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Best Mobile Games from Japan Every Gamer Should Play

June 28, 2019 2750 0
Best Mobile Games from Japan Every Gamer Should Play

Thanks to Japan gamers are able to enjoy a host of amazing games. Why? Japan is home to a great number of gaming developers and publishers such as Sega, Nintendo, Square Enix, Konami, Taito, and Capcom. These companies have made such a great impact on mobile gaming that gamers almost always make sure they are the first to know of the games these publishers and developers will announce next. Before eSports took hold of many gamers' interest, Japan has offered a multitude of mobile games that continues to hook avid gamers around the world.

What Are the Best Mobile Games from Japan?

Super Mario Run

Publisher: Nintendo

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Platform

Super Mario is an all-time classic so many were really excited when Nintendo finally announced that Super Mario Run will become available to play in mobile devices. Android users waited far longer than iOS users but it is all worth it as the game brought back so many fond memories of the past. Nostalgia is big on gamers and Nintendo knows that.

The game is a side-scrolling, auto-runner mobile game that represented Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming. Super Mario Run has had positive reviews from critics for its replay value and highly addictive gameplay. The game became iOS' fastest growing app with more than 50 million downloads in its first week of release.


Publisher: Devolver Digital

Availability: iOS, Android, and Steam

Genre: Platform, Action

Downwell is a rogue-like, vertically scrolling shooter platform developed by Moppin Fumoto released for iOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, and even in PlayStation. The game also had a Nintendo Switch release ported by Red Phantom Games. The game is notable for introducing elements of classic Japanese gameplay often compared with Cave Story and Spelunky. The game has three basic controls, left and right movement, and jumping whilst on a solid surface.

Final Fantasy IX

Publisher: Square Enix

Availability: iOS, Android, and PSP

Genre: Adventure and Role Playing Game

Many dedicated fans of the Final Fantasy series would argue whether Final Fantasy VI or VII is the best of the franchise. However, when it comes to mobile, it is definitely IX. The game is the greatest installment into the franchise as the developers were able to provide a deep experience for its gamers with its homage to the classic JRPG gameplay along with an ultra-emotional love story.

Dragon Quest VIII

Publisher: Square Enix

Availability: iOS, Android, and 3DS

Genre: Role Playing Game

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is a role-playing game published by Square Enix first released for Android and iOS in Japan in December 2013 and worldwide in May 2014. The game uses cel-shading for the game characters and scenery and is also the first title in the series to have a fully functional 3D environments and character models. The game also brilliantly incorporates JRPG into its mobile game version.

The game is one of Sony’s greatest games for its critical and financial success.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Publisher: Taito

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Shooter, Retro

A classic game to hit the modern mobile gaming era, Space Invaders Infinity Gene is one game gamers love as it is one of the best shooter games for Android. The game effectively incorporates classic characters and gameplay along with the concept of evolution. Distributed by Square Enix, Space Invaders Infinity Gene received positive remarks from critics for its smooth controls and high replay value.

Part Time UFO

Publisher: HAL Egg

Availability: iOS and Android

The game is HAL’s take on arcade grabber games with its perfect incorporation of player tasks and charms. Part Time UFO is a paid up-front app that comes with no in-app purchases at all. The exploitative style of gameplay provides players with a satisfying game at no extra cost at all, allowing the game to have a huge following.

The World Ends with You: Solo Remix

Publisher: Square Enix

Availability: iOS

Genre: Multiplayer RPG

This action role-playing game comes with urban fantasy elements set in the modern-day Shibuya in Tokyo. The game takes inspiration from Square Enix’s earlier game, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.

The World Ends with You had positive reviews from critics and enjoyed commercial success receiving several awards and recognition.

Layton’s Mystery Journey

Publisher: Level-5

Availability: iOS and 3DS

Genre: Puzzle

The game, Layton’s Mystery Journey, is a puzzle video game both developed and published by Level-5. The game is the seventh installment in the Professor Layton series. The game follows Katrielle Layton, daughter of Professor Layton who is an acclaimed archaeologist and known puzzle-solver.

Layton’s Mystery Journey has a simple narrative style which was greatly received by fans of the franchise.

Aka to Blue

Publisher: Tanoshimasu

Availability: iOS

Genre: Shooter

Aka to Blue is a classic shooter game developed and published by Tanoshimasu, a company headed by a former Cave employee. This mobile game comes with some distinguishing features such as building up the bomb levels via good shooting and taking out targets when using the bombs. The satisfying gameplay loop also rewards its players with streams of gold coins making it more irresistible.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

Publisher: Square Enix

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Role Playing Game

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is another role-playing game title from the Final Fantasy franchise published by Square Enix. The game is an abridged version of the video game of the same name. The difference from the video game is that the pocket edition is playable from a fixed camera angle but the characters are still moveable by choosing the location for the character to move on instead of using a D-pad control. The game also comes with more side quests exclusive to the game such as fetch quests and treasure hunting. Whilst the game follows a similar plot with the video game, it lacks the open world offering. Still, it is a pretty enjoyable game to have especially for the fans of the franchise.

Chrono Trigger

Publisher: Square Enix

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Role Playing Game

Another input from Square Enix is Chrono Trigger. Whilst the game does not have a perfect port, it makes up by having on the best JRPGs within its core game. The video game version is both a commercial and critical success including it among the greatest video games ever made. It has become the third bestselling game in Japan in 1995.

Langrisser Mobile

Publisher: Zlongame

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Role Playing Game

Langrisser Mobile is a classic Japanese role-playing game that has a unique depth to it. Fans of Fire Emblem: Heroes looking for a deeper system loved everything that Langrisser Mobile had to offer. The game offers a majestic view of the world, an epic plot, and an extreme brain-stretching strategy to keep its players addictively hooked to the game.

Shin Megami Tensei Liberation

Publisher: Sega

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Role Playing Game

A timely spin-off from the well-loved Shin Megami Tensei series, Shin Megami Tensei Liberation gives its players the same motivation for its players with its classic demon collection and highly anime presentation.

The game battles are turn-based and use the “press turn” battle system initially encountered in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The game features more than 160 demons available for recruit via normal play.

Sonic CD

Publisher: Sega

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Platform, Retro

Sonic CD is already a cult classic. It is one of the best Sonic games ever made with its slick platform gameplay and time travel mechanic that made the original Sonic unique.

Fire Emblem: Heroes

Publisher: Nintendo

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Strategy

Fire Emblem: Heroes is one of the best mobile games that somehow propelled turn-based strategy. The great thing about Fire Emblem: Heroes is its smooth gameplay even on mobile devices. For its offering, the game has already received numerous nominations and awards and have been downloaded more than 14.1 million times grossing as much as $500 million.

Raiden Legacy

Publisher: DotEmu

Availability: iOS and Android

Genre: Shooter, Retro

The Raiden series has come a long way since its original release. Raiden Legacy is a testament to the title's success as the game compiles the original Raiden and three Raiden Fighter titles allowing gamers to access it on their mobile devices for a minimal one-time fee. The game was able to preserve the original’s gaming experience drawing positive reactions from its devoted fans.

To summarize, Japan has indeed produced a number of games that changed the landscape of gaming whether it be on arcade, video consoles, or mobile. In the years to come, more and more gamers are expecting top mobile game developers to step up to the plate and offer outstanding games that would truly stand the test of time.

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