Release date: April 16, 2014
Some games on this list don’t need much in the name of introduction, and Hearthstone is one of them. While card battle games have long been a staple of mobile gaming, we’d have to be completely honest and say that not many of them resemble Magic: The Gathering in terms of their complexity, execution or longevity.
Hearthstone has already nailed the first two and is working on the third, which is no mean feat when you actually take the time to think about it. At the same time, Blizzard managed to very quickly prove that the game was worthy of serious, competitive play, baking ranked play into its DNA from day one. The company has a well-earned reputation for not making any moves unless it feels comfortable with the levels of polish and quality involved, but even so, what it has achieved with Hearthstone has been impressive.
So with that in mind, why doesn’t this game rate even higher with critics and players? That’s a valid question, one for which it’s hard to pin down an obvious answer. It’s clear that some people don’t like the pay-to-win aspect or the rat race in trying to keep up with the changes in the metagame, but both of those things are parts of physical card games too.
Blizzard has also made some effort to make the game fun to play for those of us who can’t devote our lives to it, most notably by introducing the Tavern Brawl mode. It’s just plain fun, and if more additions like that continue to arrive, it’s possible this is one game we could see even higher up in our rankings a year from now. One thing’s for sure: Hearthstone definitely isn’t going anywhere.
Next: Monument Valley