Here are the best mobile games to install right now:
Table of contents:
Best action and shooter for iPhone and Android
Apex Legends Mobile
We find Apex Mobile to be the absolute current best if you are looking for a good shooter for your phone or tablet. The quality (if you have a powerful phone) us super-close to what you can see on consoles and the controls feel just as smooth and satisfying — something that developer Respawn seems to be very good at fine-tuning.Apex Mobile also supports your Xbox or Playstation controller instantly, so you can have that console-grade experience on the small screen.
Call of Duty: Mobile
This one needs no introduction — Call of Duty is such a massive franchise that, once the Mobile spinoff dropped, it was instantly downloaded by millions of people. We do feel like its controls need a bit of a tune-up, as they don’t feel as smooth and accurate as Apex. But it does still support your console controller out of the box.
Escape From Tarkov for mobile, but 3rd person — the game is pretty shameless in flaunting its inspirations, from the Factory map down to seasonal wipes. Of course, since it’s a mobile game, it’s a bit simplified — at the very least, you have a working map that shows you where your extractions are.
However, don’t be quick to dismiss it. The game does involve a ton of the complex systems that Tarkov challenges hardcore players with — from bleeding and fractures, different vendors and a player-driven black market, to scavenging for rare supplies and building your hideout up from nothing.
So, you should brace for a pretty lengthy introduction tutorial period over the span of a few level playthroughs before you can hope to actually join PvP.
Lost Light doesn’t support controllers on mobile, but it’s available for PC and Nvidia Now, where you can use alternative controls.
Another Tarkov-inspired 3rd person shooter game. This one, however, simplifies gaming mechanics much much more. So, if you want a bit of that Tarkov buzz with a distinct “mobile game” feel and no plethora of punishing mechanics — this one is more up your alley.
Counter-Strike is one of these timeless games that simply refuses to fade away. As such, it also has a ton of mobile clones made, so you can scratch that CS:GO itch… when on the go.
We find Critical Ops to be among the most successful of those. Beware — it has a big community of experienced players and they won’t take it easy on you, not even from the first match in.
Critical Ops does not support controllers so everyone is on an equal playing field.
Survivors get to enjoy the adrenaline-pumping PvP that we’ve known over the past 20 years.
New State Mobile
The intricacies of PUBG’s developments are an ever-tangling drama, but we’ll save you the long story — PUBG New State is newer than the original PUBG Mobile. It’s developed by a studio of veteran PUBG developers that broke off to make their own mobile game (and the company is called PUBG Corporation).
By all means, New State came out kicking and punching, with improved graphics and smoother controls. At their core, both are the same games, but if you are feeling like scratching that PUBG itch with a phone, New State should be the one to download.
A top-down, team based, royale-type shooter game with stealth elements. Bullet Echo can be tactical, challenging, and very rewarding — your vision is limited to a cone in front of you, but you can “hear” opponent footsteps (visual indicators show the exact position). It’s a matter of taking your time, waiting your opponents out, and dishing out punishment to anyone who doesn’t respect stealth mechanics.
A massively popular top-down hero shooter game. Rounds are played in 3 vs 3 formats where each team needs to stay around the center of the map to achieve the objective. This results in quick, action-packed rounds, perfectly formatted for the mobile gaming use case.
A top-down isometric shooter that offers quick, chaotic, action-packed rounds of team vs team violence. It’s pretty easy to get into, especially since your character auto-fires as you aim, but don’t be quick to knock it. It feels smooth, fast, and challenging enough as it is — the gameplay loop requires you to manage your ammo, dodge charges, and your positioning, else you become swarmed by the enemy team.
Best MOBA and Strategy games for iPhone and Android
League of Legends: Wild Rift
League of Legends has been the king of the MOBA scene on PC (note: DOTA 2 is awesome), so — obviously — its mobile port became instantly popular. It’s basically the go-to MOBA, as it has been under development for years and it’s filled with fleshed-out and balanced characters and items.
Vainglory was the first high-quality MOBA to be developed specifically for mobile. It was out before LoL Mobile, it was out before the current plethora of clones and spinoffs. Since the developers knew they need it to work for touch, Vainglory incorporated swiping and pinching mechanics for a unique control. It’s still a guilty pleasure of ours today, though recent patches for Android have users disgruntled. In any case, if it runs fine for you, you should enjoy it!
Overdox is a mix between a battle royale and a MOBA with RPG-style elements. Plus, it’s melee weapon only. So, you need to be the last man standing and you get to dispatch your foes by swinging large blades, hammers, flails, and whatever else. With a nice coat of futuristic anime-like aesthetic on top, too.
[$3.99 – $4.99]
A top-down, action squad manager type game. It’s a single-player, offline game with tons and tons of missions, plus a random mission generator when you are done with everything else.
This game is no joke. It’s a full-fledged strategy that’s available for PC, consoles, and mobile. As such, don’t expect to be treated with any soft “mobile gamer” gloves — matches here can easily run for 1+ hours.
It’s a Norse mythology styled game of building a village and expanding your own army to take down the enemy. It has strong Age of Empires / Empire Earth vibes, so if those games were your jam, this one should be right up your alley. It’s possible to play vs computer opponents (which are HARD) or in multiplayer.
Command & Conquer: Rivals
We should note, when you reach a certain level in this game, it’s heavily pay-to-win. This is unfortunate, because it is otherwise an excellent homage to the C&C franchize. The hex field that they came up with to make quick matches for mobile possible looks simplistic and boring at first, but can actually lead to very quick and chaotic battles of wits and game knowledge.
All the units in the game harkon back to some era of C&C and they are a true delight for fans. This game should be experienced, even if you drop it at the point when it begins asking for too much to upgrade your units.
Much like its PC and console counterparts, X-COM is an unforgiving, brutal strategy game where you are constantly at the edge of losing your campaign progress. It’s a beloved franchize that any hardcore strategy fan has played. So, this entry is here to remind you that both X-COM 1 and X-COM 2 are available for mobile devices, so you can live through the heartbreak of losing your favorite soldier even when waiting in front of the doctor’s office.
Frostpunk Mobile (not out yet)
Frostpunk is a really cool indie survivor / strategy game that quickly gained a cult following when it launched. You need to manage the resources of a small colony of people, surviving after an icy apocalypse. What makes the game unique is that your decisions shape the politics and culture of your colony. For example — do you condone child labor or do you abolish it? One will lead to more working hands for upkeep, the other will lead to better morale.We are eagerly anticipating Frostpunk Mobile to come out. It has been announced and is currently in closed testing. You can pre-register for the game at this time, but not much else. Still, we figured you’d like to put this on your radar if you are interested.
Best Adventure games for iPhone and Android
Brothers: A Tale of Two sons
A beautiful, heartwarming, and then heartbreaking, story-driven adventure game. The gameplay concept is simple — you control two brothers on their adventure to save their dad, using the twin-stick format. It’s all about using their unique skills and builds to bypass various puzzles and challenges. And, of course, soaking in the fantasy world they live in.
Sky: Children of the Light
This is a unique, social adventure type game where there aren’t really any stakes or battles. It’s about going on a journey and experiencing this beautiful, peaceful fantasy world with other players online. It’s one of very few “peaceful games” that actually kind of reached the mainstream thanks to a couple of streamers. All we can say is it’s fantastic to just plug in a pair of headphones and chill out with this one.
This is a puzzle game with surreal art that demands you manipulate the paradoxical architecture around you in order to progress. It is yet another beautiful-looking, peaceful experience that everyone who has played — loves.
The Silent Age
[Free; Ep.2 costs $4.99]
This is a puzzle adventure game that utilizes a time-trave gimmick to warp between a stylized 70s world and an unknown future timeline when humanity is extinct. It is an atmospheric, peaceful, and a bit depressing adventure game that we enjoyed for its artstyle, story delivery, and relaxed gameplay.
Best RPG games for iPhone and Android
The king of action RPGs — Diablo — arrived on mobile with a splash… and tons of controversy. Its monetization model is a bit of a bottomless pit that we wouldn’t venture near, but its gameplay and item grind have been universally praised (besides for a tiny little footstep guide, which robs you of the exploration factor when going on a quest).
Story-wise it’s a bit of nostalgia bait, giving you way too many details and backstory about characters that should have been left alone, we feel. But many fans enjoy it and we wouldn’t fault you if you did too.
Raziel: Dungeon Arena
At first look, this game looks like a Diablo clone, but it’s much more than that. It’s a different spin on the dungeon crawler ARPG genre that lets you collect heroes and hot-swap between them on the go. Skills are actually talent trees, so there’s just a bit of Path of Exile sprinkled in there. Graphics and animations are smooth and pretty. It’s another free-to-play game, but players seem to be enjoying the monetization model here. Definitely worth a spin.
This is a cool top-down, hack and slash RPG with retro graphics. It was made by one person and their love for the product does show through. It’s a single player experience that you can enjoy offline, too!
A true classic, ported for mobile. At the surface, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a side-scrolling slasher. But what a “Metroidvania” game is known for is progression, tons of replayability, and lots of nooks and crannies to explore.
Be warned that the on-screen controls just don’t translate very well. Thankfully, it supports controllers, so you can hook one up to enjoy this classic title.
Best fighting and beat em up games for iPhone and Android
Shadow Fight Arena
Shadow Fight is a long-running franchize of mobile round fighters. The latest entry focuses on multiplayer exclusively. There are tons of weapons to equip to find your playstile. The gameplay is easy to get in to, hard to master. Pay-to-win can be a factor here, which is always unfortunate in fighting games, but we can’t deny that fun can be had in this game.
A well-known and respected fighting franchise — it’s in the same universe (or parallel to) as the Street Fighter series. This one has been reworked to the new 2.5D style of the latest Street Fighter games, too.
King of Fighters Allstar
Another franchise that has been revamped and released for mobile. Bonus points: the latest updates of Allstar also have Tekken 7 characters! And yeah, it’s not an easy game — you do need some time in the lab if you hope to win some rounds.
Knights Fight 2
The closest thing we could find to For Honor for mobile. It’s a dueling game, where you can pick from a variety of medieval weapons (and shields). When in combat, you need to watch your stance and maneuver to match whichever side the opponent is attacking from. Parries and counters are also a thing. Unfortunately, so is buying your way to better damage and health.
[Free – $6.99 unlock]
An incredibly popular rogue-lite that was first developed for PC and consoles. Dead Cells is now available for mobile and brings its explosive, colorful gameplay in full force. If you enjoy grinding through endless dungeons and fighting tons of weird creatures — it’s a good one! Oh, it’s also an offline game.
A very cool and easy to get into side-scrolling beat em up game. Collect multiple characters and go through the streets… beating people. Feels like Double Dragon if it was made from scratch for mobile. It’s a single player offline experience.
Best offline games for iPhone and Android
Door Kickers Action Squad
Easy to get into, side-scrolling shooter for some mindless action. Great art style and presentation, satisfying gameplay. Not much else to say!
We already have Door Kickers listed above — but yes, it’s an offline game. Endless missions of tactical fun, even if you don’t have Internet right now.
A top-down ARPG with retro graphics, this one is meant to be experienced single player and offline!
Another ARPG to scratch that loot-grinding itch. Eternium was not made offline entirely at the forefront, but it can be played without a connection, provided you’ve given the game enough time to download its files. So, if you want to invest time in an RPG which will allow you to play when you are inbetweet Internet points — this one is a good one.
Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey
[Free – $9.99]
Quick and simple enjoyment — just slide down slopes, jump, and enjoy the dreamlike backdrops. Alto’s games are very well-liked for a chill, almost meditative-like experience.
From the developer of Plague Inc., this strategy focuses on the meta controls over politics and army-building. It’s all about resource management and tactical forethought — the slow horse wins the race here. Well, it’s a pretty hard game, so it may take you some time to actually get somewhere. But hey, it’s completely offline.
Outlined above — it’s a cartoon-style, slightly simplified, Double Dragon-like game. A side-scrolling beat-em-up with lots of different heroes to collect. And it works entirely offline.
Side-scrolling slasher with plenty of dungeons to explore. Grimvalor was listed above for good reason — it feels pretty great to play. And you can do it offline, too!
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
[$9.99 – $14.99]
Now, if you are looking for an actual single player game with lots of playtime on it — the classic KOTOR. Never played it? Do so! The combat system does feel pretty aged… and it’s kind of a push to get into. However, it’s a very deep RPG game with multiple choices and paths, which kind of set the standard for what an RPG should look like back in the day.
Grand Theft Auto III
Since we are throwing in old game ports — any of the GTA games from Rockstar is a great buy for your mobile. But GTA III is a good starting point if you haven’t experienced any of them. Plus, it seems to have the smoothest controller support across different brands, as per all the comments we could see.