The best games for your smartphone

Sorry, but mobile gaming is the biggest player in the video game market. In 2018, it made almost half of the industry’s global revenue. Smartphone games once existed separately from console and PC titles, but in the wake of titles like Fortnite, it’s all got a little blurry. You’ll find several games in our selection that are also available on your home consoles and PCs, but most of them sing on your smartphone, and the fact that you can play them absolutely anywhere makes up for any other pitfalls. Whether it’s Android or iOS, here’s some crucial games to start with.

Alto’s Odyssey

If you liked Alto’s Adventure, you’ll love Alto’s Odyssey. The sequel to Snowman’s endless runner — sorry, endless snowboarder — is a stylish and highly-addictive sandboarding game with multiple biomes to discover. Just like the original, your goal is to ride for as long as possible while avoiding rocks, completing tasks and racking up high scores with a mixture of backflips and death-defying grinds. Odyssey introduces a new move, wall rides, that serve as both a gnarly trick and traversal mechanic for reaching higher lines. It’s a welcome addition to an already stellar iOS and Android game.

The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga, on both iPhone and Android devices, is as good as it is on PC. This tactical RPG involves humans, giants, centaurs and the sinister dreg, with each tribe capable of different attacks, skills and tactical flourishes. Like the bleak storyline, it’s a tough tactical RPG that rewards careful thought. Augmented with a mature, illustrated visual style, stirring music and voiced characters, expect to make some hard decisions as you take your caravan and band of warriors across the nord…ish world and try to survive the apocalypse. This is a game where it’s all about the journey, not the destination.

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite is a cultural phenomenon, responsible for popularizing a new shooting-game genre and doing it in a way that has millions playing across mobile, PC and games consoles, like the Switch — you’ll see this particular game appear in several of our lists. It all started with a simple idea: survive. (Actually it started with a tower-defense-esque game where you built a fort to protect human survivors against zombies, but hey, it evolved.) Fortnite has a low barrier to entry (it’s free!), and the sheer momentum behind the fact that everyone is playing it makes resistance futile. Parachute into the field, grab supplies, guns and ammo, build some defensive protections if you like and make it to the end. Sounds simple, but the best game ideas are. PUBG, Apex and the rest have a tough fight on their hands.

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