Metroid for NES is about twice that tall, but it's broken up into general areas that are in turn broken up into smaller sections 1 screen wide or tall.
It's not really broken up as far as the data structure is concerned. Metroid has one unified big map where all areas are laid out, though not every "slot" in that map is used. It works by:
1) Having a room ID for each room. Each screen slot points to a room ID. The same room can be and is extensively reused multiple times. Saves a lot of space for its travel length.
2) Area switch objects - if you pass it (use the elevator), another set of room data and tiles will be used to "dress" the following rooms on the world map. This means multiple rooms with different layout across the different areas share the same room ID. While metroid doesn't expoit this, this half-intentional feature effectively means you can create position-overlapping rooms and criss-crossing corridors in layers even though the world map is a flat ractangle. Btw, you can also cross the boundary to get to the other side of the map if you wanted an effectively nonrectangular shape on your world map.
3) Palette switch objects - if you pass it the palette will switch for the next room - this puts on a facade of variation and helps the player to orient despite the monotonous levels.
As far as the game is concerned, you can fill the whole world map with one long tunnel with an endless seam; vertical or horizontal.
I think the similar engine used in kid icarus
has some elevations
up to 13 screens or so.
between 13 and 20-21. I can't think of any other.
Megaman 2: crashman - 14 screens high, i think.