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Top 5 Must Have Games for Windows Phone 8.1 | The Best of the Best

Updated on March 9, 2015

Slow and Steady...

Lo and behold! Years after everyone said that the Windows Phones and Windows RT/8 tablets couldn't hold their own we continuously see bigger and better apps coming out daily. The market may still be shifted in favor iOS and Android but the Cortana-Siri-Google Now battle and raising numbers in the Windows Store shows that touch screen OS wars are still young.

That being said, we all know why we're here! To see what apps you should be using to waste time in the company bathroom right? One of my most popular Hubpage articles is my Top 5 Must Have Games for Windows RT and Windows 8 | The Best of the Best so I know all of you Windows 8 and 8.1 users are starving for some more ways to not be productive.

So let's knock off the jibber jabber and jump right in!

If you play quick and decisive this is what pre-end game looks like in your favor (I'm green side)
If you play quick and decisive this is what pre-end game looks like in your favor (I'm green side)
Page 1 of 3 of the solo player levels
Page 1 of 3 of the solo player levels

Biotix: Phage Genesis

Price: Free
Publisher: TEN PERCENT RED
Genre: Strategy

With upgrades, multiplayer and intuitive controls you aren't going to find a better strategy game on the go. Jump into the tiny wars of Biotix: Phage Genesis where you are set out to destroy the tiny, yet destructive, enemy force. Spread from cell to cell spreading your genetics and destroying your enemies'.

The games are fast-paced and haven't stopped being entertaining in the months I've had it. One complaint I (and many others) have noticed is the lack of levels. With a game like this there's no reason to have more levels. But this is a minor complaint because there's a multiplayer mode! What's more entertaining than destroying a random online opponent in less than 20 seconds?

It's also worth mentioning that this game is available on your Windows RT or Windows 8 devices! So there's no reason you shouldn't have this gem on your download queue.

Windows Store Rating: 4.4

What in game looks like when you have the bonus damage (that's why my ship is red)
What in game looks like when you have the bonus damage (that's why my ship is red)
A typical end game score for me ;)
A typical end game score for me ;)

Neon Battleground

Price: Free
Publisher: Battleplay
Genre: Arcade

Looking for a more free for all online arena space battle? Check out Neon Battleground! With simple gameplay and two minute matches it's incredible how addictive this game can be.

You start by choosing a space ship and waiting for a match to start. You're then briefly flashed the names of the users you're about to destroy and let loose on a random battlefield. Chaos to ensue.

Every enemy you destroy drops a type of currency which you can use to get buffs before matches or save up to buy a new or upgraded ship. There is a decent variety of ships but there could be more battlegrounds and if they were really smart they would overhaul the multiplayer and make team based matches. Food for thought Battleplay! Give us updates!

Windows Store Rating: 4.3

Collecting a set amount of eyeballs from enemies you defeat along the way advances you along the "layers" of Dr. Phluff's mind
Collecting a set amount of eyeballs from enemies you defeat along the way advances you along the "layers" of Dr. Phluff's mind
You're character is always anchored between his three tentacles
You're character is always anchored between his three tentacles
The load screen pretty much fills you in on the setting/story line of the game
The load screen pretty much fills you in on the setting/story line of the game

Tentacles: Enter The Mind

Price: Free
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Adventure

More of a solo gamer? Or are you looking for a more easy going game to occupy your bathroom time during work? Then step into the world of Tentacles: Enter the Mind! Here you play the repressed sense of evil and mischief within the mind of Dr. Phluff, whose subconscious has hired you to clean up all of the doctor's thoughts.

This game shows that simple is sometimes better. It somehow satisfies my need for web swinging from Spiderman games which is very hard to do! (I'm looking at you Spiderman: Unlimited!!!) Your character has three tentacles and your taps control where the tentacles attach changing the direction your character is pulled. After that all the basics of an adventure game apply: Pull your character into different collectibles, attack baddies who show up and get to the end without losing all of your hearts, which you can refill between levels or by destroying enemies.

For a game that I play while the wife tries on shoes it has done wonders at keeping me entertained. Highly recommended for anyone who runs into a bit of down time during their day. Also, the colors and graphics are big eye catchers for kids!

Also, this is another game that is also available on your Windows Surface RT or Windows 8 devices.

Windows Store Rating: 4.5

Six Guns Screenshots

The title screen (note the multiplayer option!)
The title screen (note the multiplayer option!)
You can summon your horse at any time or skip horse travel and fast travel to locations
You can summon your horse at any time or skip horse travel and fast travel to locations
Zombies in a western shooter game? Duh
Zombies in a western shooter game? Duh

Six Guns

Price: Free
Publisher: Gameloft
Genre: Third-Person Shooter

Another Windows Surface RT and Windows 8 device favorite, Six Guns is another game I didn't want to include but it's damn near impossible! It's an entire Grand Theft Auto clone in the wild west where you can ride horses and shoot people to your heart's content before you ride off into the sunset all for the amazing price of FREE available on your mobile device. How can it not be mentioned?

If you've ever played a Grand Theft Auto then you know exactly what this game is about. You're a loner who starts with nothing and you're out to make a name for yourself in the west. You'll do a variety of different types of missions like your typical kill-those-guys missions, racing on your horse missions and defend this dirt pile from zombie monster missions. All in all, everything you want from a mobile GTA clone, not to mention the multiplayer mode. So what are you waiting for? Go start your download!

Windows Store Rating: 4.7

VBA8 Screenshots

You have to have a Zelda game on the go!
You have to have a Zelda game on the go!
Pokemon Dark Rising by DarkRisingGirl. http://pokemondarkrisinghq.weebly.com/
Pokemon Dark Rising by DarkRisingGirl. http://pokemondarkrisinghq.weebly.com/
Playing vertically. Go Dragonair!
Playing vertically. Go Dragonair!
Rom selection screen
Rom selection screen

VBA8/SNES8X

Prices: Free, Free
Publisher: WP8Emu
Genre: N/A

After my Windows 8 and Windows Surface RT Top 5 games article I didn't want to include these but my hands are tied. WP8Emu's emulator apps have proven time and time again that they are among the best Windows 8/RT apps on the market. They never crash, I've never had a problem making them work with roms, saving works well and you can have multiple save states, you can import roms from an SD card or your Onedrive and it's FREE. That's right, zero dollars and you can play any/all of your favorite games from the Game Boy Advance or Super Nintendo.

The one problem I have, and I have to say it, is the sound quality. It works and with graphically underwhelming games it works great but depending on the quality of your phone it might be best to just mute all together. That being said, I was running all of this on a Nokia Lumia 520 so who knows at the 830 or higher levels. I can say that on the Windows Surface RT there are absolutely NO issues with sound.

Did you download them yet? You need more? Okay, you asked for it!

Take a look at these pictures. They're from a rom hack of Pokémon FireRed by DarkRisingGirl and it has an entirely new story, dialogue from the main characters, guest appearances from mainstream Poke-characters and even a few custom made Pokémon. Still not convinced? Okay, what if I told you that you can capture ALL of the Pokémon, not just a subset? My first 45 minutes playing I had a team of starters from all different generations. So satisfying.

And that's just one rom hack! Imagine all the modified games you can find on the internet! Yeah, you might have to read a lot of reviews to make sure it's not too lame of a copy but games like Pokémon Dark Rising show how brilliant they can be.

If that isn't enough to make you get the VBA8 app then I have to appeal to your 90's side. The Snes8x can run all the classics you have already emulated on 3 PC's and re-purchased on the PSP or NDS just to replay for the sake of replaying. And you will once again download these emulators and play all the classics again. Why? Because you can and Chrono Trigger just doesn't get old that's why!

VBA8 Windows Store Rating: 4.7
Snes8x Windows Store Rating: 4.6

A couple screenshots from Snes8x

A hidden gem among Snes games!
A hidden gem among Snes games!

What are YOU playing on the Windows Phone?

Okay Windows users, I know you're out there. Scrolling through this on your Cortana interests feed, following the Windows 8/RT/Phone news and reviews, anxious to see how Windows 10 will land on the market later this year. What games or apps can you not live without? Which ones do you think show that the Windows name on the mobile/tablet market is still alive and with hope? Let me know in the comments below! Also throw out any reviews or types of reviews for Windows Phone or Surface or Windows 8 platform in general you'd like to see me do.

Is there hope for the Windows name in the mobile market?

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