Every Metroid Game Ranked!

[Music] hello and welcome to every metroid game ranked where i take every metroid game and i rank him metroid is back allegedly so amidst the frustrating drip feeding of information on the next prime installment so i thought i’d take a look back at one of my favorite franchises ever the grandfather to a genre of which it lends its name and one of the only nintendo franchises with a less consistent release schedule than this journal for this i’ll look at every official game except for demos compilations and metroid prime pinball because how would i even begin to compare that which i make to be 12. five main series two remakes the prime trilogy and two prime spin-offs from the weakest to the very best so without further ado let’s suit up compress ourselves into a small ball roll around solving puzzles i don’t know where this analogy was going and just begin and although i don’t think story and twists are that important to enjoying metroid i get other people like to go into games relatively blind so i’ll limit spoilers to the game of each specific segment which you can skip using the segment markers below 12th best or worst metroid prime federation force the why did they make this one the year is 2015.Half a decade has passed since the last metroid release which wasn’t itself that well received and we’re finally catching a glimpse of the next chapter of this iconic saga jk it’s a chibi mission-based co-op shooter without samus featuring knockoff rocket league uh excuse me what the even putting aside the atrocious optics and the fact playing as the guys who’ve long been used in the series as a shorthand for the weak losers symbolic of the federation’s corruption and ineptitude really isn’t the coolant version this was intended as metroid prime federation force is a shockingly boring flat experience you play as a soldier in the titular federation force completing missions on a variety of planets that largely boil down to linear roots down generic sci-fi concepts completing tasks like shooting a bull down a long corridor into a hole and herding a pack of lizard monsters into cages that feel like throwaway side quests of a better game that will never exist probably the one samus is in as she does everything interesting in the story in the background you don’t get to see played with friends these are pointless and monotonous but playing solo and having to complete these objectives four times each achieves a level of tedium the series was yet to reach the graphics look like absolute garbage awkwardly mixing these goofy body proportions with the muted color palace of the prime games to create an art style that’s neither charming nor immersive they’re the biggest sign this shouldn’t have been a metroid game the fun identity federation force could have had is held back by trying to stick to some of the series presentation formalities and the metroid series is now tarnished by yielding this absolute mediocrity you’ll never get to see much of them anyways given your screen is constantly flooded by an endless parade of overlays micro achievements useless collectibles and shaking combat is i guess functional but it’s too simplistic to be enjoyable for any more than five minutes at a time especially given how sluggish your avatar is to move the main strategy seems to be stand still tanking damage and just shoot till everything dies special mention goes to the atrociously damage sponging boss battles which if you’re playing in single mode make sure to clear out your evening plans beforehand special special mention going to the final boss of swall samus because of course we had to include us somehow so she’s possessed go nuts recently there’s been a bit of a counter backlash to this game claiming its positive elements are overlooked and sure while the excessive contempt upon announcement was probably a little overblown a change.org petition oh for sure bro they’re gonna cancel this any day now 24 000 signatures my god and i’ll admit part of my scorn towards this game might come from having mostly played this in single player given i only got this last year and often couldn’t find people to play with online but i still think this is the most underwhelming and least fun metroid to date and a really poor representation of what this franchise can accomplish eleventh best metroid other m the the baby one one ten years on after the initial shock the furious battle action maybe it’s good actually counter backlash metroid other m is a fascinating game to talk about and look back at when yoshio sakamoto apparently lost his mind and forgot how to make a metroid game the most disgust aspect of this game is the story which makes sense it was the focal point of the pre-release hype and marketing it’s several hours long and does not shut up and you can literally choose to just re-watch the cutscenes in order again from the main menu in what it calls theater mode metroid other m the movie and it’s just bad like it’s really bad man none of the voice actors appear to be trying the storyline is riddled with endless cliches plot holes and contrivances that suck any weight out of the emotional moments giving samus introspective dialogue and a more defined personality was a bold move but the characterization here as jittery and careless is so at odds with how we and retro studios assumed she was it just comes off as really jarring which is made worse given you spend the entire game taking orders from some boring military who’s also basically the main character now the more submissive samus affects the gameplay progression too weapons are no longer found instead you start the game with a full arsenal but need to wait for each ability to be authorized by adam even putting aside the atrocious gender politics of having one of the earliest female action game protagonists needlessly put herself in more danger on the orders of a male superior this is an intensely stupid concept because it removes any element of discovery to find these power-ups because they now will need to be built around scripted set pieces to justify why adam would authorize what when this whole mess of narrative would almost qualify for being so bad it’s good if it weren’t so joyless previous metroid worlds had light-hearted elements and even humor but the story here is so self-serious and wannabe gritty that combined with the muted performances you’d be hard-pressed to squeeze any enjoyment out of this it’s like a zack snyder film without the follow through but the thing is though the gameplay within these incredibly linear patches of linear corridors and remade super metroid enemies is actually kind of fun oh for sure the environments are boring and generic recreations of new super mario bros worlds the bottom mapping is a bizarre mesh of bad choices and every objective market is a pointless errand to get you to the location of the next plot beat but if you try to ignore the fact this is supposed to be a revealing look into the soul of the metroid series and maybe just go grab a snack whenever a pre-rendered shot starts there’s a lot of fun to be had controlling samus in and out of combat which is frankly more than can be said for the entirety of federation force action is based around quickly charging shots which auto lock to enemies within range dodging can be done instantaneously at any point too and there’s this neat instant dodge mechanic that triggers a full charge you can unload immediately after that’s pretty fun particularly in the more dynamic boss fights even if they are mostly regurgitations of better fights from the 2d games it’s satisfying to pull off but also very simplistic and boils down the entire game’s action to one maneuver you’ll master in the first five minutes but you know small victories i was also surprised at how smooth the 3d platforming felt which honestly even the prime games sometimes struggled with and almost all of samus’s abilities from super metroid appearing in reimagined form would have been nicer to see some new upgrades maybe but again small victories other ram is about as bad as its reputation would imply but does to be fair have its moments down with the gameplay now they’re all pretty good games from here on out 10th best metroid the uh classic one a series with its original title ranking low amongst its sequels is generally a good sign it means its successes have grown beyond it and risen in ambition from what the first game could accomplish so by that logic the most positive thing you can say about metroid 1 is it really shows how far the series has come okay maybe it’s not that bad there’s obviously enough good ideas here to have founded the metroid series and metroidvania genre more broadly and honestly compared to a lot of other seminal first ever 8-bit titles much more can still be enjoyed here in the current year gameplay is restrictive but never so much as to make the difficulty cheap and while segments of level design and all the enemy types often repeat and are never really that creative or interesting the decent sprite work makes areas at least aesthetically unique with the extremely minimalist pitch black background kind of adding to the spooky alien slash alien tm vibe the game aims to give off fun fact it’s no coincidence samus’s nemesis is called ridley the basic genre tropes established here were groundbreaking and even here in the larval stage are still pretty enjoyable having more and more of a huge interconnected world open up to you as you grow in familiarity with your environment and in actual strength with power-ups and extra abilities that mostly stack on top of each other always was an incredibly satisfying concept and there’s no exception here where this shines especially is the opening and finale the first screen is pretty iconic by this point with its subtle guiding design introducing players to the lock and key structure this game will follow and carefully opening up its vast world and in the ending the level design closes as you put all your abilities to the test against this gauntlet of the titular metroids then facing mother brain followed by the classic metroid escape sequence the story was also pretty radical making a strong feminist statement by having this anonymous badass protagonist turn out in the very end to be a woman shattering the assumed gender connotations often given to these types of characters complete the game faster and she takes off more clothes oh for god’s sake guys you had one job the other problems of this game all come with age stiff controls there’s no map which combined with the repetitive environments makes it very easy to get lost and progression is largely trial and error you always come back after dying with less than a third of one tank of health and i don’t know who did this or why then there’s the nes tier upgrade placements where some identical looking walls can be bombed through and some lava pits are actually tunnels to hidden areas which you can only find out about by either looking this up or bombing every wall and jumping down every lava pit which is not that fun actually while we should always appreciate the excellent design concepts metroid brought they’ve all been done better countless times since and the game itself is severely flawed especially given the far better experience released eight years later in the same series set on the same fictional planet i can only confidently recommend this one to retro purists and the most hardcore metroid fans ninth best metroid prime hunters the one small step too far one metroid prime hunters is such an average metroid experience it becomes difficult to talk about all the details kind of slide off my brain when i try and think about it any fans of the series would be forgiven for forgetting it exists at all the campaign is tedious and repetitive by which i mean tedious and repetitive as in you find the same three small things than a boss then find a large thing then repeat the pattern seven more times visiting each of the four planets twice and fighting the two bosses four times each this monotony is only broken up occasionally by being ambushed by one of the six other bounty hunters all responding to the same distress signal samus was and seeking to uncover the mystery and treasure of the lost olympic race but they’re all so weak and badly programmed it’s barely much of a distraction the controls are uh something else even as a veteran defender of kiddikrus uprise’s control scheme i still think is better than people let on this is just atrocious cramping your hands around the tiny console to move with button inputs while aiming with the touchscreen double tapping to jump holding the bottom of the touchscreen to enter scan mode whose fault is this you can opt for pure button inputs but given the lack of in-game lock-on and on-console analog sticks it just goes from uncomfortable to unplayable as you cramp your way through each world huh we’re four entries in and i’ve already covered two out of three of the games that see you explore multiple planets it’s almost as if the metroidvania formula lends itself to forging an intimate understanding and developing relationship with a totally interconnected game world rather than several smaller environments linked by loading screens i’m sure that won’t come up again it looks and at times even feels like proper metroid fun with the stable progression of power-ups and winding level design we know and love some of these environments are genuinely gorgeous especially impressive since this was on the ds and the free aiming more traditional fps gameplay gives combat a unique challenge for the series but this amount of fun to be had is always going to be pretty limited given you’re constantly reminded how many corners were chains sewn off environmental details boss design unique upgrades room layouts ripped straight from the multiplayer because it’s obvious this was just an arena shooter with a single player mode slapped on top but for a throwaway spin-off title i really don’t see the harm in that at least it actually had a metroid-like solo campaign and didn’t come off the back of a six-year hiatus and although the servers are long down playing this game’s local multiplayer or simply the competitive modes against boss is really fun there’s a ton of modes and maps and each of the seven bounty hunters you can play of have their own distinct weapons abilities and unique heads up display for the top and bottom screen as well as their own unique mini transformations with unique attacks to mix up gameplay samus’s being the morph ball and bombs metroid prime hunters is a kind of bad metroid game with new and unfamiliar features that elevated to a pretty decent overall experience if you’re craving more authentic prime gameplay than federation force after playing through the let’s face it way better trilogy it’s certainly worth a try but is only really notable for its multiplayer that since the ds’s wi-fi server’s failing has pretty limited replay value eighth best metroid samus returns the awaited one okay this might be controversial i get we as a fan base have been pretty starved of decent content for the last decade but samus returns has some flaws y’all let’s talk about them here is the second full remake of the metroid series this time tackling the game boys elderly and often maligned metroid 2 where samus takes to the birth planet of the metroid’s sr388 to kill every last one to prevent their potential use as a bioweapon the simple structure lends itself to a fun quick adventure and the more modern editions fuse this with what works about the newer post super games in the series but unfortunately some aspects were lost in translation for instance the more narrative driven environmental details have mostly disappeared being replaced by having every destructible wall secret room and power replacement revealed by pressing a are you kidding me on top of this many attempts to modernize or expand upon metro 2’s perceived flaws end up weakening the overall package and making it make less sense there’s this new parry move which is supposed to add this element of dynamism to regular encounters but inexecution does the exact opposite as every enemy now sponges damage under normal circumstances the pattern of waiting for your cue parry unload fire is repeated for almost every single encounter metroid fights in the original were underwhelming but it didn’t matter much because it’s the hunt to find them where the real variety and substance comes in samus returns turns each one into a big flashy event with dramatic finishing moves which is cool at first but then only sets in the intense repetition of having to fight these a dozen times each much more given how much more time you’ll need to spend in each boss fight and then when you kill the metroids in each area the poison has liquid blocking progression in the original and remake now has to be manually triggered by plugging dna into the chozo seals instead of being implied to be due to the metroid queen shifting the earth and responding to your slaughter of her children this manages to weaken the build-up of what should be the final boss while creating plot holes when none existed before as it really doesn’t make sense how when and why the chozo constructed these given they must have been built only after they lost control of them and surely if they had a device to seal all of them within the planet why would they allow any of them to be accessible above where the asset reached but nothing can compare to the sheer not getting it that is the finale to samus returns metroid 2 ends on a deliberate subversion both to the original game’s tense finale and the genre tropes of sci-fi action games in general you face off against the queen metroid and after find an egg that immediately hatches the new creature imprints on samus assuming her to be its mother and the game representing an essentially genocidal quest ends with this quiet act of mercy prompting you to consider the inherent immorality of your journey as a whole in the final safe corridors before the game ends in sam’s returns all of the interesting subtext and nuance is gone the baby metroid is simply the final upgrade useful for clearing the final corridors which are now flooded with enemies for some reason and even getting the last few power-ups in earlier areas and then you get to the surface and ridley’s there because of course gotta have ridley samus is returning after all it’s a fine even pretty good boss fight but totally just a complete mess given what this ending is supposed to be and further spoils any emotional impact this could have had the origins of this game are that mercury steam hot off developing the last castlevania pitched a remake of metroid fusion to nintendo this was rejected so the team eventually settled on metroid 2 and learning this makes a lot of sense because samus returns is not designed like a game to expand the qualities that made return of samus memorable it’s a game designed to take the husk of metroid 2 and stuff it in the shape of what metroid usually looks like touch it up with some modern features then call it a day and this internal conflict between the philosophies of the 2017 and 1991 design manifest in the entire game feeling compromised and awkward on some level it’s understandable metroid 2 is weird inaccessible and in a lot of ways kind of bad but if you’re so uninterested in building upon what worked about it why would you bother making it a remake just make metroid six or five depending on how we feel about other m this week it’s also hard not to be hypocritical when this game came out only a year after the release and immediate copyright takedown of a remake which clearly had a far greater love for and understanding of metroid 2 am2r it must be said so i don’t get misunderstood samus returns is a good game it’s a fun metroidvania romp with clean design and satisfying combat and this isn’t only because the excellent foundations it’s building upon both the structure of metroid 2 and gameplay of super metroid are so solid but also because of the multiple great ideas the remake brings to the table there’s an insane amount of weapons and energy tanks most of which are hidden away behind interesting puzzle screens which are a lot of fun to collect the remade queen metroid fight is excellent and the ridley encounter if you try and ignore how horrendously out of place it is is a pretty great boss metroid samus returns is not a bad game the base gameplay combat and presentation are all extremely solid but it is a confused game one of the most thoughtless remakes i’ve ever seen and altogether the weakest version of what is still essentially the super metroid formula released thus far and earns itself the badge of shame of being a remake slightly less worthwhile than the game it’s remaking 7th best metroid 2 return of samus the better classic one metroid 2 is the best or should i say better 8-bit metroid game and altogether a really impressive little title despite the obvious and weighty limitations of its tech i’ve kind of already covered most of what i like about this game in the previous segment the ever so slightly worse retelling of samus’s visit sl388 but to reiterate metro 2 sees you eradicate the metroids plunging ever deeper into the depths of sr-388 to clear each area of the creatures before an eventual showdown with the queen metroid and escaping the planet it’s a pretty short pretty repetitive experience elevated to near classic potential through the quality in its atmosphere and attention to detail in level and world design that certainly teaches you about the culture of the lost chozo civilization and the metroids themselves their nature and even later on how they think the game was produced by the inventor of the game boy itself gunpei yokoi so it’s unsurprising that it pushes its hardware to its absolute limits constraints on screen size and music complexity are worked around by building a world designed to feel claustrophobic and lonely and music is used sparingly with areas often incorporating a quieter almost completely diegetic soundscape and the lack of color to differentiate new suit upgrades the strategy later games use is overcome by having the only suit upgrade the various suit instead gives samus her now iconic giant shoulder pads however that hardware is still extremely weak and in 1991 the metroidvania genre was pretty unexplored and so a lot of the design here comes off as fairly archaic many of the necessities of the game boy were worked into the kind of story this game wanted to tell but it’s harder to look past the more obvious flaws like the lack of a map or pause menu and what exactly the game is trying to convey visually is often very unclear due to harsh limits on color and pixel density if only someone could remake metroid 2 in a way that built off its successes while capitalizing off modern improvements the official metro 2 tier list looks like this do not at me the finale ending with a single act of compassion is often positioned as a twist but the writing was on the wall the whole way through and there’s plenty to leave you wondering throughout of the actual morality of what samus is doing here which makes her final act of rebellion all the more meaningful quietly ruminating on your journey followed by the symbol of your change of heart is the perfect ending to a game about killing a species with a clear sense of family loyalty and intelligence so they can’t be used as weapons in a war they never opted into it’s a deeply lonely game with only one non-metroid mini boss and very few enemies even in the higher areas and whether this was because of console restrictions or not it absolutely works for the type of story being told a bleak story about killing that simply provides space for you to question the morality of the federation’s plan as you become increasingly complicit in it metroid 2 more so than any other on here is a game that requires your full attention to get the most or really anything out of it but if you give it that and make active efforts to look past its obvious and severe technological shortcomings you’ll find a tightly compact game well ahead of its time with so many clever little ideas for subtle world building and ways to tell this weird sci-fi story with a unique atmosphere that hasn’t been replicated in any other game including both its remakes although to be fair only one of those really tried to do that it’s often overlooked but extremely worth your time if you’re prepared to give it the patience it deserves and accept the caveat that the level of polished newer titles flaunt can’t be expected here sixth best metroid fusion the spooky one and here we enter the top half of the list the six games i can unequivocally declare as classics take individual placements for the grain of salt from heron it was like choosing between children most metroid titles invoke horror elements at points but fusion is the only one thus far to run with them as the central thrust of its world it is tough and disempowering for all but the very end of the game taking place after a near-death experience samus’s power suit is partly fused with the dna of a metroid the predators of the ex-parasites that almost killed her because of this you’re controlling one of the weakest samus’s of any game often forced into hiding from more powerful foes in the game’s only environment the bsl research station and forced to constantly take orders from the onboard computer you later learn as the disembodied mind of your mentor adam malkovich opting for a more linear metroid approach isn’t a style i’m necessarily opposed to but here it’s handled rather inelegantly you’re thrown into new areas pretty randomly with the justifications feeling arbitrary and repetitive with more restrictions on how much you can explore and when locked in by the dole mechanic of door clearance levels and power-ups being mostly found only in the station’s set list of data rooms instead of being strewn around the world you’ve been to this data room before but i’ll show you its possession again oh gee thanks buddy i sure do love the metroid series the only interruptions to this formula are the main highlights of the game in these scripted segments generally seeing you hide from the daunting sax a sam’s clone grown from the x parasite in some of the most blood curdling segments of cowering and fleeing you’ll find in a 2d platformer while the sprite work is truly excellent the reliance on exposition dumps and dialogue to tell the story means the level of environmental storytelling outside those isolated scripted moments is generally pretty lacking and as a result the whole world feels kind of artificial this over simplicity is present in the missile and energy tanks too a lot of them are just lying around not requiring any puzzle solving or navigational challenges to reach which feels lazy like the whole world is just this collection of linear action set pieces guiding you to the next plot point other m is often talked about as a complete aberration for the series but if i’m being honest some of the warning signs were present here the good far outweighs the bad however level design if treating each section individually is incredibly tight taking full advantage of the perks of linear platforming to create an incredibly fast-paced and well-flowing experience through a world that seems to be constantly moving and giving you new rooms environments and areas to delve into and the atmosphere is second to none narratively fusion is pretty solid with glimpses into your protagonist’s psyche feeling non-intrusive and natural and the growing conflict of samus regaining agency against the computer and by extension the violently imperialist galactic federation is an interesting take on the formula that twists in a few fun ways the game’s bosses are also probably the best bunch in the 2d lineup including saris the fast-moving snake both fights with the security robot and the obvious highlight of the nightmare one of the best set up best established boss fights of the entire series with fantastic use of fusion’s improved navigational mechanics and the gravity suit to pair just a shame the boss is kind of fizzle out at the end though rejecting all of the interesting moral themes of the story set up in favor of samus vs big metroid metroid fusion is a flawed masterpiece easy to recommend for everything it does uniquely well but with enough drawbacks to hold it back from the upper echelon of the franchise it missed out on the top five but stays in my heart i just really like metroid games i’m sorry fifth best metroid prime 3 corruption the relentlessly ambitious one metroid prime 3 corruption is a fascinating game with spectacular highs and puzzling lows in terms of base components it has the best bosses characters music upgrades and world design of any metroid game but ultimately fails to tie these together in a totally satisfying way but this was the end of the prime trilogy and the only one to first launch on the wii with its widescreen graphics and genuinely amazing motion controls and what a way to end this journey faison which in previous prime games had been this abstract inciting incident was now a direct threat after an attack from dark samus your body was now naturally producing faison its corruptive influence only being contained by an adaptation to your suit which also allows you to trade health for a short burst of power how much it could be contained however was always in question given samus’s previous second hand experiences with its raw destructive influence and so after the slightly too long introduction segments on the gfs olympus and then norion the stage is set resist the corruption of samus’s own body while fighting the phason spreading across three separate planets while defending yourself from the other now fully corrupted hunters space pirate attacks and dark samus to then eventually uncover the source of all faison go there and blow it up to save the universe and you’d be glad to know this high stakes energy doesn’t remotely dip throughout your adventure that’s constantly sprinkled with mad action movie concepts like battling ridley as you both fall at speed down a reactor shaft creating a bomb to drop with your gunship or sneaking past guards to collect power-ups in the space pirate’s actual home world the showdowns with each possessed rival hunter are all just as melodramatic and fun as you’d hoped to the best parts of this game are probably the planets themselves my favorite being alicia which i’ve spoken about in depth before they have their own themes and power-ups sure but also their own lore history civilizations structures and architecture you know this is a quality sci-fi title because each planet has its own unique door model and animation all representative of the alien culture that built it but there’s also substance to pair with this style found in giant multi-room puzzles and sprawling open environments the internet has more than ruined this word for me but this game is epic bro despite this potential prime 3 is ultimately held back by two problems that permeate and undermine the entire experience first while the hyper mode and phase on suit abilities are a really fun concept this thematic depth is never quite reached in gameplay switching on hyper mode feels like a super guide as it can just instantly tear through most enemies and even some bosses it’s supposed to be balanced by spending a tank of energy each time you use it but given the drops from killing a room of enemies will restore that health back anyway it’s never much of a risk plus there’s another feature where if you spend too long in hyper mode you’ll enter a corrupted state where faison will begin to fill resulting in an instant death if it reaches the top it’s a really cool concept for a game mechanic but it fills up so slowly you can just abuse this for an unlimited hyper mode without even trying even outside of faison power you’ve got multiple stackable beam upgrades movement upgrades completely unnecessary hyper mode upgrades and even the ability to control and fire from your ship this is probably the most juiced up samus we’ve seen but in effect she’s too juiced up and her abilities are too streamlined in each encounter you’ve got too many options and dispatching of foes takes too little effort removing the complexity and problem-solving puzzle elements that made combat in the previous prime game so satisfying and varied then there’s the bizarre and confused progression which aims to combine classic metroidvania exploration with a more involved story and interconnectivity between four planets and it just never quite works most of the time you’re told where to go straight away so when you’re not the whiplash leaves you aimless as you wander around the same areas before a pop-up appears informing you the next item is on another planet you had no idea you’d need to revisit again and while efforts have certainly been made to connect these worlds through both story and landing pads for your ship it never reaches the same level of integrated exploration that can be attained with the game set wholly on a single merged location and makes the finale on its own special planet feel super underwhelming goofy snagged ass looking when i first drafted this list before replaying each game i assumed this would be number one all of these memorable moments and concepts stick out it’s only actually playing it again did the cracks begin to show and in a lot of ways these attributes are connected the juiced up upgrades break the combat the planet hopping scale undermines the intimate exploration and the more involved narrative only distracts from the environmental storytelling it should be doing instead here is a stunning gorgeous spectacle of the game somewhat squashed under the weight of its own ambition fourth best metroid prime the what this actually works one uh in case you were wondering the s tier starts now if the response to federation forces announcement was cold prime ones was on another level it had been eight years since the last metroid game and now they were handing the reins of this beloved ip to some american studio without a single released game in their repertoire and get this it’s going to be some bandwagon jumping halo knockoff fps game but this rocky beginning isn’t remembered so much here because oh my golly gosh metroid prime is amazing despite the rather stark genre and perspective shift prime manages to recreate everything that worked about the 2d metroid games in an experience that feels both fresh yet totally familiar the winding interconnected maze-like environments well-hidden upgrades and that feeling of solving the mystery of the events leading up to your arrival on the new planet while building power within it to take on increasingly nightmarish foes with sci-fi weapons that all are cool to look at and fun to use are all present but rather than simply a translation of metroidvania tropes into 3d prime expands and recontextualizes some of the series biggest strengths in fascinating and brilliant ways being 3d and first person the immersive atmosphere is taken so much further your entire heads-up display is now totally diegetic being exactly what samus sees on her visor meaning it’s susceptible to being hit by rain shaking and in certain moments that ease tension you can faintly see the reflection of samus’s eyes looking back at you and then there’s perhaps the biggest new edition of the scan visor at any point in the game you can analyze your enemies environments and the objects that fill them in to give information on the law and history of the planet cueing you in directly on how this civilization emerged and how it began to fall in fun and well-written pockets of exposition environmental details and non-verbal storytelling are all still here there’s a lot that can be picked up without consulting the logbook but scanning manages to expand on the world in the most metroid way possible by turning the story into another collectible necessary for 100 in the game it also synergizes perfectly with the thematic through line of the experience especially in that final scavenger hunt searching for artifacts in the end samus and the space pirates are both ultimately motivated by seeking to find the source of the faison’s power for very different reasons but it’s the space pirates xenophobic and pseudo-fascist culture that prevents them from ever succeeding they seek only to destroy and take from cultures they see as below them and as such can’t benefit from the wisdom they left unlike samus who can follow the guidance left by the chozo to find the keys and open up the temple to confront the monster that lies within this ideological clash is embodied best perhaps at the very end where ridley interrupts samus entering the temple by instinctively attempting to destroy what they’ve both presumably been working on this whole time as well as the knowledge that can be gleaned from these artifacts in a petty and vindictive act of spite to vanquish his old foe leading to the best boss fight in the game my only complaints with the game are and it feels pretty mean to say given how much of a risk this game was that in a few aspects it plays the metroid formula way too safe and lifts large parts of the experience straight from super metroid the opening of exploring a small space station an easy boss fight then following ridley to a new planet feels pretty familiar and aside from the new visors almost all of samus’s upgrades here are lifted from earlier games also for the first 3d installment in this prestigious series about exploring vast alien worlds the majority of areas then turning out to be jungle world fireworld ice world and cave is kind of lame even if their actual execution layout and law is very creative you can certainly find far worse examples of series transitioning into 3d weakening their own design by cannibalizing series formalities but i think this nitpicking is worth bringing up if not only to highlight how well the new mechanics and world design were done in the other two games in the trilogy metroid prime is a model sequel and instant classic thrusting the series into a new generation with an engaging take on an already satisfying formula that works on every level for new and old casual and hardcore fans of the franchise and delivered on a premise nobody expected could be pulled off so smoothly with the style and class that makes it a joy to play and replay endlessly third best super metroid the truly classic one super metroid is unequivocally a masterpiece one of the greatest games of all time and it’s relatively lower placement here not making the top two shouldn’t be seen as a sign of its flaws but rather of the immensely high standards it set and allowed future games to be and the strength of its contribution to the series and gaming in general that being said it’s not quite perfect usually when going back to play older games in the generations before polygons online and garfield cart it can feel rather stilted and awkward super metroid is a rare exception to this rule players of any age can pick this one up right now and become immediately immersed in its awesome atmosphere world design and compelling story told almost entirely through in-play real-time cutscenes and environmental detail for a title released over a quarter of a century ago it holds up shockingly well to the point you can scarcely believe it was only three years after we had this the atmosphere the environmental storytelling the genuine organic emotional arcs it sets up and resolves purely through gameplay such as your connection to the baby metroid saved from sr388 and the build-up between the first fight with ridley and then honestly his best encounter later on new additions to the series this game brought are honestly so numerous it’s hard not to see every subsequent 2d metroid as kind of existing in the formula it established they include super missiles power bombs the charge beam grappling beam speed booster the best metroid upgrade wall jumps firing diagonally and oh yeah you get a map now good super metroid is actually the only non-remake in the series to see samus return to a planet from previous game being set on the same zebes explored in the original just now with nice graphics more variety and some actually decent level design what was once a collection of corridors hiding a few upgrades is now this breathing interconnected world where history both recent and distant can be felt a good example is this bit early on where you returned through the taurean you blew up last time and head through the now derelict nes game environments even finding the mothball in the exact same place before heading right pointing your gun down and oh yeah that’s that’s good that hit the spot this game’s modern sensibilities are partly because of how refined the gameplay feels especially for a 16-bit game but are also partly because super metroid wrote the book on how 2d metroidvanias should look act and be since 1991 every game in this genre from castlevania to cave story hollow knight and of course every future metroid game owes something to the design principles and execution of this absolute masterpiece of an adventure game i might even call it the best snes game as far as flaws go they’re mostly kept to the final third of the game while the climax and final boss are superb the last areas in particular meridia can be a real slog made worse by the blandest visual design and many of the later weapon upgrades like spring ball plasma beam and scan visor feeling kind of pointless and the controls being miles ahead of both previous entries and a remarkable achievement in themselves doesn’t change the fact that compared to more recent entries samus moves still kind of clunkily with building momentum and using the grapple beam feeling especially jank and if we’re really nitpicking here the final boss iconic and memorable in its own right essentially being one semi-playable cutscene is a pretty unfitting end to a game which up to that point including in earlier boss battles had been defined by player agency and freedom super metroid defined a genre cemented its series amongst nintendo’s heaviest hitters and pushed the nes to its absolute limits both in technical specs and the sophistication of its design and that all has been said to death before it’s the caliber of game countdowns usually end on but this series really is that good second best metroid prime 2 echoes the secretly best prime game people who are wrong often describe prone to as the worst of the trilogy and an awkward middle child between groundbreaking first and third entries and while i certainly accept it lacks the groundbreaking crunch of the original or finale echoes is the most refined version of this formula and least flawed prime game to date it takes place entirely on aether a planet struck by an infestation of faison that forced it into flux with an alternate dimension where after the inhabitants of deadly dark aether the ing waged war against the peaceful luminoth well before samus arrived the meat of the game sees you restore light to the planet fighting off the ing a recently settled band of space pirates seeking to use the faison and the metroid prime now reformed into dark samus prime war took most its inspiration from super metroid and this one takes a lot of ideas from fusion like bosses harnessing your lost abilities and a dark doppelganger opposing you throughout the game except actually doing these ideas better fusion’s more simplistic story meant the sax’s power could only be shown through scripted interactions with samus which kind of modeled the exploration elements built around them while dark samus has their powers shown principally by the aftermath of their interactions with the space pirates and ing when you actually encounter dark sermous it’s like meeting a celebrity and the energy and climax in these scenes is palpable as for the boss fights they’re utterly fantastic and hugely diverse some are like puzzles forcing a specific strategy to be beaten like the guardian bosses that use your classic abilities against you forcing you to earn them in combat some are simple bombastic tests of your combat skill like every showdown with dark samus and the very best are these goliath beasts with multiple phases like quadraxis and the stunning emperor ing which in its lovecraftian design and gorgeously bisexual color palette might be my favorite metroid boss to date in a lot of other aspects this just hits at that perfect golden mean between the minor flaws of the other two prime games take upgrade progression in the original too many of your weapons were taken away at the start which made the first few hours a bit of a slog as you waddled around virtually powerless lacking your basic combat and movement options whereas corruption starts you out too powerful meaning you’re pretty much unstoppable from the midpoint and many of the late game upgrades lack the same punch echoes gets it perfect taking away only a few of your upgrades meaning you’re getting the exciting new stuff only an hour or two in and power ups remain consistently entertaining right the way through to the end hitting the sweet spot of the trilogy is true of the world design and weapon integration too prime’s environments were holistic but kind of generic whereas corruption went too experimental resulting in a fragmented game world of good ideas that don’t quite match but echoes manages to keep the intricacy alongside the completeness using four massive and aesthetically rich areas my favorite being the sky sanctuary to tell a story of one civilization’s decay in a way that feels totally organic and interconnected their combination with dark world variants not only provides extra complexity for puzzle and navigation challenges but offers a brand new way to look at each 3d space while integrating with the new light and dark beam and power suit upgrades which map onto enemy and boss weaknesses in a far more organic and less gamey way than the color-coded enemy designs of prime one or the obnoxious grapple beam pop-ups of prime 3.Without these minor foibles holding it back the best aspects of metroid prime are given space to fully flourish the puzzles the exploration the combat the music and especially the scans and writing my favorite is this bit early on where you can scan around a space pirate’s camp where they’re keeping metroids you see a note of protocol ordering pirates to not treat these creatures as pets next to a scan of a metroid with food poisoning because one of them had been feeding into their snacks this segment is funny and allows us a glimpse into this alien culture but also tells us so much about who and what the space pirates are their hierarchy but lack of order their intelligence mixed with recklessness alongside establishing the unique danger of the metroids and their alieness to the rest of this environment it’s 10 seconds of skippable background detail that has better characterization in world building than the entirety of other ram a hot take the prime trilogy is a good video games push comes to shove this is my favorite version of samus too through body language alone we can see her caution her confidence and her analytic curiosity to the world she explores wallix explained why samus arrived on aether her motivations for saving the luminous once she learns of their fate are left ambiguous and it helps build the strongest connection of any game between the player and the badass super warrior we know and love making the moments of accomplishment all the more satisfying metroid primes 1 and 3 are both fantastic games with the same winning formula but slightly tarnished by their own specific issues prime one being too safe and corruption slightly too ambitious prime two is all of the good with none of the bad combining every excellent aspect that makes this trilogy so beloved with fascinating and functional elements worlds and boss fights of its own to make easily the greatest 3d metroid game to date overall best metroid zero mission this might be an unpopular pick i certainly get why games like super metroid or metroid prime resonate with people so strongly but playing all of these games next to each other i was simply blown away by how good xero mission is as an overall package and flawless amalgamation of everything good about this series and the genre it spawned first off this is possibly the smoothest feeling game i’ve ever played controlling samus here feels mesmerizingly good even at the puny level you start off as and when you start to earn more upgrades switching between missile types operating the space jump and screw attack and climbing with wall jumps in the power grip feels better than they ever have done before it’s a remake of metroid 1 and takes on the same basic shape of that game and its version of planet zebes while incorporating various more modern elements such as criteria from super metroid the power grip from fusion and various of its own ideas such as the multiple unique level gimmicks and mini bosses to make the most tightly constructed level design with the best metroid platforming we’ve seen thus far the bosses on their own aren’t particularly standout but it’s how they’re presented and built up that makes them special you have essentially two boss categories of main and mini boss fights and this rigid divide allows them to accomplish wildly different aims the big bosses are hyped up for large parts of the journey seeing them in part in various micro cutscenes before their grand lairs building up further tension before the reveal and mini bosses can attack you anywhere at any time the first one is probably my favorite you see something moving in the rocks and then in the first backtracking segment of the game after obtaining missiles this scorpion snake monster traps and attacks you demonstrating even in previously explored areas you’re never quite safe in this harsh living ecosystem zero mission often gets flack for being too short only taking four or five hours from start to end credits with a few more to 100 and i honestly find this view kind of offensive i play video games for the experiences they provide and the joy and knowledge i can glean from them not to simply occupy time before death framing a game’s quality like this does a huge disservice to video games as an art form and what they can and should be placing them in the same category of product as buying fast food or deodorant and in terms of content it’s not even behind other metroid games having more missile tanks than super or fusion more energy tanks than bosses than so much returns and about as many upgrades as the other 2d titles the only difference being the much faster pace and considering many of these optional collectibles involve some of the most complex puzzle solving and movement challenges utilizing all of samus’s advanced movesets such as the speed booster bomb chaining the shine spark and new ball spark there’s plenty of content here to keep any dedicated player occupied and some could call the lack of filler upgrades that later get superseded like the grapple swing in prime 2 and 3 or side grades like the x-ray scope and super metroid the longer games are forced to include kind of an improvement anyway it also handles linearity and player guidance in my opinion more smoothly than any other title chozo statues tell players where to go but not how to get there and their precise routing especially in later areas often involves looping around or backtracking to previous areas plus for experienced players there’s a ton of shortcuts secret fast travel and simple built-in exploits like wall jumping and bomb chaining to elevate speed running and sequence breaking this one into an art form i think it says a lot that despite being the shortest metroid on a first playthrough it’s still the one i’ve put the most time into due to how utterly replayable it is some have also criticized the lack of moody atmosphere present in fusion and super but honestly we’ve seen that in metroid enough and given super metroid was already kind of a remake of the original game’s base structure i love that zero mission totally embraces its own path with these arresting cutscenes and more colourful sprite work it feels like a comic book come to life which is probably no coincidence given the influence it takes from the manga in flashing out samus origins for the first time i can’t believe i’m 750 words in and haven’t brought up chozodia yet so you beat the main bosses explore the revamped taurean blast mother brain and escape and you’re like wow top five metroid games for sure then samus gets ambushed out of her power suit and brought into a space pirate base back on zerbis where you have to make it through a brand new area’s stealth mission it’s as excellent level design as you’d be used to at this point while being a cool touch that we finally get to play as samus without our power suit for the first time without cheats and a neat subversion of the more deliberate active samus we’ve been used to up to now as you have to plan your route around the pirate guards it’s also decent fan service setting up where the wrecked ship and super metroid came from while being a glorious celebration of the game that spawned this entire genre by being the perfect microcosm of everything that makes it work the classic metroid lock and key structure of having you explore an area where you can’t do a thing but are made to want to do a thing getting the thing and then having fun using the thing is handed to you one final time but here brought to its absolute extreme this setup is much longer lasting for an entire area of the map before you reach the chozo ruins you grew up in and the payoff is more intense than ever transforming you from a puny captive who could barely stun your opponents for a couple of seconds to the most decked out version of the power suit we’ve ever seen allowing you to mow through waves of space pirates as they begin to hide from you blow up a big mech sure i’ll take it and escape the mother ship on a stolen escape pod chozodia is utterly emblematic of the passion that went into this title and the efforts made into making it everything it should be alongside just being a patch of extremely s tier metroid gameplay metroid zero mission is the finest game in the series not for any big singular reason but simply playing all of the games back to back while they’re mostly a great time they all have their own flaws and drawbacks even prime 2 has the goddamn grapple guardian and xero mission just doesn’t a plus i have no notes i guess it could be a little harder but i don’t even know if that’s a real problem or if i’ve just played through this game so many times i know each boss pattern like the back of my hand and it excels in every other aspect from the exploration to the level design the aesthetic to the game feel the upgrades the adventure and if you’re somehow not into all of that it comes with the original nes game included anyway for some reason this is the best game boy advance title the best metroid and possibly my favorite metroidvania game in general just an absolute beauty do you agree with my rankings tell me how wrong i am in the comments below i picked the metroid series at first because i thought my opinions on it were fairly mainstream and then i replayed them all and my favorites were prime two and zero missions so it ended up spicy anyway if you enjoyed it throw me a like subscribe click that bell and check out the patreon for early viewings on all future uploads my channel is back and active again and i can’t wait for you all to see what’s in store next thanks for watching and i’ll see you next mission you

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