First things first: I'm poor. As such, the increasingly popular freemium model can be a major boon in some cases. The unfortunate thing about it is that the mobile scene is saturated with poorly-made games designed solely to bleed people's wallets dry (just look at candy crush). However, there are several games out there that use their micro transaction systems correctly. This list is for them.

1. A game doesn't have to be freemium, although this list will have a lot of those.

2. Micro transactions for premium items or in-game currency that can be obtained normally still count.

3. I have played these games myself, so I'm trying to be fair and not praise ones that don't deserve my time or money.

Let's get started!

Well, here we have a game for the FF fans of yesteryear, participating in battles with characters from throughout the franchises rich history. All the characters (including the ones from polygonal games) are given a classic 16-bit look, and the game has deep mechanics throughout. Its premium system revolves around using mythril, but the game gives it out like its candy on Halloween, you'll always have plenty just for logging on everyday. While the disjointed nature of the story bits in different games you play through is a little disappointing, this is still a nice game if you have fond memories of the FF games of old. Plus, it won't gouge you for cash ever five minutes like FF: All The Bravest.

Another game that's for the fans of it's source material. However, this game is a solid TCG that I enjoyed despite not liking World Of Warcraft in the slightest. The gameplay is solid, the customization is easy and deep, and the amount of cards to collect is staggering. Building decks is always a fun thing to do, and the special sauce is that you play real people, so the satisfaction of crushing an opponent underfoot is much more potent that simply playing against a computer AI all the time. Purchasing packs can be done wth micro-transactions, but there are plenty of ways to get new packs without spending money, it'll just take you a little while longer. New expansions are being released regularly, so once you get into this, you can bet you'll be coming back for more.

My first introduction the "TCG" style of freemium games on mobile, Valkyrie Crusade is a fun, if simple, game. Anybody who's played the collection-style games on mobile like Brave Frontier or such can find some enjoyment from this simple app. You have tons of cutesy girls to collect, evolve and train, plus building a kingdom to mine for resources, subjugate arch-witches to build up your strength, and explore areas of a sprawling, multipath map to collect new girls at every turn. This particular game doesn't have a whole lot to make it stand out from the other TCG-style games on mobile, but the fact that all the cards you collect are cutesy girls makes this a great treat for otaku fans (but I've heard Girls Battle is even better).

This rhythm game was a bit of a surprise for me, since it had a heavy emotional aspect to it despite telling it's story in a minimalistic way. The music is beautiful, and the gameplay is fun and addictive. Unfortunately, you have to pay for more songs the the initial 20 or so, but it's quite cheap, shell out about 30 bucks and you'll have plenty of songs to master and play. Overall, this game was an excellent second effort from Rayark, and I'm excited to see more rhythm games embrace their potential like this one did.

While the PC version was a normal non-freemium type of game from steam, the iOS version of this excellent stick-fighting game had more stuff to do and more options to customize your character. The game runs on a stamina system, but I had an unusual stroke of luck. I downloaded the game and played it till my 6 stamina that I started with ran out, but then I got sidetracked by other games and didn't pick it up till about a month later, and I had acquired about 108+ stamina, so I've never had to wait since. If you have that much stamina the only thing you'd pay for is gold to get new Kung-Fu or equipment and abilities faster, but I find that playing enough will get you those things and the satisfaction of finally getting that new Kung-Fu or uber-ability is potent. This game is simple, only two buttons and tons of style and flair, plus the fighting is just a spectacle, despite it being stick figures.

This is a game that I have a personal love for. Unless you're a fan of the anime, however, you probably won't be very interested in this. Still, rhythm game aficionados should enjoy it, as well as those who love idols. There is lots of fun to be had from this title, aside from just playing through songs. The original and Sunshine cast all have their own story modes and side stories for each and every character as well as the 700+ original characters you can scout, idolize, bond with and train. You can build any type of team you want with so many different characters, and scouting is easy and fun. The premium factor comes into play in the form of "Love Gems" which can scout rare members, increase you member limit, or replenish your stamina without having to wait. HOWEVER, just logging on every day can get you a decent amount of gems in a single month, and you'll always be able to scout for free with friendship points (although getting rares will be much less frequent this way). Unlocking new songs is fun, and I love that you never have to pay for songs at all. Overall, otaku and idol fans shouldn't pass this up.

This was a surprise announcement for me. Since awakening finally got the series to gain a real following in the US and the three versions of Fates increased it popularity even more, heroes was brought stateside and I couldn't have been happier. Living up to their record, intelligent systems set a high standard for this game and it shows that they weren't cutting corners just because of the mobile nature. It looks about the same as any FE you'd play on the 3DS. The roster is enourmous and wasn't downsized for the localization, as all the characters from Japan-exclusive FE games are on here as well. Collecting and viewing your heroes is fun, and the strategic gameplay is as addicting as always. Fans of FE and tactical games should add this to their collection.

This is a title that I will never tire of. I love me some of that classic pinball, and although I miss the pop of the bumpers and the feel of the flippers, this is about as close as you can get to owning tables of your own. Every single table in this game is real, meaning that if you go to a pinball convention, you'll likely find the real-life versions of the tables in this collection (except Goin' Nuts since that was never put into production). Three tables are free from the start, and TONS of new tables are available on their own or in packs of two, so you can buy the ones you want and play for free, no quarters needed! All the graphics, sounds and physics have been painstakingly re-created to be as hyper-authentic as possible (the tables are much more brightly-lit than real-life, but that's okay). As for the selection, Bally, Williams, Gottleib and Stern classics are all here, so you can always find something to entertain you for hours upon hours. Experience the enduring part of americana that is pinball and you'll never wonder why this was so popular back in the day of arcades.

WOW, is this game good. This is one of those rare mobile games that rivals that of console games. The controls are simple and intuitive, the enemies, equipment and weapons are varied and awesome looking, the graphics are drop-dead gorgeous, and the story is pretty good too! Although I'd recommend playing the entire trilogy and reading the two light novels, if you're only gonna get one game in this series, the third is the best by far. An entire, stunningly beautiful and detailed world to explore, interesting characters to meet and plenty of replay value for extra treasures to keep you coming back for more! Overall, this game does have a premium currency (chips), but you can earn tons of chips without spending a dime, thanks to achievements and battle challenges. The main locations from the first two games are re-visited as well, which is pretty cool, and there are multiple Inifinity Weapons in addition to the Iconic Inifinity Blade itself for you to collect and master (and upgrade, if you desire). Overall, this game is MAJOR bang for your buck.

I know that many will disagree with this pick, but I have to shine the spotlight on this wonderful rythm-game. I had been aching for a real Technika port for the iOS ever since I got my iPad, and though Technika Q eventually came out, it was another game that gouged you for cash to build a decent song list. Not this one though. Instead 100+ songs are all available from the very start, and there are additional packs of 10 songs to buy for 5.00 (basically 50 cents a song!). Overall, the gameplay is fun and addictive, the music selection is diverse and very enjoyable, and the challenge is there for those who get bored playing easy songs to unlock the harder ones. There's nothing to unlock here (aside from the purchase packs), everything is available from the beginning and you'll never have to wait for stamina or anything! All this for $2.00! Amazing! Rayark really knocked it outta the park with this, and everybody with no iOS system should support them so they can keep making more games and adding more songs. This is the most value-heavy rhythm game I have EVER played.

Well, there you go. This was a pretty easy list to make, since there are so few games that handle the freemium model with respect to the consumer.
Here are a few honorable mentions:
1. Rhythmix (didn't make the list because the song list is too small to have you playing for more than a day at most, but it's a good Technika clone)
2. Brave Frontier (I haven't played this one yet, but I'm thinking about giving it a try once my home Wi-Fi is fixed)
3. Shadowverse (looks like an enjoyable card game, but I tried to keep this list varied, and Hearthstone has kept me more entertained).
4. Puzzle & Dragons (I haven't played this yet, so it didn't make the list, but I've heard it's quite entertaining)
5. Heroes Of Dragon Age (another game I haven't played yet, but it looks quite enjoyable, so I might download it in the future)
If you disagree, don't flame, just tell me what your picks are, because I'm honestly curious.
Peace out...

List by LostSoul (06/19/2017)

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