Best Super Mario RPG ROM Hacks Worth Playing

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Most of us know Mario as a platformer kind of guy. But as games like Mario Strikers or Dr. Mario have proven, he’s a jack of all trades.

His skills include dominating turn-based battles – as shown by Super Mario RPG on the SNES.

Developed by Square, this unusual entry in Mario’s gaming career features appealing pseudo-3D graphics, hilarious writing, and a great turn-based combat system with some unique twists.

If you love Super Mario RPG but have cleared it one too many times, maybe you could shake things up.

Here are some of the most fun Super Mario RPG ROM hacks that’ll help you do that.

 

10. Reserve_22//.

Reserve_22//. Gameplay

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Creepy ROM Hacks are a dime a dozen. There’s just something deep within us that drives us to turn our favorite games into creepypasta-worthy works of horror.

ElementalPowerStar’s Reserve_22//. is a short and sweet campaign following Mario after an aerial malfunction lands him in Laki-Laki’s haunted mansion.

Exploring the mansion feels eerie thanks to the new color palette, among other tweaks.

Other than trying to scare you, the hack features some pretty good battles – and puzzles become genuinely challenging near the end.

 

9. Mario is a Drug Addict

Mario is a Drug Addict Game

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Addictions are hard to deal with for anyone. And our favorite Italian plumber is no exception.

After his drug abuse problem plunges the world into ruin, Mario will have to use his drug-enhanced powers to stay alive and keep the doses coming.

In other words, it’s Super Mario RPG if 2015 Jonah Hill played Mario.

 

8. Super Mario RPG: Revolution

Super Mario RPG: Revolution Game screenshot

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If you’ve already cleared the base game several times and need something tougher to chew on, consider SMRPG Revolution by Waddler-D.

This hack features improved enemy AI that’ll actually evade your attacks.

There’s also a new level cap of 50, to give you a chance against some of the late-game enemies.

They can be pretty hard. But you should be fine as long as you stock up on items and learn the intricacies of combat.

 

7. Super Mario RPG Plus

Super Mario RPG Plus Gameplay

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“Definitive Editions” of our favorite cartridge-based games are some of the most popular ROM hacks you’ll find, and Super Mario RPG Plus is the best option when it comes to Mario’s role-playing adventure.

This hack by Nightblader adds previously unused dialogue, fixes several bugs and exploits present in the original game, and corrects typos throughout the entire script.

Some items and weapons also get some aesthetic improvements that’ll freshen things up.

Subtlety is the name of the game when it comes to this ROM hack, and it’s probably the most polished version of Super Mario RPG we’ll see until Nintendo decides to release a remastered edition or something of the sort.

 

6. Legend of the Axem Rangers

Legend of the Axem Rangers screenshot

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The Axem Rangers are a color-coded team of members of the Smithy Gang with an evident super-sentai theme. They’re also the protagonists of this wonderful ROM hack.

This hack by AnAxemRanger is pretty ambitious.

You start in a different area, there are new levels, new enemies, new items, and a whole new story!

After the Pink ranger goes missing, it’s up to Red to chase after her and find out what – or who – happened to her. His search begins in a certain Koopa King’s castle.

The first few minutes of the game may feel a bit amateurish. But it gets better as the game draws on.

You can see the dev improving along with the product, and it’s fantastic by the end.

 

5. Super Monkey RPG

Super Monkey RPG Gameplay

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Super Monkey RPG is a fantastic text hack that replaces the entire script for the game – even Frogfucius messages – for something much more humorous. It was also one of the very first Super Mario RPG hacks ever released.

It first saw the light of day back in 2001, as you’ll soon realize thanks to the incredible amount of foul-mouthed jokes about Eminem in the script.

This ROM hack exploits every single scene in the game to try and make you crack a smile.

It succeeded in making me laugh, although you might need to google some references if you were just a baby at the beginning of the new millennium.

 

4. Super Mario RPG Translated by Google

Super Mario RPG Translated by Google Game

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Put together by creator FantaKuat back in 2019, this unusual ROM hack replaces the entire script for Super Mario RPG for a re-translated version of the original Japanese script.

That said, this isn’t quite like other “Relocalized” or “Retranslated” hacks you’ll find for other games.

Its objective isn’t to clarify the plot or recover some lost material – rather, it aims to make the game as chaotic as possible by using Google Translate for the job.

It turns the game’s script into a surprisingly dramatic, but ultimately incomprehensible storyline of nonsense text.

It even includes Spanish, Somali, and Portuguese words, thanks to Google’s dynamic translation algorithms.

 

3. The Bob-omb Mafia: The Five Shells

The Bob-omb Mafia: The Five Shells Gameplay

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Bowser may be the Koopa King and a host of his own in terms of raw power, but even Mario’s most iconic rival has to tread carefully when it comes to the criminal underworld of the Mushroom Kingdom.

After Bob-omb Mafia members steal five special shells from the Koopa King, it’s up to Mario and Mallow to defeat their lackeys and reclaim what was lost.

Other than beating a giant Thwomp, two clowns, a witch, and several other lackeys, you’ll also have to solve some pretty challenging puzzles.

In total, Giangurgolo and Omega’s hack introduces 35 new levels, over 50 new events, new dialogue, and 12 unique bosses that’ll require some creative strategizing to defeat.

 

2. Super Mario RPG Armageddon

Super Mario RPG Armageddon Game title menu

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Difficulty hacks are popular modifications for our favorite games, and Super Mario RPG could use some extra challenge to go with its fantastic script.

SMRPG Armageddon by DarkKefka re-balances the entire game for a more challenging experience and adds more content to tackle with your team.

This includes more Final Fantasy bosses other than Bahamut, and characters from other games like Kingdom Hearts.

Also the hack is remarkably polished, and you’d be hard-pressed to realize it’s a hack if someone gave it to you with no forewarning. Check it out!

 

1. Super Mario RPG: Master Quest

Super Mario RPG: Master Quest Gameplay

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Simple and polished, Super Mario RPG: Master Quest is the best option for anyone looking for a new perspective on the SNES classic.

Creator Sephalos managed to make SMRPG feel fresh without losing its personality.

For example, many sprites and environments have been completely recolored – but the hues employed remain faithful to the core game’s aesthetic.

The game is also a bit harder than the original. And it’s designed to be played after at least one run of the base campaign.

You’ll have to block regularly and keep a good stock of items to survive.

But it’s absolutely worth a playthrough if you’re up for it.

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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.