Guns of Boom
If you want to play an online FPS on mobile, there’s one stand-out champion right now. Guns of Boom has the most streamlined controls, the tightest maps and the most satisfying gunplay – and it runs well on a whole range of Android hardware.
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Card battler, RPG, Strategy
Hearthstone is pretty much the undisputed CCG champ on any platform. But beyond that it’s just a superb multiplayer game, inviting you to engage in a constant stream of tactical turn-based battles against real life opponents.
Clash Royale effectively reset the rules for online mobile games, offering deeply strategic real-time competitive matches that could be blasted through in minutes. It’s a little bit MOBA, a little but CCG, but all brilliant.
The Battle of Polytopia
Polytopia brilliantly condenses the 4X strategy genre – explore, expand, exploit – for mobile. Which makes for a brilliantly tense, strategic online multiplayer experience.
Developer: Super Evil Megacorp
Genre: Action, Multiplayer, MOBA
The biggest mobile MOBA of them all, Vainglory is a much trickier beast to play than Call of Champions. However, that means that it has the crucial hardcore vote, which means you won’t be short of strong online competition to play against.
Genre: Multiplayer, Puzzle
We’re not quite sure how to categories Dreii, other than ‘a really good co-operative multiplayer puzzler’. You must drag a bunch of shapes into position using your little craft, but many instances require the assistance of passing strangers.
Developer: Sleeping Beast Games
Publisher: Sleeping Beast Games
And now for something completely different. Spaceteam requires four Bluetooth-linked Android devices to act as the (frequently malfunctioning) control panels of a doomed spaceship. You and up to three friends will need to cooperate and coordinate to avert disaster.
Death squared is a slick 3D puzzler that’s been designed for cooperative play. One of you takes control of a blue block and the other a red block as you flip switches, block lasers and more.
Clash of Clans
Genre: Strategy, Tower defence
You might think of Clash of Clans as a casual city builder, but above all it’s a great multiplayer game. Its well-calibrated matchmaking and battle system, and the ability to form allegiances, are all key to its enduring appeal.
The team that brought your Angry Birds has come up with something rather special in Battle Bay – a finely poised 3D competitive shooter set on the high seas.
Publisher: Tencent Games
Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Shooter
The game that kicked off the whole Battle Royale craze comes to mobile, and it’s surprisingly faithful to the source. Whether you’re flying solo or riding shotgun with a crew of four, this is a brilliant multiplayer shooter.
Antihero – Digital Board Game
Antihero is one of the slickest, most immediately entertaining digital boardgames on mobile. That it can also be played with others locally or online in casual or ranked PvP is a massive bonus.
Tencent’s take on Auto Chess makes the important addition of Turbo Mode, which makes the usually drawn-out tactical gameplay much better suited to mobile. Add in co-op, and you have a brilliant multiplayer offering.
Publisher: Colin Lane
Colin Lane’s 2D approximation of American football is all sorts of madcap fun, but it really comes alive in local multiplayer. That’s when those improbable Hail Mary passes really hit home.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Developer: Studio Wildcard
Publisher: Studio Wildcard
The beloved first-person survival game comes to mobile more or less intact. It’s big and extremely unforgiving, but few other mobile multiplayer games are as rewarding.
Call of Duty Mobile (2019)
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Few people expected a Call of Duty: Mobile to actually feel like proper Call of Duty. But that’s precisely how it turned out. This is a slick, polished, tactile multiplayer FPS that’s devilishly hard to put down.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Publisher: Epic Games
Genre: Action, Shooter
You all know about Fortnite by now. It’s the Battle Royale game that’s taken over the internet. What’s surprising is just how beautifully this multiplayer arena shooter-builder looks and plays on mobile.
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
There are plenty of .io games on the App Store, but few are as polished or as gleefully tactile as Axe.io. Guide your viking warrior around a compact arena, lobbing axes at all the other players whilst getting steadily stronger.
Publisher: Frogmind Games
Imagine if Clash Royale and Angry birds had a baby. A really cute baby. That, dear friends, is what Badland Brawl feels like, with its mixture of casual multiplayer strategy and physics action.
Genre: Arcade, Multiplayer, Party/mini-games
Now this is how you make a great same-handset multiplayer title. Mucho Party’s one-on-one mini-games utilise the touchscreen brilliantly, and will probably have you fighting your opponent here in the real world too.
Kings and Assassins
Publisher: Asmodee Digital
Genre: Card/board game, Multiplayer
Kings and Assassins is a boardgame that really comes to life in multiplayer, with a unique asymmetric structure and cat and mouse gameplay.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
Played solo, The Dresden Files is a fun little board game adaptation. Played with others it’s an absolute riot, as you each take control of a detective and work together to solve a case.
Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
Genre: Multiplayer, Shooter, MOBA
Vainglory meets Overwatch in this compelling online multiplayer action game. It looks like a classic MOBA, but Paladins Strike’s direct twin-stick shooter action makes for a more visceral thrill.
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart is one of the best multiplayer series ever. And while Mario Kart Tour isn’t the best version by a long shot, it’s remarkable how much makes its way through to your thumb.
Minecraft – Pocket Edition
Genre: Adventure, Brain training
You can play Minecraft in single player, of course. But the spirit of the game lies very much in freeform creative collaboration, as you join your fellow players in building something wonderful (and blocky).