The Most Popular ROM Hacks, Ranked

Choose the hacks you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 13, 2024 06:16
For gaming enthusiasts seeking fresh challenges or new twists on classic games, ROM hacks offer a unique avenue of exploration. These alterations or extensions of existing video games manage to breathe new life into beloved classics, providing both nostalgia and new experiences. By compiling a list of the most popular ROM hacks as voted by the community, users gain insights into which hacks are considered the best, aiding their selection process. When users participate by casting votes for their favorite ROM hacks, they contribute to a dynamic, community-driven ranking. This not only highlights which modifications have captivated the interest of other players but also serves as a guide for newcomers eager to delve into modified gaming. Such a ranked list evolves continually based on user preferences, offering an up-to-date reflection of trending hacks in the gaming community.

What Are the Most Popular ROM Hacks?

  1. 1

    Pokémon Light Platinum

    A Pokémon Ruby hack that offers a new region, ZHERY, and introduces Pokémon from up to the fourth generation.
    • Release Year: 2012
    • Base Game: Pokémon Ruby
  2. 2

    Super Mario World: Return to Dinosaur Land

    A sequel to Super Mario World with new levels and challenges.
    • Release Year: 2006
    • Base Game: Super Mario World
  3. 3

    The Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds

    A complete overhaul of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, offering a new story and challenging gameplay.
    • Release Year: 2006
    • Base Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  4. 4

    Final Fantasy VI: Brave New World

    An enhancement of Final Fantasy VI that rebalances gameplay and deepens the story.
    • Release Year: 2011
    • Base Game: Final Fantasy VI
  5. 5

    Pokémon Ash Gray

    A hack of Pokémon FireRed that follows the storyline of the Pokémon anime, allowing players to relive Ash's journey.
    • Release Year: 2010
    • Base Game: Pokémon FireRed
  6. 6

    Sonic 3 Complete

    A definitive version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, combining elements from both games and offering new features.
    • Release Year: 2011
    • Base Game: Sonic 3 & Knuckles
  7. 7

    Pokémon Prism

    A comprehensive ROM hack of Pokémon Crystal that introduces a new region, story, and over 250 Pokémon.
    • Release Year: 2016
    • Base Game: Pokémon Crystal
  8. 8

    Mother 3: Claus’s Journey

    A ROM hack of Mother 3 that lets you experience the story from Claus's perspective.
    • Release Year: 2018
    • Base Game: Mother 3
  9. 9

    Metroid: Super Zero Mission

    A mix of Super Metroid and Metroid Zero Mission, featuring new areas and a reimagined storyline.
    • Release Year: 2006
    • Base Game: Super Metroid
  10. 10

    Super Metroid Phazon

    A hack of Super Metroid with a new map and enhanced graphics, set in a Phazon-infected world.
    • Release Year: 2004
    • Base Game: Super Metroid

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular ROM hacks. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Hack is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 143 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Hack once every 24 hours. The rank of each Hack is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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Additional Information

More about the Most Popular ROM Hacks

ROM hacks are modified versions of video games. Enthusiasts create them to add new features, fix bugs, or change content. These changes can range from simple tweaks to complete overhauls. The goal is often to enhance the original game or offer a fresh experience.

The practice of hacking ROMs began in the early days of gaming. Fans wanted to extend the life of their favorite games. They used simple tools to alter game code. Over time, these tools became more advanced. Today, there are many programs designed to help with ROM hacking.

One common reason for creating ROM hacks is to translate games. Many classic games were released only in certain regions. Fans who could not understand the original language wanted to play these games. They took it upon themselves to translate the text. This allowed more people to enjoy the games.

Another reason for hacking ROMs is to fix problems. Some games have bugs or glitches that can make them hard to play. Hackers can go into the game’s code and fix these issues. This makes the game more enjoyable and sometimes even playable for the first time.

Some ROM hacks aim to make games harder. These hacks increase the difficulty level, adding new challenges. Players who have mastered the original game can test their skills with these harder versions. On the other hand, some hacks make games easier. These are useful for players who want a more relaxed experience.

Creative changes are also popular. Hackers can add new levels, characters, and storylines. These changes can turn an old game into something completely new. Fans appreciate the creativity and effort that goes into these projects. Sometimes, these hacks become popular in their own right.

ROM hacking communities are active online. Members share their work, offer advice, and collaborate on projects. These communities provide a wealth of resources for anyone interested in hacking ROMs. Tutorials, tools, and forums are available to help newcomers get started.

Legal issues surround ROM hacking. The original game code is often protected by copyright. Distributing hacked ROMs can lead to legal trouble. However, many hackers argue that they are not harming the original games. They believe their work adds value and keeps old games alive.

Despite these legal concerns, ROM hacking remains popular. It allows fans to engage with their favorite games in new ways. The creativity and dedication of the hacking community continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

In summary, ROM hacks offer a way to breathe new life into old games. Whether through translations, bug fixes, or creative changes, these hacks provide fresh experiences for players. The ROM hacking community remains a vibrant and active part of the gaming world.

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