Metroid Prime was released in the US in November 2002, and in Japan and Europe shortly after. That makes it the 10th anniversary of the game. Ten years, and it has hardly aged at all.
Metroid was always a series that had a reasonable fan base, never particularly a record breaker, but a solid enough member of Nintendo's catalogue of franchises. Whilst the NES and Gameboy Metroids were decent enough games, it was with Super Metroid in 1994, that its popularity increased. Taking elements from the previous games but improving on its visuals and atmosphere, Super Metroid was received with critical acclaim. But because it was so good, expectations for the series increased and it created a massive issue for Nintendo. How it could be bettered and what direction the series could take from there? This meant we didn't see Samus Aran for another eight years.