The best mobile games of the year 2021 are here to blow your mind. Mobile games have never had a great reputation, but over time we have seen more high quality titles available on Android and iOS platforms. It has gotten to the point where games that are directly available on modern consoles can also be played on mobile devices, which shows just how much the best smartphones became. But even then, it can still be difficult to find something good to play on the go.
So without further ado, here are a few mobile games we’ve played this year that we think are worth trying.
When I first heard that Genshin Impact would be free to play, my enthusiasm leveled off. I’m quite wary when a game is marketed as free, as that usually involves the inclusion of distracting microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics. My anticipation for the game fell even lower when I learned that miHoYo, the game’s developer, had released their previous titles to mobile devices.
However, Genshin Impact has reshaped what I thought a free-to-play experience could accomplish. I don’t love the game, but it’s hard to deny that it delivers dozens of hours of quality fun. And the icing on the cake is that at no point in my trip to the world of Teyvat did I feel ostracized by predatory microtransactions.
To say this is shocking would be an understatement. Genshin Impact is an in-depth single-player RPG with optional co-op that could have easily been sold for $ 60 (assuming microtransactions were removed) and no one would question it. The quality of the game speaks for itself, providing me with what felt like an AAA experience of my 25 hours with him.
Unfortunately, it became more difficult to progress as I continued to play. I decided to quit the game at this point, but I had already explored the entire game world by then. Of course, it would take a lot of work to move forward in the story, but I felt like I was living a whole bunch. Genshin Impact is plagued with overpriced microtransactions with a low return rate, but much of the game is accessible to people who refuse to pay money. If you need a mobile game where you can spend time without feeling the need to empty your wallet in order to progress, Genshin Impact will keep you entertained a bit.
Marvel Future Revolution
If you are a huge Marvel fan and need something to play on the go, you should download Marvel Future Revolution. With eight playable characters, this MMO offers a combination of cutscenes and battles in an open world. The game certainly plays out like a mobile title, but it’s something worth getting into if you’re into these franchises.
Players can jump between Starlord, Storm, Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel. Fans can also expect the inclusion of in-game events related to big changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, a new event dungeon has been added to celebrate the release of the movie Eternals.
Fantasian is a recently released Japanese role-playing game available exclusively on Apple Arcade for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and Apple TV. It is being developed by Mistwalker, a studio founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original creator of Final Fantasy. If you can’t wait to embark on a lovely JRPG experience on the go, this is a good choice.
Fantasian stands out because every environment is a handcrafted diorama that exists in real life. Players move through real-world props, giving the game a unique feel, although the characters and special effects are still digitally created. It also introduces a combat feature that allows players to send enemies to another dimension where they must wait their turn before the player returns to that space and fight all of those creatures at once. Final Fantasy games are often criticized for how random encounters interrupt the flow and pace of the game, and Fantasian attempts to streamline this process by allowing the player to put those battles on hold and have multiple battles at once to a later time.
And best of all, Nobuo Uematsu composes all 60 pieces of music in the game. If you don’t know, Uematsu is the legendary composer known for his contributions to the music of every game, from original Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XII.
Rocket League side kick
Rocket League Sideswipe is a surprisingly solid iteration of our favorite car football game. It’s not just a lazy port that’s nearly impossible to control, as Psyonix has optimized it to work with the strengths of mobile gaming. Players drive their cars through a two-dimensional space, and the goal locations are built into walls slightly above the ground.
All of the classic Rocket League controls are present, allowing players to boost and jump in combination with the hope of performing incredible aerial maneuvers. Due to being in two-dimensional space, it’s nowhere near as exciting or challenging as the original game, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re a Rocket League fan and you want to spend time on the go.
Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
On the theme of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is an unorthodox entry into the iconic franchise. It’s no surprise that Square Enix wants to jump into the Battle Royale genre, but I couldn’t have predicted the company would try it out with Final Fantasy, let alone the most iconic of those games. When I first saw the trailer, I was disgusted by what was happening to a world that has meant so much to me for many years. I couldn’t believe Final Fantasy VII was Square Enix’s choice for a third-person shooter battle royale.
However, The First Soldier is so obvious that it’s hard not to be amused by its existence. Square Enix’s intentions are clear with this mobile game, even taking many parts of the world design from Final Fantasy VII Remake and importing them into the game. Players start with a relatively straightforward character creation screen, and once when they are done, they go into a tutorial and are then able to compete against other players. Nothing in The First Soldier will turn the world of battle royales upside down, but if you’re looking to lead Chocobos into battle and use Materia to cast spells, it’s not the worst hobby.