As we rapidly approach the end of the year, we thought it was time to round up our 25 favourite games of 2019. As you can imagine, narrowing down just 25 best games across iPhone and Android is no mean feat, so we laid down some ground rules: we didn’t pick any Apple Arcade games, as we’ll likely save that for a separate list, and we only picked games that we reviewed. To be eligible, they needed to at least receive a four from us.
After choosing this criteria, we rounded up all of the games that met it and narrowed them down to our 25 favourite. Those we have listed below, so go ahead and dig into them right now. You can click on their titles to read our full reviews and find links to download them on iOS and Android.
Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror is the latest RPG by Spiderweb Software, the masters of crafting brand new western RPGs in the classic style. This one challenges you, as a Prince or Princess of Haven, to conquer territory for your mother, the Queen. Or you can just take it for yourself – it’s up to you.
GWENT: The Witcher Card Game finally launched on mobile this year, bringing the entire card battling experience to the touchscreen. We think it’s the best way to play it.
Bad North should have launched on mobile originally. This miniature rogue-lite strategy game is reminiscent of Fire Emblem on a small scale, with you trying to protect a number of different procedurally-generated islands.
Call of Duty Mobile is an authentic version of the hit console and PC shooter by Tencent, who also made the excellent PUBG Mobile.
Mario Kart Tour may have garnered a bit of criticism at launch for its penchant for pay-to-win, but it’s a solid mobile version of the kart racer all the same.
Despite how terrible the movie was, we actually quite enjoyed the Pokémon GO-like mobile game tie-in. The monster-catching was fun, the turn-based gacha-like battles were solid, and the presentation was great.
Dead Cells came to mobile this year, so of course it’s on this list. The touch controls aren’t perfect but you can mitigate that by using a controller.
Dead Zed is a zombie-killing high score chaser that provides you with numerous levels to battle zombies in and even more weapons to unlock.
Yokai Dungeon is a mobile Yokai Watch tie-in with a Nitrome style. Explore a bunch of dungeons collecting treasures and the like.
Rogue Legacy is one of our favourite modern roguelites, and this year it arrived on mobile in its entirety. It’s as good as you remember.
Hyper Light Drifter is a Zelda-like action adventure that’s incredibly slick. It’s another mobile port of a classic but a totally welcome one.
Sky: Children of the Light was a huge surprise for us this year, and easily one of our favourite mobile games. It’s by the makers of Journey and Flower, and sees you explore an open world with a bunch of friends.
Teppen is an innovative card battler that features a bunch of your favourite Capcom franchise’s and heroes. We loved it because it finally did something new and interesting in the tired card battler genre.
Total Party Kill is like a miniature version of Trine. You have to navigate a series of fiendishly challenging levels using the unique powers of a wizard, archer, and warrior.
Chess Rush was a brilliant version of the hit Auto Chess genre that took mobile by storm this year. It featured a Turbo mode that vastly sped up the typically slow experience.
LEGO Tower is a remake of NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower but with LEGO characters. It didn’t really do a lot to separate itself from the original, but it’s a solid little strategy game nonetheless.
BTS World was our biggest mobile game-related surprise this year. We didn’t expect to love it quite so much as we did, but the stories and interactions with each character were so charming that we couldn’t help but fall in love.
Another Eden is an awesome mobile JRPG by the makers of Chrono Trigger. It sends you on a time-hopping adventure with a bunch of different characters.
Wild Bullets is a great endless shooter in which you shoot to move forwards and backwards, take cover, and battle a bunch of enemies in the wild west.
Pixel People returned to mobile this year, and it’s aged pretty well. Our former staff writer Sam loved it at review.
While it’s not entirely a new release, Rome: Total War Collection combines the excellent mobile ports of the full Rome saga in a single package.
Warriors of Waterdeep is a surprisingly decent RPG that features an almost puzzler-like battle system.
Archero is like an endless Binding of Isaac-like in which you play as a variety of ranged warriors as you battle a wide variety of bosses and monsters.
Godzilla Defense Force challenges you to collect the enormous monsters from throughout the franchise’s history and defend a city from invading beasts.
Durango: Wild Lands was shut down mere months after launching on mobile, which is a huge shame as it was a great MMORPG while it lasted.