Freeware Friday: Retro remixed

Revisit the glory days of 16-bit gaming featuring iconic characters and some subtle twists.

There once existed a land where DLC (downloadable content) didn't exist and games came on cartridges. The Freeware Crew frequently reminisces about those golden days and we've dug up three titles to bring them back to life on your PC. Check out these 16-bit tributes and kiss your weekend goodbye.

Play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles...or all 3 at once. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

Open Sonic
Open Sonic the Hedgehog is an open-source game engine heavily inspired by Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series. The cooperative game mode allows players to control three characters in a single level, introducing brand-new twists and new strategies for beating up Eggman's baddies. Though there are a few levels included, the Open Sonic community should serve up plenty of custom stages, power-ups, and mods to satisfy your need for speed.

It's Super Mario Bros., Aperture Labs-style. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

It's the crossover of dreams: Mari0 is a charming remake of the NES classic, fused with the Valve-inspired mechanics of the Portal franchise. Revisit the Mushroom Kingdom and save the princess, Portal-style. Go solo or team up with up to four people (each with his or her own Portal gun!) for experimental chaos that'd make even GlaDOS swoon in her seat. Miyamoto-san and Mr. Newell, please take notes.

Did someone call for a Maverick Hunter? Heck yes, they did. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

Mushroom Kingdom Fusion
Quite possibly one of the most impressive tributes I've seen in ages, MKF Project reeks of love for the classic gaming days. Don't dismiss this game as just another Mario clone: MKF whisks you through the memorable universes of Donkey Kong, Mega Man, Sonic, and countless other classics. Jam-packed with custom themed power-ups, innovative levels, and enough cameos to make any '90s kid who's ever owned a console shed tears of nostalgia, MKF must be played to believed. Enough talk; GRAB IT NOW!

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