The world of mobile gaming has grown so vast it can be a challenge to keep up with the best titles. For that matter, “best” is a subjective term, to begin with, and some games that are popular with certain crowds, or well reviewed by tech sites, may not always do it for you!
Nevertheless, having a list of recommendations can always help you to find a new game or two to get into. So, as we near the end of another year, we’re looking back at some of the mobile games we’ve most enjoyed in 2020.
Not all of these games necessarily came out in 2020, but they’re the ones we couldn’t get enough of.
1. KartRider Rush+
There was a lot of excitement about the beloved Mario Kart franchise finally making its way to mobile late in 2019. It’s something fans had anticipated for a long time, and it was a pretty successful adaptation. But KartRider Rush+ might actually be a better game of a similar style (albeit without the same iconic characters). Plus, as The Sixth Axis noted, KartRider is a major franchise itself in certain parts of the world, even if it’s not quite as universally recognizable as a Mario game.
All of those factors aside though, this is about as satisfying a mobile game as we’ve ever found on a mobile platform. Its graphics and gameplay work perfectly for the medium, there are satisfying progression and competition components, and the chance to play with friends adds a whole separate dimension. It’s an excellent mobile game.
2. Ridiculous Fishing
Ridiculous Fishing is not a new game, but it’s one mobile classic we just keep coming back to. It’s an arcade-style title in which you control a fishing lure on its way down into the sea — the goal being to extend the line as far as you can, and then hook as many creatures as possible when it comes time to reel the line back in.
There’s a lot more to the game than this: different creatures that affect your gameplay in various ways, different accessories and abilities you can earn to improve your ability, and so on. But the bottom line is, it’s a lot of fun to play. Our only gripe would be that it’s not a particularly long game (you can beat it in a matter of hours if you really get into it). But it’s one you might have the urge to download and play all over again every few months.
3. 10,001 Nights
10,001 Nights is one of countless casino arcade games that can be found both on online platforms and via mobile devices. But it’s one of the fresher titles in a category that can sometimes be saturated with repetitive content — even labeled among the games on Foxy Bingo as a “new” and “exclusive” title compared to so many very old casino titles.
While the nuts and bolts of 10,001 Nights are similar to those of other slot arcades, the immersive sense of fantasy one enjoys while playing this reel stands out. Icons, sound effects, background imagery, and visual animations all transport you to a place reminiscent of tales like Aladdin or Arabian Nights, and somehow it winds up being absolutely perfect for a slot arcade.
4. Maze Machina
Named a game of the week early in 2020, Maze Machina may be our favorite original mobile game of the year. That said, it’s a little bit of a tricky one to describe, because so much of what makes it wonderful is its quirky, steampunk-ish aesthetic.
It’s a beautifully animated puzzle game in which you play a character (a mouse, specifically) trapped by an “Automatron.” Your challenge is essentially to use various items and solve continual puzzles to try to escape captivity. It’s brilliantly designed, challenging without being too frustrating, and another game you’ll want to keep coming back to.
5. Alto’s Odyssey
Alto’s Odyssey was among the best gaming apps of 2019, and so is not necessarily an original selection here. In fact, when you look around at lists of the best app games available, this title seems to appear on most of them. But that’s all the more reason to include it here; the game is simply that good, and that beautifully made.
It’s actually a fairly simple gaming experience — an endless runner with a snowboarding twist — but one that’s so unique in its sensory approach as to have established itself as one of the better video games of the past several years. You’ll be mesmerised playing your way through endless gameplay with the surreal scenery animation and tranquil sounds of Alto’s Odyssey in the background.
There will always be more great mobile games to discover, and we certainly could have listed more than just these five. But if you’re on the hunt for a few new titles you can really fall in love with, give these a look.