Release date: March 31, 2010
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
When it comes to mobile games that have gone on to support their own cottage industries that include merchandise and crossovers with other forms of media, Angry Birds belongs right at the top of the list. There’s hardly even any debate about that one, but I’d submit that Plants vs. Zombies is a worthy runner-up, and is probably a better pure game experience to boot.
Yes, it originally came to life as a PC game in 2009, but Plants vs. Zombies became an institution once it hit the App Store. It never looked back after that, and as a result, you can buy other video games, comic books, toys, stuffed animals and a whole bunch of other stuff based on this title. PopCap managed to marry both compelling gameplay and an aesthetically pleasing art style to create a classic, even managing to make zombies cute in the process. Instead of, you know, gross like they usually are.
I personally consider Plants vs. Zombies 2 to be even better and deeper, but enough people were turned off by the freemium aspects of the sequel to make the original the title that fans hold up as an all-time great. Everyone knows that the undead never really rest, but Plants vs. Zombies taught us that as long as we’ve got lawns upon which to plant, we’ll never be completely helpless against a zombie apocalypse. Maybe Rick Grimes should teach everyone to do more gardening, eh?
Next: Papers, Please