90s video games are incredibly nostalgic as well as impactful. Many franchises either started in the 90s or beloved video game characters have made their debuts in 90s titles from already existing franchises. From Pokémon, Sonic, and Final Fantasy games, there is just so much that the 90s had to offer. Kids and teens in the 90s will look back on rivalries such as Sega versus Nintendo and Pokémon versus Digimon. Video games, in general, would get its own controversies of being too intense thanks to the infamous Mortal Kombat series. All we can say is that it was a time to witness video games becoming more mainstream and achieving great success for many years to come.
Fan art has been a treat to look at from talented people who took the time to put their love and effort into making the pieces of video game characters we know and love. Whether amateur or professional, fan art for video game characters are great tributes to game creators to express their talent and whatnot. Just seeing them from deviantART, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media sites can bring a smile on your face and look back on fond memories of playing the video games.
Nostalgia is a wonderful, but bittersweet thing, so the fan art might bring back some intensely happy memories. While we cannot go back in time, the fan art will make us remember the good times. Ready to witness some fantastic fan art?
Let us take a look a twenty-five epic fan reimaginings of 90s video game characters!
25 Capcom's Fighting Gem
Street Fighter II, to this day, is a timeless classic fighting game that Capcom manages to perfect at the turn of the new decade. The characters were given diverse move sets that would be the first to reach at twenty. That is a lot for a video game made two decades ago!
J2Dstar features the iconic Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile. These three, along with Ryu, are recognizable and have been in the games for a very long time. Can you imagine a game without the likes of Chun-Li? That is how famous she is!
24 A Manly One
Duke Nukem is one of video game characters that screams the 90s. He is awesome and can chew bubblegum while being in action! While he might not have a ton of games to his name, his legacy is no joke.
MaansRune has created this epic masterpiece and it displays Duke at his best. There is just a lot to say about this fan art. He can kick behind and chew bubblegum, and he is all out of bubblegum. We just also have to mention his epic voice provided by Jon St. John!
23 Passing A Legacy
With one title after another, Final Fantasy VIII came out two years after the juggernaut that is Final Fantasy VII. It might seem to be difficult to be just as good, but thankfully the game managed to succeed due to great sales and reviews.
J-Estacado has a unique art style that makes Squall and his companions look distinct to the original art in the game. It is impressive and brings a lot of nostalgia to fans who absolutely love the eighth entry in the series.
22 Relying On Each Other
Metal Gear Solid is an ingenious game created by the mastermind that is Hideo Kojima. It would become one of the greatest and important games in the late 90s. The stealth genre would not be the same if it were not for this game and future titles.
Aaron Minier is responsible for this fantastic drawing of Solid Snake and Otacon. The codex was a fun way to see the characters interact and learn about information on how to defeat bosses, like a certain one where you had to switch the controller port to Player 2 to defeat them.
21 Too Awesome
Doom is an important video game, believe it or not. Like how Metal Gear Solid helped revolutionized stealth games, Doom would pave the way for other games like Wolfenstein to shape up the one and only genre that is first-person shooters.
Dubbed as “Doomguy,” this amazing fan art of him is done by JujiBla. The concept of having this character be filled in for the player helps make the game immersive and engaging. That is a smart move on the developers and it shows that it is more about the journey and gameplay than who we are playing as.
20 Originally A Myth
Ermac has been teased as an unknown character in Mortal Kombat, being one of the many mysteries in the games back then. After claiming that Ermac does not exist, Midway decided to create the character and make the myth into fact!
JudgmentFist made this unique version of Ermac that has not been present in the games. This is an intricate piece of artwork that does justice to the character models in the tenth entry of the series. It would be interesting to see a restored version of Ermac in the future.
19 A Beauty
Nova Terra originally was a villain but managed to make her way into a hero. Being from Blizzard’s StarCraft, she is an incredibly beautiful woman who can take anyone down. She would eventually get her own sub-series known as StarCraft: Ghost, which released in 2002.
This is one of Sakimichan’s earlier works and even then, she still makes jaw-dropping art pieces. Those that are not familiar with Nova will probably see influences of her in other Blizzard games like Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch.
18 The True Final Boss
Mewtwo from Pokémon will always be fondly remembered for having an extensive backstory and being one of the toughest creatures to catch. It boasts insanely high stats to where a Poison-type will go down in one hit. That is how powerful Mewtwo can get.
This fan art is made by BaraArt and they give Mewtwo an ominous presence with power that is beyond any other. For appearing as a true final boss in the games, Mewtwo certainly has been a prominent part in the Pokémon series.
17 Former Soldier
Cloud Strife would become Final Fantasy’s star from both Final Fantasy VII and the series overall. He has a relatable backstory and his journey has helped him grow as a character. His series is so popular that there are a handful of spinoffs ranging from games to other forms of media.
NitrogenCity’s take on Cloud is intriguing and somewhat pays homage to the original art. The line art is rough, but amazing, while the dull colors give off the tone of Cloud’s usual expression he is known to have throughout the game.
16 Lighthearted, Yet Dark
Earthbound is an interesting JRPG that looks kid friendly yet somehow has mature themes. Most gamers might not even know of this series if it weren’t for Super Smash Bros. This game would even be one of the inspirations to the cult following of Undertale.
PaulDrawsArt has made a fantastic artwork that spans the Earthbound series, featuring the iconic characters Ness and Lucas. The gameplay is groundbreaking and the localization managed to do a great job in making the game subtle with its dark themes present in the games.
15 Wacky And Fun Duo
Banjo and Kazooie are two characters that were brought in this world by the fantastic game developer company Rare. Banjo-Kazooie is an excellent platformer with gameplay featuring puzzles, boss fights, and collecting items.
SeanHicksArt managed to create the duo as if a true high definition remake is on the way. The art is clean and really looks like official artwork. We can only hope and dream if Rare will be willing to do an HD remake of this game sometime soon.
14 Grouped Together
Final Fantasy VI would be one of the series’ greatest entries of all time. With a colorful cast of characters, an insanely wonderful villain, and groundbreaking story, this game is just oozing with greatness.
This fan art shared by Squarion has the playable characters in an anime art style. It would be epic to have this game get an anime treatment since its successor got a handful of OVA’s. Square Enix, you know what to do to make the fans happy.
13 Gothic Symphony
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night would become a Castlevania title that is talked about to this day. Where else would we get the quote, “What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets,” from? Starring Dracula’s son, Alucard, it took different game design choices and managed to work its way in to be a classic.
Ashley Cope did a spectacular job in this fan art, without a doubt. It is a pleasure to know that fans who would grow up to be artists can recreate their favorite video game characters and have fun living in their nostalgic memories.
12 Ignited Creature
Spyro The Dragon would make his debut in the video game world in 1998. He is brash at first but goes through character development as he matures in future games. Not only would he be a main character in his own video game series, but he would also be part in the Skylanders series.
Zietro’s art of the purple dragon is clean and looks incredibly majestic. It certainly gives off a fantasy feel as it should be given the game’s setting.
11 Who Will You Choose?
Just recently, Resident Evil 2 got an HD remake and fans who experienced it in the late 90s will be happy to see the debut of fan-favorite Leon Kennedy. Along with him, Claire Redfield is a choice someone else can make on who to play as.
Either way, both will ensure fans that the horror experience will be fresh and fun in Resident Evil 2. MehdiArts has done an excellent job in making the art style old-fashioned but fitting for the game’s original release date.
10 The One-Winged Angel
One of the epic boss battles and villains from the Final Fantasy series is the one-winged angel himself Sephiroth. He is one of the early examples of a tragic character. Thanks to future games, they expanded on his story and it is easy to sympathize with him.
Sakimichan makes the list again with her fantastic take on the handsome villain. Her painting skills are nothing to sneeze at, and as this is one of her more recent works, there is a good chance she might draw Sephiroth again someday.
9 Anthropomorphic Team
Star Fox debuted in 1993 with the SNES title being a somewhat sleeper hit. But 1997 gave gamers the arguably best entry in the series, Star Fox 64. It acts as a reboot to the first game, and it was a good call on Nintendo.
West Studio created this fantastic fan art and we are blown with how insanely good it is. Fox, Falco, Peppy, and even Slippy look great as they pay attention to the orders of General Pepper. This art piece really invokes strong nostalgic memories of playing the Nintendo 64 classic.
8 Hiding Her Identity
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the greatest Zelda games, if not the greatest game of all time. The journey Link goes through is grand and epic, providing gamers tons of hours to play through. One of the staples in this game is the introduction to Sheik, Zelda’s alter ego for when she hides from Ganondorf.
JacksDrawings gives us a sketchy, but wonderful picture of the disguised Hyrulian princess. Who else was surprised to see Sheik transform back into Zelda when playing Ocarina of Time?
7 Square’s Masterpiece
Any JRPG fan in the 90s will fondly remember Chrono Trigger. For a game that is a separate entity from Square’s Final Fantasy series, this game proved to be a thrilling and chilling journey. It is a revolutionary classic due to how many endings the player can get, making the choices really matter.
Noe-Leyva features the main protagonist Crono and party member, conveniently named Frog. The artwork looks grand and gives an epic vibe. Probably preparing for a fight, these two, along with the other main party members, will end up unstoppable.
6 Classic At Its Finest
Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog would invoke a rivalry Nintendo’s Mario Bros. Along with the Sega Genesis, Sonic would become one of the famous icons in pop culture in the 90s. A cartoon would be created and video game titles with catchy music would make gamers tap their feet.
2DForever recreated the title screen and it looks clean and great. This is one of the perfect examples of an artwork that can be recreated over time and be looked back on as one of the nostalgic memories for gamers in the 90s.
5 Nostalgic Fun
Mario Kart 64 became one of the must-haves for party games. While the game might have limited content compared to the recent Mario Kart 8, the Nintendo 64 classic is a gem. One of the more memorable courses is, of course, Rainbow Road, for taking over five minutes to complete without shortcuts.
DarkRinoa88 features Princess Peach driving through the course. This picture might invoke some salty moments when friends or the AI use items on others, driving them off the course. Hopefully, there weren’t a lot of broken controllers when that happened.
4 Up For The Challenge?
In Pokémon, gym leaders are the keywords for boss battles. They might be easy if given a type advantage, but it can be challenging if given a disadvantage or if the player’s team is severely under leveled.
This fantastic artwork is done by Slimu, and they make the gym leaders look epic. This is the Kanto version in the second generation games, so the challenge is more fun and exciting! Sixteen badges and true final boss to boot? That was impressive back in the day!
3 Future Hero King
Originally a Japanese only title, Fire Emblem made its debut in 1990 and over the years, it would become a worldwide phenomenon. Thanks to the international release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Marth would become a popular character due to his uniqueness and being from an unheard franchise outside of Japan.
Longai depicts Marth as a strong and kindhearted prince who fights for his fallen kingdom. Together with his allies, he would march his way to become the king of Altea.
2 Thunder God
Raiden became one of the first playable god-like characters in any video game period. Strangely, Raiden’s bio in the first Mortal Kombat has him fighting in the Outworld tournament, only to have other gods join in and be the destruction of the world.
He went through quite the character change, mostly for the better. Esau13’s fantastic art of Raiden displays him at his best. Raiden might seem noble and kind at first, but when his realm is endangered, he will do anything to make sure Earthrealm is safe and sound.
1 The OG Starters
One of the most difficult choices to pick in the first Pokémon game is choosing which starter to take along your journey unless the cover of Red or Blue tells you otherwise. Amastroph makes the three Kanto starters look epic in their two evolutions.
Their designs over time are still unique and the sixth generation proved them relevant as they were given mega evolutions. Whether you are Team Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle, both starters are iconic and beloved even after their debut twenty-three years ago.