One of the most iconic Start screens

Super Metroid is 20 years old today, having been released in Japan on 19th March 1994. It's a title that would go on to be one of a number of iconic, memorable experiences on the 16-bit machine, and is still revered to this day.

Alternatively called Metroid 3, this title — like others in the series that would follow — would prove to have a greater impact in the West than Nintendo's homeland. It touched a nerve in a period when many action games were intense gun fights, in that it dialled back action in favour of exploration and, of course, tension. The size of the world, the lack of guidance, and the cleverly constructed upgrade mechanic serve multiple game styles; it can be an epic adventure over a number of hours, while others pride themselves on speed-running it in under an hour.

While Metroid on the NES started many of these ideas, it was on the more powerful Super NES that the series' true potential was delivered. When you combine gorgeous visuals with a haunting soundtrack that has led to countless tribute albums and groups, you have something special; that's before we even mention the boss fights.

So raise your glass to Super Metroid, one of the greats to this day.