ByDan O'Halloran, writer at Creators.co
Writer. Father. Gamer. Geek. Not necessarily in that order. @danoh
Dan O'Halloran

The current crop of popular iPhone and Android gaming apps are a mix of the familiar (Minecraft! LEGO!) and the new upstarts (Archery!?). There's also a good deal of overlap at the top of the charts between the platforms, but a few differences as well.

The good news is that there's a little something for everyone.

This list is accurate as of December 1, 2016 and is based on total downloads in the United States.

3. Free iPhone Gaming App - Roll the Ball

  • Publisher: BitMango
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.5

This simple slide puzzle game has been around for over a year, but has exploded in popularity in the last month. Being free means you'll have to endure ads, but you can pay to remove those as well as to solve unsolvable levels,

3. Free Android Gaming App - Rolling Sky

  • Publisher: Turbo Chilli
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.4

A 3D touch game where you guide a ball through a continuously rolling maze of blocks, traps, and barriers. Multiple environments and music tracks keep the levels rolling and if you're skilled enough, you can unlock a hidden bonus level.

2. Free iPhone/Android Gaming App - 8 Ball Pool

  • Publisher: Miniclip
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.5

The number 2 free game on both iOS and Android app stores, this pool game simulator has 1 on 1 play as well 8 player tournaments. You can even compete directly with friends and customize your pool table, for a small fee, of course. Not recommended for smaller screens.

1. Free iPhone/Android Gaming App - Archery King

  • Publisher: Miniclip
  • Price: Free
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.4

Who would have thought an archery simulator would lead the pack of free games? But here it is at the top of the charts for both the iPhone and Android app stores. You can test your skill in solo missions or go 1v1 in competitions. Not bad for a game that debuted less than a month ago.

3. Paid iPhone Gaming App - Bloons TD 5

  • Publisher: Ninja Kiwi
  • Price: $2.99
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad
  • Average Rating: 4.5

This tower defense game just had its fourth birthday, making it ancient in game app years, but its still rocking the charts. Credit constant content updates, a new quest systems, and, of course, those in-app purchases in addition to its purchase price. Cha-ching!

3. Paid Android Gaming App - LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4

  • Publisher: Warner Bros.
  • Price: $4.99
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 3.8

The LEGO series of gaming apps using modern movie franchises have been consistently good (Batman, Lord of the Rings, etc.) and Harry Potter is no exception. $5 may seem like a steep price, but that's not much for four games in one and a lot less on what you drop on supposed free to play games, amirite?

2. Paid iPhone Gaming App - Heads Up!

  • Publisher: Warner Bros.
  • Price: $0.99
  • Platform: iPhone
  • Average Rating: 4.5

Created by Ellen DeGeneres (who knew?!) this electronic guessing game is great party game or a time killer while waiting in line. While only a buck to buy outright, there are additional game packs available for a dollar a piece through in-app purchases.

2. Paid Android Gaming App - Final Fantasy Tactics

  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Price: $13.99
  • Platform: Android
  • Average Rating: 4.2

Originally released in 1997 as the first tactical RPG in the Final Fantasy series for the Playstation, this title sold over 2.4 million copies. Later remasters for the PSP in 2007, with additional content, the demand was so high that it was ported yet again, this time for Android devices. Apparently you can put a price on nostalgia: $14 to be exact.

1. Paid iPhone/Android Gaming App - Minecraft: Pocket Edition

  • Publisher: Mojang
  • Price: $6.99
  • Platform: iPhone/iPad and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.5

Continuing its dominance across every gaming platform known to man, Minecraft sits atop of both the Apple and Android app store Paid lists and shows no signs of dropping down any time soon.

With regular content updates, in-app texture pack purchases, and the recent ability to utilize AddOns, get used to Minecraft: PE to remain the king of gaming apps for the foreseeable future.

Looking for the next big mobile game? Check out our list of The Best 8 iPhone Games!