Game Vs. Game – Super Metroid Vs. Metroid Dread – Which is Better?

Super Metroid Vs Metroid Dread Cover

The exploits of Samus Aran are innumerable. The tale of the orphaned bounty hunter taken in by a race of alien bird people (the Chozo) is engaging. Even at its lowest point, the Metroid delivers quality gameplay and exciting stories. Today, we are looking for the best of all time.

The first game on our list is Super Metroid. A beloved classic from the Super Nintendo, for many years, it sat as the definitive Metroid experience (according to yours truly). Not only was Super Metroid a considerable leap forward for games of the era (coming out in 1993), its influence reached other genres. I can’t imagine Metroidvanias being as successful as they are without Super Metroid.

Next, we have’s 2021 Game of the Year winner: Metroid Dread. To say Metroid returned in full force in 2021 would be an understatement. Building on the ideas that worked in Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Samus Returns, Metroid Dread is the first unique Metroid game in decades, and boy howdy did it come back with a bang!

I can imagine a lot of people raising an eyebrow at this one. While it may seem evident at first, we compare a bonafide classic to a modern masterpiece. With the introductions out of the way, let’s answer a question I’ve had for the past few months. It’s time to ask: Which is the better game: Super Metroid or Metroid Dread?

Point 1 – Story

Both Super Metroid and Metroid Dread take place in the same timeline. Metroid Dread takes place after Metroid Fusion, which takes place after Super Metroid. The games are delightful without prior knowledge of their previous iterations. This is already a difficult choice, but I will give the point to Metroid Dread.

Metroid Dread places a tad more emphasis on its narrative than Super Metroid. While Super Metroid tells its story brilliantly, Metroid Dread gives Samus’ point of view much more attention, making the plot more engaging. For that reason, Metroid Dread gets the point:

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Point 2 – Visuals

When I mention graphics, I am talking about the art style as a whole. Let’s face it; if we were talking about graphical fidelity, there would be no contest. Hence why we are looking at the broader definition of graphics. Both Super Metroid and Metroid Dread’s environments excel at making the player feel wary of their surroundings at all times. Metroid Dread turned up the creepiness factor with its grayscale E.M.M.I. rooms and foreboding environments. Still, Super Metroid nailed that unsettling feeling of entering a room with seemingly nothing in it. As weird as this sounds, I prefer the visuals of Super Metroid. Thus, it gets the point.

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Point 3 – Music

Another problematic category, Metroid Dread’s E.M.M.I. chase music, plays in my head whenever I think of a chase sequence. There are also remixes of classic Metroid songs sprinkled through the game, and they are also worth listening to. That said, Super Metroid has the classic Metroid songs in question. Whenever I walk into a dark, quiet room, the music that plays when Samus does the same in Super Metroid sneaks into my head. Since Super Metroid has more songs in it that I remember off the top of my head at any given moment, it gets the point for the better soundtrack.

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Point 4 – Gameplay

I’ll be blunt here, Metroid Dread wins this one by a landslide. Super Metroid’s biggest shortcoming is how stiff Samus feels to control. While the controls are still responsive, Super Metroid requires more deliberation regarding gameplay. On the other hand, Metroid Dread makes Samus highly maneuvrable while also not overdoing it on the simplicity. For achieving the perfect balance of steadiness and fluidity in the controls, Metroid Dread gets the gameplay point.

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Freebie: Metroid Dread

Something that Metroid Dread offers over Super Metroid is its unlockables. Beating Metroid Dread will unlock Hard Mode, which makes enemies hit harder and makes the game more challenging. Metroid Dread also has different endings depending on how many items the player finds.

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Final Point – Ending

This is the big kahuna, folks. Both Super Metroid and Metroid Dread have some of the best endings in video game history. Both endings stuck to me because of how it affects Samus and how visceral it makes the player feel. I honestly can’t decide which one I like best, so I will have to give both games the point for having amazing endings.

With a final score of 3 to 4, this means that Metroid Dread wins this edition of Game Vs. Game!

Metroid Dread Wins!

It took a lot of deliberation, but I genuinely think Metroid Dread is the best Metroid game of the series. Both are excellent games that players can play numerous times and still enjoy, but Metroid Dread’s unlockables give it the edge compared to Super Metroid. Putting any other Metroid game on the pedestal as best feels inconceivable. After much thought, it only seems fair to crown Metroid Dread as the best Metroid game of the series.

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