8 Games Like 2D Metroid | TheReviewGeek Recommends

Feel More Dread & Angst With These Titles

Metroid’s 2D games are often overlooked by its 3D entries. While the 2D games went on to inspire a whole sub-genre of similar titles, fans still clamor for Samus’s return to the 3D landscape. This is because the 3D games offer better visuals, incredible gameplay, and a powerful soundtrack. However, Samus’s adventures in the 2D sphere aren’t too far off.

Her recent expedition in the 2D Metroid game, Metroid Dread, captured the same chilling atmosphere and thrilling gameplay fans adored from her 3D endeavors. While the graphics in these titles aren’t as glorious, they get the job done in selling tension and suspense.

If you’ve finished playing Metroid Dread or any other 2D Metroid game and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 8 picks.

Of course, for all the games we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link, so you can check out our full thoughts on that and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.

So without further ado, we present 8 games to check out if you’re looking for a game that hits the same as the 2D Metroid titles.


Castlevania is one of the most hardcore platforming games of its time. Like Metroid, it went on to inspire many developers to create titles with a similar dark atmosphere. It features many mature and serious themes while also providing a soundtrack that’s exhilarating.

Unfortunately, its first title lacked some features Metroid had at the start. These small aspects consist of the inability to hop off stairs and whip foes in different directions. While these are small hindrances, it does allow the game to offer the same degree of challenge as Metroid. The enemy and boss designs are also horrifying in strength and design. You’ll find yourself raging a few times, too.

However, these aspects, along with its incredible sound design and pixel visuals, are what makes Castlevania such an iconic title to play. Simon Belmont is also a likable protagonist with enough brawn and might to excite fans of brutal worlds. If you enjoyed the spookier aspects of Metroid, definitely give any of the the classic Castlevania titles a try.

Hollow Knight

If you enjoyed the dark and dreadful atmosphere from the 2D Metroid games, Hollow Knight promises more of the same. It’s one of the most beloved indie games to date. With its gloomy yet cartoon-like art design and the sensational world, it gradually builds upon, Metroid fans are in for a treat with Hollow Knight.

Hollow Knight follows the insect swordsman, Hollow Knight, and his journey to an abandoned city called Hallownest. The Hallownest is home to many formidable foes and challenges. These challenges have enticed many beings like Hollow Knight to take them on, but only a few have survived. Therefore, it’s your task to explore Hallownest and find out the hidden secrets that lie deep within its history.

Hallownest is as creepy and thrilling as the world Samus visits during her travels in Metroid. They offer many routes and hidden areas for fans to explore. Hollow Knight, himself, is a great character and captures the silent archetype wonderfully.

As you punch and blast your way through enemies, you’ll feel just as heroic and powerful as Samus. Hollow Knight also develops his powers gradually throughout the games, as she does. So if you’re looking for another spooky yet charming platformer with beautiful visuals, check it out.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a popular roguelike action platformer game that captures the same atmosphere as Metroid. This game evokes a strong feeling of adventure and angst. The game’s castle setting offers many hidden areas that will engross Metroid fans in awe-inspiring circumstances.

The enemies are on par with the dangerous aliens Samus encounters during their travels. They deal massive damage and will leave players fuming in rage. Thankfully, you’ll gain access to upgrades that will allow you to strengthen your equipment and skills.

The game does offer something different from Metroid regarding its randomized level design. This allows every playthrough to feel different and less repetitive. If anyone of these details piques your interest in Dead Cells, go out and purchase it.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens

Shantae is WayForward’s beloved mascot. She’s a charismatic young half-genie heroine whose quirkier than Samus but is on par with her regarding heroism. Her games are known for being a bit raunchy but filled with enough charm, wit, and humor to keep fans entertained.

Shane and the Seven Sirens is the latest instalment in the Shantae series of games by WayForward. In this title, Shantae gains new fusion and magical abilities that’ll allow her to explore sunken cities, meet new friends, and battle her greatest foes yet, the Seven Sirens.

Like Metroid, this game will feature many labyrinths, each of them hiding many secrets and treasures. The bosses are as challenging as the foes you’ll encounter in Metroid. However, the learning curve to defeat said bosses isn’t massively high. This means you won’t need to worry about spending hours trying to defeat the first few Sirens in the game.

Like Samus, Shantae’s new abilities won’t be given to her right off the bat. The player will need to progress through a good chunk of the game to gain access to these new powers. Shantae and the Seven Sirens also features collectibles and a variety of mini-games for players to try out.


Carrion captures the same horrific tone as many 2D Metroid titles. Unlike Metroid, this game follows a monstrous protagonist whose set on revenge. The monster is willing to do anything to attain said vengeance.

The character gives off the same spooky energy as Samus’s nemesis E.M.M.I. whenever you come into contact with it. As the monster, you’ll be able to pick up and hurl humans from afar using your gross tentacles. In the vein of Samus’s morph ball, you’ll be able to transform and slip through crevices, vents, and doorways.

Like Metroid, these cracked surfaces will lead you to discover new areas. These new areas will often harbor new upgrades, victims, and other neat things.

The Messenger

In The Messenger, players must guide a young ninja through a supernatural world to help him deliver a scroll that will save his clan from doom. It’s an action platforming game with a story that gradually unravels into a time-traveling adventure filled with humor and suspense.

The Messenger’s side-scrolling gameplay feels fluid and really captures the ninja aesthetic the game’s aiming for. The game offers a compelling upgrade system with hidden abilities that’ll enhance fans’ experience with the title.

There are numerous branching paths and hidden levels to discover in the game. This gives players reasons to revisit the title multiple times. The game’s 8 and 16-bit sprites look vibrantly stunning. The small animations in the game are full of personality and charm.


Iconoclasts is an incredible platformer with incredible gameplay and a gut-wrenching story. You’ll find yourself traversing through numerous detailed locales filled with enemies and puzzles. Like Samus, this game’s protagonist Robin is no push-over. She’ll attain unbelievable gear that will help her defeat the threats in front of her.

Iconoclasts takes place on a dying planet full of technical marvels and wondrous creatures. It follows Robin, who dreams of becoming a mechanic who can assist people. Her planet and mother haven’t been that kind to her, though. Her mother views her as a sinner while there’s always something amiss happening around her.

To make matters worse, she has devious agents coming after her for unknown reasons. You must guide Robin through many dangerous environments and bosses to help her stop her world’s suffering. This game is a heart-wrenching epic that delivers more twists and power-ups as you progress.

Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge captures the same mysterious, dark, and suspenseful atmosphere as Metroid. In this game, you’ll explore a large labyrinth reaping in secrets and crazy enemies. The player character is of human descent like Samus and is unaware of the world they are traversing through.

The labyrinth is composed of many locations, each looking creepy and horrific. You’ll explore, crawl, and leap over many hurdles that stand in your way. Like Metroid, many of Axiom Verge’s levels offer hidden areas that players must perform specific actions to unlock.

These areas often contain useful items and artefacts that will help the player progress through the game. At the same time, there are many weapons, tools, and abilities for you to unlock in the game. Each serves a purpose and comes with different properties.

The developers of the title encourage players to break the game (not literally) by utilizing glitches to stop foes and solve puzzles. If you’re looking for another platformer title that adopts some of Metroid’s traits, play Axiom Verge.

So there we have it, our 8 video game picks to keep you busy after playing any of the 2D Metroid games.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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