Best Pokémon GBA ROM Hacks

Bored of the latest Pokemon game and want more? Look no further, here’re the best Pokemon Rom Hacks that’ll give you countless hours of fun!

Whether you’re a gamer who wants a fun, original story, or a Pokemon otaku who wants a nuzlocke challenge that’ll test your skills, there’s something here for you!

1) Pokémon Rocket Edition

Why play this?: Play as Team Rocket 😈

Pokemon Rocket Edition

Sick of being the ‘hero’ or the ‘goody two shoes’? In Pokemon Rocket edition, you play as a member of Team Rocket. Cheat, lie and steal your way through Kanto.

You’ve probably played through Kanto countless times, but you’ve probably never experienced Kanto this way.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • Catch em all: 251 Pokemon (150+ are original)
  • 🎮Play on: GBA emulator

2) Pokémon Unbound

Why play this?: Because everyone say so.

Just kidding. Expect an ambitious amount of Pokemon content, 4 difficulty modes, character customizations, a new mission system and a good story to boot in this ultra popular Pokemon rom hack.

In Pokemon Unbound, you’ll explore the Borrius region and twat the evil plot of “the Shadows”. Action starts right off the bat with an interesting mix of starter Pokemon. You’ll unravel the story as you play instead of having to read through a long introduction.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 8.
  • 🎮Play on: GBA emulator

3) Pokémon Emerald Rogue

Why play this?: Pokemon, but roguelike on a rom hack.

All routes and encounters are procedurally chosen, with random encounters with gym leaders whose teams are also procedurally chosen. Unlock new NPCs and buildings as you process through the game.

Yes, there are many roguelike Pokemon fan games, but its rarer to find a fun rom hack with fun roguelike elements. So Pokemon Emerald Rouge definitely makes the list.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 8
  • 🎮Play on: GBA emulator

4) Pokémon Dark Rising

Why play this?: highly recommended rom hack that paved the way for newer rom hacks in the space.

Dark Rising is a popular, highly recommended FireRed romhack. But let’s be honest, it was last updated in 2017. Sequels have been made but IMO there are many other better fan games today.

But as an OG rom hack, it has a place on this list. So, if you want to experience a critical rom hack that paved the way for the newer Pokemon rom hacks, add Dark Rising to your game library!

It also gets points for an original well-written storyline and unique features like the ability to battle Nurse Joy, and the option to skip breeding.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 6
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

5) Pokémon Gaia

Why play this?: Original story with revamped sprites, moves and environment that gives you a whole new experience despite being a rom hack.

pokemon gaia

The Professor detects weird increase in seismic activity and recruits new Pokemon trainers like you to save the world.

While the overall plot is predictable, it’s the details that shine in this rom hack. You can feel Spherical Ice’s passion in this game from the reworked sprites, moves, character designs and dialogue.

Pokemon Gaia should be on your list if you’re a Pokemon fan who want to experience a Pokemon world from the POV of a fellow fan.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 6
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

6) Pokémon Flora Sky

Why play this?: Loads of Legendary Pokemon, a custom region and a well-written original story!

You play as a new Pokemon trainer who has to stop two legendary Pokemon from fighting in order to save the world. Okay, that sounds like the daily routine of a cat owner, but it’s more fun that it sounds.

A strong feature in Pokemon Flora Sky is its well-designed day/night system that offers a realistic exploration experience. Its post-game content is pretty comprehensive and should keep you entertained for many hours more.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Pokemon from Gen 4 and 5
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

7) Pokémon Glazed

Why play this?: Explore and catch Pokemon in 2 dimensions and get to choose from 5 starters instead of 3.

Featuring a new region, Tunod, you play as a newly minted Pokemon trainer as well in Pokemon Glazed. Except…you keep slipping into alternative dimension.

While there isn’t much to rave about in terms of plot or map design, Pokémon Glazed have gained a strong fandom for its improved gameplay and expanded content in the form of an alternative dimension, Rankor. Plus, there are over 30 Legendary Pokémon to catch.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 5
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

8) Pokémon Quetzal

Why play this?: Multiplayer version of Pokemon Emerald with an extensive range of Pokemon to catch and characters to play as.

Pokemon-Quetzal

If you’re looking for a Pokemon game with seemingly endless content, Pokemon Quetzal comes very close. It comes with 44 different starters, 13 playable characters, up to 6 following Pokemon and so much more. It continues to be updated, with the latest update released on 28 December 2023.

The main draw of Quetzal is of course, its multi-player feature that lets you play with up to 3 other Pokemon trainers either locally or online.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 9
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

9) Pokémon Elite Redux

Why play this?: Probably the most difficult rom hack you’ll ever play…can you beat it?

One of the newer Pokemon rom hack that made the list, Pokémon Elite Redux promises a challenging teambuilding experience with little to no grinding!

Despite that feature, this rom hack comes with a crazy range of ability combinations for each Pokemon, making it one of the most raved games of 2023 in the nuzlocke community.

You can to fully customize your team in this one with Pokemon having up to 3 switchable abilities along with 3 fixed ones. You also get to customize your movesets and discover over 110+ new abilities. A ton of Quality of Life features have also been added.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 6
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

10) Pokémon Radical Red

Why play this?: A popular and more challenging version of Pokemon Fire Red

Expect tons of Pokemon to catch in this one. The difficulty has been tuned up with an improved AI with some useful features like having a move tutor who teaches Egg moves. (I hated breeding).

The best part? Pokemon Radical Red continues to be updated, with the latest 4.0 version released in Aug 2023.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 9
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

11) Pokémon Emerald Crest

Why play this?: Open world Pokemon game

This rom hack uses the same vanilla Emerald story but throws in more Pokemon, features, quests and most importantly, an open world aspect. In the latest update, a map randomizer has also been added to the game along with Gen 9 Pokemon!

That said, Pokemon Crystal Clear still offers a better open world game experience.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Emerald
  • Has Pokemon up to Gen 9
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

12) Pokémon Stranded

Why play this?: A whole new Pokemon experience – no gyms, no Pokemon centres, no Marts?! It’s like Pokemon but with farming and chose-your-own-adventure elements.

pokemon stranded

Pokemon Stranded isn’t the most popular nor well-known rom hack out there, but it offers a unique gameplay, making it a hidden gem on this list.

You’re basically stranded on an island, hence there’s no gyms, Pokemon centers and the usual interactions you’d expect in a traditional Pokemon game. Instead, you’ll need to survive by crafting, explore the island, make decisions that would shape your story and more.

It’s like a farming and exploration game with many side stories. A fun and short game for Pokemon lovers who want something different.

  • Base Game: Pokemon Fire Red
  • 🎮Play on: GBA Emulators

How I chose these Pokemon Rom Hacks?

There are countless Pokemon rom hacks and fan games out there. All you have to do is a simple Google search to jump into this bottomless rabbit hole.

For this list, I’ve only included Pokemon rom hacks which were modified from original game roms (fan games are covered here instead).

Because of the selection criteria, you’ll find that most of the rom hacks on this list will require Emulators to run. I will not cover how to use emulators in this piece because there are already many great tutorials online.


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