30 Best Pokémon ROM Hacks in 2023

Gotta hack em' all.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy Pokémon is through ROM Hacks. Most of these creations fix some core issues with the main series games, while others tell a totally new story with familiar Pokémon and graphics. Diving into the ROM world can also be quite intimidating since there are som many. Therefore, it's advised that beginners stick with one of the these 30.

What are the best ROM Hacks for Pokémon games?

30. Pokémon Dark Rising

Dark Rising gives players lots of powerful tools at the start (Garchomp is one of the starters). The enemies in this game match the player in power very early on, though, with pseudolegendaries of their own by Gym 3.

29. Pokémon Neo X

Sadly, there aren't too many Generation XI ROM Hacks out there. While it features an intricate story, at least Neo X is a serviceable twist on Pokémon X.

28. Pokémon Rising Ruby

There isn't much to tell apart from this game and the original Pokemon Omega Ruby. That being said, it still has a nice bump in difficulty for those who want to play the 3DS titles in a different way.

27. Pokémon Bloody Platinum

It can be a bit of a grind getting to the Elite Four in Pokémon Bloody Platinum. this is mostly due to a brutal level scaling, but it's worth it to see this Elite Four and how it differs from the original Pokémon Platinum.

26. Pokémon Fire Omega

There are a surprising amount of hacks for Pokémon Fire Red out there, some of which go far beyond the bounds of the original game. Pokémon Fire Omega stays pretty true to the source material, though, with updated Pokémon.

25. Pokémon Phoenix Rising

This ROM Hack is one of the better ones for plot lovers. Phoenix Rising features a very exciting story that even has separate endings depending on how the game is played.

24. Pokémon Prism

Some fans may remember Pokémon Brown, which came out in 2014. This is a sequel, featuring some decent graphics for a game based on Pokémon Crystal. Players can travel through the region featured in Pokémon Brown as well as a new region in this game.

Related: Pokemon GO Friend Codes (April 2023)

23. Pokémon Fool's Gold

Not too many ROM Hacks nowadays use the original Generation II format. This one makes good use of it, though, by changing the typing of r all the Generation I and II Pokémon.

22. Pokémon Vega

This game features not only new Pokémon, but new moves (over 70 of them). This would be a good ROM hack to try for fans looking for original content.

21. Pokémon Eclipse

Combining MMO elements with the world of Pokémon was a very intriguing idea, as proved by the sheer popularity of Pokémon Eclipse. It uses Fire Red as its base, and expands on the story with a totaly new region.

20. Pokémon Glazed

Glazed is pretty imaginitive for a ROM Hack, but it doesn't go as far as other ones do. It has its Pokedex updated as far as the Kalos region. The new story is decent, but lacks some of the twist and turns other ROM Hacks feature.

19. Pokémon Fused Dimensions

More than a simple hack of Pokémon Fire Red, this title turns every Pokémon into a fusion. Want to see what Charizard and Gallade look like fused together? Then play this title.

18. Pokémon Uranium

Uranium takes up the daunting task of making their own original Region. It also introduces the Uranium type, which is a little overpowered. It's still a fairly shocking tale with a surprising finale.

17. Pokémon Liquid Crystal

The market on Generation II remakes is still pretty fresh, with only a couple of notable ones available. Liquid Crystal is a nice way to enjoy the second Generation, albeit it's a little tough to follow as there are several evil teams in the game.

16. Pokémon SORS

Pokémon SORS features a new region with new overpowered Pokémon, similar to Shadow Pokémon from Pokémon GO.

15. Pokémon Flora Sky

Every wish Shaymin had more to do in a Pokémon story? In Pokémon Flora Sky, Shaymin takes centerstage, going up against Groudon, Kyogre and even Giratina.

14. Pokémon Team Rocket Edition

The concept of this game alone makes it worth playing. Players will load up their files as a member of Team Rocket instead of a protagonist like in other games. This makes for a unique experience with some interesting cutscenes.

13. Pokémon Inclemate Emerald

A play on the weather changing effects in Generation III, Inclement Emerald simply takes the original game and updates the Pokedex. There are plenty of quality of life changes too, making training Pokémon easier than ever before.

12. Emerald Trash Lock

Fans of Pokémon Channels on Youtube might already be familiar with this ROM Hack since he made it. Emerald Trash Lock is certainly a joy, though, since trainers are forced into using Pokémon they might not otherwise.

11. Pokémon Soulstones

This is an older style game that features most of the new mechanics fans have grown to enjoy. Mega evolutions, updated Pokedex, and a mysterious plot are just some of the things Pokémon Soulstones has going for it.

10. Emerald Kaizo

This ROM Hack is easily on the more difficult side of things. Beating the game isn't impossible, though, and in fact it's a badge of pride for many Pokémon fans. Just get used to having some of the worse Pokémon in the game, while Gym Leaders will have legendaries and pseudolegendaries.

9. Pokémon GS Chronicles

If anyone wants to see what Generation II would be like with a more intricate story, this is what they will want to play. GS Chronicles tells a much longer tale than the original Heart Gold and Soul Silver, and players will be able to travel to both Johto and Kanto here as well.

Related: How to get Regieleki in Pokémon GO

8. Pokémon Reborn

This is another hack that tries to tell an original story within the Pokémon world. It's known for being one of the darker stories, but fans will get access to most of their favorite Pokémon in Reborn.

7. Pokémon Blaze Black

This is the premier ROM Hack for Generation V fans. Blaze Black gives players the opportunity for lots of different Pokémon, leading to lots of different team compositions. It also features one of the tougher Elite Four out there.

6. Pokémon Unbound

This title is similar to Flora Sky, except Hoopa takes centerstage instead of Shaymin. Unbound features a more intricate story, though, envolving a mysterious organization called the Shadows.

5. Pokémon Rejuvination

This would be the ROM Hack to try for challenge seekers. There are plenty of powerful Pokémon to catch in Rejuvinantion, but most of them are hidden behind elaborate obstacles. This will guarenteed be a grind for new players.

4. Pokémon Infinite Fusion

ROM Hacking isn't just a way to fix issues with the main game, but also to feature new ideas. That's exactly what Infinite Fusion does, giving the player the power to fuse any two Pokémon together. It's enormously fun just to see what combinations trainers can come up with.

3. Pokémon Radical Red

Radical Red does more than update Pokémon Fire Red; it balances out all the Pokémon as well. That means some weaker Pokémon will have new typings or new moves. Trainers can literally use any Pokémon they want and find success, but they will have to prepare for some tough Gym Battles.

2. Pokémon Insurgence

Insurgence updates the Pokedex with adding tons of new features, in particular new Mega Evolutions, that really stretch the ideas out for what Pokémon can become. The plot is also pretty wild, leading to some dark cutscenes.

1 Pokémon Platinum Renegade

For anyone that wants the original Generation IV experience with a step up in difficulty, this is the game for them. Pokémon Renegade gives every Gym trainer full Pokémon teams with updated movesets. From the second players get their Pokémon from Professor Ronan, the game spikes up the difficulty and it never lets up.

Want more Pokémon guides? Pro Game Guides has you covered with Best nature for Iron Leaves in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

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About the Author

Shane Foley is both a huge gamer and a contributing writer at ProGameGuides. He's been gaming ever since the Nintendo 64 came out, and he knows everything there is to know about Pokémon, Fire Emblem, Zelda, and several other Nintendo franchises.

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30 Best Pokémon ROM Hacks in 2023

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