10 Best Mobile Games of 2023

Here's our selection of the 10 best mobile games to come out this year.
Promo image for Sonic Dream Team, showing him running at a giant crab
Image via Sega Youtube

As exciting as this year has been for new gaming releases, it’s not just PCs and consoles that have benefited. We’re here to help you mobile players find the cream of the crop across all genres. Below, I’ll be breaking down our list of the 10 Best Mobile Games of 2023.

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10 Best Mobile Games of 2023 You Need to Check Out

10. Monster Hunter Now

Promo image for Monster Hunter Now, showing the player fighting a large monster.
Image via Monster Hunter Now Youtube

From Niantic, the developers of Pokemon Go, comes Monster Hunter Now. Similarly designed to be played on the go (it’s in the name, after all), you can encounter different creatures from the franchise as you walk around. Battles only take a few seconds to less than a couple of minutes depending on the enemy, standing in stark contrast to the lengthy combat of the mainline titles. But if you’re like me, you don’t exactly want to battle for 10 minutes on a street corner. If you need a new reason to spend time outside, Monster Hunter Now is worth it.

9. Mighty Doom

Promo image for Mighty Doom, showing the Slayer fighting demons.
Image via Bethesda Softworks Youtube

The iconic FPS takes on a new perspective in Mighty Doom. We once again take control of The Slayer, but this time in a cartoony (but still hyper violent) top-down shooter. The story fits the style and older fans will recognize it: the demons have stolen the Slayer’s pet rabbit.

The changed look doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds of demons to get rid of and a mix of different weapons to achieve that goal, though. Gameplay is surprisingly addictive (our EIC will tell you how many hours he’s poured into the game), and some of the levels are just as hard, if not harder, than those in the mainline games. If you’re not too close to the Doom series but enjoy the game Archero, you’ll find quite a few similarities here.

8. Reverse 1999

Promo image for Reverse: 1999, showing off combat.
Image via Reverse: 1999 Youtube

This wouldn’t be the only turn-based RPG to turn heads in 2023, but Reverse 1999 was a surprise for many. Cutely animated with a traditional 2D look, the game utilizes a level-based card system, where you can mix similar cards of the same level to make them stronger and more effective. With a bevy of unique characters to unlock and different enemies to take down, there’s a lot to enjoy here. It’s one of our more played mobile titles at GameSkinny, and we highly recommend trying it out (as do another million players that have downloaded it just on Google Play alone).

7. Disney Dreamlight Valley

Promo image for Disney Dreamlight Valley, showing a player character and Wall-E.
Image via Gameloft

Theme parks do a great job at bringing your favorite characters to life, but Disney Dreamlight Valley takes it a step further. This life sim sees you living in a magical valley alongside popular Disney characters who essentially act as villagers. I find interacting with them to be good fun wrapped in a hint of nostalgia, and the environments accurately reflect that Disney charm we all see in the movies.

In addition to the typical activities in the farming and simulation genres such as fishing or cooking, you can become friends with heroes and villains alike by spending time with them, completing quests, and providing gifts. Tackle the mysterious story or focus on your favorite characters — it’s all up to your own pace.

6. Hello Kitty Island Adventure

Promo image for Hello Kitty Island Adventure, showing a player character among multiple Sanrio characters.
Image via Sunblink Youtube

If you’ve ever wanted an Animal Crossing-like game with Sanrio characters, Hello Kitty Island Adventure is the game for you. There’s a good variety of characters to meet and befriend, with more being added in constant updates. You and a friend can also play on each other’s islands to tackle event challenges and story quests.

I do want to point out that this isn’t available for Android devices. It can’t be purchased by itself either if you have an iPhone, as it’s an Apple Arcade exclusive. If you want to check it out, you’ll need to subscribe to Apple Arcade. But aside from that little hiccup, this is well worth checking out if you have access to the service.

5. Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis

Promo image for Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis, showing Aerith fighting a Scorpion Sentinel.
Image via Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII has essentially become a franchise in its own right with multiple projects across different genres and mediums over the years, but now it’s all being compiled through Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis. Additional story elements, including a scenario based around a younger Sephiroth, are also available.

It’s presented with a chibi art style outside of combat (like the original) and with higher-definition models during battle. Gacha elements allow you to give your favorite characters new weapons and outfits to wear, but I’ve had no problem working with what I’ve earned for free. If you want a more thorough understanding of the world as the Remake trilogy continues, this is a fantastic way to experience it.

4. Warcraft Rumble

Promo image for Warcraft Rumble, showing off gameplay.
Image via Warcraft Rumble Youtube

The next addition to the Warcraft universe came this year with Warcraft Rumble. This strategy game sees you collect minis based on characters from the franchise to lead you into battle. A majority of it is based around a PvE campaign where you direct melee, ranged, and hero units through a loose story, but PvP elements are also available. It’s a light-hearted take that can entertain fans and provide a fun way for newcomers to check out the franchise.

3. Sonic Dream Team

Promo image for Sonic Dream Team, showing the blue hedgehog grinding on a rail.
Image via Sega Youtube

One of the most surprising and recently released games on this list is Sonic Dream Team. With a fantastic art style, colorful palette, and multiple fan-favorite characters to play, many fans already view it as the direction that 3D Sonic games should be taking — and it’s on mobile! It’s also controller-compatible if you don’t want to play with touch controls, which I recommend looking into.

Similar to other games on this list, Sonic Dream Team is only available through Apple Arcade. You’ll need a subscription to play with Sonic and his friends.

2. Unpacking

Promo image for Unpacking, showing a kitchen.
Image via Humble Bundle

Unpacking technically came out a little over two years ago, but the cozy puzzle game was only released on mobile in 2023, and it’s perfect for the platform. The premise revolves around opening moving boxes and placing items around different rooms, piecing together the life story of the protagonist throughout each level. As simple as it sounds, it nonetheless managed to earn a bevy of awards and is strikingly effective in its delivery. This is a short game that’s perfect for phones and likely one you won’t soon forget.

1. Honkai Star Rail

Promo image for Honkai Star Rail, showing the character Huohuo fighting against enemies.
Image via Honkai: Star Rail Youtube

HoYoverse has kept a strong grasp on the mobile gaming market with Genshin Impact, but 2023 saw the release of its next title — and one of my personal favorites of the year — Honkai Star Rail. Taking cues from their most popular title and using alternate versions of characters from Honkai Impact 3rd, this turn-based game is filled to the brim with content and easy to play.

Gacha elements are there to provide rarer characters, but everything can be completed with common characters. Auto-play and double-speed mechanics make it a lot more accessible as well. Cross-play and progression between mobile, PC, and PS5 ensure you can enjoy this whenever you want.

That’s my list of the 10 Best Mobile Games of 2023. Like our other lists, this is composed of titles that came out this year. There are plenty of older games to enjoy, but these are the highlights to debut in 2023. I’m sure 2024 will have just as many for us to review and list next year.

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Author
Samuel Moreno
Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.