Most Popular Mobile Gaming Genres 2023

When the average person thinks of popular gaming platforms, their mind usually turns to any number of successful home game console systems such as the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Xbox or Sony PlayStation. Failing that, they may consider the PC – a popular option among certain gamers.

What these perspectives fail to account for is that there is one platform that is far more popular, and lucrative than any other, accounting as it does for over 50% of the industries revenues in 2023.

We are, of course, referring here to the smartphone. Since its arrival on the scene in the late 00s, the smartphone has revolutionized many aspects of day to day life, and gaming is no exception.

At its root, much of the erroneous assumptions about smartphones as a gaming platform come from the stereotypes that have grown up around mobile gaming.

That it is purely for causal titles, and that the majority of those employ frustrating freemium paywalls to force people to ‘pay to win’. While there’s no denying the fact that mobile gaming has become a hotbed of microtransactions – a big part in why it has proven so lucrative to developers – this only captures part of the picture.

Smartphone gaming in 2023, at its best, can match anything other platforms can offer when it comes to scale, creativity, innovation and even visuals.

Gone are the days where the likes of Fruit Ninja represented the final word in what this hardware had to offer – now there’s a huge array of genres of game types that call this device home. Let’s take a look at what the most popular of these are today.


Competitive gaming, otherwise known as esports, has historically been the province of the PC platform, but recently – especially in the wake of the so-called ‘esports boom’, mobile competitive titles have been giving the PC old guard a run for their money.

Variants of well established esports genres like the MOBA and the battle royale are successfully making the jump to mobile with titles such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Free Fire in certain instances proving even more popular than headline PC-optimized esports of the ilk of CS:GO and League of Legends.


While the rise of mobile esports has exerted an outsize influence on the development direction of major game studios, competitive gaming of this form is but one facet to today’s diverse mobile gaming sector.

Another key genre that has enjoyed substantial growth in 2023 is that of iGaming, with a huge number of mobile casino gaming platforms cropping up to furnish players with digital variants of table titles right to their smart device. The enduring appeal of this sector lies in the fact that it draws on a legacy that long predates the arrival of video games.

By updating and innovating on classic table games and slots of old, these new digital variants are winning advocates and fans across the world. Couple this with the on-demand and accessible nature of mobile devices, and it’s easy to see why this genre has proven so popular in the 21st century.


Another seemingly unlikely contender for mobile dominance, the RPG genre has continued to establish itself on the platform with a succession of truly groundbreaking titles.

When Genshin Impact, a large-scale open world RPG with clear similarities to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, few could have imagined that it would also ship with a mobile port that facilitated crossplay, yet that is exactly what happened.

Now Genshin Impact arguably represents the pinnacle of mobile gaming in terms of its scale and ambition, and it serves as a potent statement as to the future of the genre on this hardware.

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