The greatest game ever made, Super Metroid, is THIRTY years old

Here is the best article about why it is so great

Japanese commercial

Western commercial

And how this fact makes me feel


Truly the goat. An unbeatable masterpiece.


I’ve never played it, but I will read the 45 minute analysis article!

no way! honestly greatest game ever made is not even really exaggerating


I was a freshman in high school. Ordered it via the mail from one of those stores in the back of a magazine so I would be sure to have it as soon as it was available.


it’s no rolling thunder 2, but it ain’t bad

honestly, as a kid who tag-teamed metroid on a series of NES rentals in the day (took like half a notebook with our passwords!), the evolution the series saw was absolutely tremendous, and i say that having loved metroid

the feeling of each new zone is this feeling of excitement (ambiance/music etc) and unique isolation. the creatures and barriers are oppressive, but the hype of a new ability, the mental notes for backtracking later if & when you could reach a thing - just this incredible mix of pick-up-and-play, but proto AAA design and sometimes minimal but emotional storytelling

as a sega kid, i definitely enjoy knocking the retro nintendo worship down a peg sometimes (it’s not that the oft-named titles don’t deserve their flowers, its that it’s done at such disproportionate levels compared to sega, nec/hudson, snk and the like), but super metroid is this one that filthy casuals & hardcore game enjoyers alike decided to put on a pedestal years ago, and there’s so little negative to say about it that i really don’t mind seeing it there. it’s just such a great game

unlike overrated stuff like donkey kong country, for example :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Super Metroid is an audiovisual tour de force with a masterfully designed map. It’s an experience perfectly tailored to the medium. You feel lost yet empowered in a way unique to video games. I like to play it during winter when it’s cold and dark outside for maximum effect.


Yes fantastic video games don’t age, on CRT of course.
Not my number one personally but in my top 15 (top 5 is Sin and Punishment, F-Zero X, sometimes I love the original just as much, Zelda 1, DQ1 SFC port and DQXI original on PS4). And it’s my favorite metroidvania.
I love replaying it every year at least, what I enjoy the most now is to reduce my time, my record is 2 hours and 1 minute, so you can guess my next objective.
I still prefer a few aspects of the original, like the action/combat gameplay more dense (on average), with weapons and upgrades even more well designed mechanichally : for exemple excellent and different action gameplays before and after ice beam, bombs are the specific way of the original Samus to kill small enemies, in relation to the incapacity to crouch (you know the opposite of that modern default to give the player every actions possible with no real design)… There’s a very good SNES port by infidelity, with map fonction à la Super Metroid. Super UFO compatible.
My favorite Metroid has to be Other M, but it’s another topic.

The game is a master class in how to hide secrets for the player to find in cool ways. No other game I’ve played really gives me the same feeling of discovery as Super Metroid. And every time I come back to it (I play it every 10 years or so) I respect it even more than my last playthrough.

Is it the greatest game of all time? I don’t know. That’s not a real thing in my opinion.

But it certainly makes a case for being the most tightly designed 2D game ever made without compromising on its vision of nonlinear exploration.

I do think that it is at least the best game of its genre. And even though other Metroid games like Zero and Dread surpass it in certain ways (like in speed of movement and ease of control) I don’t think any of them ever truly matched the secrets that were hidden in Super Metroid.

I have no idea how they managed to place items in the map so perfectly like that.


the way it subtly teaches you to wall jump and super jump chef’s kiss


Does this mean I’m due another replay?

I wonder how much of Super Metroid’s organic design is down to how Nintendo R&D 1 (or rather, Team Deer Force) was structured at the time.

More modern Metroid titles feel a lot more project managed, the scaffolding of their structure a lot more obvious.

While Fusion did ingeniously link up its sectors, what really sets Super Metroid apart for me is how well its world is linked up. A quality that’s very hard to come across in the modern era.

I didn’t think Fusion ‘ingeniously’ linked up its sectors? It was generally boring format of elevators to sectors, but had a few good breaks from it.

What’s great about Metroid 3 is how confidently it laid the template. The non-linear action adventure (the true broader genre, before Castlevania knocked off the exact Super Metroid formula so explicitly it became a paradigm that has been hard to escape since) had existed for years, but it’s always more like Zelda in that you get a literal key item, usually at the end of a level, which opens the next door. Super Metroid shows so many dead ends so much earlier than they can be used, it’s all about memory of where to use it and quality navigation (usually via smart shortcuts opened up) to go back to where you need to be. The clues are all there for each roadblock. People talk(ed?) about power bombing the tube being obscure, but it has several clear signposts (water on the floors, the other broken tube, it being in another region on the map etc), people just weren’t used to looking for them back then.

It’s just the friggin brilliant giant puzzle with great pacing, and yet apart from the basic coloured doors it’s so naturalistic. You don’t think of failing down a hole you can’t get up as a door locking behind you.


Towards the end of the game, iirc, you realise the entire map is interconnected and you can start ditching the elevators. Smarter than what Dread was doing with its map, that’s how much lower the bar is now!

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