Metroid is one of the absolute best franchises in video gaming, producing some of the greatest video games ever made, and if you disagree with that obviously true statement you are no friend of mine. However, it isn’t exactly as prolific of a Nintendo franchise as Mario or Zelda, and in fact, disregarding re-releases, a trilogy compilation, and a pinball game (yep, there was a Metroid pinball game), there are only ten Metroid titles released to date. Coincidentally, there are only ten spots in a top ten list. I think that we can all agree that this is god’s way of telling me that I had no choice but to put together this list. Or the aliens telling me. Either way works.
As with the last few lists, this is not a list of my personal favorites, or a list that a small group of Negative World editors have put together. Instead, this is a list based on the average scores of the Metroid games as rated by Negative World members in our video game database. So if you don’t like the order, don’t blame me! Blame Negative World! Which I just happen to be a part of...
And exactly like last time you will see a few numbers in the header for each game in the last. The first is the average score (out of 10) for that game calculated from all member ratings, and the number in parenthesis is the amount of members who have scored this game (IE the amount of ratings that went into the calculation.)
Metroid Prime: Hunters may be the lowest rated Metroid game at Negative World (and that is counting the pinball game), but that doesn’t mean that we have a clear consensus on its quality. With scores from our members ranging from a 9.5/10 to a 5.0/10 and everywhere in between, Hunters is a very divisive game.
On the plus side, Metroid Prime: Hunters was praised for its tech, smooth FPS controls and its extensive online multiplayer mode, a rarity for a DS game. On the minus side, many felt that the core game felt like a Metroid Prime lite, complete with a series of repetitive boss battles where you fought the same boss in slightly different ways. So for us it falls somewhere in the 7s.
A collaboration between Nintendo and Tecmo, Metroid: Other M is perhaps one of the strangest Metroid games that exists. For starters, it is a game set in a 3D world that (generally) plays more like a 2D game, so much so that it uses the sideways Wii remote with its digital pad to control the action, and this was definitely a love it or hate it control choice. It also has some odd, detective-like pixel hunt sections. And of course, it notoriously has a much larger focus on story and presentation than the previous Metroid games did which, among other things, led to a drinking game revolving around the concept of taking a shot every time Samus says the word “baby”. Yep, that exists, apparently.
Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB) - 8.41/10 (27)
For the second Metroid game (and the first handheld Metroid game), Nintendo decided to mix things up a bit and give Samus a clear goal that worked itself into the way she had to progress; eradication of the metroids. Although it was limited by the tech of the Game Boy, the creamed-spinach-colored Metroid II is still a pretty solid game in its own right, and there are even a few dedicated fans who consider it to be the best game in the series.
Much like the original Metroid, Metroid II does not have a map to help you progress, but it is easier to find your way through the game this time around without one. Or is it? I actually found it more confusing, but apparently I’m wrong and insane. Not necessarily in that order.
Metroid (NES) - 8.47/10 (40)
Apparently we have a thing for putting the original game from a series in our #7 spot. Metroid came to the scene as equal parts platformer, shooter, and adventure game, and was largely inspired by the movie thriller “Alien”, resulting in one of Nintendo’s darkest, yet most satisfying games of the NES era, spawning an entire beloved franchise.
It would be remiss of me, however, to not point out that a large part of why the original Metroid struggles to remain as accessible to gamers as later iterations in the franchise have is that it contains a huge, interconnected world without a map system. It is easy to get lost in Metroid, which can be a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective, but certainly turns many people off from completing this game. (Or in my case, turns them towards a FAQ to complete it with.)
Metroid: Fusion (GBA) - 8.84/10 (40)
Metroid: Fusion was the first 2D Metroid released after a certain much-loved Super Nintendo Metroid that shall not yet be named (you know of which game I speak), so there were, understandably, a lot of expectations for the game. While it would be tough to say that Fusion completely met those very high expectations, it is generally accepted as a very solid 2D Metroid game that is well worth playing for fans of the series.
Some complaints about linearity exist, but some new additions like stealth gameplay revolving around avoiding the deadly SA-X, as well as a deeper than usual storyline involving a former commanding officer named Adam Malkovich, result in a unique and satisfying Metroid experience.
Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA) - 9.02/10 (42)
Metroid: Zero Mission may technically be a remake of the original Metroid, but man, what a remake it is! Although some areas of the map will look a tad familiar, Zero Mission is essentially a brand spanking new Metroid game completely updated on every level, from the “modern” gameplay reminiscent of Super / Fusion, to updated graphics and music, to a much more expanded map with tons of new areas. Zero Mission is the blueprint on how to successfully remake a classic title.
It is also the last truly 2D Metroid game, released almost 10 years ago back in early 2004 on the Game Boy Advance. I don’t know how anyone else feels, but whether “Metroid Dread” was a real thing or not, I think it is well past time for another 2D Metroid. Get on it, Nintendo!
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GC) - 9.09/10 (62)
It says something pretty positive about the console Metroid Prime trilogy that our lowest ranked of the three is our 4th favorite Metroid game ever. As the follow-up to Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes could, perhaps, be considered a tad bit of a disappointment. Complaints generally revolve around the uninteresting dark world, as well as more linearity, a pointless ammo system and less interesting boss fights.
However, none of that kept Echoes from being a great game in its own right, and it even does some things better than the original Metroid Prime, such as its increased focus on interesting puzzles and its excellent mini-boss battles. Echoes also introduced gamers to Dark Samus, one of the greatest “dark” versions of a hero in a Nintendo game. And there are a lot of dark versions of heroes in Nintendo games.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) - 9.36/10 (85)
Whether we considered Echoes a disappointment or not (personally, I loved it), most of us at Negative World considered Metroid Prime 3: Corruption to be a step back in the right direction (not me, but I still loved it.) For one, there was no dark world to drag the game down. The game also utilizes the Wii remote and nunchuck very effectively, with smooth pointer controls and context-sensitive motion controls merged to create the best control scheme in a Metroid Prime game yet... especially during combat. Flicking the nunchuck forward to attach your grappling hook to an enemy shield and then yanking it back to rip their shield away has to be one of the most satisfying uses of motion controls on the Wii.
There were some complaints about the game, including even more increased linearity and a larger focus on story and characters without much quality in those areas to back it up. However, Corruption remains one of our favorite Wii games, and I can’t help but hope to see Retro Studios take on Metroid Prime 4, eventually.
Metroid Prime (GC) - 9.61/10 (109)
After seeing both Metroid Prime 2 and 3 in our list, you had to know this one was coming. Metroid Prime is the game that started off the Prime series, and is generally considered to be the best of the trilogy. I remember getting a chance to play Metroid Prime before it released, stepping up to the demo unit full of anxiety, and walking away with all doubts obliterated. Metroid Prime succeed in large part by borrowing heavily from the 2D Metroid formula, creating a vast and varied interconnected world to progress through by obtaining various power-ups, while focusing on the strengths of 3D gaming as well, including 1st-person shooting and adventure elements. It didn’t hurt that the visuals and soundtrack were stunning.
Metroid Prime is sitting at #7 (#6 if you ignore the duplicate Ocarina of Time) on our all-time greatest games on a Nintendo platform list here at Negative World, a very well deserved spot (although I’d put it even higher myself.) However, it is only #2 on our top 10 Metroid games list, which means that we still have another amazing Metroid game to talk about…
Super Metroid (SNES) - 9.67/10 (92)
It’s a close call, but Super Metroid just edges out Metroid Prime to stand as our top rated Metroid game… for now, anyway. Released on the Super Nintendo way back in 1994, Super Metroid took the basic concept of the previous Metroid games (Metroid and Metroid II) and threw things into overdrive, creating what was, at the time, one of the most mind-blowingly awesome video games to hit the scene. The graphics, music, action, exploration, power-ups, boss fights, etc. all combined to create a powerful game whose excellence was hard to deny. It might be nearly 20 years later, but Super Metroid is still, to this day, considered not only one of the greatest 2D video games ever made, but one of the greatest video games ever made, period.
Also, it finally added a much needed map system to the series, but did so in a way that still kept the players on their toes, exploring every nook and cranny to find not only power-ups but, often enough, the way to progress through the game. Super Metroid is a masterpiece in gaming and sits as our #2 rated game on a Nintendo platform ever (again, ignoring duplicates) right behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Can a future Metroid game ever top Super Metroid? It’s hard to imagine, but I look forward to seeing Nintendo give it a go.
No of course not. I currently have like 43 hours in Fire Emblem Awakening haha.
Here's why I wouldn't want to see Metroid Prime on 3DS.
1.) I'm not fully confident they could get the game running at 60fps, and I think it'd be hard to go back from that. I thought DKCR looked like a HUGE step down on 3DS, especially after taking the resolution and the framerate into account. 2.) You can play Metroid Prime Trilogy on Wii, sure...if you grabbed it when it came out...or if you want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Still, while some of these 480p games look better than others, they look awful when blown up on a big TV. Metroid Prime in HD on a huge TV, with either Gamepad or Wiimote controls? Aggh!!!! I wanna dim the lights and just pour myself into that game. 3.) Controls. After playing a Metroid Prime game with the pointer, do I want to go back? Kid Icarus Uprising was annoying enough with its pointer controls IMO. I don't think that one hand/stylus really works all that well on the 3DS for a long period of time - especially the heavier XL. So then the option would be to just have the controls like they are on the Gamecube, but even then it's going to be weird. What would they do, put the other weapons on the touch screen? Meh. 4.) Music - The 3DS could handle it sure, but you'd HAVE to have headphones on, which I know a lot of people don't always do with their 3DS. 4.) Graphics - How much better would it even look than the original? WOULD it even look that much better?
(Of course, this is all in the realisitic world where Nintendo is more likely to port an existing Metroid game to Wii U/3DS rather than make a new one)
@PogueSquadron 1. This is true, it would probably run at 30, I'm okay with this because being portable would more than make up for it in my mind, but good point. 2. True, but technically you can, and what if Nintendo adds CGN games to the VC? That would rule! 3. Well personally I hated the IR controls, but even if you really like them that shouldn't effect your enjoyment of handheld games right? And if you don't like Stylus controls (admittedly uncomfortable after a while) then you can use the CPP! I mean you're going to have to get one for Cult County anyway right? 4. Ugh. The 3DS XL does have piss-poor sound, can't they boost the volume somehow? But this can be said of any game, I don't think they should just stop making games for the system because of that flaw! (though I notice a huge difference in how games sound on my Vita, it's much better) 5. Graphics. The GCN wasn't so great with texture effects, they all had to be hand coded, with the 3DS they could easily add some sweet depth to many of the flat boring textures that make the game look kinda dated. Just look at RE Revelations!
(yes, a port is much more likely, and if they're going to port I'd rather see non-portable games get handheld versions than seeing one console game go to another console, this is my personal bias though, I want handheld everything!)
Can't disagree much with the list, although I'd move Echoes ahead of Corruption. I find Echoes to be in the same strata as Prime 1, with Corruption lagging behind both of them quite a bit (though it's still a great game). Very few games ever have impressed me more from a design-standpoint than Echoes did.
I don't want another Prime game, for variety's sake. Three is plenty. I don't want any more ports and remakes either. If a Metroid game comes to the 3DS then I'd prefer a new 2D game, though I'm not sure what I'd want from a Wii U Metroid. I guess the GamePad might be interesting as a scan visor, but even if that's utilised I still hope it isn't something like the Prime games.
@Jargon How about by the end of 2015? And the stakes are the game. If a main-line Metroid game is announced by the end of 2015 I'll buy it for you on the day it releases. But if no game is announced then you buy me a retail 3DS game of my choice on January 1st 2016.
Wow, it's actually scary how much I agree with this list. Literally the only thing I'd change is Metroid Prime 2's location--I'd bump it down to the spot between Metroid 2 and Metroid 1. Otherwise, I'm on board with this business.
I'm looking at my own ratings and they're pretty darn close too. Differences:
I have Prime 2 in front of Prime 3. I have Other M right after Fusion. I have not rated Metroid II: Return of Samus yet (because I haven't finished it, ug, someday maybe?) I'd probably rate it right around where it is on the list though.