Mobile games are often overlooked and underrated within the large swath of games released each year, failing to receive recognition as a genre that pushes the boundaries of smartphone and tablet technology. There were several great releases within the mobile games sector in 2021, and we've narrowed this list down to the very best!
Rush Rally Origins
Rush Rally Origins offers players an exciting top-down classic racing experience with high-quality graphics. Players can test their racing stripes across Finland, Greece, the U.K., and Sweden from their living room. From timed trials and challenges to more standardized races to build up the player's choice of rally racing car with unlocked upgrades. Bring the fast-paced arcade racing to the palm of your hand for $6.99 on a smartphone or Nintendo Switch.
While not a free-to-play game, this is a fairly cheap indie option that allows players to have a daily arcade experience at home. As it isn't a highly story-based game, players can simply enjoy racing challenges without the need for character development or customization. While racing fans may not find that it compares highly against their console or PC games, it can be taken anywhere with ease as a mobile game.
Pokémon Unite is a free-to-play battle arena game that enables players to fight against large groups of enemy players and bots. Think League of Legends or DOTA 2, but Pokémon. Fight as each individual Pokémon and use their abilities to take a role within the selected party. Players can train their Pokémon to use better abilities and work cooperatively within a team of other pocket monsters.
As one of the best multiplayer mobile games of the year, players can enjoy the aesthetic of Pokémon battles with the fighting style of more standard MMOs. This version of Pokémon provides players with a more in-depth combat system and realism to how these pocket monsters could fight in a ring. Join the fight today from the App or Play Store.
The Witcher: Monster Slayer
This Witcher game puts the concept of Pokémon Go's travel and search playstyle into a much darker and more dangerous world. As an augmented reality game, players can create their own Witcher and travel the world in real life and in-game at the same time. Step outside to take on quests and follow clues that send players out around their neighborhood to experience a bit of fantasy adventure! Just be sure to pack potions and oils along the way, as the danger for a Witcher lingers around every corner.
The current market of augmented reality games is lacking severely, and this addition provides a great insight into what the future of mobile gaming could become. This game provides the perfect opportunity for players who love fantasy and need a reason to get out. Just be careful to traverse safe areas and be aware of the surroundings.
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Alto's Odyssey: The Lost City
Play this satisfyingly simple sandboarding game to explore the various beautiful landscapes and avoid dangerous pitfalls and obstacles. Players can challenge themselves to get more air and longer grinds as they make their way to the lost city. Reach new heights with upgrades like the wingsuit to find map pieces along the character's travels and unlock the lost city. While there isn't a ton of story to this game, the peaceful and intriguing nature can cause any player to get lost within its continuous levels.
Trek across a dangerous archipelago with familiar faces from Clash of Clans in this strategy adventure game. Players start with a set number of troops to meet each new challenge they encounter. Use troops that players have available to them correctly, and make it out of each round with as many surviving troops as possible. However, be a weak strategist, and players could lose most, if not all, their troops. Survive, and the troops will grow as they explore, lose, and their back to the start of the level with new ideas on countering their enemies.
While not a new concept by any means, this cute stylized strategy game can challenge players in a new way that Clash of Clans did not. Players will have to be effective in their strategies to make it through each of the rounds they are faced with and learn the properties of each kind of troop. This year's releases can make a great addition to players who want more challenges in their mobile gameplay.
Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery
Behind the Frame provides a fresh perspective on simulation games for mobile. While this may be compared to a simulation game as players must paint the main character's art, there is a full storyline and goal throughout. Walk through the painter's home to find inspiration for new paintings, old paintings, background information on the character, and more.
Between cinematic animated scenes and the obscure lens of the character's home, players can learn much about the protagonist, A. Discover how she got to the cusp of fame as an artist, and some supernatural mysteries along the way. This game provides a soothing painting simulator and an intriguing story. Players can step into the shoes of this artist for $4.99 from the App or Play Store!
MARVEL: Future Revolution
In MARVEL Future Revolutions, players are faced with a supernatural event called Convergence. As the world collapses into other copies of itself, players must take arms to save the many worlds from destruction. Join the fight to defend the Marvel universe as one of the many beloved characters in this open-world RPG, such as Spiderman, Storm, Captain America, and many more. Fight alongside others in the open world or jump into PVP to fight against others in teams.
There are many variations of the fan-favorite heroes to choose from, and players can tweak the characters to fit their desired playstyle and fashion. This RPG provides a somewhat plausible way for a canon MMO within the Marvel universe.
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Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
This Final Fantasy addition brings its beautiful style into a Battle Royal similar to PUBG and Apex Legends. Play as one of the preset classes including Warrior, Sorcerer, Monk, Ranger, and Ninja as a custom character alongside fan-favorites like Cloud, Tifa, and Barret. Then traverse the various maps of previous Final Fantasy games and survive in the battle against other players.
While not new in concept, bringing the world of Final Fantasy into a Battle Royal style can give a fresh perspective to the world and bring in new players to the franchise. As many current fans of the series are more interested in solo role-play, this could appeal to new players who are intimidated by the depth of the current games. This provides the perfect opportunity on a free-to-play basis for those interested in dipping their toe into the world.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassin gives players access to Lawrence Nightingale's phone, from which they must uncover what happened to Nightingale. It works very similarly to SIMULACRA and Sara is Missing, where players have a smartphone interface that they must use to uncover information. Players will have to search through text messages, consort contacts, and repair videos to find the answers to this mystery.
As the second mobile game inspired by the Doctor Who series, this is the first that takes on a more terrifying and realistic storyline. Both thrilling and terrifying, this game places players just on the cusp of danger within a beloved universe. Join this thrilling mystery with the help of Petronella Osgood, and other contacts met along the way.
The first mobile game within the Nier series, Nier Reincarnation is an RPG based in the Nier Universe. However, players are put inside a new unknown world called The Cage.
Players must traverse this vast unknown labyrinth to reclaim what they have lost and atone for their character's unknown sins. With its dynamic levels and simplistic but beautiful graphics, players can engage with the story as they uncover it from within the Cage. Players can join in this free-to-play option within the series to get an idea for the other ever-changing sci-fi games within the series.
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