Nintendo has a reputation as a family-friendly company that values fun above all else. However, they have some pretty shark-like lawyers that help them contain things when that fun gets out of hand.
The best example of this is fan games. Countless fans have combined their skills in art and programming to create awesome homages to their favorite Nintendo games and characters.
How does Nintendo react? One by one, the big “N” shuts down each and every one of them. Here are some of the most awesome fan games that Nintendo made sure you can never play.
Mario Battle Royale
The name of this fan game may fool you at first. After all, it sounds like it has roots in that other battlin’ Mario franchise Super Smash Bros. However, this game is nothing like that.
Instead, Mario Battle Royale is a fan game that turns classic Mario levels into a battle royale experience. The premise? 75 people fight to be the first one to reach the end of the stage.
The game is fun, frenzied, and highly original. Unfortunately, Nintendo took it offline, making it very hard for you to find anyone to play a big game with.
Mario Maker and its sequel are both smash hits. And why not? These games take the complex task of creating a Mario level and make it where all of us can make and share our efforts. It is so fun and intuitive that many gamers wondered if we’d ever get other “Maker” titles.
Some fans did more than wonder. They pooled their talents to create Zelda Maker, allowing you to create your own new dungeons and adventures for Link.
While Nintendo struck the original game down, it lives on… sort of. You can now find this game titled as “Legend Maker,” but with that pesky Nintendo IP removed.
Pokémon Go shows us how fun it can be to take the Pokémon characters and worlds into different types of games. But did you ever wish they went even bigger?
Long before Pokémon Go was even an idea, some fans created a game called Pokénet. It answered the question: what if Pokémon was an MMORPG?
This game was fun, beautiful, and ambitious. Nintendo shut it down back in 2010. The weirdest part is that the company hasn’t tried to create an official Pokémon MMORPG on their own!
Zelda: Breath of the NES
One look at the video game world will confirm that everything old is new again. Despite all of the jaw-dropping 3D renders and innovations, many gamers prefer the throwback style of the 8-bit era. Such nostalgia is a large part of why games like Minecraft and Undertale continue to be so popular.
Zelda: Breath of the NES was designed as pure nostalgia fuel. This project turned Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild into a classic NES game.
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo shut this game down very quickly. What is ironic is that the actual Breath of the Wild team initially tested their ideas out on a 2D game before going 3D.
There are plenty of Metroid games out there. In fact, thanks to the recent SNES Switch update, you can now enjoy the classic Super Metroid on the Go. However, one classic Metroid game is often overlooked: Metroid 2.
This was the original sequel to Metroid which came out on the humble Gameboy. And it never saw another release until it got a quiet 3DS port.
One fan created a slick remake called AM2R (standing for “Another Metroid 2 Remake”). This was more than a PC port, though. The gameplay is smoother and the visuals are prettier than ever.
Sadly, Nintendo shut the project down. Your only real hope to play this classic game is to hunt down the old cartridges.
Zelda 30 Tribute
Not that long ago, Legend of Zelda celebrated its 30th anniversary. And some fans decided to celebrate by releasing a browser-based “tribute” of the classic game.
This title was both elegant and simple. The new title sported 3D graphics and enhanced gameplay, but it was still the characters and world you know and love.
Despite being a simple browser game, Nintendo brought down the heavy end of the hammer on this humble tribute.
Full Screen Mario
Many fans scratch their heads about Nintendo’s motivations. Why would they shut down fan projects that basically serve as free press for official products? When it came to at least one game, the answer might be that they didn’t like the competition.
Back in 2013, Josh Goldberg released a game called Full Screen Mario. On the most basic level, this game allowed you to play the classic Super Mario Bros. in your browser. However, it had two other big features: a level randomizer and level editor.
When Nintendo took this game down a year before Mario Maker came out, some fans thought Nintendo didn’t want to compete with a free product. Others thought they stole Goldberg’s idea for their own game!
Super Mario 64 HD
Super Mario 64 is one of the most influential games ever made. It showed gamers around the world that Nintendo could make 3D games just as engaging and enchanting as their classic 2D titles.
However, it is amazingly hard to find this classic game. It’s not on the Switch. Rather, you must download it on the Wii U, and you’re stuck playing a simple N64 port with smooth graphics.
Roystan Ross set out to change this by creating an HD remake of Super Mario 64. Back in 2015, he showed off the first level featuring glorious modern graphics. Even though there was little else to do but stomp on your foes, it gave us all a taste of what was to come.
Or not. Nintendo hit Ross with a copyright infringement warning and made sure we could never have this sweet game.
What is your favorite fan game of all time? Let us know in the comments below!