Since 1986, Nintendo has been constantly changing the timeline for the Metroid series. Here are all the games in the franchise in chronological order.
Once upon a time, creating separate episodes in an episode was the norm. And while this is still found in movies, books and TV shows, things are a little different in gaming. The more vague the plot, the easier it is to play with the timeline. Super Mario Brothers and The Legend Of Zelda are two episodes in which chronological order is secondary.
In each part of Metroid, the timeline jumps back and forth. While new titles are in development, existing games can be easily organized in chronological order.
Metroid/Zero Mission (1986/2004)
First released for the NES and then remade for the GameBoy Advance, this game kicks off both the Metroid franchise and the timeline. She talks about the adventures of Samus Aran and her attempts to track down the Mother Brain on a planet called Zebes. The player controls Samus, who starts out with limited defenses and abilities, but collects bonuses as she explores an alien planet.
The title introduced several elements that became the basis of the series, for example, Space Pirates, the collection of improvements for suits and the Metroids themselves. In addition, the game is remembered for one of the greatest gaming moments, when the mysterious masked hero turned out to be a woman.
Metroid Prime (2002)
Metroid Prime, which has revolutionized the series, has earned a lot of accolades. It wasn’t a side-scrolling platformer, but a 3D first-person shooter. The title follows Samus Aran investigating a distress signal that takes her on a journey to stop the spread of a dangerous force.
Despite her new perspective, Samus is still mobile. The title focuses more on weapons and firefights. This much larger adventure gave fans a glimpse into the Metroid Universe, Samus, and even the Metroids themselves.
Metroid Prime: Hunters (2006)
Debuting on the Nintendo DS, Hunters got more characters and made Samus look less lonely in this universe. The game begins with a cryptic message asking anyone who receives it to hunt down a mysterious force. Samus and several other bounty hunters hear this message and hit the road.
This game tested the capabilities of DS using the perspective of a first-person shooter. The title used a second screen to display the HUD at all times and even offered a multiplayer mode with voice chat support.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004)
After Prime, Echoes becomes the darkest in the series. The title follows Samus exploring a mysterious dark alternate dimension on an unstable planet. All of this leads to clashes with hive-like creatures possessed by humans and Samus’s evil counterpart – Dark Samus.
Another first-person title introduced new worlds to explore and new possibilities for Samus to use in both single and multiplayer modes. In addition, Dark Samus made such a strong impression that she continued to appear in later games and even in the Super Smash Bros. series as a result.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007)
Continuing the Echoes line, Corruption returns to Samus’s conflict with her evil alter ego. While trying to destroy the Phazon meteoroid, Samus and the other hunters are attacked by Dark Samus. Although they manage to fight back and complete their mission, it is revealed that Samus is poisoned by the energy of Dark Samus, and she is slowly growing inside her.
Samus is able to use the phason to her advantage and is sent to destroy the sources of the substance on the infected planets. As Samus tries to piss off the Phason, you will encounter many monstrous monsters that have mutated due to his actions.
Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016)
Released on 3DS, Federation Force focuses primarily on multiplayer. In this game, four players must work together to defeat enemies and complete missions. The title is known for focusing more on shooting and combat rather than platforming and exploration.
This title is about how the Galactic Federation is trying to stop the Space Pirates once and for all, not about problems with the phason or metroids. It is also the first game in the series in which players do not play as Samus, but as the colorful Federation Marines. Due to all these changes, the game was received ambiguously.
Metroid II: Return Of Samus/Samus Returns (1991/2017)
Another classic and remake combination. The first was released on the NES, and its counterpart on the 3DS. Another side scrolling platformer. The game focused on exploration, backtracking, jumping and shooting. After the events of the first game, more importance is attached to the metroids and the threat they pose to the galaxy.
Metroid II also reveals Samus’s bittersweet relationship with the Metroids, one of which saved her life earlier. Although the remake retains the 2D platforming of the original, 3D graphics with updated controls have been added.
Super Metroid (1994)
The first and only Metroid on the SNES. This game remains one of the most popular in the entire series. After Samus decides not to kill the little metroid, she turns it over to explore the growing colony. The research yields positive results, but Samus is soon called out for a distress call.
Samus learns that the little Metroid has been kidnapped by Ridley (a persistent enemy and leader of the Space Pirates) and pursues him to Zebes. Another 2D platformer in which you fight your way through Pirates defenses and alien wildlife only to face Mother Brain again.
Metroid: Other M (2010)
The Other M, developed by Team Ninja for the Wii, takes the series in a different direction. Until now, Samus has been considered strong and silent, but this game has attempted to characterize her. However, the character turned out to be too vulnerable and even incompetent.
It was also the first Metroid to feature a third-person view adapted to the Wii’s motion control. Poorly written Samus, weird gameplay, and degraded graphics are just some of the reasons this game has received massive criticism.
Metroid Fusion (2002)
First Metroid on GameBoy Advance. Fusion has forced Samus to face an entirely new threat. During the exploration, the hunter contracted the parasite X. As a result, she almost died, but she was saved by a vaccine obtained from a small metroid.
After seeing that the parasite had fused part of the suit to her body, Samus went to investigate the incident at the space laboratory. This 2D platformer included many new types of enemies, bosses, and even another twin enemy named SA-X.
Metroid Dread (2021)
Announced at E3 2021, Dread will be the first Metroid on Nintendo Switch. Screenshots and trailers show that the game will return to the roots of metroidvania in terms of platforming and exploration, but with HD graphics. The story will focus on what happened to Samus and the metroid race.
Since the title takes place immediately after Fusion, the X parasite will play a large role in the plot and pose as a serious threat. The game takes place on the planet ZDR, where Samus will have to fight new enemies, robots, as well as organics.