Mario Kart Tour was the most downloaded iPhone game of 2019

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Mario Kart Tour was 2019's most downloaded iOS game
The game only launched in late September, too!
Photo: Nintendo

Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour was officially the most downloaded “free” game of 2019, Apple has revealed.

That’s particularly impressive since the game only landed on the App Store in late September — giving it less than half a year to carve out its record.

Mario Kart‘s success is impressive, if not necessarily too surprising. The game enjoyed what was, at the time, the biggest mobile game launch month in history. Across both Android and iOS, it racked up 123.9 million unique downloads in its first four weeks. (Its launch record was beaten by Call of Duty Mobile, which was released later.)

Personally, I was disappointed with the gameplay in Mario Kart Tour. Unlike the console versions, which I have loved since the SNES days, I found it far too easy (it’s virtually impossible to lose) and with poor touch-only controls. Despite Apple labelling it a free game, it also included a whole lot of in-app purchases. One of these was a Gold Pass, priced at $5 a month — the same as the totality of Apple Arcade.

To its credit, Mario Kart Tour has continued to unleash a plethora of updates. Some of these are new characters. Another is a new (paid only) multiplayer mode. There are also new courses, playable for free. So far these have included New York, Tokyo, a Halloween theme, Paris, and a winter theme.

You can download Mario Kart Tour from the App Store and Google Play

Mario Kart Tour and beyond: Top iPhone and iPad games of 2019

Alongside Mario Kart, Apple also revealed the other most downloaded paid and free iPhone and iPad games of the year.

This comes shortly after it published its “best of” list. The most downloaded lists are as follows:

Top 10 free iPhone games

Mario Kart Tour
Color Bump 3D
Aquapark.io
Call of Duty Mobile
BitLife Life Simulator
Polysphere – Art of Puzzle
Wordscapes
Fortnite
Roller Splat!
AMAZE!!!

Top 10 paid iPhone games

Minecraft
Heads Up!
Plague Inc.
Bloons TD 6
Geometry Dash
Rebel Inc
The Game of Life
Stardew Valley
Bloons TD 5
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Top 10 free iPad games

Roblox
Aquapark.io
Paper.io 2
Color Bump 3D
Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
Fortnite
Polysphere – art of puzzle
Wordscapes
Tiles Hop – EDM Rush
Helix Jump

Top 10 paid iPad games

Minecraft
Geometry Dash
Bloons TD 6
Plague Inc.
Amazing Frog?
Stardew Valley
The Game of Life
Heads Up!
Terraria
Bendy and the Ink Machine