15 best mobile games in 2023 for Apple iOS and Android – Business Insider

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The mobile gaming business continues to blossom with hundreds of new games every year; some made specifically for smartphones and tablets, and others redesigned for release on mobile devices. Mobile games have steadily improved in quality too, with the performance gap between smartphones and gaming consoles, like the Nintendo Switch, steadily shrinking.
Between the thousands of games to choose from in your phone’s app store, and subscription services like Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass, finding the best titles and new releases can be a struggle. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of the best mobile games based on hands-on experience and critical consensus.
Our list includes mobile games across a variety of genres, with picks determined by factors like price, visuals, gameplay, controls, and compatibility with different platforms. All of the games we’ve selected are supported on iOS and/or Android devices, and some are also available on computers and consoles.
Games without ads or in-game purchases are generally rated higher, though several games on our list do contain microtransactions. We’ve also chosen to prioritize recent releases and games that are regularly updated.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC
This addictive, easy-to-learn card game is free to play and features art directly from Marvel comic books. Players build a deck of cards inspired by Marvel characters and compete in one-on-one matches online. New hero cards with different abilities are unlocked as you play and rewards will let you upgrade the art for cards in your collection.
While there are some microtransactions to customize how your cards look, there aren’t any “pay-to-win” mechanics that let you spend money to get stronger cards, which keeps things fair for new players.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC
This action role-playing game takes notes from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, letting players explore large open-world environments with a variety of characters and combat styles. You can swap freely between four characters as you play, and each of them will gain access to new weapons and abilities as you progress.
The flashy effects and anime-inspired visuals will appeal to fans of classic RPGs and the gameplay is fast-paced and accessible. So far, the game supports Xbox and PlayStation controllers on Apple devices, but not Android. Genshin impact is available on PC too, and it will automatically share your progress with mobile versions of the game.
While Genshin Impact is free to play, it’s also a gacha game, meaning you unlock new characters with a random draw mechanic. You can spend money for more chances to unlock characters or buy a battle pass for extra in-game rewards.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC
This digital card game comes from the creators of League of Legends and features characters from the same fantasy world of Runeterra. Players collect and build decks for online play with a strategy system that resembles classic collectible card games like Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Unlike those traditional card games, players don’t need to spend money to start building their deck in Legends of Runeterra, and the game is regularly balanced to make sure every card is fair in competitive play. If you choose, you can spend money to unlock specific cards. The rate of unlocking new cards for free is also fairly quick compared to other digital card games.
Other great collectible card games worth checking out on mobile include Hearthstone, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, and Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Fortnite arrived as a global phenomenon in 2017, allowing up to 100 players to compete against each other in online battle royale matches across gaming consoles and mobile devices. The game has maintained its popularity with a mix of fast-paced gunplay, unique building mechanics, and metaverse crossovers.
Unfortunately, ongoing legal disputes with Apple and Google led to Fortnite being removed from their respective app stores; though the game is still fully playable on mobile. Android users can install the Fortnite app directly from the official website or the Samsung app store. Apple users can stream Fortnite using Xbox Game Pass through the Xbox app without paying any subscription fees. Nvidia’s GeForce Now app also offers free streaming for Apple users.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
This farming simulator offers simple, straight-forward gameplay with pixelated charm that’s reminiscent of classic Super Nintendo games. Players can choose which crops and animals they want to raise as they search for resources and build a life in a country community.
While Stardew Valley offers online multiplayer on computers and consoles, the mobile version is strictly a single-player experience. That said, the $5 game offers more than 50 hours of gameplay, without any extra ads or microtransactions.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Apple Arcade
Monument Valley and its sequel are both beautiful puzzle games filled with colorful backgrounds and well-designed 3D mazes that tilt the player’s perspective. The story unfolds around a silent princess as the player guides her through each new stage.
You can find Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 as separate listings in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Platforms: Apple Arcade
Horizon Chase 2 is a colorful arcade-style racing game inspired by titles like Daytona USA.  The game includes 15 different cars and 55 tracks, and will likely be updated to include more if the original game is any indication.
Horizon Chase 2 includes online multiplayer and support for controllers, and as a part of Apple Arcade, all of the content is available without microtransactions.
For now the game is exclusive to Apple Arcade, but it should arrive on PC, consoles, and Android in 2023. The original Horizon Chase is still a great game on Android too, with five tracks to try before you buy.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Microsoft’s flagship sandbox building game is amazingly accessible on mobile devices and allows for crossplay with other platforms like Xbox and PC. Players can take on the classic survival mode, put their imagination to the test in the free-flowing creative mode, or customize their own adventure. 
Minecraft has full controller support and receives regular updates alongside the console versions of the game.
Platforms: iOS, Android
Fans of first-person shooters will immediately recognize the Call of Duty brand, but the mobile version of the game is free to play, unlike its console counterparts. The game includes several well-known Call of Duty modes, ranging from team deathmatch and domination to a 100-player battle royale.
Call of Duty Mobile features the same seasonal update pattern used on consoles, so new maps, weapons, and playable operatives arrive every few months. The game also offers touch-screen controls and controller support.
There are a number of microtransactions, including a seasonal battle pass and credits for in-game cosmetics and other unlocks. Other quality multiplayer shooters include PUBG Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, VR
Among Us is an online multiplayer game based on the party game Mafia. The game separates a group of four to 15 players into two roles: crewmates and imposters. The imposters look just like the crew and are tasked with killing the other players, while the crewmates must identify the imposters as they work to keep their spaceship running.
The game encourages fun social interactions between friends and strangers alike as crew members interrogate each other and imposters try to fool the crew into trusting them. Among Us includes crossplay to join players on other platforms, and the game is regularly updated with new modes, maps, and cosmetic items.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch
 “Florence” is an award-winning, hand-drawn romance game that plays like a storybook, making it perfect for gamers who want a casual experience. As the player completes small mini-games, the relationship at the center of the game gradually flourishes and runs its course. The full story takes about an hour to complete.
Other great picks for gamers who prefer a good story include the puzzle game Donut County, and the narrative-choice game Life is Strange.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
This challenging side-scrolling action game is inspired by classics like Castlevania but adopts a rogue-like style that slightly randomizes each new playthrough for a fresh experience. The quick moving combat and rewards for speed encourage players to master the gameplay, while the game’s stylized pixel art creates intimidating monsters and haunting environments.
Players can unlock dozens of weapons and power-ups to use during new runs and explore different routes to the end of the game. Dead Cells includes full controller support.
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox
Vampire Survivors is a simple but addicting rogue-like game that challenges players to survive against a steady wave of 2D monsters that fill the screen. Each new run has a time limit of 15 to 30 minutes and players find new weapons and power up their character as they complete stages.
At first, the game can be hard to understand with the constant flood of enemies and flying weapons, but the outrageous increases in power and steady action keep the game engaging during each new run.
Platforms: Apple Arcade, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a music-based arcade game that sends players through a full album of tracks that tell an imaginative visual story. While the gameplay is relatively simple with players guiding their character along a preset track, the game’s soundtrack and striking art design make it a memorable ride from start to finish.
The game takes about 90 minutes to complete, but you can earn rewards for getting high scores on each of the 23 stages.
Platforms: Apple Arcade, PC, Nintendo Switch
Rather than being an actual golf game, What The Golf? takes a very abstract approach to the sport, giving players a series of silly physics-based puzzles to complete. The puzzles can range from trying to kick a soccer ball through a mini-golf style obstacle course, to rolling an office chair safely across a rooftop. 
The game is an Apple Arcade exclusive, though, so it’s not available on Android devices.
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