The original Super Metroid for the SNES was released in 1994, and it captivated consumers with its level design and exploratory game concept.
This action-adventure game, along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, is credited with defining the Metroidvania genre, which currently includes jewels like Shovel Knight and the amazing Hollow Knight.
Super Metroid, as one of Nintendo’s most praised titles, has inspired several designers to create their own fan games based on the original.
So, if you’re looking for some to sink your Samus teeth into, our list should get you started.
So you can jump right back into Planet Zebes.
- 18. Super Metroid: Hotlands
- 17. Super Metroid: Subversion
- 16. Super Metroid SCM
- 15. Super Metroid Challenge
- 14. B2-TW
- 13. Super Metroid Z-Factor
- 12. Super Metroid Redesign
- 11. Super Metroid Redux
- 10. Super Metroid: Escape II
- 9. Super Metroid Phazon Hack
- 8. Super Metroid Containment Chamber
- 7. Metroid Super Zero Mission
- 6. Metroid Legacy
- 5. Super Metroid Nature
- 4. Hyper Metroid
- 3. Ancient Chozo
- 2. Temple of the Winds
- 1. Super Metroid: Ascent
18. Super Metroid: Hotlands
So, here’s my hot take on Hotlands: it’s a good mini-hack in general, but worries about health and ammo farming slow it down. It felt like I was doing low% even though I didn’t want to. Gimme charge!
Most bosses are a test of your patience. You slowly get ammo from rinkas and then aim and shoot at red 1×1 cores that don’t move while avoiding some dangers, which isn’t so bad on its own.
If you go into this room like I did with low health and/or ammo, it gets hard fast, and waiting for ammo is neither fun nor difficult.
Some of these rooms are hurt by force, which means you have less ammo and more health, so you have to wait longer.
None of these rooms tell you what to do, and you can’t get out of them. These mini-bosses don’t drop anything when they die, so you have to keep farming.
The last straw was when I got stuck in the room before the final boss and ran out of ammo. The grey pirates could only be killed by supers, and the door shut behind me.
I couldn’t move forward because a red core was in my way, and I only had simple bombs to get rid of it. This put me in range of those space pirates. Reset.
Ouch, the last time I saved was before the Ninja Pirates and Red Core boss rooms, which I really didn’t want to do again…
Custom music is fine, but I didn’t like it because I thought it was a little out of place.
17. Super Metroid: Subversion
This hack has a lot of special stuff, but it still feels like Super Metroid. I really like how the record and hint system has been set up.
Every place feels different, and some of them even have their own sub-areas. Level planning is very good.
There are many ways to get around, and it never feels like a chore.
I really liked the special music. It works very well in each place.
Exploring is a lot of fun. There are a lot of secrets to find, including a place that you don’t have to go to at all.
This is my new favorite way to change Super Metroid. Thanks a lot to the writers!
It has to be played. Recommended.
16. Super Metroid SCM
This is the best challenge hack for short charge problems by a long shot. There are no real changes to the map, but probably 90% of rooms require you to solve some kind of speed-up game to move forward or get an item.
Before I played this, I could barely get a 15-tile short charge on a good day, but I became obsessed with practice and solving them, which led to a lot of 13, 14, and 15 tile charges. The hardest ones with 13 tiles always seemed to be linked to one ammo item.
Was able to solve all of the puzzles with a stutter 4-tap, except for one that needed a mandatory 12-tile charge.
The creator left an interesting message in that room, so it must have been a dream of his to pull off. That wasn’t going to work out.
There was a troll area for a certain beam that didn’t really fit the theme of the hack and seemed like a bad design choice compared to the rest of the hack.
Spent way too long trying to get into that area. Other than the 12 tile task, I couldn’t remember where I’d missed an e-tank and a missile.
I was tired of running around and going backwards, so I just finished 3 items short. All in all, this is one of the best challenge hacks, and playing it made me better.
15. Super Metroid Challenge
If you’re new to ROM hacking and want to learn how it all works, you can start with something simple like Super Metroid Challenge.
This hard hack, created by SMILEuser96, will put your Metroidvania skills to the test while also giving plenty of energy tanks and missiles for support.
You’d never guess it by looking at the sprites, but you’re not playing as Samus.
On Planet GDQ15, you are a different bounty hunter. You’ll have to track down an alien apparition here.
Despite its brief length, the game rotates numerous non-essential things every time you play it, significantly increasing replayability.
Consider B2-TW, a hack by prolific creator Grime with a unique twist for something far more out-of-the-box.
“Balls to the wall” is abbreviated as B2-TW. And you’ll have to solve numerous puzzles and trials as Samus in morph ball form.
To get it out of this unique maze alive, you’ll need foresight and ability.
It’s one of the better “mini” hacks out there, and it reminds me of the old Bounce game that came pre-loaded on earlier phones.
Perhaps a Super Metroid Bounce is in order?
13. Super Metroid Z-Factor
The first fully-realized Super Metroid conversion on our list is Metaquarius’ Super Metroid Z-Factor, which entirely redesigns Planet Zebes and incorporates elements from the GBA title Metroid: Zero Mission.
Aside from a few annoyingly difficult spots, the game is just slightly more difficult than Super Metroid in both fighting and exploration.
This hack’s finest feature, along with its fantastic boss roster, is its interesting yet challenging exploration.
The fanbase is divided on this one. And it can be too much if you aren’t familiar with the most complex Super Metroid tactics, but I couldn’t leave out such an entertaining hack.
12. Super Metroid Redesign
Super Metroid Redesign, on the other hand, is one of the franchise’s most beloved ROM hacks.
It had a big impact when it was initially released.
This has inspired many to characterize it as the “ultimate Super Metroid ROM hack,” however I think it’s a little overrated.
Planet Zebes, new abilities, and tough platforming are all fantastic. However, as a whole, it suffers from poor pacing and other vexing elements.
Having saying that, it’s still a lot of fun to play. And confronting the mysteries of the Chozo near the climax of the game is as climactic as anything in the official releases.
11. Super Metroid Redux
ShadowOne333, the creator, has been releasing ROM hacks for quite some time.
His most well-known release, Super Metroid: GBA Style, is not his best.
That would be Super Metroid Redux, which expands on the most successful ideas from Super Metroid: GBA Style.
Redux, like its predecessor, combines a variety of features from different ROM hacks into a seamless collaboration heavily influenced by Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission on the GBA.
It also contains a number of alternative elements, such as Heavy Physics, that you can select for a more personalized experience.
10. Super Metroid: Escape II
No, this isn’t the licensed video game tie-in to Eiffel65’s “I’m Blue (da ba dee),” but rather the most recent addition to Japanese designer Hiroishi’s Super Metroid hack lineup.
It’s unknown why the color blue is so important in the hack’s aesthetics. But it distinguishes it.
The basis of the game, as well as some other fascinating information, may be found in the game’s ReadMe file… providing you can understand Japanese.
In any event, the game remains a creative hack with wonderful improvements such as a hub area and numerous incentives for rescuing all the animals you can on your road to success.
9. Super Metroid Phazon Hack
The Super Metroid Phazon Hack is one of the most extensively recommended and debated hacks in the Super Metroid fan community.
This is a game that is naturally enjoyable to play. However, it includes additional tile sets, adversaries, and a plethora of personalized content.
Aside from the fully rebuilt Planet Zebes (which will have you engrossed in exploration for hours), I appreciate the attention to detail and addition of treasures that unlock practical rewards as you gather them.
Sure, it might be frustrating at times. And the new weaponry aren’t really exciting.
However, designer Red_M0nk3y was able to create a wonderfully entertaining hack that you should certainly check out.
8. Super Metroid Containment Chamber
It’s not a SCP creepypasta or anything like that.
Super Metroid Containment Chamber, developed by Lioran, provides players with increasingly difficult riddles as they proceed through the ROM hack.
Each area is a self-contained puzzle in and of itself.
The game retains vanilla basics, but the puzzles are unique and innovative, forcing you to think outside the box.
This is a complex hack that is not for beginners.
Containment Chamber, on the other hand, is a terrific way to spend an afternoon if your gamer muscles are aching for a challenge.
7. Metroid Super Zero Mission
After the infamous Hyper Metroid, Metroid Super Zero Mission is easily the most discussed SM ROM hack, and it’s easy to see why.
This stunning hack, created by Sbniconico, seeks an aesthetic middle ground between Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission.
It works well, and exploring each of the superbly designed portions is a great pleasure.
It’s not particularly difficult, but it can get intense, and there are a few times in the game that will undoubtedly make you sweat. If that isn’t enough, there is also a difficult mode.
6. Metroid Legacy
Metroid Legacy, one of the very first finished large-scale Super Metroid hacks, was published to critical acclaim in 2005.
Banana Oyaji, the hack’s creator, made sure to include a slew of original components, including totally new maps, layouts, and enemy placement.
It felt revolutionary at the time.
Many people began to refer to it as the unofficial sequel to Super Metroid.
Nowadays, there is a considerably broader choice of ROM hack alternatives to choose from.
Still, this is a critical component of SM ROM hacking. And you should try it if you haven’t already.
5. Super Metroid Nature
In my travels through Super Metroid hacking forums and subreddits, I came across many people praising Jefe962’s Super Metroid Nature as one of the best hacks available, and a spiritual successor to Metroid Legacy.
And it’s easy to understand why.
This game includes a completely revamped visual style, distinct color palettes, and an engrossing atmosphere that makes it feel like a true sequel to the original Super Metroid.
That’s mirrored in its gameplay, which feels comparable to vanilla SM with slight tweaks.
4. Hyper Metroid
RealRed’s Hyper Metroid must be the most well-known Super Metroid ROM modification. And one of the most well-known SNES hacks in general.
The game places a strong emphasis on open-ended exploration, which can become tedious if you’re not a die-hard Metroidvania fan.
It also has a brighter color scheme and a deeper storyline that will keep you interested throughout the campaign.
Physics can be amusing at times. However, the fantastic resprites and fully customizable weapon system more than make up for that.
3. Ancient Chozo
I’m a big fan of the Metroidvania genre. But I lose interest when the investigation becomes tedious and there aren’t as many fresh discoveries, powers, and mysteries to discover.
Albert V.’s amazing ROM hack is ideal for people like me.
It’s brimming with surprises to be discovered all throughout the enormous map.
It also has an updated color palette, new custom opponents, and challenging puzzles that will require your head to work as hard as your fingers to complete.
2. Temple of the Winds
If you loved the concept of Ancient Chozo, check out Albert V’s collaboration with hacker Moehr: Temple of the Winds.
It’s the list’s most recently released hack. It’s also the first chapter in a new series called “A Hunter Born,” which explains why it’s so short.
More information is available in the game’s manual, which you should definitely read quickly to understand the plot.
Short or not, it’s easily the most visually appealing Super Metroid hack to date.
This allows you to easily become immersed in the game’s surroundings as you progress from one surprise to the next.
1. Super Metroid: Ascent
If the Metroid ROM Hacking community can agree on one thing, it’s Benox50’s Super Metroid: Ascent.
This superb hack pushes limits and maintains high quality throughout.
It focuses heavily on exploration and riddles. The controls and mechanics remain similar to the original Super Metroid, but the planet’s structure has been changed to feel more maze-like, making exploration tough but rewarding.
Every region in this adventure has a distinct appearance, although they all look equally wonderful.
If I can just persuade you to play one of these ROM hacks, let it be this 16-bit gem.