What's the best Metroid game of all time? Well, we're about to tell you just that with our list of all Metroid games ranked from worst to best.

As is the case with all our All Time lists, we've taken all the opinions of Team NL along with a host of other variables, put that data into a blender, mixed it into a delicious smoothie, drunk it, and analysed what comes out at the 'other end'. Ahem. Who said science isn't fun?

Questionable process aside, we're happy with the final product. It proved a heck of a lot easier than the best Zeldas and Marios, we can tell you that much! So, while we wait for more information on the in-development Metroid Prime 4, let's take a look at our ranked rundown of the best Metroid games ever...

13. Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Next Level Games
Release Date: 19th Aug 2016 (USA) / 2nd Sep 2016 (UK/EU)

Some Metroid fans would describe Metroid Prime: Federation Force as more of an abomination than a video game, and that comes from the expectations set by using the title 'Metroid' in your game. It's difficult to understand quite what Nintendo was thinking in making a Metroid game that doesn't feature Samus and several other elements you might assume are vital to a Metroid game. Whether it's worthy of the hate it receives is up for debate - on its own terms it's not bad at all - but compared to the other classics on this list there should be no surprise that this sits in last place.

12. Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)

Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: Nov 1991 (USA) / 21st May 1992 (UK/EU)

Metroid II: Return of Samus isn't really a bad game – it's just an old one. It had a tough job on its hands, squeezing a Metroidvania onto the original Game Boy before the term 'Metroidvania' even existed. It's most notable for having an intriguingly dark plot that laid the foundations for future Metroids, and introduced a few series mainstays like save modules and the Laser and Plasma Beams. But is it fun to play? Not so much; even at the time of release, reviews were lukewarm. Story-wise, though, Metroid II is extremely important - if you're eager to experience it we'd stick to the wonderful 3DS remake (more of which is coming up soon).

11. Metroid (NES)

Metroid (NES)Metroid (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 1st Aug 1987 (USA) / 15th Jan 1988 (UK/EU)

Next up we have the original Metroid, which laid down the framework for the rest of the franchise back in 1986. It's a seriously tough game too, thanks to its open-ended world design and enemies which are tough to dispatch. Historically it's massively important, but when compared to the series as a whole, it hasn't aged as well as it might have done. One to check out on as part of the Nintendo Switch Online NES game library, perhaps.

10. Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)

Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Fuse Games
Release Date: 24th Oct 2005 (USA) / 22nd Jun 2007 (UK/EU)

"Wait a minute – what the heck is a pinball game doing on a list of best Metroids? This is an absolute scandal. It's a total outrage! I'm never reading Nintendo Life again!"

We can hear your comments already, and we'd like to invite all of you to just calm down for a second, please! Metroid Prime Pinball is literally the only spin-off the Metroid series has ever had, and we felt bad about leaving it off the list, okay? Also, pinball actually makes sense in this instance because Samus can curl up into a ball.

Also, it's pretty good fun. So there.

9. Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Metroid: Other M (Wii)Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Team Ninja
Release Date: 31st Aug 2010 (USA) / 3rd Sep 2010 (UK/EU)

For some fans, the less said about Metroid: Other M, the better. Many regard it as a 2D/3D mess of a Metroid game that introduced a load of flashy fluff that didn't do anything near enough to justify the lack of a real game. It was very linear, which is against the 'spirit' of Metroid, and the blend of 2D platforming and 3D combat didn't find favour with many players. We don't want to stop what we're doing to do another thing – especially when it's this clunky.

Still, we'd be lying if we said we didn't enjoy it - at least parts of it.

8. Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)

Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)Metroid Prime: Hunters (DS)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo Software Technology
Release Date: 20th Mar 2006 (USA) / 5th May 2006 (UK/EU)

Finally! We're passed the questionable Metroids and into solid game material now. Metroid Prime: Hunters is Nintendo's attempt to squeeze the Metroid Prime gameplay onto your DS, and it was a pretty good one. It takes place between the events of the first two games in the series and sees Samus investigating the Alimbic Cluster to find and recover artefacts scattered throughout the solar system. Meanwhile, she's hunted by six other bounty hunters vying for her blood.