The 8 Best Cross-Platform App Games
It’s a good time to be an app gamer. Long gone are the days when the world’s best video games were confined to a stationary rig, be it console or PC. And in this technological renaissance we find ourselves within arm’s reach of the very games that critics and gamers the world over unite in their adoration of. Which can only be a good thing.
With mobile spinoffs like Diablo Immortal proving that app gaming is fertile ground for mobile renditions of bonafide classics, there are some savvy devs who realized that making your title compatible from the offset does away with that pesky need to develop an entirely new one. And thank goodness they did, because these cross-platform games on mobile are a real boon to any app gamer.
8 – World of Tanks Blitz
This legendary multiplayer tank simulator is as bombastic as it is prolific. But somehow World of Tanks manages to tread that fine line between historical authenticity and histrionic escapism. And with surprising grace for a game that’s literally all about steel-clad behemoths shooting mounted cannons at each other.
Wargaming put a lot of stock in the historical accuracy of their tanks. But that doesn’t mean they can’t stage arena bouts where Soviet-made T-55s band together to take down a lightning-spewing franken-tank ripped straight from an alternate history comic.
Blitz was originally released as a mobile-exclusive, featuring scaled-down PvP but with all the high-octane action fans love. And it obviously went well, because Blitz became a port of a port when it was introduced to Steam, and crossplay became available.
7- Civilization VI
Do you value your free time? If the answer is ‘yes’ then skip to the next entry. When we say that Sid Meiers’ Civilization series is notorious for its hypnotic gameplay loop, take it as a warning. No, seriously.
This OG 4X strategy game is a paragon of the genre, pitting player against player, or player against AI, in a mesmerizing game of 4D chess. The learning curve is steep and arduous, but once you reach the pinnacle, you’ll never, ever want to get down.
The mobile rendition of Civilization VI is a prime example of what mobile devices can handle. Though we’d recommend gemming up on the specs and maybe overcompensating a little if you want the fullest app game experience. You might not be able to indulge in a marathon game on a huge map (though that’s probably a good thing), but a 4v4 battle for global supremacy can be just as rewarding.
6 – Minecraft
If you, as a time-valuing individual, took the advice of the last entry and skipped ahead to this one, then apologies. Because Minecraft, the bonafide king of sandboxes, is also not the kind of game one can spend a few minutes playing. It’s starting to look like the best cross-platform app games are specifically designed to swallow our free time.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition, a dumbed-down rendition of Minecraft that focussed on creative building and survival, landed to mixed reviews. But since 2017, Minecraft in all its glory (specifically, the Bedrock Edition) picked up the slack and brought Minecraft to the gaming masses, no matter their platform of choice.
To this day, Minecraft is still one of the most popular cross-platform games on mobile and it’s not hard to see why with its limitless freedom. Though perhaps there’s one title that’s just a smidge more fashionable among the coolest of kids.
5 – Fortnite Battle Royale
Android, Windows, MacOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One & Series X|S
Wherever you stand on the somewhat polarizing Fortnite, there’s no denying its status as a trailblazer. And one of Epic Games’ earliest masterstrokes was introducing it to every digital platform available, short of a few household exceptions. Though we wouldn’t be surprised if Fortnite Fridges were in the pipeline.
You can’t reach the monumental success of the gaudy battle royale that is Fortnite without being prolific. And its optimization for the handheld screen has bought it ample praise, with app gamers being able to partake in the bonafide phenomenon and its mountains of content (including superstar-headlined virtual gigs) with full cross-play functionality alongside console-playing counterparts. One of the best parts is persistent accounts across platforms. Meaning that the progress, much like the party, ‘don’t stop when you’re walking.
4 – Among Us
Talking of cultural phenomena, Among Us was arguably the star of international lock-downs. Phones are an inherently social tool, but their power to connect was enhanced tenfold with the introduction of this exercise in spirited subterfuge. And by ‘connect’ we of course mean ‘betray’ and ‘beguile’.
Among Us is one of the best cross-platform app games in no small part thanks to its free-to-play status on mobile exclusively. There’s an extra level of petty satisfaction to be found in getting away with murder while knowing that your victims paid for the privilege.
Thankfully, the many tasks of the Skeld are easier to accomplish with a touch screen. Making Among Us one of the best cross-platform games for mobile because playing on mobile gives you something of an advantage. Sadly, the same can’t be said for your inability to explain why you’re standing over the severed corpse of a murdered colleague.
3 – Old School Runescape
You know we’re living in the future when we can carry one of the world’s foremost MMOs in our pockets. Runescape and its nostalgic counterpart is a darling within the MMO sphere, drawing rampant praise where its controversial contemporaries find themselves on the receiving end of the notorious wrath of MMO gamers on a regular basis.
App gamers are well aware that the best graphics are reserved for PCs and next-gen consoles. Which is why the sentimental simplicity of OSRS feels so at home on mobile devices. Truly, if you are looking for an MMO fix whilst out and about there’s no equal among the best cross-platform app games.
2 – Genshin Impact
It’s not often that critics endorse a gacha game. But Genshin impact shows how it should be done. Universally acclaimed for its beauty and story-rich gameplay, Genshin Impact is often compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And to deny that it is at least inspired by the beloved Zelda title would be disingenuous. But HoYoverse took the high road in creating something similar yet oh-so different.
If OSRS is an example of how a lo-fi polygonic world works well on a mobile screen, then Genshin Impact shows what the other end of the scale looks like. Its beauty is nigh-on unparalleled among app games – especially free-to-play ones – and it’s no wonder that it has earned critical acclaim since its release in 2020.
1 – Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series
These titles sit comfortably atop the list of the best cross-platform app games not because there’s a lot of them, but because the series isn’t accessible on consoles and we’re petty like that.
Just kidding, they’re at the top of the list because Final Fantasy and its legendary successors are gaming royalty. And when it comes to finding a rewarding gaming experience on mobiles, it’s hard to think of an equal.
From their legendary narratives to their matchless scores, the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series is a must-play for anyone looking to delve into the heritage of JRPGs or even RPGs in general. Be sure to have the tissues within reach, though.
The cavalcade of cross-platform app games doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon. And if consoles like the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck portend anything, it’s that we’re looking towards a future of next-gen portable gaming that may one day see mobile devices being not just another platform, but the only platform we need.
But as it stands, these cross-platform games are almost all we need when it comes to enjoying the best that app gaming has to offer.
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