Metroid has always been a mesh of different DNA: a little of Zelda's exploration mixed in with the acrobatics of Mario and then tied together with some good old fashioned plasma ballistics. Even taking into account that heritage, there was nothing quite like Metroid Prime when it launched in 2002. Coming up to 13 years later, and despite a couple of high quality sequels and almost a decade of increasingly fevered begging from fans, there's been nothing like it ever since.
This is a unique game, and certainly a very special one. Returning to it today - which is now easier than ever thanks to the recent release of Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii U's Virtual Console - it's clear that the years haven't dulled its atmosphere or undermined its achievements. If anything, they're brought sharper into focus: as an updating of a 2D classic into three dimensions, the original Prime has earned itself a place alongside Super Mario 64 as one of Nintendo's greats.