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Metroid Turns 35 - Top 10 Best-Selling Metroid Games

Metroid Turns 35 - Top 10 Best-Selling Metroid Games - Sales

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 September 2021 / 10,845 Views

On this day 35 years ago, the original Metroid released for the Famicom Disk System in Japan. It is one of the longest running Nintendo franchises.

Metroid, along with Konami's Castlevania, defined the Metroidvania subgenre, which are games that have continuous and explorable side-scrolling levels. Some notable Metroidvania games include Axiom Verge, Shadow Complex, the two Ori games, and Hollow Knight.

Metroid Prime (GCN) is the best-selling entry in the franchise with 2.84 million units sold worldwide, followed by the original Metroid (NES) with 2.73 million units sold. 

Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB) is the third best-selling entry in the series with 1.72 million units, followed by Metroid Fusion (GBA) with 1.60 million units sold. Super Metroid (SNES) comes in fifth with sales of 1.42 million units.

There are two upcoming Metroid games in development for the Nintendo Switch - Metroid Dread and Metroid Prime 4. Metroid Dread will launch on October 8, while Metroid Prime 4 has no release date.

Here is a list of the top 10 best-selling Metroid games:

  1. Metroid Prime - 2.84 million
  2. Metroid - 2.73 million
  3. Metroid II: Return of Samus - 1.72 million
  4. Metroid Fusion - 1.60 million
  5. Super Metroid - 1.42 million
  6. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - 1.41 million
  7. Metroid: Other M - 1.36 million
  8. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - 1.10 million
  9. Metroid Prime Hunters - 1.08 million
  10. Metroid: Zero Mission - 0.84 million

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Doctor_MG (on 06 August 2021)

Metroid is one of Nintendo's most undersold franchises. By undersold I mean it really deserves higher sales. Metroid Prime was an amazing title, and Echoes improved everything about it (even the near ending fetch quest was way easier due to the way the map is organized). Yet echoes didn't sell very well by comparison. Metroid Prime 3 is also notably low, especially for being a Wii title.

I hope Metroid Dread becomes the best selling Metroid game untile Prime 4 comes out. We need that Switch Effect in action.

  • +17
Signalstar (on 06 August 2021)

Those very modest sales for such an esteemed franchise. No wonder Nintendo has ignored it for so long. Hoping it reaches new sales heights with Dread and Prime 4.

  • +12
heavenmercenary01 (on 06 August 2021)

Happy birthday to the most underrated series in the whole industry.
Hoping for a flourishing and prosperous future with dread and prime 4 as a new beginning with the interest the franchise deserves.

  • +8
No_Name_Needed (on 06 August 2021)

My favorite Nintendo series, but it's somewhat shocking how little each of these installments have sold.

  • +8
SanAndreasX No_Name_Needed (on 06 August 2021)

Metroid actually sold pretty well for 1987. Since then, yeah, it's sobering. Metroid was one of Nintendo's tentpole franchises on the NES in the West. Super Metroid was one of the best SNES games ever, and it only made it to 1.42 million units.

  • +3
Greenfox (on 06 August 2021)

I hope Metroid Dread and Metroid Prime 4 would shoot up the sales of the franchise, just like all others Nintendo franchises that are living a new golden age. Samus deserve it. If Switch can't achieve it, no other console can.

  • +7
Kakadu18 (on 06 August 2021)

This franchise deserved more sales.
I hope Metroid Dread makes up for it.

  • +3
2zosteven (on 06 August 2021)

low sales numbers in an incredible series. Never would have guessed sales this low. super excited to see prime 4 and what kind of sales numbers follow

  • +2
SvenTheTurkey (on 06 August 2021)

The alternative title for this could be "almost all of the metroid games". The only ones missing are prime pinball and the 3ds games?

  • +2
NextGen_Gamer SvenTheTurkey (on 06 August 2021)

Yeah, @VG Chartz - please amend this article to go ahead and include all the titles. I understand the appeal of a "top 10" list, but when you can go ahead and include every title in a franchise by just adding a few more, you should definitely do it :)

  • +3
Kakadu18 SvenTheTurkey (on 06 August 2021)

Iirc Samus Returns sold 560k.

  • 0
foxmccloud64 SvenTheTurkey (on 07 August 2021)

Certainly, and other M is just there because they produced a lot of copies in their hopes of making it be the best selling metroid ever made, with the "cinematic story" and "deep characterization" of Samus, they wanted to sell 3 million minimum, but once word spread that it was shit on fire, the game stalled at 700-800k after the first two months and remained there during all of the wii lifetime, and has just been crawling slowly over the years due to all the left over copies, while i knew lots of people that wanted to play and couldn't find a copy of corruption in any store here, with almost all of the 1.41 million copies being sold at the very beginning, just like Prime Trilogy on wii, everyone was like: why the hell did you just produce 500-600k and not more if they sold immediately, but they always have had weird management of some of their franchises.

  • 0
Eric2048 (on 08 August 2021)

Strange, it always seemed like this franchise was more popular than this but these seem like modest sales.

  • 0
VMCJonCarter (on 06 August 2021)

Glad the Citizen Kane of Gaming is Number 1 in all Series Sales of Metroid

  • 0
Slownenberg (on 06 August 2021)

Despite being so well regarded Metroid has always been Nintendo's small main franchise. Hopefully Dread, despite the somewhat ridiculous price, can manage to top Metroid Prime by a bit, and hopefully a later Prime Trilogy HD port does as well, setting up Metroid Prime 4 to hopefully break out due to the Switch effect and maybe sell well over 5 million.

  • 0
heavenmercenary01 Slownenberg (on 06 August 2021)

Couldn't you find any cheap version of dread? I mean price tag here in france is 45€ not necessarly 60€. Amazon and Auchan and few others are putting the game for preorders at 45€ which is quiete a honest and logical price for the game. I would have paid more though.

  • 0
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