The Top Mobile Games And Franchises Right Now

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Top Mobile Games: Most Popular Gaming App Franchises And Brands Today

Games are the most downloaded app category on today’s mobile devices. According to Statista, 60% of the US population will be gaming on their phones and tablets in 2018, while Mediakix’s own overview of the latest numbers offer an even more compelling picture: an estimated $58 billion will be spent on mobile games by year’s end.

Typical top mobile games are fleeting in relevance—they soar in popularity as quickly as they are forgotten. The latest trend in mobile games is building off of a hit franchise to sustain popularity through game expansion, sequels, and spinoffs. Establishing a mobile gaming app franchise allows game developers to build a brand and get an additional return on investment from a popular game.

Characteristics Of Top Mobile Games And Franchises

  1. Frequent Updates: Developers regularly push out updates and enhancements to keep the game in tip-top shape, with new designs, builds, features, and in-game events, like Best Fiends and Candy Crush.
  2. Not A One-Off: More than one iteration – meaning sequels, subgenres, or spinoff versions of a single gaming title, like Madden Football and Alto.
  3. Cross-Device: Many successful mobile game franchises are derived from successful console franchises, like Fortnite and Walking Dead.

What Makes Top Mobile Games Successful And Popular?

Mobile Game Genre & UX


There are several factors that contribute to a game becoming successful and possibly developing into a gaming franchise. Chiefly, most top mobile games find their audience within a tried and true genre, such as puzzle, action, or shooter. Additionally, a fun and fulfilling user experience (UX) is key to consistent play, good reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Aside from gameplay, other UX factors include the game’s reliability, as well as careful integration of ads and in-app purchases. Many top mobile games are easy to learn and addictive in nature spurring users to continue playing them.

Demographics Of Mobile Gaming

While console gaming still heavily skewers male, in contrast almost two-thirds of mobile gamers are women, with 60% playing daily. When it comes to designing the next hit mobile game franchise, developers should be considering their potential female audience.

While mobile gaming has taken app purchases in the U.S. by storm, today’s smartphone gamers are found far and wide. In fact, China is the world’s largest gaming market with domestic revenues exceeding $12 billion last year. Today, to have a successful gaming franchise, developers need to think globally and deliver a product that will appeal to many different audiences.

Marketing & Monetization Models For Gaming Apps

App store discovery remains a huge hurdle for new games as popular titles, familiar intellectual property, and big-budget releases dominate the marketplace. In 2018, however, with a crowded market and billions of dollars at stake, smart advertising strategies are vital to every mobile game launch.

Today’s top mobile games use monetization models including free, freemium (free install with purchasable upgrades), premium (one-time fee), and subscription. By nullifying or generating pricing barriers, as well as creating a perceived value for their product, how a developer chooses to monetize their app sends a message of its own.

Related Post: How Do Top Mobile Games Make Money? Most Popular Monetization Models

Top Mobile Games By Category

Puzzle Mobile Games

Best Fiends


  • Description: A character-centric puzzle game, Best Fiends launched in Oct. 2014, and now boasts more than 80,000,000 players. In 2015, developer Seriously followed up with another app, Best Fiends Forever, and is soon to debut Best Fiends Rivals.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available, VIP subscription versions available at $14.99 per month.

Candy Crush


  • Description: With over 1.1 Trillion rounds played, 70 million Facebook fans, and more than 2.73 billion downloads, Candy Crush Saga has become one of the most popular mobile games of all time — even spawning a television show on CBS hosted by Mario Lopez. Originally launched on Facebook in 2012 and later developed for mobile devices, sequels Candy Crush Soda Saga and Candy Crush Jelly Saga were released in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Voodoo Games

  • Description: Voodoo isn’t a mobile game but, rather, a game developer. With nine top rated apps, however, the studio knows a thing or two about top mobile games and franchises. Producing works with minimalist graphics that cover a range of genres, including sports, action, adventure, and arcade, Voodoo’s apps were downloaded an estimated 300 million times in 2017.


  • Cost: Baseball Boy! (free, in-app purchases available), Snake VS. Block (free, in-app purchases available), Rolly Vortex (free, in-app purchases available), Stack Jump (free, in-app purchases available), Flappy Dunk (free, in-app purchases available), Dune! (free, in-app purchases available), Idle Balls (free, in-app purchases available)

The Room

  • Description: An award-winning game that tasks the player with solving 3D puzzle boxes, The Room launched in 2012 and has expanded with three sequels: The Room Two (2013), The Room Three (2015), The Room: Old Sins (2018).
  • Cost: The Room $0.99, The Room Two $0.99, The Room Three $3.99, The Room: Old Sins $4.99

Related Post: 9 Mobile Gaming Statistics That Prove That Mobile Is Taking Over

Action & Shooting



  • Description: A popular console battle game offering player-versus-player (PvP) action, Fortnite Battle Royale had the second most successful debut on the App Store ever, netting more than $100 million in its first 90 days. An Android version of the app is said to be coming soon. Epic Games is the publisher behind Fortnite, which grossed $318 million across all platforms during May 2018 alone.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.


  • Description: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is another popular battle royale console game repurposed for mobile use. Launching in 2017, the game has an estimated revenue of $139,501 per day.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Real-time Strategy

Clash of Clans

  • Description: The battle and strategy game has gone through multiple iterations over the years, broadening the size and scope of its incredibly successful gaming universe. Launched on iOS in 2012, Clash of Clans has helped to turn developer Supercell into a $10 billion company.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.



  • Description: An MMO (massively multiplayer online) strategy game, Vikings: War of Clans is available in mobile, desktop, and browser forms.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Mobile Strike

  • Description: One of the most recognizable names in mobile gaming — due in no small part to its multimillion-dollar ad campaign with Arnold Schwarzenegger — Mobile Strike is an action and strategy game that lets the player train and fight on a virtual battlefield.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Hero Academy

  • Description: The award-winning multiplayer game has spawned the sequel Hero Academy 2, as well as a desktop version.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Role Playing Games (RPG)

Walking Dead

  • Description: Capitalizing on a wildly successful television franchise, Walking Dead’s mobile app franchise has let players try their hand at surviving the zombie apocalypse. The developer Telltale games continues to build sequels including Road to Survival, A New Frontier, No Man’s Land, and Our World.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Fire Emblem

  • Description: With 25 years of console success, Nintendo launched an internet-enabled mobile version of Fire Emblem in early 2017, entitled Fire Emblem Heroes. In November of that year, “Book II” was released, offering more stories, characters, and weapons.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.

Final Fantasy

  • Description: The Final Fantasy gaming franchise has grown into a media empire that’s generated films, television shows, and books. On mobile, developer Square Enix offers several branded games, including Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy All The Bravest, Final Fantasy Dimensions, and Final Fantasy Dimensions II
  • Cost: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition (free, in-app purchases available), Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (free, in-app purchases available), Dissidia Final Fantasy (free, in-app purchases available), Final Fantasy All The Bravest (free, in-app purchases available), Final Fantasy Dimensions (free, in-app purchases available), Final Fantasy Dimensions II ($14.99)

Related Posts: Top 10 Video Game Statistics Speak To An Enormous & Evolving Industry




  • Description: Produced by several different gaming developers, Major League Baseball offers no less than six mobile gaming apps under its moniker.
  • Cost: MLB 9 Innings 18 (free, in-app purchases available), MLB Perfect Inning 2018 (free, in-app purchases available), MLB Home Run Derby 18 (free, in-app purchases available), Line Drive (free, in-app purchases available), Franchise MVP (free, in-app purchases available), R.B.I. Baseball 18 ($6.99)




  • Description: Few games have had the staying power of Madden. Originally developed for PCs and launching in 1988, Madden NFL has been produced for virtually every gaming device created between then and now. Seeing its first launch on iOS as Madden NFL 10 in 2009, the game has undergone a number of iterations and updates over the years.
  • Cost: Free, in-app purchases available.


  • Description: An award-winning snowboarding game launched in 2015, Aldo’s Adventure spawned the sequel Aldo’s Odyssey, which released in early 2018.
  • Cost: Aldo’s Adventure ($4.99), Aldo’s Odyssey ($4.99)

How Mobile Gaming Developers Can Use Influencer Marketing to Promote and Market Their Games

There’s no question that the mobile gaming market is monstrous. With its estimated rise to a $72.3 billion industry by 2020, the opportunity for profit seems to be getting even larger. However, in an incredibly competitive space, developers and game makers will need to invest in effective marketing techniques that can both reach and intrigue potential app consumers.

In many industries, influencer marketing is helping brands connect to audiences like never before. In fact, Gaming is already a top category on YouTube, where influencers offer tips and tricks to hardcore gamers through their Let’s Play videos. For mobile games, influencer-driven content has even broader potential. Due to their almost ubiquitous nature, top mobile games easily lend themselves to a number of other key influencer categories, including lifestyle, tech, travel, and vloggers. A qualified influencer marketing agency can help brands to identify the best influencers, categories, and campaign tactics to reach a variety of mobile gaming audiences.

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