Pokémon has a user base that spans generations. With two decades of back-to-back hits, Pokémon has enjoyed the kind of success that is unprecedented in modern times. Sticking to the time-tested formula of collecting, training, and battling little pocket monsters has certainly served the franchise well over the years. While the very first Pokémon game ever released ‘Pokémon Red and Blue’ is still as replayable as it has ever been, Pokémon has continued to build on its legacy by releasing new games every once in a while. Years of time, energy, and effort put into refining the core concept is certainly reflected in the newer titles. While the ever-growing official catalog is enough to keep most of the fans satiated, the true enthusiasts go through a new release like a knife through butter and the Pokémon release schedule might be a little too much to handle for them. These are the fans who go on to develop their own Pokémon games. And as you can suspect, two decades must have yielded a handful of these fan-made games. While most of them are great, the sheer number can be intimidating for some. We have thus compiled a list of the best fan-made games developed over the years.
Before we get to the list, it is important to note that some of the games might require you to download an emulator. An emulator essentially lets your computer or mobile device pretend to be a Gameboy, PS2, or whatever legacy console you want. All you need to do is to feed the right ROM into it and it will do the rest. With so many options to choose from, it is easier than ever to play your favorite timeless classics on modern hardware.
Here is the complete list of what we think are the best fan-made Pokémon games of all time.
You know you did something right when a behemoth like Nintendo sets out to destroy you. After receiving multiple takedown notices, the developers were forced to quit the project, but by that time the game had already gained so much popularity that after the official development was ceased, the community embraced the game as their own and have continued to develop patches and introduce new features and bug fixes over the years.
A free-to-play desktop game made in RPGmaker and Pokémon Essentials, Pokémon Uranium is set in the Tandor region. A fatal threat is triggering a nuclear meltdown all across Tandor and must be stopped to ensure the safety of Pokémon.
The game has over 160 new fan-made Pokémon species and features 8 gym badges that you need to collect in order to qualify for the “Tandor Regional Championship”. Still a very much Pokémon game, the game has unique features like the ability to talk to Pokémon and many more.
Another fan-based game, the game is set in the new Torren Region and features a rich storyline involving Pokémon worshipping cults looking for world domination. The game features difficulty levels unlike the official games and introduces several new features like mega evolutions and secret base customizations. There are several different challenge modes to choose from.
Featuring a rich storyline, it’s a great game for older fans of the Pokémon franchise as Nintendo seems to care the least about them with their new releases. The game is built using RPGmaker XP allowing it to run without an emulator.
Pokémon Light Platinum Version:
This game is a modification of Pokémon Ruby and is vaguely based on Pokémon Platinum for the Nintendo DS.
The game features two Pokémon leagues, 16 gym badges,s and a world championship. The leagues are completely overhauled and all their gym leaders and Elite IV have been replaced. You can also catch all the legendaries through Unova. The game is essentially an amalgam of old and new Pokémon games bringing you the best of both worlds.
This game is the sequel to Pokémon brown and follows the story of a descendant of a famous Dragon Trainer. The game is set in the region of Naljo but you can come back to Rijon once you have cleared the Pokémon League. The game also introduces 28 new Pokémon exclusive to Naljo and a feature where you can explore certain areas only with Pokémon. The game has 20 gym badges to collect and features several new mini-games. While the game can be played on its own, the experience becomes much more immersive if you play Pokémon Brown first.
Pokémon Showdown is a web-based Pokémon battle simulator. With one of the largest fanbases, this fan-made classic is the best way to battle with Trainer online. It follows tournament rules very strictly and regularly updates each Pokémon’s stats according to the latest official game. With so many players around the world, you don’t have to keep your competitive streak in check while you are playing this game. In addition to standard modes of play, the game includes features like “Pure Hackmons” and “Balanced Hackmons,” which encompass Pokémon of normally illegal movesets and Abilities.
Pokémon Ash Gray:
Inspired by Ash Ketchum’s anime adventure, this game follows the events of Season one of Pokémon anime. Although not a requirement, you can play the game using his exact team setup. As you progress through the game, you come across different characters from the anime series reenacting different episodes.
As Ash Ketchum has no use for hidden machines, the game does away with them and replaces them with tools that Ash can carry in his backpack. The game even lets you catch Pokémon that Ash couldn’t catch in the anime like Pikachu in the first episode and Spearows.
The game works in almost all modern browsers and you can start playing without having to download the game.
Pokémon Fire Ash:
While Pokémon Ash Gray followed the story of Ash up until Orange Islands, Fire Ash tells his journey from Kanto to Alola Region. A true tribute to the anime’s die-hard fans, this game served as the inspiration for the TV series. The game features over 800 different Pokémon including Gen 7 Pokémon and over 50 gym leaders to catch. It also introduces features like mega evolutions. If you are even a little bit interested in anime, this game is certainly going to serve you well, and that too for months.
This is another fan-made game that will spark the interest of both young and older fans. The storyline is dark and features a society drowning in the effects of crime, chaos, and injustice. An evil organization runs loose and the city is in desperate need of a hero.
The game is modeled after Pokémon Emerald and introduces several new features like Field Effects which allows you to fine-tune your battlefield experience. The game also gives you the ability to recruit other trainers to aid you in your task. The game features 21 starters to choose from and 18 trainer fights. Although these features make the game stand out from other games, it is still a Pokémon game at its core.
A spiritual successor to Pokémon Reborn, this game is set in the region of Aevium. This region was struck by a natural disaster a few years ago and is now struggling to get back on its feet. The game features “Team Xen” as the main antagonist and you have to protect your people from getting annihilated by them. of course you are going to have a team of Talented Pokémon to aid you in this uphill task.
The game features Pokémon up to Gen 7 and shares many of the same features that made the first one great. These features include a dark twisted storyline, a comprehensive battle system, and rich, exotic locations. In addition, this version introduces several new features including 8 elite battles and 18 gym badges. You are going to have plenty of time to implement the perfect strategy to defeat your enemy as the game takes around 70 hours to complete.
This is not just another fan-made Pokémon game. This game introduces features that make it stand out from all other fan made as well as official Pokémon games. It has one of the best storylines in fan-based Pokémon games history, dynamic Pokémon evolutions, and features like time travel.
The game is set in the mysterious region of Rosari. It features “Team Epsilon” as the main antagonist which is using an ancient power to take control of Rosari. The game also features Pokémon from Gen 1 through Gen 4 and you can collect these Pokémon to aid you in your mission. In addition to that, the game also features a Pokémon League.
As the name implies, the game incorporates the day/night cycle and is full of quests that you can complete to boost your Pokémon level.
Pokémon Phoenix Rising:
The game takes place in the war-torn region of Hawthorne and features a multi-choice storyline and gameplay that has moral ambiguity. The game certainly takes the RPG experience of Pokémon games to the next level. The main objective in the game is to resurrect Ho-oh and use it to kill the tyrannical king. There are several great features that warrant its place in a list like this including Mega Evolutions, a skill tree with rewards designed for different play styles, a comprehensive quest system, and a new kind of Pokémon called Relic Pokémon. These dragon-type Pokémon are available from the start of the game and they are one of the best things about the game. Based on Pokémon Fire Red, this is the game for die-hard players that want to up the ante.
As the name implies, PokeMMO is a Pokémon-based Massive Multiplayer Online game. The game follows Fire Red’s story except you are the trainer instead of the hero. The game features new regions to explore in addition to Kanto and Hoenn. You have the ability to form teams with other players and explore the region with them. You also have an Online PVP mode to exert your dominance in combat. The game features a huge variety of clothes and accessories to customize your character and is updated regularly. Due to the game’s popularity, you can always find someone to play with.
Pokémon MMO 3D:
This is essentially the 3D version of PokéMMO. From the battle screen to menus and gameplay, everything is in 3D. Instead of turn-based orders, you now control your Pokémon directly. The combat and main gameplay have also been optimized and the abilities are on cool down.
Although still in development, Pokémon sage’s 10-hour demo is so good that we have to give it an honorable mention. The game takes place in the Latin America-inspired region of Urobos. The game uses Gen 5 as a base but adds its own flavor on top. The result is a unique design aesthetic that departs from the traditional fan-made games we have grown accustomed to. All of the Pokémon, locations and characters in Sage are completely original with subtle hints pointing to their roots in Latin American culture. It currently features only 3 gym badges and the demo ends after collecting your 3rd badge.