Following in the footsteps of the release of the Windows 8.1 Bing apps on Windows Phone 8, Microsoft this past week made three Windows 8.1 games, "Mahjong," "Minesweeper" and "Solitaire Collection," available on Windows Phone 8 as well. But these aren't just ports: Like "Halo: Spartan Assault," these games also provide some interesting cross-platform capabilities too.

"Mahjong," "Minesweeper" and "Solitaire Collection" are all part of what Microsoft calls its classics collection, apparently because two of them—Minesweeper and Solitaire—date back to early Windows versions. But they're all great games in these modern renditions, with Xbox Live achievements and leaderboards and other features. If you have a Windows 8.x-based PC or device—especially one that is touch-based—you should check them out.

Now that they're available on Windows Phone 8 as well, some interesting possibilities emerge: Thanks to Xbox Live integration, you can pause a game on a Windows PC or device or a Windows Phone handset and then pick it up again on any other supported device. So you can go back and forth between Windows and Windows Phone.

I really enjoy each of these games. They're fun on their own, but they're also great for those downtime moments since you can pick up a game at any point and keep going.

Microsoft Mahjong

Download for Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Download for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft Minesweeper

Download for Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Download for Windows Phone 8

Microsoft Solitaire Collection

Download for Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Download for Windows Phone 8