Lets face it, there are more addictive games to play on mobile than there are on any other gaming platform. Whether it's riding on the bus or even sitting on the toilet at work, it's simple to grab your phone, start one of them up, and enjoy the dopamine rush that follows.
The most addictive games are usually free-to-play, as we all know. After all, nobody would ever pay to get to the top of the paywalls, and yet, achieving success in a free-to-play game can be quite rewarding.
In this article, we discuss a total of 28 games, each of which receives an official Pocket Tactics recommendation. Weve included word games, farm games, strategy games, and many others, so we're certain that there'll be at least one game on this list that interests you for a while.
The most addictive mobile games are:
- Raid: Shadow Legends
- Epic Seven
- Mafia City
- Solitaire Grand Harvest
- Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles
- Sunrise Village
- Forge of Empires
- Rise of Cultures
- Magic Jigsaw Puzzles
- Magic: The Gathering Arena
- Hero Wars
- Puzzles and Survival
- Crossword Jam
- June's Journey
- Mario Kart Tour
- Tracky Train
- Fire Emblem Heroes
- Pokemon GO
- Among Us
- Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
- Plants Vs. Zombies
- Sonic Dash
- Pokemon Shuffle Mobile
- Crossy Road
- Clash of Clans
- Subway Surfers
Raid: Shadow Legends
Raid: Shadow Legends is probably one of the first games that many gamers think of when they hear the term free to play. Part of the reason for this is that it provides an experience that can be both genuine and addictive.
For those who don't know, the general idea behind it is that you create a group of champions so that you may complete turn-based RPG battles. It's one of those games where you're mainly content to relax and enjoy the game while you're playing. However, watching your team progress through the grinding, unlocking more and more powerful champions can be quite satisfying.
Play Raid: Shadow Legends for free.
If you like the anime aesthetic, this is a game you'll want to try out. In this free-to-play game, the designers intended players to feel like they're part of an ongoing anime plot.
This is one of those gacha games where there's a huge assortment of characters to unlock, who all have their own distinct personalities, and then you take them through turn-based RPG battles to grind and progress the story. It's a game that many other games have used, but one that can certainly become quite addictive.
Epic Seven is available for free on Android.
Epic Seven is available for free on iOS.
Mafia City is a game that many people will have already heard of. It involves you building structures throughout the city, while also sending out bikers and other loyal gang members to defend your territories from adversaries.
It's a lovely mixture of crime and strategy, which is a truly unique mixture. If you like games with a social component, you'll be interested to hear that you can take turns battling other players. It might be a good opportunity for you to each assist one another in navigating the crime world.
Mafia City is available for free on iPhone.
Play Mafia City on Android for free.
Solitaire Grand Harvest
Solitaire is a classic game that people have been raving about for hundreds of years, and there are countless versions of this classic game available on mobile devices. It's certainly one of the best, because it combines this timeless format with another staple of mobile gaming: farming.
A card game might seem like a fantastic farming game, but they actually work out wonderfully. By defeating Solitaire puzzles, you're given the chance to grow crops and expand your farm, giving you more motivation to keep going through the various challenges that the game throws your way.
Play Solitaire Grand Harvest for free.
Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles
Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles is a great option for those who prefer more cerebral games. Each day, youll receive a new crossword puzzle to complete.
If you watch commercials, you can earn coins that can be used to unlock new puzzles or even to purchase clues. After spending years trying to figure out a particularly tricky clue, youll wonder how you ever recovered from your daily crossword puzzle.
Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles are available for free. Play for free
When you do it in a mobile game, it becomes a truly enjoyable experience. In Sunrise Village, you play as somebody who just started up their own farm in the titular village, and it's a classic example of the age-old farm game formula.
The idea of assembling crops and produce in order to fulfill orders is simple, but it becomes addictive as your farm grows.
Sunrise Village is available for free on iOS.
Play Sunrise Village on Android for free.
Next up, we have a fantasy strategy game. Elvenar is a strategy game where you decide whether you want to play as humans or elves, and you then have to develop their civilisation. When this happens, the gameplay changes and instead sees you leading strategic battles against your opponent.
It's a great game because, on the one hand, it's one of the finest city-building games, but on the other hand, it's an immersive fantasy experience where you have to think strategically. There's a lot of depth to it, and it's very easy to lose yourself in it.
Play Elvenar for free.
Forge of Empires
Did you ever think to yourself, Elvenar sounds great, but would it be even better if it was more grounded in reality? That's exactly what Forge of Empires does. You start off with the most basic of settlements, then you go through the entire human history of the game.
As you progress through history, technological advances occur, allowing you to construct new structures within your towns and cities. It is likely that following the course of real history will also appeal to history enthusiasts, since it goes till the present day, before continuing into the projected era of future history.
Forge of Empires is a free game. Play for free.
Rise of Cultures
There's a much more human-centric focus in Rise of Cultures, because youre still looking down on your civilization from above. In Rise of Cultures, it's important to ensure that your people are happy.
You need to include structures that will provide cultural fulfillment to the people in your city. These need to be distributed around, so that they are readily accessible to everyone who works and lives in all the different sections of your city. You need to be aware of their energy levels, since theyll be stretched out if you overwork them. It gives an unusual perspective on empire-building games.
Rise of Cultures is available for free on iOS.
Rise of Cultures is available for free on Android.
Magic Jigsaw Puzzles
Magic Jigsaw Puzzles fuses the traditional game with the modern day, bringing you a varied assortment of puzzles from silly animals to popular Disney, Marvel, and Nickelodeon characters.
Its a game that is equally as enjoyable as it is addictive, and it's something you'll want to spend a lot of time on. Unlike real puzzles, you don't have to worry about losing pieces or finding the time to put it together. You can even customize your own pictures and artworks to make it a fun, personal experience.
Play Magic Jigsaw Puzzles for Free.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering has established itself as one of the most popular trading car games of all time, and you know what? It works fantastic as a free-to-play mobile game as well. It also provides tutorials that help you get to grips with the rules of the game.
Once you've become a professional, MTG's multiverse is your oyster. You can play with other people online, you can practice against CPU players, and you can unlock booster packs so that you may build up your collection and build the ultimate deck.
Play Magic: The Gathering Arena for free.
Were you aware of the trailers that depict a hero in a dangerous situation, with sliding doors that block gold, monsters, water, or whatever. The player then opens them in the wrong order and the hero dies, leaving you thinking You're a fool! I could have done it correctly and you download the game to prove it.
Except, when you download Hero Wars, you get a completely different game (though the puzzles do occasionally show up as bonus levels). Fortunately, the actual game, which involves you assembling a team of heroes and having them battle through numerous foes in different levels, is still fun. Just five more minutes you say again and again as you try and win the next level.
Play Hero Wars for free.
Puzzles & Survival
Have you ever wanted to combine the zombie survival and tile-matching genres? Puzzles & Survival is a game that essentially involves you and a team of survivors going out into the ruins of a city, battling zombies while you do so, with matching tiles helping you to defeat them.
If you have ever played Puzzles & Dragons, you know what to expect. However, if you prefer the zombie look over the anime fantasy one, and you want to recreate the winning formula with a fresh coat of paint, we strongly recommend you take it for a spin.
This is the second crossword puzzle weve included in this list, but it's a different experience from Daily Themed Crossword Puzzles. Not everybody has the time to complete a whole crossword puzzle, so Crossword Jam has bite-sized crossword puzzles that youll be able to complete in as little as two minutes.
All of the words in a given puzzle will be made up of three or four different letters, then you just need to connect them in different ways to create the words the puzzle requires. Nicely, you still get rewarded for using those letters to make words that arent in the puzzle.
Do you like a good Agatha Christie-style murder mystery? Junes Journey allows you to play June Parker, a woman who is investigating the death of her sister and her brother-in-law. There are various scenes in which you have to look for certain items in order to get an idea of what happened. A timer is also provided in case you find things quickly.
When you're not looking for clues, you're looking after June's stately residence, and buying items and expansions to make it as beautiful as possible. It's a multi-faceted experience that deserves its place in your mobile gaming library.
Wordle is a puzzle game that many of us have already heard of, since it has taken over the internet by storm. Its a simple premise, but one that has a large fanbase who is eager to try and make new challenges every day.
For those who are new to Wordle, you'll receive six guesses to guess a five-letter word each day. Each new guess should be a little easier because it tells you when you get that letter correctly, and whether or not it's at the correct place. It's no wonder that people love to rave about their results. (Although, please note, it can be a bit challenging for colourblind players.)
Mario Kart Tour
The fact that Mario Kart can be played on your mobile phone makes it seem like a must have. Though the game is somewhat different from its console counterparts (focusing on you getting points rather than just winning the race), it remains a highly enjoyable and addictive game that should appeal to many gamers, regardless of their previous experience with the Super Mario series.
Mario Kart Tour restores many familiar race tracks from the Mario Kart series, as well as new ones based on actual cities around the world. Coins and rubies are used to unlock new characters and vehicles through a gacha mechanic. Theres even Funky and Dixie Kong in the game, and no game without them might be disastrous.
Tracky Train is a lesser-known indie game that involves you laying down the tracks for a train that is speedily chugging along behind you. If you pass by a group of passengers, the train will stop to pick them up, giving you a bit of a lead. Otherwise, the train will fill up and won't be able to pick up anyone else.
It's a simple premise, but playing over and over again to beat your high scores and unlock bigger, better trains is quite addictive. You'll also want to encounter all of the different passengers that the game has to offer, all of whom are related to famous individuals.
Fire Emblem Heroes
This game takes the Fire Emblem series' turn-based strategy gameplay and condenses it to give you scenarios set on single-screen maps. At the same time, it acts as a celebration of Fire Emblem as a whole, with characters from every single game in its history unlockable through its gacha mechanics.
Every time you develop a team of characters that appeals to you, your experience with Fire Emblem Heroes will be completely different. Maybe youll work with a team of characters from Fire Emblem Awakening, or maybe you prefer the case of Three Houses? Perhaps youre even a Genealogy of the Holy War type person, either way, taking all of these characters from the endless battles the game providers may become wildly addictive.
Pokemon Go is the game that encouraged people to go out and walk in ways that fitness apps could only dream of. It's quite unlike going out into the world as a Pokemon Trainer, and just discovering new locations around where you live, in the hopes of finding new Pokemon or getting some extra steps to hatch your egg.
If you like Pokemon's competitive side, you can play and earn points in a gym. Niantic has just continued to add new content since. Indeed, new Pokemon and features are only going to improve and improve the experience.
Among Us is a game that put social deduction on the map. In the few years since its initial release, the game's astronauts are so well-known, that they're almost comparable to Mario, Pikachu, Sonic, or Minecrafts Steve.
If you have never played Among Us before, you will be able to play alongside a group of astronauts in figuring out which one of you is a murderer; meanwhile, if you are a murderer, it's your job to keep killing your colleagues without being detected, and if they vote for you, you're ejected into space. It's fun with strangers, but especially if you have a group of friends to play with.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Animal Crossing is another Nintendo series that has received the mobile game treatment. While other Animal Crossing games have seen you cultivating your own town or island, this one is about constructing the ultimate camp. You do this by crafting different furniture and items to keep you there, while also strengthening connections with the locals.
Each day, you catch bugs, mine ore, harvest fruits, gather shells, and run errands for the animals that appear on the map. You then empower the animals to give you valuable resources, while also establishing your friendship with them.
Plants vs. Zombies
No! The zombie apocalypse is on the way. Thank goodness you are an experienced gardener who has a network of plants designed to protect you. As zombies walk towards you on your grid-based garden map, you plant plants in different spots so that they can protect you.
Plant Sunflowers that provide sun so that you may grow more plants, Peashooters who spit peas at the zombies, making them slowly fall apart, Wall-nuts that act as walls for the zombies, and countless other quirky plants that help to protect you from a slew of weird and bizarre zombies.
Sonic Dash is a game franchise that is especially suited to the infinite runner genre. You play as Sonic or one of his many friends as they explore endless levels, dodge bottomless pits and spikes, and even fight bosses occasionally. Its simple, yet as you work to unlock all of the characters, youll soon find yourself playing it every single day.
The first, regular old Sonic Dash, is the original and contains all of the main Sonic characters (Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, Tails, Big, etc.) with special events that have included Sonic characters from Angry Birds, the Sonic film, and the Sonic IDW comic. The third, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, contains a large assortment of Sonic characters and locations from different sources.
Next up, we have another iconic game: Fortnite! Fortnite is one of the greatest games among the current generation of gamers, and sure enough, you can download and play Fortnite on your mobile devices.
It's easy to see why this game has become so popular. Already, the idea of a hundred gamers battling it out in an ever-increasing arena where they can establish self-defense structures is quite appealing, but when you add to that the fact that this is one of the greatest crossovers ever created, and that you could see anyone from Darth Vader to Batman to Stranger Things Demogorgon, you can see how it developed such a following.
Tetris is easily recognisable as Fortnite, although it is older. Millions of people have been drawn to this simple block stacking game since it was first released in 1984. Different shapes appear at the top of the screen, and you have to place them carefully at the bottom so that they make straight lines and then disappear.
Tetris has been released in countless versions over the years, including a free version for mobile devices. If you want one of the most popular and addictive mobile puzzle games ever, then you should definitely download it today.
If you like Tetris, you might want to take a look at our selection of the best Tetris games for Switch and mobile.
Pokemon Shuffle Mobile
Have you ever played Candy Crush before? (Now, there's a game that just barely avoided being included on this list.) Pokemon Shuffle Mobile is essentially the answer to the question what if Candy Crush were a Pokemon game? you have to slide around Pokemon faces so that you can match them up and attack wild Pokemon, and at the end, you're given a chance to catch them, allowing them to be added to your rotation.
When you try to catch Pokemon, you'll likely find yourself replaying them over and over again. For what it's worth, this game has more Pokemon than you'll ever catch (without trading from others) for a simple puzzle game.
Crossy Road is a free and fun addictive game that was released in November 2014, and it has received over 150 million downloads. You need to be able to remain alive for a long time without being struck by a vehicle, train, or an eagle to earn coins.
The character you are interacting with moves forward, and you can drag it forward to change direction, but you have to be patient, as you are being chased by an eagle that will catch up and devour you if you stand still too long.
Noah Turner provides commentary on Crossy Road.
Clash of Clans
Clash of clans is a free-to-play game where you construct the largest village and cultivate a formidable army. You then acquire gold from mines and you store it in an elixir store.
When you upgrade your town hall in Clash of Clans you get access to a lot of new things, including new mines and stores. You must meet certain requirements such as barracks level 7 and a certain amount of walls placed. The barracks in Clash of Clans allows you to build an army costing different amounts of elixir depending on what types of troops you get.
Youll find yourself wanting to keep returning to it so that you may upgrade your village even more all the time. The game keeps getting new content too, so it always stays fresh.
Riley Ashdown-Doel's Clash of Clans info
Subway Surfers is a never-ending game that requires you to dodge trains and obstacles while collecting coins and power-ups. Since its release in mid-2012, it has been downloaded roughly 3 billion times, making it one of the most popular high score games on mobile ever. New challenges, boards to buy, characters to unlock, and policemen to pursue you
The fast-paced game speeds up with the higher score you have, making it enjoyable but difficult to execute long periods of time, such as smooth drift, which allows you to remain in the air longer, or super jump, which allows you to jump higher onto trains.
George Thompson's Subway Surfers provides content.
We hope you enjoyed looking through these engaging game recommendations. Want more? Have a look at our articles on the finest mobile games, the best iPhone games, and the best Android games, to find even more games to try out.