Get ready to relive classic Pokemon games in a whole new light as we delve into the best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks of all time!
New gameplay elements, trainers, stats, and storylines for players to become acquainted with for both the DS and 3DS consoles.
The retro gaming community never rests, continually coming up with new and exciting adaptations of our favourite games, bringing out sequels, prequels, and add-ons faster than Game Freak and The Pokemon Company ever could!
So, without further ado, let’s check out my favourites.
Table of Contents
Nintendo DS Pokemon ROM Hacks
The Nintendo DS is a phenomenal handheld, so thankfully there’s a wide range of Pokemon ROM hacks to choose from.
And because the Nintendo DS had a fairly long lifespan there’s a wide range of different variations too, from Pokemon Heart Gold to Pokemon Platinum, there’s plenty to choose from.
1. Pokemon Phoenix Rising
Pokemon Pheonix Rising is the first and possibly most well known game in our list of the best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks. Using The Pokemon essentials engine, this fan made game takes place in the brand new region of Hawthorne.
If anything, this game feels like more of a traditional RPG than the original titles. The thought and time that’s gone into making this hack feel like a completely new game is staggering, and it looks superb on the Nintendo DS!
I can’t miss out the Mega Evolutions too and relic forms too. Relic Tentacruel, Mega Arcane; there are so many amazing beasts to choose from.
2. Pokemon Omega Paradox
Join Cynthia and Drake as you return to the world of Unova to battle teams of minions from the classic Team Rocket and Team Plasma.
Not only that, but Team Aqua have reformed in the region and are causing havoc with… the Masked Man.
This game has one of the coolest evolutions of all time – the Omega-Evolve.
Pick a starter Pokemon, battle all enemies, and do whatever it takes to stop the Masked Man in his tracks.
With new gym leaders, new rivals, a compelling storyline, and over 40 new Pokemon to encounter, this is one ROM hack that should be definitely making its way to your downloads folder.
3. Pokemon Sacred Gold
Sacred Gold takes the third spot in our list of the best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks of all time!
We’ve covered a few Drayano’s best Pokemon ROM hacks here at Retro Dodo. Sacred Gold has a very similar feel to the others, including other games in this list.
With all Pokemon available (almost 500), edited moves, and a more difficult level of gameplay to counter, this HeartGold/SoulSilver ROM adds extra elements into two games and builds upon Drayano’s previous hacks for Gold and Silver that they admit lacked a little in plot.
Also, as all Pokemon are available in this game, there’s no need to trade with another ROM hack in order to complete your Pokedex. Result!
4. Pokemon Moon Silver
Sometimes, other ROMs influence fans and devs to make new ones. That’s exactly what happened here with Quan Giang’s Pokemon Moon Silver.
After completing another of Drayono’s HeartGold/SoulSilver ROM Hack, Number 8 in this list (no scrolling ahead) Quan Giang tried their hand at making their own adventure.
Essentially, this ROM could be seen as an add on for Sacred Gold and Storm Silver. It improves them by adding new fairy-type Pokemon into the equation as well as updated attacks.
We’re big fans of this hack because it not only show intuition, but it’s a story of someone learning on the go, thinking big and ending up with a solid game in the process.
Some could say that Quan Giang has natural genius coursing through their veins!
5. Pokemon Bloody Platinum
One for the Halloween fans, Pokemon Bloody Platinum brings a new look and feel to the Sinnoh Region (Pokemon Diamond/Pearl).
Ok, so the story is mainly the same as the original game with some choice changes that make it 100-times better than the original.
For starters, there’s a new mechanic that means that certain Pokemon only come out when your DS clock is at a specific time.
Essentially, you’ll have to play at all different times of the day if you want to catch all 143 Pokemon up to Gen V.
All trainers have new Pokemon, and there’s a new rival to contend with!
This game feels updated while still providing some much needed childhood nostalgia to get you in The Pokemon battling mood.
6. Pokemon Dark Diamond
Pokemon Dark Diamond takes the 6th spot on this list of the best Pokemon Nintendo DS Hacks!
This hack of Pokemon Diamond was created by a team of two; Spiky and Markitus95. Beginning in the small village of Twinleaf Town, players seek out a mysterious Red Gyrados and end up getting involved in all sorts of trouble.
With all 493 Pokemon to, new NPCs, a new enemy faction, and the choice of playing as one of two main characters, this ROM has tonnes of new features to keep both old Poke-fans and new gamers happy.
Oh, and the music is amazing too!
7. Pokemon Silver Yellow
Pokemon Silver Yellow is a bit of an amalgamation of various other Pokemon games and ROM hacks.
In essence, it’s based on the old ROM hack Silver Blue but also has a strong Pokemon Yellow vibe about it.
Kanto’s original Pokemon have been redesigned for this new hack, with a new area of God’s Garden available to enter.
Take advantage of Mega Charizard as a character in your team, and venture out to catch Mew, Suicine, Regirock, and many other classic legendary Pokemon.
Oh, and all the original starter Pokemon from the original games can Mega-Evolve too, not just Charizard, giving your team even more fighting power!
8. Pokemon Blaze Black 2
Pokemon Blaze Black jumps into 8th position in our best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks list.
Remember we mentioned Drayano’s ROM hacks above? Well, this is another example of their brilliant work.
Pokemon BB2 is a sequel to Drayano’s Black and White hack ‘Blaze Black’. Still with me…?
There are a whopping 649 Pokemon to capture and train in this hack. All of the trainers from the original game have had their fighting teams mixed up and swapped around, making for a brand new challenge for those that are incredibly ofay with the classic DS title.
Blaze Black 2 also looks dramatically different to Volt White 2. So, while Drayano has given us the chance to fill Pokedexes without downloading both hacks, it’s still worth playing through them both for the full experience.
9. Pokemon Storm Silver
Storm Silver is the partner ROM hack to Sacred Gold!
As I’ve already covered SG above, then you kind of know the general feel and gist of this hack. It’s more difficult, all Pokemon are available, and an updated storyline that fills in all the gaps that Drayano’s Gold and Silver hacks left.
Now complete with scripted events and some badass gameplay, this new ROM hack could easily have dropped from GameFreak themselves!
Plus, these games look incredible on the DS, a true visual pleasure to behold!
10. Pokemon Volt White
Pokemon Volt White is up next in our list of the best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks.
I guess we should have renamed this article the best Drayano Pokemon ROM hacks… maybe next time.
Once again, all 649 Pokemon return for gamers to collect, and the game has superior difficulty. Edited trainers play a big part in the game’s change of make-up, and many of The Pokemon have been improved.
We’re talking stat and move improvements to all of the pocket critters, as well as new personas and looks to spice things up a little bit.
Dont worry if it all sounds a little confusing; there are tonnes of handy guides and documents included with the download for you to sink your teeth into.
11. Pokemon Moon Black 2
Pokemon Black 2 might not be the greatest titled game of all time, but it’s a great core for the next fan-made game in our best Pokemon Nintendo DS Rom hacks compendium.
Meet Pokemon Moon Black 2, combining the thrills and spills of Sun & Moon with Pokemon Black 2 for the ultimate Unova/Alola crossover!
Not only that, but Pokemon from future generations make a cameo too, as well as brand new Pokemon created for the game.
Pull off new moves, fight new trainers, and stand back as your Pokemon Mega Evolve into glorious beasts.
Oh, and it looks bloomin’ good too!
12. Pokemon Renegade Platinum
If you liked the cut of Pokemon Platinum but wished it gave you more of a challenge, then Renegade Platinum will definitely float your boat.
Well, it’s so tough it’ll probably crash and then sink your boat, but you get the idea.
The hack itself isn’t too different from the main game; the changes are subtle but serve to give it a difficulty boost that allows for another crack at a brilliant game.
Think of it as the Chuck Norris version of Platinum!
With all Pokemon available to capture and trainers using different monsters, there’s plenty to keep you occupied… just don’t break that stylus in anger when you lose time and time again!
13. Pokémon Mind Crystal
Pokemon Crystal was one of our most beloved games for the GBC, and Pokemon Mind Crystal gives it the Nintendo DS treatment.
While the hack acts as a bit of a remake and reimagining of the GBC classic, it’s actually based on the DS game Soul Silver.
Gamers delve into a game with a day and night mode and tonnes of Pokemon to catch from the very beginning. Experience Mega Evolutions, upgraded items to use in battle, and an exciting National Dex mode!
It’s the version of Crystal that we never knew we needed, but we’re so glad that we found it!
Best Nintendo 3DS Pokemon ROM Hacks
If you fancy playing your favourite 3DS games with a twist, then I have some great suggestions for you.
Yes, it’s Pokemon but not as you know it, with ROM hacks of Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, X, Y, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon!
If, like me, you’re looking for more of a challenge from your Pokemon games, something that really gets your blood pumping and those thumbs tapping, then this list will provide all the answers.
We’re talking more Pokemon, more battles, and brand new features to whet your appetite.
1. Pokemon Rising Sun and Waning Moon
The results are in, and Pokemon Rising Sun and Waning Moon are officially the best Pokemon Nintendo 3DS ROM hacks of all time!
As well as making things much more difficult, there are some neat little changes to the original games that make these hacks the ultimate Pokemon 3DS titles.
From messing around with the game music to finding and accessing hidden abilities within your Pokemon, the whole journey just feels more immersive and customisable from the get-go.
You’ll be pushed to work harder and think on your feet as you play, working with your Pokemon to come up with solutions to the new challenged you’re posed along the way.
Don’t worry though; it’s not as if you’re just thrown in at the deep end and are drowning from start to finish. The game does a great job of preparing you so that you don’t feel like you’re running before walking.
Or in this case, flying on a Charizard before you’re walking with a Charmander… or something like that.
2. Pokemon Supernova Sun and Penumbra Moon 3DS
Supernove Sun and Penumbra Moon slide into the penultimate spot in out list, two ROM hacks that Make Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon even better.
I know you thought that wasn’t even possible, but just trust me, it is.
And how do these hacks make the games better?
Could they make them harder, by any chance?
Yes, that’s exactly how they do it! The original titles were a little easy for experienced players who have been catching pocket monsters since Red and Blue, so having more of a challenging ride makes them much more entertaining.
We’re talking updated trainers, Pokemon with items that make them harder to battle and catch, and, an all-round difficult cookie to crack from start to finish.
3. Pokemon Eternal X and Wilting Y
The third spot in our best Pokemon Nintendo 3DS ROM hacks list goes to Pokemon Eternal X and Wilting Y, another set of hacks that allow users to catch all 721 Pokemon.
That’s all the critters from every game. And to be honest, you’ll need them if you’re hoping to tackle this mammoth title.
As you might expect after reading the last two ROM hacks, Eternal and Wilting are more difficult than the original X and Y titles. They come in three different types: Legal, Rebalanced, and Insanity.
Legal mode adds some some extra abilities and special moves that are all still legal in competitive battles online, while Rebalanced makes weaker Pokemon more exciting to use by giving them some kick-ass stats.
Finally, a monster Caterpie that can take on the big leagues.
Insanity mode is basically the Rebalanced mode with even more difficult scenarios thrown into the mix. It’s for the tough trainers out there that seek to pull their hair out.
4. Pokemon Rising Ruby and Sinking Sapphire
We’ve got a lot to thank Omega Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for, not least of all the creation of Rising Ruby and Sinking Sapphire.
Not only can you play through the main Omega and Alpha titles, but you can also grab and use all 721 Pokemon up to this point.
The game is much more difficult too, with a Pokemon League that seriously takes some beating.
Because there are so many Pokemon in this game, you can’t exactly rely on getting the same Pokemon in the same place in the same time either. It’s one for the patient explorers who have a lot of time on their hands and not the quick bathroom breakers looking to make a few shocking discovers with Pikachu on the potty.
That last sentence ruined my article readability, but it was so worth it.
5. Pokemon Rutile Ruby and Star Sapphire
First up in our list of the best Pokemon Nintendo 3DS games is Pokemon Rutile Ruby and Star Sapphire, hacks of two of the best Nintendo 3DS games all time, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
In essence, Rutile Ruby and Star Sapphire are harder versions of the original adventures. They provide a much more challenging experience from the outset with player’s Pokemon levelling up much quicker due to the increased difficulty.
If you’re not at Lv 100 with your main Pokemon by the time you reach the final challenge of the Elite Four, then you’re in trouble
The changes are subtle enough for you to not just feel like you’re continually running into a brick wall too. It might be harder, but it’s still an enjoyable title to play.
If you’re big into your online battles, then you’ll also be pleased to know that all of the obtainable items are still legal in competitive online battles too. Plus, getting teams ready to fight is a doddle now too.
See, while it makes other things harder, the overall effect of this life is to make your life way easier!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 33 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.