Mobile gaming crept up on everyone; for a longe time, it seemed happy to sit in the shadow of PC gaming. Happy to filter the dregs ported down from console, happy to be viewed as a novelty, to keep you entertained between playing games on your console at home. In 2019 Smartphones have become a legit games platform, boasting millions of players and record-smashing in-game sales.
With smartphones such as the Samsung galaxy s20 plus packing serious firepower, its easy to see how mobile gaming has become the juggernaut it is today. With most handsets featuring dedicated GPUs, even an entry-level phone is capable of displaying amazing graphics and engaging gameplay.
With literally millions of titles available, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. If you are an Android fan, you are spoilt for choice, whether it’s triple a titles or quirky indie gems, here are the best games for you to play on your android smartphone in 2019.
Yeah, I know, this game wasn’t released in 2019, but does it matter? The mobile version of the popular PC shooter has taken mobile gaming by storm. From a rocky beginning and questions over how this technical shooter would transfer to a small screened smartphone, PUBG was destined to fail. Except it didn’t.
With unbelievable graphics and buttery smooth gameplay, this is the closest you will get to the nail-biting battleground experience without hopping on your computer. PUBG has claimed over 200 million players, with as many as 30 million playing at any one time. Mobile gaming has truly arrived!
Ah Call Of Duty, what more can be said about this uber-popular franchise? Well, a whole lot actually! COD is the newest and possibly most recognizable franchise to hit our smartphone screens, and it’s a doozy.
Slick controls and eye-popping graphics are only half the story. CODs developer tiMi studios claim that the gameplay has been honed and tweaked through millions of hours of gameplay testing and player feedback. Clearly, all eyes are fixed on the mobile gaming sector in 2020.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Fresh from the makers of the immensely popular asphalt 8, the creatively titled ‘Asphalt 9: legends’ continues the tradition of mind-blowing graphics and intoxicating sensations of speed. For those seeking a deep racing experience, this is not your game. For those who want brag-worthy graphics to impress their friends, Asphalt 9 is hard to beat.
For the best results, you will need a beefy smartphone. This game features state of the art particle and lighting effects and, as such, makes more of a statement on a high-end phone. Samsung’s latest s10 would make Asphalt 9: Legends look even more impressive.
What a lovely little game this is. Those who have played any of the harvest moon or animal crossing games will feel right at home in this charming farm simulator. Massive and open-ended, it’s possible to lose days to this game as you manage your farm and upgrade its facilities.
It’s unfortunate that many farming games on mobile are more of a pay to win type affair. Sure, you pay nothing to install and play the game, but to really get the best experience you are expected to pay real-world money for upgrades and level progression, not so with Stardew Valley.
While the game retails on the android store for $7.99, it’s a full-featured game that can be enjoyed for decades without a single microtransaction. Mobile game developers take note.
Speaking of microtransactions. Finnish company Supercell is no stranger to making colossal smash hits for mobile with plenty of microtransactions and helped bring the term “freemium” to the mainstream. Clash of Clans anyone?
Happily, Supercells latest creation is more a game than a money-making machine, and it’s a lot of fun. Brawlstars is a top-down multiplayer shooter that you can enjoy with friends or strangers. While other mobile shooters like PUBG are vastly more complex, they feel like a cramped version of their PC counterparts, not so with Brawlstars. The game feels tight, balanced, and the controls were clearly designed for smartphones.
If you love paying $5 for an in-game upgrade, don’t worry, Brawlstars still has tons of microtransactions and plenty of opportunities to “pay to win.”
The use of software emulators is a bit of a legal grey area, but it’s worth mentioning as it is very popular amongst android users and something that iOS users can only dream of. I am, of course, talking about running an emulator on your phone. An emulator uses your phone’s hardware to simulate a games console, most commonly older ‘retro’ consoles like Atari or SNES.
The use and download of emulators are perfectly legal, but we run into trouble when we try to download a copyrighted version of a game. These games in digital format are known as ROMS. Download, distribution, and sale of these licensed ROMS is illegal, but if you find yourself in possession of these ROMS, there is very little anyone can do to stop you using them.
There are legal methods of obtaining ROMS, so before you race out and pirate a bunch of them, try legal avenues first. My personal favorite emulator is RetroArc, which started life as a SNES emulator but has grown into an all-purpose emulator.
Mobile gaming has taken off into the stratosphere. As smartphone power increased and the acceptance as a gaming platform grew, so did the catalog of games. The android store has thousands of games to enjoy, but sadly, a lot of them are trash.
The freemium business model has made some developers very wealthy, but it has soured the state of mobile gaming as other companies try to cash in on the trend. As a result of this grabbing for cash, the quality of games suffers, and we find our phones bloated with pay to win games of subpar quality.
If you are a gamer and need some games on the move, you could do a lot worse than try the games on this list. Just ensure you have good sound quality for maximum fun. I have tried to recommend games that are just that, games, games that can be enjoyed without an unrealistic investment in time or money. Hopefully, this guide has given you some inspiration to get out there and start gaming.