Metroid vs. Zelda: Analyzing the Superior Game for Adult Players

When it comes to video games, few names resonate as strongly as Metroid and Zelda. Both series have become cultural icons, capturing the hearts and minds of gamers, young and old. But as adults, we want gaming experiences that offer depth, challenge, and compelling stories.

In this in-depth article, we’ll take a deep dive into the worlds of Metroid and Zelda to find out which games are actually better suited for adults.

Embark on an epic quest to uncover the strengths and nuances of these two popular series! 

Comparison Aspect Metroid Zelda 
A blend of sci-fi and futuristic aesthetics. Non-linear exploration with autonomy in traversing worlds. Linear progression with opportunities for exploration. 
Storytelling and Narrative Depth Character-driven storytelling, introspective themes. Epic adventure, destiny, and hero’s journey tropes.
Atmosphere and Immersion Dark and eerie ambiance, a sense of isolation. Whimsical and enchanting world sense of wonder. 
Difficulty and Challenge Challenging combat and puzzles, rewarding exploration. The balance between accessibility and moments of difficulty. 
Aesthetic Artistry Blend of sci-fi and futuristic aesthetics. Timeless beauty, living watercolor painting. 
Legacy and Impact Pioneering non-linear exploration and female representation.Cultural impact, influence on game development and storytelling. 

Metroid: Lonely Odyssey 

Metroid is a sci-fi action-adventure series that first appeared on screen in 1986. Developed by Nintendo, this series follows the adventures of Samus Aran, a lone bounty hunter who explores an alternate world.

The series offers a dark and immersive atmosphere as players traverse labyrinth-like environments, battle terrifying enemies, and uncover the mysteries of the galaxy. 

From the beginning, Metroid introduced us to the concept of non-linear exploration, allowing players to freely traverse the game world at their own pace.

The main character of Metroid.
Metroid’s main character

This open structure offers an immersive experience for adult players seeking challenge and self-discovery. As Samus Aran, players must overcome physical obstacles, decipher puzzling puzzles, and confront giant bosses, making the journey incredibly rewarding. 

But what really sets Metroid apart is the depth of its story. The series delves into Samus’ backstory and provides insight into her past and identity.

This exploration of the character’s emotions and motivations will resonate with adult audiences who appreciate thoughtful and emotional stories. 

As a result, Metroid offers an immersive experience for adult gamers seeking things like:

  • Adventure
  • Exploration
  • Solitude
A YouTube video about the timeline of Metroid

Zelda: Adventure Through Time 

The Legend of Zelda series, also developed by Nintendo, debuted in 1986 alongside Metroid. Guided by the heroic Link, players embark on a journey to rescue Princess Zelda and defeat the evil Ganon. The series is known for its action-adventure gameplay, clever puzzles, and memorable characters. 

One of Zelda’s strengths lies in its diverse and fascinating world. Players traverse vast terrain, explore dungeons, and interact with various characters. This immersive environment encourages curiosity and discovery and speaks to every adult gamer adventurer. 

Zelda’s gameplay revolves around solving complex puzzles in dungeons and temples that require critical thinking and creativity. The satisfaction gained from deciphering these challenges appeals to the intellect of adult gamers and is an intellectually stimulating experience. 

In addition, the “Legend of Zelda” series is intertwined with complex stories that go beyond the simple story of rescuing a princess. Themes such as destiny, courage, and the eternal struggle between good and evil add depth and emotional resonance to the journey.

The complexity of this narrative appeals to the mature sensibilities of adult gamers and enhances the overall experience. 

Zelda's breath of the wild.
Zelda’s Breath of the Wild

Metroid vs. Zelda: Head-to-Head Comparison 

When we delve deeper into comparing Metroid and Zelda for adults, it’s important to consider the aspects that really set these series apart. 

Game mechanics and degrees of freedom 

Metroid’s non-linear exploration gives players the freedom to plan their path and emphasizes gameplay personality.

A vast, interconnected world encourages players to discover hidden secrets and rewards curiosity and in-depth exploration.

Zelda’s progression, on the other hand, is a bit more linear, with players following predetermined paths, but still offers opportunities for exploration.

Storytelling and narrative depth 

The Metroid story revolves around Samus on her personal journey, revealing her past and her encounters with her evil enemies. By contrast, Zelda’s stories revolve around the protagonist’s quest, with the fate of the world at stake.

Both stories resonate with adult gamers, with Metroid exploring more introspective themes and Zelda touching on classic hero’s journey tropes. 

Atmosphere and immersion 

Metroid’s dark and eerie atmosphere creates a sense of isolation, emphasizing the player’s loneliness and vulnerability. But Zelda offers a more vibrant and quirky atmosphere, lending its captivating world a sense of wonder and awe. 

Difficulties and challenges 

Metroid’s emphasis on exploration and discovery gives players a sense of accomplishment. Challenging combat and complex puzzles are rewarding and aimed at adult players looking for a more challenging difficulty level.

By comparison, Zelda strikes a balance between approachable gameplay and challenging moments, making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of audiences.

Metroid is aimed at adults looking for a more challenging gaming experience

Metroid vs. Zelda: Aesthetic Art 

Metroid’s Sci-Fi Visuals

The art of Metroid revolves around a mix of sci-fi and futuristic aesthetics. From eerie and stark landscapes to unique and menacing alien creatures, the visual design creates an immersive experience that complements the game’s dark and mysterious atmosphere.

The attention to detail in the environment and character design adds depth to the story and draws the player even deeper into the world of Samus Aran. 

Zelda’s Timeless Art Design 

By contrast, Zelda’s art designs are a testament to timeless beauty. The series features a mesmerizing blend of shading and painterly graphics, creating a world that feels like a living watercolor painting.

The art design captures the essence of fantasy and adventure, turning every corner of Hyrule and beyond into a painting-like masterpiece. The attention to detail in the characters and scenery adds a layer of surprise and enchantment to the overall experience. 


  • Metroid’s art design emphasizes a blend of sci-fi and futuristic aesthetics, creating an immersive and dark atmosphere that complements the game’s narrative. 
  • Zelda’s art design, on the other hand, showcases timeless beauty with a charming blend of cel-shaded and painterly graphics, turning the game world into a living watercolor painting. 
  • Metroid’s legacy in gaming history lies in its pioneering approach to non-linear exploration and representation of a strong female protagonist, inspiring game developers and breaking barriers. 
  • On the other hand, Zelda’s cultural impact extends beyond gaming, making it one of the greatest and most influential video game franchises of all time, with elements like music, iconic items, and characters becoming cultural touchstones. 
Zelda's main character.
The main character of Zelda

Metroid vs. Zelda: Legacy and Impact 

Metroid’s Landmark Legacy 

Metroid holds an important place in gaming history as her one of the early examples of non-linear exploration and female representation in video games.

The influence of this series is reflected in various other game series, inspiring game developers to create more open and immersive experiences.

Samus Aran’s status as a female protagonist also broke down barriers, paving the way for even more diversity in the game. 

Cultural Influence of Zelda 

Zelda has also had a lasting impact on gaming culture. It’s considered one of the biggest and most influential video game series of all time.

Not only did the series redefine action-adventure gaming, but it also influenced storytelling and worldbuilding in the medium. The music of Zelda, iconic items like the Master Sword, and unforgettable characters like Link have become cultural touchstones recognized beyond the gaming world.

While Zelda has a deeper impact culturally, both series have contributed significantly to gaming history.


Even if you have never played the “Metroid” or “Zelda” series, can adults enjoy it?

Both franchises offer unique, immersive experiences that cater to the tastes of adult gamers seeking challenge, exploration, and immersive narratives.

Which game offers a more emotional story?

Metroid’s emphasis on character-driven storytelling and introspective themes provides a deep emotional connection to many adult gamers.

Are Zelda games for casual adult gamers?

Zelda games balance accessibility and challenge, making them fun for both casual gamers and experienced adult gamers.


  • At the end of this epic journey through the realms of Metroid and Zelda, you’ll find that both franchises hold a special place in the hearts of adult gamers.
  • With its dark and immersive atmosphere, Metroid is aimed at those seeking a more solitary and challenging adventure.
  • Meanwhile, Zelda’s captivating world and clever puzzles will appeal to the curiosity and sense of adventure of all adult gamers.
  • Ultimately, choosing between Metroid and Zelda comes down to personal preference.
  • Each series offers a rich and immersive gaming experience, making them timeless classics that continue to entertain adult gamers around the world. 

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