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1. Super Mario Bros. on Commodore 64
Some of these projects are really niche, and the best example is Super Mario Bros. on the Commodore 64.
One dedicated fan spent seven years figuring out how to bring the classic NES game to the Commodore 64. But it took Nintendo just a few days to yank the game from the internet.
2. Pokémon Uranium
In some ways, Pokémon Uranium was the perfect blend of old and new for franchise fans.
It used the same aesthetic and gameplay of the original games, allowing players to explore a new land and discover one hundred new Pokémon.
But players could also make friends online and trade Pokémon, making this fan game its own viral craze. Nintendo quickly shut it down, although fans have done their best to keep it alive.
What if you mixed Pokémon and World of Warcraft?
Then you’d have Pokénet, a game that used classic Pokémon gameplay to let you explore a virtual world full of other players you could interact with.
It’s such a great idea that many fans are still puzzled Nintendo never tried their own version of this concept after taking Pokénet away from us.
4. No Mario’s Sky
No Mario’s Sky was the ultimate mashup of different ideas.
It took the idea of No Man’s Sky (where players navigate and survive across procedurally-generated planets) and turned it into a 2D survival game featuring Mario.
The game got Nintendo’s attention (especially after it appeared on The Colbert Report) and they took it down.
But in a cheeky twist, it now lives, minus Mario, with a new name referencing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: DMCA’s Sky.
5. Another Metroid 2 Remake
Despite its humble name, Another Metroid 2 Remake (AM2R) was the best fan remake of the original Metroid 2 released for the Game Boy.
This was a full-color, widescreen experience that showcased extreme ambition and talent. But Nintendo yanked the game down, leaving fans with no good way to play one of the best Metroid games ever made.
6. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 2D
Aside from Nintendo’s lawyers, the difficulty of any good fan game is finding something new to do with the original characters and concepts.
With The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 2D, the creators took the beloved 3D gameplay of the N64 title and turned it into a Link to the Past-style 2D game.
Nintendo quickly took down the link to download this title, but both the development team and the fan community have tried to keep it alive.
7. Super Mario 64 HD
Some of Nintendo’s takedowns make more sense than others.
For example, they were very quick to take down the Unity-powered Super Mario 64 HD remake.
Fans wondered why Nintendo would take down this much-hyped game, but it all made sense when they released their own HD Super Mario 64 as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
8. Zelda 30 Tribute
Sometimes, the best fan games come from the simplest ideas.
For example, the Zelda 30 Tribute focused on two things: giving the original Legend of Zelda a 3D facelift and letting players enjoy the whole game on their internet browser of choice.
Nintendo took this ambitious title down and while the creator bears them no ill will, many fans are still angry at Nintendo taking down this labor of love.
9. Pokémon Prism
Instead of being an entirely new game, Pokémon Prism was a ROM hack of Pokémon Crystal, which was itself a hack of Pokémon Gold.
It featured new regions, new creature types, and a whopping 253 Pokémon. As you might expect, Nintendo kept fans from “catching them all.”
10. Peach’s Untold Tales
Peach’s Untold Tales may not be the best Nintendo fan game, but it’s definitely the weirdest.
This erotic game is all about Princess Peace and other Mario characters hooking up in the most NSFW ways possible.
The fact that Nintendo took it down is not surprising, but the fact that it took them eight years to do so is downright crazy.
11. Legend of Zelda: The Missing Link
Legend of Zelda: The Missing Link was quite ambitious.
It set out to bridge the gap between the N64 classics Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.
It had killer gameplay and a sweet soundtrack, but Nintendo yanked this title out from under its legion of fans.
12. Mario Royale
As the name implies, Mario Royale was a royale-style Mario game that let you compete against 99 other players all at once.
It’s a cool concept, but Nintendo sent the dev a cease and desist letter only to release their own version, Super Mario Bros. 35, a year later. Talk about ripping off ideas.
13. Breath of the NES
Breath of the NES set out to recreate the classic Breath of the Wild Zelda adventure with NES-style graphics.
It showed amazing creativity, but Nintendo killed this project before it could achieve its true potential.
14. Full Screen Mario
Before there was Super Mario Maker, there was Full Screen Mario.
This was the first fan game that made it easy for fans to edit their own Super Mario Bros. levels together.
Nintendo took this game down about one year before releasing Super Mario Maker, leading fans and even Full Screen Mario’s creator to wonder if they stole the idea.
15. Zelda Maker
Given the success of Super Mario Maker, fans longed for that style of game applied to other titles.
That led to Zelda Maker, a game that allowed players to create their own dungeons for Link to explore. Fearing Nintendo’s lawyers, the creator changed the game to Legend Maker.
This Patreon-funded game is still a fun dungeon-maker with a retro aesthetic, but it no longer uses Nintendo’s own characters.
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