Though nowhere near as sophisticated as the 2D masterpiece it is Great metroid, Metroid II held up better than the original NES game and, as such, is still very much worth playing. Of course, the 3DS remake is arguably the best way to play the game these days, but the original still has its lo-fi charm.

Metroid (NES)Metroid (NES)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1

Release date: August 1, 1987 (United States of America) / January 15, 1988 (UK / EU)

While it was the template for the series and pioneered the delicate mix of exploration and gradual empowerment, we have to be honest here: it can be difficult to go back to the original Metroid, even if you’ve played it before. The sound and atmosphere it evokes remains incredible, but the refinements of control and quality of life features we are accustomed to today are largely absent in the Famicom Disk System / NES original, and going back without the right setting and context can be staggering.

His biggest problem is that there is the fantastic Game Boy Advance remake, Metroid: Zero Mission – really the best way to experience Samus’ first adventure. However, the original has its charm. Nowadays you just have to dig deeper to find them.

Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Mercury steam

Release date: 09/15/2017 (United States of America) / 09/15/2017 (UK / EU)

The Game Boy sequel to the original Metroid on NES was notable back then, but if there was ever a perfect candidate for remake in Nintendo’s back catalog, it was this one. MercurySteam has done a great job updating the mechanics of Metroid II for the 21st century and bringing a whole new audience to an important chapter in the series’ history. Practical additions like the map were combined with a new melee attack that introduced a delicate balance between risk and reward, and the result was one of the best games on the system. It was no surprise that Nintendo partnered with the developers of Metroid Dread.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)

Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Retro studios

Release date: August 27, 2007 (United States of America) / Oct 26, 2007 (UK / EU)

Introducing the Wii Remote to Retro’s Prime template, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was an excellent end to the trilogy (well, until the next entry finally makes it a quadrilogy), a series of games that proved that Samus could not only survive the jump into 3D first person shoots, but absolutely in the genre could flourish. MP3: C as a separate disc was later made a little redundant with the release of the entire trilogy on disc, but this is still a crisp shooter in itself.

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