Top Grossing Games (2023)

David Curry

Updated: January 9, 2023

Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store host over one million games collectively on their stores, spanning all genres from the classic puzzle, role-playing and action to the newly formed hypercasual, merge, and simulator, which have developed for mobile.

At launch, both of these stores prioritized paid-for games, with some of the pioneers on the platform being Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and Tap Tap Revenge. All three of these popular titles recognized the value of the touchscreen, accelerometer, and other sensors to provide users with new experiences.

After a few years, paid-for games were overlapped by titles that offer in-app purchases to skip or make levels easier and purchase new items from cosmetics to more content. Most free-to-play games also rely on advertising to cover the initial development and future maintenance of a game.

Candy Crush Saga, Cut the Rope, and FarmVille were all part of this new wave of freemium games, which in some way push the user towards in-app purchases. For Candy Crush Saga and Cut the Rope, players can pay to skip levels or purchase more levels, while FarmVille has a time-lapse mechanic which meant users have to wait hours for an item to be ready or pay for instant access.

With revenues increasing year-on-year, video game publishers such as Electronic Arts, Tencent, and Ubisoft started to invest heavily in the space. It is common for publishers to now have divisions solely responsible for mobile games, which also work on mobile porting for popular PC and console releases.

Improvements to iPhone and Android phones hardware, from high-definition screens to faster processors and more RAM led to online experiences being possible on mobile, such as Clash of Clans and Honor of Kings in China, which borrows heavily from Riot Games’ League of Legends.

This would be stretched even further in the late 2010s with the launch of Fortnite and PUBG on mobile, which are “battle royale” games that have 100 players in one lobby. Another new venture was the launch of Pokemon Go, which established a new location-based gaming genre that includes Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite.

In the past few years, both Apple and Google have launched subscription-based services that bundle hundreds of games for a monthly cost. Most of these games are highly-rated, paid-for experiences, with the list curated by Apple and Google monthly to give subscribers something new.

We have collected data and statistics on the top grossing games. Read on below to find out more.

Top Grossing Games Key Statistics

  • PUBG Mobile was the top grossing game of 2021, with the vast majority of its income coming from its Chinese version, Game for Peace.
  • Roblox was the top grossing game in the US and UK, reaching top spot in both countries for the first time
  • The vast majority of revenue came from China, with PUBG Mobile, Honor for Kings, and Genshin Impact all receiving more than 60% of their income from the country

Top Grossing Games by Country

China, Japan, and the United States are responsible for the majority of in-game spending on mobile games, with some of the highest grossing games on iOS and Android solely played in China or Japan.

Top Grossing Games 2021

PUBG Mobile was the top grossing game in 2021, with $2.01 billion revenue. It is the third year in a row that PUBG Mobile has held this title.

AppRevenue ($bn)
PUBG Mobile2.01
Honor of Kings1.64
Genshin Impact1.33
Coin Master0.93
Pokemon Go0.90
Candy Crush Saga0.85
Garena Free Fire0.83
Uma Musume Pretty Derby0.81
Rise of Kingdom0.68

Sources: AppMagic, Sensor Tower

Top Grossing Games 2021 (United States)

Roblox was the top grossing game in the United States, generating $588 million in 2021. Candy Crush Saga wasn’t far off in second, with $556 million revenue.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Candy Crush Saga556
Coin Master433
Garena Free Fire388
Pokemon Go320
Genshin Impact278
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense234
Clash of Clans229
Call of Duty: Mobile216

Sources: AppMagic, Sensor Tower

Top Grossing Games 2021 (United Kingdom)

Roblox was also the top grossing game in the United Kingdom, generating £42 million. Coin Master by developer Moon Active was second with £33 million revenue.

AppRevenue (£mm)
Coin Master33
Candy Crush Saga26
State of Survival: Zombie War16
Pokemon Go16
Clash of Clans15
PUBG Mobile14
Toca Life World 12

Sources: AppMagic, Sensor Tower

Top Grossing Games 2021 (India)

Garena Free Fire was the top grossing game in India, taking the position PUBG Mobile held in 2020 before it was banned by the Indian government.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Garena Free Fire17.7
Call of Duty: Mobile6.5
Battlegrounds Mobile 5.9
Coin Master5.2
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense4.2
Teen Patti Octro 34.1
Candy Crush Saga4
Clash of Clans3.3
Genshin Impact2.7
Top War: Battle Game2.5

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Games by Platform

In this section, we will break down the top grossing games by the two most popular mobile platforms: iOS and Google Play.

Top Grossing iOS Games 2021

Seven of the 10 games on the list generate revenue primarily from China. Roblox is the exception, with more popularity in the West than Asia-Pacific.

AppRevenue ($mm)
PUBG Mobile1677
Honor of Kings1649
Genshin Impact804
Fantasy Westward Journey588
Romance of Three Kingdoms584
Pokemon Go429
Rise of Kingdoms428
Umamusume: Pretty Derby420
Candy Crush Saga420

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Google Play Games 2021

As Google Play is not available in China, the total values for top grossing Google Play games are lower than iOS.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Coin Master654
Garena Free Fire585
Genshin Impact465
Pokemon Go458
Candy Crush Saga444
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense337
Lineage M325
PUBG Mobile301

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Games by Category

The mobile gaming market has expanded to feature almost every category of game, with new genres like hypercasual coming directly from mobile.

Top Grossing Puzzle Games 2021

Candy Crush Saga was the top grossing puzzle game in 2021. Playrix’s Homescapes and Gardenscapes came in second and third, generating a combined $1.2 billion for the company.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Candy Crush Saga856
Puzzle & Dragons437
Toon Blast314
Candy Crush Soda Saga294
Empires & Puzzles 289
Project Makeover286
Royal Match171

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Strategy Games 2021

Alibaba’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms took top spot in strategy games, the e-commerce giant’s first mobile title. Clash of Clans was number one in 2019, but sunk to fourth place in 2021.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms702
Rise of Kingdoms672
State of Survival: Zombie War532
Clash of Clans492
Lords Mobile: Tower Defense485
Top War: Battle Game330
Mafia City298
Clash Royale294
Puzzles & Survival275
Evony: The King's Return230

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Shooter Games 2021

PUBG Mobile generated over $2 billion revenue, putting it far ahead of all other shooters. Garena Free Fire came second, grossing $832 million.

AppRevenue ($mm)
PUBG Mobile2012
Garena Free Fire832
Call of Duty: Mobile469
Brawl Stars344
Knives Out298
Crossfire: Legends182
War Robots83
World of Tanks Blitz60
Standoff 247
War Machines: Tank Battle38

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Role-Playing Games 2021

Honor of Kings, the MOBA inspired by League of Legends, was the highest grossing game of 2021 with $1.6 billion revenue. Genshin Impact, which is popular in China and Japan, came second, grossing $1.2 billion.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Honor of Kings1641
Genshin Impact1332
Fantasy Westward Journey621
Fate/Grand Order547
Monster Strike546
Lineage M371
Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle361
Lineage2 M334
RAID: Shadow Legends279
Odin: Valhalla Rising264

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Adventure Games 2021

LifeAfter was the top grossing adventure game of 2021, with $184 million made in the 12 months. Minecraft, which has been out on mobile for over a decade, generated $161 million.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Twisted Wonderland126
Identity V125
June's Journey125
Chapters: Interactive Stories69
Manor Matters67
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery64
Sky: Children of the Light62
Episode - Choose Your Story62

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Casino Games 2021

Moon Active’s Coin Master was far ahead of other casino games in revenue, generating $933 million in 2021. The rest of the pack are more traditional slots, poker, and vegas games.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Coin Master933
Bingo Blitz255
Jackpot Party 199
Cash Frenzy 176
Cashman Casino172
Lightning Link171
Huuge Casino 149
House of Fun129

Source: AppMagic

Top Grossing Simulation Games 2021

Playrix’s Township was the top grossing simulation game in 2021, a farming and city building game in the style of Zynga’s FarmVille.

AppRevenue ($mm)
Hay Day136
Klondike Adventures124
Family Island119
Design Home101
Fishing Clash82
Shining Nikki49
Onegai President49
Forge of Empires46

Source: AppMagic

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