Best Pokemon ROM Hacks for 2021 (Updated)


It is the year 2021 you know what that means — time to update our best ROM hack list. We’ll be including games of any type from GBA, GBC, and DS. There could be some games from last year that are still here simply because of how good they are. That’s why we are adding up more information for our best Pokemon ROM hacks 2021 edition!

We’ll also be sharing some information as to why these ROM hacks are good or why you would want to play them. The other thing is that we have added some minor features that we found to be a bit interesting. You can find more detailed information and even download links on this site if one of these games may pique your interest as well.

Discover the most played and best Pokemon ROM Hacks of the year based on mentions, downloads, game ratings, and recommendations from real users. Without a doubt, the internet has given plenty of opportunities for passionate individuals to express their feelings and sharing their creativity through fabulous creations.

If you are into Pokemon gaming, there are plenty of Pokemon game titles released available for different Nintendo gaming consoles and on mobile devices, but many of these aren’t free to play. Although purchasing is always an excellent approach, this is not still an option to some and that’s how Pokemon ROM Hacks comes in.

See Also: How To Apply IPS Or UPS Patch to Play a ROM Hack

15 Best Pokemon ROM Hacks List Updated for 2021

We did thorough research to find the best Pokemon ROM Hacks for the year. The information is gathered from different sources such as Reddit, Youtube, PokemonCommunity, Facebook, Twitter, and from our very own visitors poll. We came up with the ten most mentioned, most voted, and most played ROM hack titles, and they are all listed below, so keep reading.

We highly recommend these games not only for new players but also for those who have played Pokemon rom hacks before.

15) Pokemon Outlaw

Pokemon outlaw best rom hack 2021

A lot of people say the appeal of Pokemon Outlaw is that it has an interesting story and unique dialogue. You’re basically an orphan who has to make it in life and discover the world and magic of Pokemon. The dialogue is just unique because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and sometimes it can be funny or just not something you would read on any Pokemon game.

It is still a Pokemon game regardless so you have a good lineup of Pokemon. You can follow your own path and take on numerous factions and even be somewhat evil or mischievous. It is ideal for you to play the game and experience the magic and humor for yourself so you can enjoy the beauty of this ROM hack to finish off our best ROM hacks for 2021 list.

Notable Features

  • Slums make up a majority of the locations
  • Follow your own path
  • Interesting plot points to unravel

14) Pokemon Ultra Shiny Gold Sigma

Pokemon ultra shiny gold sigma best rom hack 2021

This ROM hack brings on a different take on Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. While the story can be the same, there are some elements that have been altered and added. Sprites and animations have been updated from the original games but they look the same to some degree. You’re not only exploring Johto and Kanto but as well as Hoenn, Orange Islands, and Alola.

This hack is a bit ambitious so it may have some bugs but nothing game breaking or too annoying. Mega Evolutions are added and Trading evolution has been removed for your convenience. If nothing else, aside from the beautiful visuals, this game has over 800 Pokemon for you to catch with Alolan Forms as well.

Notable Features

  • Gym Leaders in all Regions can be battled again
  • Able to see EV and IV stats
  • Battle Frontier locations all over the place

13) Pokemon Theta Emerald Renev

Pokemon theta emerald renev best pokemon rom hack 2021

Theta Emerald Renev is the improvement of the previous popular Pokemon Theta Emerald EX, the game was started back in 2018. Over 700 Pokemon are catchable in this game and surprisingly Theta Emerald Renev has forme feature that fuses Pokemon together, how cool isn’t it?

There’s still more features that Renev can brag, many of you might already familiar with Mega evolution and Primal Reversion and yes, you get it right! The feature is fully functional in this game. If you have played Pokemon Theta Emerald EX before or even new to Pokemon rom hacking, you should consider playing Pokemon Theta Emerald Renev.

Notable Features

  • New Pokemon
  • New Forms/Formes
  • New Items, Areas, Moves, and Abilities
  • 120 TMs and HMs
  • Mega Evolution/Primal Reversion

12) Pokemon Ultra Violet

Pokemon ultra violet best rom hack 2021

Ultra Violet is a hack of FireRed so in any case, it follows the same story. The appeal of this ROM hack is that it allows you to capture all Pokemon because the creators have unlocked all Pokemon to be caught from both FireRed and LeafGreen. They also added Pokemon from Generation II and several from III. Another appeal is that this game will allow you to catch your own Starter Pokemon rather than choosing from Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle.

Notable Features

  • Can evolve Pokemon that evolve through trading
  • You can catch all available Pokemon the game
  • Unlock more areas when you finish the game’s main story

11) Pokemon Blazed Glazed

Pokemon blazed glazed best rom hack 2021

Remember, we said earlier that Pokemon Glazed has several versions and one of them is Blazed Glazed. In terms of story, it is pretty much the same as well as several of its features. This game does have altered stats, moves, and more. The other thing is that Wild Pokemon spawns are different so it makes it a bit interesting in the process.

Notable Features

  • Stat and Move changes
  • Pokemon ranges from Generation I until VI but not all of them
  • Choose from five Starting Pokemon

10) Pokemon Liquid Crystal

Pokemon liquid crystal best rom hack 2021

This is a hack of FireRed and sadly not Crystal for the GBA. The good thing is that this is a remake of Pokemon Crystal. In terms of the story, everything is the same as it was in Crystal. There are some minor additions in terms of special events and more. The bottom line is that this hack has all the features found in Crystal.

The hack has some updated sprites and animation as well as a couple of other things. You get the same Pokemon from the original as well as the day and night cycle. Don’t forget about the fact that after you complete the Johto storyline, you proceed to the Kanto Region so that’s a lot of content for you to play on this hack.

Notable Features

  • Updated visual and audio aesthetics
  • New events and hidden areas
  • Weather effects are present

09) Pokemon Saiph

Pokemon saiph best rom hack 2021

Pokemon Saiph is a ROM hack of FireRed. It uses sprites and several animation from the Generation V games. In terms of story, it follows the continuation of the story from Pokemon Rangers Shadows of Almia which is an official game. If you are familiar with or loved that game, then you may have a thrill with this game’s story since there will be references and several characters.

The game has a collection of Pokemon from Generation I to VI. They have updated types and altered moves and stats. You’ll be able to explore areas of Hoenn that weren’t there in the previous games as well as the new Region of Colen. Several elements are carried over from other games to make this hack worth your while.

Notable Features

  • New TMs and they are all reusable
  • The Bag UI has been updated
  • Day and night cycle is present

08) Pokemon Prism

Pokemon prism best rom hack 2021

This is the very first GBC ROM hack to make our list of best ROM hacks for 2021. Pokemon Prism is a hack of Pokemon Crystal and the story is probably taken from it. You play as the child of Lance who is the Pokemon Champion in Crystal. You are in the Naljo Region where you discover a lost Larvitar and become its master.

Now, you have to find the mystery that surrounds this world while becoming a Pokemon Master. The game features over 250 Pokemon from Generation I until IV. That’s right, they manage to make sprites for those Pokemon in this ROM hack of Crystal. Don’t forget about several mini games that you can play and several original music tracks.

Notable Features

  • Fairy-type is present along with two distinct types (Sound and Gas-type)
  • Four Crafting skills available
  • Areas where it lets you move like a 2D side scroller

07) Pokemon AshGray

Pokemon ashgray best rom hack 2021

If you are a big fan of the first Pokemon anime series which was subtitled Indigo League, then you’ll enjoy Pokemon AshGray. This ROM hack is based on FireRed and the story follows the events of the anime. There is a reward system where the game will reward you if you use Ash’s Pokemon in specific battles based on the series.

Granted, you don’t have to do this because you can still build your own team. You can capture all of the Pokemon that Ash has caught in the events based on the anime. This also means that any Generation or Pokemon after the anime won’t be making an appearance here. If you know the anime wholeheartedly, then you can take advantage of this game in the process.

Notable Features

  • Catch all the Pokemon Ash caught in the series
  • Tools will replace HMs
  • Updated game sprites and visuals

06) Pokemon Gaia

Pokemon gaia best rom hack 2021

Pokemon Gaia is another ROM hack that constantly appears in a lot of lists. In fact, this game has been played for speed running sessions. It has a unique and interesting story which isn’t the usual tale of becoming a Pokemon Master but that is still there. Like a lot of the hacks on this list, Gaia features a lot of updated visual aesthetics.

They also have unique musical tracks playing in the game not found in other Pokemon games. Speaking of the Pokemon, you have a lineup from Generation I until VI with updated types, moves, and more. Mega Evolution is also available in the game if you like that feature.

Notable features

  • Certain special events take place
  • New items to use
  • Unlimited TM usage

05) Pokemon Glazed

Pokemon glazed best rom hack 2021

Pokemon Glazed always appears in a lot of lists and it is still in our best ROM hacks for 2021 list. Glazed has been around for years and it has been constantly getting updates. There are also numerous versions of this game but with Glazed, that’s all you ever need. It has a unique story with the same elements allowing you to explore multiple Regions.

You even get to choose from 5 Starter Pokemon instead of the usual 3. The game also has updated types which include the Fairy-type as well as updated stats and moves. Glazed also features distinct in-game animations and altered sprites. The game may continue to have more updates in the future so why not play it today.

Notable Features

  • Physical and Special split
  • Three Regions for you to explore
  • Can rematch Trainers and Gym Leaders later on

04) Pokemon Rocket Edition

Pokemon pocket edition best rom hack 2021

Rocket Edition is a ROM hack of FireRed and it actually lets you play as a Team Rocket Grunt. You are playing the story of FireRed and LeafGreen but from the perspective of the Grunt. You’ll even notice that you’ll be fighting against the protagonist of these games and lose all the time but that’s just normal until you can eventually get one.

The interesting twist here is that you don’t just catch Pokemon traditionally. You battle trainers and steal one of their Pokemon when you win since you are a Team Rocket Grunt. Then again catching Pokemon is still available. The other mechanics are pretty much the same with the game allowing you to own all 151 Generation I Pokemon.

Notable Features

  • There is a Morality System
  • Updated Pokemon types, stats, and more (i.e. Fairy-type is present)
  • Able to use the HM Fly from the start

03) Pokemon Adventure Red Chapter

Pokemon adventure red chapter best rom hack 2021

If you’ve read the manga Pokemon Red (Adventures), then this ROM hack is for you. This game tries to follow the story of the manga Red Adventures. Then again, this is a 100% recreation but that’s a given because there can only be so much you can do when it comes to these things. You do get to play as Red as well as meet up with the other characters in the manga.

It has updated graphics and you can actually see character portraits in a lot of the scenes when they are talking. That may not mean much but the game has a lot of other features and mechanics that you will like. The latest version of this hack has updated stats as well as the level cap being raised over200.

Notable Features

  • The game has an IV and EV checker
  • Mega Evolution is available
  • TMs can be reused multiple times

02) Pokemon Radical Red

Pokemon radical red best rom hack 2021

Radical Red is a tougher version of Pokemon FireRed which is also the base of the hack. Radical Red boasts its above-average game difficulty so it is perfect for you if you love playing FireRed but this time with a challenge. We are talking about a tough game that you can play which will definitely make you sweat in the process.

Even when the game begins you have an option to go for a randomized run or even Nuzlocke. You don’t need to do any manual file patching since the game already gives you the option from the start. Tuck yourself in and make sure to not get frustrated with the game and its enhanced difficulty setting.

Notable Features

  • Colored IV is available from the start
  • You can find EV training areas to enhance your EV
  • Pokemon stats, abilities, and certain moves have been changed

01) Pokemon Unbound

Pokemon unbound best rom hack 2021

This is a hack of FireRed which is packed with the original story with updated graphics. Explore new areas, locations, and more while becoming the usual Pokemon Master. The game allows you to do side quests and other optional things you can do if you don’t want to do the main story just yet.

Pokemon Unbound also features Z Moves and Mega Evolution in its recent updates and more. Be sure to do some of those quests so that you can get some nice rewards and Mega Evolution is one of them. Finally, if you love post-game content and without spoiling anything, you’ll be drowned in it with how much content you get.

Notable Features

  • Tons of optional quests
  • A lot of customization options
  • Wide variety of Pokemon to catch

In Closing

These are just 15 of the best ROM hack for 2021. The year has just started so there would probably more games coming up this year. Don’t forget about older ROM hacks that have or will receive updates and maybe they can catch up and be a part of next year’s list.

Anyway, if you are craving for ROM hacks, be sure to try one of these games. Always remember to use the right emulator for the right ROM hack. Don’t forget to patch them correctly so that they will be ready to play and make sure to check out available cheats for some of these games if you like that.

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  1. Uhm what do you guys use to play these games? The only thing thats working for me is the shiny gold sigma, cant play anything else

  2. Uhm what kind of emulator do you guys use? I cant seem to run anything except shiny gold sigma, please recommend me an emulator to use to play them specially the unbound one

    • if you’re playing on a laptop i recommend desmume for DS rom hacks and visualboyadvance for pokemon games on earlier consoles.

  3. Heya 😃
    You should think about adding Gs Chronicles / Radical Red / The last fire red / Adventure red chapters / Team Rocket Edition

    They are the most played ones after unbound

    • Thanks for coming here Fitz, yes those games you mentioned are definitely good and I highly recommend playing them. 😊

  4. Hey PokemonCoders,

    I just want to say good job on keeping this page updated and it’s cool to see you replying to comments – shows that you care.

    Eetswa Adlay

  5. if anyone here plays on Chromebook and needs an emulator, go to the chrome web store and search gpemu, it’s one of the best I’ve used it can play so many different classic console games, like NES, SNES, GBA,GB,GBC, and more I think so ye try it out!

    • Thanks for coming here JakesterBOI2021 and for sharing that valuable information for chromebook users. I have a question though, AFAIK, chromebooks can run Android apps, have you got a chance to run these popular emulators such as MyBoy or John GBA in your chromebook?

  6. Are there are other ROMHacks similar to stuff like Pokemon Sweet? Where it takes existing Pokemon but gives them all unique redesigns centered around a theme and has new names?

    Only other one I can think of is Snakewood with its Zombie Pokemon, but you can only actually catch like two of those so it felt super limiting.

  7. I would play Ash Gray if it weren’t for the fact that the battle sprites for the trainers look like they crawled out of the depths of hell (especially all the non-Chibi sprites of Ash, dear god they look terrible)

    • The EZ Flash, flash cart let’s you put gba roms on a physical cartridge. It’s a little pricey but definitely cheaper than trying to make repros

  8. Though i have promblems with gaia. Anytime i wanna play my saved file it would take me back to a file i saved before that PLZZZ help
    PS you gotta try pokemon uranium. Sure it’s full of fakemon but the story line is KILLIN’ me.

    • Hey don’t take it out on the creator I believe they purposely made it for you to save the file you want to stop at twice so all the information will all be saved. I have played a earlier version and it had to same problem, the game isn’t broken it is just a big rom and it seems to need multiple save time stops at the same time.

  9. I LOVE THEM ALL. I play them all on VBA. Though i have promblems with gaia. Anytime i wanna play my saved file it would take me back to a file i saved before that PLZZZ help

  10. Pokemon unbound is one of the best iv ever played I literally just found out about these rooms 2 weeks ago I wish I knew about these back in the day

    • Had the same issue, if you want to save in that gane you’ll need to save your game within the menu of the actual emulator. I use my boy as well for android and just go into the menu with ultra violet loaded, and then there should be a save and load option you can use to keep track of your progress. Hope that was helpful

    • We are actually updating this post, a lot of things and information from the list has changed. We’ll release our collection of the best Pokemon ROM Hacks for 2021 next week.

    • Hi Tyranitar, We are considering that game as well for the best pokemon rom hack to play for 2021. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. I just don’t understand how to use those mega stones
    They just became hold items
    Why are they not evolving
    Plz help me

    • You need a mega ring and the evolution stone of the Pokemon then give the evolution stone to that Pokemon then if you fight a trainer click the start button then choose the attack of your Pokemon that’s it.

  12. My requirement for a pokemon gamers would be
    1.No HMs
    2.TMs can be used over and over
    3.New Repal mechanic
    4.Mega evolution within battle
    5.pokemon upto 6th gen (it means include fairy types)

    If these elements would be in a game i will definately play it, no doubt.

      • What would be a good pokemon game for me, although it would probably not be possible making a gba rom of this size

        1: having all regions up to the latest Gen.

        2: having all pokemon up to the latest gen

        3: having enough storage size on pc to be able to store at least one of every pokemon, including non evolved forms.

        I guess that being able to store something like 2000 pokemon on pc should be enough.

        4: Tm’s unlimited use like hm.

        5: Being able to breed every pokemon.
        6: not needing to trade to evolve. It could have a special item that is needed instead.

        7: being able to trade

        8: day night system.

        9: mega evolutions, although I would like the pokemon being able to level up past 100 and then make the mega evolutions like the normal, you evolve just once instead of in battle.

        I think that this would be enough.


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