Collectible card games are a staple of the tabletop game genre. After all, who doesn’t want to collect cool cards and battle other people with them, or to just show them off and watch the envious masses drool in awe at your complete collection? Well, that’s part of the draw of these games.
And now, you can experience the same thing on your mobile. Without further ado, here are 20 of the best collectible card games available on Android and iOS phones right now.
1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Some would say that when Hearthstone came out for the PC and eventually Android and iOS, that’s when online CCG really took off, and they’re probably right. Based on the popular Warcraft series, Hearthstone allows you to play as your favorite characters as they… relax and play card games with each other?
Seems like a pretty weird premise, right? Well, you’d think that, but it works. You collect cards related to each Warcraft character and use them to defeat your enemy, pretty standard for a card game.
This game’s the one that started the CCG phenomenon on the internet. Because of the popular Warcraft brand, people flocked to Blizzard’s new game and it’s still flourishing with over thousands of players, whole decks of collectible cards to wage battle with, and several expansions to sink your teeth into. Truly a great game for a CCG fan.
While the wake of Hearthstone carved a path for other CCGs to follow, it actually has a tiny bit of a flaw. Hearthstone cards are incredibly hard to get just through playing, and you usually have to pay in order to get some of the more powerful cards. Shadowverse, however, is more generous with the cards.
There’s still some pay-to-win mechanics there, which is almost a given on games today, but they do have a mechanic where you can temporarily own the more powerful cards if you have an easily acquired currency. This allows experimentation for people who want to test out deck builds to see which build is more their fancy.
In effect, Shadowverse is a game that will test your skills not only in deck building but also in strategy. The battle is usually decided even before the game begins, as your build can sometimes be anathema to your opponent’s or vice versa, making you go back to the deck builder to adjust your deck again over and over. Still, Shadowverse is one of the best CCGs out there.
3. Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links
From anime to real cards and online game, Yu-Gi-Oh sure has made its mark. The game Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links allows you to create your own Yu-Gi-Oh deck and battle notable characters from the anime. It also lets you fight other players to test out your deck builds against each other. With an almost complete list of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and more being added when new cards get released, the game will tickle the nostalgia bone of those that want an authentic Yu-Gi-Oh experience.
4. Clash Royale
From the same developers who made Clash of Clans comes Clash Royale, a CCG based on the Clash of Clans games. Supercell’s free-to-play Clash Royale may be a surprising addition to a list of old-school card games, but it features a cool mix of card management and tower defense, all within tight three-minute rounds. Using a variety of unit cards played on a tower-defense style map, players must carefully balance offense and defense in quick-play rounds where a single misplay can swing an entire match.
5. Meteorfall: Journey
A deck-building rogue-like game that blends both Reigns and Adventure Time, Meteorfall: Journeys is a fast-playing card RPG where you choose a hero to take down the Uberlich. Each battle is a balancing act between attacking and regaining stamina and spell charges.
You swipe right to play a card or left to skip your turn, regaining energy by resting. As you progress, you can unlock new cards or upgrade existing ones, while facing a variety of random challenges. With five different heroes to play, each with their own cards and playstyle as well as a host of randomized quests, challenges, and combat encounters, Meteorfall offers a lot of replayability.
One thing to note, though, is that the game costs $3.99 to download from both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
6. Card Thief
TinyTouchTales takes a sneakier turn to their Card Crawl sequel with Card Thief. As an ingenious burglar, players sneak past guards, traps, and torches while trying to steal as much treasure as possible. Players go through a 3×3 grid, with each move having the potential of draining your thief’s stealth value. Players must balance risk and reward, nabbing treasure, eliminating guards, and looking for places to hide, while trying to make their way out of each castle.
While it’s not as beginner-friendly as Card Crawl, Card Thief’s more involved mechanics, daily challenges, and quick playtime make it a mobile puzzle winner worth the price of $2.99.
7. South Park: Phone Destroyer
If you’re a longtime fan of South Park, then this CCG is for you. You get to see South Park in all its crass glory through the lens of a trading card game. And. It’s. Hilarious.
The awesome visuals are plucked straight from the original show, while the gameplay has shades of card games and The Fractured But Whole. On top of that, the off-brand humor that characterized the show itself as well as the fans of South Park make this game the perfect homage to what the show’s all about.
8. Exploding Kittens
Now, this is a bit of a weird and different one. Exploding Kittens is what Russian roulette would be if there are cats and cards involved. You and up to four other players take turns pulling cards out of a deck until someone gets an Exploding Kitten card. At this point, they explode and are out of the game – unless they have a Defuse card to prevent the explosion. There are numerous other useful cards that can help mitigate explosions too, in this fun and intense card game.
The game is not free but all the fun it offers makes it worth the price of $1.93.
9. Pokémon TCG Online
Who remembers the Pokémon Trading Card Game? Well, it was a thing once upon a time, and thanks to Pokémon TCG Online, you’ll have the chance to experience it again. Players can create their own decks and battle it out with others, collect various Pokémon and legendaries, and just have fun. There’s one catch, however: only iPad and Android tablet users can experience this game as smartphone screens aren’t enough. Still, though, this TCG is one to watch.
10. Animation Throwdown
This is what happens if Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, Futurama, and Bob’s Burgers were to have a videogame lovechild. The game allows you to do a throwdown with other players using cards based on the five series mentioned. It’s for those that like South Park’s addition to this list and appreciate the crassness and humor that these series can elicit from the ones that like it. If you do enjoy those things, then this is a treat.
Now Ascension is one of those games that need a separate account (Playdek) before you can actually play it, but once you do, expect hours of single-player gameplay, bonafide deck building, and a pretty expansive multiplayer. Made by 3 Magic: The Gathering tournament champions, and thus draws inspiration from the base card game itself, Ascension is a game that can hook you into the story.
12. Night of the Full Moon
Night of the Full Moon puts you in the shoes of the Little Red Riding Hood, who finds out that her grandmother has disappeared and goes to find her. Along the way, you must battle ferocious enemies using cards that you collect. Little Red Riding Hood isn’t so little anymore, and the stakes are high in this game.
13. Star Realms
For those who like both deck building and space exploration, Star Realms is your game. With an expansive campaign and PVP, Star Realms allows you to explore the universe all the while expanding your deck, and units. If this is your cup of tea, then get this game.
14. Brave Hand
Who says single-player games are dead? Brave Hand is a gorgeous game that prides itself on its single-player experience. You go through the story, all the while unlocking the secrets of the Guardian and the Wanderer. It’s a pretty elaborate game, with incredible art and gameplay. So if you want something intimate, then Brave Hand is for you.
Can you combine Solitaire, roguelike gameplay, and deck building? Well, that’s what Solitairica has answered in a positive. You’ll battle enemies, collect new gear, and upgrade everything just by playing Solitaire. If you want something unique, then Solitairica has you covered.
Yet another reimagining of a card game, Battlejack is Blackjack with deck building and battles. Combine that with an expansive story and enormous dungeons, and Battlejack is a game that can take your time. So it might be best to hunker in.
17. Stormbound: Kingdom Wars
Stormbound provides a fresh new spin on the Clash Royale formula by introducing four different lanes to attack down. You’ll still play cards using an energy system, forming strategies to bring down your opponent. This time though, you’ll have four lanes to manage rather than just two. This adds more depth and strategy to the mix.
Teppen is something of a wild card among the best collectible card games. It’s a new game with similar mechanics to the other games on this list with one small difference: The game introduced real-time elements on the battle system. This fresh take on the CCG genre allows it to stand alongside some of the more popular entries on this list.
19. Elder Scrolls: Legends
And now for an Elder Scrolls CCG. For fans of the Elder Scrolls series, this game’s got it all, but in a collectible card game form. You’ll be able to use some of your favorite Elder Scrolls characters and duke it out with other players. Gameplay-wise, it’s similar to Hearthstone with the difference of having two lanes to keep track of. This adds a layer into the strategy of the game, which would tickle the fancy of some hardcore players. With regular updates and a faithful player base, this game is for people who wish for an Elder Scrolls experience on the go.
Yet another Hearthstone alternative that’s free to play, Eternal has an almost identical premise and gameplay as Hearthstone, but with the cards being a bit more accessible for F2P players. This game’s for those that want to play something like Hearthstone but prefer to get into the meat of things.
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