Get ready to gasp with awe as we check out the 10 best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks of the year!
Yes, we’re about to embark on 10 alternative adventures that compliment some of the best Gameboy Color games ever made.
Take a deep breath, dear reader, for your life may never be the same again from this moment on!
From alternative adventures through to adapted versions of games that make them easier and more fun to play, this list of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks has a little something for everyone…
… just watch out for Number 6… don’t say I didn’t warn you!
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10. Pokémon Trading Card Game Rebalanced
It only feels right for me to start this list of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks with one of my favourite GBC games of all time.
The Pokemon Trading Card game was such an addictive title, and this ROM hack makes the game even better.
In essence, this mod serves to make the game faster and gives people more freedom when making decks of their chosen cards. Preset decks don’t change, but player cards now turn out to be more useful much more regularly.
I don’t ever need an excuse to play this game, but this might be enough to draw everyone else who says I’m boring in for a try!
9. Pokemon Gold Sinnoh
Pokemon Gold Sinnoh provides Poke-fans with a brand new adventure through Sinnoh, the setting of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, two of the best Pokemon games of all time.
Team Rocket, and all the gym leaders along with the Elite Four from Kanto and Johto have arrived in Sinnoh, and they’re all desperate to make their mark.
With new TMs, shiny Pokemon, and a new training area called the Trainer Tower, there’s lots fans of the series to sink their Pinsirs into…
… see what I did there.
8. Pokemon Gold Spaceworld Restoration
If you’ve ever fancied travelling around on a Cruiser Skateboard rather than a bicycle in a demo version of Pokemon Gold, then this is your lucky day.
Pokemon Gold Spaceworld Restoration changes the original Pokemon Gold back to the demo that launched at Spaceworld in 1997.
Ok, so that doesn’t sound that impressive at first glance, but this was a pivotal moment in Poke-history, and this mod allows us to relive the magic anytime, anywhere.
We’re talking previously unreleased Pokemon, shiny Pokemon in the original colour palettes, and of course that Cruiser Skateboard.
What more do you need to know?!
7. Pokemon Dark Energy
It’s time to add a gothic touch to this list of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks with Pokemon Dark Energy.
For once, this story takes away the constant need to become a champion, which has gotta’ be good for your self esteem. It also paves the way for more of an RPG-style storyline, one with side-quests to fulfil and active battle modes.
Take advantage of trade evolutions via levelling up instead (ain’t nobody got time for a link cable), and evolve other Pokemon through special quests.
It’s Pokemon Silver, but not as you know it!
6. Pokemon Crystal Kaizo
Kaizo usually means one thing and one thing only here at Retro Dodo – a game that’s hard as nails!
Forget everything you knew about Pokemon Crystal and get ready for a super-tough challenge like no other.
I’m talking about no using max revives in battle, superbosses at every turn, and redesigned areas that have death and treachery written all over then…
… not literally, it’s just a figure of speach.
Whereas Team Rocket grunts used to be a bit of a pushover, they’re now a serious threat and tough to beat. What’s more, every other fighter you meet is tougher too, even the weakling ones at the beginning of the game.
Do your best to catch all of the 251 second gen pocket monsters, but be warned – if you had hair or nails before you play this hack, you won’t by the time you’ve completed it!
5. Pokemon Bronze
You’ve played in Kanto and Johto, but how about taking a trip into Kohto?
This 9-town region happens to be connected to Kanto via a tunnel underground. Funny how we never found that out before, eh?
The main premise is the same as many other Pokemon games; get a starter, become the champ, be a big deal.
Set after Gold & Silver, this game is a little harder and provides more of a challenge. Set out from Cartridge Town and try to get ahead while Team Rocket are constantly attempting to pull your back.
Those guys don’t let up!
Still, with Charmander, Pichu, or Totodile as your starter, those goons don’t stand a chance!
4. Pokemon Perfect Crystal
Pokemon Perfect Crystal takes the fourth spot in our list of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks.
This is a subtle hack but one that makes Crystal a much better game to play. Having that run button makes things move much quicker (obviously). Glitches are gone, all of the game’s 251 Pokemon are available to catch.
What’s more, you can now catch all three of the Johto starters early in the game and all the Kanto games by the middle of the adventure.
What with that and the time of day adjustments, this makes for an interesting change that keeps fans on their toes.
Like I said, subtle differences, but a great mod that all Poke fans should check out.
3. Pokemon Diamond & Jade
Pokemon Diamond & Jade take the bronze medal in our list, but they’re a little bit sneaky…
… you see, these aren’t technically Pokemon ROM hacks… they’re fake Pokemon games.
This isn’t the real Pokemon Diamond either; Diamond & Jade are actually bootleg copies of the Keitai Denjū Terefangu games. Players catch Denjus, not Pokemon.
What’s more, they were actually available to grab hold of as cartridges too.
For all intense and purposes, these games look and play like Pokemon titles. You can’t change your name or nickname the monsters you catch, but the games are in English and they’re fun to play… if you look past the glitches.
But you know what… these titles are super fun to play. It’s like playing Pokemon but also a brand new adventure at the same time. It feels familiar yet fresh, the best kind of mystery combo!
2. Pokemon Crystal Clear
Pokemon Crystal Clear takes the silver medal in this list of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks of all time!
And guess what… Pokemon Crystal is now an open-world adventure.
Yep; go anywhere, do anything, customise your character, re-challenge gyms… the list is endless.
Players can collect 16 badges and then challenge a brand new Elite Four for ultimate glory.
Start off the adventure in either Kanto or Johto, pick from a whopping 24 starter Pokemon, and play through expanded areas and whole new towns!
You can even buy houses in each city… talk about the ultimate Pokemon open world experience! Who need Pokemon Legends Arceus!
1. Pokemon Prism
Pokemon Prism is the best GBC Pokemon ROM hack of all time!
Ask anyone who’s anyone, and they’ll tell you that Prism is not just one of the best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks, but one of the best Pokemon games, hands down.
This game was so well put together that it could have been an official Ninty title… a fact that Nintendo knew all too well, which is why they put a stop to it back in 2016!
Still, six years on, copies of this ROM hack can still be found… the retro gaming community are relentless, if nothing else.
Prism serves as a sequel to Pokemon Brown, one of our best Pokemon ROM Hacks and a bonus GBC entry that you’ll have to visit the above article to find out about.
Move between Naljo and Rijon in two quests. Collect 253 Pokemon, travel to 10 original cities, and play certain sections as Pokemon, going where no human trainer has ever gone before!
Yep, Prism is the real deal and a worthy winner of our best GBC Pokemon ROM hacks list!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.