You’ve just learned about the hottest new game, probably because you read Gamezebo every day — but there’s a problem. Your phone has just told you that it can’t be downloaded because you’re out of space. You’ve deleted every photo and video that you can spare to lose, and you’re about to do the unthinkable – you’re going to have to delete some games.

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The real trick here is to prioritize. There are the games you downloaded to dabble in, the games you “sorta” like, and the games that have become pillars of your gaming life. How do you decide what’s to stay and what’s to go?

We can’t make these tough choices for you, but we can tell you what we’d do: protect the following games like they were our own children. We asked the Gamezebo staff recently which games they’d never delete to free up room on their iPhone, Androids and iPads. Here’s what they had to say:

Knights of Pen & Paper

knightsofpenandpaper

Like a lot of gamers my age, I grew up as a D&D kid. Knights of Pen and Paper is both a love letter to and a hilarious satire of those days, and it works equally well on both fronts. It’s been updated several times with additional content, but even if it wasn’t, I’d never let it go. Nick Tylwalk

Crossy Road

crossy road

Too soon for it to be on this list? I don’t think so, and I’d imagine plenty of people feel the same way. With gameplay that’s fun for people of all ages and the likelihood that Hipster Whale will ensure that you never quite have all the characters, there’s really no reason to delete Crossy Road. Nick Tylwalk

Woah Dave!

woahdave1 A simple homage to the early days of the arcade that proves just as addictive as those original quarter munchers, Woah! Dave is one of those games I can’t help but keep coming back to. It works in short bursts, and I’m always struggling to top my own high score. Jim Squires

QuizUp

quizup

Even though I’ve found myself addicted to Trivia Crack lately, I’ve still held on to QuizUp through it all. Where Trivia Crack is fun because I can play general trivia against my friends, QuizUp lets me pick my trivia categories to an incredible level of specificity. From The Office to World War 2, QuizUp lets me play a round of trivia catered to my interests exactly. Nothing beats that. Tom Christiansen

Tiny Wings

tinywings Every iPhone should contain at least one “pure happiness” game. For me, that is Tiny Wings.  I can’t watch this stubby-winged little bird attempt to reach the sky without a smile on my face.  His endearingly optimistic “bwawk” and “whoo-hooo” as he rolls across the colorful island airways is an instant, always-available pick-me-up. Jillian Werner

Quadropus Rampage

quadropus rampage

I’ve had Quadropus Rampage installed on my Nexus 7 as long as the game has existed. Possibly longer, if the Coster brothers hooked me up with a preview build (which they probably did, because they’re nice dudes). And while I haven’t been playing it as much as I used to, the recent integration of the ButterscotchID system (the Coster’s homebrewed fix for free-to-play games) made me glad I’d never deleted it. It’s an endless roguelike that’s not unlike pizza. You might swear you’ll never eat it again, only to have “just one slice” turn into a whole pie and then a second mortgage with Domino’s. Tom Christiansen

Disco Zoo

discozoo Disco Zoo is the perfect combination of short-burst gameplay coupled with long-term reward.  What started as a one-sheep park on my phone has gradually grown into a 1,300+ animal sanctuary.  Deleting all those adorable, trilby-wearing tribbles would be upsetting in and of itself, but developer NimbleBit also provides incentive to keep the zoo going through frequent, massive updates that keep bringing new life to a now year-old game. Jillian Werner

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird Are there a million imitators? Absolutely. Do I even play it anymore? Not at all. But because Dong Ngyuen removed the game from the App Store, Flappy Bird will always have a place to roost on my phone. It’s like a badge of honor, or a ticket stub from Woodstock. “I was there, man.” Jim Squires

  • no longer available for download

Hearthstone

Hearthstone Straddling the line between accessible and complex, Hearthstone remains the one big install that I refuse to delete. I may not play it often, but when I do, I play it compulsively for a week straight. How good is it? It convinced me that I should return to my past WoW obsessions, and after 10 days, I realized I liked Hearthstone a lot more. Jim Squires

Pixel People

pixelpeople Although Pixel People is the least-played game on my list, having been idle six months, I can’t bring myself to delete my sprawling space utopia.  It’s the product of over a year’s worth of work, populated by 208 citizens I cloned myself.  There’s still a strange sense of pride in watching them rake in thousands of dollars a second and then spending those dollars on cramming them into even more crowded housing.  Am I a bad mayor? Maybe.  But I will never abandon my city. Jillian Werner

Plants vs. Zombies 2

plants vs zombies 2 pvz2

Some games you need to keep for your own personal enjoyment. Others you need to save to ensure outraged famiy members don’t inflict grievous bodily harm on you if they found it gone. PvZ 2 is the latter for me, though I’ll admit that I return to it for a bit every time EA and PopCap put in something new. Nick Tylwalk

Threes!

Threes_iOS[1] While the two games share no similarities in terms of gameplay, Threes! drew a lot of comparisons to Tetris when it first launched (and if it didn’t, I sure compared the two enough). Why? Because both are original puzzle game concepts with nigh infinite replayability. Now, a year after its initial release, that comparison rings truer than ever. Jim Squires

Flower Board

flowerboard Flower Board is tied with Tiny Wings as my longest-lived game: they’ve both been on my iPhone since 2011 and have never been deleted. Flower Board’s staying power lies in its simplicity and absolutely perfect implementation: it’s a match-6 sliding puzzler, where you have to move flowers around the board to their like-colored counterparts.  It’s not the only game of its kind, but it’s the only one to make movement and matching feel so responsive and rewarding.  It’s my go-to relaxation game, and it always fulfills this purpose.  Jillian Werner

Star Wars Pinball

starwarspinball

There have been a lot of Star Wars games to debut on touchscreen devices, but Star Wars Pinball is the only one I’ve kept around (besides Tiny Death Star, which is no longer with us; RIP Tiny Death Star). I just love this game. It handles great, there are a bunch of different tables (The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite), and the audio is perfect, combining just the right amount of pinball noise with the iconic sounds of the Star Wars franchise. Tom Christiansen