Online gaming has changed drastically over the past decade. Thanks in part to the global pandemic, more people are staying connected through gaming than ever before. Among the over 60s in the US, searches for online games have increased by more than 200% since the first lockdowns in March 2020. Thanks to improvements in mobile devices, which have become increasingly powerful in recent years, more people are playing games on the go.
Smartphones have become so commonplace and reliable that some people are even forgoing a home broadband connection; instead, they are relying entirely on their phones to keep them connected. While many people still don’t have a gaming console or PC, their phone is one gaming device that almost everyone keeps with them at all times.
If you’re looking for some of the best online mobile games to try right now, here are four of our top choices.
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart has been a staple of Nintendo consoles since the Super Nintendo. While the original Mario Kart was released in 1992, there has been a version of this racing classic on every Nintendo console that has come out. Now, however, you don’t even need to have an expensive console to get in on the action. Mario Kart Tour brings the action straight to your mobile phone. All you need is a Nintendo account and you’re good to go.
This game has been on the market since 2019, but it has been adding new tracks and racers to its roster ever since. Not only are there classic Nintendo-themed courses to choose from, but you can also hit the streets of Tokyo, New York, and even Amsterdam as you fight and drift your way to first place. This is a perfect game to play online with friends, family, and people all around the world. Just watch out for those blue shells!
If you’re a fan of collectible card games, chances are you’ve stumbled across Hearthstone already. In this game, you build decks of monsters and characters from the Warcraft video game franchise and use them to take on other players from around the world. This game is perfect for mobile devices, sneaking in a quick game or two to increase your rank while waiting for an appointment. With more than 100 million players from around the world, you’ll never be lacking for an opponent to take on.
The good thing about Hearthstone is that it combines both luck and skill. Different spells have different effects on certain monsters, so understanding the text of your cards and how they work together is the key to building a good deck. No matter how good your cards are, though, you’ll struggle against players who have a deck suited for the kind of monsters you’re dealing with. Sometimes it is the luck of the draw, but that is part of the fun.
Word games are insanely popular around the globe right now; Wordle ensured that they’ve been all over the news. It is a simple word-based version of the classic board game Mastermind, and it was so successful The New York Times bought it from the person who created it. Wordle is an online game, although the social aspect comes from sharing your scores. If finding one word isn’t enough, perhaps try the Quordle (four words), the Octordle (eight words), or the Sedecordle (sixteen words). If words are your thing and you also want some social interaction, there are lots of spinoff titles that play on these themes, as well as games such as Words With Friends which is a Scrabble clone with social elements.
Speaking of card games, sometimes the classics are classics for a reason. Poker is a game that has been around since the 1800s and is deeply ingrained into popular culture around the world, so it is no surprise that it has become a success among online games. Playing online is different from playing poker in a casino; there are more ads and it requires a slightly different skillset. Bluffing is less important, for example, when you can’t see your opponent, so it becomes much more about crunching the numbers and knowing the odds.
There are more than 60 million online poker players in the US alone and countless online poker providers available, almost all of them with a mobile app so you can play while on the move. Each one has its own pros and cons; some will allow you to play for real money while others are strictly to play for fun. Some sites come with better joining deals than others, so it is worth shopping around for the one that suits you best.
If you still haven’t gotten enough card games, then here is one more to round out this list. This is a spinoff of the extremely popular console and PC RPG, The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt. Throughout the original game, players can engage many characters in a card battle using monsters and characters from the series so far. These portions of the game proved so popular that developer CD Projekt Red spun it out into its own game.
With multiple decks to choose from, there is a lot of strategy involved in how you approach each match in Gwent. While a monster deck gives you the option to overwhelm your opponents, a well-balanced Skellige deck can offer higher defense to outlast the initial onslaught. You can play against the computer, but the game really shines when you engage against real players who can provide a much better challenge. There are upwards of 1000 players online at any given moment so you’ll never lack someone to play against.