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If you’ve got a Netflix subscription, you have to play these 20 essential free games

All of these essential games are included as part of your Netflix subscription, and they're all great

A segmented image featuring mobile games available on Netflix, including Dead Cells, Immortality, Kentucky Route Zero, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Into the Breach
Image credit: VG247
UPDATE: The mythological majesty of Hades is now available on iOS via Netflix Games, and it's fantastic. It's easily one of the best games included with Netflix and rightly takes its throne atop our list!

Did you know your Netflix subscription includes free access to a dazzling array of incredible games?

Well you do now.

And this isn’t some qualified statement of, “they’re good games for mobile,” or “they’re good games for free”. The best games on Netflix are some of the best games anywhere, period - and that’s hugely exciting.

We’ve selected 20 essential titles that you really need to try out - something from nearly every genre - which you have to admit is a great value add when it feels like we’re getting less and less while we pay more and more for streaming services.

While you won’t find huge, open world experiences on a par with console games, or even Mobile RPGs like Genshin Impact or Honkai Star Rail, Netflix has put together a commendable roster of beautiful narrative adventures, deep and complex puzzle games, and mechanically diverse platformers.

What’s more, these games come from a range of storied and respected developers. It would be like if Netflix added a load of the best indie films to their lineup, with games from Ojiro Fumoto, Sam Barlow and Thunder Lotus Games just to name a few.

Many of the best games on Netflix can be enjoyed on a variety of devices, however, it is worth noting that many of these experiences are slightly scaled down versions of their console or PC counterparts, meaning that they’ve been stuffed by hook or by crook onto a less powerful mobile platform. So if you’re rocking a really old phone or device then you may run into some performance issues.

However, the way that most of these games have been squeezed onto a cell phone is nothing short of magical.

In no particular order, here are the best games on Netflix to play right now in November 2023!

Best games on Netflix

  1. Hades
  2. Cats and Soup
  3. Into the Breach
  4. Kentucky Route Zero
  5. Immortality
  6. Oxenfree
  7. Dead Cells
  8. Bloons TD 6
  9. World of Goo
  10. FM 2024
  11. Samurai Shodown
  12. Moonlighter
  13. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge
  14. Poinpy
  15. Raji: An Ancient Epic
  16. SpiritFarer
  17. Terra Nil
  18. Ghost Detective
  19. Narcos: Cartel Wars
  20. Krispee Street
  21. Lucky Luna

Hades

  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Released: 2024
  • Developer: Supergiant Games

Since its release on iOS, Hades isn't just one of the best mobile games, but one of the best games anywhere. With compelling action and a perfectly portrayed pantheon of Greek Gods and Godesses, it's worth playing wherever you can get your hands on it.

Hades is a "Roguelike" action RPG, where you play through variations of the same levels, restarting from the beginning when you die, but progressively collect permanent upgrades that propel you closer to your goal each time. While this seems like it could get stale quite quickly, Hades constantly refreshes this loop by dripping out more of its engrossing story, which sees Prince Zagreus, son of the titular God of the Underworld, as he tries to escape Hell and join his extended family atop Mount Olympus.

The structure perfectly lends itself to bite-sized play sessions on a smaller screen, but make sure you have some headphones handy; the voice acting and soundtrack are not to be missed.


Cats and Soup

  • Genre: Idle/Casual
  • Released: 2021
  • Developer: HiDea

Before it was translated, Cats and Soup used to be one of the best foreign games you could download off of the Asian app store, following in the footsteps of two of my wife and I’s most-loved mobile games of all time, Neko Atsume and Travel Frog.

Cute in the extreme, with Ghibli-esque storybook artwork, you collect cats and they make soup - it’s as simple as that.

If you find yourself in need of a daily dose of aesthetic wholesomeness, Cats and Soup is perfect.


Into the Breach

  • Genre: RTS
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Subset Games

Channelling Neon Genesis: Evangelion, XCOM and Pacific Rim, Into the Breach tasks you with repelling invading alien forces at the helm of a giant fighting robot, meticulously planning your grid-based strategy as you scrap tooth-and-nail to come out on top.

This deep and memorable game, which also has a great soundtrack, is perfectly suited to a smaller screen and bite-sized play sessions - although it will likely demand your attention for much longer.


Kentucky Route Zero

  • Genre: Narrative
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Cardboard Computer

This experimental, episodic adventure game inspired by David Lynch, magic realism and American literature is about as atmospheric and avant-garde as games get, and is a hauntingly memorable experience whatever platform you play it on.

Headphones are recommended, if not essential, but I actually think this works really on a good phone screen snuggled somewhere comfy where you can lose yourself to its mesmerising story and world.


Krispee Street

  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: FrostyPop

Krispee Street is an adult Where’s Waldo by way of Adventure Time and The Mighty Boosh, as you fit jigsaw puzzle pieces into densely-packed scenes of offbeat kooky characters.

It’s a brilliant, relaxing concept with an almost meditative soundtrack and tons of fun flourishes. Like as you move your piece around the screen you get snippets of audio from the people and creatures underneath your cursor, or how instead of some kind of daily pay-to-win gacha reward you get to spin a wheel which sets you a self-care task for the day.


Immortality

  • Genre: Narrative Puzzle
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Sam Barlow

Marissa Marcel is missing. To solve the mystery of her disappearance you have to glean clues from her three Hollywood starring roles, presented in full-motion video for you to pick through and piece together.

Immortality is already an amazing experience, but watching interactive clips of the same device you’d use to watch Netflix adds even an extra layer of meta fun to the package.

In our Immortality review we called it “a haunting love-letter to the silver screen that will keep you awake at night”, so look no further if you’re after some small screen chills that go past the usual jump-scares.


Dead Cells

  • Genre: Rogue-like
  • Released: 2019
  • Developer: Evil Empire

That you can play the awesome Dead Cells for free as part of your Netflix subscription is cool enough, but that it also includes the brilliant Return to Castlevania DLC too is the blood-red icing on the cake - and makes it the perfect companion for the recent Castlevania series too.

A rogue-like is a game where every time you die you start back at the beginning of the game, eventually progressing a few permanent powers until you’re strong enough to make it all the way through to the end in one fell swoop.

Dead Cells is one of the best, with precise platforming, punishing combat and a vivid, pixel-art style that rightly earned many plaudits on its console release.


Bloons TD 6

  • Genre: Tower Defence
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Ninja Kiwi

I’ve long thought that the best classic flash games are surprisingly absent on mobile, but what better series to fly the flag than the legendary Bloons.

Surely responsible for more wasted school hours than any other game franchise, this is the latest in the underrated and awesome tower defence spin off where you protect your town from encroaching armies of evil balloons.

Does a more engrossing time-sink exist?


Poinpy

  • Genre: Platformer
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Moppin

From the creator of the excellent indie platformer Downwell, Ojiro Fumoto, Poinpy flips that concept on its head, literally.

Instead of falling… down a well, in Poinpy you race to the top of the screen collecting fruit to crush into juice to appease the ravenous, but cuddly cute, creature on your tail.

It’s a simple, hectic, endlessly replayable platformer with a striking Bubble Bobble aesthetic and surprising depth of unlocks and biomes to discover.


World of Goo

  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: 2D Boy

Back in the early days of mobile gaming, World of Goo was the game to play. This remastered version looks really bright and crisp and the core game has lost none of the inventive flair that it released with.

You build structures, bounce balls and burst balloons to solve physics-based puzzles and collect sentient goo. It’s the best sort of puzzle game that’s quirky and brain-teasing without resorting to being esoteric or unclear to falsely inflate the difficulty.


Football Manager 2024 Mobile

  • Genre: Management Sim
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Sports Interactive

As well as the sprawling spreadsheets of the full-fat version, Sports Interactive now do multiple skews of their famous Football Manager time sink, including a mobile-sized version that includes all the same licensed clubs and players but with a more streamlined interface and match engine.

The depth and immersion of Football Manager is legendary for a reason, and if you’ve ever felt that you didn’t have the time to focus on playing it properly, this is your chance. On a mobile device you can dip in-and-out as you please, racking up playtime whenever you have a spare moment instead of bingeing over a long weekend and missing your child’s school play (this has not happened to me).


Samurai Shodown

  • Genre: Fighting
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: SNK

Samurai Shodown is one of those spectacle fighters you would’ve never thought possible until Injustice 2 turned everything on its head back in 2017.

Despite its lack of external controller support, which would be a must if you actually wanted to pull off the game’s more technical combos reliably in a competitive setting, it’s still the best place on Netflix to hit up if you want some stylized, one-on-one sparring.


Moonlighter

  • Genre: RPG
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Digital Sun

Moonlighter is a unique indie game which asks the question: What if you were the NPC shopkeeper servicing would-be adventurers, and how do they get all the rare items they stock anyway?

Half-shop simulation, half-2D dungeon crawler, Moonlighter is the best of both worlds as you spend all night pillaging tombs and fighting massive bosses before flogging the spoils the next day.


Oxenfree

  • Genre: Narrative
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Night School Studio

You can get both of Night School Studio’s excellent Oxenfree games as part of your Netflix subscription, and it’s amazing to see such a branching and affecting narrative adventure come to the platform.

They’re stylish and stylized games based around exploration, light puzzle solving and dialogue options where your choices matter on the way to receiving multiple endings.

The hazy, celestial backgrounds look great on an OLED phone screen, as does the arresting use of neon colours and stark light contrasts.


TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

  • Genre: Beat-'em-up
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Tribute Games

In our TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge review, we called it “a radical taste of the 80s with modern quality”, and that sentiment perfectly sums up this retro-styled side scrolling beat-’em-up.

While it nails the arcade-aesthetic of the classic franchise, it leaves the frustrating, quarter-stealing gameplay in the past, delivering instead a well-pitched adventure that’s cheekily funny and vividly colourful.


Raji: An Ancient Epic

  • Genre: ACtion
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Nodding Heads

A third-person spectacle action game in the vein of classic PlayStation exclusives like Heavenly Sword and OG God of War, Raji: An Ancient Epic follows a young girl on a mission to save her brother from the demon lord Mahabalasura.

Set in ancient India, it boasts a fresh perspective, stunning environments and offers a tough challenge too.

This is one of the games on Netflix that I was most impressed by. Something that’s easy to overlook in the deluge of great games you can play on consoles, but reworked for a smaller screen is more compelling and exciting, with well-implemented combat and platforming.


Spiritfarer

  • Genre: RPG
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Thunder Lotus Games

Gorgeous hand-drawn visuals belie what is likely the saddest video game to ever exist.

As Stella, you take on the role of ferryman, carrying departed souls from the land of the living to the afterlife, helping to resolve their last wishes, let go of final regrets, and eventually say goodbye one last time.

Over the course of your journey you get to know and make firm friends with the spirits you meet, making it all the more bittersweet when it’s time to finally wave them off.

But Spiritfarer is also a really engaging management sim, as you build up your boat with more cabins, features and amenities, collect loot and craft interesting items from the resources you find.

If your heart can take it, this one is a real boon for Netflix.


Terra Nil

  • Genre: Builder Sim
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Free Lives

Usually, management sim games set you off into a vast, untapped wildness, filled with natural resources for you to industrialise and turn into a sprawling city-scape.

Terra Nil is the opposite of that.

You start with a parched and barren wasteland and over the course of your game turn it into an solarpunk utopia teeming with lush foliage and roaming wildlife. A fresh and wholesome twist on the genre that’s pure good vibes.


Ghost Detective

  • Genre: Narrative
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Wooga

What could make a narrative murder mystery even better? How about adding every cosy, casual game mechanic going to the mix, interspersing story sections with match-3 grids and hidden object hunts?

It actually feels quite novel to play through this sort of game without adverts and microtransactions, and it’s just such a better experience for it. Obviously it’s not quite as smart as something like Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright on the DS, but it reminds me of a similar era of games.


Narcos: Cartel Wars

  • Genre: RTS
  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Tilting Point

A pocket-RTS in the explosive world of Narcos, Cartel Wars tasks you with building your empire by assaulting and defending farms, mansion compounds and facilities through hilariously militarised means.

This is another great example of a mobile game that’s so much more playable via Netflix than the freemium pay-to-win version you’d get from the regular app store, as you can play at your own pace without feeling like you’re going to hit artificial progress barrier designed to send you to an in-game store.

Obviously it’s also a great companion if you’re just starting out with, or are super into, the show too.


Lucky Luna

  • Genre: Platformer
  • Released: 2022
  • Developer: Snowman

Every indie-centric games service needs a solid, pixel-art platformer and Lucky Luna is that for Netflix.

Reminiscent of Fez and Celeste, Lucky Luna has the ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere and dream-like quality of so many great platform games but without the same extreme trial-and-error challenge.


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