Most smartphone and tablet gamers spend hours playing casual fare like "Dots" and any given version of "Angry Birds." However, the winds have begun to shift, with more developers working on hardcore games to sway console players onto mobile. Some conversions have fared better than others — Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto" and "Max Payne" games have both been well received — but there's a lot of great stuff out there you may have missed. From first-person shooters and racing titles to fighters and RPGs, here are 10 awesome mobile games that can deliver a console-like experience anywhere.
'The Drowning' (Free; iOS)
In most first-person shooters, you use virtual stick controls to get around and shoot at enemies. However, DeNA Studios, working with its own Scattered Entertainment Studio, have come up with a novel concept in "The Drowning." Along with graphics that look like they came straight from a current-gen console, the game benefits from a unique control system. You tap on locations to move around while also keeping pinpoint aim on enemies. The two-finger shooting system also works wonders, allowing for better accuracy and, more importantly, the ability to see where your enemies drop. This shooter is definitely a fun ride.
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'Need For Speed: Most Wanted' ($6.99, iOS; $5.99, Google Play)
Having already gathered a good track record on consoles, "Need For Speed: Most Wanted" had a lot to live up to on the mobile front. Fortunately, the team at Firemonkeys, the same group that designed the impressive "Real Racing 3," met that task with ease. This arcade racer satisfies on every level, with outstanding visuals, a rock-heavy soundtrack, easy-to-use controls and plenty of opportunities for racing chaos. You can even wreck opponents and police vehicles if you're good enough, increasing your chances for that first-place victory.
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'Injustice: Gods Among Us' (Free; iOS)
Having already gained a huge audience for "Injustice: Gods Among Us" on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U, Warner Bros. has brought the DC Comics-based brawler to mobile devices. Granted, this game does play differently on mobile compared to consoles, with swipe-based combat systems and the ability to unlock new fighters by other means. However, the title offers a terrific fighting experience, one where you can challenge friends and strengthen your fighters through leveling-up. And if you own the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions of the game, you can unlock exclusive skins as well. Best of all, it's free-to-play. Who knew that saving the day would be so affordable?
'Dead Space' ($9.99, iOS; $8, Google Play)
Already a huge hit on the console front with a trio of games, "Dead Space" by Electronic Arts also made a very effective debut on the mobile front. Featuring mind-bending graphics that took iOS and Android devices to new heights, "Dead Space" also benefits from an original story that ties in with the series' universe, delivering shocks galore as you take on deadly Xeno enemies using a variety of weapons. The game's Survival Mode also goes a long way in satisfying the hardcore needs of players, with ongoing waves of aliens to wipe out. This game is (ahem) out of this world.
'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City' ($4.99; iOS, Google Play)
Over the years, Rockstar Games has really done wonderful things with the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise. Before the company manages to do so again on game systems next month, with "Grand Theft Auto V," you may want to check out "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." This mobile translation of the hit console/PC game doesn't lose any of its luster in moving from consoles, plopping you right in the middle of 1980's Miami as you fight to leave your criminal mark in the world. Whether you're cruising on a motorcycle to Phil Collins or getting into gunfights while wearing a Hawaiian shirt, "Vice City" has limitless possibilities. For $4.99, this game is quite easy on the wallet, too.
'Infinity Blade II' ($6.99; iOS)
Ever since its arrival on the iOS market last year, "Infinity Blade II" has helped push the idea of an action game on a mobile device. This now-classic title improves upon the original hack-and-slash adventure game, with more enemies, more weapons and plenty of level-up options. What's more, the visual presentation is simply stunning, looking like something you'd see on a next-gen console, all from the convenience of your handheld device. There's a reason this franchise is still a phenomenon after all these months.
'The Walking Dead: The Game' (Free; iOS)
Last year, Telltale Games shocked the world by releasing an original game series based on Robert Kirkman's shocking comic book series, "The Walking Dead." Rather than relying on the popular AMC show, the team introduced original characters to the fold, along with harsh decisions that helped define your main "hero," Lee, and his young charge, Clementine. With a beautiful graphic setup, shocking moments and excellent touch-screen gameplay, "The Walking Dead" has plenty of life in it.
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'Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP' ($4.99, iOS; $1.99, Google Play)
With a truly innovative visual style, a great soundtrack by noted composer Jim Guthrie and the kind of classic action/adventure gameplay you don't see much anymore, "Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP" is truly a one-of-a-kind diversion. You journey through a fantastic mystical realm, battling enemies while solving puzzles to continue your journey. The game also features an innovative twist through Twitter support; you can cooperate with friends to help get further in the game. This sword is still a sharp title after over a year in release.
'Final Fantasy V' ($15.99; iOS)
Though its price ($15.99) may be a little higher than you were expecting, "Final Fantasy V" is worth every penny. That's because Square Enix, the game's publisher, spent a huge amount of time making sure every ounce of the game's role-playing goodness — carried over from previous game consoles — made the transition to the mobile version. With great touch-screen controls, jaw-dropping graphics that will really engulf you into this fantasy world, and a number of memorable characters, this RPG is built to last — until "Final Fantasy VI" comes along, that is.
'FIFA 13' ($6.99; iOS)
Soccer has proven to be a highly popular sport in the video game world, as EA Sports' "FIFA" games have sold millions of copies each year without fail. The same goes for the mobile market, as "FIFA 13" has been a proven champ over the last year. There's a good reason for that — several, actually. The graphics really shine, bringing the sport to virtual life; the gameplay feels natural, as if you're in control of every aspect of your player's abilities. Plus, the power to build your own dream team via Ultimate Team is unprecedented. This game provides a great way to get your kicks, even though "FIFA 14" isn't too far off from release.
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