I’ve been playing around with the best Pokemon ROM Hacks for years now, and each of them never fail to do something new.
That’s thanks to the incredibly talented Pokemon community who spend months, if not years building these ROM hacks in order to help gamers get through those rough times.
These Pokemon ROM hacks are some of the best on the internet. Here you’ll find a list of our favourites. Some have been tweaked slightly, and some feel like completely new games.
If you’re new to Pokemon ROM hacks and the best Pokemon emulators, then do not worry.
All you need is to download the ROMs using the links under each section and then use the correct emulator on your phone, PC/Mac, or even on the best retro handhelds in order to play them.
So let’s dive into some of the best Pokemon ROM hacks you can play right now!
1. Pokemon GS Chronicles
Pokemon GS Chronicles has been receiving a lot of praise throughout 2021, and that’s quite simply because it’s one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks out there.
It’s based on the old classic Pokemon Gold and Silver games, which as you know was one of the best Gameboy Advance games ever. But now, it has been tweaked, modified and upgraded into a brand new game which sticks to the storyline, but with even more depth.
Some of the new features that have been added to Pokemon GS Chronicles are Mega Evolutions, added Gen 4 -6 Pokemon, a map based of HGSS, new locations, new time based wild Pokemon, and Pokemon Rides which replace HM’s.
What makes this one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks out there is due to the sheer amount of updates this game gets. It’s continuously being managed, with bugs being fixed all the time, new updates and a huge community behind it that can help you when you are struggling.
If there’s any to download, it’s this one.
2. Pokemon Team Rocket Edition
Imagine playing the classic Pokemon Red game, but in Team Rocket’s shoes? Well, now you can because of the incredible Pokemon community!
Technically Pokemon Team Rocket Edition is a remake of Pokemon Fire Red, but that was a remake of Red, so I’ll let you decide on that one!
In this game you play as a member of Team Rocket. Here you will steal, and cheat your way to the top, engaging with many members of the evil gang. I don’t want to ruin much of the storyline because it’s one you just have to play, but in this game you’ll learn more about Team Rocket than you can ever imagine.
You come across a wide number of fan based conspiracy theories, you steal players Pokemon, and you come across some very familiar characters in a different perspective.
This takes a classic game, and flips it on its head. If you’re a fan of one of the best Gameboy Color games, I recommend giving this a go.
3. Pokemon Light Platinum
Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire was a classic for the Gameboy Advance and sold over 16 million units, which just goes to show how good it was.
If you’re looking for a game that’s based around that incredible game then Pokemon Light Platinum is the one to go for.
This Pokemon ROM Hack allows you to travel across not one, but two regions known as Zhery and Lauren. WesleyFG, the legend behind this rom hack has also added in new leaders, the Elite Four, rivals which you may remember and a boat load of Pokemon from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova.
That’s a lot of Pokemon!
If that wasn’t enough, this game allows you to travel across new dimensions, catch every single legendary Pokemon up to Unova and it features a huge final event called the Pokemon World Championship.
This event rounds of the game nicely and makes you feel accomplished once completed. This is one of the best Pokemon ROM Hacks for those of you that love Ruby & Sapphire!
4. Pokemon Gaia
It seems the Pokemon community really like Fire Red hacks, and this is another one, just with a much bigger “twist” than most.
The ROM hack starts with Professor Redwood noticing an increase in the region seismic activity and asks local Pokemon trainers to figure out why.
This game introduces new Pokemon from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova and even Kalos, making your team a huge mix from all generations. With that comes the ability to teach them modern day abilities and even mega evolve them in battle.
This ROM hack updates all of the sprites, moves, HM’s, trainers and building illustrations too, giving it a slightly different look compared to other Fire Red hacks.
One of my personal favourite additions is that fact you can climb walls, and even discover underwater regions too!
It’s worth a download, because hey, it’s on our top 5!
5. Pokemon Glazed
This is a game that I stumbled across and absolutely loved. Pokemon Glazed is about mystery and confusion when an unexpecting problem occurs throughout the region.
A mysterious power is sending the Pokemon world and the real world on a collision cource and it’s your goal to find out why all while exploring ancient ruins, mysterious Pokemon and a scarfed Pikachu that’s angrier than a mini chihuahua.
When you get to your 12th birthday you’re able to choose from not 3, not 4 but 5 different starters, and the Pokemon throughout your world come from the Tunod, Johto and Rankor regions giving you a very odd mix of Pokemon to catch.
This Pokemon ROM hack has also introuced “Dream World” Pokemon which may give you a slighty insight into the story line.
If new Pokemon wasn’t enough you can also catch all legendaries from Kanto to Sinnoh and eight more from the Unova region.
This is one to add to your collection if you’re looking for more of the best Pokemon ROM hacks to add to your collection. The story line won it for me!
6. Pokemon Dark Rising
Do you ever have really weird dreams about Pokemon? Yeah, so do I, but imagine a game based off a dream where a Pokemon asks to you to help it save the world?
The average person would probably think it was a nightmare, but that to me sounds like the best dream ever. Pokemon Dark rising bases its storyline off of just that, so when you talk to your best friend about it, it turns out he had the exact same dream!
This ROM hack might not be as “big” as some others on the list but that doesn’t devalue the gaming experience at all. In this game there’s over 380 Pokemon to catch, from regions such as Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova.
It stays close to the classic Pokemon storyline, which features Gyms, bad guys and puzzles. But what makes this ROM hack so good is that it brings modern day Pokemon, moves and features into the game, with a polished look.
This is a ROM hack for those of you that want to keep it old school, but like some of the newer generations features such as Dream World abilities etc.
7. Pokemon Flora Sky
This is one I haven’t personally played but I know a few people who have, and they’ve only said good things about it.
Pokemon Flora Sky starts off with a battle between the legendary Pokemon Dialga and Palkia. Once the epic battle has finished they leave behind a open portal between the Town World unleashing Giratina into the region which comes with a lot of problems.
It’s your job to close the portal before it’s too late, all while training your Pokemon and coming up against Team Magma and Aqua who are trying to catch legendary Pokemon to take over the world.
The ROM hack features a never seen before story line, new events featuring a wide number of legendary Pokemon such as Mew, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Shaymin and more.
The world is filled with over 380 Pokemon for you to catch, new mini games, new moves, items, HM’s and a wide number of new characters which you’ll come to love/hate.
They have even added a day/night system which triggers events based on the time and location you are in, making the game feel random in a very natural way.
This is one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks for those that want a simple, and easy to understand story line. One which you can just relax playing through.
8. Pokemon Brown
Pokemon Brown is known by many, as it’s one of the oldest Pokemon ROM hacks around. It’s based off of the classic Gameboy game but with some minor changes to the storyline.
The game takes place in the new region of Rijon, it introduced ten new cities, one Johto city and over 20 new routes to explore. With that comes seven new types of Pokemon that were not featured in Pokemon Red/Blue.
Imagine a new region in Pokemon Red, with new characters, new Pokemon, different music tracks, new landscapes and a huge storyline that you’ve never heard of. That’s Pokemon Brown.
It doesn’t get updated as much as other ROM hacks, and although it feels as if it has been left out, that’s only because it’s already a great game that doesn’t need much tweaking.
It has that old, vintage feeling from the 90’s and that’s what attracts many to this ROM hack, it’s different, but feels nostalgic at the same time.
9. Pokemon Prism
Pokemon Prism is one of the most popular ROM hacks out there, not only because its been around for a while but because it is one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks out there.
The storyline is based on a young kid who was playing on their uncle’s mine cart when it suddenly spins out of control and ends up in a brand new region called Naljo. This region is corrupt and you end up finding a lost Larvitar which helps you bring back Naljo to its good old ways.
This region is in fact far bigger than Johto, it features over 250 Pokemon from four different regions and adds Fairy, Gas and Sound types of Pokemon which is awesome. Sound as a type is genius and why Nintendo hasn’t thought of it is beyond us!
Throughout your journey, like any other ROM hack you’ll discover puzzles, new areas, legendary Pokemons and these things called Gold coins which allow you to unlock sme really cool stuff.
There’s only 80 in the whole game, so spend them wisely!
If that wasn’t enough this game adds crafting, new mini games, and side scrolling areas to make it completely different to other competitor ROM hacks!
10. Pokemon Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising is a free fan-made episodic Pokémon RPG developed using RPG Maker XP and the Pokémon Essentials engine.
The game is set in a new region known as Hawthorne and boasts changes to the original main-series Pokémon formula to include a more traditional RPG theme as well as many new features.
This is one of the best Pokemon ROM hacks around, period. The time, and effort put into this is beyond incredible and the team behind it should be very proud.
It looks like a completely new game, and you could probably tell us Game Freak developed it themselves, and I’d believe you! The graphics and overall look is based off the Nintendo DS, so it looks far more modern than most on this list.
This ROM hack features a wide number of cool things, for example there are choice determined gameplay moments, character customisation, skill trees and multiple save files.
But the best bit comes with mega evolutions, region evolutions and relic forms too! For example, there’s Mega Arcanine, Ho-Oh Arisen Form, Mega Flygon, Relic Tentacruel and more, all waiting to be captured!
The only downfall with this one is that it’s fairly new, and only episode 1 has been launched, so as soon as you start to get addicted, you then realise there’s not another episode out yet. The team behind it are working on more episodes, but as with any ROM hack, they don’t get paid to do it, so this will launch when and if it gets finished.
11. Pokemon Revolution Online
Did you ever think that you’d see a Pokemon MMO based on the first four Pokemon regions?
Well, maybe you did… I guess that’s why you’re here, after all.
For me, Pokemon Revolution Online is the ultimate online RPG. It’s got all the elements of the original games that we know and love and adds new features such as meeting other users and joining specific guilds.
There are regular updates and events for players to take part in. Plus, with four regions to explore, there’s plenty to keep gamers occupied.
The PvP battles look much better than they did back in the day too, almost like they’ve had the Pokemon Go treatment while still sticking to their retro roots.
All in all, this is an epic mod and one that allows you to play Pokemon like never before.
And the best bit… it’s 100% free!
12. Pokemon Rejuvenation
Pokemon Reborn brought crime and lawlessness to the world of pocket monster training.
It was such a success that the team couldn’t rest on their laurels for long, and Pokemon Rejuvenation was born soon after.
With a brand new story to play through, Rejuvenation gives fans the chance to experience what it’s like to rebuild a local town after an ‘act of god’ leaves it in ruins.
While you’re trying to fix things and get people back on their feet, the notorious Team Xen are attempting to plunge the world into greater chaos.
Give it a rest, guys!
While this title ultimately wouldn’t exist without Reborn, I have to admit that I prefer it to its predecessor. The game is colourful, the Pokemon (up to Gen 7) are fun to fight with, and it’s a well made game that fans are sure to love.
13. Pokemon Orange
Pokemon Orange flies into the Number 13 spot on our list of the best Pokemon ROM hacks of all time!
This is an exciting hack of Pokemon Crystal that sees players taking a Pokemon Trainer from Valencia Island around the Orange Archipelago.
It sounds like something that one might visit of the coast of France or Sardinia. I’d totally visit this place if I could, especially if there was a Dragonite waiting for me!
Meet Samson oak and find out just what this GS Ball he’s going on about really is. He’s got a strong Hawaiian vibe about him and looks ready for a drink by the pool, never mind researching Pokemon!
This new adventure is exciting and well thought out. It’s certainly given us lots of fun and hopefully will for you too!
14. Pokemon Reborn
I guess I couldn’t really go any further without talking about Pokemon Reborn in greater detail, especially after I mentioned it so much above!
Yes, Reborn brings a much different feel to the world of Pokemon. Instead of everything being light and happy-go-lucky, there’s a real sinister, dark feel to proceedings.
It’s a little like a crime scene at a stem punk convention, and I bloomin’ love it!
One of the things that you’ll notice about this brand new adventure is the epic music. GlitchxCity has made some belting tunes to go with this game, really emphasising the post-apocalyptic feel of the adventure.
The setting and the clothes the characters are all wearing aren’t the only new changes, however. Pokemon battles are now harder to win than they were before, making players use their brainboxes before pushing that attack button.
Do you think you could train the ultimate team to bring peace back to the region?
15. Pokemon Godra
The wider series of Pokemon games are some of the best RPG titles of our generation. Still, this final entry in our list of the best Pokemon ROM hacks takes the element of choice to a-whole-nother level.
Yes, players have always been able to upgrade Pokemon and collect new abilities and items, but compared to some RPG titles with morality engines and multiple endings, they are a little lacking.
That’s where Pokemon Godra comes in, a mod that gives users sweeping story arcs, multiple paths to follow, and lots of different problems to solve and areas to explore.
In other words, it turns Pokemon into a super RPG on steroids!
Other than just collecting Pokemon, players have a chance to truly play as different roles in the game. Enter into the army, become a member of the Elite Four, or try your hand at shepherding Pokemon around as a Safari Zone worker.
And, instead of just choosing from three starter Pokemon, there’s a whopping 128 to chose from!
Finally; so much choice!
So there’s a look at the best Pokemon ROM hacks in our opinion. I just want to take this moment to say thank you to all that work hard on these awesome pieces of digital art. It really opens up Pokemon to new and old fans.
If you’re reading this and have worked on one of these feature ROM hacks, then thank you!