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How Long To Beat Every Metroid Game

The "Metroid" series has been challenging players with exploring alien caverns and stealing their weapons since the first game blasted onto the NES in 1986. Since then, lead protagonist Samus Aran has managed to survive over a dozen encounters with the life-draining Metroids and the Space Pirates who seek to control them. The job hasn't always been easy — in fact, Samus has done some pretty terrible things over the years in the line of duty — but gamers have always been more than happy to help her save the galaxy.

If you're new to the series or considering a revisit to celebrate "Metroid Dread," you may be wondering how much time you'd need to invest to get all caught up. Luckily, many of the "Metroid" games are fairly quick affairs — especially if you know where you're going and which weapons you need. Before you snag your first Morph Ball upgrade, here is how long it takes to beat every "Metroid" game. 


The one that started it all, the combat and platforming in "Metroid" may feel a bit dated by today's standards (as noted by GameSpot), but it is still a complex and entertaining adventure worthy of any intergalactic bounty hunter. Some of the game's best weapons are hidden behind false walls barricades that have to be bombed away, so it's easy to drag this adventure out without the help. Many players have found that the game can take upwards of 6 to 10 hours on a first try, but you may want to draw a map for yourself as you go. However, the game offers rewards for beating it quicker, with the best ending appearing when you conquer Mother Brain in an hour or less. This is a reward system that would be revisited in just about every game in the series.

  • Release Date: Aug. 6, 1986
  • Available On: NES, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Metroid 2: Return of Samus

"Metroid 2: Return of Samus" packs a ton of action into a very small package. Bringing Samus Aran and her fight to the smallest of screens, this Game Boy game pit the bounty hunter against dozens of evolved Metroids. Each one is like a mini-boss fight, opening up more of the planet for exploration as she bests them. It can take experienced players between 90 minutes to 2 hours to hunt them all down and vanquish the Metroid Queen, but newbies may find a few hours added onto that runtime.

  • Release Date: November 1991
  • Available On: Game Boy
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Super Metroid

When Samus Aran made the jump to the Super Nintendo, the whole "Metroid" experience was given an overhaul. "Super Metroid" is a truly massive adventure, bringing Samus' first trilogy to a close with an epic rematch against Mother Brain. This game has a ton of items to collect and unlock, introducing gadgets like the Grappling Hook and the Speed Booster to the series. Some first-time players have sunk nearly 11 hours into this game without finding everything, but players who have been through the game a few times seem to have mastered it in a comfortable 3 to 6 hours.

  • Release Date: March 19, 1994
  • Available On: Super Nintendo, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Metroid Prime

The original "Metroid Prime" is another must-play game, especially since it's the highest-rated GameCube game on Metacritic. Believe it or not, gamers almost missed out on this successful game back in the day. Although it was nearly canceled because of developer drama, the game ended up being a smash hit, bringing Samus to the FPS genre as she searched through the planet of Tallon 4 to find artifacts and fight against her long-time enemy, Ridley.  

If you're playing for the first time, expect to sink a fair number of hours into it. According to Board Games Tips, it'll take most players around 14 hours to complete the main game. If you're someone who enjoys finding every last hidden upgrade and bit of non-story content, then you can expect to spend about 16 hours in the game.

  • Release Date: Nov. 17, 2002
  • Available On: GameCube, Wii 
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, First-person Shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 97 (GameCube)

Metroid Fusion

For many "Metroid" fans, it's hard to top the fourth game in the series, "Metroid Fusion," which pits Samus against the deadly X parasite and her creepy clone, the SA-X. It's seen as one of the best Game Boy Advance games of all time, sitting in the same ranks as titles like "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" and "Super Mario Kart Circuit" on Metacritic.

If you're looking to try out "Metroid Fusion" for the first time, then IGN suggests (via Metacritic) it will take about "10 to 12 of hard playtime" hours to beat it. Later playthroughs will likely take less time — and you'll want to replay it. So buckle up and get ready to experience one of the best games of its time.

  • Release Date: Nov. 18, 2002
  • Available On: Game Boy Advance
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 92 (GBA)

Metroid: Zero Mission

"Metroid: Zero Mission" quite literally took the series back to its roots, offering a stunning reimagining of Samus' very first adventure, complete with a few extra biomes and boss battles. But even with all of that extra content, "Zero Mission" is still a relatively quick game. Most players on their first playthrough have found that Samus can take down Mother Brain and Mecha Ridley in just under 6 hours. The ability to select different difficulty levels will also impact your playtime, with some first-timers clearing Easy mode in only 2 hours. USgamer has even made the argument that this entry was the point at which Nintendo began actively encouraging "Metroid" speedrunners. 

  • Release Date: Feb. 9, 2004
  • Available On: Game Boy Advance
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

The second game in the "Metroid Prime" series, "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes," took players on a much darker adventure. Samus is sent on a rescue mission to the planet of Aether, where she must contend with yet another doppleganger, Dark Samus. With new abilities and a whole new dimension to explore, "Metroid Prime 2" can take a good bit of time to complete.

ResetEra users have reported taking anywhere from 17 to 20 hours to finish "Echoes." However, some Redditors found that it can easily take up to 25 hours, especially if this is your first experience with the "Metroid" series or if you're not familiar with this game's expansive map.

  • Release Date: Nov. 15, 2004
  • Available On: GameCube, Wii
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, First-person Shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local Multiplayer (2-4 players)
  • Metacritic Score: 92 (GameCube)

Metroid Prime Pinball

"Metroid Prime Pinball" is a bit more involved than most run of the mill pinball games. Players are tasked with unlocking 12 artifacts, which grant Samus (in Morph Ball form, of course) access to more arenas and bigger enemies, including Meta Ridley. This eventually culminates in a battle against Metroid Prime, after which the game smashes to the credits. All told, "Metroid Prime Pinball" can be beat in under an hour — in fact, World of Longplays completed the game in 39 minutes. However, with this being a pinball game without much (if anything) in the way of story, the amount of time you spend with this game is ultimately up to you.

  • Release Date: Oct. 24, 2005
  • Available On: Nintendo DS
  • Genre: List the genre of the game (Include multiple if applicable)
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer (Up to 8)
  • Metacritic Score: 79 (Nintendo DS)

Metroid Prime Hunters

"Metroid Prime Hunters" brought a multiplayer "Metroid" experience to the Nintendo DS, but it also boasted a single-player campaign as well. Though some consider "Hunters" to be a great game ruined by terrible controls, it still holds a special place in "Metroid" lore. "Hunters" fills in some gaps in the "Metroid Prime" trilogy, and gives players a look at the time period between the first and second "Prime" games. But how long should fans expect to enjoy this experience?

On a GameFAQs discussion board for "Metroid Prime Hunters," players had wildly different opinions on how long the single-player campaign of the game lasted. While one player joked that it takes "4 years" to complete the game, others said it took closer to 6-8 hours. "The single player is kinda dull though, the multiplayer is what this game is about," said commenter Azeal. Indeed, the multiplayer experience

  • Release Date: March 20, 2006
  • Available On: Nintendo DS
  • Genre: First-person shooter, action-adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local and Online Multiplayer (Up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 86 (DS)

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

"Metroid Prime 3" finished off the "Prime" trilogy with another face-off against Dark Samus, and it's also considered to be one of the top games on the console (via Metacritic).

GameFaqs users predict that it will take about 25 hours for "Corruption" first-timers. However, one Reddit user pointed out that it should only take you that long if you're really observing the game — if you play a bit quicker and don't pay a lot of attention to detail, you might find yourself beating it much quicker.

It's also worth noting that there are two difficulty levels available at the start: Normal and Veteran. Playing on Normal will make the game easier, which may shave off some playtime. Meanwhile, if you've already conquered the original "Prime" and "Echoes," then Veteran will give you the same difficulty that you're used to. 

  • Release Date: Aug. 27, 2007
  • Available On: Wii
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, First-person Shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 90 (Wii)

Metroid: Other M

"Other M" delved into Samus' motivations and characterization while promoting innovative use of the Wiimote. Players could change their perspective in-game by holding the Wiimote in various positions, lending the game a more interactive feel. That being said, Nintendo doesn't appear to consider "Other M" a canon part of Samus' story any longer, despite some fans thoroughly enjoying the game (via Nintendo Power Podcast). Others are just fine with forgetting the controversial portrayal of Samus in "Other M."

In a GameFAQs discussion of "Other M," one fan said that it took them about 13 hours to complete the game, with others saying it only took them between 7-10 hours. One gamer claimed to have beaten "Other M" in just 6 hours, but admitted that they only collected 31% of the available items in the game. Like many "Metroid" games, your mileage will vary, depending on how much collecting you like to do.

  • Release Date: Aug. 31, 2010
  • Available On: Wii
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 79 (Wii)

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

"Federation Force" doesn't have a great reputation with the "Metroid" fanbase. The game pushed the "Metroid" series into the online multiplayer world, allowing gamers to form crews and complete missions with friends. Even though "Federation Force" had a single-player campaign, some critics argued that it was a sub-optimal experience when compared to the rest of the series.

In a GameFAQs discussion post, fans debated how long it takes to complete "Federation Force" and struggled to reach a consensus. Most gamers said that the time it takes to complete the game varies based on playstyle and the quality of their crews. Commenter Hirokey123 said that while times vary, a single-player campaign might take anywhere from 10-15 hours, with a completionist run taking considerably more time.

  • Release Date: Aug. 19, 2016
  • Available On: Nintendo 3DS
  • Genre: Action, Co-op, First-person Shooter
  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local Multiplayer (Up to 4)
  • Metacritic Score: 64 (3DS)

Metroid: Samus Returns

Technically, "Samus Returns" is a remake of "Metroid 2," reimagining the classic game in 2.5D and giving it an update for a new generation of gamers. While the story for "Samus Returns" was relatively unchanged from "Metroid 2," the game did add new control mechanics to spice things up. For example, instead of just being able to aim in a 2D space, Samus could now point her gun in any direction (hence the 2.5D label).

One Redditor said it took them 23 hours to fully complete "Samus Returns" at 100%, while another claimed it only took them 14 hours to do the same. Another gamer fell somewhere between the two, clocking in at 16 hours to 100% the game, so that's probably the sweet spot for most "Metroid" fans.

  • Release Date: Sept. 15, 2017
  • Available On: Nintendo 3DS
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 84 (3DS)

Metroid Dread

"Metroid Dread" entered into 2021 as the first 2D "Metroid" title in years. Even though the game has technically been around longer than most people realize, that doesn't mean that it hasn't been hotly anticipated. Now that it has finally arrived, critics are saying that "Metroid Dread" might be one of the best "Metroid" titles ever.

As gamers are still playing through "Dread," the only reliable source for how long it will take to beat the game is reviewers. GameSpot's review noted that it took about 9-10 hours for most of its crew to finish "Metroid Dread," while VGC reporter Andy Robinson commented that it took him nearly 6 hours of failed attempts at one boss before be was able to move on. In other words, players' sill level will largely determine how long it takes to complete "Metroid Dread," but the experience should last somewhere between 10-12 hours.

  • Release Date: October 8, 2021
  • Available On: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action-adventure, Metroidvania
  • Game Modes: Single-player
  • Metacritic Score: 88 (Switch)