Surprisingly, it turns out that one of the classic game genres, the shooter, is best suited for mobile gaming. Why is that? The fineness of touch controls and the vertical screen of mobile devices are obvious advantages, and there is no need to map many buttons. The genre has blossomed on mobile, in ported classics and great new releases.
I have picked 10 of my favorite mobile games in this article and compiled a list. Please note that these are my favorites, so if you have any that you think should be on this list, please comment below and help others find them. Also, this list is in no particular order. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Top 10 Mobile Games
1. Aka To Blue
Susumu Tano’s “Red and Blue” feels like a proper full-size arcade game, which is hard to believe was born on mobile. Others probably thought so, too, since the game was eventually ported to the arcades on the old A-Arcadia system.
It is still playable on mobile today and carries the same enthusiasm it once did. Former members of Cave founded the developer, and it shows. It looks and sounds great, has a deep and rich scoring system, and is fun.
2. Phoenix 2
One of the kings of the genre in mobile gaming, “Phoenix II” is a technical masterpiece that plays as well as it looks and has as much content. While you need a lot of money or time to unlock all the content, it is to the game’s credit that you can enjoy it to the fullest without spending IAPs. But you don’t have to spend much money on IAPs to enjoy the game. It’s free to play, so give it a try.
3. Bullet Hell Monday
Bullet Hell Monday is one of developer Masayuki Ito’s mobile shooters, and the title doesn’t lie. Except that you can play it any day of the week. Visually, it’s a bit more abstract than the other games on this list, but it looks good, and everything is obvious.
To progress in this game, you need to play well and earn mission points, and it has a unique flavor that helps you learn the ins and outs of the system. It’s also free to play, so give it a try.
4. Danmaku Unlimited 3
That’s exactly how I felt when I first played Danmaku Unlimited 3, but part of the game’s charm is that you become entirely comfortable navigating its chaos.
There’s certainly no shortage of firepower in this game. Still, nothing is more important than boosting your score through accurate dodging and grazing bullets, and Danmaku Unlimited 3 is foolproof and wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. DoDonPachi Resurrection HD
Bulletstorm shooters often appear on this list, but it would be remiss not to mention one of the foremost pioneers of this shooting style. Cave’s name is legendary in the shooter world, and most games have stood the test of time with absolute grace.
Dodompachi Resurrection is an excellent mobile port of the fifth game in the company’s flagship series, and it has everything one tends to like in a bullet-hell shooter. Terrific barrage, a deep scoring system, exciting boss battles, and some great tunes to get you going along with it… It’s also available on Apple Arcade, so if you like that one, you’ll love it too.
Now, there has been a certain, shall we say, theme to this list so far. Sorry, but there are a lot of great vertical bullet games on mobile. But if your tastes lean in a different direction, you might want to check out Stertenn.
It’s a rogue writer in this genre, and the more you play, the more your ship powers up. It is also side-scrolling, which some players may prefer. Due to the game’s structure doesn’t play right out of the gate like the other games on this list, but if you take the time to play it, you’ll find it rewarding.
7. Sky Force Reloaded
If you like the sounds, we talked about in Steredenn but like vertical scrolling, you should give Sky Force Reloaded a try. Again, you will die, upgrade, and try, but the emphasis is on trying to complete the special missions in each stage.
It’s a bit tough, but you’ll want to try again and again. It also looks gorgeous. This one is also free to start, but if you want to go for a premium, the IAPs are few and far between, making this a great place to start.
Now, this list could use a couple more classics. So let’s add Taito’s excellent “Rayforce” to the list. This game is the first chapter of a trilogy, all of which are playable on mobile and worthy of your attention. The game’s best feature is its lock-on laser, which allows you to target enemies on other aircraft.
It would help if you always looked for opportunities to use this laser, as it increases your chances of survival and improves your score. It is an excellent conversion of a classic from the company that more or less popularized the genre in the past.
9. Blazing Star
Bonus While SNK’s NEOGEO platform was primarily known for its fighting games and the “Metal Slug” series, there were some powerful entries in other genres. The best shooter was the side-scrolling “Blazing Star,” previously available for mobile from DotEmu.
Its detailed graphics and captivating action are the main features of this title. Still, it is also a saving grace for those seeking a more classic shooting style rather than the somewhat frenetic bullet-hell shooters that are most popular today.
I’m slipping the last one in any way, though, because ZeroVector, as the name implies, uses vector-style graphics. The game has a unique look and feel, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the action is old-fashioned. The game is hectic and challenging, and you will learn a lot of interesting systems.
The graphics may not be as flashy as some of the games presented here, but if you spend some time with it, you will find that it shines just as bright as the rest of the games. This game is also free to play, but the IAPs to eliminate the ads are affordable. Please give it a try.
That’s all. Is there a mobile shooter game you like that is not on this list? Let us know in the comments section below. I am sure we can all find more great shooters to play. Thanks for reading!