Best Metroid games

Electronic Toys

Samus wasn’t always intended to be a woman; the developers thought it would be a cool twist to reveal to fans at the end as a reward for beating the game.

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Which Metroid game is best?

Metroid games have been charming fans since their debut release in August of 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game follows Samus Aran, a bounty hunter, who attempts to stop the villainous Space Pirates from performing biological experiments on special creatures called Metroids. The series boasts a diverse game catalog of 11 titles, with the latest release being in 2017. 

For fans interested in playing next-gen Metroid, the new game Metroid Dread will be released for the Switch in October 2021. In light of this news, old and new fans alike may want to revisit some of the series greatest hits. Many of the older games are on legacy systems, such as the GameCube, so you will need access to one if you’re looking to play the best Metroid game ever, Metroid Prime.

What to know before you buy a Metroid game

ESRB Rating

Metroid games are rated under the Entertainment Software Rating Board system. The ESRB assigns a rating based upon game content such as violence, language and other mature content considerations. These ratings help decide if this game is appropriate or not for young gamers.

Metroid titles range in rating from E to Teen. Games rated with an E are suitable for everyone because they may contain minimal fantasy violence and mild language. Most Metroid games are rated T for Teen, which means the content will be suitable for ages 13 and up because, in addition to violence, crude humor and strong language, the game may contain simulated gambling and minimal blood. 

System

When buying a Metroid game, make sure you have access to the Nintendo console required to play the game. Metroid games have been released on nearly every Nintendo home system, except for the Nintendo 64. Nintendo has also released the virtual NES and SNES console on the Switch, which does have access to a few of the older titles, as does the Wii U and its virtual console. 

Controller

Depending on the system your favorite Metroid title is on, you may need to consider using a classic-style controller to have the best experience. On some consoles, like the Wii, fans often replace the standard motion-controlled remotes with classic-style controllers. 

What to look for in a quality Metroid game

Gameplay

The game is notably a 2D side-scroller, with the Metroid Prime series offering a new first-person perspective.  There is a non-linear progression system, where the player controls Samus Aran to explore levels and gain suit power-ups to defeat alien creatures. The best Metroid game will be a combination of the shooter, platformer, and adventure genres.

Challenge level

If you love a good challenge, the older NES and SNES titles are the most difficult in the entire series. There is no map to guide players in the older titles, and with no save rooms, this can be an unforgiving challenge to new fans. Newer titles, like the Metroid: Zero Mission remake of the original game, add in many quality of life features like checkpoints and saves. 

Suit and weapon upgrades

Samus’s bio-suit is upgradeable throughout the game’s story, and the best Metroid game will offer unique power-ups to her suit. Important upgrades that past games have included are reviving tank power-ups that allow you to resurrect Samus if she should die, an ice beam for her gun and even complete suit upgrades to withstand extreme temperatures. These upgrades are part of the game advancement in every Metroid game.

How much you can expect to spend on a Metroid game

Metroid games vastly vary in price depending on how new the title is. Newer titles generally go for around $20-$60, but some of the rarer, older titles and collector editions can run as high as $200 or more. 

Metroid FAQ

Why was there never a Metroid 64?

A. Nintendo was approached about creating a Metroid for the Nintendo 64 but declined the idea, saying that they were not confident they could create a game for the N64 that could compare to SNES’ Super Metroid.

What is a Metroid?

A. The game’s namesake, Metroid, refers to the parasitic and energy siphoning creatures genetically created by the Chozo and Mother Brain. The name ‘Metroid’ means ultimate warrior in the fictional language of the Chozo.

Is Metroid a scary game?

A. Games like Metroid Prime can be considered scary to younger audiences, despite the ESRB rating. There are not many NPCs besides Samus, so the solitary exploration of alien atmospheres can also be frightening to some people. 

What are the best Metroid games to buy?

Top Metroid game

Metroid Prime for Nintendo Gamecube 

Metroid Prime for Nintendo Gamecube 

What you need to know: Samus Aran returns to fight against mutated and more powerful Metroids in the first game of the series to use 3D graphics and first-person perspective.

What you’ll love: Prime is classified as a first-person adventure instead of a shooter because of its vast exploration content. It takes place on the series timeline between Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. Fans thought this game would fail on its release, but it is the best-selling game in the series today.

What you should consider: The game can be expensive and has become a collector’s item. It is not available for virtual download via Nintendo eShop, nor has it had a remake, and you can only play it on the GameCube.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Metroid game for the money

Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the Nintendo 3DS

Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the Nintendo 3DS

What you need to know: Play solo or with up to three friends to tackle missions set in the Metroid universe.

What you’ll love: In addition to objective-based FPS missions, Federation Force adds in a unique side game called Blast Ball, which allows players to shoot a ball into a goal in a 3-on-3 style sport. It is compatible with all Nintendo 3DS console types. 

What you should consider: The design of the 3DS makes it challenging to play this game for extended lengths of time as the D-pad can become cumbersome in the FPS-style game setting.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Metroid Prime: Other M for the Wii

Metroid Prime: Other M for the Wii

What you need to know: Metroid Prime: Other M is a 3D action-adventure that follows Samus Aran as she investigates a derelict space station that appeals to modern players due to the focus on characterization and plot.

What you’ll love: This game blends first and third-person perspectives and allows players to lock on target and fire using the Wii remote motion controls. The game includes a film presentation at the end that combines all of the game cutscenes and extra gameplay footage from developers. 

What you should consider: Unlike previous games, enemies do not drop items, and players must rely on Navigation Booths to replenish health and ammo as well as save. The first-person perspective feels like a handicap forced on players at times. 

Where to buy: Amazon

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Vanessa Wade writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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