The best mobile RPGs | Pocket Tactics

The best mobile RPGs

Our definitive list of the top roleplaying games on iPhone and Android

The best mobile RPGs feature, at least in some capacity, common tropes that we can also see in their PC and console brethren. Expect wide-open worlds, lengthy and engrossing stories, characters with a high level of depth, and complex systems to learn. Sure, there are plenty of 'RPGs' on mobile that feature none of the above, but they won't appear on this list.

However, unlike many other mobile genres, you're probably going to have to fork out a pretty penny for most of the games on this list. That's because RPGs are typically very lengthy experiences, and the way they're designed doesn't (and shouldn't) translate well to free-to-play.

What you will get, though, is a heck of a lot of bang for your buck. Our picks range from excellent mobile-exclusives to ports of genre classics, and every single one of them oozes quality and content. So much so, that you might want to book a week off work or take a longer commute. We're in it with you for the long haul.

What are the best RPGs on mobile?

best mobile action rpgs

PASCAL’s WAger

Ever wished Dark Souls or Bloodborne was on mobile? Well, wish no longer as Pascal’s Wager is here to satisfy your dark fantasy urge. With a lengthy 20 hour plot, big (if linear) world to explore, multiple characters to recruit, and a wide variety of Lovecraftian-style horrors to beat, this Soulsborne absolutely justifies its lofty price tag.

titan quest

Titan Quest is the closest you can get to playing Diablo on your phone; at least until Diablo Immortal finally surfaces. It’s a classic in its own right, too, after launching way back in 2006 on PC, and features everything you love about the genre. Expect a wide variety of environments to explore, an even bigger selection of loot, and a multitude of character builds to dive into. For more dungeon-delving fun, have a gander at our list of the best games like Diablo on mobile.

transistor

Transistor is Super Giant’s follow-up to the excellent Bastion, which rode on the crest of the indie boom back when Xbox Live Arcade was the place to be. Trading the fantasy environments for neon-soaked sci-fi, Transistor continued to innovate within its own genre with a time-bending combat style and loads of strategy.

eternium

Eternium is to mobile as Warfame is to PC and console: it’s the place to go to collect mega loot. Much like Titan Quest it models itself very closely on Diablo, but it features plenty of mobile-specific flourishes; chief amongst them the ability to cast spells and perform skills by drawing symbols with your thumb.

arcane quest legends

Arcane Quest Legends is (surprise, surprise) yet another Diablo-like on mobile. This one focuses a lot more on storytelling than loot though, so appeals to a very different demographic. That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of ways to customise your character though. Diablo fans will find plenty to love here.

oceanhorn 2

Oceanhorn 2 expanded on the Zelda-like original in pretty much every single manner possible; think the jump between Zelda: A Link to the Past and Breath of the Wild and you’re along the right lines. The visually stunning world is delivered in full 3D, the combat is far more action-packed, and there’s loads to see and do in this truly open-world adventure.

Cat Quest 2

Cat Quest 2 isn’t so much a revolution as an evolution. It plays the same and looks the same, but you can experience the entire adventure with a friend this time. That’s a game-changer in itself. Those who can’t stand terrible cat puns should watch meow-t. (sorry).

best mobile jrpgs

battle chasers: nightwar

Battle Chasers: Nightwar rolls back the clock to a time when the SNES ruled the roost. Drawing liberal inspiration from the likes of Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and more, this JRPG revels in features that have fallen by the wayside in recent years. Expect turn-based combat, a cliché-ridden story, and lots (and lots) of grinding; all wrapped up in some beautiful Saturday morning cartoon-style visuals.

chrono trigger

In certain circles, Chrono Trigger is regarded as the pinacle of JRPGs, so not including it on this list would be borderline sacriligeous. It helps that the port is actually pretty solid; even including fullscreen support for the iPhone X, unlike most of Square Enix’s other classic JRPG ports.

final fantasy XV: Pocket Edition

Most Final Fantasys are available on mobile, and we had to pick just one for this list, which is virtually impossible. (How do you even choose between VI, VII, and IX?) So we went with Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, as it was built from the ground up for the platform, and offers an excellent chibi version of the PC and console hit.

Dragon Quest VIII

Much like Final Fantasy, there are a load of Dragon Quests available on mobile. We settled on Dragon Quest VIII because Square Enix has actually updated it for the latest iPhones. Oh, and it’s also often regarded as one of the better entries in the franchise. Fight me.

Another Eden

All you need to know about Another Eden is that the entire concept was designed by Masato Kato, the writer of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII. If you haven’t already downloaded it (shame on you!), it’s also a darn good JRPG in its own right, with stunning comic book visuals, an excellent turn-based combat system, and loads of characters to collect. Just get it.

Various Daylife

Apple courted the team behind Octopath Traveler to design this excellent JRPG exclusively for Apple Arcade. You play as a fresh-off-the-boat adventurer who’s tasked with exploring a brand new continent alongside a growing cast of colourful characters. Much like Octopath Traveler, there’s a load of different jobs to unlock and mix and match, providing plenty of depth for those who like that sort of thing. Nerds.

Monster Hunter Stories

Capcom clearly glanced with envy over at The Pokémon Company, and decided to shoehorn a bunch of Pokémon sensibilities into the Monster Hunter universe. Rather than butcher monsters (though there’s plenty of that too) you hunt for eggs and hatch them. These newborn monsters then turn into party members, fighting alongside you in some nifty turn-based battles. Come for the cute monsters, stay for the rock-paper-scissors combat system.

best mobile strategy rpgs

star traders: frontiers

Star Traders: Frontiers is an incredibly deep RPG that places you at the helm of your very own starship. What you then do with said starship is entirely up to you. You can explore the galaxy, set up a trading empire, become a swashbuckling space pirate, or simply dig deep into the politics and story. No matter what you choose, prepare to be in it for the long haul.

The Banner Saga

This morose tactical RPG franchise sees you trudging across a frozen, Viking-themed landscape in your own caravan. In Banner Saga, you’ll participate in Fire Emblem-style combat, explore a bleak world, and make decisions that make Game of Thrones seem like a kids show. Check out our list of the best mobile strategy games for more series like Banner Saga.

Warhammer Quest

When it burst onto the mobile scene back in 2013, Warhammer Quest was out to prove two things: mobile games didn’t have to be ugly (or, at least visually minimalist) and could actually contain strategic depth. It managed both of the two with absolute aplomb, earning itself a bunch of DLC and a sequel in the process.

best mobile classic rpgs

baldur’s gate: enhanced edition

The definitive classic RPG made a triumphant comeback on mobile thanks to Beamdog. This ‘Enhanced Edition’ features a completely revamped UI, touched-up visuals, and entirely new content. The sequel, Icewind Dale, and a brand new game, which takes place between the first and second, are also available on mobile. Beamdog, you do spoil us.

planescape: torment: enhanced edition

Like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment is a bonafide classic that was built in the Infinity Engine, and has been revamped by the prolific Beamdog. Though it still features plenty of bone-crunching combat, the emphasis is more on dialogue and story. Fortunately, the written element is absolutely superb. Plus, it features a talking skull called Morte. Enough said.

star wars: knights of the old republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is BioWare at its absolute best, and remains the definitive Star Wars game a whopping 17 years following its original release. You play as a novice Jedi, tasked with saving the galaxy from the bloodthirsty Sith. Or, you can join the bad guys and help them take over. Few games give you this amount of choice, even today.

exiled kingdoms

Exiled Kingdoms is a hidden gem on the mobile app stores, featuring over 100 hours of content (if you do everything). While it’s not the prettiest game on this list, it’s clearly a labour of love by developer 4 Dimension Games. It also ticks every box, featuring a huge world, loads of loot, deep character customisation, and excellent writing throughout.

Best Dungeon Crawlers

legend of grimrock

Legend of Grimrock brought classic dungeon crawler sensibilities into the 21st century; which mostly consisted of stunning visuals. Everything you love about the likes of Might & Magic, Eye of the Beholder, and Ultima is here, with plenty of tactical combat, deep character customisation, and secrets to find. Seriously, hunting down secrets is a huge part of the appeal.

Darkest Dungeon

Though Darkest Dungeon isn’t a dungeon crawler in the traditional sense, it pretty much exclusively features crawling through dungeons, so to not include it here would be criminal. You build up a party of random adventurers and send them into a variety of ‘dungeons’ to reclaim your family’s estate. While monsters remain a huge threat, the largest is actually the psychology system.

Your characters will contend with stress in all its forms, including paranoia, fear, irrational behaviour, and more. Each of them has their own issues to deal with and deal with them you must if you want to make it to the bitter end.

Severed

Severed is one of those unique games that takes supreme advantage of the mobile platform, rather than simply brute-forcing its way onto it by means of a simple port. You explore a wide variety of colourful landscapes in this hellish world, battling monsters with frantic swipes of your finger. Think Fruit Ninja as an RPG combat system and you’re on the right lines.