Top Classic Games for Your Phone


Video gaming is a big business, a multi-billion-dollar industry catering to all manner of tastes and niches.

Whether a blockbuster release such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or an indie hit such as Little Nightmares, gaming fills a gap in people’s lives, takes up their leisure time, and provides endless hours of entertainment, fun, and social interaction. Video games have been around for almost half a century now, with the 1972 release Pong the first commercially successful title. Through the eighties, the likes of Space Invaders and Pac-Man became popular, fueling what are now nostalgic memories for many gamers. The first popular game on a mobile device came courtesy of Nokia, who included Snake on their handsets from 1997 onwards.

At the time, video games and those on phones were a million miles apart, and few could have envisaged that 24 years later, mobiles would be capable of delivering a taste of nostalgia to gamers of a certain age. Mobile gaming, so basic and uncommercial in 1997, is now worth $85 billion, twice the value of the PC gaming market, and almost three times the value generated by consoles. Handheld machines, such as the Gameboy, have all-but disappeared and mobile devices are the way forward.

You can grab a blockbuster hit on mobile, such as the Call of Duty franchise, or something mobile-only such as the excellent Gangstar Rio City of Saints. There are also plenty of titles that give the player a chance to relive some of the classic games of yesteryear, to imbue themselves in gaming history whilst on the bus, or just relaxing at home. We have pulled together four, which are simply not to be missed.


Tetris goes right back to the early days of popular video gaming, 1984 to be exact, a time when the market was experiencing something of a crash. Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov is known as the man behind the simple concept in Foxy Games' description of Tetris, which has kept fans hooked ever since. Predictably, there are several different versions of the game on mobile, it is not processor intensive and a simple search on the App Store or Google Play will reveal plenty of clones for you to try. There is an official version too, which might be the best place to start.

1942: Mobile

Another popular title from 1984 was 1942, a side-scrolling shooter based on the Pacific theater of World War II. Initially released by Capcom, it was one of the first titles to spawn successful sequels across the 8-bit range of machines, and has since been reincarnated as a handheld game on the Gameboy Color. It is also now available on mobile and whilst the graphics may appear basic, it does boast an accessible interface which makes it a must.

Ghosts and Goblins Mobile

Another Capcom hit is next, the massively popular Ghosts and Goblins, released in 1985. It followed the heroic pursuit of the princess Prin-Prin, also known as Guinevere, by hapless knight Arthur. It was a popular title in arcades, as well as on home consoles, and later spawned a sequel, Ghouls and Ghosts. It was another game that became a success on handhelds before they were superseded by mobile devices, and that makes it perfect for a mobile release. The app remains faithful to the original and is great fun, especially as you do not have to keep pumping coins into it to remain alive!

Double Dragon Trilogy

The side-scrolling beat ‘em up was a popular genre back in the day, with games such as Double Dragon featuring a pumping soundtrack and bright colors to detract from fairly limited move sets. As machines became more capable, brawlers developed and the concept of a game in which you simply defeat waves of villains slowly became obsolete. That doesn’t mean they are no longer fun, and the Double Dragon Trilogy proves that. It has been optimized for mobile use and remains faithful to the layout and themes of all three original titles.

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