40 Best Pokémon Fan Games & Rom Hacks Ever Made: The Ultimate List

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Regardless of whether you love or hate the newer games, one thing is certain: we want more.

Whether you’re looking for something featuring every single Pokémon ever made, or an online game where you can catch and train Pokémon together with friends, there are plenty of ROM hacks and fan games offering just that.

Actually with so many around, it can be hard to choose the right one. And you never know whether you’re missing something amazing. It’s not like there’s some massive list covering all the best fan games in the Poké community… well, unless you count this one!

To help you find your next custom Pokémon adventure, I’ve done all the research for you. Take a look and see what grabs your attention.

 

40. Pokémon TRE: Team Rocket Edition

Pokémon TRE: Team Rocket Edition ROM hack

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Ever since I was a child making my way through my first playthrough of Pokémon Crystal, I was fascinated with playing as one of the bad guys – even if it was a measly grunt.

If playing as a dastardly villain sounds like fun to you too, you can give this Pokémon Red hack a shot.

Team Rocket Leader Giovanni is on the lookout for a successor, and the competition is down to you and your sibling, two novice Team Rocket members.

You’ll have to go through an evil Pokémon adventure, beating Gym Leaders and eventually the Elite IV, to prove your worth.

It’s a great idea with a questionable execution, but it’s worth a try if you’re into the premise!

 

39. Pokémon Eclipse RPG

Pokémon Eclipse RPG ROM hack screenshot

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Another longtime childhood fantasy of mine was playing Pokémon together with friends.

I mean sure, you could always connect two GBAs together to battle and trade.

But I mean actually questing and catching Pokémon on the field with your peeps.

While Nintendo seems reticent to give Pokémon the online capacities it deserves, many fan projects like Pokémon Eclipse RPG offer exciting alternatives to the official games.

Just register and play in your browser. Maybe this will be the online Pokémon adventure to finally hook you.

Though if it doesn’t, keep reading!

 

38. Pokémon Emerald Kaizo

Pokémon Emerald Kaizo ROM hack

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One of the age-old ways of breathing new life into an older game you’ve already played a couple of times is to make it incredibly hard.

That’s what Pokémon Emerald Kaizo is here for.

Creator SinisterHoodedFigure is famous for making great Kaizo(ultra-hard) versions of classic Pokémon games, and this Pokémon Emerald hack is easily the best.

The trainers are more aggressive, and their teams are stronger. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Prepare to face some extra-treacherous routes, and beware of increased ambushes by Team Magma and Team Aqua.

If you’re up to the challenge, this won’t disappoint.

 

37. Pokémon Pink

Pokémon Pink ROM hack screenshot

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One of the most significant improvements introduced with Gen II was letting you choose your gender at the start of the game.

Pokémon Pink is a ROM hack of Blue that lets you venture through Kanto as Kris, the female protagonist from Pokémon Crystal, providing more representation and a new twist.

Jigglypuff, Pikachu, and Vulpix also replace the original starters, and the game features the newer Dark, Steel, and Fairy types.

 

36. Pokémon Polished Crystal

Pokémon Polished Crystal ROM hack

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Speaking of Kris, Pokémon Crystal was the first Pocket Monster game I ever played. And I still look back on it fondly.

If you’re like me and want to re-experience the charm of gen 2, I recommend Pokémon Polished Crystal.

This ROM hack improves the base Pokémon Crystal game by making all 251 Pokémon catchable, introducing all new types up to Fairy, and even including the new Eeveelutions not originally present in those games.

If you like a challenge, I suggest you play it in the new Nuzlocke Mode.

 

35. Pokémon TPP (Red Anniversary)

Pokémon TPP (Red Anniversary) ROM hack

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Another minor improvement on one of the older Pokémon titles is Pokémon TPP (Red Anniversary), made in 2015 to commemorate the worldwide phenomenon that was Twitch Plays Pokémon the previous year.

This interesting Twitch channel lets players vote on commands to input into the game, requiring collaboration to lead the player character to become a Pokémon Master.

The original Pokémon Red took around 16 days to complete, but this beefed-up version with all 151 Pokémon available and stronger trainers made the stream last almost 40 days straight.

 

34. Pokémon Orange

Pokémon Orange ROM hack screenshot

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Islands, archipelagos, and other places where people’s lives are directly intertwined with the sea are the most exciting to explore.

The same goes for the Orange Islands, part of the Orange Archipelago, which is located near Kanto in the Pokémon World.

Pokémon Orange is a Crystal ROM hack that lets you explore and discover the wonders of this region, as a kid from Valencia Island.

Tasked by Professor Samson Oak to bring him the mysterious GS Ball, you’ll catch Pokémon, fight baddies like Team Rocket, and enjoy the sea breeze.

 

33. Pokémon Little Cup Red

Pokémon Little Cup Red ROM hack

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Placing semi-arbitrary limitations on Pokémon battles is one of the best ways to keep things interesting, rather than just riding Scizor and Salamence to victory.

Pokémon Little Cup Red is built on that idea, but extends it to the entire game, reducing every critter in the game to level 5 and replacing any that didn’t have an “infant form” with a similar creature.

This title will force you into a hardcore strategy game, as your Pokémon can’t win EXP and gain levels, or anything of the sort.

It’s a great challenge. But it’s not impossible, thanks to some slight balance changes and a massive extinction of Zubat in caves.

 

32. Pokémon Mega Adventure

Pokémon Mega Adventure ROM hack

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One of the most popular Pokémon fan games in recent memory is Pokémon Mega Adventure, a heavily combat-focused experience that’ll put your Pokémon Trainer skills to the test.

It has minimal story, but it makes up for it with a massive roster of 721 Pokémon, working Mega Evolutions, and a beautiful graphical style based on gen 3 titles.

The Akito Region is also a beautiful place to explore, with a couple of jaw-dropping places that’ll leave you wanting more.

 

31. Pokémon Black (GEN I ROM Hack)

Pokémon Black (GEN I ROM Hack) screenshot

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Easily the most unusual entry in our list, and one of the most bizarre overall, has to be Pokémon Black.

And to clarify, this is the gen I ROM hack, not to be confused with the official game of the same name.

This interesting hack was inspired by one of the first creepypasta stories ever, following a guy who buys a bootleg “Pokémon Black” GBC cartridge from a garage sale.

Little did he know of the dark secrets hidden within.

You won’t be reaching the Elite IV in this ROM hack. But it’s terrific if you’re looking for something unsettling or just odd.

 

30. Pokémon Ash Gray

Pokémon Ash Gray ROM hack

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For something less dark, let’s take a look at a Pokémon FireRed ROM hack that lets you relive Ash Ketchum’s anime adventure in game form.

This follows the anime’s story up to the Orange Islands, and rewards you for playing with his exact team setup whenever possible, though you don’t necessarily have to do it.

Many story events are waiting for you all around the region, which will remind you of different anime episodes, complete with the same characters and locales.

Also it replaces HMs with tools that Ash can carry in his backpack, rather than wasting party space on an HM slave.

 

29. Pokémon Flora Sky Story

Pokémon Flora Sky Story ROM hack

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Legendary Pokémon tend to be giant bad-ass OP beasts.

But what if we had something cuter?

Pokémon Flora Sky Story is an Emerald ROM hack featuring the adorable Shaymin as the main Legendary critter, hence the name.

In this game, you’ll be helping Shaymin stop Groudon and Kyogre from destroying the world.

This hack includes 386 total Pokémon, featuring everyone from the fourth and fifth generations.

There are also plenty of mini-games, daily events, and a day/night system to keep things fresh.

 

28. Pokémon MMO 3D

Pokémon MMO 3D ROM hack

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As a Pokémon and MMO fan, few things can get me more excited than connecting online with friends (or a bunch of strangers) to explore the world of pocket monsters together.

Many fan games are offering just that.

But Pokémon MMO 3D has them all beat in the graphics department. After all, it’s the only one to offer fully 3D graphics – and pretty good ones to boot.

Real-time battles are also a new concept that makes combat more dynamic, innovating rather than rehashing the same concept from the original games (like Nintendo does).

It gets updated pretty regularly, and you won’t have trouble finding someone to battle within seconds of logging on. Give it a try and see what you think!

 

27. Pokémon Glazed

Pokémon Glazed ROM hack screenshot

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At some point in our lives, we’ve all wished to the stars to bring the magic of Pokémon to our own, not-so-colorful world.

Well that’s exactly what’s begun to happen in Pokémon Glazed.

Regrettably, it wasn’t as awesome as we expected. And now you must adventure through the Tunod region in a bid to stop the impending disaster of dimensional collision.

This Emerald ROM hack also includes both Johto and the mysterious Rankor region, where you’ll find Pokémon from all around Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos.

 

26. Pokémon Blazed Glazed

Pokémon Blazed Glazed ROM hack

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If you liked Glazed, you should consider Pokémon Blazed Glazed as well.

This fork of the original Pokémon Glazed adds a lot. Like new moves from recent generations that were missing from Glazed.

It also overhauls rival trainer teams and pokémon movesets, aiming to provide a better learning curve.

It also adds two new Eeveelutions – Def-Eevee and Off-Eevee. They’re Eevee’s first evolution, and from there, they branch out into the rest of the well-loved critters.

Both hacks are currently being worked on and updated, so it’s up to you to choose which you like the best (or try playing both!)

 

25. Pokémon Saffron

Pokémon Saffron ROM hack screenshot

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Our next entry is the gorgeous-looking Pokémon Saffron, set in the Azira region during an event known as the “Great Migration”.

Once every decade, migrating Pokémon from all over the world pass through Azira at the same time, making it the most biodiverse place on the planet.

And giving Pokémon researchers like Professor Oak a lot to study.

As expected, he’ll need help in his endeavor.

So he recruits you, a local youth eager to set out on their Pokémon adventure. Isn’t that always the story?

South America heavily influences the region, and the Fakemon in the area & the story reflect its roots.

 

24. Pokémon Snakewood

Pokémon Snakewood ROM hack screenshot

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If you liked the creepy nature of Pokémon Black, but would rather play a full game than an interactive horror story, Pokémon Snakewood is here to please.

This Ruby ROM hack takes place some years after the original Gen III storyline.

A lot has happened in just a few years – including a zombie apocalypse.

You’ll play as the younger sibling of the original main character, on a quest to find out their whereabouts and fight the spreading horror.

Keeping up with the decay theme, your starter options are the poisonous Paras, Koffing, and Baltoy.

There are also many new Fakemon to catch, new evolutions, and zombified versions of classic ‘mons.

 

23. Pokémon Dark Rising

Pokémon Dark Rising ROM hack

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If you’re the kind of person that can’t help but get sucked into incredibly long sagas like Game of Thrones or One Piece, you’ll fall prey to Pokémon Dark Rising in no time.

This fangame is heavily narrative-driven, and with time it has become the most extensive fan-made saga in the Pokémon universe.

It includes Dark Rising, Dark Rising 2, and Dark Rising: Order Destroyed.

While the story is fantastic, the gameplay doesn’t stay behind.

You’ll see Pokémon from most generations throughout your journey, and the addition of “Dream World” abilities is pretty neat.

 

22. Pokémon Gaia

Pokémon Gaia ROM hack screenshot

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I’ve always been interested in history and archaeology.

Places from times past are such a joy, which is why I love Pokémon Gaia.

This fantastic FireRed hack takes place in the storied region of Orbtus.

As the ancient seat of a long-gone civilization, the region is densely filled with hidden caves and ruined temples full of relics and mystery.

Other than the usual improvements like the addition of Fairy-type ‘mons, the game also features an in-battle Mega Evolution system, and lots of custom assets that set it apart from other hacks.

 

21. Pokémon Light Platinum

Pokémon Light Platinum ROM hack

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One of the single most famous GBA-era hacks is Pokémon Light Platinum, a modification of the original Pokémon Ruby.

It’s vaguely based on Pokémon Platinum for the DS. Which is obvious since Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and Arceus are the centerpieces of the story.

The game overhauls the Pokémon League by replacing all Gym Leaders and the Elite IV. A new concept for sure.

It also adds a Pokémon World Championship event after completing the League.

 

20. Pokémon Clover

Pokémon Clover ROM hack screenshot

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The next hack is not for the thin-skinned. It includes some of the most offensive and politically incorrect jokes and references you’ll find in a Pokémon game.

It’s to be expected, considering this ROM hack of FireRed is based on the memes and culture of the infamous 4chan Pokémon imageboard.

In fact, the game is made by several users of the site’s / vp / board – the one dedicated to Pokémon.

If that sounds like your kind of thing, well I can’t recommend it enough.

With over 386 original fakemon and almost 70 hours of content to go through, this is a total blast.

 

19. Pokémon Fire Ash

Pokémon Fire Ash ROM hack

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We’ve already covered Pokémon AshGray, which let you play as Ash up to the Orange Islands.

But what lies beyond that for our Pallet Town boy?

If you wish to find out, you should play Pokémon Fire Ash.

This follows our anime protagonist on a massive adventure from Kanto to the Alola Region, including the Orange Islands and even the Battle Frontier.

With a staggering amount of over 50 gyms and over 800 different critters to catch, this will keep you hooked for days (read: months).

 

18. Pokémon Adventure Red

Pokémon Adventure Red ROM hack

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The Pokémon anime is amazing.

But there’s a wealth of Pokémon manga and novels released in Japan every year, and the Pokémon Adventures manga series is one of the best.

This FireRed hack endeavors to offer players a chance to play through its storyline, following protagonist Red’s journey from Pallet Town to the rest of the world.

It includes characters, scenes, and battles taken straight from the manga, which is pretty good.

With several playable characters, different outfits, a day/night cycle, and overhauled visuals, Pokémon Adventure Red is almost too good to be true.

 

17. Pokémon Theta Emerald RENEV

Pokémon Theta Emerald RENEV ROM hack

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Pokémon ROM hack creators tend to pronounce their hacks “complete”, then reappear the next year with a new massive update because their OCD couldn’t let them ignore any shortcomings.

In the case of Pokémon Theta Emerald, there have been three entire releases.

The original, the EX version, and now the RENEV version.

This latest installment showcases the most extensive Pokémon roster so far, along with new moves and features.

There’s a lot to talk about in this Pokémon Emerald ROM hack.

But my favorite aspect has to be the possibility of fusing pokémon, and the new forms for critters like Rotom and Deoxys.

 

16. Pokémon Sage

Pokémon Sage ROM hack screenshot

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A lot of the most fantastic fan games in existence are, regrettably, still incomplete.

That’s the case with Pokémon Sage. But don’t let that keep you from trying their 10h+ demo.

This game takes place in the Urobos region, heavily influenced by Latin America.

The environments, lore, and even new Pokémon have clear roots in these culturally rich lands.

The game uses gen 5 as a base, but includes some new twists like Mega Evolutions.

 

15. PokeMMO

PokeMMO ROM hack screenshot

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PokeMMO is just one of many Pokémon-based Massive Multiplayer Online games, letting players enjoy Pokémon Black, Emerald, and FireRed in the company of their peeps.

Of course, there’s online PVP. So you can show the world who’s boss if you need to.

An extensive collection of clothes and accessories is also available to make your character look super fly.

It gets regular updates, and there’s always someone to play with thanks to its enormous popularity.

Plus, the name pretty much gives it all away. If you’re into MMOs and into Pokémon, give this a whirl.

 

14. Pokémon Clockwork

Pokémon Clockwork ROM hack screenshot

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Pokémon Clockwork is a fan game set in the mysterious Rosari region.

It’s full of diverse, breathtaking landscapes and many quests to boot.

The shady Team Epsilon is, as you’d expect, planning on using some ancient power for their benefit.

It’s up to you to stop their wrongdoing and save the Rosari region.

Other than that, you’ll get to catch pokémon from the first four generations and use them to beat a regular-size Pokémon League.

Altogether it’s around 40 hours of pure pokéfun.

 

13. Pokémon Godra

Pokémon Godra ROM hack screenshot

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Customization is one thing Nintendo and Game Freak have focused on improving the most with the last couple of official releases.

Still, they never go past the aesthetic and into the gameplay.

Pokémon Godra revolves around the idea of choice, introducing several more RPG elements and a branching storyline depending on the decisions you make as you engage with the Godra region’s conflicts.

You can join the military, become a Safari Zone Warden, or even climb to the very top and enter the Elite IV.

Plus, you get a massive roster of 128 starters to choose from.

That’s almost as many as gen 1’s total Pokémon!

 

12. Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition

Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition ROM hack

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We started off our list with Pokémon TRE, a Gen I hack that let you play as a member of Team Rocket.

While that game is pretty good on its own, it isn’t the best execution of the “play as the villains” concept.

That would be Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition, a FireRed ROM hack with several higher degrees of complexity.

In this hack, you’ll see the seedy underbelly of the Kanto region and the thriving crime scene beneath the surface.

Sociopathic scientists and corrupt Gym Leaders are only some of the awful people you’ll get a chance to meet as you uncover the “true story” running parallel to Red’s original adventure.

And yes, you’re allowed to steal as many Pokémon as you wish.

 

11. Pokémon Planet

Pokémon Planet ROM hack screenshot

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Yet another Pokémon MMORPG enters the fray, bringing with it a lot of the same charm features other options, but with a much larger scope.

The game aims to make all regions available for exploration, letting you catch critters from all generations in their natural habitat.

You can also participate in multiplayer events with friends or other random Trainers just like you.

You can play this game in your browser after a quick registration, so don’t pass it by without taking a closer look.

 

10. Pokémon Uranium

Pokémon Uranium ROM hack

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One of the most notorious Pokémon fan games is Pokémon Uranium, which got a lot of its fame from the intense campaign launched by Nintendo to erase it from existence.

Luckily, nothing ever truly disappears from the Internet.

It’s actually become much easier to get a hold of it.

With the graphics style of Gen IV and a total of 190 critters, including several new Fakemon and an all-star roster of the best official’ mons, Pokémon Uranium is one of the most polished and complete fan games you can play.

Other than that, it’s a pretty standard Pokémon adventure that’ll take you through the Tandor region, beating eight Gyms. Classic stuff we all know and love.

 

9. Pokémon Orange Islands

Pokémon Orange Islands ROM hack

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My all-time favorite FireRed hack is Pokémon Orange Islands, which follows Ash’s adventure through the Orange Archipelago, as seen on the anime series.

While many other fan creations explore this period in Ash’s life, none do so with as much love and attention to detail as Pokémon Orange Islands.

Believe me, there’s nothing quite like Team Rocket in this game.

While the game includes only the first 151 Pokémon, it does feature the updated type chart and Physical/Special/Status split.

It’s time to show the Orange Island’s four resident Gym Leaders who’s boss.

 

8. Pokémon Reborn

Pokémon Reborn ROM hack screenshot

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Another remarkably famous fan game is Pokémon Reborn, featuring Pokémon up to gen 7.

After picking from 21 starters, you’ll enter the Reborn region.

Here crime runs rampant, and society has fallen into disarray. Will you be the hero to bring peace to these lands?

This hack’s most unique aspect has to be the Field Effects present in most areas, which take the degree of strategics needed to win Pokémon battles up a notch.

It also features music from incredible composer GlitchxCity, which is simply fantastic and elevates the game to new heights.

 

7. Pokémon Rejuvenation

Pokémon Rejuvenation ROM hack

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With the success of Pokémon Reborn came new inspiration and motivation for the team behind it to work on something new.

After a while, we got Pokémon Rejuvenation.

Set in the region of Aevium, the game showcases the local efforts to rebuild and improve after a terrible natural disaster devastated the area some years ago.

In this adventure you’ll have to take up arms – or rather, Pokémon – to protect your people and stop the sinister Team Xen from plunging the region back into chaos.

While the game looks just like gen 3, which I love, it includes Pokémon up to gen 7.

 

6. Pokémon Brown (2014)

Pokémon Brown (2014) ROM hack screenshot

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Pokémon Brown is a hack of the original Pokémon Red, allowing players to visit the industrialized region of Rijon.

The industrialization process has given rise to five new elemental types: Gas, Sound, Wood, Wind, and Abnormal.

There are 73 new Fakemon that thrive in the area on top of Kanto’s 151.

Pokémon Brown was one of the first-ever completed ROM hacks. So it’s arguably part of Pokémon ROM hack history at this point.

But ther eis actually a much-upgraded version released by the original creator in 2014, so that’s the best version to snag.

 

5. Pokémon Prism

Pokémon Prism ROM hack

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One of the main reasons Pokémon Brown got updated in 2014 was to make it compatible with Pokémon Prism, the sequel.

Picking up where Pokémon Brown left off, the game drops you on the new region of Naljo.

But it also lets you come back to Rijon after you clear the Pokémon League.

Getting some strong gen 2 vibes here…

Easily the most interesting additions are some areas that can only be explored by Pokémon, putting you directly in control of your team in a way reminiscent of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

On top of the previous 225 Pokémon, there are 28 new ones only found in Naljo. Definitely a fan game everyone should try out.

 

4. Pokémon Showdown

Pokémon Showdown ROM hack screenshot

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If you’re into competitive play, I don’t have to explain what Pokémon Showdown is.

While not strictly a game, Pokémon Showdown probably has the largest playerbase. And is regarded as the best way to battle with random Trainers online.

What makes it so suitable for competitive play is that it follows tournament rules closely, and gives each Pokémon the same stats they have in the latest official game.

 

3. Pokémon Phoenix Rising

Pokémon Phoenix Rising ROM hack

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One of the most relevant Pokémon fan games nowadays is Phoenix Rising.

It takes place in the Hawthorne region, where you’ll be able to experience a relatively standard Pokémon adventure with a branching storyline depending on your narrative choices.

Besides making Pokémon a bit closer to a modern RPG, the game features new Mega Evolutions and even a new kind of critter – Relic Pokémon.

Relic Tyranitar is among the most bad-ass things I’ve seen in weeks.

If you’re interested, I recommend you give the development team a follow on their Twitter account. And keep an eye out for updates!

 

2. Pokémon Insurgence

Pokémon Insurgence ROM hack screenshot

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I’ve spent years patiently waiting for Nintendo/Game Freak to get their act together and release a more “mature” Pokémon game for their older audiences.

Since that doesn’t seem like it’ll happen anytime soon, I’ve turned to fan games in my search for a gritty storyline – and that led me to Pokémon Insurgence.

I won’t spoil it.

But considering it involves cults and cruel experiments on Pokémon, you can look forward to a pretty dark narrative.

The game also introduces several new features such as Delta Pokémon, Armored Pokémon, in-depth character customization, and more.

 

1. Pokémon Revolution Online

Pokémon Revolution Online ROM hack

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It’s tough to pronounce the “best” Pokémon fan game, when there are so many great ones with different takes on what makes a Pokémon game fun.

Still, I can’t help but marvel at the polish and ambition put into Pokémon Revolution Online, which is both the best Pokémon fan game and the best Pokémon MMO.

Meet people, join or found a guild, and explore the regions of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh while training your Pokémon together.

There are also mini-games and plenty of extra activities to keep you entertained whenever you’re not training your Pokémon.

Plus, it’s entirely free to play. So give it a try, not much to lose and plenty of Pokéfun to gain!

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.