The NES is perhaps the most iconic console ever created. Sure, in terms of sales and popularity you can give the nod to the PlayStation 2, but when it comes to gaming and its roots, many critics and fans will point to the NES as the one that started it all. It helped to pull the gaming industry from bankruptcy and started a revolution of gaming that is growing stronger with each decade.
Because of this, there are many artists and designers that want to pay homage and show their love for Nintendo's classic console. Some of the ideas and finished products that these individuals come up with are amazing and definitely deserve praise from both Nintendo themselves and the community.
Here are 10 of our favorite NES console mods.
10 The Ultimate Portable NES
Thanks to the Nintendo Switch, gamers have been able to enjoy some of the best classics that Nintendo has to offer on the go. Those with online service can gain access to a treasure trove of classic NES titles (with built-in variant versions) or if you fancy yourself a modder you can even load your favorite copies of titles you may own onto your device.
But let's say you own a huge collection of NES games and don't really want to mess with the internals of the Switch. Just grab this amazing Portable NES from designer Silius and you're good to go. It functions just like a regular NES (and will take game cartridges) but features a "flip-up" LCD screen built right in.
9 Mega Man 25th Anniversary
We are huge fans of the Mega Man series (and are frustrated that we haven't seen a proper title in the modern age). It stands as one of the best platforming franchises to ever exist and the NES saw a mountain of titles drop during its reign.
Of that bunch, it's arguable that Mega Man 2 was the best. It features the perfect storm of difficulty, cool robot masters, unique power-ups, and a stellar soundtrack. Designers PlatinumFungi and CustomNESGuy pay homage to the title with this beautiful backlit custom NES featuring the "stage select screen" cut and placed right into the top.
8 Creative Box Master Sword NES
You're going to see the name Creative Box pop up on this list quite a few times. The designer has a penchant for crafting NES consoles that look absolutely breathtaking. Most of these projects go way past a "simple airbrushing."
This Legend of Zelda variant is a great example of what we mean. There was an intense amount of love and work that went into this piece, which features a built-up stone section complete with a Master Sword and a Hylian Shield.
7 Ninja Turtles Van
Creative Box does more than just sculpt clay and paint traditional NES cases. They've also created some of the coolest NES variations by placing system internals into other objects and shells. This Ninja Turtles Van serves as the perfect box to contain the tech of Nintendo's old-school system.
The finished product is absolutely stunning, with a flip-top that hides the cartridge loading bay and a built-in window up top to see what game is currently being played. It's almost as if the Ninja Turtles toy was made specifically with this mod in mind.
6 Welcome To The Borderlands
Not all NES case mods are based on classic NES titles or old-school video games. Sometimes, designers find inspiration from newer titles or objects. A great example is this Borderlands themed custom creation from Redditor fishCodeHuntress' brother, who painted the console to appear like one of the Hyperion ammo chests found throughout the game.
So much time and care went into crafting a paint job for this case that looks weathered and worn. It's as if the NES itself was found hidden under a pile of junk after decades.
5 Glowing Tron NES
Sometimes, simplicity is the best when crafting a case mod. Sure, you can go absolutely wild adding a bunch of flickering lights, statues, clay creations, and windows, but you can definitely do "too much" when it comes to designing.
Crafter Thretris took a subtle approach to their NES mod by crafting a Tron-inspired skin that is inlaid onto the system. The finished product looks great with the lights on but the backlight activation when the lights are off is what spins this mod into a head-turning creation. It's so simplistic in its execution, yet looks absolutely stunning.
4 Legend of Zelda Stained Glass
We're back to Creative Box once more, this time with another Legend of Zelda creation. This time, however, the designer has taken things to the next level. Using a mixture of modeling clay, paint, and a window frame, they managed to craft a stained glass window right into the top of the console.
They even added some custom windows to the side. The real magic is the backlights, which make everything glow brightly in the dark.
3 The Nintoaster
There have been a few variants of this iconic build floating around the Internet over the years but there is something just so appealing about this retro version from artist Jarno Kotavuopio. The use of Chrome and orange gives this mod a 50's aesthetic and the matching controller is a nice touch. There are even built-in lights to emulate the glow of the toaster elements when the console is on. This is definitely our favorite Nintoaster so far.
2 Super Mario Bros. 3 Mod
For some reason, we had a hard time pinpointing a Mario Bros. NES to use for this list but we'd be absolutely remiss to leave Nintendo's mascot off the countdown. It's not to say that there aren't many good Mario mods available online but none of them really caught our eye, at least, not until we came across this design from CKSIGNS.
We love the pixelated airbrush on top, but the designer went the extra mile by adding a "third button" to the front of the console. It creates the illusion that the factory placed it there on purpose but in reality, it's used to operate a hidden lighting mechanism that makes Mario shine brightly atop the case. '
1 Mike Tyson Would Be Proud
We finish this list off with one more nod to Creative Box, this time for an absolutely over-the-top homage to Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! The talented designer went above and beyond to add pixelated stand-ins for Little Mac and his foes, as well as a mock boxing ring complete with ropes.