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10 of the most influential mobile games ever - the iOS and Android Hall of Fame

Games that changed the direction of mobile gaming forever
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
You've probably already read a whole bunch of end-of-year best-of lists of late. Best games, best films, best albums, best TV programmes. Heck, we've compiled a few of our own.

While we were reflecting on the best mobile games of 2017, though, we got to thinking of all the influential games that paved the way to our contenders. We're talking about the true heroes that came to carve out and define whole genres.

Here, then, are ten landmark mobile games that deserve to join our PG Hall of Fame.

These games aren't here for their inherent quality. In fact, some we were only ever mildly fond of. Rather, each game here went on to prove hugely influential to what came afterwards.

This is far from a comprehensive list, but we hope to add to the list throughout 2018. Let us know what you think deserves to be on there in the comments below.

Angry Birds

Where would we be without Angry Birds, eh? Rovio's original bird pinger didn't just launch a huge franchise, a movie, and a whole bunch of merchandise. It pretty much came to define smartphone gaming to mainstream and non-gamers.

Clash of Clans

If you've ever played a social town builder or casual strategy game with a deeply woven freemium structure, it's almost certainly been influenced by Clash of Clans. And if it hasn't, it either launched before Clash of Clans or simply wasn't very good. Possibly both.


Only long-term dedicated gamers will remember Canabalt, but it single handedly spawned the massively oversubscribed mobile endless runner genre. Any game that has you tapping to make an auto-running character jump - yes, even you Super Mario Run - should pay its respects.

Temple Run

Temple Run took Canabalt's 2D endless runner action, flipped it to 3D, and threw in loads of collectibles and Indiana Jones-like traps. The result has proved just as influential as Canabalt, in its own way.

Clash Royale

Clash Royale is the most recent Hall of Fame entry, evidenced by the fact that its influence can still be seen in effect right now. Supercell's success here was in creating a simplified form of MOBA while stirring in a little card battling magic. Cue dozens of clones.

Tiny Wings

Tiny Wings is an endless runner of sorts, but it popularised a very particular and moreishly rhythmic movement mechanic. Pressing to move into the ground (thus speeding up on downhill sections) and releasing on the way up to get some air is as elating today as it was in 2011.


There was a time when you couldn't move on the App Store or Google Play Store for tower defence games. This simplified offshoot of the real time strategy genre was perfect for mobile, and Fieldrunners was one of the earliest, best and most lastingly influential examples.


Rolando was the first flagship game of the iOS era, and an app that sold a mainstream audience on what this strange new platform could mean for gaming. It was hugely influential for its work in touch and tilt mechanics, and set the template for the kind of cute physics puzzler that's still popular today.

Flight Control

It's easy to forget, but in the early days of the iOS App Store the line-drawing genre was immensely popular. These were games where you literally drew the path you wished your character or vehicle to follow. Flight Control kicked the whole thing off by having you sketch a bunch of air traffic to safety.

Infinity Blade

The very notion of console-quality mobile games was thought of as fanciful right up until 2010 and the arrival of Infinity Blade. Here was a high-quality action game built using the very same Unreal Engine that was used to make most top-end console games of the time. It played almost as well as it looked.

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 25 December 2017
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