Browsing games on any app store may yield three kinds of results: blatant timewasters, promising games overrun by microtransactions, and the occasional mobile gaming gem. With all these games those, it may be hard for you to decide what to download. Fortunately, we are here to help you with this.
In this list, we're going to take a look at some of the best mobile games that you can play on iOS and Android today. These games cover many different genre types. Many of these games are free as well, allowing you to head to your device's app store and download one right now!
Updated January 9, 2023 by Jacqueline Zalace: Mobile games are released every month, so we've added even more titles to this list, giving you several options to choose from. Additionally, we've removed a few games that are now unavailable.
16/16 Cat Quest 2
Cat Quest 2, as you might guess, is the follow-up to the beloved "meow-vellous" action RPG, Cat Quest. Cat Quest 2 picks up where the original game left off, with your cat adventurer, along with a dog companion, off to save the day in the lands of Felingard and the Lupus Empire.
Cat Quest 2 is a super vibrant RPG that can be played solo or with another player alongside the journey. You are able to pick up a bounty of quests, filled your coffers with loot, and, of course, defeat a host of cartoony baddies, all while trying to save the day. Cat Quest 2 is incredibly polished and just a lot of fun.
15/16 Dead Cells
Dead Cells will give your mobile device an action game for the ages. The "Metroidvania" gameplay has plenty of depth, while still maintaining the addictive accessibility that makes you want to pick it up again and again.
Dead Cells has players fight through a dungeon with gruelingly combat, upgrading and unlocking new abilities with every death. Each new life comes with a new dungeon, and because of the game's challenging difficulty, you'll always want to come back for another run.
If you haven't played Oxenfree yet in the many years that it has been out, give it a download and kick yourself later. This story-driven indie darling is atmospheric and cinematic, and not enough people have given it a try.
You play as Alex, a teen caught up in a supernatural mystery on a spooky island. The game consists of exploration and dynamic dialogue, where the player can have free-flow conversations with other characters. If you enjoy coming-of-age stories and have the time (a very long commute, per se), try Oxenfree and experience the mystery for yourself.
13/16 Alto's Odyssey
Dozens of games are similar to Alto's Odyssey, but none of them are quite as compelling. This relaxing endless runner has players snowboarding down gorgeous, ambient vistas while providing enough gameplay variety for every kind of player.
There are plenty of goals to work towards and mechanics that shake up the gameplay, but it also allows for totally endless playing. It's simple, pretty, and satisfying on any level you're willing to engage with it. If you play mobile games for simple, relaxing fun, then this one is for you.
12/16 Monument Valley 2
With no shortage of puzzle games on mobile storefronts, Monument Valley and its sequel are some of the most unique experiences in the genre. You must guide the protagonists from one end of the level to the other — simple in concept. However, every level is like a living M.C. Escher piece, full of optical illusions that can be difficult to navigate.
Navigating these mazes makes for a fun brain teaser, and the game's presentation only adds to the experience. It's all so pretty… and confusing. The series is definitely worth checking out if mobile puzzle games are starting to feel the same.
11/16 Shadowgun Legends
Look, it's tough to find a shooter on mobile that isn't awful… or something you already own on a console. However, sometimes you just want to play a shooter on your phone, and this scratches that itch.
If you put every looter-shooter in a blender and garnish it with Halo, Destiny, and Fortnite, then you'd get Shadowgun Legends. It might seem obnoxious at first, with text boxes and ads for premium currency flooding your screen, but it has everything shooter fans might want.
It has single-player quests, co-op, PvP, surprisingly impressive graphics, and gameplay that manages to feel satisfying on mobile. It definitely has a lifespan for players who are unwilling to shell out actual dollars for premium cash (as most of these do), but the progression system showers players in enough loot to keep them coming back anyway.
Of course, some of the most popular mobile games are the ones you play with the people around you. Instead of recommending a reliable game of headbands or charades, you might want to try Spaceteam. It's pretty old, but it is still one of the best party games on mobile devices.
Once all participants have downloaded the game, they can engage in some of the silliest cooperative experiences they will ever have. Spaceteam has players commandeer a spaceship, with each player manning ridiculously named controls. The only way to keep things running smoothly is to call out commands to the rest of your team. Soon, you'll be surrounded by friends shouting gibberish at each other in total chaos. It's great!
Gris is a puzzle-platformer with the aesthetics of a hand-drawn animated film. The narrative is open to interpretation, but the gameplay follows a girl named Gris as she navigates surreal watercolor environments.
There are plenty of great platformers on mobile devices, but Gris is a standout for its stellar sound and animation. Put some headphones on, immerse yourself, and let Gris wash over you. It's a game that will stick with you, which is increasingly hard to find on the mobile market.
8/16 Pokemon GO
Say what you want — Pokemon GO was an inherently great concept when it first launched, and the game has only improved since. It's the closest thing fans of the series will ever get to an authentic mobile experience, and it encourages healthy physical activity and urban exploration.
With new Pokemon, community events, and several additional features, the game is objectively better than when it started and — despite its obnoxious popularity — is still a solid mobile game.
7/16 Pocket City
Plenty of city builders and "idle" games flood app stores week to week. While most of them are just vehicles for advertisements and microtransactions, Pocket City is probably the closest thing to a proper Tycoon game on mobile that won't waste your time; it's a micro-manager's dream come true.
You won't have to worry about premium currency or arbitrary build times. Simply build your city, manage your economy, and create without the constant annoyances featured in similar mobile titles. It doesn't necessarily have the depth of a PC copy of Sim City, but it feels perfectly downsized for a satisfying experience on your phone or tablet.
6/16 Anything From Supergiant Games
At first, Bastion made the list, but it seemed a little too old. It was replaced with Transistor, which might be better on other platforms, and then Pyre, which is their most recent release on mobile. However, Supergiant Games develops some of the most compelling games that don't require oversized hardware to play.
Whether it's the action of Bastion, the tactics of Transistor, or the reimagined sports of Pyre, this studio develops unique, atmospheric games that are just as engaging as they are accessible. Arresting visual and sound design, meaty gameplay mechanics, and the ability to play them anywhere — why haven't you tried these yet?
If you are a fan of Supergiant Games on your phone, be sure to check out Hades. This is their newest game, available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox.
Fantasian is an Apple Arcade-exclusive JRPG that really blows other mobile RPGs out of the water. Since it's only on Apple Arcade, you won't encounter any microtransactions to ruin the immersion.
If you are a fan of Final Fantasy games, then Fantasian is right up your alley. The mobile game was developed by Mistwalker Corporation, which was founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, who happens to have created Final Fantasy. Additionally, the music for the game was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who also composed music for the series.
4/16 League of Legends: Wild Rift
League of Legends needs no introduction. If you are a fan of the game, then you probably know about Wild Rift, which is essentially a mobile version of the game. Based on this, it would make sense that they are pretty similar.
Interestingly, Wild Rift was rebuilt from the ground up. The original League of Legends couldn't be implemented on mobile, so Wild Rift was rebuilt. Overall, the game is still free and fun, making it a must-have for all fans of the original.
3/16 Marvel Snap
Marvel Snap is one of the newest entries on our list. This card-based mobile game allows you to face off against other players with a hefty roster of Marvel characters. In each match, you will have six turns to place cards in three different locations. Your goal is to control the majority of the spaces, but this is easier said than done.
Many cards have abilities, such as destroying all other cards or placing rocks on every other location. Additionally, the location types change between every game, giving you endless hours of gameplay. Marvel Snap draws from the comics, so if you are an avid fan, you will recognize tons of characters who have yet to appear in the MCU.
2/16 Among Us
Chances are, you know what Among Us is. This game took the world by storm when it was first released, making a great game for groups of friends. This worldwide hit is also available on mobile for free.
Now, you can play Among Us with friends while on the go. Thankfully, this mobile version of Among Us is also cross-platform, allowing you to play with others even if they just have it on PC.
1/16 Vampire Survivors
Lastly, we have Vampire Survivors. This is another fairly new game, first released for mobile in December of 2022. Vampire Survivors is a roguelike game, tasking you with fighting against waves of enemies on a 2D screen, which is shown above. The game can get pretty chaotic, especially if you have been playing for a while.
The mobile version of Vampire Survivors is the full game. Yes, you heard right; instead of paying for the game on Steam, you can download the mobile version for free. Currently, you will not be able to access the DLC, but this may change in the future!
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