Ever since Red and Green first released in 1996 (anyone else feeling their age now?), fans have been creating their versions of the incredibly popular Pokémon games. Modded ROMs have become very popular, and there are some out there that have gained a massive following like Liquid Crystal. Particularly ambitious, Pokémon fans have also started creating MMOs for the series that have become just as popular as original modded ROMs. A lot of these MMOs make the games feel more realistic by making them more social. Here are some of the best Pokémon MMOs currently available. This list has no particular order or ranking, and many of these games are still being actively developed but are functional.
Pokémon Revolution Online
Pokemon Revolution Online is arguably the most popular of all the games on this list. One thing that is unique about it is that it can run on the Android operating system. Players can pick up this game on a PC or Mac or an Android smart device. PRO is continuously growing. The game itself is one of the best-polished Pokémon MMOs currently available. It features the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn region and all of their native Pokémon and gyms.
The game has a ton of great features, including a lot of customization. In this game, your character resembles the playable characters from gen IV games but has a ton of customizability, allowing players to have unique sprites to use in the game. As expected from a Pokémon based MMO, this game has PVP trading and a large number of in-game events, including seasonal events.
The game follows the story of the original games pretty closely while also featuring MMORPG elements. The art style used for the game does use a lot of the official content for reference, but the majority of the art, including in-game sprites, is entirely custom made. This becomes very noticeable as the seasons change in-game.
PokéMMO is a bit of a rival to Pokémon Revolution Online. Like PRO, PokéMMO is available both on PC, Linux, Mac, and Android devices. Installing PokéMMO does take a little bit of work. Aside from the base client for the game, players need to acquire ROMs from the original games. One thing that is nice about PokéMMO is that all of the ROMs are optional. Players get to choose which original Pokémon game to play in an MMO setting. The game can currently use the ROMs for Black, White, Fire Red, Emerald, Platinum, Heart Gold, and Soul Silver. Players need to point the game client to one of these ROMs to get started.
Once in-game, players follow the stories like a standard Pokémon game with a ton of new features and character customization options. The game includes PVP and trading options, along with regular tournaments. Like PRO, PokéMMO does feature changing seasons. The seasons change each month, altering the catch and appearance rates of several Pokémon and allowing access to new areas. PokéMMO also has a few mods to enhance the gameplay experience, such as a mod that uses the 3D sprites from later games in battle.
Pokemon Planet may be the oldest Pokémon MMO with a steadily growing player base. It consistently shows up at the top Google trends and YouTube search results. In its five-year run, the game has grown and improved tremendously. While all of the current art is based on the official art from the Pokémon franchise, the majority of it is original, including Pokémon sprites. Planet works a lot like a traditional RPG with leveling systems for things like fishing and mining for players to grind away at. Currently, Pokemon Planet features vanilla regions from the original games, but the creator is rumored to be working on a unique region for the MMO.
Events and world bonuses are going on all the time in-game. The community is typically friendly, and players can organize into teams or clans to play together. The game’s UI is very crisp and clean, making it very easy to control the game and access its features. This game is very straight forward and easy to understand even for people new to MMORPGs. This game also features a list of achievements for players to aim for while playing.
Unlike the other entries on this list, Planet is browser-based, so it can be played just about anywhere with an up to date browser and decent WiFi connection. Sadly, the game is not applicable for mobile browsers i.e., not compatible with some of the more common mobile web browsers though that may change in a future update.
Pokémon MMO 3D
Pokémon MMO 3D is a unique title on this list. The game is entirely 3D instead of having a top-down sprite aspect like most other Pokémon games. The game runs on the Unity engine and has a lot of rough edges. The graphics aren’t great, but it is continuously being updated. The unique part of the game is that players play as their Pokémon, as well as their trainers. Because of this system, battles are not turn-based but are played in realtime. There are not a lot of customization options, but players can change their trainer models to different colors and different player characters from the franchise. While the aesthetics of the game still need some work, the developers are continually working on the more technical aspects of the game, which keep getting better. There is no story as of yet, so the game is essentially an empty sandbox for players to run around, battle, and train in.
The original creator of PRO is developing PokéOne. One features the Kanto, Johto, and recently released the Unova region for players to explore and play on. One has features like a PVP ladder and the Battle Frontier, but what makes it truly unique is that it features all of the Pokémon through Gen VII.
One allows players to change graphical options letting players use traditional 2D graphics like in the original games or 3D graphics seen in the more recent entries into the franchise.
One plays a lot like PRO due to having the same developers but has a lot of potential for change and growth. It is continuously being updated and has an active fanbase always looking to promote and improve on it.
Pokémon World Online
This is one of the oldest Pokémon MMO. This game is the WoW classic of Pokemon MMOs. It is very well-loved and has a large player base but still has a lot of rough edges. It doesn’t have the best UI but has a lot of great features. There are fully integrated Kanto and Johto regions, including gyms, a battle tower, PvP, and trading. PWO also has Day/Night cycles in the game and numerous quests. There are regular events and a thriving community continually working to improve the game.
Pokémon Blaze Online
Pokémon Blaze Online is unique in that it is an almost entirely new Pokémon experience. This MMO is excellent for people that want to get away from the cookie-cutter Pokémon experience. While Blaze has all of the same Pokémon, including some added in Pokémon Sun & Moon, it features an entirely new unique region for players to explore. This region includes new rivals, new gyms, new stories, and a lot more. The game has a thriving community and a unique stats system.