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Games That Changed Our Lives

Landmark Retro Games Available on Mobile in 2023



Retro Games

Retro gamers are abuzz with excitement following the announcement that Konami’s side-scrolling classic shooter Contra is coming to mobile. The release will bring with it all new 3d character models and level design, as well as new multiplayer modes such as PVP. With that in mind, we take a look at the state of classic gaming on the mobile ecosystem and look to see what other legendary games are upcoming, or already available, for both Android and iOS.

In 1997 Square Enix released Final Fantasy VII, in which they took the solid RPG play mechanics of previous games and revamped them for the 3d era. With unprecedented cinematic scope, rich cut-scenes and a powerful story-line, it changed people’s perceptions of what could be achieved with video games as an artistic medium. To date it holds up as one of the best regarded titles of the 1990s and, in many eyes, one of the greatest games of all time. Now a spin-off is coming to mobile in the format of a battle royale style arena game cast from the same mold as PUBG and Fortnite. Named Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, the game will see general release at the end of July.

If that’s not enough Final Fantasy to satisfy, Square Enix has plenty more in the works. Over the past decade, each of the original six Final Fantasy games have been remastered for release on Android and iOS, with many changes to the originals in order to modernize the game-mechanics and visual aesthetic. This is most evident in the case of Final Fantasy III, which received a full 3d remake for mobile. 

While these have been generally well-received among the community, many have been wishing for purer versions of the games they remember and love from the NES and SNES. Enter the new Final Fantasy Pixel series, announced at this year’s E3. The goal of this new project is to re-release the first six games with all the original pixel art, midi sounds and controls of the classic versions: a dream come true for hardcore fans. Square Enix will release the first three FF Pixel games in late summer, with the next three following towards the end of the year.

Classic Games

These titles will be joining an already impressive retinue of  classic ways to play the game, which can be found in PC and the Play and App stores over the years. It is a little known fact that Rockstar games have ported some of the classic entries in their open world crime-simulator, Grand Theft Auto, to mobile. You can pick up GTA III, as well as Vice City and San Andreas, each for around $10. There’s also a surprisingly good mobile version of the PS2 classic noir shooter, Max Payne available in their app store.

When SEGA decided to drop the curtain on it’s own console ambitions after the failure of the Dreamcast, the company diverted its resources into licensing its back catalogue to new platforms. The Android ecosystem has been one of the richest inheritors of this shift in focus, and is now home to a whole range of SEGA Mega Drive classics, from Golden Axe to Streets of Rage. 

It goes without saying that Sonic the Hedgehog is also well represented in SEGA’s Android app store. Classic titles like Sonic CD and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 join new made-for-mobile releases like Sonic Forces, a multiplayer racing and battle game that occupies a space halfway between Mario Kart and Temple Run. There are even some specially curated ports of Dreamcast games available to snap up, including the deceptively challenging physics puzzler Super Monkeyball, and legendary checkpoint racing game Crazy Taxi.

Finally, for the Jedi among us, you can now pick up the 2003 Xbox and Windows game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on mobile. This RPG, developed by BioWare and LucasArts, is widely considered one of the greatest games of all time. 


With so many top-tier gaming experiences available on mobile, one increasingly wonders why anyone would ever need another gaming system, especially if you choose to go the extra mile and buy a clip-on Bluetooth controller so you can play these games as they were originally intended.

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