Pokémon games stand out as being one of the largest and most well-known fandom franchises.
It provides endless characters, possibilities, storylines, and games!
So, what is a Pokémon ROM Hack?
ROM hacks are video games that have been modified by fans to create an entirely new looking and improved version of a game. No need to confuse yourself between Pokémon ROM hacks and Pokémon GBA ROM hacks, they are all the same.
Grab your Pokeballs and your trainer hat! We have compiled a list for you of the best Pokémon ROM Hacks of all time!
The 13 Best Pokémon ROM Hacks of all time
1. Pokémon Mega Power
The game is a ROM hack of Emerald but features many distinct sprites and a brand-new story. In Mega Power, the character is on a quest to make the strongest Pokémon. To achieve this, your character has performed a lot of experiments.
Unfortunately, you are running out of funds. Not to worry! A mysterious financier comes to your rescue.
You go on an adventure, but suddenly you get an epiphany. Is your financier out for your quest for knowledge? Perhaps his money will be used to manipulate your strongest Pokémon creation?
The gameplay in Mega Power is remarkably like the original. Pokémon Mega Power does contain three new areas or Regions such as Ivara, Lander, and the Sevii Islands.
There are several Generation IV, V, VI, and VII Pokémon included in the game. It also boasts of having all the Mega Evolutions available in the game.
2. Pokémon Light Platinum
This one is a hack of Pokémon Ruby with edited graphics. In Light Platinum, you get to explore the Zhery Region while meeting and battling new rivals. Players can pit their skills against the region's awesome Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and the Champion. You can capture and train Pokémon from the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh Regions.
Be sure not to forget about the moves and items you can collect when you play this game. There are some special events that you can participate in the game as well as the Pokémon World Championship. Think of the Pokémon World Championship as the endgame content after you have dominated the Elite Four.
You can get an excellent twenty-plus hour playing Pokémon Light Platinum. That is some decent gameplay!
3. Pokémon Flora Sky
Pokémon Flora Sky is Pokémon Emerald, but with everything that you wish the original had!
There are more mountains, forests, caves, and a bunch more Pokémon in the game. There are 368 Pokémon to catch, each with animated sprites, new moves, new items, and a brand-new story.
This game is may is not perfect, but it grabbed some big-name attention. There are several things Game Freak and Nintendo have taken from this ROM hack for their next games in the series. This includes a progression system that does not require grinding.
To complete the story and progress through the areas appropriately, this hack makes you go on the form of a treasure hunt. It makes you see every nook and cranny of their upgraded Hoenn.
Every Pokémon is catchable, and some of the games' original encounter rates are reversed: It is easier to catch a Rotom in this game, but a fair bit harder to catch a Ralts.
A brighter color pallet and an easier story to follow as you play your ROM hacks place Pokémon Flora Sky on our list.
4. Pokémon Blazed Glazed
Pokémon Blazed Glazed is another hack of Emerald. This ROM hack is an improvement over the older version, which was Pokémon Glazed. The story is the same where your character has reached the age of maturity. You are given a Pokémon of your choice, and you start on your quest.
Unfortunately, the world is in chaos at that point, and you end up behaving to be the savior of both the real and Pokémon world.
There is also a Pikachu that is stalking you for revenge, but you can deal with that in the game. Considering that Blazed Glazed is an improvement or an update, the main features of Glazed is are there. These include choosing 5 Starters, different Regions to explore, as well as Dream World Pokémon.
There are quite a few new additions as well! There are added Pokémon from Generation IV to VI, new moves added from the different games, and different Pokémon added in different locations in the game. Some may spawn in the same location, and some added to the space.
There have also been some Pokémon moves that have been updated. This means that they do not learn their default moves in this hack. Quite a few worthwhile additions!
5. Pokémon Glazed
So, you may have noticed we already listed the game Pokémon Blazed Glazed. This next one, Pokémon Glazed, is the base of that game. While Blazed Glazed is somewhat of an improvement of this one, it is undeniable that Pokémon Glazed is still a fantastic ROM game.
You get the typical story of a boy coming into age and becoming a full-fledged Pokémon trainer. Unfortunately, the world seems to be ending, so you get to take part in saving it.
When it comes to the gameplay, you get to choose from five different starters. You can explore three Regions, such as Tunod, Johto, and Rankor. You also get to have Dream World Pokémon and a plethora of Legendaries to catch in the game.
Having the chance to battle trainers and Gym Leaders again is also a welcome feature so that you get more experience and money in the long run. Definitely a ROM game worth checking out.
6. Pokémon Theta Emerald EX
By now, we are coming to realize that Emerald is a popular game of choice for hacks!
Pokémon Theta Emerald EX is an updated version of Pokémon Theta Emerald. The story is somewhat the same, which is good, basic, and standard for any ROM hack available out there. This ROM hack does improve a lot of the aspects from the earlier versions.
There are over 700 Pokémon in this game compared to the 600 plus Pokémon in the past version. This also includes more abilities, TMs, HMs, and Mega Evolutions as well as Primal Revision. They also added the Fairy-type in the game and a new Repel mechanic.
There is also an added feature that is quite cool. You can run inside the buildings! This is a remarkably simple yet super useful feature.
7. Pokémon Mega Emerald X and Y Edition
This version of the game is finally complete. Pokémon Mega Emerald X and Y Edition is a hack of Pokémon Emerald but with fundamental elements from Pokémon X and Y. The story itself is a bit mundane, but it is the typical Pokémon adventure game that has its twists and turns. Most of the games and graphics are relatively the same.
The game still appears the same as Emerald, but the new Pokémon have their sprites edited for the game!
The game prides itself on having Pokémon from Generation I to VI, but not all of them. However, all the Legendary Pokémon from all those Generations are available in the game. You just need to trek through the different regions and areas to find and catch them.
Don't forget about the Mega Evolutions and Primal Pokémon available in the game. If you are looking to spend a bunch of hours into a variation of Emerald, then this is the one to go for!
8. Pokémon Liquid Crystal
If you felt a bit traumatized from Pokémon Dark Rising, then Pokémon Liquid Crystal will help to soothe your wounds.
It is bright, colorful, and you can play through this game at a very leisurely pace while progressing. To do so, however, would be to miss the point of this game completely.
This game allows you to revisit the Kanto and Johto regions as well as the orange islands. The game truly has an adventurer feel to it.
It will appear to be a duplicate of Gen 2 with Gen 3 graphics. However, this game serves as an apology to all the older fans, who could not keep their Pokémon as the games progressed from Gameboy Advance to Nintendo DS. That is a nice touch!
9. Pokémon Gaia
Pokémon Gaia is a ROM hack that used Fire Red as the base. The game contains somewhat of an intricate story. In the past, the old civilization worshiped gods, but earthquakes consumed the upper areas. Thousands of years later, you are now a rising Pokémon trainer being asked by Professor Redwood to help prevent another calamity of earthquakes, which will sink the Region of Orbetus.
The Pokémon come from the Regions of Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos. The moves and other aspects are inspired and utilized by Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Many different mechanics are used, such as the Mega Evolutions, Fairy-type, and underwater locations, to name a few.
You can also find several Hidden Grottoes and Secret Temples and use TMs repeatedly.
Gaia could pass off as a spin-off game if you truly put the work into it!
10. Pokémon Ultra Shiny Gold Sigma
Pokémon Ultra Shiny Gold Sigma is another ROM hack of Fire Red. Despite it being a hack of Fire Red, the elements and story are based on the classic Gold, Silver, and other aspects from Crystal. The story follows those games from Generation II, but there are some added plot points and other elements to the story.
You also have a Pokémon roster with over 800 of them from Generation I to VII!
The game has other features such as Mega Evolutions and the Miracle Exchange. A cool feature to mention is it removes the trading evolution. You can evolve a Pokémon normally without the act of trading them. EVs and IVs are also shown on the menu so that you can avoid complicated calculations.
Be sure to remember the day and night cycle, as well as having a dawn and afternoon time!
Are you looking to spend long hours catching a whole bunch of Pokémon? This is the game for you.
11. Pokémon Adventures Red Chapter
Red Chapter is part of the official Pokémon Adventure Collections. This ROM hack emerged third place three consecutive times in the Poke Community Hack of the Year contest from 2013 to 2015. It is also a hack of Pokémon Fire Red.
This follows the story of the Pokémon Adventure Manga. The game follows the Manga closely, containing most of the events. However, some events were changed to make them longer.
Since the game follows the manga closely, you do not get to choose your own starter Pokémon.
Good news, though! You will be able to get that later in the game.
This ROM hack features some cool things, including all Pokémon, are catchable, root fossil replacing old amber in the pewter museum, and blue and green making more appearance in the game. Additionally, maps were changed to reflect on Manga's appearance.
The graphics and display are updated compared to Fire Red, with customizable characters and levels up to 255.
The game also involves a day and night cycle, as other Pokémon games do. Try this game today when you are a big fan of the Pokémon Adventures manga.
12. Pokémon Dark Cry
Pokémon Dark Cry has a reasonably intricate story. You wake up and realize that you are lying in a cavern, and everything was highly contrasting. You see two individuals, remaining by a dim special raised area, discussing a “Shadow Plate.” You go after your Pokémon, yet they are not there. At that point, you see a man with “R” on his shirt. You attempt to stop him, yet he strolls directly past you.
This man plays out an unusual custom. Afterward, there is a gigantic quake, and a goliath shadow approaches you. You wake up and acknowledge that this was just a dream. You take a gander at the clock and acknowledge you are late for getting your Pokémon. Later you come to understand that your dream is becoming a reality. Creepy right?
The Pokémon Dark Cry features; new region, TrionPokePaper, daily news source, side quests, and mini-games automatic trainer, level cap increase, and many more.
This Gameboy advanced hack of the Pokémon Fire Red, according to users, is said to possess near-perfect gameplay. It also contains good mapping and amazing scripting.
13. Pokémon Ash Gray
This one is a hack of Fire Red, and the story follows the very first season of the Pokémon anime. You control Ash Ketchum, and if you are a big fan of the series, you will notice that the opening pretty much mirrors episode 1. Ash wakes up late and fails to get his Pokémon and ends up having Pikachu.
Embark on a quest to follow the story as it unfolds. As a bonus, they even added parts of some of the movies into the game.
You can get all the Pokémon that Ash got during his run in the series. However, you are not restricted in using those Pokémon. It is still a ROM hack, which means that you can get some Pokémon that you would want. You do get some Pokémon when the plot progresses, but you do not have to use them.
Considering this is based on the series, the Pokémon you can get is limited to the series. This means no features such as Mega Evolution and other Pokémon that have not appeared in the series.
This makes the gameplay more of a standard Pokémon game. They also removed the HM's. That means you can use items to do HM moves.
If you are a big fan of the anime, then this hack is exactly right for you.
Wrapping Up the ROM's
There are so many different Pokémon ROM games to choose from; it is impossible to pick only one. We hope that this list helped you narrow down the best ones to try!
This list has ROM hacks that have good stories, good gameplay, good Pokémon rosters, and more!
Which will you try first? The possibilities are endless, and as new ROM games will be created, there will be even more to check out!
After all, nothing is better than fans being so passionate about their games that they create versions of their own.
Where Can I Get these ROM Hack Games?
There are other locations to snag these from, but here are a few to check out!