The demand for resilient infrastructure located in marine environments is expected to increase in the coming decade as rapid urbanization of coastal areas continues and industries such as oil and gas, renewable energy generation or aquaculture move further offshore to utilize the extensive amount of resources and space available on the open ocean. Increasing environmental concerns, global scarcity of various materials, as well as dwindling resource stocks have made sustainability considerations a major issue for the construction of such infrastructure. Metal alloys, as one of the most commonly used materials for marine construction, are often the focus of discussions on criticality and are associated with a high environmental impact if produced from virgin mineral resources. In this paper we analyze the long-term potential of five metal types commonly used in marine construction (carbon steels, stainless steels, aluminum alloys, titanium alloys and nickel-copper alloys). By evaluating and ranking these materials' performance according to 27 precisely defined attributes related to durability, economics, sustainability and future availability, we provide a detailed comparison of each material's strengths and weakness. Additionally, by focusing on the identified weaknesses of the individual materials we discuss promising areas of research which support the sustainable use of these metals for marine construction in the long term.