Working on a mobile game can be an exciting prospect for small developers, since they can hope to achieve immense success and make a fortune with their creation, like those who made these 10 most successful mobile games of all-time did. While the reality is that the competition is stiff, if you’re a developer hoping to make it big, the hope is still there, since you never know what people will like next, and it doesn’t have to be something with a ton of technical wizardry. Creating a mostly-perfect game takes a lot of attention to detail, ingenuity and skill however.
Building a user base takes time, unless you’re a big company that can already push the new game along with another title that’s already successful. A bit of advertising can go a long way, but word of mouth is still the best way to get a game app to be successful. After all, Rovio was an unknown name before Angry Birds made it big. Other names have built themselves in a similar fashion, including Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which was mostly famous for making Facebook games like Farmville before transitioning largely to mobile. Now with hit mobile games like Words With Friends and CSR2, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has 15 million daily active users on mobile devices and enjoyed second quarter bookings of $174.7 million, at the upper-end of its guidance range. It’s no wonder the hedge funds that we track had Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) pegged as one of the cheap tech stocks poised to gain; shares of the company are up by over 15% since June 30.
Follow Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)
Follow Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)
Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) is a huge name by itself, but didn’t exactly hit it big in the mobile games world until Pokemon hit smartphones (not that they were really trying), while the likes of Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) were successful with hardcore gamers first before expanding their reach to mobile as well. We’re dig deeper into those companies’ mobile efforts later in the article.
In order to create today’s list we took a look at the list of the top grossing games for Android and the top grossing games list for iPhone and handed out points in accordance with the spot they occupied. Then, we also awarded the games extra points depending on if they made it onto the top-10 lists of both operating systems or not. Without further ado, here are the 10 most successful mobile games of all-time. Afterwards, be sure to check out the 10 best selling video games of all-time.
10. Clash of Kings
Total Score: 3
Android Rank: 9
iOS Rank: 17
First on our list of most successful mobile games of all-time is Clash of Kings, a game made by Elex Wireless. With millions of players worldwide, this strategy game offers users quite a bit of excitement. The goal is to create a great empire, and to engage in “epic clashes” and “monumental throne battles”. Perhaps the coolest part of Clash of Kings (which also happens to be the name of one of the books in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which was likely NOT a coincidence) is fighting with dragons, although there are many other high points.
The game allows you to fight with other players online and with a user base that includes millions of players, you’re surely going to have a lot of potential foes to tangle with, which is a good thing, since it means you have plenty of endless enjoyment ahead.
9. Toy Blast
Total Score: 4
Android Rank: 17
iOS Rank: 8
Created by Peak Games, Toy Blast, the number 9 in our list of most successful mobile games of all-time, is a really cool game. Although it only reaches 17th place on the Android list, it managed to take achieve 8th spot on the Apple list. This is a puzzle game that gives you a bit more than the regular alternative. You have to match two or more blocks of the same color, collect toys and so on, all with limited moves available. This is a rather colorful game that will surely keep you playing more and more.
There are lots of cute toys and dozens of levels available. Boosters can be won or bought, as per usual with this type of app, and after finishing many levels, you get cool rewards. Challenge your friends to a round of fun block-busting mayhem.
8. Slotomania Casino
Total Score: 6
Android Rank: 8
iOS Rank: 10
Even if you don’t gamble your hard-earned money, playing like a high roller in Slotomania Casino that ranks 8th in our list of most successful mobile games of all-time may be just the way to have some fun. With over 14 million users, Slotomania comes with hundreds of free slot games, casino bonuses and more. It has great graphics and the gameplay is realistic enough to keep players loyal.
Depending on the type of gameplay you’re looking for, you can pick from one of the types of slots available. The more you play, the more scenes are unlocked and the more you can play and have fun. Spending real money can be done as well, by buying coins and boosters which can be used in game.
7. Candy Crush Soda Saga
Total Score: 10
Android Rank: 7
iOS Rank: 7
This is the sequel to one of the most-played games in history. Candy Crush Soda Saga ranks 7th in our list of most successful mobile games of all-time and it comes from King, one of the developers that has pushed the boundaries of mobile games and was eventually bought by Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) for $5.9 billion. Piper Jaffray gaming analyst Michael Olson likes the King acquisition for Activision Blizzard, expecting advertising in King games to be one of the company’s leading drivers of incremental revenue growth in the years to come. He expects that figure to hit $1 billion by 2020. Olson has a $51 price target and ‘Overweight’ rating on Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)’s shares.
Similar to King’s other big game, you go from level to level creating combos by switching bottles and candies in Candy Crush Soda Saga. You have to match three for regular explosions, and four or more for special candies. There are fun game modes available and over 140 levels to play. Your game is synced with your account so you can switch between devices quite easily.
6. Candy Crush Saga
Total Score: 12
Android Rank: 6
iOS Rank: 6
And here is the prequel to the aforementioned game, Candy Crush Saga, a game that has managed to keep the top position among the most-played games for a long time. It is easily a game that’s on the list of the most successful mobile games of all-time. There are hundreds upon hundreds of levels to play, cool events that you can enjoy to get ahead of the game and so on. There’s a parallel way to play the game when you’re out of lives on your main journey and that’s pretty cute too, especially thanks to Odus the Owl (don’t let him tip over!).
This is a really nice game that can be quite relaxing at times and annoying at others, as is to be expected. In the end, however, we’re pretty sure you can manage to pass the various challenges thrown your way. The most annoying part is, hands down, having to wait three days to get over the bridges or to beg your friends for passes for a speedier crossing.
5. Pokemon Go
Total Score: 15
Android Rank: 4
iOS Rank: 5
The current mobile game phenomenon is at number 4 on this list of most successful mobile games of all-time. Created by Niantic Inc., Pokemon Go started out as a complete viral phenomenon, only to chill a bit in the following months, as players grew somewhat tired of the gameplay and lack of depth. Based on Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY)’s handheld RPG series Pokemon, the game allows you to catch the cute Pikachu, or perhaps a Charizard, but mostly Zubats and Drowzees, as well as those darn rats. The innovative part of this game is the fact that you have to walk around in the real world trying to catch the Pokemon, and you can even use the augmented reality view where they’ll appear to be in the same room with you, or on the bench across from you, which is really cool.
Pokemon can be evolved and leveled up in order to create a powerful creature. You can then team up with other players from your class and go visit Gyms, which you can beat by battling others. As mentioned earlier, the excitement over the game has lowered some, but Niantic promises some cool updates in the future, so there may still be hope for this game to become white-hot again (and expect plenty of other AR games to be coming soon to try and ride the coattails of its success).
Pokemon Go was so popular at first that Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY)’s market cap more than doubled within mere days of the game’s release. However, like the game itself, Nintendo’s stock cooled off somewhat in the following weeks, as its profit participation in the game was revealed to be less than originally expected. Nonetheless, the game is a huge hit for the company, and perhaps more importantly, was a big eye-opener for it as well. Nintendo now has a taste of the profit potential on mobile devices, and while it was already planning more mobile games, it may now make an even greater push into the space. Nintendo’s shares are up by 76% in 2016. And now, let’s see the top four most successful mobile games of all-time.
4. Clash Royale
Total Score: 16
Android Rank: 5
iOS Rank: 3
This strategy game from Supercell comes with beautiful graphics, although they’re a bit cartoonish for many players of this type of game. Unlike the company’s other big hit, this is a real-time multiplayer game that allows you to collect and upgrade cards featuring troops, spells and defenses, from the Clash of Clans game. You’ll duel players in real-time, take their trophies when you win, unlock rewards, and more. It’s a rather nice game to play and you can at least try it out if nothing else, since it’s free to play. In-app purchases are, of course, available.
3. Clash of Clans
Total Score: 19
Android Rank: 1
iOS Rank: 4
From the same Supercell developer, Clash of Clans ranks third in our list of most successful mobile games of all-time. It is another strategy game, but with a different approach. Instead of collecting cards, you’re building a village to defend from the raiders that want to destroy your abode. Raise an army of barbarians, archers, hog riders, dragons, wizards and more, and build up your village and turn it into a impregnable fortress. This is a rather great game and the millions of players of it are evidence of that.
2. Mobile Strike
Total Score: 20
Android Rank: 3
iOS Rank: 1
However cool this game may be to play, it’s even better because it has Arnold Schwarzenegger in its ad. I mean, he may not be exactly in his prime anymore, but he’s still a go-to actor when it comes to action-packed movies. Mobile Strike comes from the developers over at Epic War and offers players the chance to become action heroes. You start by building a base, training your troops and then battling your enemies. There are plenty of customization options available, giving everyone the chance to do something different with their base.
1. Game of War – Fire Age
Total Score: 20
Android Rank: 2
iOS Rank: 2
And at the top of the list we have Game of War – Fire Age. This strategy game from Machine Zone has players building an empire, and has also succeeded thanks to great ads featuring Kate Upton. You start off by choosing what role you’re going to play, whether you’re going to be a soldier, a leader or a builder, each of which has their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll then train and level-up your heroes while crafting legendary weapons to beat your competition. Considering how many times this type of game has come up in our chart, it’s pretty easy to tell that it’s quite a popular category.
Which of the 10 most successful mobile games of all-time is your favorite? Or is your favorite missing from this list? Let us know in the comments below.