The smartphones we carry around in our pocket aren’t only good for mobile games. They’re little handheld consoles in disguise. In fact, your smartphone is many times more powerful than handheld consoles like the Sony PSP and Nintendo Switch.
Despite comparatively worse hardware specs, handheld consoles have one advantage over smartphones. The quality of games is often much better, carefully controlled by Nintendo and Sony, compared to the wild-west Android marketplace.
However, your smartphone is certainly capable of running console to mobile ports, and today’s smartphones can handle previous-gen console graphics. So let’s take a look at some of the great console games you can play on your phone today.
Game streaming services
Instead of porting games to different consoles, cloud streaming seems to be a viable future for the gaming industry. You have Xbox Remote Play, PS Remote Play, Google Stadia, and numerous other services that can stream console and PC titles directly to your smartphone screen.
Because the games are streaming from your console, PC, or cloud service provider, phone hardware is barely a concern, and next-gen game titles will run buttery smooth on your phone screen. You can easily play .io games as well, giving you access to thousands of free online games like Little Big Snake io.
If people are able to play Cyberpunk 2077 on their mobile devices through Google Stadia, I’m not really sure what the point of handheld consoles will be any more in the future.
Grand Theft Auto
Released in 2004 for the PS2 and Xbox, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a huge success and sold over 20 millions units globally. San Andreas introduced many popular features to the game series, such as character customization, vehicle modding, and open-world navigation without level loading.
The mobile port version is perfectly optimized for mobile, with remastered graphics better than the original console versions. It’s certainly a blast plugging in a mobile gamepad and causing mayhem in the streets of San Andreas all over again.
Crazy Taxi Classic
Crazy Taxi was one of the best titles remembered from the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast console, but the title lived on several future consoles as well. While there is a Crazy Taxi mobile game available that plays similarly to an endless runner game, you can actually play an enhanced version of the original console version.
Crazy Taxi Classic is the original Sega Dreamcast version of the game, with several improvements taking advantage of today’s smartphone hardware.
Max Payne Mobile
Another classic console game from the Rockstar archives, Max Payne was a critical success when released on Xbox and PS2 in 2002. The gritty, neo-noir crime thriller provided a memorable story and intense gunfight gameplay. It was the first-ever video game to feature bullet-time, as popularized by The Matrix films.
The mobile port is an excellent remaster of the original, featuring enhanced, HD quality visuals over the original. The touchscreen controls receive a bit of flak in the reviews, but gamepad compatibility is perfect.
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is an action-adventure video game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox. It is a part of the Oddworld series. It was released on January 25, 2005.
An HD remastered version was released for all major platforms, including Android and iOS.