According to the latest industry statistics, 2.3 billion people around the world play mobile games. That includes 190 million in the US, or about 70 percent of the teenage and adult population. The fact is that in the US, and increasingly, across the rest of the world too, mobile gaming is a mainstream leisure activity that is almost as popular as watching TV. That is testament to how much the mobile gaming experience has improved over the past decade or so.
From Snake and Tetris to immersive RPGs
To anyone aged 35 and above, it seems like yesterday that Nokia ruled the mobile phone world, and SMS texting was the height of hi-tech communication. As for mobile gaming, there was a dizzying choice of maybe a dozen games, such as Snake, Solitaire and Tetris.
Smartphones heralded the age of the app, and suddenly there were hundreds of mobile games available to download. We won’t go into the full history of Angry Birds and Words With Friends here. However, it is fair to say they were fun and addictive but could in no way be compared with “real games” of the same period that could be played on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 60.
Mobile versions of console games started to appear, but these were pared-down versions whose main purpose was to hook potential customers into buying the “real” game. All that started to change about five years ago. Fortnite Battle Royale was released on console and then on mobile. As players tried it out on their new iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9s, they noticed that the mobile game was really no different to the console version. That was the watershed for mobile gaming, as releases like Diablo proved it was no fluke.
Today, the only reason to choose a console is if you prefer a larger screen and a conventional controller. Otherwise, the mobile gaming experience is just as rich and rewarding. To prove the point, we have selected some of the most immersive mobile games from across the top genres that are available in 2023.
Sport – it has to be FIFA
Knowing there will never be another new FIFA game, with fans camping out all night to be the first to buy it has us all misty-eyed with nostalgia. But let’s get real, those days are already consigned to history, and the only reason to buy it in a store instead of downloading it to your phone is to stop the console from gathering dust under the TV. FIFA mobile is surprisingly easy to play on a touchscreen, but if you prefer a game controller, just get one, they start at less than the price of an Xbox game!
The game itself has all the features and game modes, and you can really lose yourself in its virtual world as you either guide your team through the tribulations of a season or maybe take on friends near and far with a series of friendlies.
Mobile casino – Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt draws you in
Mobile casino is a great example of a genre in which the mobile platform has transitioned from a “lite” version to the main – and sometimes only – way to play. There are hundreds of slot games that can be highly immersive, but one of the top trending games is a live game with a difference.
Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt is something of a craze among US online casino players and is the only live game that is based on Gonzo’s Quest, one of the top reviewed online casino slots. Playing it feels a lot like being pulled through the screen into a TV game show. The basic idea is to find hidden treasure and other bonus prizes by choosing squares on a board. The game host will guide you every step of the way. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you play in VR which is a nice option, but not obligatory.
Top MOBA – League of Legends: Wild Rift
If LoL has somehow passed you by, this is a perfect entry point, and if you’re a long-standing player, you’ll love this latest version as much as the last. The characters and essential gameplay mechanics are the same as traditional League of Legends, but this is the first to be specifically coded from a mobile-first perspective.
The main difference between this and the console version is average runtimes are far lower, meaning you can fit in a quick 5×5 game any time. Give it a try!