Honkai: Star Rail, Arknights, Pokémon Sleep Wins Google Play’s Best of 2023 Awards
Google recently released its Best Of Awards for 2023, featuring the best-performing mobile apps on their platform. Read on to see which games have made it to the top.
Google Play 2023 Best of Awards
A Wide Variety Of Titles Achieve Success
With 2023 drawing to a close, Google has again released its list of best-performing mobile apps. That list includes mobile game ports, cross-platform games, and board game adaptations, showcasing the variety of choices on Google’s platform.
Of course, not every 2023 release was considered for the awards. After all, there’s still a month left before 2024 arrives. For those released at the tail end of 2023, their chance to shine will come during the following year. In turn, the list also contains games released at the end of 2022.
Here are the award-winning mobile games as announced by Google Play's 2023 Best of Awards.
Best Multiplayer Game - Farlight 84
Farlight 84 is a third-person shooter battle royale released for PC and mobile on April 24, 2023. Although there’s no striking, innovative twist to its design, it boasted features that meshed well with each other, such as combat vehicles and jetpacks, and it operated smoothly despite its demanding, cross-platform gameplay. As a bonus, its developers are active in addressing the game’s problems and delivering new content regularly.
It currently stands at 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play and at 85% positive ratings on Steam.
Best Pick Up & Play - MONOPOLY GO!
The ever-popular board game’s mobile incarnation shouldn’t be a surprising sight to see here. Released in April 2023, it has quickly become a massively successful game despite being released in the same month as Honkai: Star Rail, arguably the biggest mobile game release of that year. After all, unlike the latter, Monopoly is a game that practically everybody who has ever beholden a board game is familiar with.
As such, even its mobile version is extremely easy to notice. Although the gameplay has striking differences compared to its original board game counterpart, it still offers a lot of fun at the cost of a bit of learning time.
MONOPOLY GO! currently sits at a dominating 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best Indies - Vampire Survivors
Poncle’s immensely popular reverse bullet hell title, Vampire Survivors, received a mobile port on December 8, 2022. While it didn’t quite make the cut-off to be awarded anything during Google Play’s 2022 Best of Awards, it had ample time to make its mark on the platform over the following year.
Like its PC version, Vampire Survivors is still an amazingly engaging and endlessly challenging game that latches onto its players. On top of that, its mobile version is also completely free, albeit with in-game ads to compensate.
Vampire Survivors currently sits at a comfortable 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best Ongoing - Stumble Guys
Released on the Play Store on September 24, 2020, Stumble Guys’ persistent performance is displayed by being awarded Google Play’s Best Ongoing award.
Inspired by Fall Guys’ elimination-style Battle Royale, it offers an abundance of minigames to play, cosmetics to use, and maps to experience. It also has numerous collaborations with franchises such as Monopoly, Spongebob, and Barbie. It’s also available on Steam, and plans are being made to release on PlayStation and Xbox soon.
Stumble Guys sits at a deserved 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best Game for Good - Pokémon Sleep
While technically a game, Pokémon Sleep is played by, as the name suggests, sleeping. In a rare display of borderline genius in gameplay design, Pokémon Sleep rewards its "players" depending on how well they rest. Depending on the quality of their sleep, different Pokémon will appear next to a Snorlax in ways that imitate the player’s session. That way, players can have something to look forward to upon waking.
Pokémon Sleep currently sits at a comfortable 3.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best for Tablets - Honkai: Star Rail
Due to HoYoverse’s signature designs, it’s no wonder many players would prefer watching their characters in action on screens much larger than a smartphone. This is especially true for Honkai: Star Rail due to its incredibly stylish designs and abundant character interactions. Plus, the inconvenience of carrying a heavy tablet is irrelevant, mainly due to its turn-based gameplay with the choice to utilize AI-driven auto-play.
On top of that, Honkai: Star Rail is undoubtedly the biggest mobile game to be released in 2023. It’s even nominated for The Game Awards’ Best Mobile Game lineup alongside Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis, Monster Hunter Now, Hello Kitty Island Adventure, and Terra Nil. The game will be giving out rewards in celebration of their success.
The game currently sits at a remarkable 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best for Google Play Games on PC - Arknights
Google Play Games’ release of its beta version last year meant that many mobile games, which usually didn’t have dedicated PC versions, could finally be played using a mouse and keyboard without emulators. These titles include Hypergryph’s widely popular tower defense game, Arknights.
Due to the game’s fantastic artwork and audio, it’s easy to understand why players would prefer having the game on a much larger screen. On top of that, its gameplay is such that using a mouse is far more convenient than using one’s fingers.
Arknights sits at an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Best Multi-device Game - OUTERPLANE
Released on May 23, 2023, OUTERPLANE is a strategic, turn-based hero collector that resembles an older title, Epic Seven, in many ways. But instead of using 2D models, OUTERPLANE has achieved the same effect using 3D models almost exclusively.
OUTERPLANE is compatible with many devices, including older ones. But even more notable is that it’s one of the mobile games available through Google Play Games on the PC, allowing players to operate the game using a mouse and keyboard.
It currently sits at 3.9 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Users’ Choice Game - MONOPOLY GO!
Being the most recognizable and easily accessible game, it’s no wonder Scopely’s MONOPOLY GO! has received the Users’ Choice Game award. Its online capabilities, mobile game format, and ability to reward continuous gameplay are prominent among mainstream board game adaptations.
It also has the highest user ratings for every game in this list at 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Best Game - Honkai: Star Rail
To the surprise of nobody, HoYoverse’s hit RPG Honkai: Star Rail earned Google’s most prestigious title of "The Best Game of 2023." As their post in Google Play’s Editorial reads,
"Honkai: Star Rail took our breath away from our first action-packed moments aboard the Astral Express. This turn-based sci-fi extravaganza rose to be our best game of the year thanks to its excellent depth of content, stunning visuals, and thoughtful game design. Each new world we explored was more dazzling than the last.
You’ll be whisked away by its gorgeous anime-style visuals and stylish, memorable characters, but this game is so much more than how it looks. It builds up intrigue by sprinkling lore and character backstories as you go while easing you into its innovative combat system. The result is lasting enjoyment for RPG lovers and new fans alike. If you can only play one game, make it Honkai Star Rail."
Considering that the game hasn’t even hit its first year yet, for it to gain such a stellar reputation among casual and dedicated mobile gamers alike is a sign of great things to come.