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The best mobile games to play in 2024

Want to know the best games you can handily check out on your mobile device?

A collage of characters and locations from some of our favourite mobile games. L-R: Dan Heng from Honkai: Star Rail; America Chavez and Groot from Marvel Snap; a domed tower level from Monument Valley 2; Diluc from Genshin Impact; and Darius III and Artoria Pendragon from Fate/Grand Order.
Image credit: VG247 / miHoYo / HoYoverse / Second Dinner / Nuverse / Ustwo Games / Lasengle / Aniplex of America
Update: Some fantastic recent games received mobile ports in early 2024, so we added a couple of our absolute favourites to the list!

Here at VG247 we love video games no matter what platform they're on, but we have to admit that mobile games are a special case all by themselves. While our favorite PC and console games will very often see multi-platform releases, many of the most popular mobile games will be completely unfamiliar to players who don't tend to use their mobile devices for gaming.

And, on the other end of the spectrum, a surprising number of very popular PC and console games that you'd think would never see the light of day on mobile devices can be played on iOS and Android, it turns out. Seems our ever-present pocket computers are actually capable of running some pretty high-end games, which maybe shouldn't surprise us as much as it did when you really think about how good phone hardware can be these days.

Best mobile games

Here then, in no particular order, are our picks of the best mobile games you can play right now!


Genshin Impact

Artwork showing the main Genshin Impact character sitting on a hill overlooking the game's anime world.
Image credit: HoYoverse
  • Release Date: 2020
  • Developer: miHoYo
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with optional microtransactions

Not many gacha games have managed to become household names in worldwide markets, but it's easy to see why Genshin Impact has become such a notable exception once you've spent some time in its vast fantasy open world. Sometimes compared to a free-to-play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, fears that the game would be too derivative of its inspiration proved to be unfounded, and after three years, Genshin Impact's large and varied cast of characters in particular have become recognizable in their own right.

We've already alluded to a large part of Genshin's appeal coming from one of the best open worlds in games, and there's so much to do that you'll certainly never get bored — although you might end up slightly overwhelmed. Happily, though, there is an interesting story tying the whole production together, meaning that Genshin has something for everyone, no matter whether you're a lore fan, a character collector, or enjoy ignoring the plot and just exploring.

Take a look at our Genshin Impact codes page if you're looking for some extra Primogems!


Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go
Image credit: The Pokemon Company/Niantic Labs
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Developer: Niantic
  • Platforms: Android, iOS
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with local advertising and optional microtransactions

Pokémon fans are in the fortunate position of having quite a few mobile games to choose from, and so picking just one for this list wasn't an easy task. But Pokémon Go still stands out as a title that changed the face of mobile gaming when it was released back in 2016, even if it hasn't been as universally beloved over the past couple of years as it seemed to be back at the start.

Eight years after launch, it's easy to forget that Pokémon Go was a new idea in mobile gaming: generating in-game encounters with roaming Pokémon into real-world maps, encouraging players to get out of the house and get some exercise while exploring local areas. Naturally, common sense and an attentive regard for your personal safety is called for when chasing down these digital critters, but if you're a fan of taking gaming-on-the-go to new levels, we still can't recommend Pokémon Go highly enough.

Take a look at our Pokemon GO promo codes if you're planning on playing.


Monument Valley 2

A complex, almost Escher-esque cityscape against an abstract purple background.
Image credit: Ustwo Games
  • Release Date: 2017
  • Developer: Ustwo Games
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £3 / $4

The Monument Valley series of acclaimed puzzle games challenges you to solve stunning artistic mazes made with impossible geometry. It's a very chill experience that sees you facing off against weird and wonderful architecture in a mind-twisting way that feels surreal, but never sinister or unpleasant.

While both games currently available in the series are very good, Monument Valley 2 is more story-driven than the original, and sees you switching control between a mother and daughter throughout the game's chapters. While not directly aimed at children these games are suitable for all ages, making Monument Valley and its sequel a solid choice for a mobile game with no ads or microtransactions that younger players can enjoy.


Bloons TD 6

An autumn-themed Bloons level, showing off the game's central monkeys-fighting-balloons concept before the whole screen turns into a visually un-parseable fireball.
Image credit: Ninja Kiwi
  • Release Date: 2018
  • Developer: Ninja Kiwi
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Apple Arcade, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • Playable offline: Yes (single-player modes only)
  • Price: £7 / $7 plus optional microtransactions (included with Netflix subscription)

The long-running Bloons Tower Defense series has been playable on just about every platform imaginable since its 2007 debut, but like many titles that began life as in-browser games, it feels especially at home on mobile even now. Tower Defense games are kind of perfect for mobile, after all, given their simple yet compelling strategic premise and the fact that they're almost-but-not-quite idle games.

In this cutesy and whimsical take on the genre, your goal is to obstruct a series of balloons from reaching their destination with the assistance of a group of monkeys with a variety of weapons and skills at their disposal. Though it may sound silly, it's one of the best games on Apple Arcade and there are actually a lot of systems to get to grips with to get the most out of everything the game has to offer. It does this all while remaining friendly and accessible even to players brand-new to the genre.


Hitman GO / Lara Croft GO

From an isometric viewpoint, Lara Croft runs across a crumbling walkway over a deep red pit, with various snakes poised to attack her.
Image credit: Square Enix
  • Release Date: 2014 / 2015
  • Developer: Square Enix Montreal
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £6 / $6 (each)

Mobile spin-offs of AAA franchises are a mixed bag, there's no denying it, but Square Enix Montreal has managed to put together a formula so good it worked twice. Where Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO both succeed is in not being too beholden to the look or feel of the main titles in their respective series too closely, instead focusing on board game-inspired, turn-based puzzle gameplay that's very much its own thing.

Both games are very similar, although you'll be focussing more on stealth to avoid enemies as Agent 47, while Lara Croft takes a more direct approach to dealing with deadly threats with the aid of the environment. It's hard to choose between them and your preference might well be led by whether you prefer Hitman or Tomb Raider in the first place; but even if you don't know a thing about either franchise, there's plenty to enjoy thanks to the stand-alone nature of the GO games.


Stardew Valley

  • Release Date: Ported to mobile in 2018 (iOS) and 2019 (Android)
  • Developer: ConcernedApe
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Apple Arcade
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £5 / $5

All things considered, Stardew Valley took longer to make it to mobile than you'd expect. But the indie juggernaut farming sim is now available to play on just about any platform you'd care to name, including — yes — both iOS and Android devices. And all things considered, it's pretty much a perfect match, given the simple pixel-art graphics and complex interlocking gameplay systems that work so well for short bursts of gaming while out and about.

Consider Stardew Valley on mobile as your antidote to the bad old days of FarmVille! Stardew plays up the life sim elements of farming games considerably, with a compelling story and wide variety of characters to befriend and even romance as you build up your farming empire — to say nothing of the many weird and wonderful elements you'll encounter once you've come to know the town on a deeper level. Given that the game is still receiving regular content updates and only comes at the one-off cost of a fiver, Stardew Valley is pretty much the definitive farming sim on mobile — or anywhere else, for that matter.


Honkai: Star Rail

Image showing Honkai Star Rail characters March 7th, Himeko and Dan Heng aboard the Astral Express.
Image credit: HoYoverse
  • Release Date: 2023
  • Developer: miHoYo
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation 5
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with optional microtransactions

We've mentioned Genshin Impact already, and while it deserves its place on this list, we actually have a couple of reasons for preferring HoYoverse's follow-up game, Honkai: Star Rail, over its predecessor. For one thing, Star Rail is still just a bit more respectful of your storage limitations, while Genshin — which celebrated its third anniversary last September — is a beast that typically requires dedicated gaming hardware even on mobile at this stage.

But to be honest, in our estimation, Honkai Star Rail is just slightly better as a game, particularly on mobile. The turn-based fights remove some of the frustrations of Genshin's real-time action combat, and while there is still a bit of a leveling grind towards the end, it's less of a slog. We also just clicked with the characters and story a bit more, although admittedly that might be a matter of preference for space opera over sprawling fantasy.

If you're thinking of jumping in, we've got a list of Star Rail codes to help you out too.


Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors in-game screenshot
  • Release Date: 2022
  • Developer: poncle
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: Free-to-play with optional ads

The list of GOTY-winning indie games you can play on your mobile device is already very short, but how about a GOTY-winning indie game you can play on your mobile device entirely for free? That's the situation with Vampire Survivors, which was ported to iOS and Android shortly after its launch to discourage illegal knock-offs, and which never asks for your money in any way, shape, or form. The closest it gets to monetization is the option to watch ads in exchange for modest in-game boosts, which is intentionally non-intrusive and kept within the player's control.

If you're unfamiliar with Vampire Survivors, all you really need to know is that it's a bullet hell roguelike that pits you against waves of monsters (but, curiously, never vampires) and challenges you to survive for 15, 20, or 30-minute runs. These short and sweet sessions made it a perfect choice for mobile porting, and poncle's admirably restrained attitude towards mobile monetization makes it an all-round excellent choice as a game to enjoy on-the-go.


Gorogoa

Gorogoa's four-part screen structure. The whole top half of the screen is taken up with a single image of a young boy carrying a bowl through a garden filled with classical statues. In the lower left, a giant abstract green eye appears to be starting up at the boy. In the lower right, a starry sky at night looks like it might be spelling something.
Image credit: Jason Roberts / Annapurna Interactive
  • Release Date: 2017
  • Developer: Jason Roberts
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £4.90 / $5

Speaking of acclaimed indie games you can play on your mobile device, fans of the excellent indies curated by Annapurna Interactive will definitely not want to miss out on Gorogoa. One of the publishers' first forays into the mobile market, Gorogoa is a simple and gorgeously illustrated puzzle game.

Presented purely through images, Gorogoa tells its story without text, and there are no verbal prompts on-screen. You're left to intuit your way through the two-by-two puzzle grids, interacting with what you see in order to change the environments and advance through a magical realist fairytale.


Marvel Snap

Card collection screenshot from Marvel Snap
  • Release Date: 2022
  • Developer: Second Dinner
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with optional microtransactions

One of the most acclaimed releases of 2022 across all platforms — a rare feat indeed for a mobile game — Marvel Snap undoubtedly benefits from its association with Marvel Comics and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there's more to recommend this digital collectible card game than being on-trend with its use of famous characters.

There's no ever-evolving metagame to keep track of in Marvel Snap, allowing players who are new to the genre or don't get to play often to get involved in the fun, while at the same time featuring so many cards — including some pretty deep-cut comics references — to ensure that you can replay it often without getting bored.


Obey Me!

On a screen stylised to look like a phone's home page, Mammon - one of the potential love interests in Obey Me - chastises you for completing an event incorrectly.
Image credit: NTT Solmare Corp.
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Developer: NTT Solmare
  • Platforms: Android, iOS
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with ads and optional microtransactions

There are enough super-popular otome dating sims available on mobile that they really deserve a list on their own (and who knows, maybe we'll write one someday!). Obey Me! is just one of the titles available in the wider Shall We Date? franchise, which is made up of dozens of different otome mobile games, many of which are (loosely) themed around classics, literature, and mythology in some way.

The pick of the bunch on this occasion, though, has to be Obey Me!, a card-based RPG dating sim that sees you take on the role of a female student at a high school for demons, (and let me just take a moment to assure you that this is all pretty standard as far as anime-style dating sims go). Your potential romantic partners in this case are all loosely themed around the Seven Deadly Sins, and you raise your approval with them through conversations, gift-giving, dance battles, and — for lack of a better phrase — petting the characters on your screen, which is almost as weird as it sounds.


Slay the Spire

  • Release Date: Ported to mobile in 2020 (iOS) and 2021 (Android)
  • Developer: Mega Crit
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £9 / $10

While not originally designed to be played on mobile, Slay the Spire nevertheless makes for a solid mobile gaming experience. One of the first indie games published by Humble Bundle, this acclaimed roguelike deck-building dungeon crawler sees you advancing up the procedurally-generated floors of a tower, battling increasingly tough enemies and bosses along the way.

As in any good roguelike, even failure yields results, as ending a run grants points you can use to upgrade your deck for better odds of success in the future. Refreshingly, despite the deck-building concept being inherently micro-transactable, there are no in-game purchases in Slay the Spire, which is a direct port of the PC/console version of the game.

If you need more reasons to try it, check-out our Slay the Spire review too.


Ace Attorney Investigations

Miles Edgeworth examines a corpse in an elevator. There's a large bloodstain and a number of stacks of paper money on the ground surrounding it. To either side, a statue suggesting that this is a memorial site. The presence of a stewardess and the clouds visible through the windows suggest that this is all also taking place on an aeroplane.
Image credit: Capcom
  • Release Date: Ported to mobile in 2017
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, Nintendo DS
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £14.50 / $16

The Ace Attorney series began life on Nintendo handheld devices, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that you can play many of the titles from this long-running courtroom dramedy visual novel franchise on mobile now too. The original trilogy is available on iOS and Android, as are the three games that make up the Apollo Justice Trilogy — though it might be worth holding off on the latter in light of the recent remaster, since at the moment games 4-5-6 are still priced individually on mobile and so now cost more than you need to pay.

However, the most exciting Ace Attorney experience on mobile right now has to be Ace Attorney Investigations. This 2009 spin-off adventure game starring Phoenix Wright's dearest frenemy Miles Edgeworth isn't available digitally on any other platform any more, and with physical DS cartridges of the game out of print, mobile is the cheapest and easiest way to actually play it these days. It's also one of the most well-received games in the series, with only Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney getting a higher rating from mobile players.


Fate/Grand Order

  • Release Date: 2015 (English version 2017)
  • Developer: Lasengle
  • Platforms: Android, iOS
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with ads and optional microtransactions

Fate/Grand Order is a spin-off of the long-running and hugely popular Fate franchise, which began with Japanese-only visual novels before spinning off into various anime, manga, and RPGs that brought the series worldwide recognition. Fate/Grand Order is a turn-based RPG, although with visual novel story sections, and uses a gacha mechanic to add characters to the players' roster.

The Fate setting is massively complex at this point, and this definitely comes across in Fate/Grand Order's story. You'll be pitting your teams of historical/literary/mythology-inspired characters against enemies in order to unlock more of that sweet, sweet lore about your companions and the wider world of the Fate series.


Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective HD Remaster

Ray, a talking desk lamp, speaks to Sissel in Ghost Trick Phantom Detective
Image credit: Capcom
  • Release Date: Ported to mobile in 2024
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £25 / $29

Ghost Trick is a unique puzzle game from the creator of the Ace Attorney franchise. You play as Sissel, an amnesiac ghost who can't remember a thing from before he found himself in a junkyard in the middle of the night looking down at his own dead body. As an added wrinkle to an already complicated situation, Sissel learns he has just 24 hours to solve his own murder and prevent the woman he apparently died protecting from meeting a similar end.

As a ghost, naturally Sissel can't directly interact with the physical world any more. But he can briefly take possession of many inanimate objects, which can be spookily manipulated to allow him to traverse environments, interrupt the actions of living characters, and hopefully change the outcome of events.

Originally released as a Nintendo DS exclusive in 2010, an iOS port has been doing the rounds for over a decade already. With the arrival of the 2023 rerelease, though, all mobile players now have the opportunity to get in on the HD remastered fun. And it is great, if a little pricier than you might be used to from a mobile game — although, for Apple product owners at least, the opening chapters are available for free on the App Store, allowing you to try before you buy.


Strange Horticulture

A large green pop-up declares "plant identified" about some tall red flowers. In the background, a full greenhouse on a rainy day, with a black cat resting on the counter.
Image credit: Bad Viking / Iceberg Interactive / Plug in Digital
  • Release Date: Ported to mobile in 2024
  • Developer: Bad Viking
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
  • Playable offline: Yes
  • Price: £4 / $5

One of 2022's loveliest indie games, Strange Horticulture continues to find itself a perfect fit on every new platform it makes the jump to. Mobile is no exception, it turns out, as Strange Horticulture enters its third year still going strong by launching on both iOS and Android devices.

In a plot that perfectly blends the cosy with the sinister, you play as the new proprietor of Strange Horticulture, an exotic florist shop in an offbeat town in what strongly resembles the Lake District in the late 19th-to-early 20th century, but is just a bit more... unusual. Use your research skills to identify native plants, brew herbal concoctions to order, and see if you can't get the local cult under control before someone really gets hurt.

Oh and, if you could possibly need any more reason to check this out, how about this: the plant shop has a cat living in it! And yes, you can pet him!


Monopoly Go!

The Monopoly mascot, Milburn Pennybags, wearing his trademark top hat and sporting his iconic moustache, in artwork for the mobile game Monopoly Go.
Image credit: Scopely
  • Release Date: 2023
  • Developer: Scopely
  • Platforms: Android, iOS
  • Playable offline: No
  • Price: Free-to-play with ads and optional microtransactions

This both is and isn't what you'd expect from a mobile adaptation of one of the most famous board games in the world. Rather than a simple digital adaptation of Monopoly that you can play on-the-go with friends, Monopoly Go! brings in some unique mechanics to take advantage of touch-screen interactions, while sticking with the core concept of competitive landlording.

Monopoly Go! understands its job as a mobile game perfectly, for good and bad. There's a significant downside to any game that's built around monetization before everything else, and it quickly becomes clear that intrusive ads and pushy microtransactions are keeping the lights on for Scopely. Still, if you're a fan of Monopoly Go!, make sure to have a look at our regularly-updated Monopoly Go! dice links page for some lovely freebies.


If you liked this list, why not check out our other recommendations, like our pick of the best games to play on the PlayStation 5 and the best games to play on the Nintendo Switch?

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