The 10 best mobile games of 2016, ranked

You played them, you voted for them: the top 10 mobile games of the year you just can’t put down.
By Jon Partridge

See the top 10 racing games of the year here

Gaming on the go is still one of the best ways to get your digital adrenaline fix on the commute, with handhelds and mobiles offering plenty of top-notch titles that can even rival full-on console games for scope. 2016 has been a brilliant year for gaming on all platforms and in all genres, but we asked you which games on the go are your favourites, the titles so addictive that you miss your bus stop – and thousands of you have voted. Hit play on the video below to see which mobile title has made your top pick, and read on for the countdown of’s Reader Mobile Game of the Year.

10. Dragon Quest VII (3.0 percent of the vote)

Dragon Quest VII
Dragon Quest VII © Square Enix

A 16-year-old game that’s been reborn for the Nintendo 3DS, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past is your tenth favourite mobile title of the year. With plenty of charm, top notch design and a lengthy storyline that’s on par with the rest of Square Enix’s Dragon Quest titles, this is a worthy addition to your collection that you’ll squeeze out every last minute. With Dragon Quest VIII on the way next year, we expect to see the series in this list again in 2017.

9. Final Fantasy IX (3.0 percent of the vote)

Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX © Square Enix

It looks like Square Enix’s PlayStation 1 classic still captures hearts today, as the charming JRPG clocks in as your ninth favourite mobile game of the year (how fitting). While 16 years old, the brilliant role-playing game made its debut on iOS and Android phones and tablets this year, and it’s still as enthralling as ever, with a brilliant cast of characters, spellbinding gameplay and one of the most quintessential adventures you can play in the series.

8. The Swords (3.7 percent of the vote)

The Swords
The Swords © Sunhead Games

Slick and stylish mobile game The Swords swiftly scored 3.7 percent of your vote, and well deserved too, as Sunhead Games’ action title is a cut above your typical iPhone title. With gorgeous graphics and an intriguing narrative, it’s well worth a download on your mobile, letting you swipe and flick bad guys away with a touch of the finger.

7. Monster Hunter Generations (4.1 percent of the vote)

Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates © Nintendo

Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has been a dominant force since it debuted over a decade ago, and since its switch to handhelds, its addictive nature has evolved tenfold – and the latest title, Monster Hunter Generations, is no different. The Nintendo 3DS title is deep enough for series veterans, yet it’s still accessible for newcomers alike, even with a learning curve that ramps steadily and steadily more into a vertical wall. Here’s to another year of Monster Hunter.

6. Fire Emblem Fates (4.6 percent of the vote)

Monster Hunter Generations
Monster Hunter Generations © Capcom

The Nintendo 3DS love-in continues as tactical strategy RPG Fire Emblem Fates is your sixth most voted for mobile title this year – and for plenty of good reasons. Bringing together top-notch narrative, engaging and immersive gameplay and a long campaign spread across three separate games, Fire Emblem Fates is well deserved for all of its praise. If you haven’t grabbed it, play it ASAP.

5. Pokémon GO (9.5 percent of the vote)

Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO © The Pokémon Company / Niantic Labs

2016 has been a year of ups and downs, but amongst the madness was one mobile game that stirred its own craze and captured hordes of players around the world. Pokémon GO, the incredibly addictive mobile title, marked the first time the Pocket Monsters have been available on a device other than Nintendo’s own, and it caused millions of gamers across the world to roam the streets, phone in hand, all to capture elusive critters in a bid to become the very best, like no one ever was. Developer Niantic has divided fans with its lack of communications since its original release, not to mention tracker-gate, and it looks like that’s been reflected in your voting – it’s smack bang in the middle of the top 10, but many of you clearly still love it. Bring on the next 651 to capture on your phone.

4. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (10.3 percent of the vote)

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II © Nihon Falcom

Nihon Falcom’s Legend of Heroes series has been enthralling gamers with RPG adventures since the late eighties, and this year’s Trails of Cold Steel II looks to have captured your handheld role-playing attention. The PS Vita title continues the story of the first game, giving you a deep and detailed adventure to play through that’ll keep you glued to your handheld for countless hours. The bad news: it’s over when you finish it. The good news: There’s a third entry on the way.

3. PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator (11.2 percent of the vote)

PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator
PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator © Outerminds

In third place, love him or hate him, esteemed YouTuber PewDiePie has come up with another mobile game – this one much more meta – in the form of Tuber Simulator. Much in the vein of other ‘simulator’ titles, PewDiePie’s take does exactly what it says on the tin, and lets you experience what it’s like to be a full-time, professional YouTuber. As weird as that sounds, it’s surprisingly intricate and there’s lots to do, and most importantly you guys voted for it, amassing 11.2 percent of the total vote.

2. Pumped BMX 3 (14.1 percent of the vote)

Pumped BMX 3
Pumped BMX 3 © Yeah Us!

In second place, with 14.1 percent of the vote, Pumped BMX 3 by Yeah Us! dialled its way to the top half of the table. It looks like the third instalment in the series caught your attention with its slick graphics, solid presentation, addictive gameplay and real life BMX athletes, as the one man indie studio goes from strength to strength. With plenty of real life tricks, attention to detail, and an assortment of challenging levels, it’s easy to see why Pumped 3 is right near the top of our mobile pile.

1. Clash Royale (20.3 percent of the vote)

Clash Royale
Clash Royale © Supercell

Supercell’s gargantuan mobile strategy game Clash Royale has topped our polls, and has been voted as your favourite mobile game of the year. It’s easy to see why: it’s incredibly simple to play, yet hard to master; it’s addictive and enthralling; and it’s simply a ton of fun. If you spent longer than you’d like to admit playing Gwent in The Witcher 3, or have tired of Hearthstone, you need to check it out. With a burgeoning multiplayer scene, Supercell’s title looks to get even bigger, and you can bet you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in 2017. Onwards and upwards. Congratulations, Supercell: Clash Royale is the official Readers’ Mobile Game of the Year 2016.

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