One of the cool things about PC gaming is how easy it is to access all sorts of offerings created by fans and based on commercial titles, but without the burden of inflexible consoles. Although people might subconsciously associate the ‘fangame’ moniker with ‘low-quality product’, you’re sure to find a lot of nice surprises out there if you go digging around the web. Here, we’re going to share with you some of the best amateur titles we’ve found based on Nintendo’s most iconic release: Super Mario Bros.
It serves as an example of the magnitude of this universe that one of the best fangames out there stars Luigi’s evil nemesis. This spinoff of a spinoff uses the premise of getting psychic powers to swap out the gameplay from the 2D Mario games for an entertaining platformer that harks back to Super Nintendo. And Waluigi himself has now become just another member of the Party Games family.
Super Mario Eclipse
As with the previous game, the best way to create a decent Mario game is to start with situations removed from the saga to develop something a bit different. Super Mario Eclipse plays with darkness and different colors to highlight the light sources you find and present various puzzles and situations with classic playability. And it’s also very pretty!
Super Mario Brawl
It appeared that every base had already been covered after a game appeared where you could go skiing with Mario and company. But what remained unseen in the commercial realm were these characters immersed in a beat’em up gameplay, with the Smash Brawl games being closest to that premise. In this case your character will be up against the whole neighborhood, and you’ll have to get through 32 levels where you’ll find yourself in familiar situations such as driving the Mario Land submarine or fighting inside a vessel while launching turnips at your enemies, in allusion to the European Super Mario Bros 2.
Super Mario All-Stars gathered the three NES games and presented them practically unaltered, except for improved graphics. Odyssey takes this a step further, offering a premise and series of levels inspired on the classic titles but tweaking the layout of the settings and adding gameplay from more modern titles.
Super Mario Bros X
Perhaps the most extensive and ambitious fangame among all those ever made. An homage boasting more than 60 levels and hundreds of games and elements pulled from practically the entire saga that, incorporating aesthetic winks to countless games and even elements from 3D games, offers one of the closest experiences to the Super Mario canon. Five selectable characters, Yoshi, secret worlds, a ‘battle’ mode, and the option to play in multiplayer are just a few of its credentials. And – as the cherry on top – it includes a scene editor that users have even used to make completely original games.