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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Metroid (1986) is a series of running, jumping and exploration games where you play bounty hunter Samus Aran who protects the galaxy from the Space Pirates. It includes the platforming of a Mario game, but the focus is more on fighting enemies, finding new equipment and gaining access to new areas. You start with minimal weapons and slowly gain these as you progress.

You fight a range of different aliens to get to new rooms and gain power-up upgrades. It's frantic action at times, but once the enemies are dead the play switches to exploring and mapping the room-based environments. It's a simple loop that is used to build tension and discovery. With a foreboding soundtrack and often dark visuals, you make your way forward against the odds.

Metroid games have endured over the years with over 18 million games sold. The original side-scrolling platform games are:
  • Metroid (1986) NES, Gameboy Advance
  • Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991) Gameboy
  • Super Metroid (1994) SNES, 3DS and Wii U
  • Metroid Fusion (2002) Gameboy Advance
  • Metroid: Zero Mission (2004) Gameboy Advance, Wii U (remake of Metroid)
  • Metroid: Other M (2010) Wii
  • Metroid: Samus Returns (2017) 3DS (remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus)
  • Metroid Dread (2021) Switch

Because of the remade games on newer systems, you can play through the games chronologically as follows on modern systems:
  • Metroid: Zero Mission on Gameboy Advance
  • Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS
  • Super Metroid on 3DS or Wii U
  • Metroid Fusion on Gameboy Advance
  • Metroid Dread on Switch

The series moved into 3D platform games with the Metroid Prime games:
  • Metroid Prime (2002) Gamecube, Wii
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004) Gamecube, Wii
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007) Wii
  • Metroid Prime Hunters (2006) DS
  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016) 3DS
  • Metroid Prime 4 (TBA)

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Metroid 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 8 weeks ago.
There are lots of games similar to Metroid. Here are some we picked for you:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Fighting and Traversal game with Collecting, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Play and Shooting elements. This is a single-player game.

This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 14 hours and 19 hours to complete. Length of games in the series varies but most you can finish in under 20 hours.


This game is good if you want to:

This game has helped players develop their Identity as part of the following pathways:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Metroid games have ranged in PEGI rating from PEGI 7 to PEGI 12 for different levels of violence. Metroid: Samus Returns is rated PEGI 7 for violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to human-like and fantasy characters, and pictures and sounds likely to be scary to young children. Features mild violence that lacks any apparent harm or injury to human-like characters. Protagonist Samus flickers when hit by attacks, as do all the fantasy enemies. Enemies quickly disappear when defeated. There are some cinematic boss battles that feature tense and dark moments. The game sports a sci-fi setting that may be scary to young children.

Skill Level

Our Game Pathways reveal how 13-year-olds play this game:


You can only play this on older systems (Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U) but can usually find it second hand on eBay.


Switch Store Switch -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 06/08/1986, updated in 2017

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Players: 1

Genres: Fighting, Traversal (Collecting, Platform, Puzzle, Role-Play and Shooting)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D First-Person

Developer: Retro Studios (@RetroStudios)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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