This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
7) Metroid (4 votes, 220 points)
Chris: Like Kingdom Hearts before it, the Metroid series has a mistake or two in its timeline. No, I’m not just talking about Other M — I’m also referring to the eight-year gap between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, and the fact that we haven’t had a true Metroid game since 2010 (or 2007). That sucks. And it certainly kept Samus and friends out of the top five.
That said, this is a franchise that includes three titles that people would include among the best ever. Super Metroid was the standard bearer, taking the two solid NES games and adding so much in the way of exploration and smart level design. Fusion made the experience portable and features the best story (and adversary) in the series. And Prime…I mean, I’m not here to call it the Citizen Kane of gaming, but despite all the concerns people had about the game (new developer, first 3-D game, etc.), it delivered in a huge way as an atmospheric masterpiece. These are all phenomenal games that I’ve loved, and if the series was just those three, it would be my number one of all-time.
Samus Aran makes for an interesting protagonist, and not just because of her SHOCKING REVEAL in the original Metroid game. Her job is basically to be a lonely space badass, and the franchise is at its best when she is stoic, ruthless and effective. Having other characters around (Prime 3: Corruption, Other M) doesn’t really do much for me, and I certainly don’t want her being told when she can and can’t use suit upgrades or curling into a ball when Ridley shows up for the 496th time.
Still, the series is a huge question mark right now. Federation Force was a horrible misstep, not because it was a bad idea or a bad game but because it’s not a full-fledged Metroid experience, and that’s what people desperately want. In the heyday, we got the Prime trilogy, Fusion, Zero Mission and two side games in the span of six years. Since then? Sadness and regret.
Nintendo’s known for its loyalty to its franchises and characters, but we have a disturbing pattern developing with a few of them. Star Fox was inconsistent for a long time before its so-so Wii U release. F-Zero is nowhere to be found. And Metroid, which you’d think would be on a level just below Zelda and Mario with Kirby and Donkey Kong and friends, has been all but dead for a decade. That’s disappointing, and it’s why Metroid finishes where it did.
Cary: The Metroid series was my top pick, but…that’s with the (dangerous?) omission of the Metroid Prime series, of which I’ve only played the first game. Regardless of whatever my faults may be, you really won’t find a better series of action platformers anywhere than with the 2D Metroid games. I know that the original game was a little wonky, but Nintendo made up for that with Zero Mission. And I know Metroid II wasn’t exactly the bee’s knees, but…Super Metroid, Super Metroid, SUPER METROID. And also, Metroid Fusion, hands-down one of the best games for a Nintendo portable that was ever made, Metroid or not. The Metroid series is also an extremely powerful example of how the lack of extreme exposition and handholding can elevate a game into something beyond the sum of it’s parts. Metroid is a masterpiece in design, mechanics, and storytelling. *drops mic*
(8) Kingdom Hearts
(9) Mario Kart
(10) Smash Brothers
(11) Fire Emblem
(12) Street Fighter
(13) Batman: Arkham
(14) Metal Gear
(18) Saints Row
(20) The Sims
(21) Grand Theft Auto
(23) Animal Crossing
(24) Silent Hill
(25) Donkey Kong