The 25 Best Mobile Games for iOS and Android

The 25 Best Mobile Games for iOS and Android

From smartphones to tablets, these are the best games you can get on your iOS and Android devices. Now updated for 2020!

This list of best iOS and Android games was originally published on May 10, 2018. We've now updated it for 2020.

Sometimes Apple gets exclusivity on certain mobile games, and sometimes, the pendulum swings the other way and Android gets them. In most cases though, everything comes to both platforms eventually. What's for sure is that there are so many mobile games to sort through that it can be hard to filter out the best of the bunch. This guide to the best mobile games on iOS and Android is here to help.

Mobile games have evolved a lot over the years. They used to be looked down on because of their reputation for microtransactions and other free-to-play trappings. And yet, mobile games have risen up to be a great platform over the years. Sometimes, mobile games are so good that they venture off to platforms like PC and the Nintendo Switch too. To keep things confined to the platforms at hand for the sake of this list, we've only listed what mobile platforms the following games on this list are on, even if they have popped up elsewhere.

Best iOS and Android Games for Mobile and Tablet

In our latest for our ongoing 25 Best Games lists, we decided to put our heads together and spotlight the 25 best games on mobile and tablet devices. As with our other lists, things may change and be shuffled off to make way for something new. We'll keep a log below the list in the future for any changes this list may undergo. Until then, here are our choices for the 25 Best Games on iOS and Android.

80 Days is a fantastically written adventure. | Inkle

80 Days

Platforms: iOS, Android

Interactive fiction games work remarkably well on mobile. Some utilize text message-like ways to communicate, others a more traditional choose-your-own-adventure structure. In 80 Days, a loose steampunk-ified adaptation of the novel Around the World in Eighty Days, you pave your own path across the world. Along the way, you meet unique individuals, go on thrilling adventures, and learn a little bit about different countries all along the journey. The scope of 80 Days is astounding, and it's basically the perfect bedtime story to keep you awake for nights on end from the glow of your phone. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon

Alto's Adventure even got a sequel with 2018's Alto's Odyssey. | Snowman

Alto's Adventure

Platforms: iOS, Android

Sometimes you just want to shred on a sweet board instead of your sweet legs. That's why Alto's Adventure is one of the best "runner" style games on mobile. With beautiful visuals and a gorgeous soundtrack, Alto's Adventure has plenty of mechanical flourishes that will keep you occupied on your commute. Fairly difficult challenges will give you specific goals to achieve as you try to beat your record or high-score. —Matt Kim

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon (for Android)

Arknights is a step above most other free-to-play mobile RPGs. | Yostar Limited

Arknights

Platforms: iOS, Android

I wouldn't blame you if you've never heard of Arknights. And yet, it's the game nearly everyone on Team USgamer has been tapping away at on their phones during commutes as of late. It's a mobile action-RPG with genuinely excellent art and a surprising amount of depth. If you're on the hunt for another free-to-play RPG to consume your phone battery, then look no further than Arknights. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Device 6 takes full advantage of the mobile platform. | Simogo

Device 6

Platforms: iOS

I've said on more than one occasion that Simogo's Device 6 is a very rare example of a game that can only exist on mobile platforms. It's a text-based puzzle-adventure title that requires you to literally follow its enigmatic story by turning your device and reading the text as it crawls, grows, shoots off into different directions, and takes you down weird, twisted paths. You play as a woman named Anna who's trapped in a mansion full of cryptic messages and traps. She needs to solve a series of puzzles to get out, but "getting out" isn't as easy as stepping through the front door. Keep following the white rabbit, Anna. A shooting star above a rainbow, that's our girl. —Nadia Oxford

Buy from iTunes App Store

Downwell is especially great because it doesn't require an internet connection. | Moppin/Devolver Digital

Downwell

Platforms: iOS, Android
Our Review

A lot of mobile games require an internet connection. For most, it's for stamina depletion, microtransactions, and other things. Downwell doesn't though, and because of that, it's probably my most-played game on my phone. Downwell's the game I pull up when my train is stuck in a tunnel, or if I'm high in the sky on an airplane. It's a roguelike where you fall downwards in a well, armed only with your gun-boots and whatever upgrades you buy and unlock across your journey. Downwell's a brutal game too, but it's perfect for bite-sized playtime on your cellular device. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: iTunes App Store, Google Play

Fidel Dungeon Rescue is not just adorable, it's a darn good action-puzzle game too. | Daniel Benmergui, Jeremías Babini, Hernán Rozenwasser

Fidel Dungeon Rescue

Platforms: iOS

Fidel Dungeon Rescue was recently ported to mobile—just iOS for now—and it's a perfect fit for the platform. In it, you puzzle through environments as an adorable corgi, squashing bugs and ensuring not to trip over your leash in the process. It's a roguelike, so everytime you pick it up the puzzles will be something new. On mobile, it's playable through swiping, directing the cute pixelated dog through mighty terrors and getting them to the other side. It doesn't require an internet connection either, which makes it great for those times where you're stuck on a road trip in the middle of nowhere, or are commuting through tunnels on the train. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store

Fire Emblem Heroes

Platforms: iOS, Android
Fire Emblem Heroes Guide | Our Impressions

You know how I know Fire Emblem Heroes has me in its clutches? The game has five different versions of the hero Lyn. There's a standard variant sure, but then they released a Lyn in a bridal gown, a renaissance dress, and my favorite, two different hunter variations. What chance did I have against these odds? What chance do any of you?

Starting with Fire Emblem Awakening, Nintendo smartly deduced that part of the appeal of Fire Emblem lay in its characters and the social bonds they can form. Fire Emblem Heroes is a distilled version of that, offering players a basic version of the SRPG elements of the game, but offering a much richer collecting game where players can gather their favorite heroes on their phone. For the more popular characters, there are several variants to collect. It's gacha as hell, but I've played FE: Heroes more than any other Nintendo mobile game to date. —Matt Kim

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Florence is a pleasant interactive story that will stick with you. | Mountains/Annapurna Interactive

Florence

Platforms: iOS, Android
Our Impressions

Florence, unlike most of the games on this list, has more in common with comics than video games. And yet, Florence manages to blend the two mediums swimmingly. Florence is an interactive story about a girl who falls in love and learns a lot about herself. The story itself is told without any words, and conveys its actions and emotions through mundane interactions—from brushing teeth to solving the puzzle of an argument. It's an incredibly relatable story too, and one not to be missed. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Game Dev Story is Kairosoft at its best. | Kairosoft/SNK

Game Dev Story

Platforms: iOS, Android

One of the many "*insert thing* Story" simulation games from Kairosoft, Game Dev Story is probably the one most relevant to anyone reading something on USgamer. Take control of your own game development studio: you hire the employees, you choose the genre and title, handle development scheduling, and even market your own games. It's all about keeping your studio afloat and hoping the games you make review well in the end. So, pretty much like a real gaming studio. Game Dev Story is one of the best in Kairosoft's significant catalog and a perfect gateway into the developer's cute sim games. —Mike Williams

Get It Here: iTunes App Store, Amazon

Gorogoa is an enchanting puzzle game. | Jason Roberts/Annapurna Interactive

Gorogoa

Platforms: iOS, Android

Gorogoa is part puzzle game, part beautiful storybook. Wholly though, it is consuming. Everything in it is hand drawn, adding to the storybook-like feel of it all. The puzzles you solve in it range from super simple to very tricky, with not much in between. It's all satisfying to figure out though, and the art and poetic storytelling elevate it. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon (for Android)

Grindstone

Platforms: iOS

If there's any reason to maintain an Apple Arcade subscription, it's for Grindstone. From Capybara Games, Grindstone is a delectably animated swipe-and-slash adventure. It's a match-three, but only somewhat. As the ever-buff hero, you swipe through monsters of like-colors, with the ability to chain up extremely strong attacks. After three hits of damage, you're down and out for the round, and you have to go lick your wounds at the nearby pub. All the while, you net currency, which you can spend on health, or blueprints for special items. Grindstone may have a cheery, Cartoon Network animated series aesthetic, but as it goes on, it just gets harder and harder.

It's easy to see Grindstone outfitted with microtransactions. It's easy to see where the free-to-play trappings may lie. But there is none of that. Thanks to being included with Apple Arcade's monthly (or yearly) subscription fee, it's just instead an example of how games specifically designed for mobile don't need to have predatory monetization. Sometimes, the action of the puzzle is good enough to hook you itself. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: Apple Arcade

Hidden My Game By Mom became a cult favorite thanks to word of mouth. | Hap Inc.

Hidden My Game By Mom

Platforms: iOS, Android

The Hidden My Game By Mom series has become an unexpected cult hit in the mobile game space. The first game, Hidden My Game By Mom, started it all. Hidden My Game By Mom is a Japanese escape room game wherein you play as a kid trying to find his portable gaming device that's been hidden in the room by his mom. It's not just looking under couch cushions though—the game escalates its puzzles to increasingly ludicrous scenarios, like a feeding an elephant fruits from the fridge to reveal the hidden system. There's guaranteed to not be another game to make you laugh as much as any in the Hidden My Game By Mom series. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Holedown is a go-to commuting game for many. | Grapefrukt Games

Holedown

Platforms: iOS, Android

Holedown is a simple game that's hard to explain. The point of Holedown is to dig deep into the core of a star via a blasting mechanic that's reminiscent of Breakout. Although since you're going downwards, I suppose it's a reverse-Breakout. Either way, there's not much else to Holedown other than this one single mechanic, but what a mechanic it is. I've poured hundreds of hours into Holedown as it has become my commuter game of choice thanks to its endless replayability and compelling gameplay. If you find yourself bored on the bus ride home pick up Holedown and never look back. —Matt Kim

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Lara Croft Go took what Hitman Go did well, and made it even better. | Square Enix

Lara Croft Go

Platforms: iOS, Android
Our Review

Long after Hitman Go, Square Enix experimented with another puzzle mobile game: Lara Croft Go. Lara Croft Go actually has very little in common with its Go-predecessor, and it's all the better for it. In Lara Croft Go, you direct the Tomb Raider heroine across a board to her destination, solving puzzles and even taking out enemies along the way. In some puzzles, she even uses herself as bait to help solve a puzzle. Lara Croft Go, along with its DLC expansion, is a great puzzle game that numbs your brain just the right amount. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: iTunes App Store, Amazon

Humble Senior Editor Caty McCarthy played Love Nikki every day for well over a year. | Nikki Games

Love Nikki Dress Up Queen

Platforms: iOS, Android
Our Impressions

If you've ever played a Style Savvy game and loved it, you have to play Love Nikki Dress Up Queen. Full stop. It's pretty much an essential game for fans of dress-'em-ups. It's updated on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, there are always quests to chase, daunting clothing items to craft, and events going on. There's so much to do in Love Nikki Dress Up Queen that it's frankly overwhelming at first; but as you ease into it, you'll find at least an hour of every day sapped by it because it's the rare free-to-play game that rewards you for playing, not just for paying. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon

Magikarp Jump is one of the best Pokemon games available on mobile. | Select Button/The Pokemon Company

Magikarp Jump

Platforms: iOS, Android

When I first heard about Magikarp Jump, I don't know what I expected. I think I initially pictured an "endless" game, like an endless jumper or an endless runner—something cheap to produce and fun to play for maybe two hours. Then I wound up pouring dozens of hours into a Magikarp-breeding game that plays like Survive! Mola Mola!, and made me laugh out loud with nearly every NPC I met. Magikarp Jump is all about raising the very best Magikarp in history through friendship, fishing, and training. This is the only Pokemon game in history where having your Magikarp evolve into Gyrados results in an instant Game Over. —Nadia Oxford

Get It Here: iTunes App Store, Amazon

Mini Motorways is Dinosaur Polo Club's follow-up to Mini Metro. | Dinosaur Polo Club

Mini Motorways

Platforms: iOS

If you spent hours mapping out metro systems in Mini Metro, then Mini Motorways is much more of that, only better. You map out highways as a city grows and grows, ensuring people can travel on them effectively. The color palette is a lot brighter this time around for the management sim, and the systems are just a tad more intricate. Mini Motorways is another Apple Arcade-exclusive, but trust us: It's one of the games that makes the subscription worth it. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: Apple Arcade

Monument Valley is still beautiful to this day. | Ustwo Games

Monument Valley

Platforms: iOS, Android
Our Review

Monument Valley has a reputation for being one of the best mobile games ever, and for good reason. Its slick art direction and inventive puzzles helped pave the way for mobile games to become a future destination for even more puzzle games. The game feels like it's mechanizing the disorienting work of M.C. Escher, only with far more pastels. Interactively, it plays with swiping to change your perspective, utilizing the smartphone format. Plus, its sequel Monument Valley 2 is also a delight. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Neko Atsume will make a cat lover of you, even if you're a dog person. | Hit-Point

Neko Atsume

Platforms: iOS, Android
Neko Atsume Guide

I love cats. I'm sure you love cats too. (If you don't, then this game will do absolutely nothing for you.) Neko Atsume is a Japanese mobile game about collecting cats, and that's it. You leave out treats, you get nice beds and other things. Before you know it, your home and yard will be crawling with felines that love you. The best and furriest of them all is Tubbs, a very lazy cat with a giant belly. All hail Tubbs, and all hail Neko Atsume—the most pleasant kitty collector on mobile. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

The developers of Kirby's Part Time UFO is endlessly charming. | HAL Laboratory

Part Time UFO

Platforms: iOS, Android

Developed by the makers of Kirby over at HAL Laboratory, Part Time UFO is a paid mobile game where players take the roll of a UFO doing odd-jobs for money. The gameplay is similar to a crane game where players use the UFO's claws to pick up and stack items to solve puzzles. There are no ads, no free-to-play elements whatsoever. Instead, for $3.99 players can get a standalone game that wouldn't feel out of place on a 3DS or other Nintendo handheld. It's a pure gaming experience on mobile and one of HAL's best in recent years. —Matt Kim

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon

Pokemon Go is way better now than it was on launch. | Niantic/The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Go

Platforms: iOS, Android
Pokemon Go Guide | Our Review

Pokemon Go: It's Still a Thing™. Sure, Niantic's mobile Pokemon-nabbing game isn't the cultural force of nature it was two years ago, but it still commands a large and dedicated user base around the world. I think Niantic prefers that. So do I; it means I'm not constantly getting booted from servers like I did back in 2016. It also means Niantic's had the time and resources to overhaul Pokemon Go's gyms, add new PokeDexes from other regions, and cook up story events.

There's still a lot Niantic can do to improve the game (foremost being "let us submit candidates for new PokeStops and Gyms," since there's admittedly not a lot to do in Go unless you're a city-dweller with at least a few stops and gyms on your block), but I was happy to go back to Pokemon Go once the gym overhaul went through. Now excuse me, it's Fighting-type Pokemon week, and these Machops aren't going to catch themselves. —Nadia Oxford

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

Ridiculous Fishing is never worth a delete. | Vlambeer

Ridiculous Fishing

Platforms: iOS, Android

The premise of Ridiculous Fishing is, well, ridiculous. You fish for prized sea critters, and then after hooking them with a light tilt of the phone, the fish shoot upwards into the sky and then you tap the screen, shooting them to catch them. Ridiculous Fishing is a silly concept, but it works magically on smartphones, utilizing the touchscreen and device itself. So magical that it's still worthy of standing at the front folder of my games folder on my phone, even seven years after its initial release. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon

We wish there were more innovative games like Subterfuge. | Ron Carmel, Noel Llopis/Snappy Touch

Subterfuge

Platforms: iOS, Android

Subterfuge is a real-time strategy game unlike any other you've probably played. (Unless you've played the board game Diplomacy, which it's based on.) In Subterfuge, you and up to nine other players must negotiate to win 200 neptunium. The catch is: the game goes on for about a week straight, usually. You message each other in-game to strategize and plan, making teamwork essential. If everyone you're playing with is on board, it's a thrilling experience for mobile. For real-time strategy games in general, they don't get much more unique than this. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Google Play

You can't beat the classics. | Sirvo

Threes

Platforms: iOS, Android

Threes is so big, that it's spawned an army of clones. Not many mobile games can inspire such fervor chasing it. It's a puzzle game at heart, but it's a puzzle game about numbers. The math won't confuse you though, it's all about multiples of threes; one and two equal three, just as 24 and 24 equal 48. A match of Threes only ends when there's no more moves you can make on the board. Its high scores are easily addicting to chase, which makes it all the better to keep in your commuting go-to rotation. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: App Store, Amazon

What the Golf is unafraid to get extra silly. | Triband

What the Golf

Platforms: iOS

It's easy to subscribe to the idea that games are hardly ever funny. But there are exceptions to that rule, like What the Golf. What the Golf starts as devilish slapstick: the golf ball you hit into the hole sometimes isn't even the ball. It's the golfer. It's a house. It's a murder of golf clubs flying toward the finish. And then it gets even sillier.

As you explore an overworld through swiping a golf ball around, you pop into the worlds of parody. One string of levels is emblematic of Super Mario Bros.; another of Flappy Bird. The gaming nods are endless, and it would get tiresome if the developers of What the Golf also didn't exercise restraint. Luckily, the non-references in levels are just as thrilling, like a neat outing to space where What the Golf turns into a 2D game, and you have to account for the gravity pulling the golf ball around planets' orbits. This is all a long way of saying: What the Golf is one of the best games on mobile, period. —Caty McCarthy

Get It Here: Apple Arcade


Update, 01/24/2019: We bumped up this list to 25 games in total.
Update, 02/06/2020: We have swapped Clash Royale, Hearthstone, Donut County, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for newcomers Grindstone, What the Golf, Mini Motorways, Arknights.

You can find our other rotating Best Of lists for current-generation platforms below:

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

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