Best Pokémon ROM Hacks & Fan Games With FakémonThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Nintendo has made some great games.
But fans should be able to create their own ideas too!
In solidarity with the teams and individuals affected by Nintendo’s outdated and (frankly) crappy business practices, I’ve put together a list of what I think are the best ROM hacks with Fakémon as far as the eye can see.
10. Pokémon Sweets/Sweets 2
Okay, this ROM hack isn’t going to be for everyone.
It’s got Fakémon, sure, but a very niche variety in that it has regional variants based on sweets.
Typing gets changed to flavors, like chocolate, and the sprites get reworked to reflect that.
If that doesn’t sound like your cup of team, I wouldn’t worry. It’s definitely not a change that’s for everyone.
However, the new sprite changes actually work really well.
Whoever was in charge of the design here did a fantastic job.
So fantastic, that it’s the only reason why I’m actually putting it on the list.
I’m a sucker for a good story.
It’s the whole reason I became a writer in the first place.
So naturally, when a ROM hack with an original story comes along, I’m going to talk about it.
That’s exactly what Altair/Sirius is.
It’s got an entirely new and original story, although the region is a remake of Hoenn. It’s an emerald ROM hack, as are the majority of good ROM hacks, and the Fakémon that are included all look great.
I wouldn’t play this hack for the new Mon’ exclusively.
But the whole experience is one of the more complete and cleaner ones out there.
Fun fact: Vega is a direct sequel to Altair/Sirius.
It’s so rare that an original story ROM hack gets released, let alone that it gets a sequel, so I’m pretty high on both of these original games (Altair/Sirius is technically two games).
Vega hasn’t just got Fakémon and an original story, but it’s also set in an entirely new region.
It takes everything that its predecessor did well and turns it up a notch.
This is one of the better ROM hacks ever made, and not just for its Fakémon. There are games with better Fakés, but very few of them offer a completed package like Vega does.
7. Adventure Red
I’m going to just come out and say it: I don’t like ROM hacks built on Gen I and II.
I’m sorry, but there’s just no need for it. The newer games have better gameplay and graphics, so I don’t see why you would limit yourself besides nostalgia.
That being said, AdventureRed is incredible.
It’s based on FireRed, obviously, and has a solid roster of Fakémon that aren’t available to you until a little while into the game.
It’s got an adapted story from the Manga that follows Red, and the hack really does do it justice. It’s also got original portraits for characters, customization, an increased level cap, and more.
It’s arguably the most solid ROM hack ever released, and it’s still getting updates to this day. It just doesn’t focus so much on its Fakémon like the entries higher up in this list.
Empyrean is the first example of a fangame on this list.
That’s to say that it’s made with RPG maker, not as an emulator ROM hack.
It’s still a Pokémon game, though. With Fakémon.
The story is original and intriguing, but far from the best home-brewed story that I’ve ever seen in a fan game.
Rather than focusing on aspects of the game like that, I’m giving Empyrean the number six spot because of its focus on Fakémon.
Not only are there original sprites, but there are fusions, new types, a new archetype called “berserk” Pokémon, and it plans to introduce even more.
This title is packed with original Pokédex related content, even if the rest of the game is only solid at best.
AdventureRed is an infinitely superior ROM hack to WaterRed.
It’s got a better story, better gameplay, and is all around a better experience.
WaterRed is strong in its own right, though, particularly when it comes to the original Fakémon that it introduces.
It has regional variants and the often-used delta Pokémon, with a variety of new sprites.
It’s not so much a comprehensive ROM hack as it is foundationally solid from a Pokédex point of view.
SolarLight/LunarDark are RPG maker fan games. And that means the creators have a lot more originality at their disposal than those building ROM hacks.
The team behind these games take full advantage of that, too.
These have a great new story, as well as a fully fleshed-out region for you to explore.
The Fakémon included with the region all look great, and none of them stand out too badly.
If you were looking for one singular safe and solid pick from this list, go with one of these two games. They don’t do anything crazy like some Pokémon fan games do, meaning you’re going to get an experience that’s closer to home.
Pokémon Insurgence is one of the most well-known fan games in the entire community.
It’s 100% complete, too. Meaning your adventure isn’t going to get cut off midway, and you’re not going to stumble across any game-breaking bugs.
While the Fakémon are fantastic(which is the whole point of this list) I’m making an exception for Insurgence and ranking it so highly because of the plot.
Rather than facing one BBEG, you fight against various cults around the region that are all vying for control.
It’s a surprisingly dark story, but far from being the worst offender in that category. So don’t worry about things getting too grizzly.
It’s also one of the most respected home-brewed games for a reason. So pick it up and give it a try for yourself. Or don’t, it’s you that’s going to be missing out on this one, not me.
Clover is revered among certain areas of the Pokémon fandom, but hated in others.
I personally think it’s a great game with the best roster of Fakémon ever made.
The Fakémon roster is so strong that the entire Pokédex is comprised of homemade sprites.
It’s one of the biggest original undertakings that a ROM hack has ever gone through… but that makes sense when you look at how the game came about.
Clover was made by 4chan’s /vp/ Pokémon board.
If you don’t know what 4chan is, then skip over this game.
If you know what 4chan and /vp/ are and you’re a fan, then you’re going to love this game.
If you know what 4chan is and you hate it, you’re probably going to hate this game, but maybe try it anyway.
It’s really that simple.
Pokémon Uranium is a fan game.
And what a fan game it is.
Not only is it the best when it comes to the quality of the Fakémon, but there’s an argument to be made for it being the best fan-made Pokémon game of all time.
It has a highbred Dex that has far more Fakémon than regular Pokémon, and every single one of them is of stellar quality. There are absolutely no duds whatsoever in the collection of 166 new ‘Mons.
It has a new region, a new story, and a hell of a lot of style.
I’ll admit that the game isn’t for everyone. It’s nothing like the style of the Nintendo titles, so if you’re essentially looking for a new mainline Pokémon game, you won’t find it here.
But if you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, you can learn more and get this hack over on the Pokémon Uranium subreddit.