Without a doubt, 2021 will be a great year for mobile RPGs, with many big franchises finally coming to smartphones.
The level of details and complexity of mobile games are bigger than ever, developers and publishers are treating mobile games just like those on consoles and PCs, which means high-quality games for the hard-core gamers are becoming more and more a common thing for smartphones.
If you are an RPG fan, but you are having second thoughts if mobile RPGs are worth your time, then be sure to check some of these games when they come out.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
We need to start this list with a little bit of cheating given that KotOR II is technically not a 2021 game because it came out on 18th December 2020 for iPhone, iPad and Android.
KotOR 2 is considered to be one of the greatest RPG games of all time, and there's a reason why this Obsidian's masterpiece is so beloved.
The main story revolves around The Exile, a Jedi outcast from the Jedi Order, and it features fantastic characters, amazing world-building, and intriguing storylines.
The game approaches traditional lighthearted narrative of Star Wars with a much darker tone, and you as a player will be able to choose the Light side or the Dark side through your actions, something we don't see often in Star Wars.
The mobile version of the game is the work of Aspyr, who previously already ported KotOR 1 to mobile, and both games are great mobile ports with fantastic touch screen controls. A perfect mobile RPGs to start 2021!
Since KotOR II is a 2020 game, we will consider it a bonus, and now Top 5 mobile RPGs with an actual 2021 release date!
Devil May Cry Mobile: Pinnacle of Combat
Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combat is a mobile action RPG developed by the Chinese company Yunchang Game.
It will be the first time that the legendary franchise is coming to mobile, and it will be based on Devil May Cry 3 when it comes to story, but the gameplay will take many elements from various DMC games, and we will also visit some locations from Devil May Cry 4 and DmC: Devil May Cry.
Gameplay consists of things you may expect from a Devil May Cry game, such as weapon switching, combos, character design and puzzles. Developers promise that many iconic attacks will be faithfully transmitted to the mobile version.
Although rendition of Dante's appearance was criticized when it was first revealed, developers are promising that it will be fixed before the game's launch.
Path of Exile Mobile
(Picture: Grinding Gears Games)
One of the best action RPGs of the last decade is finally coming to mobile.
Path of Exile has been praised by hack and slash fans as being a true successor to the legendary Diablo 2, and for a good reason.
This top-down action RPG has been developed by Grinding Gear Games, and the goal is that the game brings all the things people love from its PC/Console version to mobile.
Developers explain that Path of Exile's Atlas Map system "is actually perfect for bite-sized action gameplay," and that players can expect a complete Path of Exile game experience with no pay-to-win elements and other mechanics that are usually plaguing mobile games.
The only things that will be different are how you control your character and some sections will be designed to offer shorter instances that are more suitable for playing on mobile, but the core systems will remain unchanged and the strategic depth and complexity Path of Exile is known for will still be there.
(Picture: Square Enix)
NieR games are one of the most beautiful Japanese RPGs we ever had a chance to play, and we have high hopes that NieR Re[in]carnation will be a great game as well.
Still, we are cautious, because, unfortunately, Japanse publishers are known to heavily focus on gacha mechanics in their mobile games, which basically only exist to extract money from players, and Square Enix is no different in that regard.
First few trailers look absolutely beautiful nonetheless, and the music is gorgeous, which is something to be expected from a NieR game and masterful composer Keiichi Okabe.
In the game, we are in the world called "Cage" and players will follow a floating spirit named Mama, on a quest to collect "Weapon's Memories".
In terms of gameplay and visual design, players will explore the world in 3D environments, but the turn-based combat and puzzles will be 2D.
(Picture: Perfect World)
Torchlight series is coming to mobile for the first time in 2021.
The game is a collaboration project between XD and Perfect World, and it will be a single-player focused mobile action RPG, but it will feature co-op as well.
Torchlight: Infinite was first revealed at ChinaJoy 2019, and the Chinese market is a primary focus because of the popularity that mobile games have there, but the game will be available worldwide.
Torchlight: Infinite will offer gameplay experience faithful to the PC version of the game, with a frenetic hack and slash action and non-stop battles.
The development team wants to create a mobile game with a “high level of freedom” in both playability and how players experience content, and the core systems of the game will not be obstructed by monetisation, so the publisher is still working on plans how to monetize the game.
Unlike its predecessors, the mobile version doesn't have classes, instead, players will play with premade characters, and for now, we know three of them: Carino, Rehan, and Gemma.
Do you guys not have phones?
When it was first announced during BlizzCon 2018, response to Immortal's announcement was largely negative and Diablo fans were outraged by the fact that Blizzard is making a mobile Diablo game instead of a proper sequel (Diablo 4 wasn't announced at the time).
Two years later, and the technical alpha build of the game is finally available, and it seems that the game is actually really good.
Immortal is set between the events of Diablo II and Diablo III, and it offers six character classes for players to choose from: Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Necromancer, Demon Hunter, and Crusader.
Each class has four unique abilities and 12 unlockable skills. While looting is still a core gameplay element, unfortunately, newly equipped items will not change the visual appearance of the player's character, which is probably due to the limitation of mobile hardware.
Mana as a resource is also completely removed from the game, and abilities are operating on cooldowns.
You can play the game solo or team up with other players to tackle large-scale zone events and special quests that require multiple participants There's much more about the game, and you can read about all of the gameplay mechanics here.
- Read more: Best mobile esports games to watch in 2021
And there you have it, five upcoming RPGs we are extremely excited about and we can wait to play them next year.
Of course, these are just some of the great RPGs that are coming to mobile in 2021, but there are others as well, like My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero, Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds, Warhammer: Odyssey, Marvel Future Revolution, Tower of Fantasy, and many more.