'Mario Kart Tour' 2019's top free iPhone game, 'Roblox' ahead on iPad

'Mario Kart Tour' keeps players involved with new events, tracks, characters and items every few weeks.

Visitors to the App Store are being presented with Apple's official charts for the most downloaded games of 2019, with "Mario Kart Tour" the top free iPhone title, "Roblox" the top free iPad game, and "Minecraft" doing double duty in the paid categories.

Despite only releasing in September, "Mario Kart Tour" is the App Store's most downloaded free iPhone game of 2019, per Apple's own official numbers.

SensorTower analyst estimates had already placed "Mario Kart Tour" at over 120 million downloads in the four weeks following its launch.

The achievement puts "Mario Kart Tour" ahead of big studio efforts recognized across mobile, console, and computer such as "Call of Duty Mobile" and "Fortnite," as well as accessible casual hits "Color Bump 3D" and "Aquapark.io."

Nintendo's most successful foray into mobile is absent from iPad, where blocky creative toolset "Roblox" was top choice over the course of the year, "Aquapark.io" proved more popular than "Color Bump 3D," which was kept out of the top three by "Paper.io 2."

Among paid games, "Minecraft" retained its champion status, number one for iPhone and iPad.

In-person guessing game "Heads Up!", viral simulation "Plague Inc.," intense jump'n'run challenge "Geometry Dash," colorful tower defense "Bloons TD 6," farming and village life occupation "Stardew Valley" and board game adaptation "The Game of Life" also featured in both paid charts.

The vast majority of most downloaded free games had been released in 2019 (5 of 15 iPhone and iPad unique titles) and 2018 (8 titles), "Roblox" and 2017's letter rearranger "Wordscapes" the exceptions.

By contrast, none of the most downloaded paid games were released in 2019 -- "Amazing Frog?" an edge case, landing on New Year's Eve 2018 -- while some seven of 13 were more than five years old.

Though three of 13 unique titles across the two paid charts released in December 2018 -- "Rebel Inc." and "Bendy and the Ink Machine" along with "Amazing Frog?" -- only two others, "Stardew Valley" and "Bloons TD 6," launched earlier the same year.

As Apple's 2019 charts track downloads rather than new purchases, one might expect App Store users to prioritize older purchased apps when upgrading devices or restoring software, while free apps provide an opportunity to try out the latest craze without an up-front cost.

Most downloaded free iPhone games of 2019
1. Mario Kart Tour (1.0 released September 25, 2019)
2. Color Bump 3D (December 2018)
3. Aquapark.io (February 2019)
4. Call of Duty Mobile (June 2019)
5. BitLife Life Simulator (Sept 2018)
6. Polysphere - Art of Puzzle (Dec 2018)
7. Wordscapes (May 2017)
8. Fortnite (March 2018)
9. Roller Splat! (Feb 2019)
10. AMAZE!!! (Feb 2019)

Most downloaded free iPad games of 2019
1. Roblox (May 2011)
2. Aquapark.io
3. Paper.io 2 (August 2018)
4. Color Bump 3D
5. Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game (Dec 2018)
6. Fortnite
7. Polysphere - art of puzzle
8. Wordscapes
9. Tiles Hop - EDM Rush (March 2018; July 2019 in China)
10. Helix Jump (Feb 2018)

Most downloaded paid iPhone games of 2019
1. Minecraft (November 2011; Sept 2017 in China)
2. Heads Up! (April 2013)
3. Plague Inc. (May 2012)
4. Bloons TD 6 (June 2018)
5. Geometry Dash (August 2013)
6. Rebel Inc. (Dec 2018)
7. The Game of Life (July 2016)
8. Stardew Valley (October 2018)
9. Bloons TD 5 (Nov 2012)
10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Dec 2013)

Most downloaded paid iPad games of 2019
1. Minecraft
2. Geometry Dash
3. Bloons TD 6
4. Plague Inc.
5. Amazing Frog? (Dec 2018)
6. Stardew Valley
7. The Game of Life
8. Heads Up!
9. Terraria (Aug2013)
10. Bendy and the Ink Machine (Dec 2018)