After a few years out of the mainstream, the Metroid series has been enjoying something of a resurgence in recent years. 2017's Samus Returns proves there's still an appetite for classic 2D style Metroid gaming, while fans are still eagerly waiting on news of the much-anticipated fourth entry into the Metroid Prime sub-series.
Unlike its more successful counterparts Mario and Zelda, which have upgraded and reinvented themselves over the years, Metroid's formula remains largely similar to that of the the original game, with the series' various developers focusing more on perfecting the formula than experimentation and reinventing the wheel.
While the series' debut 3D title, 2002's Metroid Prime, seemed to bring the franchise up to speed with Nintendo's flagship franchises, fans have longed for a return to more traditional 2D-style gaming, with many discussions focusing on the merits of both gameplay styles.
A bridge to merge the two, Other M on the Nintendo Wii, proved unsuccessful, but the series is overflowing with standout titles in both two and three dimensions.
Metroid Prime 4 may be a bit of a way off yet, giving players plenty of time to revisit the other classic titles in the Metroid series. But which of Samus' outings remain must-plays, and which are better left alone?
10. Metroid (1986)
Some debut titles in video game franchises, like 1986's Super Mario Bros and 1991's Sonic The Hedgehog, have remained classics and fan favourites decades after their original release, laying the foundation for the games to come while also remaining wonderfully playable and enjoyable to this day.
1986's Metroid, released on the humble NES, is not one of these games.
While Nintendo's ambitious space-themed adventure platformer certainly laid the groundwork for the games to follow (even pioneering a whole genre of its own, influencing Metroidvania titles such as Hollow Knight over thirty years after its release), the original Metroid title is a pain to play today.
The lack of a world map, clumsy controls, long stretches of anonymous corridors and the most obnoxious password system seen in gaming, Metroid is as interesting a curio as it is infuriating a game.
Its 2004 Gameboy Advance remake, however, is another story...