My personal ranking of Metroid games:
The first 4 spots were really tough to decide. In fact I really can’t say that that’s my final ranking for sure. Let me say a little bit more.
Super Metroid – I just got back into this one, for speedrunning purposes. Still a good old classic.
Pros: nonlinearity, nostalgia factor, massive sequence breaks, largest 2d metroid game (nowhere else do you see really big open areas)
Cons: most difficult controls by far, somewhat more “floaty” feel
Fusion – I thought this was a really great one.
Pros: great controls, very fluid gameplay flow, overall a very polished engine, engrossing story, and the first and only time I was actually -scared- in a metroid game.
Cons: linear storyline, no -real- sequence breaks, no freedom to go wherever you want, some (non-optional) passageways were way too obscure
Prime – The first 3d metroid, IMHO is the greatest. Prime 2 didn’t have the right feeling, and Prime 3 I never got into. Actually I didn’t really get into Prime 2 either. Maybe I should have?
Pros: massive sequence breaking, it’s in 3d! My first real experience with sequence breaking and speedrunning.
Cons: some sequence breaks are hard and a little too luck-based (great tree hall DBJ -_-), sense of speed isn’t as great as in the 2d games
Zero Mission – Plast from the past! But of course, this is actually much much much more than just a remake of Metroid.
Pros: great controls, nostalgia factor yet with something new, zero suit samus!
Cons: not as much sequence breaking as prime or super metroid, seems like there’s not quite so many upgrades (iirc no spring ball, grappling hook)
Right now I’m playing Super Metroid. If I had to pick another game to occupy myself with after I’m done with Super Metroid, it would probably be Prime. Granted I still have yet to do any real speedrunning in Fusion or Zero Mission, but I’d LOVE to go back to prime again.