The 10 Best Retro Games For Your Phone

Lead Image: Nintendo

Retro gaming is the move right now. Nintendo proved this with the re-release of its original console in mini-form, the NES Classic. And while small enough to fit in our jeans pockets, it doesn’t support the catalog or portable design to meet our gaming-on-the-go needs. Lucky for us the mobile market is loaded with tons of old school-favored titles programmed for enjoyment right on our touchscreen. Check out the awesome best mobile games throwbacks right now on the Android and iOS scene.

Mobile Retro Games - Crashlands


Image: Crashlands
A new-school RPG with old-school flavor, Crashlands bears all the elements you’d expect from a grade-A title in the genre. That being a fun story arc, highly entertaining dialogue, and stellar crafting system that encourages players to go nuts building out armor and weapons. It features a less-than-traditional leveling system where your items determine stats and other elements of the game as you advance. Build a base, arm yourself, and survive the monsters trying to destroy your new stomping grounds.

Mobile Retro Games - Dan The Man

Dan The Man

Image: Dan The Man
A side-scrolling beat’em-up that recalls Alex Kidd, Double Dragon, and Metal Slug, Dan The Man is just good ol’ vintage action, sprinkled with animated comedy bits. The visuals and sound effects compliment the game’s nostalgic presentation, while the insane boss battles and multiple playable characters make each run-through more rewarding. Engage in daily events to earn exclusive rewards as you punch, kick, and blast through 12 levels of high-octane combat.

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Image: Terraria
One way to describe the sandbox adventure title is: Minecraft in 2D. The game is a near-perfect port of the console and PC version, blessing players with tons of terrain to explore and resources to collect, creating weapons and equipment along the way as you fight off evil creatures. Even if the controls are a bit overwhelming to master out of the gate, it plays into the game’s challenging pace and warrants your best play, no matter which adventure lies ahead.

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Neon Drive

Image: Neon Drive
Outrun meets Tron is one way of putting it. This futuristic action-rhythm racer draws its inspiration from some of the best arcade games of the past, with jaw-dropping graphics draped in neon lighting and a synth-wave soundtrack. Neon Drive challenges you to ride across gorgeous cityscapes and ocean roads as you keep up to speed with the beat of the music bumping out your speaker without crashing. Easier said than done, but it’s rage-quit-addictive.

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Super Mario Run

Image: Nintendo
What’s there to say? It’s classic Mario in mobile form. Only difference is Nintendo updated the control scheme for finger-tapping action. Much of the game’s charm comes in the well-designed levels that push your patience the further you get. Jump into the main campaign and breeze through the Mushroom Kingdom perfecting coin runs or compete against players around the world in “Toad Rally” mode.

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Vector 2

Image via Google Play
A parkour auto-sidescroller featuring 2D silhouette art, Vector 2 is as visually stunning in movement as it is graphically. Gameplay is basic with the runner speeding through levels avoiding lasers and bombs, whereas the controls are intuitive at best with touchscreen commands such as swiping up to jump or left/right for speed boosts guiding players across levels. Every action you make must be executed with precision for making needless jumps will create negative effects.
Download at the App Store for FREE
Download at Google Play for FREE

best games for your phone

Pac-Man 256

Image: ?Bandi Namco
Bandai Namco came up with the brilliant idea to create a game where players must outrun the infamous level 256 glitch from the original Pac-Man. Navigate through an endless maze avoiding different types of ghosts that share similar behaviors, which can be exploited to the player’s benefit. New power-ups and an upgrade system might give new life to archaic gameplay, but it’s still ridiculously fun.

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Street Fighter IV

Image: Capcom
Fighters on the iPhone are a dime a dozen, but great ones not so much. Capcom produces a surprisingly good translation of what many consider to be the best Street Fighter game since Street Fighter Alpha 3 with on-screen controls that work extremely well, along with responsive joystick mechanics to pull off Hadoukens and special attacks seamlessly. Not too bad for a game that was originally built to run on an iPhone 3GS.

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Deus Ex Go

Image: Deus Ex
Fans remember Deus Ex most for its nostalgic value. The action RPG became a staple on the PC and PlayStation 2 and has spawned a few spin-offs including this turn-based puzzle game. Step into an immersive universe where enemies feel more like mobile entities, challenging players to second-guess their every move and master the hacking system to slip past every brain teaser. A three-hour campaign might seem incredibly short, still, the difficulty between levels is sure to keep you playing longer.

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Image: Downwell
This well-received platformer throws you down a well armed with a pair of “gunboots,” annihilating nasty creatures through the darkness on your quest for diamonds. Tapping deeper into the abyss will lead to hard challenges that require players to be at their best, blasting through obstacles with some assistance provided via bonus items brought in precariously placed shops. Even with eight-bit visuals, this is addictive gameplay, with tons of replay value making it a go-to when you’re uninspired by the other games on your phone.

See more of Green Label reviews of the best mobile games on YouTube.

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