The market for consoles and mobile games is growing, and therefore finding the right engine is not as easy a task as it may seem. Technology platforms that have already proven their effectiveness “in the field” will become obvious favorites of many developers. Nevertheless, the market is volatile, and therefore the issue of choosing an engine will not lose its relevance in the near future. So, I present to your attention the top ten.




Unity 3D is a great affordable engine. It has a number of undeniable advantages over competitors and, perhaps, the key of them is that you pay only once for a license. It doesn’t matter how popular the game becomes – if you chose Unity, you won’t have to fork out again. From a financial point of view, this is a good solution, especially for startups and novice developers.


  • favorable licensing policy;
  • ease of use;
  • compatible with any platform;
  • great community;
  • low entry threshold;
  • it is popular among developers (this means that bugs are quickly found and fixed).


  • limited set of tools (you will most likely have to develop some of them yourself);
  • the process of making the game takes a lot of time.


Unreal Engine


Unreal Engine is one of the most popular engines for developing AAA games. Gears of War, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Mass Effect – all these hits were made on it.


  • since many developers use it, Unreal Engine probably has the best community among competitors. Several hours of video tutorials confirm this;
  • excellent technical support and update mechanism;
  • new tools come out with every update
  • a wide range of tools for various purposes (some are so easy to use that even a schoolboy can manage them)
  • Compatible with various platforms (iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, Windows and most others)
  • The new licensing policy includes a subscription worth $19 per month and a 5% royalty if the game earns more than $5,000, which makes the engine much more attractive to developers than before.


  • subjective. Some developers complain that it is difficult to get used to certain tools


CryEngine 3


If the external component of the game is your thing, then you need exactly CryEngine 3.


  • the Flowgraph function will help decorate the game with excellent graphics;
  • a set of Fmod functions to create a powerful soundtrack;
  • the simplest process of creating an AI in a segment;
  • it will be easy for a novice developer to make a UI.


  • relatively negligent technical support for the free version;
  • since the engine is relatively new in the industry, it has yet to create a strong community;
  • relatively high entry threshold. 




This engine has proven itself well in creating multiplayer games – take at least Star Wars: The Old Republic. The license is quite expensive and is unlikely to suit novice developers, but if your project is ambitious, then I would advise you to consider this option.


  • there are several maps available to create an open world. There is a possibility of their “seamless” connection;
  • fabulously powerful AI!
  • a convenient set of tools for modeling maps;
  • suitable for creating complex missions, crafting and collecting resources;
  • technical support is carried out using the HeroCloud service, which is very convenient.


  • the scripting engine is powerful, but inconvenient to manage;
  • HeroEngine together with the HeroCloud customer support service is too expensive and is unlikely to be available to novice developers;
  • high entry threshold.


Rage Engine


Few can compete with the wide range of features that Rage Engine provides. Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption and many other famous projects were made using this engine.


  • ample opportunities for creating large worlds and weather effects;
  • powerful AI;
  • lots of gameplay styles to choose from;
  • fast network code.


  • the engine interface is relatively inconvenient;
  • the controls are poorly optimized for the keyboard and mouse.


Project Anarchy


Many developers like this powerful game engine for its clear and understandable documentation. However, it also has its drawbacks.


  • if you plan to develop games on iOS, Android and Tizen platforms, then the license is free;
  • powerful tools for finding and fixing bugs;
  • strong community;
  • the publisher provides clear, understandable documentation and samples;
  • Fmod for audio accompaniment;
  • powerful Havok AI.


  • there is no possibility to develop the game on Mac and Linux;
  • there is no introductory guide for novice developers;
  • if the game is for PC, then the license will cost you a pretty penny.




The creators of this popular game engine promise that the developer will not have to write a single line of code. In general, this is true. However, you have to pay for all the good things: the engine has a number of significant drawbacks. If you are going to develop a game on the iPhone alone, then this is your choice.


  • free license (money will be required from you only for the PRO version);
  • active community;
  • an excellent engine for rapid prototyping;
  • compatible with popular mobile platforms such as Cocona and Moai.


  • limited set of development tools;
  • there is no access to most of the features of the iOS platform.


GameMaker: Studio


If you are a novice developer and you need a simple and intuitive engine, then GameMaker: Studio fully meets your goals.


  • simple and intuitive operation;
  • Game Maker Language (GML) proprietary programming language;
  • integration with Steam;
  • cross-platform.


  • it is relatively difficult to troubleshoot the game;
  • to export your game to popular platforms, you will have to pay a round sum.


App Game Kit


App Game Kit is a cross–platform software for developers. It is appreciated for its versatility and ease of management.


  • allows you to write codes for the main platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux;
  • It comes bundled with an IDE that allows you to test games on any device;
  • without additional installation already includes IAP, AdMob and Push;
  • there are powerful scripts for 2D graphics, physics and networking.


  • since few people work with this engine, the shortcomings of the program are not eliminated for a long time (relatively weak technical support);
  • a lot of bugs (which follows organically from the previous paragraph).




Many designers consider Cocos2D to be one of the few engines with high adaptability and at the same time perfectly adapted for novice developers.


  • perfectly integrated into the iOS platform; 
  • free and open source;
  • a wide selection of development tools;
  • strong community support.


  • more difficult to use than most analogues;
  • high entry threshold;
  • “sharpened” specifically for Mac or iOS. There is no cross-platform.

In conclusion, I will say that people play games on consoles, mobile devices, PCs and even on TV – so the developer always has the opportunity to find an engine that will meet his goals. I hope my article will help you make your choice and successfully join the ever-growing game industry.

A source:

Translated by Irina Smirnova, App2Top journalist