2020 is not the best year we had, but it was definitely a momentous and jam-packed year for the gaming industry. Further, the best video games on mobile has been gaining popularity at a far greater rate than any technology that came before it. And each one of us had our share to contribute to this gaming boom.

best video games 2020
Courtesy: TechMyMoney

Video games became our port of refuge in this bizarre, unsettling and oftentimes downright frightening year. They kept delivering the ‘goods’ no matter how grim things got out there. So as the year is coming to an end, let us look back at the best mobile games which made our 2020 brighter and happier.

1. Legends of Runeterra

There are many mobile games on collectible card but Legends of Runeterra rises above them to stand out. Published by Riot Games, the video game was released on April 29, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, iOS and Android.

Set in the world of League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game by Riot Games, this strategy card game uses your skill, creativity and cleverness to determine your success. In this mobile game, players get to collect cards and heroes, then build decks from those cards or battle opponents online using the heroes.

The game gives a wonderful gaming experience as it removes as much of the randomness as it can; it includes 24 champions, a bunch of cards and you can even invite friends to duel with you in the game.

The world saw Legends of Runeterra as Riot’s challenge to Hearthstone. The latter popularised the mana-based system on mobile where one plays cards based on their cost and use a gradually increasing pool of mana. It was anything but not a cost-appropriate card to play.

Riot Games found an elegant solution to this problem with Legends of Runeterra – the excess mana doesn’t end up in the trash, a portion of it goes into your spell pool, thus allowing you to recycle the wasted potential into a new resource. It boasts off appealing graphics and a smooth gameplay, thus becoming one of the best video games of the year.

2. Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact made a huge and loud splash when it came out in the latter half of 2020. And while it hasn’t been out for very long, there have already been updates and in-game events, thus crowning Genshin Impact as one of the best video games of 2020.

Genshin Impact takes place in the fantasy world of Tevyat, where you and your sibling arrive from another world. Separated by an unknown force, stripped of your powers and weapons, and cast into a deep sleep, you wake up in a magical world. Thus begins your journey across the mystic Teyvat to seek answers from The Seven — the gods of different elements.

The main campaign of the game puts the player in search of his/her lost twin, thus completing challenges and overcoming quests along the way. One can even opt to proceed in a multiplayer co-op mode in this game.

With its free-to-play nature and striking similarities to the beautiful world of Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact definitely stands out as one of the best games of 2020 in addition to being one of the best mobile games.

Genshin Impact’s story, characters, graphics and the addictive quality of levelling up and exploring in the game have all received praise worldwide and is considered one of the finest RPGs of all time.

3. Call of Duty: Mobile

Although CoD: Mobile was released in 2019, its popularity and fan base is ever increasing. This game took the gaming industry by storm this year, especially with people being indoors due to the pandemic.

The mobile version is an online shooter game that brings together Black Ops maps with modern warfare and converted the popular controller or mouse/keyboard gaming to touch controls.

Call of Duty: Mobile has the same rhythm and flow of combat as its console & PC counterparts; it provides the players with the same level of satisfaction when they pop a headshot or stab a knife to someone’s back.

This version also retains some of the original modes like area- controlling domination, team death matches and the satisfying gun game where one tries to be the first player to achieve 20 kills apiece using 20 different kinds of weapon, just like its console version.

The game comes with some top notch graphics which can be enjoyed to the fullest with a high end smartphone. It has easy controls and a great server hold-up handling mechanism which gives it the capacity to host players across the world.

It is one of the best video games of 2020 which will definitely be played well after its initial success as people visit back their clans in multiplayer to gather more guns. With its graphic detailing and high frame rate, Call of Duty is anything but a watered down rendition of the old game, its good old Call of Duty just in mobile.

4. GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport was released in 2019 and immediately emerged as one of the best racing games for Android. The game hits almost all of the check marks of being one of the best mobile games.

GRID Autosport is a premium game with no in-app purchases or any advertising. It also dons the hat of having life-like graphics, excellent controls and hardware controller support with tons of content to race through, tons of cars to unlock and a variety of racing styles.

In this game, the player becomes a racing driver with golden opportunities to start and build a career in the virtual motorsport world. Players can opt for the single-player career mode or enter competitions with fellow players on the web via the multiplayer online mode. They can also customize their racing experience in terms of the vehicle, circuit, race type and level of difficulty.

Focusing on providing a more realistic driving experience, the developers added new elements to this version, including a wear and tear system and a suspension damage system. There is also a new team radio philosophy where racers themselves can request information on car damage, gaps, rival position and teammate position.

Aside from such features, the developers generally stripped the game down and went away from everything that stood in the way of raw racing. Though released in 2019, the game is today popular as ever, making it one of the best video games of 2020.

5. Among Us

Though released in 2018, 2020 was really Among Us’ year – it shone the brightest of all. And one of the key reasons of it becoming one of the best mobile games comes from the simplicity that has accommodated it to become a staple party game.

The pandemic and social distancing made it harder for all of us to hang out with our loved ones. And this had led to multiplayer games like Among Us and Animal Crossing: New Horizon to become trendy and super popular.

Among Us is set in so simple a premise that just anyone can pick it up fast – eight crew members go around a claustrophobic, cartoon spaceship to complete simple mini games and fill up a shared progress bar.

But there is a twist – two among them are hidden impostors whose goal is to secretly murder all the rest until they equal or outnumber the crew and claim victory. And yet, like the best multiplayer games, it’s very tricky to master because you are fooling real people, not gaming an AI.

The art is cutely whimsical, with bulbous, quirky astronauts stumbling around engine bays and reactor decks. Among Us is one of the best games of 2020 not only because of its enjoyable art style, but also because the game keeps the mood light, which is important in a game, especially during the pandemic.

6. Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night

The iconic game of the popular Castlevania series finally came to mobile this year. The rendition is a direct port of the platformer action RPG game that was launched in 1997 for the PlayStation.

The Castlevania setting and gameplay were popular at the time of its previous release and continue to be influential even today. Alucard, the dhampir son of Dracula is an iconic character in modern media, and getting to see and play as him again is a major nostalgic trip for many gamers.

Not every rendition of a console game brings the same magic that the original game did, but the mobile version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night earned praises for being just as fun as the 1997 PS1 version.

One particular element that people love about the mobile version are how smoothly the controls are translated over to mobile, making it one of the best video games of 2020. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night presents itself as being compatible with controllers as well, and you can use one for an optimum experience.

Konami’s Castlevania lore has excellent graphics and is rich and detailed, and a return to this classic game is a big win for many gamers.

7. League of Legends: Wild Rift

Another wonder from the world of League of Legends, Wild Rift is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed by Riot Games for Android, iOS and unspecified consoles. This game is a modified mobile version of the PC game – League of Legends.

Like LoL, players in Wild Rift control a character, called ‘Champion’, possessing unique abilities and battle against a team of players or AI-controlled units. The goal is to destroy the opposing team’s ‘Nexus’.

Each League of Legends: Wild Rift match is discrete and all Champions start off relatively weak but increase in strength as they collect items and gather experience over the course of the game. All characters are influenced by a wide range of genres, including steampunk, Lovecraftian horror and high fantasy.

League of Legends: Wild Rift created a lot of buzz and hype since its announcement in late 2019 and was one of the most anticipated mobile games in 2020. But unfortunately the game is yet to see a global release.

The game started the open beta phase in South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan and Thailand on October 27 2020 for iOS and Android devices. According to the official statement, League of Legends: Wild Rift is slated to release in India after March 2021.

There is no doubt Wild Rift will be ESports oriented just like its popular version, League of Legends and emerge as one of the best video games of all time. Maybe a day will come when gamers can start making money out of this mobile version.

8. South of the Circle

Enter South of the Circle, an Apple Arcade story-driven game brought by State of Play. You play as an academic called Peter as you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. Your plane crashed and the pilot was badly injured.

And now, it is on you to explore the cold Antarctica to save your pilot and yourself. The gameplay revolves around Peter’s life and the love story between him and Clara, who died in the crash. Initially, it’s the memories that keep you going, but you start to lose your clarity as you progress in the game, thus making it harder to recognize what’s real life and what’s a dream.

South of the Circle deals with human emotion, connection and memory, as well as adding in the survival aspect one would expect from a game about people trapped in the South Pole. One of the big points making it one of the best video games is the time it is set in – during the events of the Cold War in 1964.

Additionally, mo-cap performances add to the game’s realism and human authenticity, making it one of the best video games of 2020. The video game also includes a talented cast of actors like Anton Lesser Game of Thrones fame and Adrian Rawlins from the HBO miniseries Chernobyl.

9. A3: Still Alive

A3: Still Alive is the new open world RPG of Netmarble that had a global launch for both Android & iOS in November, 2020. This RPG belongs to the battle royale genre combined with some dark fantasy. Its plot involves the players performing tasks in order to save the world from the conspiracy of a cult, which is set to destroy everything.

The player’s character is shown to make a transformation from a novice fighter to a champion, who hacks through their enemies like a meat seller butchering through their meat in a slaughterhouse. It’s a well-built game with some excellent graphics.

The players are able to engage in PvP and it has the capacity to build teams with one hundred members making it one of the best video games. The game is played in a dark environment in a mode known as Dark Presence.

During the time of launch, five classes were available, also known as professions, continuing the popular class-based genre of battle royale green. Assassins, Bersekers, Wizards, Archers & Templars are the 5 professions which lets a player have different playstyles & builds, depending how they like to play the game.

10. Pokemon Café Mix

Whoever thought that Pokémon Café Mix is a gimmicky mobile game which can only be enjoyed by kids couldn’t have been more wrong. This cute little puzzler can be enjoyed by everyone and is a perfect way to pass a little time.

The game comes with adorable graphics & an incredibly cute art style. The game allows you to earn a score and get trigger power ups by matching floating Pokémon heads together just like Pokémon Shuffle, which is another popular game by The Pokémon Company.

Although the Pokémon Café Mix takes inspiration from Pokémon Shuffle, there is an added caveat in this score collecting technique. Unlike Pokémon Shuffle, you can mix and match as many Pokémon heads together in a single combo, provided you are swift enough.

However it’s not as easy as it looks. It is one of the best mobile games to come out this year as it requires players to strategize and plan ahead, in order to achieve what they want, making it challenging. It’s an addictive game which requires you to pay attention.

You can of course use power ups (which are low on supply) to make things easier, by completing different free challenges which are available in the game. However if you rely on them too often you might end up shelling out real money.

11. If Found…

If Found… is an interactive visual novel published by Annapuran Interactive in collaboration with game developer Dreamfeel. The player enters the game as Kasio, a transwoman living off the west coast of Ireland in December 1993.

The gamplay goes through the challenges Kasio faces and how she finds a new family in a group of young people living in an abandoned, decrepit mansion. There’s also an extra layer of tension, with a distant astronaut trying to save Earth from the threat of a possibly unstoppable black hole that could swallow the entire world.

It’s fair to say that If Found… covers off a powerful story told extremely simply and well. The characters’ stories are written with subtlety and empathy and the game’s hand-drawn art and soundtrack both serve to give it the charm the narrative demands.

Players felt connected to the game’s unified atmosphere, making it one of the best video games about human connection. Moreover, If Found… deals very progressively with the themes of gender inclusion, earning worldwide praises.

Additionally, the Irish culture is the cherry on top to the whole experience, and for those not familiar with Irish language and dialect will love the glossary of terms available for access.

12. Battle Chasers: Night War

The mobile version of Battle Chasers continues to be amongst one of the top RPG video games of this year, even though it was released in 2019. It is one of the role playing video games which was developed by Airship Syndicate and was published by THQ Nordic.

The game is based on the fantasy comic series of the same name which was written by Joe Madureira. It showcases the cast of Battle Chasers being stranded on an island while being forced to put a stop to the plans of a wicked sorceress  in order to get away.

The main characters include Garrison, the contemplating swordsman, the kind-hearted war golem Calibretto, a wise cracking old mage called Knolan, the rogue, Red Monika & the young miss with magical gauntlets called Gully who is looking for her father.

The characters are shown to get marooned on the island when their airship is mysteriously shot down. The game’s world is explored in a linear fashion where enemies are fought off at set intervals. The dungeons in the games are showcased in an isometric view just like the game Diablo.

Special abilities can be used to dodge traps and fight the enemies. The game also provided you with the option to set the difficulty level of a dungeon before the battle begins. This gives players the opportunity to gather more experience if they complete a challenge at a higher difficulty level.

Night War comes with amazing graphics & an incredible narrative, making it one of the best games of 2020.