It's amazing what the hacking and homebrew communities come up with these days. Utilising powerful development tools and decades of collective knowledge and experience, the individuals operating in this vibrant section of the retro gaming world continue to cook up stunning (and unofficial) titles which either improve on the original or introduce fresh elements which weren't present previously.
ROM hacks and mods can range from tweaks and improvements to examples which fuse together two totally different games, while homebrew coders often tackle projects which make the games that inspired them look tame in comparison. Take Mega Final Fight as an example; an entirely new port of the game for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, it takes the host hardware to entirely new levels, beyond what was achieved when the machine was at its peak.
Below, you will find a list of the best ROM hacks, mods and homebrews of recent times. We'll be keeping this list updated, so be sure to check back regularly! Oh, and if you think we've missed a game that deserves a mention, be sure to let us know by posting a comment.
(Note: The ROM hacks linked here are patches and not the complete game. You will need a copy of the original ROM and a patching tool to create the 'patched' ROM).
Celeste Mario's Zap & Dash!
One of the greatest things about ROM hacks is that, due to their totally unofficial nature, they can get away with doing some fun stuff – like mixing two different games to create something completely fresh.
That's certainly the case with Celeste Mario's Zap & Dash!, a Super Mario Bros. ROM hack which infuses the traditional Mario experience with a Celeste-style challenge. The levels in this "hastily done minihack" are the result of just two months of design work, which makes it even more impressive. Download it now and put your platforming skills to the test.