The Metroid franchise has always been one of the most iconic names in the gaming industry. Not only is it a staple franchise of Nintendo – but the first Metroid game, alongside Castlevania, even gave birth to an entire genre that we know and love today as Metroidvania.
Although the series consistently had new installments starting from the first Metroid game and up to Metroid Other M – we did not see any new mainline games in the series after 2010. This led many to believe that the franchise may be dead for good, but fortunately, we finally saw the release of Metroid: Samus Returns in 2017 and eventually Metroid Dread a few years after it.
However, a lot of fans still wonder if Metroid Dread is the last game in the franchise. The reason behind this is the fact that we only had two games in the series after the aforementioned hiatus – and Nintendo has not announced anything new for now either.
So, is Metroid Dread the last Metroid game?
The Metroid Prime Games
When we talk about the future of the Metroid games, it’s important to note that there are currently two types of mainline games in the series. There are Metroid games, which are released with simple subtitles such as Super Metroid and Samus Returns and the second type, Metroid Prime – which serves as a sub-series that takes place in the past and takes us through the origins of the titular Samus character. The most interesting thing about these games is that even though they still feature many elements from the franchise, they are played in a first-person perspective.
The last game in the series that we got was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Nintendo Wii. It sold well and was praised by critics and players alike. And since this game is a prequel, there is no reason for Nintendo to not continue its storyline either.
Metroid Prime 4
At E3 2017, Nintendo announced Metroid Prime 4 and assured fans that it will be released soon. It was in development at Bandai Namco Studios, and every Metroid fan was overjoyed.
Unfortunately, the development of the game has been a little rocky, and it was announced in 2019 that development had been halted with Bandai Namco, and entrusted to Retro Studios – who have been hard at work making it the glorious sequel that we all deserve.
Therefore, with the existence of Metroid Prime 4 – the answer to our question is simple. Metroid Dread is not the last game in the franchise and we will soon see more games up ahead.
With the great sales of Metroid Prime Remastered on the Nintendo Switch, the fourth game in the series may be closer than we think.
The Ending of Metroid Dread
The ending of Metroid Dread finished with no cliffhangers, and the franchise could very well end here.
However, the game does end with Samus Aran escaping the self-destructing ZDR. And her Metroid powers are neutralised while this happens, which saves her from slowly turning into a Metroid herself, which is a threat that she faces in the story.
Therefore, Samus is safe and sound by the end of the game. And if we know anything about action heroes, it’s that they can never catch a break. The universe of Metroid is still filled with threats and The Galactic Federation will always have more missions for Samus to take on too.
It’s quite unlikely that Metroid Dread is the last game in the mainline Metroid series, and we are very likely to see a sequel soon.
The Metroid Spin-Offs
Aside from the mainline Metroid games, we have a couple of spin-offs that are irregularly released. Interestingly, these too include a distinction between whether they are a part of the normal Metroid franchise, or if they are a part of the Metroid Prime sub-series.
These include Metroid Prime Pinball, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. As you can tell from the names, most spin-offs belong to the Prime series, and these games are also about playing as side characters, not just Samus herself.
However – there is one exception to this rule. Metroid: Other M is a spin-off that takes place between the events of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion – and it does not have the ‘Prime’ label on it. So, Nintendo is not opposed to making high-budget spin-offs in the Metroid franchise – which is great news for us.
Other M did leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but there has been a long enough hiatus for Nintendo to consider a new spin-off that is developed with better characterisation for Samus.
Currently at the time of writing, there are no future spin-offs announced. But if the Metroid Prime franchise is revitalised with the release of Metroid Prime 4 – then we might see a few more spin-offs again.
Remakes & Remasters
Since the original Metroid games were on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Gameboy and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – there have been a couple of remakes of those games.
First off, we have Metroid: Zero Mission, which is a remake of the original Metroid game. Featuring new graphics and updated gameplay, this game was released for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Secondly, we have Metroid: Samus Returns, which is a remake of the original Nintendo Game Boy game of the same name. And lastly, we have the Metroid Prime remastered, which came out in February this year – which is extremely recent.
If this tells us anything, it’s that Nintendo does not mind remaking and remastering games from the Metroid franchise. And since interest in the Metroid games has been returning both within Nintendo and in the public – it’s very much possible that we might see more of these.
So even if Metroid Dread was the last game in the series (which it isn’t), we will be able to keep ourselves busy by playing some of the older Metroid adventures.
And there we have it. Metroid Dread is not the last Metroid game. Metroid Prime 4 is on the way, Metroid Dread can easily be followed up with a sequel, and there might be more remakes, remasters, and spin-offs coming our way too.
Nintendo needed a break from the franchise after the less-than-favorable release of Metroid: Other M and the troubled development of Metroid Prime 4. However, the franchise has now been revitalised with Metroid Dread and Nintendo seems just as interested as the fans to give us all the Metroid goodness that we deserve.