So, today’s post is somewhat different than what I’ve previously done. I’ll be using my in-depth knowledge of the Metroid series to construct a guide for people interested in playing their first Metroid game, or wish to play more of the series.
The Metroid series has always had an emphasis on atmosphere and exploration. Many people turn away from the series for being barren and cryptic, but it fully utilizes its exploration-based play style to take advantage of gorgeous environments and solid gameplay to bring the great sense of immersion the series has made timeless.
I think the best way for me to approach this would be to just jump right in, starting with my most recommended Metroid games and working my way down to the optional titles. So, without stalling any longer, here we go!
Metroid: Zero Mission (Gameboy Advance)
A solid title for both new and returning players. Metroid: Zero Mission is a remake of the original Metroid game on the NES, featuring updated graphics and a new stealth section featuring Zero Suit Samus. While a bit on the short side, it’s a must-play title for returning players and the best starting point for anyone looking to enter Metroid.
Metroid Prime (Gamecube)
The spitting image of an underdog game, Metroid Prime was doomed to fail for turning into a FPS; however, Retro Studios delivered unto us mortals a atmospheric lore-fest that quickly became video game history, selling over 2.8 million units worldwide and spawning 2 top notch sequels. It transitioned flawlessly from Metroid’s traditional 2D gameplay into a 3D FPS/adventure game, rocketing Retro Studios into fame.
I would only recommend Metroid Prime and the sequels if you’ve already played a 2D Metroid game, as you’ll get the full effect of experiencing what people felt back on Prime’s release. If you can get your hands on the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii, it’d be the best way to play all three Prime games. Metroid Prime 1 and 2 have also been redone with Wiimote controls to great effect, but copies are very rare to find, so good luck!
Super Metroid (Super Nintendo)
Widely seen as the magnum opus of the entire series, Super Metroid has been praised for its legendary gameplay and chilling atmosphere. Many people consider this as both one of the greatest Super Nintendo games and one of the greatest games in history, and it certainly lives up to it’s praise. Being a source of inspiration for every Metroid title released after it, Super Metroid is a game that leaves a lasting impression on both new and old fans. If you’re a new player, I would play this after Zero Mission, but before the Prime games. If you’re a returning player, trying some of the sequence breaking the series is known for. Aim for the world record!
Metroid Fusion (Gameboy Advance)
While being fairly linear and less atmospheric than other Metroid titles, Metroid Fusion is still a great addition to the series. Focusing a bit more on action than exploration, Metroid Fusion has a devoted following and would be best played after experiencing Metroid: Zero Mission or Super Metroid.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Gamecube)
Laying on a layer of darkness and difficulty on top of Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is a hit or miss game in relation to the trilogy. Some find it to be the worst, while some consider it to be better than Metroid Prime. A bit stuffed with a little backtracking, play it after Prime for a good challenge and great environments.
As previously stated, all three Prime games, including Prime 2: Echoes, can be played on the Wii in the Metroid Prime Trilogy, which features overhauled controls in the style of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
While Echoes took Metroid Prime and cranked up the difficulty a bit, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption cranked up the action If you liked Metroid Fusion’s extra action, you’ll feel at home with Corruption. As common sense would dictate, play it after Prime and Prime 2: Echoes for a very satisfying wrap up of the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Features an improved control style using the Wiimote and nunchuk, which greatly enhances the feel of the gameplay overall
Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)
Slipping its way between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes’ stories, Hunters is a solid DS game with emphasis on multiplayer FPS battle arenas. Good luck trying to find an active online game, however, as the game is failry old to have a strong online following.
If you’re a fan of seeing a series’ humble beginnings, then the NES Metroid is for you; however, it’s aged poorly in terms of gameplay and production. Stick with Zero Mission if you want to experience an updated classic.
Metroid II: Return of Samus (Gameboy)
Metroid II also fell victim to bad ageing; however, if you can look past bad Gameboy graphics and semi-clunky gameplay, you might really like this one. It’s also on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, making it more accessible than other, older titles.
Metroid Prime: Pinball (DS)
Well, it’s pinball with a Metroid theme…
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
The biggest culprit of ruining civil Metroid discussions, Other M was ridiculed for many gameplay flaws and the terrible storyline. Other M attempted to flesh out Samus’ character, but the writers were quite disloyal to her established persona, making both fans and critics enraged. If you’re really determined to play all of the Metroid titles, buy it on sale and leave expectations at the door.
Hopefully this small guide inspires some people to get into one of my favorite series of all time. I’ve already listed them in what order I recommend in terms of tiers, so just play them in any order within the rankings and work your way down the list for the best experience. If you’ve played a Metroid game before, you have a little leeway here, but if you’re new, I HIGHLY recommend Zero Mission. One of the best Metroid titles as well as one of my favorite Gameboy Advance games. I hope this guide wasn’t a super long read for you all, and hopefully it helped out anyone who was curious about the series! Now get to exploring!