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Metroid Timeline – All Games in Chronological Order

The chronological order of Metroid can be quite confusing. The Metroid series consists mainly of games, yet spin-offs, remakes and long intervals between the releases make it hard to determine which Metroid games you need to play, and in which order. That’s why we created this Metroid Timeline. Our Timeline explains the chronological order of the Metroid games and the manga.

This entry was updated in October 2021.

To get an overview of the Metroid series and put things in perspective, let’s first start with listing all Metroid games in order of release.

  1. Metroid (1986)

    Originally released on the NES, currently available as part of the NES & Super NES collection included with Nintendo Switch Online, and on the Nintendo eShop on 3DS and Wii U.

  2. Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991)

    Originally released on the Game Boy, currently available on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS.

  3. Super Metroid (1994)

    Originally released for the SNES, currently available as part of the NES & Super NES collection included with Nintendo Switch Online, and on the Nintendo eShop on 3DS and Wii U.

  4. Metroid Prime (2002)

    Originally released for GameCube and as part of the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Nintendo Wii (also playable on Wii U).

  5. Metroid Fusion (2002)

    Originally released for Gameboy Advance, currently available on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

  6. Metroid: Zero Mission (2004)

    Originally released for Gameboy Advance, currently available on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

  7. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (2004)

    Originally released for GameCube and as part of the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Nintendo Wii (also playable on Wii U).

  8. Metroid Prime Pinball (2005)

    Originally released for Nintendo DS (also playable on 3DS).

  9. Metroid Prime Hunters (2006)

    Originally released for Nintendo DS (also playable on 3DS).

  10. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2007)

    Originally released for Wii and as part of the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii (also playable on Wii U).

  11. Metroid: Other M (2010)

    Originally released for Nintendo Wii (also playable on Wii U).

  12. Metroid Prime: Federation Force (2016)

    Originally released for Nintendo 3DS.

  13. Metroid: Samus Returns (2017)

    Originally released for Nintendo 3DS.

  14. Metroid Dread (2021)

    Originally released for Nintendo Switch.

Now we place the games in the complete Metroid Timeline, along with the manga. We’ve arranged the games and manga completely in chronological order.

Our Metroid Timeline is divided in the following era’s:

Samus’ origin and first mission

Metroid Timeline Zero Mission

The first Metroid, released in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, is also the first game in the chronological timeline. In the first game, bounty hunter Samus Aran travels to the planet Zebes to stop Space Pirates from exploiting Metroids to create biological weapons. Metroid: Zero Mission, released on the Gameboy Advance in 2004, is a remake of Samus’ first adventure.

Leading up to the release of Zero Mission, a manga series was released between 2002 and 2004, describing the origins of Samus Aran. Although the manga is not necessarily canon, it is widely accepted as Samus’ origin story. Later games even refer to events that happened in the manga. The manga was only released in Japanese, although fan-made translations can be found online.

Prime

Metroid Prime Timeline

The Metroid Prime Trilogy, including spin-offs, takes place right after the original Metroid. In the Prime games, Samus encounters the titular Metroid Prime, a Metroid mutated by the radioactive substance Phazon. The Metroid Prime is eventually reborn as Dark Samus in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime: Federation Force are both spin-offs within the Prime arc. Hunters features Samus Aran battling other bounty hunters in the Alimbic Cluster to acquire something called ‘the ultimate power’, whereas Federation Force does not feature Samus, but instead focusses on the titular Federation Force, tasked with battling remaining Space Pirates across the galaxy.

Metroid Prime Pinball retells the story of the original Metroid Prime.

It’s still unknown where in the timeline Metroid Prime 4 will take place.

Extinction of the Metroids

Metroid Timeline Samus Returns

After the events of the original Metroid, in Metroid II: Return of Samus and its remake Metroid: Samus Returns, Samus travels to the Metroid homeworld SR388 to eradicate the Metroids. Samus kills every Metroid, except for one newly hatched Metroid. Unable of killing the baby Metroid, she hand it over to the Space Science Academy for research.

In Super Metroid, the baby Metroid is abducted by Ridley, who is planning on cloning the Metroid on Zebes. Samus ends up destroying Ridley’s plans, killing all Metroids in the process.

In Metroid: Other M though, scientists recreate the Metroid species. The project goes sideways and Samus is once again tasked with eliminating the Metroids. It is disputed whether Other M is part of the Metroid canon. Other M isn’t always included in official timelines provided by Nintendo, yet is a direct sequel to Super Metroid.

Infected by the X Parasite

Metroid Timeline Fusion Dread

After the extinction of the Metroids, planet SR388 becomes infested with X Parasite, once the original prey of the Metroids. In Metroid Fusion, Samus becomes infected by the parasite, but doctors manage to save her by administrating a Metroid vaccine, giving her Metroid characteristics in the process. Samus must defeat the X Parasite, including SA-X; a parasite mimicking Samus.

In Metroid Dread, it is revealed some X Parasites survived the events of Metroid Fusion. The Galactic Federation initially dispatched a unit of E.M.M.I robots to planet ZDR to investigate the outbreak, but it seems the robots went rogue. Now Samus is sent out to find out what is going on ZDR.

This Metroid Timeline has been composed with as much care as possible. Nevertheless, an error may have crept into our chronological order. Are you an even bigger Metroid fan than we are? Please contact us and tell us what we did wrong!

Lars Cornelis

Lars is a game journalist since 2005. He loves virtual adventures and appreciates a good story, whether told through environmental storytelling or deep lore. He has a large collection of books and comics based on his favorite games, like Halo, Assassin's Creed, and Metal Gear Solid.

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