When fans take video games into their own hands, the results are often unpredictable. Artwork, music, and other types of tributes can range from the gut-wrenchingly awful to the eternally awesome, but only the best projects are worth waiting for. That's why fan-made video game remakes can be one of those things that's worth some patience.
So, when a fan-base creates a video game that's good enough to stand up to the original product, it's always worth a look (at least before the "Cease and Desist" letters start flying). Just in case you missed them, these are the thirteen best video game fan projects that the Internet's seen so far. Whether still in the works, canceled, or on the way to completion, these games are so good, they could definitely be selling on retail shelves.
13. Link's Awakening 3D
Status: Still in Production
An often-overlooked Game Boy title from yesteryear, Link's Awakening still lacks a current generation remake. But with fans like MithosKuu, who's literally rebuilding the entire game screen by painstaking screen, Nintendo's yet again having their work done for them. Still, you've got to admire MithosKuu for his dedication. Piecing together Koholint Island like this is essentially the same as rebuilding the Great Wall of China with matchbox sticks and glue. Even he's not sure when he'll be done, although 2010 seems about as good a year as any.
Of course, this gamer's love of the franchise extends to more than just this one unique title. "I've been a Zelda fan since the days of the SNES," Mithos noted in a short chat with us. "When looking for a 2D game to model in my free time, I decided to go with Link's Awakening because it was one of my favorites. Since Nintendo wasn't currently selling it, there would be less legal trouble then if I had went for something like Link to the Past."
Legend of Mithos
Mithos is still working on the game was we speak, having finished the Overworld of Koholint Island just this March. Now, he's working on the dungeons that make up the majority of Link's Awakening. And there's a LOT of rooms and treasure chests that he'll be working on.
12. GoldenEye Source
Status: Three Betas Completed, Still in Production
Given the departure of so many original Rare team members, it's no surprise that there hasn't been a GoldenEye 007 remake yet. Could you imagine a revamped GoldenEye game with modern graphics and technology? Well, the crew behind GoldenEye Source, yet another dedicated group of Half-Life modders, is taking that physics engine and slapping it all over the Pierce Brosnan movie tie-in like a fine Armani suit.
Plenty of Beta releases have made their way onto the Internet, too, as the GoldenEye Source team has pushed lots of multiplayer power into their product. Aiming to revive what they call "the first best multi-player first-person shooter ever made" sounds like one Hell of a task, but these guys seems to be doing just fine. Since HL modders are traditionally free and clear from the dreaded Cease-and-Desist treatment that plague other remake groups, let's hope that the team slaps together the full single-player sometime in the future.
Looking Good, Mr. Bond
GoldenEye Source still lives at a plodding pace, but you can play several Beta versions of it right now. In the meantime, there's still plently of fun to be had watching the actual GoldenEye movie. Explosions and pouty Russian women: what else could you want?
11. Black Mesa
Status: Still in Production, 2009 Release Planned
At long last, Black Mesa's on the verge of doing what VALVe didn't for Half-Life: Source. And this time, a lot more than the water particles have been changed. Working steadily since 2004, Black Mesa is a collective of modders, artists and coders whose current mission in life is to re-create the original Half-Life with the Source Engine, which powers the technology behind titles like Portal and [[xref:http://www.gamepro.com/games/pc/104033/team-fortress-2/|Team Fortress 2|Team Fortress 2]. Even though VALVe technically did the same thing with their re-release of the first Half-Life, gamers weren't too happy with the lack of new content and questionable visual upgrades. Luckily, Black Mesa's taking things into their own hands.
After 5 Years, Still Alive
Of all the projects on this list, Black Mesa is definitely the longest running continual fan project around. Though the team has adopted an attitude of "it's done when it's done," Black Mesa's been keeping themselves busy with tech demos and tests, as well as keeping fans of the mod up to speed on their official Twitter account.