SNES had a huge fanbase and as a 90’s kid, who wouldn’t remember playing Super Mario World and Legend of Zelda. Over time as gaming and emulation have progressed rapidly, there are still some of us nostalgic enough about experiencing the good old days once again, talking about that, hacking some of the ROMS won’t be big deal, is it? Although even after 30 years of its initial debut, nostalgic fans and retro aficionados continue to declare their love for the platform, debating the greatest games for the system, and altering games to offer new exciting reasons to revisit old titles. When it comes to SNES ROM hacks, randomized dungeons, enhanced sprites, and rewritten stories are only the tip of the iceberg. So, if these are what interest you and you want to try your hand at ROM hacking, let’s get you to some of the best SNES ROM hacks but before that, let’s take a brief about how it works.
Best SNES ROM Hacks
Playing a ROM hack is simple to operate, it usually requires 3 downloads from the internet. You’ve to download an IPS file, a ROM file, and a ROM patcher tool. After this, follow the steps below to get your PC running the game:
Note: The emulator and patcher tools’ interface discussed below are most suitably available on applications like Lunar IPS and emulators like SNES9x and might differ in other applications, therefore verify before proceeding.
1. Search and Download the IPS file of the game you desire to play (it would look like Zelda.ips) from EmulatorGames (you can choose other websites too of your choice).
2. Download a patcher tool for the IPS file from Zophar’s Domain according to your platform and install it (you can choose from other websites too of your choice).
3. Download a clean ROM for your desired game and unzip it to the desired location.
4. Now download a suitable emulator for your ROM, you can choose and download one for your game.
5. Now open the patcher tool and find an option of Apply IPS patch in its interface.
6. Locate and select the IPS file of step 1 in the window.
7. After this is done, a popup will occur asking for the same game’s ROM file; locate and select the same game’s ROM file as acquired in step 3.
8. After the process completes, open your emulator.
9. Click on the File option somewhere in its interface and choose the Open option.
10. Locate and click on the ROM file of the game on the window and the game should start.
After getting through with the ROM hack working, let’s proceed to the list of the best SNES ROM hacks you can download and play.
1. FFVI: Return of the Dark Sorcerer (Final Fantasy VI)
FFVI: Return of the Dark Sorcerer follows in the footsteps of our last entry. It’s a completely new game based on the FFVI engine and utilizing many of the game’s assets. It has an original plot, new characters, move-sets, and opponents, as well as appearances from other games, such as Disgaea’s exploding penguin Prinnys. The addition of a difficulty setting, the ability to sprint on the global map, and even a music player are just a few of the game’s noteworthy technological improvements over the original FFVI.
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2. New Super Mario World 2: Around the World
One of the finest ROM hacks for one of the best SNES games deserved to be at the top of our list. It’s New Super Mario World 2: Around the World, we’re talking about. Princess Toadstool has been abducted by Bowser and is being held captive on a space station where he plans to destroy the Earth. Of course, Mario must embark on a journey across a vast array of brand-new levels, eliminating the Koopa King’s henchmen and finally rescuing his beloved monarch. The refined nature of this game, despite its huge scale, which features updated aesthetics, new gameplay like wall-jumping, and countless mysteries, sets it apart from the pack. Get a copy and discover what all the fuss is about.
3. Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds (ALTTP)
Parallel Worlds is the game to play if you only play one from this list. This is a ROM hack for LoZ: Link to the Past that completely revamps the game. The overworld, dungeons, and even the music have all been completely reworked to match the brand-new tale. It’s ideal for reliving the game’s vintage charm while also adding a lot of new stuff to keep things interesting. Just keep in mind that the difficulty has increased significantly, so make sure you’ve played the original before diving in. It also never tells you what you’re intended to accomplish, instead gives you suggestions to help you figure it out. If you’re tired of games that clutch your hand too tightly, this will be a refreshing change of pace.
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4. FFVI: Ted Woolsey Uncensored Edition
We propose the Ted Woolsey Uncensored Edition for FF6 if you’re searching for something less groundbreaking. This is without a doubt the greatest version of the game available. The game’s initial Western version, like many other SNES games, was significantly restricted and changed to appeal to a younger audience. It was based on the idea that video games are just for kids since adults aren’t permitted to have fun. That’s a waste of time. This hack combines the efforts of several fan translators to produce a version that is both more accurate and authentic to the original translation’s subtle language, absent the censoring. There’s also no reason to play the original version over this because it addresses a tonne of issues and restores cut sprites.
5. Earthbound Halloween Hack: Bad Fur Day Edition
Toby Fox tried his hand at constructing a hack for the popular classic Earthbound before going on to create the international success that is Undertale. The result was the Halloween Hack, which is widely regarded as one of the most horrific and mentally-scarring ROM hacks ever developed. This game is messed up to the level of Silent Hill. Its story is well-crafted, and it features the first appearance of Megalovania, popularly known as Sans’ Undertale theme. It is amongst the best SNES ROM hacks, but make sure you’re psychologically ready beforehand.
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6. Secret of Mana: Relocalized
Back in the day, the process of localizing Japanese games for international release was typically haphazard. Western viewers are sometimes seen as foolish fools incapable of comprehending complicated narratives. Secret of Mana, a superb RPG, was one of many victims of censorship and a lack of respect for the original material, resulting in a dreadful translation (on the SNES, at least) that has become legendary as an example of bad practices. This ROM hack is an effort to resolve the problem. It improves the correctness of the translation and corrects flaws in the American edition, such as the title screen’s backdrop and ability names. Nobody should ever play the first Secret of Mana without this patch.
7. Flames of Eternity (Chrono Trigger)
Flames of Eternity, widely regarded as the most ambitious Chrono Trigger hack to date, tries to bridge the gap between Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. It has an entirely new game’s worth of material, and the amount of work that’s gone into it is mind-boggling. New sprites, new music, new scenarios… there’s a lot to explore in this amazing hack, which puts you in command of Magus just after the Kingdom of Zeal collapses. The game has not yet been completed. Because, as is common in online forums, its chief developer appeared and then departed. However, it is already completely playable, so you may complete it if you so choose. Give it a go!
8. Hyper Metroid (Super Metroid)
The word Hyper in Hyper Metroid signifies something more intense than the prefix Super. That is essentially the driving premise behind this incredible ROM hack for Samus’ SNES voyage. It completely revamps the game, not only adding many new regions and challenges to Planet Zebes but also giving it a considerably darker mood and backstory. Hyper Metroid also has a complex weapon system unlike anything seen in prior hacks. This fits very perfectly with the fast-paced action and fluid dynamics. It is far more difficult than the original. However, it was created with a reasonable learning curve to make it friendly for novices, so if you’ve got the skills, give it a shot.
9. Metroid Super Zero Mission (Super Metroid)
If you loved Super Metroid on the SNES and Metroid: Zero Mission on the GBA, the mash-up called Metroid Super Zero Mission should be just up your alley. It blends the aesthetic decisions that made each of them so fantastic into a really polished new experience. This ROM hack rewards exploration and delivers tough but fair riddles as any decent Metroid game should. If you’re a seasoned gamer who enjoys retro gaming, you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your prowess on occasion. However, it is primarily intended for the enjoyment of the average Joe. As a result, there is no need to be concerned about extreme difficulties.
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10. Hyper Street Kart (Super Mario Kart)
There isn’t a single person who hasn’t been bored when playing the original Mario Kart on the SNES. It is widely regarded as one of the finest Mario Kart games ever created. It’s endearing, the circuits are thrilling, and it’s unquestionably the finest racer on the system. Hyper Street Kart builds on this fantastic game by replacing all of the characters with Street Fighter warriors. However, this is not the end of it. As Capcom’s famous brawler replaces the entire game’s appearance. It also includes some brand new songs based on the series and swaps green shells for Hadouken fireballs. If you’re looking for even more Super Mario Kart hacks, we’ve gathered a lengthy list of our favorites. There’s also a SpongeBob SquarePants version!
11. Oh No! More Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Oh No! More Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which adds 55 more levels to the zombie-killing classic, is another of the Best SNES ROM Hacks that aims to offer you more of the original game’s appeal. It functions as an unauthorized sequel, maintaining the original’s great quality. More goods, new foes, and broader gameplay help to revive this top-down co-op adventure. It’s a lot of fun, especially for original aficionados.
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12. SMW: Return to Dinosaur Land (SMW)
SMW2: Yoshi’s Island was more of an altogether new game than a sequel to the first Super Mario World. SMW: Return to Dinosaur Land is a ROM hack that easily replaces SMW as the game’s sequel. It focuses on level design rather than modifying the plot or introducing dazzling visuals, so you’ll quickly forget it’s an unauthorized version. Ice and Water levels, which refresh the action as you progress through each level, are among its most unique improvements. All of these improvements are wonderfully executed and moderately difficult, but not so difficult that you must replay every level 20 times before giving up. This is really beatable, so it’s a good deal for anyone who hasn’t picked up a SNES controller in years.
13. Chrono Trigger: Prophet’s Guile
Prophet’s Guile, an extension that follows Magus as he climbs to power in the Kingdom of Zeal, is one of the finest hacks for RPG classic Chrono Trigger. It begins immediately after the initial battle with Magus in the original Chrono Trigger after he is sent back in time to 12.000 B.C. You’ll be able to go through the events as he enslaves the Queen and silences resistance to become the Prophet of Zeal. It’s around two chapters lengthy and serves as an excellent companion piece to the original game, considerably fleshing out that aspect of the tale. It also makes you feel a lot better about the dark mage.
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14. Super Metroid Redesign
Super Metroid Redesign is unquestionably one of the most popular and well-reviewed modifications for the classic platformer, including a much larger planet Zebes full of mysteries to discover and new difficulties to face. While one of the hack’s key aspects is its increased complexity, the breadth of the hack is considerably broader. It introduces new goods and abilities while also tweaking the mechanics of the main game to provide a more fluid experience that allows your skills to fully shine. Give it a go and let us know how you like it.
15. SMW2+ (SMW2: Yoshi’s Island)
Yoshi’s Island is definitely one of the mustachioed plumber’s most popular games, even though he appears very briefly! If you prefer SMW2 to the original, SMW2+ adds 54 brand-new levels to the game. Because the designer is familiar with the vanilla game, they were able to duplicate the same level of quality and aesthetic as Yoshi’s Island. Not only that, but the difficulty curve is ideal, something most hackers do not attain.
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16. Mega Man X3 Zero Project (Mega Man X3)
Many consider Mega Man X 3 to be the franchise’s final genuinely fantastic game. But Mega Man X4 and succeeding releases outperform it in one area: Zero as a playable character. The MMX3 Zero Project simply allows you to play the full game as Zero, even going so far as to change lines for his participation to keep the plot moving forward. During boss encounters, the damage of his Z-Saber is also calibrated to make things fair, as it’s considerably easier to hit some monsters with a melee assault than others. You won’t be sorry if you give this slick new take on the traditional jump-and-shoot adventure a shot.
17. Yoshi’s Strange Quest (SMW)
Yoshi’s Strange Quest is a game for people who liked Yoshi as a playable character in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island but couldn’t bear that dang Italian baby. This SMW hack allows you to play as the adorable green dinosaur without the need to babysit. You’re instead attempting to reclaim your stolen eggs. The narrative is delivered through a succession of handcrafted cutscenes and conversations that tie the experience together in a bizarre, funny way. It may be rather difficult to get rid of. However, with Yoshi’s egg-throwing abilities and a little patience, you’ll begin to appreciate the complexity that has been incorporated into these polished stages.
18. Link to the Past Randomizer (ALTTP)
Link to the Past Randomizer is a famous SNES ROM hack that allows you to run the classic TLoZ via software that shuffles important item placements such as Master Sword or the Fire Rod. As a result, items such as the Boomerang may be found in the very first chest you open. Or wait until you’re ready to complete the last dungeon to see it. That’s half the fun, after all! The goal of the game shifts from killing Ganon to clearing every dungeon using the things you find, ensuring a unique experience each time.
19. Ninji Story
You can stay in the Kaizo world and rejoice in the experience with one of the unsung characters in Mario lore. Ninji Story was released in 2021 for intermediate skill levels. Although, this hack can be approached by beginners as well. This small game is comprised of several bite-sized levels which help you learn the necessary mechanics for the advanced level hacks. You can say that this game is a jump start for you to get prepared for the more difficult levels.
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20. Legend of the Axem Rangers
Legend of the Axem Rangers is a hack for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars with this mode reversing the original game’s progression. This hack also has replaced Mario and his party members with the Axem Rangers as suggested in the title. You start from the Bowser’s Castle and then you are sent to Barrel Volcano as you are moving backward while going back to that side of the map. The ardent Mario RPG fans should check this out as most of the locations are the same.
21. Batman: Playable Ezio from Assassin’s Creed
In Batman: Playable Ezio from Assassin’s Creed, Batman is replaced with Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed II as the playable character. This 8-bit game has some visible changes like the disappeared life bar, disabled hidden blades, and the Batman’s gun removed completely. However, the real bullets do come out when Ezio shoots them. So the gun is invisible which makes this much more interesting despite some of the missing pieces it has in comparison.
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22. Atari Man III
Atari Man III is an 8-bit goofy game that has the most simple graphics you can imagine. You will see a stick figure jumping with a buster gun to take down smooth sprites. It will indeed seem ridiculous but that is why it is also one of the best SNES ROM hacks among so many.
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These were, by far, best SNES ROM hacks that can be found and played on different platforms like PC, macOS, etc. Tell us your experience while playing these fine SNES games again in the comment section below. Also if you’re still stuck with installing the ROM hacks, you can always reach out to us directly!