Sometimes fans want to see a video game remake that the original developers just have no intention of ever making. Some of the more savvy fans see this as a sign that they need to do the work themselves, reimagining their favorite games in new styles and platforms. The passion expressed in these projects is wonderful to see, but some stand out from the crowd. Here are the best fan remakes we’ve seen, in alphabetical order.
Related: The 10 games that need a remake the most
Another Metroid 2 Remake, usually abbreviated as AM2R, is the ultimate Nintendo fan game. Developed to celebrate the series’ 30th anniversary, it reinterprets the GameBoy title Metroid 2 in the style of Super Metroid on the Super Nintendo. Original designer Milton Guasti, aka DoctorM64, halted work on the project after Nintendo sent a DMCA takedown notice, but the Metroid community took it upon themselves to complete the work.
Black Mesa’s creators had the opposite experience. For more than a decade, Crowbar Collective worked to rebuild the original Half-Life the way it was intended to be played, restoring cut content and expanding other sequences while vastly improving graphical fidelity. The result is a resounding success that original developer Valve is openly selling on Steam.
Not all remakes advance in terms of graphics – sometimes reinventing a game on older hardware is the smartest thing to do. That’s what developer Lilith did with Bloodborne, taking the modern PlayStation 4 classic and rewinding it to the original PlayStation polygons. The game includes boss fights against the Cleric Beast, Father Gascoigne and even an original monster. Next up is Bloodborne Kart.
daytime running lights
Also known as DoomRL or Doom the Roguelike, DRL changes the shooter in every way imaginable, turning it into a top-down roguelike adventure. Presented by Kornel Kisielewicz and Derek Yu, the latter of whom also designed Spelunky, the project eventually saw its own spiritual successor. Jupiter Hell is the same principle, but without anything to piss off id Software’s lawyers.
GoldenEye 007 may be part of Nintendo Switch Online now, but the team at GoldenEye: Source overhauled the N64 shooter years in advance. By moving the retro game to Valve’s Source engine, the creators were able to make the game look absolutely incredible. Aesthetically it really does look like James Bond from Half-Life.
Grand Theft Auto Vice Cry: Remastered
Long before Grand Theft Auto 6 leaked and tipped its hat towards Vice City, this mod pushed the Floridian GTA game forward. Vice Cry is a mod for GTA V that will port all of Vice City and make it look like it was made today. Not only did it give the existing game a fresh new look (the water looks wonderful), but it also included a bunch of brand new models and other assets.
Similarly, Skyblivion is working to bring The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion fully to Skyrim. It’s not officially out yet, but that’s understandable given the scope of the project. There’s a whole team of volunteers working on it and a quick scan of the gallery on the blog shows how excellent their work looks. More than 10 years of development has gone into this mod, which allows users to customize how many changes they actually want to see in the final product.
Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit
Finally we have something for the Sonic fans. Sonic Triple Trouble was originally a Game Gear release, but developer Noah Copeland wondered what it would look like as a Sega Genesis game instead. The result is a game with a higher pixel count, a wider range of colors and a choice of new level layouts. This could be a great appetizer before Sonic Frontiers releases in November.