Metroid Fusion 

 
If you’re going to experience one Metroid title before Metroid Dread releases then make sure it’s Metroid Fusion. It’s an incredible title, despite being weighed down at times by the linear nature of the title. 

Fusion features some intense and absolutely horrific sequences. It also blends action, exploration, and cinematic storytelling, or at least the closest thing to that on the Game Boy Advance. 

The speedrunning community loves the Metroid series. In fact, sequence breaking is a huge part of the Metroid community. Metroid Fusion has unskippable cutscenes and mostly forces players down a linear path, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a damn good adventure starring Samus Aran. 

Fusion cuts against part of what some players love about the series and so I understand why it isn’t everyone’s favorite. But it was also really bold of Nintendo to focus on a smaller story with Samus and an evil threat terrorizing her across a space station. 

Metroid Fusion isn’t just a very good video game. It’s also a very good Metroid title. 

Metroid Fusion is unfortunately not available on Nintendo Switch or 3DS. It’s available on the Wii U for $6.99 but not a lot of people bought Nintendo’s last console. 

The only other way to play it (other than emulation, which we don't encourage) is if you have access to a 3DS system that received the Ambassador Program, which was a bundle of games given to anyone that purchased a 3DS before the $130 price cut. 

Many were hoping Nintendo would add Fusion to Nintendo Switch before Metroid Dread’s release as a way to promote the game and since it takes place directly before the events of Dread. 

As of writing, this has not happened. Please prove us wrong, Nintendo <3. There’s still time to bring Metroid Fusion to the Switch before Metroid Dread’s release. 

Super Metroid 

 
Super Metroid is legitimately one of the greatest video games ever made, and it remains fun to this day. There’s very little that can be said about Super Metroid that hasn’t already been said but its impact cannot be overstated. 

Super Metroid helped popularize and create a new genre. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night later added to the genre’s name but there’s a reason it’s Metroidvania and not Castlevoid. Or whatever.

Super Metroid has a few issues here and there but it’s about as close as you can get to a perfect game. The game uses player discovery and environmental storytelling as a foundation. It gives you a map, a goal, and upgrades along the way. 

There is no reason to miss Super Metroid if you haven’t played it yet. You don’t even need to finish it if you don’t like it but you should absolutely check in on what is likely the most iconic entry in the series. 

Super Metroid is available to purchase on Wii U for $6.99. It was also included among the twenty-plus games on the Super NES Classic Edition. 

The best way to play it however is on Nintendo Switch. Don’t be afraid to save scum. Super Metroid is a fun time and it doesn’t matter if you “cheat” to take the trip.

Metroid: Samus Returns

 
The only thing really wrong with Samus Returns is that it’s trapped on a Nintendo system that’s no longer available in stores. It makes recommending it harder but if you have a 3DS or can borrow one from someone, play this game. 

Metroid: Samus Returns is a remake of the second game in the series. The first Metroid was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The third Metroid, Super Metroid, came out on the Super Nintendo. But right in between the two games was Metroid II: Return of Samus.

It had a similar problem to Samus Returns. It was also trapped on a handheld. Metroid II was trapped on the original Game Boy. Yeah, that big ugly gray one that can break toes if dropped from above. The story and gameplay in Metroid II were (and remain!) fun and exciting.

A thread of mystery is woven throughout the entire experience. It’s difficult to explore though since the graphics were so limited by the Game Boy. It’s a great game; it’s just more ambitious than the hardware could really handle. It’s worth checking out and even playing if you’re curious enough.

It’s only a few bucks on 3DS and Game Boy cartridges of it remain cheap, but you should absolutely play the 3DS remake if at all possible. Metroid: Samus Returns fills in all the gray, black, and white space from the Game Boy original and replaces everything with color and wonder.

Nintendo has definitely ported uh… less good 3DS games to Nintendo Switch so there’s always hope for Samus. In the meantime, you’ll need to watch a playthrough or track down a 3DS!

Related: Metroid Dread Continues the Core Metroid Storyline