2021 continued to be an odd year for mobiles games as the “on-the-go” nature of the platform is stilted by COVID-19. Still, there were plenty of great releases and continued updates for some of our favourite mobile games, including a massive soccer hybrid now in the palm of our hands, a new spin on the Pokemon GO formula and more updates for one of the biggest MOBA’s.

Here are our picks for the Best Mobile Games of 2021.

5.) Pikmin Bloom – Niantic

Pikmin Bloom, brought to you by Pokemon Go and Ingress creators, is another AR mobile gaming title. Niantic has set a different pace with Pikmin Bloom, a more relaxing game, collecting Pikmin and growing flowers throughout your travels. See memories and photos of your day, a great game to take for a walk or enjoy while sitting at home. Check out your different Pikmin types, send them on adventures, or simply spend time with them to build friendships. Gather a squad, explore the world, and see how many types you can discover.

– Jacob Hegarty

4.) Pokémon Unite – TiMi Studio Group, The Pokémon Company

The Pokemon Company has had a lot of success bringing their monster property to mobile devices in the past. From the obvious one in Pokemon Go to the delightful and quirky Pokemon Quest and Pokémon: Magikarp Jump, fans have been able to get their Pokemon mix on the go.

This year, they released Pokemon Unite, a 5v5 battle arena featuring your favourite pokemon battling to collect the most control from your opponents or other pokemon who populate the map. With the initial balancing issues mostly addressed and with short 10 minute matches, Pokemon Unite is a great entry point to the Moba genre and is a lot of fun to play. With more Pokemon becoming available to play since launch like Blastoise, Dragonite and Sylveon, it is clear that The Pokemon Company have long term plans for this spinoff title

– Ashley Hobley

3.) Clap Hanz Golf – Clap Hanz

I played a bunch of Clap Hanz Golf earlier in the year when it was released, and it was a great addition to my portal gaming Apple Arcade library. The latest non-PlayStation entry that Australian’s would most likely know as the Hot Shots Golf franchise broke free of the PlayStation consoles, but not much has changed, meaning it’s still one of the best golf games you can play right now on any platform. You can even play Clap Hanz Golf with a controller giving you the whole Hot Shots-like experience. I played a bunch on my iPad with a DualSense in airports earlier in the year, and it was an excellent way to play the game.

– Dylan Blight

2.) League Of Legends: Wild Rift – Riot Games

With the wild success of Netflix’s Arcane, a League of Legends series, I’ve been shouting that anyone interested in trying out League of Legends should start with League of Legends: Wild Rift. It’s not because I think it’s “baby’s first League” or something like that; no, it’s simply a lot easier to get into and gives you maybe 70-80% of the core League of Legends experience without the core-PC versions competitiveness and none of the reliance on fast-paced mouse and keyboard clacking. 

In 2021 Riot continued to build on Wild Rift in tandem with the core game, and as new champions have entered the game, they have so on both platforms. There’s plenty of daily challenges, skins and challenges to unlock here, and you can easily get lost in one game, or twenty, just as you can in the PC version. Some of the lag or loading bugs I remember from launch haven’t been a thing whenever I’ve booted the game up throughout the year either. As Riot continues to push League of Legends as a brand in many new directions, this is the version of the game I’ll happily continue to suggest new players start with, especially if we get the console version of this in 2022. 

– Dylan Blight

1.) Rocket League: Sideswipe – Psyonix

A new instalment in the Rocket League franchise, and it’s a true gem. Fast-paced and short two-minute rounds mean that it is perfect for on-the-go play. Developer Psyonix has taken Rocket League to a whole new level by removing the third dimension. This fun 2D game built on the same concept as its PC counterpart will take mobile gaming to the next level. Competitive games, rankings, custom cars, multiple types of matches and versing others online, Rocket League Sideswipe, has me keen to play more and more. Soccer with cars has never been more fun.

– Jacob Hegarty

Dylan Blight, Ashley Hobley & Jacob Hegarty compiled this Top 5 list. The Video Games nominated must have released or had a sizable update within December 13th 2020 – December 13th 2021 and have been released in Australia.