The Longest Pokémon ROM Hacks & Fan Games Worth Playing

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Nobody likes spending $60 on a game with only four hours of content, even if the online multiplayer can extend that well past the 40h line. We want our games to be expansive – to consume our every waking hour and still resist being cleared.

If there’s no hope of ever finishing the game without dedicating an entire month to it, most of us will feel like we got a good deal – and so I’ve got hundreds of half-cleared AAA games on my library.

If you’re tired of throwing money down the drain like me, there are plenty of free games that’ll still consume an entire weekend or two – and Pokémon ROM hacks are a great place to look.

Let’s look at some of the best fan-made Pokémon games featuring lots of content to keep you playing for a long time.


15. Pokémon Snakewood

Pokémon Snakewood Pokemon ROM Hack

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Something tricky about ranking the longest Pokémon ROM hacks is that games can be extremely long for all the wrong reasons.

A game could have you grind up to level 300 just to beat the first gym or block your path forward with some extremely obscure puzzles.

Pokémon Snakewood does the latter.

This Ruby Hack is almost impossible to clear without a guide.

Your journey through post-apocalyptic Hoenn is fraught with peril thanks to zombie Pokémon and all sorts of abominations, but the real horror comes from its obtuse puzzles.


14. Pokémon Cloud White

Pokémon Cloud White Screenshot

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Ideally, a long Pokémon ROM hack is full of optional content to discover or has a lengthy storyline that’ll keep you going until suddenly you realize you’ve been playing for 60+ hours.

Pokémon Cloud White is a FireRed hack that does both.

There’s an entirely new scenario after Kanto and the Sevii Islands, which takes you through Johto and the new areas of Magan and Azur.

There’s also the Kollosseum and the Pokémon World Tournament to tackle in the post-game.

Regrettably, the game is a bit lacking in the grammar department, but it’s still plenty of fun.


13. Pokémon Light Platinum

Pokémon Light Platinum ROM Hack

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Light Platinum offers a whole new adventure spanning the regions of Zhery and Lauren, where you’ll fight new rivals, battle fearsome Gym Leaders, and tackle an all-new Elite Four.

To help you overcome these challenging obstacles, you’ll get access to Pokémon from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Unova – including almost every Legendary beast – so you can build your ideal team.

This title looks gorgeous and plays like a charm.

Plus the Pokémon World Championship is the perfect way to close off your adventure.


12. Pokémon Blazed Glazed

Pokémon Blazed Glazed ROM Hack

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Here’s another ROM hack offering a lengthy adventure: Pokémon Blazed Glazed, the Emerald-based update to the classic Pokémon Glazed.

The game follows the same general outline as Glazed, taking you on an adventure spanning the entire region of Tunod, Johto, and the mysterious Rankor.

Both Tunod and Johto are full-sized regions, and Rankor isn’t anything to scoff at.

Other than the traditional Gen 3 Pokémon, you’ll find some newcomers from Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos, which you’ll have to catch and use to your advantage in your struggle against Team Fusion.

Blazed Glazed isn’t just longer, but also harder thanks to overhauled enemy trainer teams and movesets.

Get ready for new and unique challenges.


11. Pokémon Ruby Destiny: Life of Guardians

Pokémon Ruby Destiny: Life of Guardians ROM Hack

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Life of Guardians is one of the greatest hacks of 2011, and it’s the last entry in the Ruby Destiny trilogy.

It’s heavily story-driven, and you’ll have to make difficult choices along the way. You can give your all to stop an evil organization, or throw yourself into chaos and join them.

Whatever you choose, it’ll have repercussions throughout the region of Hevah. And there are three ways the story could develop depending on your actions.

This game is certainly on the harder side, but you’ll have Pokémon from generations 1-5 at your disposal, along with some all-new custom critters.


10. Pokémon Liquid Crystal

Pokémon Liquid Crystal ROM Hack

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A good ROM hack doesn’t need an all-new region for an extensive adventure.

Sometimes you just need to approach the canon regions from a new perspective.

Pokémon Liquid Crystal is an updated version of the GBC classic running on a FireRed ROM. As such, it’s a bit like a remastered version of Pokémon Crystal with updated graphics and mechanics – as well as some excellent remixed music.

You’ll explore Johto, Kanto, and the Orange Islands, catching iconic Pokémon from the first three generations – including starters and Legendaries like Celebi.

Something that drives me wild about this game is the addition of themed battle scenery – meaning you can fight in sand, water, or grass, and it’ll affect certain moves and Pokémon like it does in newer games.


9. Pokémon Prism

Pokémon Prism ROM Hack Screenshot

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Some adventures start unexpectedly.

Sometimes you get on a minecart, lose control, and end up in a whole new region full of Pokémon types you’ve never seen before.

That’s the story of Prism – playing as the daughter of Johto’s Champion Lance – who finds herself in the expansive region of Naljo and quickly gets wrapped up in the struggles of this new realm.

Pokémon Prism is a Crystal ROM hack and the sequel to Pokémon Brown.

As such, you’ll also get to explore the region of Rijon in its entirety, much like how the original second-gen games let you go back to Kanto.

There are 253 Pokémon to catch here, including some new types like Gas and Sound – though the most exciting new feature has to be the side-scrolling sections. I think it’s actually the only ROM hack with something like that.


8. Pokémon Crystal Clear

Pokémon Crystal Clear ROM Hack Screenshot

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Another beloved Crystal ROM hack is Pokémon Crystal Clear, which transforms the GBC classic into an open-world adventure.

You pick one of 24 starter Pokémon, customize your character (with skin options other than milky white for once), and choose where you’d like to start your adventure.

With both Kanto and Johto fully available, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

The game even lets you explore both regions in any order you like, tackling 16 gym leaders along the way and eventually making it to the Elite Four – if you want.

If you don’t, you can still explore nearly every nook and cranny of these two regions as a freelance explorer or whatever fits your fantasy.

Two exciting features I still can’t get over are the option to have your Pokémon follow you around, and the possibility of acquiring a player home in almost every city and town.


7. Pokémon Fire Ash

Pokémon Fire Ash ROM Hack Screenshot

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The Pokémon anime has been running forever.

So a game aiming to translate the animated adventure into game form has to be pretty long too.

And it is.

Pokémon Fire Ash is a fan game made in RPG Maker XP where players take control of Ash Ketchum and adventure from Kanto to Alola and explore everything in-between.

In total, the game currently features over 50 gyms and 800+ Pokémon, including Mega Evolutions, Alolan forms, and even Ash-Greninja.


6. Pokémon Adventures Red Chapter

Pokémon Adventures Red Chapter ROM Hack Screenshot

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If you’re looking for an ambitiously long adventure, Pokémon Adventures Red Chapter is something you should keep an eye on.

This FireRed ROM hack aims to recreate the entirety of the Pokémon Adventures manga, starring Red.

The series will span Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Orre, Nanami, Decolore, the Orange Archipelago, and the Sevii Islands.

You’ll meet many rivals, catch Pokémon from every generation, and train them to level 255.

With the first installment done, the dev team is moving on to Vol 2 as of this writing.

It’s hard not to be excited about the future of this ROM hack.


5. Pokémon Theta Emerald Renev

Pokémon Theta Emerald Renev ROM Hack

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A higher level cap is a great way to tell a ROM hack expects you to play it for a long, long time.

Pokémon Theta Emerald Renev brings it up to Lvl 250, and gives you plenty of opportunities to get there.

In addition to a renewed and more challenging Pokémon Emerald adventure, there are many new areas and post-game content to tackle as well.

This ROM hack features over 700 Pokémon going up to Gen 7, along with new moves, abilities, and items on the side.

There’ are also Mega Evolution and Primal Reversion mechanics and even some new Pokémon forms.


4. Pokémon Gaia

Pokémon Gaia ROM Hack Screenshot

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I’ve always been a bit of a history buff.

I get more excited about ancient ruins and artifacts in museums than I do about Christmas!

And that’s the reason why I love Pokémon Gaia so much.

It takes place in the Orbtus region, filled with mysterious artifacts to unearth and long-forgotten structures left behind by an ancient civilization.

There are many Hidden Grottoes and Secret Temples to raid and a fascinating story to uncover here as well.

Of course, there’s also a classic Pokémon adventure featuring critters from the first five generations, with gyms and a Pokémon league to conquer.

But once you’re done with all of that there’s even more to do – as you can still tackle stuff like the Bug-Catching Contest and the Battle Marsh, where trainers go hone their skills.


3. Pokémon Unbound

Pokémon Unbound ROM Hack Screenshot

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Pokémon Unbound is easily the longest FireRed ROM hack, which completely overhauls the game with QoL improvements, character customization, and every Pokémon you can think of.

The main story is full of malicious puzzles, challenging battles, and diabolical routes where a fine-tuned team of Pokémon is a must.

If you like it, there’s plenty of post-game content too.

What really makes this game so long is the Battle Frontier Demo, an alternate game mode that showcases the game’s battle system by providing daily challenges and renewing enemy trainers and their teams.

And technically, it never ends, so you could say it’s infinitely long.


2. Pokémon Revolution Online

Pokémon Revolution Online ROM Hack Screenshot

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In the same vein as our previous entry comes Pokémon Revolution Online, which keeps challenges fresh with constant updates and fun events.

As of this writing, over 10,000 players log in daily to battle in this fan-made Pokémon MMO.

It’s great to make friends with similar interests or make a name for yourself as one of the fiercest Pokémon trainers.

The game features four full-fledged regions to conquer: Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, all of which feature some new areas exclusive to PRO.

Like most online games, it only ends when you decide to stop playing.

Did I mention you can ride your Pokémon as a mount? PRO is wild, and you’ll love it for sure.


1. Pokémon Phoenix Rising

Pokémon Phoenix Rising ROM Hack Screenshot

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If I had to recommend a single long-form Pokémon adventure, I’d have to go with Pokémon Phoenix Rising.

This fabulous fan game has more of an RPG feel than regular Pokémon titles.

There’s character customization, countless side-quests, and a branching storyline that’ll take you all around the war-torn Hawthorne region.

There are also skill trees that fill up as you play the game and can be further developed by visiting Hawthorne’s university. That’s definitely a unique feature for Pokémon fans.

And it’s not only the storyline that’s long, but also the post-game too.

There are just so many Pokémon to catch, alternate forms to witness, and it all comes wrapped in a gorgeous presentation!

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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 playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.