When it comes to devoted fan bases, Pokémon is among the top tier. Nintendo has developed a lot of original titles, but that isn’t enough for some fans who want more encounters with “pocket monsters.”
The popularity of the Pokémon franchise has led to an increase in the number of “Pokémon ROM hacks,” which are modified versions of the original games that feature new characters, environments, and even game mechanics. As more and more updates are released, you’ll have access to an almost infinite number of playable characters and narrative paths.
With so many options, it can be difficult to determine which games are worth your time. We have compiled a list of the top Pokémon ROM hacks to assist you to make your decision. Get your Pokéballs ready, since you’re going to need them to catch them all.
1. Pokemon GS Chronicles
The reason Pokemon GS Chronicles has been so well-received throughout the year 2021 is that it is, without a doubt, one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks available.
As you may know, it’s based on the legendary Pokemon Gold and Silver on the Gameboy Color. But now it has been improved and revamped into a whole new game that maintains the same storyline as the original but with far greater depth.
In Pokemon GS Chronicles, we now get Mega Evolutions, Pokemon from Generations 4 through 6, a map modeled on the one found in HGSS, new places, time-based wild Pokemon, and Pokemon Rides to replace HMs.
The constant stream of updates makes this one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks available. It’s actively maintained, with regular bug fixes, regular updates, and a sizable community supporting it to assist you if you get stuck.
You should get this one if you’re going to get one.
2. Pokémon Dark Rising
If you’re a fan of epic stories like One Piece, you’ll probably love the Pokémon Dark Rising games. These ROM hacks put a strong emphasis on the story and allow for extensive exploration of the world. It has become well-known as the longest fan-made Pokémon epic ever. It currently features three games:
- Dark Rising
- Dark Rising 2
- Dark Rising: Order Destroyed
The gameplay is terrific, and it’s not just because of the great tale. Even better, this ROM hack features a plethora of Pokémon from virtually every generation for you to capture and level up. However, the inclusion of the “Dream World” skills is the frosting on the cake.
3. Pokemon Team Rocket Edition
Can you picture yourself taking on the role of Team Rocket in the original Pokemon Red game? The fantastic Pokemon fandom, however, has made this possible.
Although Pokemon Fire Red is a remake of Red, the same cannot be said about Pokemon Team Rocket Edition.
The player takes on the role of a member of Team Rocket in this adventure. You’ll meet and interact with a wide variety of villains here as you steal and cheat your way to the top. Since the plot is best experienced in-game, I won’t reveal too much, but suffice it to say that you’ll find out more about Team Rocket than you ever imagined.
You encounter several fan-made conspiracy theories, you can take other people’s Pokemon, and you’ll see some old faces from a new angle.
4. Pokémon Gaia
Spherical Ice’s Pokémon Gaia, based on Pokémon Fire Red, is a highly regarded ROM hack. It’s very much like the original Pokémon games, giving gamers a whole new plot and challenging gameplay.
This ROM modification has some noteworthy extras. To begin with, the music; while most of it is recycled from the first two games (Fire Red and Ruby), some truly excellent new tracks have been included as well. The Elder Knights’ combat theme, for instance, the region’s villainous squad, sounds better than most officially composed songs for the Third Generation.
Aside from that, the game has a substantial amount of new character sprites and a solid plot. The material is excellent for a ROM hack, and any diehard fan will love it.
5. Pokemon Light Platinum
Since more than 16 million copies of Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire were sold for the Gameboy Advance, you can be sure that it was a smashing success.
Pokemon Light Platinum is the best game to play if you want to experience the same excitement and adventure as the original.
Two more areas, Zhery and Lauren, have been added to this Pokemon ROM Hack. New gym leaders, the Elite Four, some familiar foes, and hundreds of Pokemon from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Unova were added by the legendary WesleyFG in this ROM hack.
Wow, that’s a lot of Pokemon!
Plus, there’s a massive final event called the Pokemon World Championship where you can travel to other dimensions and catch every legendary Pokemon up to Unova.
When you’ve finished this, you’ll feel that the game is complete. If you own Ruby or Sapphire and are looking for a Pokemon ROM Hack, this is one of the greatest ones!
6. Pokémon Glazed
One of the best Pokémon ROM hacks is Pokémon Glazed, which is based on Pokémon Emerald. It all kicks off when your protagonist turns twelve and can finally pick out a Pokémon partner of their own. The situation in the Tunod region is difficult, though, because some unknown force is bringing the real world and the Pokémon world dangerously close together.
Throughout the course of the game, you will encounter odd teams with unknown goals, make friends and allies, and work with other trainers to restore peace to the globe.
In addition to reuniting with your beloved legendary Pokémon, this ROM hack offers a newly updated version of the Emerald game complete with new abilities, items, and the chance to explore Emerald’s stunningly crafted maps, structures, and overall world.
It’s crucial that you have access to five Starters instead of three. As an added bonus, this game allows you to go to a wider variety of locations than Pokémon Emerald did.
7. Pokemon Dark Rising
While I haven’t had the opportunity to play this one myself, the few folks I do know have had nothing but praise for it.
Starting off Pokemon Flora Sky is a showdown between Dialga and Palkia, two legendary Pokemon. After the great battle is over, they leave an open portal between the Town World and the region, releasing Giratina and all of its attendant troubles.
Your mission is to stop Team Magma and Team Aqua from capturing legendary Pokemon and taking over the world by closing the portal before it’s too late.
There is a brand new storyline and events in the ROM hack that feature a large cast of legendary Pokemon like Mew, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Shaymin, and many more.
There are over 380 Pokemon to collect, new minigames to play, new moves, items, HMs, and a vast cast of people to either love or loathe.
They’ve even implemented a day/night cycle that changes the game’s dynamics depending on the time of day and where you are, giving the experience a more organic air of randomness.
If you are looking for a Pokemon ROM hack with a straightforward plot, this is one of the better options. The kind of game that lets you kick back and take it easy while you enjoy yourself.
8. Pokémon Brown
One of the many ROM hacks derived from Pokémon Red is called Pokémon Brown. The game allows us to travel to the urban center of Rijon. Wood, Wind, Sound, Gas, and Abnormal are the five new types of Pokémon that appeared as a result of industrialization. In addition to the 151 Pokémon native to Kanto, you may also find 73 Fakemon (Pokémon invented by fans) in this region.
Among the earliest Pokémon ROM hacks, this one has an interesting history. It’s still fun to check out if you’re curious about this franchise’s fan games’ long and storied past.
After you’ve completed Pokémon Brown, you can move on to its sequel, Pokémon Prism.