Metroid Prime is a first-person action-adventure video game developed by Retro Studios and Nintendo for the GameCube video game console. It was released in North America on November 17, 2002, and in Japan and Europe the following year. Metroid Prime is the fifth main installment in the Metroid series, and the first Metroid game to use 3D computer graphics. Because exploration takes precedence over combat, Nintendo classifies the game as a first-person adventure rather than a first-person shooter. On the same day as its North American release, Nintendo also released the Game Boy Advance game Metroid Fusion, marking the return of the Metroid series after an eight-year hiatus following Super Metroid (1994).
Metroid Prime is the first of the three-part Prime storyline, which takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. Like previous games in the series, Metroid Prime has a science fiction setting in which players control the bounty hunter Samus Aran. The story follows Samus as she battles the Space Pirates and their biological experiments on the planet Tallon IV. The game was a collaboration between Retro's staff in Austin, Texas, and Japanese Nintendo employees, including producer Shigeru Miyamoto, who suggested the project after visiting Retro's headquarters in 2000.
The game garnered critical praise and commercial success, selling more than a million units in North America alone. It won a number of Game of the Year awards, and it is considered by many critics and gamers to be one of the greatest video games ever made, remaining one of the highest-rated games on Metacritic. In 2009, an enhanced version was released for the Wii as a standalone game in Japan, and as part of the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation internationally.