* AndYouThoughtItWouldFail: Before release, Nintendo and Retro made so many controversial choices with the game that no one, not even levelheaded fans and critics, were kind to it. First off, Nintendo letting Retro, an unproven American studio, develop the game rather than doing it themselves. Second, making it in 3D which many expected but was still a controversial choice especially given [[PolygonCeiling how many franchises started to crumble with that jump the gen before it]]. Finally, making it first-person was thought to be the final nail in the coffin for the game having any hopes of being good and feeling like ''Metroid''. When it came out, not only did everyone feel like it was a true ''Metroid'' game, it and its two sequels are generally considered to be among the greatest games of all time.
** The Omega Pirate is the second-to-last boss, but it can be defeated extremely quickly with Super Missiles (it dies to three after you make it vulnerable).
** Metroid Prime itself. While the first part of the battle is quite challenging due to Prime's insanely high stamina and very prolonged length of the fight, the second phase is much easier. The strategy is reduced to dodging shockwaves (which don't even hurt that much if you have enough Energy Tanks), switching visors and waiting for Prime to drop a batch of Phazon so you can zap it with your Phazon Beam, rinse and repeat. While it now spawns Metroids to hinder you, a Power Bomb and/or the Phazon Beam makes quick work of them.
* AwesomeMusic: Kenji Yamamoto strikes again, with a mix of new tunes and remasters of older tracks. [[https://youtu.be/QQCZIb0fbt8 Case in point]].
** Chozo Ghosts. Durable, immune to everything but the Power Beam, capable of knocking out your visor with their attacks, and they spend most of the time invisible. On the bright side, the Super Missile combo works on them, and once you get the X-Ray Visor, they can be tracked when they're invisible.
** Wave Troopers. Ice Troopers can easily be killed with the charged shot + missile trick, Power Troopers can be knocked around with Super Missiles, and the Plasma Beam is powerful enough to cut through Plasma Troopers. However, there's no easy way to deal with Wave Troopers; stunlocking them only works if there's one of them, the Wavebuster is AwesomeButImpractical, and regular shots are very weak. On Hard, too many Wave Troopers spawning can easily screw you over during the Omega Pirate fight.
** Fission Metroids. Basically much more powerful version of the standard Metroids, you can only damage them with a beam that corresponds to their color. They take a long time to kill, and when they take enough damage they split into more Fission Metroids, meaning you can end up fighting several at once. Sometimes you're better off running from these things than you are fighting them (or dropping a [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Power Bomb]] on them, which [[NonElemental will kill them regardless of color]]), and thankfully, you only encounter them in the Impact Crater, so they're not too hard to avoid (in ''Trilogy'', Fission Metriods can be encountered in the Phazon Mines, and they're no less annoying).
* FirstInstallmentWins: While ''Metroid Prime 2'' and ''3'' are not bad at all nor disliked, the original game is much more esteemed and acclaimed.
* HilariousInHindsight: Thardus is a rock monster whose weak point you have to discover by using Samus' visor to scan it. Meanwhile, the crew of ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' have trouble fighting a similar rock monster because they believe that it has no weak points!
* PlayTheGameSkipTheStory: Because scanning for logbook entries is completely optional, its entirely possibly to get through the game with only a surface understanding of the games plot, and without learning any of the games unraveling backstory and lore.
* SpecialEffectFailure: The updated Trilogy version on the Wii has one with the particle effects for the Arm Cannon when it's charging up. Because the Arm Cannon can be freely moved at any angle with the Wii Remote (unlike the Gamecube version where the weapon had limited movement), the particle effects for charging shots became glitched during the porting process of the game. The developers couldn't figure out how to get the effects to work properly and opted to remove the effects entirely. It's very noticeable with the Ice Beam since it no longer forms ice over the Arm Cannon if the shot is being charged up.
* ThatOneLevel: Quite a few.
** The king of all Metroid levels that are a major pain in the ass is unequivocally the '''Phazon Mines'''. This level is not only a nightmare to navigate due to it's multiple levels and incredible size (it's easily twice as big as the Chozo Ruins, for starters) and labyrinthine layout, it also has a bunch of DemonicSpiders lurking around. The first foray into the level, right after the Wrecked Frigate is one of the toughest sequences in the game, and the march to getting the Power Bombs can take upwards of 35 minutes to complete- with ''no save room until '''after''' you get the Power Bombs.''' You also have to march in and out of the Mines frequently, as getting the Power Bombs and Grapple Beam opens up the ability to get the X-Ray Visor and the Plasma Beam, both of which are necessary in navigating the lower portions of the mines and gaining access to the boss of the area.
** The Research Base is one of the creepiest moments in the series, as the player has to contend with Metroids (with no ice beam), invisible Space Pirates, and a chilling atmosphere.
** The Impact Crater is the toughest place in the game, and it reeks of being as hostile as possible- danger lurks around every corner, Metroids are abundant, navigating the place is tough and it's creepy as hell.
* UncannyValley: Samus' EyedScreen when a flare makes her face visible hasn't aged well.
* SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: While the games polygon count is rather average (understandable given the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube only had so much memory to use for such an ambitious game), Retro Studio nailed down the lighting, textures and atmospheric effects of the games environment so well, that so to this day, the games graphical presentation still holds up as first rate.