The mobile video game industry is growing rapidly. Every day more AAA-class development companies focus their attention on this market. The significant increase of smartphones’ power in recent years is the biggest reason for this. Devices that once only ran Tetris can now rival the performance of some computers.
But what is the power limit of modern smartphones? What is the maximum level of graphics a mobile developer can achieve? To answer these questions, we researched the mobile games market and picked the products that have the best graphics. In this article, we will try to figure out together – how beautiful can a smartphone game be?
Asphalt 9: Legends
We’ll start with racing games because this genre was one of the first to appear on mobile devices. When speaking about races, it is impossible not to mention the Asphalt series, which started back in 2004. Now Asphalt 9: Legends, Gameloft’s newest creation, implements all the experience of the developers.
The game takes full advantage of modern smartphone’s capabilities to achieve the highest level of graphics. From race to race, the location constantly changes from famous cultural monuments to “concrete jungle”. Thanks to this, the player does not get bored with monotonous city landscapes and continues to enjoy high-quality graphics. The cars’ image in the game is also on point – each model matches the real analog and takes the smallest details into account.
Need for Speed: No Limits
Speaking about racing simulators, we ought to mention the genre’s “heavyweight” – the Need for Speed series. EA has been releasing smartphone versions of games for a long time, starting with NFS: Shift in 2009. But Need for Speed: No Limits, the first NFS exclusive for mobile, has taken visuals to the next level. The creation uses advanced technologies like ray tracing and weather effects. All this ensures maximum realism of the picture, especially during a tense race.
Mortal Kombat X
Fighting games were bound to reach smartphones sooner or later. Modern mobile phones are about the size of gamepads, making them ideal for performing combos. Despite all that, the release of Mortal Kombat X on mobile in 2015 was a revolution. Many gameplay elements from the original version had to be removed or redone for smartphones. However, the fighting game still gained wild popularity among mobile players.
The game’s graphics, when using a powerful phone, are almost on par with the console. Brutal fatalities at maximum settings are no less bloody, and backgrounds and combat movements are no less complex. The mere fact that the game uses Unreal Engine 4 is enough to evaluate its visual level.
Call of Duty: Mobile
It would be strange if the Call of Duty series, whose games are released annually, didn’t touch such a vast source of money as the mobile games market. Therefore, in 2019, Activision launched Call of Duty: Mobile for Android and iOS. In terms of gameplay and plot, the creation is almost identical to the previous parts for PC, but the visual component is still a little worse, as expected from smartphones.
Even so, CoD: Mobile produces stunning graphics with high-quality details and shadows. The developers have also made a good job on the interface, adapting it for mobile devices. It is worth noting the rather convenient control and possible support for the gamepad. Thus, CoD: Mobile is one of the most realistic mobile games.
Anyone with a passion for mobile gaming has heard of Shadowgun Legends. The creation of the Czech studio Madfinger Games can outperform many PC games when it comes to visuals. This first-person shooter has stunning graphics, many story missions, and a high-quality multiplayer. The game also allows you to collect a variety of equipment and thus change the character’s appearance.
Fun fact – Shadowgun Legends won the Most Beautiful Game at the Google Play Awards. That alone should be enough to catch your attention.
Unkilled, another shooter by Madfinger Games, doesn’t have anything revolutionary in it. The gameplay and plot are pretty commonplace and don’t differ from most zombie shooters for smartphones. But according to the developers, its graphics are second to none, and we tend to agree with them. They previously worked not only on Shadowgun but also on Dead Trigger, another zombie shooter. This fact is noticeable in Unkilled because the characters and the landscape look realistic and detailed. And high-quality work on lighting only adds to the atmosphere.
Black Desert Mobile
Black Desert is one of the most popular PC games. This MMORPG has long become famous as a beautiful product with an equally high-quality gameplay component. Unsurprisingly, Black Desert Mobile, its “younger brother” for smartphones, has taken over most of the main game’s advantages, including the graphics.
The hallmark of the game is the character editor. It allows you to customize the appearance of your gaming alter-ego as much as possible. Besides, Black Desert Mobile has inherited well-developed locations with an emphasis on realism. You can easily recognize the Mediterranean landscapes in the game. NPCs also have an authentic medieval appearance. At the same time, flashy fantasy characters provide a pleasant contrast and delight the eye.
As another mobile MMORPG, Darkness Rises is often compared to BDM. Some praise it as the best in the genre, while others scold it for having bugs. But you can’t deny that the game has a very beautiful visual component.
All graphics, like playable characters or locations and lighting, look fresh and vibrant. Even the character editor is top-notch, even though as good as the BDM one.
However, the game has one indisputable advantage over Black Desert Mobile – it can be played even using budget smartphones.
Genshin Impact is the creation of the Chinese studio miHoYo, which is rapidly conquering the MMORPG market. The game is cross-platform and available for both smartphones and PCs or consoles. Its “catch” is a fantasy setting made in an anime style. Therefore, the graphics of this product are slightly different from others on the list. But this is also its advantage – the in-game world is marvelous due to this. Endless space for flight and exploration – what could be better?
All these games prove once again that mobile gaming isn’t only about time-killers. AAA titles with high-quality graphics for smartphones are no longer a rarity. Therefore, if you haven’t tried to play these games before, you are missing out on a lot!