We started this roundup back in 2011, and though Apple’s iPhone still has a better game selection, Google’s Android OS has grown immensely. In the pages ahead, we’ve compiled some of our favorite games out there right now, as of late 2014. Some are free and some cost a couple bucks, but all provide a good time. There are hundreds of thousands of Android games. If you think we missed a particularly awesome one let us know. Until then, enjoy our picks for the best Android games.
Looking to buy an Android phone? Check out our picks for the best Android phones. Also check out our best Android apps article for a look at all the top applications for Android phones. Some of these apps made the transition from phones to tablets, with that in mind make sure to take a look at our best Android tablets list.
Updated 12-16-2015 by Julian Chokkattu: Added all 7 of the games listed on page one. Removed XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
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New apps added! (December 2015)
A beautiful game with a pleasant soundtrack, Prune is about, well, pruning. The goal is to guide and nurture your tree, so that it can sprout enough flowers and you can move on to the next level. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly — you have to deal with various factors such as the wind, too much sun, or clipping off too much of a branch. While it’s a calming game, you’ll still need to be quick to respond to the various obstacles it throws at you. The game doesn’t have any in-app purchases and costs $4.
Infinite Loop is a minimal puzzle game where the goal is to connect the grid so that there are no openings to create the a pattern. The patterns are generated through algorithms, allowing it to be endless. Control-wise, all you have to do is tap on each pattern to rotate it. The game is free and has no in-app purchases.
Need for Speed: No Limits
Need for Speed: No Limits puts you at the wheel and brings pure-adrenaline based racing. It features hundreds of challenges, events, and cars that you can play your way through, and you don’t need to worry too much about controls, as the game only asks you to steer and use the boost. If you’re interested in the mechanical side of things, the game also lets you upgrade your wheels, gearbox, and nitro, among others. The game does have in-app purchases, but it’s not really required to have a blast.
The makers of Dead Trigger and Dead Trigger 2 have brought yet another zombie first-person shooter that has pretty good graphics. This one offers short quick missions, in which you have to blast your way through zombies and other objectives to complete the missions. The controls are simple. All you have to do is drag your thumb on the left side of the screen to move, and drag your thumb on the right side to move the crosshair. When you have a target in your sights, the gun will automatically shoot. You can tap on additional items like rockets and a button to slow down time. You can get a decent amount of playtime before you may need to pay to progress through the game.
The Path to Luma
Hopping on the low-poly trend, The Path to Luma is a puzzle game that makes you find clean-energy solutions on planets around the galaxy. SAM, or Sustainable Augmentation Model, the protagonist, is poised with fixing up planets that have become brown from draining its resources. The game is meant to make you think about energy use, as it was commissioned by energy company NRG, who collaborated with Phosphor Games Studio to build the game. The Path to Luma is free and doesn’t have in-app purchases.
Call of Champions
If you like playing games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, Call of Champions might be up your alley. The free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena, MOBA, lets you pick a hero and help your team take down the enemy base. Like most MOBAs, each hero has special abilities. Click around to move and coordinate with your team of three, as you tackle enemy turrets and players. The learning curve is pretty small, and each match is pretty short. The game is free-to-play, but has in-app purchases.
Here’s another endless game. This one is sort of like Duck Hunt, but it’s got randomly-generated levels, a pixelated-art style, and an interactive environment. All you have to do is drag your scope across the screen to pulverize your enemies. You can also do things like shoot barrels and power ups to aid your sniping frenzy. The game is free, but has ads.