Mobile games of varying genres are indeed quite popular nowadays with smartphones becoming more accessible and developers sprouting left and right. If you check your phone’s app store you’ll be facing a list of thousands of games ranging from action to strategy. Some of these games fizzle out months after being released while some eventually have sequels and expand into massive franchises.
While every year there is a different list on what are the popular mobile games during that period, there is of course a selection of mobile games that have maintained popularity from the time of their release up to the present. Read on and find out more about these ten most popular mobile games of all time:
Top Ten Most Popular Mobile Games
10. Doodle Jump
Doodle Jump by Lima Sky was first released for the iOS on April 06, 2009 and a year later for Android. The game is very simple: you help the Doodler jump up platforms by tilting your device while collecting objects and avoiding death from various hazards. The game was well-received by critics who praised its addictive simplicity and graphics. Lima Sky later released other incarnations like Easter and Holiday versions and a racing mini-game, while Warner Bros cooked up version of the game featuring Batman as the Doodler.
9. Fruit Ninja
Fruit Ninja turns your fingers into sharp blades that you will use to cut the fruit pieces that jump on your screen. Be careful though as you might accidentally slash a bomb. Halfbrick Studios’ fruity mobile game was released in 2010 for both mobile platforms and later saw expansion on Windows, Xbox One and Playstation Vita. The game’s popularity was attributed to its high replay value coupled by an incredibly simple yet fun gameplay. Later updates included more game content and different modes. Fruit Ninja was met with critical praise and is even used in Neuroscience Research Australia as a rehabilitation exercise for stroke patients.
8. Temple Run
Temple Run puts you in the running shoes of archaeologist Guy Dangerous as you flee from demonic monkeys who want to take back the artifact you stole from the ruins. You help him escape by swiping the screen to avoid obstacles, jump over great distances, or slide underneath passageways. The mobile game has no ending unless Guy Dangerous succumbs to an environmental hazard or is devoured by the monkeys. It was developed by Imangi Studios which is run by husband-and-wife tandem Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova. The game spawned a sequel and two spinoffs based on Disney’s Brave and Oz the Great and Powerful. Temple Run was also turned into a series of four “choose your adventure” books named Run For Your Life and a film adaptation of the game is being discussed with Warner Bros. Studios.
7. Subway Surfers
Another endless runner mobile game but this time it involves teenagers fleeing from the authorities who want to arrest them for vandalism. Developer SYBO Games and Kiloo ensured the success of Subway Surfer by delivering constant updates on levels while smooth controls make for a very fun and addictive experience. The game was released on May 24, 2012 for both mobile platforms and has seen a billion downloads worldwide.
6. Flappy Bird
The gameplay of Flappy Bird is astonishingly simple: you tap the screen to make the small yellow bird fly up as he is always dragged down by gravity. The game ends when you either crash to the ground or hit a green pipe that resembles the ones in Mario. Critics were annoyed by the ridiculous difficulty of Flappy Bird plus its similarity to a French game Piou Piou vs. Cactus. Nevertheless the mobile game was highly popular at the onset of 2014, and it even managed to earn developer Dong Nguyen five figures a day. Unfortunately Nguyen decided to take down the game on February 2014 as it was too addictive but you can still play Flappy Bird as a browser game or as a parody through the Android Lollipop Easter egg.
5. Despicable Me: Minion Rush
The adorable Minions from Despicable Me get their own mobile game which was released on June 10, 2013. It plays like Temple Run or Subway Surfers where you have to guide the Minion through a linear path while avoiding obstacles and causing mayhem through power-ups. The difference however is that levels have an ending where you must defeat a boss, and some power-ups trigger a mini-game. The game features 14 locations with a large number of Minion costumes that each have a special ability. It hit 100 million downloads a mere three months after its release and is still going strong with updates and new content.
4. Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies was originally released for Windows and OSX in 2009 by PopCap Games while the mobile platforms get their own incarnations in the following years through Electronic Arts. If you have been living under a rock since the past decade then let me give you a short premise of the game. You are given charge in defending your house against a wave of brain-hungry zombies by using an array of plants. These plants have varying abilities like spitting ammunition, acting as land mines, or even launching powerful missiles. The game received universal praise and a slew of awards with millions of downloads to boot. A mobile-exclusive sequel was released in 2013 which beat its predecessors lifetime downloads in a matter of ten days after its release.
3. Candy Crush
Candy Crush by King and Nintendo had its roots as a Facebook game in 2012 while its mobile versions were released during the same year as well. The puzzle game had players match three identical candies to score points and meet the established target under a time pressure. Certain combinations can trigger special candies that can eliminate multiple tiles or even entire rows. In-app purchases come in the form of replenishing lives or Boosters that make levels a little bit easier. The game met positive reviews and amassed a billion worth of in-game purchases during 2013 and 2014. Two sequels namely Candy Crush Soda Saga and Candy Crush Jelly Saga were released in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
2. Angry Birds
Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds is surely familiar to everyone who’s had a smartphone. It was released in 2009 for Android and iOS and since then the franchise has been launched to greater heights. If for some reason you are not familiar with the game then it is all about killing green pigs by launching birds on a slingshot. The game boasted captivating gameplay that is slapped with a very low price tag, making it very accessible to many players worldwide. It gathered awards and accolades and the Angry Birds franchise exploded into different forms of media outside of mobile gaming like cook books, toys, and more recently a film adaptation.
1. Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans from Supercell was released in 2012 and since then has been consistently included in the ranks of top lists of mobile games. In this game players build up a base and protect it with elaborate defenses while training units to attack other players for loot and glory. Clash of Clans is free-to-play but offers premium currency for sale which is quite tempting considering how absurdly long wait times can be in the later levels. The game impressed many critics and has inspired countless of YouTube and Twitch livestreams. With updates providing new troops and changes in the game, the future is bright for Clash of Clans and there seems to be no stopping its train anytime soon.
Have you tried any of these mobile games? Do you have other mobile games in mind that are worthy of being hailed as a popular app game? Let us know in the comments below.