Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
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  1. Oct 3, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is an easy recommendation and you can’t go wrong with this in your 3DS library. The team put a lot of work into polishing this remake and it shows. I can’t even tell who gets the better deal here between fans of the original or newcomers like me. All I can say is that this game makes me realize how much I miss a true Metroidvania game made by masters of the craft. If this is how Nintendo wants to pay homage to classic games, I say let’s go for more!
  2. Sep 26, 2017
    On a conceptual level, the game speaks to Nintendo’s constant refusal to retread ground unless there are new ideas to share and new stories to tell. Maybe Nintendo held a revisit to Metroid II so close to the chest for all these years for good reason. I would like to believe that Samus Returns took so long to materialize because it was carefully considered, and set up to be a milestone for the franchise. Another era of Metroid is beginning.
  3. Sep 12, 2017
    If this sounds like a bit of a love letter, it is still underselling just how fantastic Samus Returns has turned out. Stunning animations, a fantastic soundtrack, and awesome cinematic moments come together to remind us of the amazing roots of this series, while updating it for a fresh audience. Metroid: Samus Returns is one of the best Nintendo 3DS games of all time, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  4. Sep 12, 2017
    I was delighted by Metroid: Samus Returns. It hits pretty much every note you hope to see in a Metroid game, and MercurySteam's console background is evident in their flair for the dramatic — whether in their introductory cutscenes or their boss battles. Their dramatic reinvention reinvigorates the source material and strengthens the story's bridge to Super Metroid. In short: They nailed it.
  5. Sep 12, 2017
    This is far and away one of the best Metroid games ever made, and one of the best examples of the entire Metroidvania genre as a result. Melee counters and free aiming have made combat feel fresh and exciting again, while the environments are incredible – especially when viewed in auto-stereoscopic 3D. It’s a given that this is a must-buy for Metroid fans, but it’s also essential for those who’ve never played a 2D Metroid and want to see what the fuss is all about. This is what the fuss is all about, and the wait was so, so worth it.
  6. Sep 12, 2017
    This might be Samus’ first 2D adventure in more than a dozen years, but it’s a great reminder of why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place.
  7. Sep 18, 2017
    MercurySteam have pulled Samus from the jaws of death and delivered one of the best games in the series. Samus Returns perfects and reimagines the gameplay of 2D Metroid games and delivers one of the best titles on the 3DS. Every self-respecting Nintendo fan should own Metroid: Samus Returns.
  8. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns contains everything that makes the classic Metroid games so impressive and adds a number of key changes. The fantastic control, challenging end-battles and the sense of discovery make the game on par with the most acclaimed installments of the franchise.
  9. 95
    With their powers combined, Nintendo and MercurySteam basically struck gold with this game. Samus Returns is a dynamite entry in the fabled series and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Metroid: Zero Mission and Super Metroid. If you’ve been waiting for a new 2D Metroid game from Nintendo for more than a decade, you owe it to yourself to play this game.
  10. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns offers everything a Metroid fan would want, but thanks to its great structure also presents itself as an amazing introduction for newbies.
  11. Sep 12, 2017
    Samus returns with an adventure that it's an example of how all remakes should be, respecting the original game, honoring the classics and adding a pinch from the latest games. Samus Returns is not only a great Metroid game: is also one of the best titles for the Nintendo 3DS.
  12. Sep 14, 2017
    Simply put, Metroid: Samus Returns is an excellent game. It honors the past and adds a lot of great new gameplay elements. The Metroid series strives in 2D, and Samus Returns is another clear demonstration of exactly that.
  13. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a fantastic remake from one of the most unnoticed games from the series. It combines a really well-known formula and complements it with some new gameplay mechanics, functional controls, gorgeous visuals, and many more surprises that make it feel as a familiar yet fresh experience. It is a must have game for any fan of the brave Samus Aran.
  14. Sep 13, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns doesn’t merely hope to satisfy a sense of nostalgia, it transcends those aspirations to become a much more compelling experience. It takes nearly everything about its predecessors that made them great and introduces new elements that make gameplay feel fresh and exciting.
  15. Nov 1, 2017
    It's not perfect, but Metroid: Samus Returns is a resounding return to form for the series and a must-play for all 3DS owners.
  16. Nintendo Force Magazine
    Oct 30, 2017
    Samus Returns is a great comeback for our favorite heroine. [Issue #30 – November/December 2017, p. 71]
  17. Sep 28, 2017
    After a long absence from portable consoles Samus is back with a seemingly old adventure, which has been revamped and looks better than ever. Old and new players alike can explore the homeland of the Metroids using weapons and skills that didn't appear in the first game, whereas Nintendo highlights a bright future for a series that deserves to be back.
  18. Sep 21, 2017
    We had our doubts, but this game turned out to be the best 2D Metroid game and one of the best games of its kind. we liked the new combat functions and the improved accessibility, and the "prime" feel of the game.
  19. Sep 19, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a welcome addition to the 3DS library. Whether this stands alone as Nintendo honouring a part of the franchise that didn’t get its time to shine, or if this is their way to set the scene before a full-blown Super Metroid remake, I hope they do it again. There are a lot of Nintendo classics that have been lost to time, and Metroid: Samus Returns proves that a new coat of paint, and the modernising of mechanics can go a long way in revitalising a franchise.
  20. Sep 19, 2017
    Don’t let the fact that this is a remake fool you; it’s a fresh experience, and hopefully one that means even more Metroid is on the way.
  21. 90
    Offering a fresh take on Super Metroid while updating the franchise for modern audiences and supplanting the sluggish (but narratively important) Metroid II, this return to form is everything a 2D Metroid game should be. Not every modernising addition to the classic formula is as well-polished as it could be, but this is still one of the best entries the series has to offer.
  22. Sep 14, 2017
    It is an amazing game, a definite reaffirmation that the series hasn’t forgotten its roots, and is a must own for both fans and newcomers alike.
  23. Sep 12, 2017
    While MercurySteam has done a wonderful job piecing together an engaging world, it feels like there may have been some added benefit in adding additional bosses – something the game sorely lacks.
  24. Sep 12, 2017
    Honestly, I could rant on about how completely badass Samus comes off in some of the more action focussed cutscenes, or about the incredible soundtrack that brings back all the nostalgic classics (headphones on full volume recommended) but I think calling it an incredible Metroid game says all that and more.
  25. Sep 12, 2017
    This is right up there with Super Metroid in terms of sheer class, taking the spirit of Metroid II: Return of Samus and transforming it so wondrously for the modern day that it is barely recognisable, with a plethora of brand-new extras thrown in.
  26. Sep 12, 2017
    A superb remake of Metroid II and the best 2D entry since Super Metroid, that doesn’t compromise at all in terms of challenge, complexity, or atmosphere.
  27. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns shows why 2D Metroid is still top-tier. It’s far from the perfection that Super Metroid had, but this takes my least liked 2D Metroid game and reimagines it so completely that it almost beats the remake of the original Metroid in my estimations. If someone at Nintendo can add the ability to switch control schemes, it would make a huge difference. This is the return we’ve been waiting for, though I want Nintendo to develop the “Next Mission” in 2D for the Switch themselves.
  28. Sep 12, 2017
    There's nothing groundbreaking in Samus Returns, no element that strays too far from what’s established Metroid as a series all those years ago. Yet there doesn't need to be. For all of its imitators, nothing has ever completely captured what makes Metroid the captivating series that it is. There’s a mystifying quality that sparks a natural desire to see what strange things are waiting to be discovered. MercurySteam seems to understand this and has provided a striking reminder of how powerful Metroid can be.
  29. 90
    A highly-polished title that shows that the ageing 3DS somehow still has legs in it. Aside from the Pokémon Sun and Moon sequels, Samus Returns could very well be one of the last big 3DS titles, but with games like this, I’m just not ready to let go of my 3DS just yet.
  30. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is the perfect throwback for fans of the genre. With a cleaver counter system, solid controls and atmospheric gameplay it truly stands beside the other 2D entries. It even makes us forget about the tragedies that was Other M and Federation Force. Almost.
  31. Sep 12, 2017
    To call Metroid: Samus Returns a remake feels unfair. Remakes are old games with new coats of paint: an upgrade in resolution here, reworked artwork there. Samus Returns is far more than that. It’s a top-to-bottom reimagining, bringing the bones of a game that’s over 25 years old into the modern era with fantastic results.
  32. Sep 12, 2017
    Samus Returns is both a return to form and a look to the potential future for 2D Metroid games, where combat plays a bigger role and exploration involves clever thinking rather than persistent guessing. Fans get more than they bargained (and hoped) for, and everyone else gets an excellent 2D action game with one of the most captivating and capable video game heroes around.
  33. Sep 12, 2017
    Story aside, Metroid: Samus Returns functions more as a new installment that brings the best bits of multiple Metroid games together. By offering tons of upgrade and weapon options alongside improved combat, the game is truly enjoyable.
  34. Sep 12, 2017
    While Metroid: Samus Returns is technically a remake of a 90’s GameBoy game, it’s truly a rallying cry for Metroid fans to gather and enjoy how fantastic Samus’ journeys can be. Despite a few hiccups, the fresh combat mechanics, addicting exploration, and wonderful cinematic tone make this one of the best Metroid games ever made.
  35. Sep 12, 2017
    Samus Returns has an appropriate name. It really does feel like a homecoming for a franchise that I love. It’s great to be playing a new 2D Metroid.
  36. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid Samus Returns is the ultimate remake of a classic Metroid game. With fluent gameplay mechanics and new additions, the new title plays and feels like a brand new Metroid game.
  37. Sep 14, 2017
    Mercury Steam didn’t just take an old GameBoy Metroid and modernize it. They produced one of the best games of its kind.
  38. Sep 12, 2017
    I was captivated and motivated by the first minute...Great reinterpretation, it captures the charm of the Game Boy original but is sensibly modernized and enhanced with own ideas.
  39. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is more than a brilliant remake of a relatively obscure cult-classic: it's a very significant moment for the whole saga, one that actually marks the rebirth of a beloved heroine after a troubled time.
  40. Sep 12, 2017
    One of Nintendo's more beloved franchises returns with a great remake that every fan of the series will love.
  41. Sep 12, 2017
    Spanish team Mercury Steam builds a balanced game combining the essence of the 2D Metroid franchise with solid contemporary upgrades. The result is a great remake of Metroid II.
  42. Oct 3, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a solid remake that doesn't reinvent the wheel or eclipse the high points of the franchise but represents an enjoyable and well-made return to what makes Metroid work. It's low on story and high on exploration, and that's all it needs to be. The frustrating moments are few and far between, and the 3DS iteration eclipses the Game Boy original in pretty much every way. It's a Metroid title that shows why the old 2D classics were popular, and it succeeds wonderfully. With a ton of hints dropped throughout the game about a new Metroid game after Samus Returns, it should be interesting to see what Mercury Steam can do with an original game.
  43. Sep 18, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a faithful adaptation or the original game that takes into consideration more than 20 years of improvements in the genre. The result is a familiar combat and exploration experience with a degree of accessibility, filled with challenging situations that highlight the polish and quality of the 3DS controls.
  44. Sep 18, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a must-purchase for any long-time Metroid fan and a perfect example of the genre. It bodes well for Metroid’s future and makes me excited for Samus’s next big adventure.
  45. The tremendous exploration and rewarding combat do a pretty good job of filling the narrative void. Metroid: Samus Returns reconfirms all the reasons why this franchise has persisted for more than a quarter century, and adds a few new features that ought suggest it will continue to entertain for years to come.
  46. Sep 13, 2017
    Despite the flaws with its pacing, Metroid: Samus Returns feels like true classic reborn- with all the polish expected of a modern release and stands proudly among the other fantastic 2D entries to the series.
  47. Sep 12, 2017
    It's pure Metroid. The Spanish developer Mercury Steam shows that they have talent to remake a classic from the 90s. It has still some repetitive elements, but it's a great work, a game specially recommended for Metroid fans.
  48. Sep 12, 2017
    A successful reimagining of an old classic that not only does what the original game did, but evolves its formula to show a more modern gameplay.
  49. Sep 12, 2017
    Even if the exploration has been slightly dumbed down, Samus Returns is a great and engrossing game.
  50. 85
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a great return to form after the Federation Forces debacle and should make fans of the series happy with the final product. Aside from a few presentation hiccups and difficulty curve, the improved visuals and added content make for a solid entry in the Metroid universe.
  51. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a very nice remake of the original material. The spirit of the saga is intact, the visuals are good and the new mechanics blend perfectly.
  52. Sep 12, 2017
    A lot could have gone wrong with this remake of Metroid II, since Mercury Steam's last work didn't impress and the franchise was dormant for far too long. Luckily, Samus Returns is a very good metroidvania and an honorable episode of one of the dearest Nintendo franchises.
  53. Sep 12, 2017
    An excellent reimagining of an age old title, it’s great to see Samus back after such a long hiatus, please don’t go away for so long again.
  54. Sep 12, 2017
    While it’s been marketed as a remake of Metroid II: The Return of Samus for Game Boy, Metroid: Samus Returns is more of a much-needed reboot of the 2D Metroid games we know and love. It’s a safe, modern take on Super Metroid, one of the greatest games of all time. Aside from some repetitive boss fights and hand-cramping controls, it’s nearly everything I could ask for as a fan of old-school Metroids.
  55. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Feb 16, 2018
    Metroid: Samus Returns brings to the 3DS a pearl of the genre with all its plus and minus that you can expect, beautifully crafted with time-consuming repetitive gaming. [Issue#279]
  56. Nov 20, 2017
    Samus Returns is a return to form for our beloved hero and franchise. The game is fun and while inferior to AM2R in my eyes and fudges the atmosphere part, still has great graphics and music which make for a fantastic game for the 3DS and makes us finally say that Metroid is back.
  57. games(TM)
    Oct 6, 2017
    While the game is still intrinsically limited by the conceits of the original 1986 release, it's ultimately a return to a much-missed component of the gaming landscape. [Issue#192, p.78]
  58. Oct 2, 2017
    While not allowing for the subterranean trek through SR388 to fully flourish in its own individual right, Metroid: Samus Returns is nonetheless a highly enjoyable remake of one of the series’ more overlooked and forgotten entrants. With new items and gameplay mechanics added into the mix, not to mention the surprisingly tense confrontations with the many titular foes throughout, Nintendo’s own take on how Metroid 2 would and should fare in the modern age is frantic in its action but carefully balanced by the series’ slow-burning exploration. With Metroid Prime 4 looming on the horizon, the signs here at least are notably promising.
  59. Sep 26, 2017
    With new abilities and mechanics such as the Melee Counter, Metroid: Samus Returns feels like a fresh, much needed quality game in the Metroid series. Just too bad its visuals could have been more timeless were it released on the Nintendo Switch.
  60. Sep 18, 2017
    The father of all the metroid/vanias returned in a surprisingly powerful form after a long wait. Although the genre has shifted over the so many years, Metroid: Samus Returns has dealt with it bravely and has risen to the top.
  61. Sep 13, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is another wonderful 3DS game that gives owners yet another reason to pick up their 3DS consoles, even with the Switch’s growing library. It looks great, plays great, and is as faithful to older Metroid games as you could ask for. All we can hope for now is that this is just the beginning of the 2D Metroid renaissance.
  62. Sep 13, 2017
    Metroid Samus Returns is a very good remaster of the original GameBoy game with a load of new features that make the game more user-friendly. We only wish the hard mode would have been included in the game, and not exclusive to amiibo owners.
  63. Sep 12, 2017
    MercurySteam takes no time at all proving it is the perfect fit for a series overdue a resurgence. Another studio may have recreated Metroid as it was, but the Castlevania veterans modernise the Nintendo franchise with new abilities, freer movement, quality animations and lush alien design brimming with mystery and the unknown.
  64. Sep 12, 2017
    The core of the gameplay remains largely untouched, but what new additions there are enrich the overall experience. The first classic 2D-style Metroid in 13 years (since the GBA Metroid: Zero Mission, also directed by Sakamoto), Metroid: Samus Returns is the franchise in top form, and makes an excellent case for the old masters.
  65. Sep 12, 2017
    Samus is back with one of her best portable adventure. Welcome back, we miss you... now hurry up, we're waiting on you Switch.
  66. Sep 12, 2017
    Yoshio Sakamoto had the right idea when he decided to have MercurySteam involved in the development of Metroid: Samus Returns. It's a decent remake, whose major flaws are the same as the original, and there are some new gameplay elements that will please old and new fans.
  67. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a powerful remake of the old Game Boy classic. By taking so much freedom from the original, Mercury Steam delivers a solid version, which still suffers from the structure of it. Much more narrowed than other games in the series, Metroid: Samus Returns only becomes a real blast through its last sections, but still offers a good run for every fan of the genre.
  68. Sep 12, 2017
    Samus Returns has been designed for hardcore Metroid fans and rightly so, as I don’t see many newcomers playing a monochrome Game Boy remake on 3DS as their first Metroid game.
  69. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns is a commendable re-imagining that has clearly been crafted with plenty of love and care by MercurySteam. Irritating control niggles aside, this is a great experience with fun combat, intuitive puzzles and absolutely stellar music.
  70. Sep 12, 2017
    Metroid: Samus Returns revisits the second Metroid game to a level that not only honours the original classic but brings forth a game that all have been waiting for. Thanks to its very well developed gameplay mechanics, as well as its lifespan and audiovisual environments, this is an adventure very worthy of the name Metroid.
  71. 80
    While this isn't Samus' greatest adventure, it is still a very good one.
  72. Sep 12, 2017
    Maybe the next 2D Metroid will take more chances, but Returns is far better than I expected it to be.
  73. Sep 12, 2017
    The looming question over Samus Returns is whether it will join the ranks of esteemed titles such as the approachable Zero Mission, or the seemingly untouchable Super Metroid. I was in no rush to play it again after finishing it just once, but what MercurySteam have provided here is a solid game – one that easily surpasses the original it’s based on, yet still respects the vision of the creators who built it. It’s so exciting to say this, but Metroid is well and truly back and hopefully here to stay.
  74. Sep 12, 2017
    Complaints aside, there's no denying that Metroid: Samus Returns is an addictive and rewarding remake of a classic game. It's certainly not as good as other 2D entries in the series but what's here is sure to tide fans over until the next Metroid releases.
  75. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Nov 7, 2017
    Nintendo brings back Samus Aran with a remake that’s better all-around than the original. Hopefully, N’s next move will be to finally make a completely new game starring her. [Issue#224, p.54]
  76. CD-Action
    Dec 19, 2017
    I’m not emotionally attached to Metroid series, so for me Samus Returns is just a solid metroidvania game with a bland art style, devoid of the spark of individuality that turned Ori, Apotheon or Hollow Knight into memorable gems. [12/2017, p.45]
  77. Oct 7, 2017
    Overall, despite all these faults, I found the game enjoyable throughout. A great deal of effort clearly went into making this game work and bringing SR388 to life once again. However, as a Metroid game, it still falls short of earlier releases.
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  1. Sep 12, 2017
    It all adds up to an underwhelming return. MercurySteam now has the curious distinction of being the one developer to have worked on both Metroid and Castlevania on the 3DS and fallen wide of the mark on both. This isn't quite the disappointment that was Mirrors of Fate, and there's a hard-edged gem to be found in what was always going to be a troubled exercise. Samus Returns is ultimately a noble remake that fixes so many of the original's problems, but it doesn't do so without introducing a handful of its own.
  2. Sep 12, 2017
    The Metroid story is one of feast or famine. That avalanche of new games in the early 2000s itself followed nearly a decade of dormancy. I hope that Samus Returns’ title has some greater meaning beyond being a simple inversion of the Game Boy game’s, and indeed heralds the return of this sadly neglected series. Samus’s return to the past was fun; now here’s looking to the future.
  3. Sep 12, 2017
    For all its minor failings, Samus Returns fundamentally feels like Metroid in dozens of little ways that add up to an aesthetic satisfaction that easily overcomes its flaws. It’s all in the little details: the handling of Samus’ spin-jumps, the way she aims her arm cannon, the irresistible musical sting that accompanies every hard-won new toy. It’s been a while since anyone made a real Metroid game, and for all its minor faults, that’s what Samus Returns is. For the first time in years, she’s back, and finally, so are we.
  4. Sep 12, 2017
    Like Metroid: Zero Mission before it, Samus Returns is an ideal reimagining, a game that takes the essence of the series and makes it feel completely at home on modern hardware. There’s no aspect of Samus Returns that feels archaic. It’s a game that belongs in 2017. But more than just being a great remake, it’s also a great reminder of what Metroid is.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 634 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 634
  1. Sep 15, 2017
    AM2R was good but this one is even better. Really. Game Design is top notch. It could be a bit more open for my taste. Getting the hang forAM2R was good but this one is even better. Really. Game Design is top notch. It could be a bit more open for my taste. Getting the hang for the controls takes a bit time. Full Review »
  2. Sep 15, 2017
    FINALLY! The first side-scrolling action-adventure classic Metroid game since 2004's Metroid: Zero Mission. This is the franchise thatFINALLY! The first side-scrolling action-adventure classic Metroid game since 2004's Metroid: Zero Mission. This is the franchise that invented the "Metroidvania" genre and it's a masterpiece! Perfect and fast 2D gameplay with gorgeous stereoscopic 3D graphics on the 3DS. This is a Masterpiece. 10/10 Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2017
    This is the type of Metroid game we needed for a LONG time. Especially for a game that was once on the OG Gameboy. Metroid 2 was my firstThis is the type of Metroid game we needed for a LONG time. Especially for a game that was once on the OG Gameboy. Metroid 2 was my first game of the franchise that I played back in 1991. So seeing a remake of it is a sight for sore eyes. Better story, graphics and difficulty along with new abilities and mythos. Buy it, people! Full Review »