After a year like 2018, who thought things could get any worse? You have to hand it to 2019 for exceeding our expectations in this regard, at least.

Still, the mobile games were pretty good. Thank your chosen deity for small mercies, eh?

The biggest mobile gaming news in 2019 was Apple Arcade, without a doubt. Finally, a major company took steps to tackle the 'race to the bottom' that has blighted the industry in recent years.

I'm not saying that there were any high-minded gaming-purist principles on display from Apple. It never got games in the Steve Jobs years, and I'm not convinced that it really gets games now. It essentially fell into the games business by accident, with the unexpected success of the games category of the App Store.

But it had the good sense to understand that something big was happening, and also to spot that some bad trends had crept in to spoil things. Then it did something that Jobs himself would have approved of - it hired lots of smart people who DID get gaming to build something better.

And Apple Arcade IS better than what we had before, even if there's a lingering suspicion that it's merely a return to the pre-freemium status quo with a new subscription payment model.

Regardless, the platform and the games within are generally really good. There are two Apple Arcade games in the following list, and several more were vying for the remaining spots.

It's not all Apple Arcade, though. Most of the games on my list came from outside Apple's service. There is still plenty of good stuff happening in the regular system, and one of the games can even be played for free - although it has a welcome one-off premium payment option. I'd like to see more of that in 2020 too.

Here are the mobile games I've been playing most in 2019, in no particular order.