This year, Android and iOS phones received a wide array of ports. The trend, however, seems to be that of bringing great games which, nowadays, are not garnering that much attention.
With the exception of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, the titles presented here are not pushing the limits of today´s hardware; instead, they push great story-telling and gameplay. We have left out ports dedicated exclusively to the Nvidia Shield since most users don’t have one, and there are so many that the platform deserves a list of its own.
1. Final Fantasy VII
For $15.99, Final Fantasy VII comes to Android with a set of minor tweaks and enhancements. You now can, for example, use a Max Stat cheat command -yes, cheat- and turn off random enemy encounters. These modifications were probably made to cater to today's audience. The port, released last year for iOS users, was uploaded to the Google App Store on June 8th and has some bad reviews. This is probably due to minor bugs causing "submarines, airships, and other modes of transportation to cease moving." Square Enix has stated that, for now, the only fix is to restart the game. In order to play it, you will need at least Android 4.1 and 4 gigabytes of free memory.
2. Neon Chrome
First released on April 28th for PC, Neon Chrome is a top-down shooter with frantic gameplay and a strong Cyberpunk aesthetic. The controls are basic, two analog sticks: one for player movement and the other one for shooting. Its procedurally generated levels make it a truly endless game. It could be described as a mix of Hotline Miami, The binding of Isaac, and a Blade Runner on steroids vibe. Currently, Neon Chrome is only available for iOS devices. You don't need the latest phone to play it, an iPhone 5 or iPad mini will suffice.
3. Shovel Knight
Sold exclusively in the Amazon store, Shovel Knight brings all its magic to Android and Amazon Fire TV: the 8-bit era level design and aesthetic, the butter-fluid gameplay, the challenging bosses, and the amazing soundtrack and story. You will need a controller to play it, the game is challenging and requires precision. The reason for the game’s absence from the Google App store seems to be that Amazon paid specifically to have the game ported to their systems.
4. Final Fantasy IX
Along with Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX was ported for Android devices; it was already available on the App Store. This port, however, seems to run better than the Final Fantasy VII one. Some users have complained about a slow frame-rate but the problem seems to be more about some phones specifically than the port itself. Aside from that, everything appears to run correctly and the game has a score of 4.5 / 5 in both stores. In order to run it, you will need 4 gigabytes of free storage and an Android version of 4.1 and up.
5. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Available on the Google App Store, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place on Pandora’s moon, and acts as a sequel to Borderlands 2, broadening the story of its main villain. The game requires 13 gigabytes of free space, although this may vary. It allows multiplayer in the form of co-op. It has some reports of crashing but, then again, it has a score of 4/5 in both stores. The game also has various expansion packs, which add to the overall experience in both story and gameplay.
6. Her Story
Released on June 29 of this year, Her Story puts the player in the skin of a detective of some sort, or so we think at the beginning, that has to put together a very intricate story by watching a lot of short interviews of a certain woman. The gameplay is simple. You are skimming through hundreds of short videos, each associated with a keyword; so if, for example, you hear the word bat on a video, you type it in the search bar and all videos associated with that word will pop-up. This way you can start putting together what happened to the lady in the monitor and why. Praised for its story, the game requires Android 4.4 and up to be played.
7. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2007, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney follows the design and gameplay of the Ace Attorney saga. You play as a defense attorney that acts also as a detective in the search for evidence that can leave your defendant free. These detective segments are alternated with heated judicial sections in which you have to defend your client from questionable testimonies and dubious claims. The port was set to be released for iOS and Android on December 1st. It is already available for both platforms.
There may be many other ports released this year, but these are the most expected and prominent of the bunch. Of course, there's no accounting for taste, you may love some, and hate others. But try to give them a try, all are great games. Because I am a sucker for storytelling I personally recommend: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and Shovel Knight for their good story and awesome gameplay.
Above all, do check out Her Story. The concept and structure are just amazing in this game, plus the acting: top notch.
Here some articles that may inform you on the Ace Attorney universe. Get on that train, the whole series is pretty fun.