Pokemon Fan Games were always inevitable. This franchise is one of the biggest media properties in the entire world. Among other things, the portfolio includes multiple game series, movies, mangas, a trading card game, and an incredibly influential anime that has been running for well over 20 years. Few things have had as big an impact on popular culture as Pokemon.
And when you have something this big and diverse, with millions of fans worldwide, you’re probably going to see a significant amount of fan content inspired by it. You could look some of this up on Google and spent days going down the rabbit hole without ever scratching the surface.
But with this article, we’re going to specifically focus on some of the absolute best Pokemon fan games out there.
Best Pokemon Fan Games
As previously mentioned, this fanbase is absolutely massive. So as a result, the amount of Pokemon fan games made for this franchise also number in the dozens.
A lot of these are based on the same basic concept of catching Pokemon and using them for battles. But some also switch up the formula in interesting ways. Some games add completely new elements into the mix, making them stand out from the rest.
These projects truly capture the creativity and magic of the Pokemon games in a way that sometimes official entries in the series fail to do. So it’s a shame then, that a number of these fan games are really hard to access.
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Nintendo is absolutely ruthless when it comes to protecting their IPs, and numerous creators have had to take down their projects due to legal threats from the company. Now nothing ever truly vanishes from the internet, but you might have some trouble tracking these games down.
Regardless, let’s move onto our actual list below.
Pokemon Ash Gray
Many players, myself included, were fans of the Pokemon anime well before they ever got into the games. So finding out that the show’s protagonist Ash Ketchum was not in any of the games, was disappointing, to say the least.
The universe of these two different mediums has always been the same, but their stories vary greatly. This is why Pokemon Ash Gray is so great, because it lets you live out the plot of Ash in video game form. Finally, players could play through the story they always wanted to as children.
This game is a hack of the original Pokemon FireRed on the Game Boy Advance, but the story has been changed to be as close to the TV show as possible. It doesn’t cover everything from the show though, because that would be a monumental task. Instead, the game only focuses on the Kanto region and the events that took place there. And yes, this includes everything from the Spearow attack to the heartbreaking release of Butterfree.
Ash Gray is one of the more popular Pokemon fan games out there. I highly recommend that every fan of the anime check it out.
One of the biggest complaints that fans have had about the official Pokemon games is that the developers over at Game Freak are extremely hesitant to add new mechanics and systems into their games. These titles have definitely evolved over the past two decades, but the progress has been extremely slow.
So when someone created a game with completely new types of Pokemon, fans were quick to jump on the bandwagon. These new Nuclear Types are completely original creatures unique to this title, and they add a new level of complexity to the existing meta. Basically, Nuclear is super effective against every type but Nuclear and Steel, but it is also weak to everything except Poison.
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Apart from that, this is a fairly regular Pokemon game. There’s a big central mystery to solve, gym leaders to defeat, and new legendaries to catch. Sometimes it doesn’t take a whole lot to add variety to a series that has been stagnant for far too long.
Unfortunately, this is one of those Pokemon fan games that gained a lot of hype when it was released, and that caught the attention of Nintendo. What followed next was a series of DMCA strikes from the company that forced the creators to shut down production on the title. A version of the game still exists somewhere on the internet, but it hasn’t received any updates in years.
So check this game out if the concept of unique Nuclear Type Pokemon appeals to you.
As I’ve mentioned multiple times by now, the official Pokemon games have been stagnant for a while. Fans have wanted to explore this incredible universe in more ways than simply being a trainer on the hunt for gym badges. Still, the developers don’t seem too keen on deviating from the established formula.
That’s why players should check out Pokemon Godra, a game that allows you to focus on your character and take up several different professions. You can choose to be a Military General, a CEO, or even a Nurse if you want.
Now granted, this doesn’t alter the gameplay too dramatically, but it does add some much-needed variety to the basic ‘Go Here, Defeat That Gym Leader’ formula. It allows you to roleplay as a person that exists within this world and who has some level of control over what they want to do with their life.
The map is also split into two distinct regions, each with its own unique Pokemon, storylines, and objectives. So depending on your choices, you’ll get to see and experience different things.
This is a great Pokemon fan game, and I think everyone should give it a try at least.
If you’re looking for a game set within the Pokemon universe, but takes some liberties with the story and lore, you should definitely check out Pokemon Reborn. This is not a hacked rom of a previously existing title either; it is an entirely unique game that was made from the ground up using the RPG Maker XP engine.
The most striking thing about this title is that it looks unlike any other Pokemon game you’ve ever seen. It has a much darker world and atmosphere, and it explores a lot of heavy subjects that are clearly aimed at a more mature audience. This tonal shift could have been ridiculous, but thankfully the creators have made sure that the story is not too edgy simply for the sake of shock value.
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Additionally, the game features an absolutely tremendous roster that covers the first 7 generations. Over 800 different Pokemon are present in the world, including the 21 starters. There are also 18 different gyms to challenge and a unique Field Effect mechanic to play around with.
If you enjoy seeing talented creators’ creativity to Pokemon fan games, then you owe it to yourself to check this entry out.
Pokemon Insurgence is another fan game made from scratch using RPG Maker XP, while still incorporating many unique features that set it apart from the crowd.
Once again, the plot if much darker than in any official releases, and the bleak new region of Torren is home to a number of different cults that play an important role in the story. The player is also given some choice in perusing either a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ path, with their decisions impacting the story and certain plot points.
The game also features Delta Species, which are essentially variations of the same Pokemon that you know and love. Not only have their types been updated, but so have their appearances. The non-canon lore behind these Delta variations is that these are creatures that were experimented on by the Cult of Perfection in their morbid search for the perfect Pokemon.
As far as fan games go, Insurgence also features some fantastic character designs. The artists have put a lot of effort into creating the Delta Species and the new Mega Evolutions. Yes, that’s right, this game also has Mega Evolutions for Pokemon like Typhlosion and Feraligatr, who never managed to get one of their own in the official games.
I highly recommend Pokemon Insurgence to anyone who’s started to feel that the designs and settings of the official games have started to become a bit too predictable.
This has been eXputer’s list of the best Pokemon Fan Games out there. While you’re here, why not also check out our other articles like the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Trophy Guide.