Fan Art versus Official Art

A lot of official game art comes through our inboxes every day. Produced by game developers and distributed by their public relations teams to the media, eye-catching official game art is the stuff that magazine covers are made of and are often posted on sites like this. They help build hype for highly anticipated titles that are in the early stages of development before the dissection of screenshots and additional details in previews that inevitably follow a game’s announcement begin rolling in. Because so much is riding on the public’s initial reaction to them, this sort of official art tends to look great.
But more often than not, it’s fan art that we like best. There’s something about excellent fan-made tributes that satisfies in ways that officially sanctioned game art can’t – and no, we’re not talking about hentai doujinshi. We’re talking about the best of the best, the high quality stuff we’ve collected here today.

Of course, not all fan art is impressive. In fact, a lot of it is downright awful. The internet is full of misshapen Marios holding hands with grotesque Peaches. But to say that all fan art is made by amateurs is full of all kinds of wrong. In fact, much of the best fan art is done by professionals whose love for gaming shines through in their independent projects.

Title: Megaman for SoaringKitty
Artist: Sailor_InuyashaMon

Above: Sailor_InuyashaMon made a valiant attempt at recreating Mega Man. But this isn’t the kind of fan art that we’re talking about

Above: Still, it’s not like this official box art was much better

Title: Conquering your Demons
Artist: Ben Mauro

Great fan art doesn’t just attract the attention of fellow fans. Sometimes, they’re so professional that they catch the eyes of pros in the industry. Case in point: Ben Mauro, a student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Long before BioShock 2 was officially announced, Mauro posted images from a student project that quickly made their rounds through the gaming blogosphere. His unofficial images for a proposed sequel to BioShock looked so good, that some confused it for genuine concept art. 2K Games, the creators of BioShock, even got in touch with Mauro to express how much they liked his work and to thank him. You can visit Mauro’s blog to see more of his BioShock 2 images and keep up on his latest work.

Above: Mauro’s unofficial concept art for BioShock 2 got the attention of 2K Games

Above: Official concept art for Rapture’s lobby from the original BioShock looks great, but is severely lacking in the “Giant Mecha-whale” department

Gordon Freeman is to PC gamers as Mario is to Nintendo fans. But as much as we love Valve’s official art of the Half-Life series’ protagonist, it’s Anry Nemo’s portrayal of the stoic scientist we like best.

Title: Gordon Freeman
Artist: Anry Nemo

Above: You don’t want to mess with Anry Nemo’s version of Gordon Freeman. He’s got a crowbar and isn’t afraid to use it for the good of science

Above: In this official image, Gordon seems to be more about brooding than bashing things to a bloody pulp


  • GamesRadarTylerNagata - May 12, 2009 10:14 p.m.

    If you do, be sure to follow the links to the authors' sites. You'll often find higher res versions of the pics we've posted here.
  • Kehno - May 12, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    That Monty Oum guy is amazing. I mean, a battle on flying pieces of column inside a tornado? Really?
  • Starplatinum - May 12, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    YAY! Tyler Post! Prior to this article my knowledge of unoffical fanart was limited to hentai doujinshi. Thank you for the enlightenment!
  • Romination - May 12, 2009 10:51 p.m.

    I don't even really care about Final Fantasy and that first one Oum video is amazing. It's got so many things that too many movies take themselves too seriously to do...
  • Xtapolapopotamus - May 12, 2009 11:54 p.m.

    Good article, and that Mario image is just amazing. If Nintendo made a game like that... Or hell, any of the companies that he's made art for.. It would be beyond words.
  • Ravenbom - May 13, 2009 12:29 a.m.

    Good article T-Nag. I like your appearance on TalkRadar as well, don't be stranger to the podcast.
  • DeadGirls - May 13, 2009 12:34 a.m.

    That Faith fan art is stupid. I consider it progression of the art from when game devs don't cater to horny, lonely, anime fans for a few extra sales.
  • jtslugmaster10 - May 13, 2009 12:41 a.m.

    i think im mixed about faith i think he could have left the bony checks and lost the nipple but thats just me... secondly sex sells but how far do we have to go... i think it has gone far enough and the fan based art wasnt even that appealing for the reason i stated above so just adding some additional features doesnt always make the female char look better ... in fact she could have probably not even needed the increase in breast size or just less of an enhancment and she would have been even better looking
  • GamesRadarTylerNagata - May 13, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    hi wildfire, Why no haloid? I guess I was just trying to limit the selections from each artist featured in this article to one or two of my personal favorites to highlight whatever ridiculous point I was trying to make at the time. That being said, anyone who liked the Dead Fantasy videos should definitely check these out. Haloid (Master Chief versus Samus): Icarus (A great gamer tribute to John Woo films):
  • DawgsFan117 - May 13, 2009 2:06 a.m.

    I have to agree that the Haloid vid should have been included in this. That vid made me want good melee in halo so bad.
  • ssj4raditz - May 13, 2009 2:12 a.m.

    Good grief, those Dead Fantasy vids are stupendous! Makes me wish that was really a game and not just an amazing fan project.
  • Patius - May 13, 2009 2:21 a.m.

    best fan made character battle was master chick (not chief) vs. Samus Aran. That was epic.
  • oreomonkey - May 13, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    The Monty Oum thing was said to be a montage of action from different games not one clip of the SAME game throughout the whole thing. Garbage, that was no treat...
  • GamesRadarTylerNagata - May 13, 2009 2:47 a.m.

    Since so many folks have mentioned Monty Oum's Haloid, I decided to add the video to page 3 below the two Dead Fantasy videos. Enjoy.
  • reroxas - May 13, 2009 3:05 a.m.

    Those Dead Fantasy videos are just...Wow. I have seen alot of cool lookin fights but that just blew my mind into pices and stepped on em
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 13, 2009 3:33 a.m.

    Monty Oum is a fucking genius. reCaptcha: 73/4 pompey
  • averagejoe - May 13, 2009 4:47 a.m.

    It's almost as if in the guard in the first picture caught Faith's punch, causing her to open her eyes in terror. And turn her on too, I guess.
  • TURbo - May 13, 2009 5 a.m.

    I think it is better that in the fan version of Mirror's Edge, the eyes aren't so slanty. Besides you can still tell shes Asian. Maybe since games are so big on customization you can choose how big her boobs are, thus you don't alienate the horny young boy demographic. The fan depiction of Gordon Freeman is good since he killed hundreds of aliens, combines, and marines along the way.
  • adoggz - May 13, 2009 8:34 a.m.

    OMG that Halo vid is awesome. I'm going into it expecting a badass chief fight, it's all like badass chief fight. I'm all like "YEAH!11!!one" then Samus shows up I'm like "...... oh yeah Samus v. Chief, Lets get it on" then it's like Samus x Chief I'm all like "oooohhh yeeeaaahhhh" then Samus y Chief v Covenant. It's just amazing but that's no chief, it's a girLEMON PIE WOOOOOOO1!101!1111 YEaH yeah yeah. I mean badass chief fights to Yuri? i got like 20 Boners during that video.
  • MGS4SolidSnake - May 13, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    anybody think that half-lifes main character looks like commisioner gordon from batman

Showing 1-20 of 75 comments

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