12 Best Pokemon ROM Hacks, Ranked￼
The Pokémon media franchise has established itself as one of the largest in the world, where it indulged in various entertainment media, such as anime series, movies, card games, toys and most importantly, video games.
The first Pokémon video game was released in 1998, in the form of Pokemon Red and Blue versions. Since then, over 80 Pokémon games have launched and made each Pokémon fans’ choice of titles more varied than ever. But these 80 games are only the tip of the iceberg since the community also made their own Pokémon game.
These community-created Pokémon games are what we know as Pokémon ROM hack. The Pokémon Company may not release them officially, but these titles provide a different take on some of the existing ones Pokémon game today.
With that in mind, here’s our list of the 12 best Pokémon ROM hacks, ranked based on gameplay, aesthetics, and overall impact on the community.
12 best Pokémon ROM Hack, Ranked
12) Pokémon One Piece
This ROM hack is the most unique of all the games on our list, and the name says it all. Pokémon One Piece uses characters from One Piece anime and manga series that Pokémon players can use in battles.
The base game is FireRed, and nothing has changed besides the characters. But that alone already gives a different view of how you want to play one Pokémon game. Using Monkey D. Luffy and Portgas D. Ace as your main offensive creatures in a Pokemon is just a treat to watch.
11) Pokémon Radical Red
Just like Pokémon One Piece, Pokémon Radical Red used Fire red and didn’t change much in history. But what makes it interesting for fans is the difficulty level, which increased considerably compared to the base game. This includes the level cap for players and gym leaders and antagonistic bosses that are more difficult to deal with.
But on the brighter side of things, players off Radical red could catch all the Pokémon from generation one to eight. The Pokemon’s moves and stats are also different from the originals, making it a more refreshing take on the regular battles players might experience in the original games.
10) Pokémon DarkFire
Pokémon DarkFire User Pokémon Emerald as the base game, and we know how this Generation Three title managed to become one of the best mainlines Pokémon titles in the story, especially with its story, featured Pokemon and more.
With that, this ROM hack is already something worth trying, although one unique aspect players should know is that there are no gyms in Pokémon DarkFire. This makes each Pokémon more likely to be used in the story of the game, which is somehow darker than the usual Pokémon game plot.
9) Pokemon Rocket Edition
Another game that uses FireRed as base game, Pokemon Rocket Edition, allows players to take on the role of Team Rocket’s Grunt. This makes the story the original FireRed the game more interesting since you play from the perspective of an originally antagonistic character. Here you can commit crimes, steal other trainers’ Pokemon and prove that you are Team Rocket’s best member.
8) Pokémon Dark Rising
There is more than one Pokémon Dark Rising the game since this continuous series of games have unique yet connected stories. You can compare this to a trilogy of Star Warsbut, of course, it is set in the vast world of Pokémon. The base game is too FireRedand there are already five existing ones Pokémon Dark Rising game so far. Just note that you will cross another world in the fourth game, known as Pokémon Dark Rising Origins: Worlds Collide, as you can also catch some Digimon here.
In all Pokémon Dark Rising game, players may be able to catch up to nearly 400 Pokémon, ranging from Generations One to Five. You’ll also find Doctor Roy here, the counterpart to Nurse Joy, who heals all your Pokemon.
7) Pokémon Flora Sky
Another Pokémon ROM hack as user Emerald as base game, Pokémon Flora Sky, contains over 360 Pokémon and a fun and exciting story around Team Magma and Team Aqua. There are different training managers in this game and some unique items players may not use in others Pokémon game.
Players can also indulge in the story involving the Creation Trio of Dialga, Palkia and Giratina. However, aside from their original stories from the games and anime series/movies, there are other stories available for the Creation Trio and other legendary Pokémon such as Groudon and Kyogre.
6) Pokémon Gaia
One of the ROM hacks with the most updated graphics and visuals, Pokémon Gaia is a fan-made game with Pokémon FireRed as its basic title. This game’s story makes it more interesting, especially with how a certain ancient civilization was rattled when an earthquake occurred. You should be able to prevent another one from happening in the current game.
Players can also explore the regions of Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos in Pokémon Gaiaalthough the story is mainly set in the region of Orbtus.
5) Pokemon Unbound
Pokemon Unbound is another game that contains FireRed as base game. But the story of the original game is spiced up thanks to the inclusion of more updated features, such as Z Moves and Mega Evolutions. The game is set in the region of Borrius, whose plot mainly revolves around The Shadows, who are known to be an antagonistic group (like Team Rocket and the like).
If you are someone who loves a game that has a lot of content, you can definitely try this ROM hack. Aside from the main story, there are a bunch of side quests you can do that are very inclined towards the main plot.
4) Pokémon Phoenix Rising
IN Pokémon Phoenix Rising, players are tasked with finding and ultimately reviving the legendary Pokémon, Ho-Oh, in the region of Hawthorne. The outcome of the plot depends on the decision-making of the players, which makes the game unique compared to the official one Pokémon games available.
Mega Evolutions and its feature known as Relic Pokémon can be used by players here. Pokémon Phoenix Rising is also updated regularly, so you’re sure to have plenty of content to play with every time.
3) Pokemon Sors
If you want another take on the story of the ordinary Pokémon game that is Pokemon Sors may be for you. This ROM hack has a history like no other, especially with the introduction of the Eclipse variant. Existing Pokemon can eventually turn purple when they become this type, giving some different abilities than the original ones.
Pokemon Sors takes place in the region of Hupest, and players can catch more than 700 Pokémon here, ranging from generation one to seven. Be careful of the obstacles you may encounter along the way while exploring as these can be more dangerous compared to regular ones Pokémon game.
2) Pokémon Prism
The second one on our list is the ROM hack that uses Pokémon Crystal as base game. Pokémon Prism tasks players with taking on the role of Lance’s child, who embarks on a mission to acquire and win 20 Gym Badges. The story is set in the regions of Naljo and Rijon, with the player being given a Larvitar at the start, acting as his or her traveling companion.
This ROM hack introduces two new Pokemon types: gas and sound types. If you are looking for a very different but interesting take while keeping the core elements of Pokémon game that is Pokémon Prism could be a good choice.
1) Pokémon GS Chronicles
Topping our list of the best Pokémon ROM hack is Pokémon GS Chronicles.
Pokemon gold and Silver have become two of the most iconic mainline games in the franchise’s history, especially with their gameplay elements carried over to the last Pokémon game today. And do a ROM hack with both games? It is definitely a masterpiece. Pokémon GS Chronicles includes all 400 plus Pokémon from generations one through six while retaining the stories from the original Gold and Silver titles.
One slight change though is the dialogue which is slightly different compared to the base games. But still, trying this ROM hack would be worth it and is considered the best.
Websites where you can download Pokémon ROM hack
Be careful which ROM hack you play. There might be a chance that some of these hacks might harm your computer. It is also illegal to download and play ROMs without paying the game developer. We do not recommend obtaining hacked ROMs without permission from the developer or publisher, this is for educational purposes.