Ratings research has found that Gameloft was the best mobile games publisher in 2008 in terms of game quality and user reviews.
PocketGamer.biz tracked review scores of mobile games released in 2008 and found that Gameloft came out on top, scoring an average of 7.95 out of 10 from 145 reviews of its titles.
EA Mobile came in close second place with an average of 7.68 from 102 reviews, with RealArcade, Digital Chocolate and I-play making up the rest of the top five publishers.
The best and worst mobile games of the year were determined using the same method, and Rally Master Pro by Fishlabs came out in first place, scoring an average of 9.43 out of 10 in reviews.
Other top titles included Playman Summer Games 3, Snowboard Hero, Townsmen 5, and Tetris Pop.
"Mobile games have received a bad press for their quality, but our research shows there were plenty of excellent titles available in 2008", said Stuart Dredge, editor of PocketGamer. "Gameloft's high average score shows the company's commitment to quality, but it’s just as encouraging to see the high average ratings of other publishers too".
Interestingly, the five games judged to be the worst mobile releases of 2008 were all based on or around movies. These included The Chronicles of Narnia (5.83), Wanted (5.70), The Incredible Hulk (5.53), Rambo Forever (5.50), and at the bottom of the pile - Iron Man, scoring just 4.13 out of 10 on average.
Dredge said it is titles like this that are affecting the industry, making consumers cautious about paying for mobile games in case they are a waste of money.
He added: "It’s a shame that publishers are still making poor-quality branded games, and that operators are still promoting them. The industry needs more repeat purchases from consumers, and disappointing games won’t help".
The full top tens of mobile publishers and games are below, but if you're looking for your favourite iPhone, N-Gage or Android game - you won't find it. The chart covers just Java and BREW games
Top 10 Mobile Games Publishers for 2008 (with average rating)
1 Gameloft 7.95
2 EA Mobile 7.68
3 RealArcade 7.63
4 Digital Chocolate 7.60
5 I-play 7.52
6 Player One 7.47
7 Glu Mobile 7.43
8 HandyGames 7.41
9 Disney Mobile 7.40
10 Vivendi Games Mobile 7.17
Top 10 Mobile Games for 2008 (with publisher and average rating)
1 Rally Master Pro Fishlabs 9.43
2 Playman Summer Games 3 RealArcade 8.97
3= Snowboard Hero Fishlabs 8.83
3= Townsmen 5 Disney Mobile 8.83
5 Tetris Pop EA Mobile 8.77
6= Far Cry 2 Gameloft 8.67
6= Peggle PopCap Games 8.67
8 Soul of Darkness Gameloft 8.65
9 Castle of Magic Gameloft 8.62
10 Tower Bloxx Deluxe Digital Chocolate 8.60