RPGs are without doubt the best video games genre of all time. They offer an unparalleled amount of content – with the longest stretching well past the 100 hour mark – alongside lots of player customisation options, addictive progression systems, and stories and characters that would make even Tolkien proud.
So popular is the genre that many of its tropes have been absorbed into other genres. Try and think of a shooter without a perk system, or an action adventure without a skill system. Even free to play games have levelling systems to keep you addicted – the mechanics are everywhere.
While mobile is best suited to dip in, dip out play, there are times that you want a game with a bit of meat on its bones. Perhaps you have a lengthy commute or are jetting off on holiday and want something to keep you occupied.
Well, there are plenty of solid options from mobile exclusives all the way to full on console ports. Here are our favourites in no particular order.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is probably the best RPG on mobile, and it’s up there with the best on all time greats lists.
It’s pre-Dragon Age and Mass Effect Bioware in its prime, and let’s you become a freaking Jedi, force and all.
The Banner Saga 1 & 2
The Banner Saga is an indie strategy RPG franchise that takes place in a frozen Viking-inspired environment. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous, the story as brutal as Game of Thrones, and the gameplay challenging in all of the right ways.
Final Fantasy Series
Final Fantasy is the grand daddy of JRPGs and pretty much all of the classics are available on mobile. If you don’t know where to begin, we recommend either the best in VI, VII, or IX, or the mobile remake of XV.
Really, you can’t go very far wrong with Final Fantasy. Heck, there’s even a full on strategy RPG in Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.
- Final Fantasy – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy II – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy III – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy IV – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy V – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy VI – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy VII – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy IX – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy Tactics – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy Dimensions – App Store / Google Play
- Final Fantasy Dimensions II – App Store / Google Play
Dragon Quest Series
Dragon Quest is Final Fantasy’s sequel over in Japan, where it sells by the bucketload. It hasn’t quite set the rest of the world on fire though, but they’re still well worth checking out.
If you don’t know where to begin, V or VIII are solid entries.
- Dragon Quest – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest II – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest III – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest IV – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest V – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest VI – App Store / Google Play
- Dragon Quest VIII – App Store / Google Play
Evoland 1 & 2
The Evoland series is an intriguing one, as it blends a bunch of genres together to keep things interesting. At it’s core, it’s an RPG though, and it riffs off the genre throughout history, starting with 8-bit all the way up to the gorgeous visuals we’re used to today.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth
Valkyrie Profile is another classic Square Enix JRPG franchise well worth playing, and Lenneth is the place to start on mobile. It riffs on Norse mythology but keeps that distinct Japanese flavour we know and love.
Warhammer Quest 1 & 2
Warhammer Quest and its sequel are mobile exclusive RPGs that produce some of the best top-down dungeon crawling you’ll experience on the platform. You’ll build a party of hardened warriors and beat up terrifying foes on your way through the darkest dungeons.
Speaking of dark dungeons, Darkest Dungeon has the, errrr, darkest. This is a horror RPG that makes a bunch of innovations. You’ll send a team of RPG stalwarts into the dungeons of a castle to loot treasure.
The biggest threat isn’t the enemies lurking in the darkness though – it’s the darkness itself. The further your party travels underground, the more it will affect their mental health. If they start to lose it, it will affect them and your party negatively so keep an eye on the poor fools.
Get it on the App Store.
Cat Quest is another RPG built firmly with mobile in mind. It’s got some excellent touchscreen controls and marries the old school Final Fantasy overworld with Zelda-style gameplay to create something completely unique.
Galaxy / Knights of Pen & Paper
The Pen & Paper franchise turns D&D role playing into a mobile game. You play as a team of nerds playing a pen and paper RPG in which the events actually come to life.
You’ve got Knights for the fantasy fans and Galaxy for sci-fi nerds. Whichever you pick, you’ll have a blast with this laugh-a-minute RPG franchise.
- Knights of Pen & Paper +1 – App Store / Google Play
- Knights of Pen & Paper 2 – App Store / Google Play
- Galaxy of Pen & Paper – App Store / Google Play
Severed is just so suited to the touchscreen. It draws a ton of influence from Zelda: Skyward Sword’s combat system, with you targeting enemy weak spots with accurate swipes of your finger.
It also offers a lengthy adventure complete with a story about the protagonist trying to locate her family in a terrifying world.
Get it on the App Store.
Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, & Planescape: Torment
The Infinity Engine games offer a taste of early Bioware in its prime, when the likes of Baldur’s Gate II and Planescape: Torment were spoken of with the same admiration of the likes of Witcher III.
This is where western RPGs first found their footing. While the games are showing their age a bit, they’re still well worth checking out.
- Baldur’s Gate – App Store / Google Play
- Baldur’s Gate II – App Store / Google Play
- Siege of Dragonspear – App Store / Google Play
- Icewind Dale – App Store / Google Play
- Planescape: Torment – App Store / Google Play
- Neverwinter Nights – Google Play
Jade Empire is from around the same time as Knights of the Old Republic, and shows a Bioware experimenting with a more action-focused combat system than its previously turn-based offerings.
If you love eastern culture, you’ll have a blast with this one.
Get it on the App Store.
Titan Quest takes place in a world that blends human mythology together to create something entirely unique. If your tastes swing closer to Diablo than Skyrim, this is the one for you.
The World Ends With You
The World Ends With You is a DS JRPG that breathed some much-needed innovation into a genre that had started to stagnate. It helped that the DS was incredibly innovative itself, and the two screens and touch controls worked wonders for this game.
While mobile doesn’t have two screens, the touch controls are well suited for our platform.
The Bard’s Tale
The Bard’s Tale is an action RPG that borrows liberally from the likes of Diablo, though with a greater focus on story than loot. It’s absolutely hilarious too, with the awesome Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Liar Liar) lending his pipes to regularly crack us up.
The Legend of Grimrock
The Legend of Grimrock is an indie franchise that harkens back to the days of early Might and Magic or Eye of the Beholder to bring first person adventuring back into our lives. It does a fantastic job of it too, with some gorgeous visuals.
Get it on the App Store.
Eternium is, without doubt, the best Diablo-alternative on mobile. Not only does it have an absolute ton of content and loot, it also features an innovative touch control scheme that lets you cast skills and spells by drawing shapes on the screen.
Portal Knights is basically Minecraft with RPG characters to level up on the side. You can play as classes like a warrior or mage and set off on adventures, completing quests and looting stuff while also building a house. Or a rollercoaster.
Wayward Souls is a little bit Diablo and a little bit Dark Souls, and very suited to our platform. It challenges you to battle your way through increasingly difficult dungeons as you pursue a story linked to one of the few unique characters. Death is permanent, though you can spend any money you earn on upgrades to give you a fighting chance next time.
Dungeon Rushers is a Final Fantasy-style RPG that takes place solely in dungeons. You’ll collect a party of heroes, and make your way through a dungeon methodically, using their unique skills to counteract traps and other obstacles.
Chaos Rings 3
Chaos Rings is Square Enix’s effort to make a mobile exclusive JRPG franchise and we absolutely loved it, even though most of the games don’t even exist on mobile anymore
Chaos Rings 3 was the finest entry in the franchise though, so it’s a good thing it’s the only one you can still play.
Chrono Trigger is often named as the finest JRPG of all time, and for good reason. Not only does it have an awesome time-hopping plot but it also provided much-needed innovation to the tired turn-based fighting system that was all the rage back then.
Old School RuneScape
Old School RuneScape is without a doubt the finest MMORPG that currently graces the mobile platforms, and that’s an incredible feat when you consider that the game is 18 years old.
So popular is this MMORPG that it currently has a player population that’s double that of the current version of RuneScape, RuneScape 3. The recent mobile launch will only boost these numbers further.
Last, but not least, we have Ravensword: Shadowlands, the closest thing you’ll get to Skyrim on mobile. It’s got a wide open world to discover, a first person viewpoint, and loads of weapons and equipment to gather.