Nintendo?s iconic spacebound bounty hunter celebrates twenty five years of classic space adventuring and being a big fan since the Metroid Prime games, I felt that this needed to be covered in the same respect as was given to The Legend of Zelda?s twenty fifth anniversary recently.

The games will be ordered by series rather than the order of each game?s release and if you have any moments or want to say your favorite game in this series, please feel free to comment below.

Metroid – Nintendo Entertainment System – 1986
The first game was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986 and was the start of Nintendo?s iconic series that was also the first game that the company made that featured a playable female character, the space bounty hunter Samus Aran.

Blending platforming and shooting gameplay, the game would eventually be recognized as being responsible for inspiring such games as Kid Icarus and Castlevania.
Seeing a re-release for the Game Boy Advance, 3DS and Virtual Console on the Wii, the game has seen many changes in its style of gameplay and while it is great to see the series go through some respectable differences, this classic is still considered to be one of the best that Nintendo have made for their consoles.

Metroid: Zero Mission was a remake of the original game for the Game Boy Advance in 2004 and featured more of a detailed back story for the protagonist, expanding the series? popularity during the Game Cube and Game Boy Advance era.

The Metroid Prime Trilogy – Game Cube and Wii – 2002 to 2009
When Retro Studios released Metroid Prime on the Game Cube, it was an immediate success that became the second best selling game in the month that it was released in (which was beaten by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and was praised by a wide majority of the critics.

The rise of shooting games on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox did make the Game Cube suffer from this particular genre and this was Nintendo?s answer, which was successful enough to turn it into a trilogy, as well as a pinball game and the portable version for the DS called Metroid Prime Hunters.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was released two years later and introduced players to a new antagonist: Dark Samus, an evil version of the heroine that was created from the remains of the defeated Metroid Prime from the first game. The planet Aether is infected with the energy that was from a Phazon meteor, which happens to be the same material used to create Dark Samus and each half of the planet is split into dark and light halves. Other than using the dark and light suits to defeat the two groups of enemies, the gameplay was mostly the same as the previous game and included a multiplayer mode for the first time into the series that helped to boost it?s sales.

The third and final game in the trilogy was released on the Wii and was really pushed to create a great game and a very engaging story, taking full advantage of the technicality of the Wii and it?s motion controls. From making the weapons powered by the powerful Phazon to making you interact with members of the Galactic Federation to making the atmosphere feel the most cinematic for a Nintendo game since The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, this is probably one of my favorite games of all time and if you have not played any of the Metroid Prime games, you can purchase the trilogy in a special set for the Wii that comes with some unique artwork and enhanced presentations.

Metroid 2: Return of Samus – Game Boy – 1991
Five years after the original and a second game was made for the Game Boy that saw Samus on a mission to go to the Metroid?s home planet and find any possible survivors after the Galactic Federation sends teams to destroy the alien species.

The game was seen as the setting for Super Metroid, with Samus finding different forms of Metroids and giving players a more in-depth look into the simple enemy that appeared from the first game and changing the way that they would be featured in future games.

Super Metroid – Super Nintendo Entertainment System – 1994
The ending of Metroid 2 continued in this 16-bit game, as we see the Space Pirates taking the baby Metroid that Samus saved and sees her going after them, exploring the reasonings behind the theft of the alien and stopping the villains along the way.

Super Metroid introduced many iconic boss battles that pushed the scope of the series, including the gigantic Kraid, the stealthy Ridley and the powerful and deadly Mother Brain that has been resurrected after her defeat in the first game.

The depth of the storyline and the better quality of graphics helped to make the game one of the most critically praised within the series and even though it is still ranked within the top one hundred games of all time from such websites as IGN and Gametrailers, it didn?t sell well in Japan and only had a big market towards western audiences.

Metroid: Other M – Nintendo Wii – 2010
Team Ninja took over the next Metroid project after making the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive games and returned to the traditional platforming and exploring gameplay that also blended some twists to try to make it as compelling as the last few games that Nintendo released.

Taking place between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion, Samus Aran picks up a signal that sounds like a baby crying after the events of Super Metroid and follows it to a space station, where she encounters a squad from the Galactic Federation. They soon discover that an android replica of Mother Brain is being made and the protagonist sets out to find it and destroy it.

Unfortunately, the game received mixed reviews due to the game being very story driven and had some awkward control moments that affected it?s sales and while the Metroid series has not been the most profitable franchise Nintendo created, the sales for this latest installment has affected any possible future titles being made in the near future.

Metroid Fusion – Game Boy Advance – 2002
After an eight year absence (with the exception of her appearance in the Super Smash Brothers games), the bounty hunter returned on the Game Boy Advance in 2002 and introduced a new generation of gamers to the iconic 2D gameplay seen in iconic Metroid games.

Samus Aran?s suit is infected with X Parasites and despite surviving the infection, her suit has dramatically changed its appearance and she must set off to the space station where the deadly virus is spreading. Unfortunately, the infection copied her suit and created an evil Zero Suit with it?s own consciousness, who is seen within certain sections of the game and has all of the powers that it absorbed from Samus? original suit. Despite taking her suits powers, her new infected suit gives the character some new controls, including the ability to crawl on walls and the ability to absorb the X Parasites to regain health and restore some weapons.

This was also the first and only game that connected with other games in it?s generation to unlock content, including alternative costumes for Metroid Prime and a picture gallery for Metroid Zero Mission. If you have not played this game before, it will be released on the 3DS as a downloadable game before the end of the year (but only if you are part of the Ambassador Program).