One of the big elements of gaming that keeps gamers coming back for more is the games’ characters. For many games, the characters are what make it interesting and fun. Whether you love the heroes for their drive to protect others, or you love the villains for their diabolical plans, these characters are an important part of the gaming experience.

I’m a sucker for those characters that are often somewhere in between good and evil. I love it when you aren’t entirely sure whose side they’re on, or what their motivation is. And the more you learn about them, you get a better idea of who they are. It makes the whole game that much more interesting and satisfying.

With the wide variety of games, we also get a pretty wide variety of characters and character designs. And while some game characters look and act pretty epic, others are... less so. Don’t get me wrong, characters that look less intense may be a good thing. But you have to wonder what that character would look like if they were a little less cute or harmless, and a little more epic.

That’s what fanart is for! Part of the fun of creating your own fanart is making characters look and feel more intense and awesome. And that’s what these artists did.

So here are 25 epic re-imaginings of some popular (and less popular) video game characters. Let’s have fun with some great fanart!

Think we missed some great fanart? Make sure to let us know in the comments section below!

25 He’s The Pink Puffball Of Awesomeness

via: imgur.com

It’s hard to imagine Kirby as anything besides cute. Kirby is just a pink, friendly puffball who looks like he couldn’t hurt a fly. But don’t underestimate this guy. He can pack a powerful punch, and the fact that he can eat his enemies or weapons and gain those powers is pretty impressive.

This art piece really shows Kirby in all his epic glory. I love the use of colors in this piece and the scale of the picture is awesome! His enemies should definitely watch out.

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24 I Kind Of Want To See This Battle

Via: outcastcomix.deviantart.com

Pac-Man is one of the most classic video games. When you think arcade, you probably think of Pac-Man. This is one of the games that started it all for gamers.

I'm not sure how battle this came to be. 

Considering the Pac-Man game is mostly a bunch of shapes moving around on a screen, it’s a little hard to imagine them in anything epic. But this artist managed to pull off a pretty epic battle involving Pac-Man and... Godzilla? Okay, I don’t really know why Godzilla’s in this fanart, but it does look pretty cool.

Art by OutcastComix.

23 It’s A Battle Through Time

Via: theragingspaniard.deviantart.com

Chrono Trigger is regarded as one of the best and most classic RPGs ever created. It has everything: awesome gameplay, interesting characters, impressive graphics that have aged pretty well, and gorgeous music.

Since the graphics are 8-bit, it is fun to see fans taking these characters and updating them a bit. And I love what this artist did with the characters. Everyone looks amazing and the whole piece is full of energy and packed with everything that makes Chrono Trigger so amazing.

Art by TheRagingSpaniard.

22 She Really Is The Best

Via: aminoapps.com (UF HUMAN W.D GASTER HENRIQUE)

Undertale is a unique game for many reasons, and one of them is that while it’s a modern game, it’s done in the classic 8-bit style. And while the characters may not look as realistic, they’re still pretty awesome.

Undyne, the captain of the guard, is probably one of the strongest warriors in the game, and her design is rather fun. But this fanart really captures her in all her amazing glory. This is one fish lady that you really don’t want to anger.

21 Time To Save The Princess

Via: jpzilla.deviantart.com

You have to give Mario credit for having to face a lot of enemies in order to save the Mushroom Kingdom from various enemies. This guy goes through a lot and he does it without complaint.

This plumber got quite the upgrade. 

Mario doesn’t look like much at first glance; he’s just a short plumber with a bit of a pudge. But this artist decided to do a little redesign, and this version of Mario looks pretty awesome! It definitely feels like the stakes are much higher in this art piece and you feel yourself rooting for the brave plumber. Go for it, Mario!

Art by JPZilla.

20 I Hope These Guys Don’t Invade For Real

Via: pierrefihue.deviantart.com

Space Invaders has been around almost since the beginning of gaming. It’s an instant classic and the first game that had you shooting at aliens. (We’ve come a long way since then.)

Admittedly, the original designs of the space invaders is nothing really special. And that’s what makes this fanart so impressive. These space invaders actually look pretty intimidating. I hadn’t even realized they had tentacles, but the fanart makes them look freaky! This artist did a fantastic job of taking a classic game and adding a more horror element to it.

Art by Pierrefihue.

19 Oh Yeah, He’s A Dinosaur

Via: daviddleonluis.deviantart.com

Yoshi has probably gotten more popular than Mario when it comes to merchandise. And who doesn’t love this green dinosaur? Yoshi is just too likable.

But this artist decided to take the cute dinosaur and make him spookier and a bit more epic. And they did an amazing job! This version of Yoshi looks like he could eat you for breakfast and have room for seconds. The more realistic spin on the green dinosaur is a nice touch, and it definitely makes him pretty intimidating.

Art by Daviddleonluis.

18 Don’t Fly Too Close!

Via: henkkab.deviantart.com

Cuphead is such an interesting game since it is a modern game made in the animation style that was common in the 1930s. It feels like I’m watching one of those old, classic cartoons, but it’s actually a video game.

This is one epic battle. 

And this fanart of the game looks so awesome. It does feel like the stakes are higher here and seeing Cupman going up against this monster is so cool to see. The use of colors is especially impressive and it makes everything really pop.

Art by Henkkab.

17 I Can Feel The Speed

Via: gureiduson.deviantart.com

Sonic is an already pretty cool character. He’s a speedy blue hedgehog that’s had quite a few games, and even a few TV series. While he doesn’t take things too seriously, he can be pretty epic sometimes.

What’s really cool about this fanart is that it shows Sonic in the middle of stopping from one of his runs. You can feel the energy of this moment and Sonic is truly in his element. The look of determination in his eyes just makes him that much more epic.

Art by Gureiduson.

16 That’s One Powerful Princess

Via: nayuki-chan.deviantart.com

Some people don’t like Zelda, which is a shame. She’s a pretty cool princess who’s had to deal with a lot. Every version of Zelda has had to go up against unimaginable darkness to save their kingdom.

This artist did an amazing job with Zelda. While Zelda isn’t always proficient with the sword, some games have her being a great archer, and she looks amazing in this art piece. The look in her eyes is one of confidence and determination, and you can feel the energy in her pose.

Art by Nayuki-Chan.

15 He’s Got That Mysterious Look

Via: shiinrai.deviantart.com

Crash is a pretty cool guy. He’s just a former experiment that’s trying to live his own life. But when it comes down to it, he’ll stop the forces of villainy from taking over the world.

This is not the goofy Crash we know. 

Crash usually does look a bit goofy in most of the games. He’s a bit on the silly side, so it’s hard to imagine him in a more epic setting. But this artist recreated Crash in a pretty interesting light. This version of Crash seems a lot more mysterious and dangerous. I wouldn’t want to run into him on a dark night.

Art by Shiinrai.

14 That’s One Epic Paintball Match

Via: zedrin.deviantart.com

I’m not sure if Nintendo anticipated Splatoon getting as popular as it did. But it’s a pretty cool game, where you’re basically playing paintball with squid-like people. This game was Nintendo’s way to make a first-person shooter game that was still more family friendly. It’s fun and it’s pretty crazy.

Like most Nintendo games, the characters from Splatoon look more cartoony and less epic. But this art pieces takes some Splatoon characters and makes them look pretty cool! I love the way they’re posed and their designs. They look fantastic!

Art by Zedrin.

13 Don’t Underestimate The Little Guy

Via: streetdragon95.deviantart.com

Ori and the Blind Forest is an absolutely gorgeous game, full of vibrant colors, unique designs, and amazing music. It takes the platform game genre to a whole new level.

Ori admittedly is a bit too cute to look particularly epic, but that changed in this art piece. Here, it really showcases Ori’s awesome abilities, making him look like this rather powerful entity. Ori may be cute, but I think we forget just how powerful this little guy is. And this artist was not afraid to remind us.

Art by StreetDragon95.

12 A Quiet Moment

Via: simina-cindy.deviantart.com

I think some people forget about the Rayman games, which is a shame, since they’re pretty fun. And Rayman is an awesome character with a unique design.

There's something intriguing about this Rayman. 

While I’m not sure of this art piece would qualify as epic, it does put Rayman in a new and interesting light. There’s this peaceful sense of serenity in the piece that also gives us a feeling of underlying power. If it is epic, it’s epic in a very subtle way. It reminds me of the calm before the storm.

Art by Simina-Cindy.

11 This Brother Will Take You Down

Via: furaffinity.net (JAEH)

Luigi is usually not as popular as his brother, Mario. Which is a shame because this guy is a pretty cool dude. He may get freaked out easily, but it’s impressive that he’s willing to push ahead into danger even though he’s afraid.

And this version of Luigi looks so cool! The intense look on his face combined with the fact that he’s holding fire makes him look like this tough and powerful warrior. This may not be the Luigi we’re all familiar with, but it’s a pretty awesome version.

10 You Are Filled With Determination!

Via: afba.deviantart.com

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the protagonist of Undertale is just a child. Frisk goes through quite a lot and sees some pretty intense stuff. But they do it with determination and courage.

At first glance, Frisk doesn’t look like much, so it’s hard to imagine this kid doing anything particularly impressive. But this art piece illustrates just how powerful Frisk can be. This battle between Frisk and Asriel was a really cool one and the artist decided to portray it in all it’s glory. Don’t count this kid out.

Art by Afba.

9 Frogger’s Got Firepower Now

Via: indofrece.deviantart.com

The premise behind Frogger was pretty simple: get from one location to another without getting destroyed by various obstacles like cars, lawnmowers, and water. (Can’t frogs swim, though? That always confused me.) But the game was pretty fun, if a bit morbid.

I never thought to give Frogger a gun. 

Frogger’s design is also pretty simple, and that’s what makes this art piece pretty awesome. This artist decided to give Frogger more of a fighting chance. I definitely wouldn’t want to go up against this version of Frogger. He will take you out.

Art by Indofrece.

8 That’s Going To Haunt Me For A While

Via: reddit.com (Samrau)

Terraria has quite the variety of interesting creatures and monsters. It’s also another one of those modern games done in the classic 8-bit style, which makes the design fun and interesting.

While the Eye of Cthulu, one of the first bosses you fight in the game, does look pretty cool in its original design, this art piece really raises the stakes. This giant eye is now completely spooky instead of just somewhat spooky. I would hate to have to go up against this creature. That’s some nightmare fuel right there.

7 He’s Definitely The King

Via: jameslink.deviantart.com

Bowser is about as iconic as Mario in the Super Mario Bros. series. This villain is usually the one behind everything going wrong in the Mushroom Kingdom, and we’ve seen several different versions of this guy.

Bowser’s design can range from intimidating to goofy, depending on the game. But this artist decided to make him extra spooky and tough, and it works pretty well. This Bowser looks like he wouldn’t hesitate to eat you whole and have room for dessert. Poor Princess Peach doesn’t stand a chance.

Art by JamesLink.

6 Don’t Count Her Out

Via: themimig.deviantart.com

Aerith is mostly famous in Final Fantasy because she was ended by Sephiroth. It was a very dramatic plot twist that a lot of gamers didn’t expect. And since Aerith was such a kind person, her passing was a pretty heavy blow.

Aerith's passing was quite tragic. 

Aerith generally isn’t portrayed to be all that epic in the games generally, but this artist decided to change that. I love the motion of this piece, showing Aerith in the middle of fighting. Don’t underestimate this brave lady!

Art by Themimig.

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