The core Pokemon games may get boring after a time, and they come with plenty of limitations. The Pokemon ROM hacks are the best alternative to them if you are a true Pokefan. There are plenty of GBA & NDS ROM hacks available on the web that you can play directly on your PC or mobile. You don’t need a console to run them.
This post is specially written for you if you are looking for them. Here, I will tell you about the 25 Best Pokemon ROM hacks that every Pokefan should play at least once. If you haven’t ever played any of these, you are missing out on the best deal.
Best Pokemon GBA & DS ROM Hacks in 2021
The actual glory days of the Pokemon franchise were when it was available on the GameBoy Advance (GBA) or the Nintendo DS (NDS) systems. The GBA games (3rd Generation of Pokemon Games) were Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, while the NDS (4th Generation of Pokemon Games) were Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. All of these games were a massive success.
However, the original game versions come with many restrictions, limited features, and very little freedom: limited Pokemon availability, complex evolutionary mechanisms, and a bland storyline. The Pokemon ROM hacks are a solution to all of this. There are countless new things you can get with them.
It is just like playing a whole different Pokemon game. You can find all the Pokemons in the wild, new palettes, new regions, new music, and a complete story overhaul. Some of them also offer new Pokemons (called Fakemons). A true Pokefan knows their worth.
So, here are the best Pokemon GBA & NDS ROM hacks that you must play this year. Remember that you will need a GBA or DS Emulator to run them.
1. Pokemon Flora Sky
Pokemon Flora Sky is my favorite ROM hack based on the Emerald version. This GBA hack features an entirely new storyline in a new region with new friends, opponents, trainers, Gyms, and Pokemon. It also has Pokemon from the 4th and 5th Generations available. You can find all the 493 Pokemon in the wild.
The evolutionary mechanism is also revamped. You will find new music, events, a day & night system, and many other new things. The graphic pallets are also entirely overhauled. It is a perfect GBA ROM hack with few bugs and a great post-game.
2. Pokemon Light Platinum
Pokemon Light Platinum version is the most popular and widely recommended ROM hack. It is a GBA hack based on the Emerald version, but its DS version based on Pokemon Platinum is also under development. This hack features an entirely new story in the Zhery region. You can also travel to the other regions, including Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh.
There are new characters, new Gyms, new Elite Four, and all the 493 Pokemon are available to catch. The game features a very addictive story with unique events and a final event called the Pokemon World Championships. You can meet and battle popular characters like Ash Ketchum here.
3. Pokemon Victory Fire & Resolute
Pokemon Victory Fire and Pokemon Resolute are two separate GBA ROM hacks based on Pokemon Emerald. Victory Fire has a fascinating and utterly new story where you play as a savior and battle against evil organizations.
Pokemon Resolute is the sequel to Victory Fire that continues the story in new regions. The game is based on the heroics of the legendary Pokemon Keldeo.
Both games have completely overhauled music, graphics, and characters. You will find new rivals, Gyms, Elite Four, and absolutely everything. Resolute even features Gen 6-7 Pokemons and the Mega Evolutions. It would be best if you gave this series a shot once.
4. Pokemon Dark Rising Series (1/2/3)
The Pokemon Dark Rising series consists of Dark Rising 1, 2, and 3 (under development). It is among the most loved Pokemon ROM hacks as it features a highly addictive story. The unique storyline is set in an entirely different region undergoing troubles. You play the game as the lone savior and aspire to save the world.
DarkRisingGirl and her team create this fan-made Pokemon game series. The first and second games are based on Pokemon FireRed but completely overhaul everything. There are new characters, sprites, Pokemons, and everything else. The revamped music is my highlight from this game.
5. Pokemon Glazed/Blazed Glazed
Pokemon Glazed is a massively popular Pokemon ROM hack based on Pokemon Emerald. It features an entirely new storyline set in completely different regions. You have to play it as a twelve-year-old kid who just started his journey in the Pokemon World, but now he also has to fight an evil organization and save the world.
The story may sound typical, but it is remixed with brilliant twists, turns, and events. The game features the Tunod and Johto region, where all the Pokemons are available in the wild. You will find new characters, sprites, music, and palettes.
On the other side, Pokemon Blazed Glazed is a revamped version of Blazed developed by a fan who thought it lacked certain things.
6. Pokemon Snakewood
Pokemon Snakewood is the most unique ROM hack GBA game. This Ruby hack features an entirely different and brilliant storyline where a Zombie plaque hits the entire Hoenn region. Everyone in the region, including Pokemons, have turned into Zombie, except a few of them. Luckily, you are not infected yet.
You have to find your way into the new bizarre world full of zombies, dead bodies, blood, and various gross things. The Gym leaders are dead, the Elite four are infected, and your purpose is not to become the Pokemon Master but to survive. You will also find many new and mutant Pokemon in this game.
7. Pokemon Liquid Crystal
Pokemon Liquid Crystal is a FireRed ROM hack where you can play the OG Crystal storyline in a GBA world. The base storyline will be similar to Pokemon Crystal but with a few twists. You can also catch all the 386 Pokemon in the wild by quickly evolving them. There are new characters, sprites, and many other things.
If you enjoyed playing Pokemon Crystal on a GBC console, you should give this one a try. However, make sure you are playing the latest version of the game.
8. Pokemon Ash Gray
Pokemon Ash Gray is another fantastic hack version based on the FireRed ROM. This game features the Pokemon Anime storyline of Ash Ketchum in the Kanto region. You will receive Pikachu as your starter and follow the same adventure as Ash. You will also find Team Rocket having a Meowth, and you can easily take them down.
If you were a fan of watching Pokemon on TV, you would love this game. There are new sprites, revamped events, new palettes, and many twists and turns.
All Pokemon ROM Hacks (GBA/DS) that you should try in 2021
Here are the complete Pokemon ROM hacks that you must try this year. If you are at home getting bored during the lockdown, these can help you pass your precious time in a fun way.
- Pokemon Flora Sky
- Pokemon Light Platinum
- Pokemon Victory Fire & Resolute
- Pokemon Dark Rising Series
- Pokemon Glazed/Blazed Glazed
- Pokemon Snakewood
- Pokemon Liquid Crystal
- Pokemon Ash Gray
- Pokemon Prism– (GBC Hack, Incomplete, Still worth a shot!)- Download from here.
- Pokemon Bloody Platinum– Download from here.
- Pokemon Adventures– Red Chapter- Download from here.
- Pokemon Mega Power (from the maker of VF & Resolute)- Download from here.
- Pokemon Nameless– Download from here.
- Pokemon Gaia– Download from here.
- Pokemon Theta Emerald EX– Download from here.
- Pokemon Clover– Download from here.
- Pokemon CrystalDust– Download from here.
- Pokemon Orange Islands– Download from here.
- Pokemon Sienna– Download from here.
- Pokemon Fusion Version– Download from here.
- Pokemon Radical Red– Download from here.
- Pokemon Unbound– Download from here.
- Pokemon Brown– Download from here.
- Pokemon Saiph– Download from here.
- Pokemon TRE: Team Rocket Edition– Download from here.
Have fun playing all of these!
Pokemon ROM hacks are a great way to pass your time if you are Pokefan. There are many of them available on the web. However, not all of them are worth a shot. It would help if you only tried the complete (certain exceptions), bug-free, and well-developed ones. I have only listed them here.
If you are confused, you can use the VBA (Virtual Boy Advanced) emulator to run the GBA games and the Drastic emulator to run the NDS ones. That’s all for this post. I hope it helps you enough. Feel free to comment down which one is your favorite Pokemon ROM hack.