15 Best Super Metroid ROM Hacks Ever Made

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The original Super Metroid on the SNES came out in 1994 to enthrall audiences with its level design and explorative game design.

This action-adventure game is credited along Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with shaping what we know today as the Metroidvania genre, which now includes gems like Shovel Knight and the fantastic Hollow Knight.

As one of Nintendo’s most acclaimed titles, Super Metroid has inspired many creators to make their own fan games based on the original.

So if you’re looking for some of those to sink your Samus teeth into, our list should help you get started. So you can waste no time diving back into Planet Zebes.

 

15. Super Metroid Challenge

Super Metroid Challenge Hack

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If you’re just getting into ROM hacks and want to know how it all works, you can start your journey with a short one like Super Metroid Challenge.

Made by SMILEuser96, this challenging hack will put your Metroidvania skills to the test while also providing plenty of energy tanks and missiles for support.

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the sprites, but you’re actually not playing as Samus.

You’re playing as a different bounty hunter on Planet GDQ15. Here, you’ll have to hunt down an alien apparition of sorts.

Despite being pretty short, the game shuffles around several non-key items every time you play it, considerably increasing replayability.

 

14. B2-TW

B2-TW ROM Hack Screenshot

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Consider B2-TW, a hack by prolific creator Grime with a very interesting twist for something much more outside-of-the-box.

B2-TW stands for “balls to the wall”. And it’ll have you making your way through several puzzles and challenges as Samus in morph ball form.

You’ll need forethought and skill to make it out of this unique maze alive.

It’s one of the best “mini” hacks around, and it reminds me of the classic Bounce game that used to come pre-loaded on older phones.

Maybe a licensed Super Metroid Bounce is in order?

 

13. Super Metroid Z-Factor

Super Metroid Z-Factor Hack

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The first fully-realized conversion of Super Metroid on our list is Metaquarius’ Super Metroid Z-Factor, which completely redesigns Planet Zebes and injects a couple things inspired from the GBA title Metroid: Zero Mission.

Other than some frustratingly hard areas, the game is only a bit more challenging than Super Metroid, in both combat and exploration.

This engaging yet complex exploration is the best part of this hack, along with its fantastic boss roster.

The fanbase is somewhat split on this one. And it can be too much if you’re not privy to the most advanced Super Metroid techniques, but I couldn’t possibly leave such an engaging hack out.

 

12. Super Metroid Redesign

Super Metroid Redesign ROM Hack

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On the other hand, Super Metroid Redesign is one of the most beloved ROM hacks ever to grace the franchise.

It made a pretty significant impact back when it first came out.

This has led many to describe it as the quintessential Super Metroid ROM hack, but I find that it’s a bit overrated.

The redesigned Planet Zebes, new abilities, and intense platforming are all amazing. But as a complete product, it suffers from bad pacing and some other frustrating details.

That said, it’s still a blast to play for the most part. And standing face to face with the mysteries of the Chozo near the end of the game is climactic like anything in the official releases.

 

11. Super Metroid Redux

Super Metroid Redux ROM Hack

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Creator ShadowOne333 has been rolling out ROM hacks for a while.

His Super Metroid: GBA Style is his most famous release, but it isn’t the best one yet.

That would be Super Metroid Redux, which builds upon the most successful concepts implemented in Super Metroid: GBA Style.

Like its predecessor, Redux brings together a bunch of features from other ROM hacks into a harmonious collaboration greatly influenced by Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission on the GBA.

It also has several optional features like Heavy Physics that you can pick from for a customized experience.

 

10. Super Metroid: Escape II

Super Metroid: Escape II Hack

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No, what you’re seeing isn’t the licensed video game tie-in to Eiffel65’s “I’m Blue (da ba dee)”, but the latest in Japanese creator Hiroishi’s Super Metroid hack roster.

It’s unclear why the color blue holds such an essential spot in the hack’s aesthetics. But it makes it recognizable.

The game’s premise and some other interesting data can be read in the game’s ReadMe file… assuming you can read Japanese.

Whatever the case, the game remains an innovative hack with great additions, like a hub area, and many bonuses for rescuing all the animals you can on your way to victory.

 

9. Super Metroid Phazon Hack

Super Metroid Phazon Hack Screenshot

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One of the most widely recommended and discussed hacks in the Super Metroid fan community is the Super Metroid Phazon Hack.

This is naturally fun to play. But it introduces new tile-sets, new enemies, and lots of custom content.

Other than the completely redesigned Planet Zebes (which will keep you immersed in exploration for hours) I love the attention to detail and addition of collectibles that unlock useful rewards as you obtain them.

Sure, it can get a bit frustrating sometimes. And the new weapons aren’t the most exciting.

But creator Red_M0nk3y succeeded in making a remarkably fun hack that you should definitely check out.

 

8. Super Metroid Containment Chamber

Super Metroid Containment Chamber Screenshot

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No, it’s not an SCP creepypasta or anything of the sort.

Created by Lioran, Super Metroid Containment Chamber offers players progressively harder puzzles as they advance through the ROM hack.

Each room is itself a bit of a self-contained puzzle.

The game maintains vanilla mechanics, but the puzzles are creative and unusual, pushing you to think outside of the box.

This is a difficult hack not meant for newbies.

But if your gamer muscles are aching for a challenge, Containment Chamber is a great way to spend an afternoon.

 

7. Metroid Super Zero Mission

Metroid Super Zero Mission Hack

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Metroid Super Zero Mission is easily the most discussed SM ROM hack after the notorious Hyper Metroid, and it’s easy to see why.

Made by Sbniconico, this gorgeous-looking hack pursues a visual middle-ground between Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission.

It works wonderfully, and going through each of the brilliantly-designed sections is a true pleasure.

It’s not especially hard, but it can get intense, and a couple of moments in the game are sure to make you sweat. If that’s not enough, there’s also a hard mode.

 

6. Metroid Legacy

Metroid Legacy Hack

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Among the very first completed large-scale Super Metroid hacks is Metroid Legacy, released on 2005 to fan acclaim.

Creator Banana Oyaji made sure to inject this hack with a truckload of custom assets, including entirely new maps, layouts, and enemy placement.

It felt so groundbreaking at the time.

Many began referring to it as Super Metroid’s unofficial sequel.

Nowadays, there’s a much wider range of ROM hack options to sink your teeth into.

Still, this remains a core pillar of SM ROM hacking. And you should give it a shot if you haven’t yet.

 

5. Super Metroid Nature

Super Metroid Nature ROM Hack

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In my journey through Super Metroid hacking forums and subreddits, I saw many referring to Jefe962’s Super Metroid Nature as one of the best hacks around, and a bit of a spiritual successor to Metroid Legacy.

And it’s easy to see why.

This game has a completely overhauled visual style, unique color palettes, and a captivating atmosphere that makes it feel like a true sequel to the original Super Metroid.

That’s reflected by its gameplay too, which feels similar to vanilla SM with very minor improvements.

 

4. Hyper Metroid

Hyper Metroid ROM Hack

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Hyper Metroid by creator RealRed must be the single most famous Super Metroid ROM hack. And probably one of the most well-known SNES hacks altogether.

The game focuses heavily on open-ended exploration, to a point where it can get a bit tedious if you’re not a hardcore Metroidvania player.

It also features a more vibrant color palette, and a darker storyline that’ll keep your interest throughout the campaign.

Physics can get a bit ridiculous. But the wonderful resprites and highly-customized weapon system really make up for it.

 

3. Ancient Chozo

Ancient Chozo ROM Hack

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I love the Metroidvania genre. But I’m prone to losing interest whenever the exploration starts becoming grindy, and there aren’t as many new discoveries, abilities, and secrets to find.

This fantastic ROM hack by Albert V. is ideal for people like me.

It’s filled to the brim with secrets to find all over the massive map.

It also brings us an updated color palette, new custom enemies, and challenging puzzles that’ll get your brain working as hard as your fingers to make it through.

 

2. Temple of the Winds

Temple of the Winds ROM Hack

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If you liked the idea behind Ancient Chozo, consider Albert V’s collaborative effort with hacker Moehr: Temple of the Winds.

It’s the most recently released hack on the list. And it’s meant to be the first chapter in a new series called “A Hunter Born”, which is why it’s fairly short.

More details can be found in the game’s manual, which you should probably read briefly to get the story.

Short or not, it’s easily the best-looking Super Metroid hack so far.

This makes it easy to lose yourself in the game’s landscapes as you make your way from one surprise to the next.

 

1. Super Metroid: Ascent

Super Metroid: Ascent ROM Hack Screenshot

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If there’s one thing the Metroid ROM Hacking community seems to agree on, it’s Benox50’s Super Metroid: Ascent.

This fantastic hack pushes boundaries and remains of excellent quality from start to finish.

It places a lot of emphasis on exploration and puzzles. The controls and physics remain close to vanilla Super Metroid, but the layout of the planet has been overhauled to feel more maze-like, making exploration challenging but rewarding.

Every area in this adventure has a distinct look, but all of them look just as good.

If I can convince you to play at least one of these ROM hacks, let it be this 16-bit masterpiece.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.