The top 50 mobile games of 2023 (so far)

By John Koetsier July 10, 2023

What are the top 50 mobile games of 2023 so far? I thought you’d never ask!

Globally we’ve collectively downloaded more than 255 billion mobile apps in 2022 and more than half of them were games. While apps recently finally surpassed games in the U.S. for the first time ever in terms of revenue — thanks to streaming media and subscriptions — the reality is that both globally and in both the U.S., games are both the vast majority of smartphone downloads and massively significant in terms of mobile revenue. 

All of which means: it’s time to share the top 50 games of 2023 so far in the U.S.

Most downloaded mobile games so far in 2023

So far, according to SensorTower data, the top games of 2023 by downloads are pretty jammed with familiar names. On Android, the leaders are:

  1. Roblox
  2. Attack Hole
  3. Royal Match
  4. Candy Crush Saga
  5. Cat Snack Bar
  6. Mob Control
  7. Block Blast Adventure Master
  8. LightSaber – Gun Simulator
  9. Mechangelion – Robot Fighting
  10. FIFA Soccer

On iOS, the top 10 games so far, by downloads are:

  1. Dumb Ways to Die
  2. Attack Hole
  3. Chess – Play & Learn
  4. Gardenscapes
  5. Royal Match
  6. NBA All-World
  7. Township
  8. Parking Jam 3D
  9. Roblox
  10. Tap Away 3D

Note that these are the most-downloaded games right now, and that’s a list that can be pretty volatile as different games publishers invest more or less in new user acquisition. It will change over time.

But are the most downloaded games the top ones?

Each of those mobile games has a lot of downloads, but number of installs alone can’t be enough to make the list of the top 50 mobile games of 2023. Sure, scale is interesting — how many installs a game achieved — but engagement and active players and actual usage is probably much more important. One of the ways to measure that is revenue: do players playing these mobile games love them enough to lay out cold hard cash? Are these games good enough to pull out your credit card? (Or, yes, allow Apple or Google to take another little chunk out of your bank account.)

Perhaps the best way to determine the best games of 2023 so far is a combination of both: 

  • how many installs a game received
  • how much gameplay — and therefore revenue — it’s generating

That combination is important. 

A top game should still be relevant to new players: it should be adding new people, or else it’s just slowly dying. In addition, it should also keep existing players engaged, interested, and having fun for at least months, and preferentially years.

That makes it fresh enough for newbies, and still interesting for veterans.

The reality is that it is only the very unusual, extraordinary game that gets released years ago — even a decade ago, Subway Surfers! — and is still big. It’s an even more extraordinary game, like Clash of Clans, Roblox, or Call of Duty, that is still at or near the top of the revenue charts years and years after its initial release.

iOS, then Android, then combined

First, we’ll look at iOS.

iOS might seem small. After all, it only accounts for about 20% of global downloads: 8 billion in Q2 2022 to Android’s 27 billion, according to SensorTower data. But even so, iOS still takes credit for more than half of all in-app mobile revenue … thanks largely to the geographies where Apple owns market share: typically richer countries in North America, Europe, and certain parts of Asia.

Then we’ll look at Android, where the vast majority of app and game installs happen, especially in massive Android-centric countries like India. (And China, but data is hard to come by there thanks to the proliferation of third-party app stores.)

And finally, we’ll combine scores to arrive at an overall list of top 50 games of 2023 so far.

Data will be US-centric (sorry!) but perhaps we’ll be able to do other countries or regions later. For installs, I’m looking at recent data from SensorTower: games that are hot right now, but the top grossing component of the score will bias towards games with some track record. And I’m weighting the scores about 2:1 in favor of revenue as a stronger engagement metric than pure downloads.

iOS: top 30 games of 2023 so far by revenue

Here are the top 30 mobile games on iOS by revenue. Only 8 of them are on both this list of top earners as well as the top downloads list:

  1. Gardenscapes
  2. Royal Match
  3. Township
  4. Roblox
  5. Call of Duty: Mobile
  6. Candy Crush Saga
  7. Coin Master
  8. Homescapes
Rank Game
1 Genshin Impact
Candy Crush Saga
3 Royal Match
4 Roblox
5 Gardenscapes
6 Marvel SNAP
7 Coin Master
8 Pokemon GO
9 Township
10 Clash of Clans
11 Homescapes
Call of Duty: Mobile
13 Evony
Jackpot Party – Casino Slots
15 Fishdom
16 Bingo Blitz
Candy Crush Soda Saga
Rise of Kingdoms
Puzzles & Survival
Age of Origins: Tower Defense
Lightning Link Casino Slots
Solitaire Grand Harvest
23 Toon Blast
Cashman Casino Las Vegas Slots
25 Clash Royale
26 Slotomania Slots
DoubleDown Casino Slots Game
Project Makeover
Top War: Battle Game
Star Trek Fleet Command

Interestingly, 5 of these top-earning iOS games are gambling, slots, or casino games, which just highlights how big mashups have become in mobile gaming. 

Also interestingly, many of these top earning iOS games that have had a significant life span:

  • The first versions of Roblox were released in 2006, before the App Store (!!)
  • Call of Duty: Mobile is part of a franchise that launched in 2003
  • Pokémon GO was released in 2015, meaning it’s now 7 years old
  • Clash of Clans was launched in 2012
  • And of course the always-massive King titles such as Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga also have their genesis in 2012 (and the original, Candy Crush Saga, now has over a trillion levels played)
  • Evony has been around (in different forms!) since 2009

Android: top 30 games of 2023 so far by revenue

Possibly because Android is more geographically diverse in market share than iOS, only 5 games show up on both most-downloaded and highest-grossing lists, compared to 8 on iOS. Not coincidently, however, all of these games are also on both iOS lists as well.

  1. Roblox
  2. Royal Match
  3. Candy Crush Saga
  4. Coin Master
  5. Gardenscapes

Here are the top 30 games for Android so far in 2023:

Rank Game
Candy Crush Saga
2 Coin Master
3 Royal Match
4 Township
5 Roblox
6 Bingo Blitz
7 Pokemon GO
Evony: The King’s Return
Jackpot Party Casino Slots
Solitaire Grand Harvest
11 Clash of Clans
Candy Crush Soda Saga
13 Homescapes
RAID: Shadow Legends
15 Gardenscapes
Family Island – Farming Game
17 Slotomania Slots
18 Fishdom
Cashman Casino Las Vegas Slots
Call of Duty: Mobile
Last Shelter: Survival
22 Merge Dragons!
23 Lotsa Slots
Lightning Link Casino Slots
Cash Frenzy – Casino Slots
State of Survival: Zombie War
Goddess of Victory: Nikke
DoubeDown Casino Vegas Slots
29 Triple Match 3D
30 Toon Blast

No fewer than 7 of the top 50 games on Android are casino/Vegas/gambling games, compared to 5 on iOS.

More striking, perhaps, is the overlap between iOS top games and Android top games. More than half — 18 of the top 30 games — are tops in revenue on both the iOS and Android games lists, meaning that 60% of the top 60 games are common to both major mobile platforms.

That makes sense on a lot of levels: good games rise to the top, big marketing budgets help make both the iOS and Android versions of a game to get popular, and everyone releases for both major platforms. Also, for battle games that require a critical mass of players to form clans or teams, or to match up in fights, being big on one platform tends to help a game get big on the other.

Plus, of course, when a game gets popular it starts to generate its own buzz, and both people and platforms tend to start promoting it.

Combined iOS and Android: top 75 mobile games of 2023 so far

At last, here are the top 75 mobile games of 2023 so far based on Android and iOS and number of installs plus amount of revenue, which is a proxy for players, usage, and engagement. The combined score is based on their ranking in both top downloads and top revenue lists, with revenue being weighted 2X as much as downloads.

Completely unsurprisingly given their positioning in both the iOS and Android top lists, Royal Match, Roblox, and Candy Crush Saga are #1 and #2 and #3, respectively. Coin Master, and Fishdom round out the top 5 games of 2023 so far, while Gardenscapes and Pokémon GO sit just outside the top 5.

Rank Game
Combined score
1 Royal Match 166
2 Roblox 158
3 Candy Crush Saga 158
4 Coin Master 123
5 Township 122
6 Gardenscapes 117
7 Pokemon GO 94
8 Clash of Clans 82
9 Bingo Blitz 80
10 Homescapes 80
11 Call of Duty: Mobile 74
12 Candy Crush Soda Saga 66
13 Genshin Impact 60
14 Solitaire Grand Harvest 60
15 Attack Hole 58
16 Fishdom 58
17 Marvel SNAP 50
18 Evony: The King’s Return 46
19 Jackpot Party Casino Slots 44
20 Chess – Play & Learn 43
21 Parking Jam 3D 43
22 Slotomania Slots 38
23 Cashman Casino Las Vegas Slots 38
24 Evony 36
25 Mob Control 35
26 Jackpot Party – Casino Slots 34
27 RAID: Shadow Legends 34
28 Lightning Link Casino Slots 34
29 Frozen City 31
30 Dumb Ways to Die 30
31 Survivor! 30
32 Family Island – Farming Game 30
33 Fight For America: Defense War 29
34 Fight for America: Defense War 29
35 Cat Snack Bar 26
36 Rise of Kingdoms 26
37 NBA All-World 25
38 Subway Surfers 25
39 Block Blast Adventure Master 24
40 Puzzles & Survival 24
41 LightSaber – Gun Simulator 23
42 Mechangelion – Robot Fighting 22
43 Age of Origins: Tower Defense 22
44 Tap Away 3D 21
45 FIFA Soccer 21
46 Last Shelter: Survival 20
47 Pull the Pin 19
48 Ragdoll Playground 19
49 Merge Dragons! 18
50 Toon Blast 18
51 Stumble Guys 17
52 8 Ball Pool 17
53 Woodoku 17
54 Triple Tile: Match Puzzle Game 16
55 Lotsa Slots 16
56 Block Blast 15
57 Balls’n Ropes 14
58 X-Hero 12
59 Clash Royale 12
60 Cash Frenzy – Casino Slots 12
61 State of Survival: Zombie War 10
62 Water Sort Puzzle: Get Color 9
63 Stick Hero: Tower Defense 9
64 Wordle! 8
65 DoubleDown Casino Slots Game 8
66 Goddess of Victory: Nikke 8
67 Makeover Studio: Makeup Games 7
68 Magic Tiles 3 7
69 Wordscapes 6
70 Project Makeover 6
71 DoubeDown Casino Vegas Slots 6
72 Save the Doge 5
73 Top War: Battle Game 4
74 Triple Match 3D 4
75 Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game 3

Amazingly, Clash of Clans continues its massive and long run of success. It’s a game that just keeps generating new users, but more importantly, one that keeps players for years and years and years.

Wordle, which had a major burst of virality, has sunk down to #64, while Playrix Games’ super-popular ‘scapes offerings, Homescapes and Gardenscapes continue to be heavily marketed, continue to add new users, and continue to generate massive revenue. In fact, they’re doing better so far in 2023 than they were in 2022.

Closing thoughts on the top games of 2023

There are plenty more ways to find and list the top games of any year, including 2023. 

My current favorite game is 6 years old and didn’t make the list, for one thing, and another option would be to check all the game reviews of the year and see which ones are the highest rated by reviewers as well as the highest rated on Google Play and the App Store.

It’s also interesting to think about why a game might make the most downloaded but not the most profitable lists, and vice versa. Top grossing games, for instance, might be in a monetization phase: they’ve gathered a huge number of players, and now they need to make some money back for all their development and marketing. And top games by installs that don’t hit the top grossing list might just be in a category that doesn’t monetize super well — casual games, I’m looking at you — or might be focusing on scale rather than revenue.

In any case, if your favorite game didn’t make the list, that’s probably because with 10 million apps in Google Play and the iOS App Store, there’s a lot of choice. There’s something for everyone.

And that’s probably a good thing.

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