Fan-made games have always been a subject of scrutiny. In short, most of the fan-made games are illegal since they use copyrighted intellectual property without the creator’s permission.
Nintendo, the creator of Pokemon, is notorious for taking down pokemon fan games or any other games that use their intellectual properties.
Over the past decade, Nintendo has taken down thousands of fan-made games of varying popularity.
All they need to do is send a DMCA to the creator. The original creator of the fan-made games must compile to the DMCA within 24-72 hours, or be subjected to a lawsuit that they are bound to lose.
Nintendo states that their intent behind shutting down fan projects is not only constraining independent creator from leaching their intellectual property, but also preserve the spirit of their original games.
One of the most famous examples of this was Pokemon Evoas, an extraordinarily ambitious Pokemon game that was hyped beyond limits.
The game radically changed the Pokemon formula, and thus, Nintendo shut the project down via a lawsuit before it ever saw the light of the day.
That being said, it’s would be wrong to say that making a pokemon fan game is impossible. The best way to make legal Pokemon fan games is simply to ask for Nintendo’s permission to use their intellectual property.
Alternatively, if the indie creators don’t monetize their fan-made games, there is a slight chance that they slip under the radar.
On the other hand, are you breaking the law by playing Pokemon fan games? The simple answer, despite the circumstances, is ‘NO’.
You’re not infringing on any intellectual property or earning money, you’re simply enjoying a video game. So it’s safe to say that playing fan games is well within the boundaries of the law.
Now the legality of Pokemon fan games is out of the way, let’s dive into the best Pokemon games that you can play.
Quick disclaimer: Since Nintendo proactively removes fan games for legal reasons, there is a slight chance that you might be unable to officially access some of the below-mentioned titles.
However, at the time of writing this article, all the games mentioned are available online with active support.
While most of the Pokemon games emphasize the development and levelling of the Pokemons, Godra takes the unusual route of emphasizing on the trainer instead.
You, as a player, aren’t stuck with being a Pokemon trainer. You can choose from an array of careers such as War Party Leader, a Military General, a Safari Zone Warden, and many more with your Pokemon on the side.
Godra is essentially an RPG game in the Pokemon world, a great entry point for gamers who’re looking to make their way into the Pokemon world.
The game includes a plethora of Pokemon’s form a number of generations and games. In addition to the official maps, Godra also features new regions with unique storylines and quests.
If you believe that Pokemon games are way too easy, then Dark Rising is the game for you. Described as the “Dark Souls” of Pokemon games, the difficulty is bumped all the way up to 11, which is super difficult.
You Pokemons will faint within a single attack even from low-level wild Pokemons if you aren’t careful enough.
Losing all your Pokemon’s and starting from nothing will be commonplace in the world of Dark Rising.
Fortunately, the game allows you to choose any dragon type Pokemon from the first five generations as your starter Pokemon.
Pokemon Uranium took over 9 years in development and subsequently released in 2016. If was one the few RPGs that received a compliance letter in its production phase itself, thus slowing down the process.
However, a dedicated fanbase picked up the mantle and finished the game.
The events of the game take place in the Tandor region after a nuclear explosion.
The end goal is to earn 8 badges, rather than the traditional 4, before facing the Tandor league.
Along the journey, players will come across numerous dangers that threaten both Pokemon and humankind in the aftermath of the nuclear explosion.
The players will have the opportunity to catch and train the original 150 Pokemons, as well as a few unique, ‘nuclear’ Pokemons.
Pokemon 3D is visually the most interesting game on this list of the best fan-made Pokemon games. The game reimagines the world of Pokemon in 3D.
The main character, the Pokemons and all the environmental assets are three dimensional and rendered in real-time.
You’ll be able to interact with your friends and other trainers on the server and even battle in real-time.
Along with hundreds of Pokemon that are roaming around in the wide-open world, there is a proper inventory and weapons management system.
The graphics are pretty great, but being a fan-made game, a few bugs here and there are expected. You can create your own base full of Pokemons as well. There isn’t a special emphasis on the story, but its loss is hardly ever felt.
Pokemon 3D was first released back in 2015 and it took the world by storm then. The game was regularly updated until Nintendo took it down as the game was estranged from the original Pokemon formula.
Fortunately, the game is still going strong in the shadows with thousands of players on the server to date.
Unova RPG is a free to play, massively multiplayer online RPG game with over a million active players.
Unova RPG is better described as an MMORPG set in the Pokemon world rather than a Pokemon game, but this system allows the creators to set up a virtual community where players can fulfill their dream of catching them all and becoming the Pokemon master.
At the moment, there are 807 Pokemons from all the eight generations spread across a wide map.
You can even set-up your teams with up to 6 players a battle other teams online for the control of gyms.
The best part Unova RPG is that it can be played on mobile phones as well since it’s an online game and doesn’t require any emulators.