Time Crisis: Elite is a mobile entry in the Time Crisis series. It is a shoot 'em up game on rails but the gameplay is much different from the light gun games in the main series. The game uses side scrolling isometric graphics where the screen is divided into a 3x3 grid. Each grid area corresponds to a number on the keypad and by pressing one of the numbers the enemies occupying that area of the screen will get fired at. For example pressing 1 fires at the top left corner. After clearing all enemies from the screen the game scrolls to the next area of the map. By shooting several enemies in short amount of time, combo bonuses are given. As ammo runs out the player has to take cover and reload. Some enemies use crisis flash shots which will always hit unless the player ducks into cover in time. Taking a hit or running out of time leads to one life being lost and the game ends when all have been lost.
The game contains two different game modes. The arcade mode is the story mode where the player takes control of Nate Rush, a rookie special agent who along with his new partner has to complete a very important mission and dispose all his enemies. There is also a survival mode where the player has to hold out against endless hordes of enemies.