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The best RPGs for Android

Mobile games have a bad reputation. Too often they’re quick cash grabs that revolve around predatory microtransactions, time-gated events, and shallow gameplay. Although this is true for a large portion of the marketplace, there is a growing subsection of the Google Play Store that’s loaded with incredible games. It might take a bit of searching to find them, but dozens of great RPGs are available on your Android device.

These titles come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a traditional turned-based game, an action-RPG, or even a massively multiplayer adventure, the Google Play Store has it all. We’ve searched every corner of the Play Store to find the best RPGs it has to offer.

Further reading

Traditional RPGs

Android has no shortage of great old-school RPGs. Many of them are console ports, but others were built from the ground up with the mobile interface in mind. No matter which of the following you pick, you’ll be treated to a grand story, hours of gameplay, and plenty of stat management.

Knights of the Old Republic

Best apps of the week 06_09_2013 Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

It’s one of the best games of all time, let alone one of the best games on mobile. This port contains the original game in its entirety — meaning you’ll have access to 40 different Force powers, nine customizable characters, eight unique worlds to explore, and even controller support.

The storyline is as grand as you’d expect from a Star Wars title, so we won’t spoil anything — even though the game is nearly 17 years old. We will say, however, that it gives you an incredible amount of freedom and the ability to choose your own destiny. For less than $10, KOTOR is an absolute steal.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

If you’re looking for a JRPG with a decidedly Western flair to it, look no further than Battle Chasers: Nightwar. Players will engage in strategic turn-based combat, explore dungeons, and traverse a massive world map as they help Gully search for her missing father.

The game is based on the graphic novel series of the same name, and that influence shines through in well-animated cutscenes. As you’d expect with any great RPG, Nightwar features an enticing story that keeps players hooked until the very end — even if it does falter a bit in the middle.

Fire Emblem Heroes

More of a strategy game than RPG, this mobile adaptation of the popular franchise will still be a hit among those looking for a deep role-playing experience. Heroes includes a new story and new battle system but manages to bring back some of the best characters in the franchise.

The only downside? Gacha mechanics rear their ugly head. It shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for casual players, but those who invest hundreds of hours into the game might be turned off by the low drop rate of the best heroes.

Final Fantasy VII

While many Final Fantasy games have made the jump to Android, none of them can beat the perennial favorite. It’s a massive file for such an old game — requiring 4GB of free space to install — but nothing is lost in this faithful translation.

Join Cloud on his fight against the Shinra Electric Power Company and experience the classic all over again. Even though you can enjoy the game in glorious HD with Final Fantasy VII Remake, the original version still holds up incredibly well.

Action RPGs

Although Diablo isn’t available on the Google Play Store, these titles do a great job at satisfying players’ never-ending need for loot. If you’re looking for something that plays at a faster pace, any of these five games will fit the bill.

Titan Quest

Replace the demonic hordes of Diablo with mythical creatures from ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese culture and you’ve got Titan Quest. During your 60-plus-hour campaign, you’ll stumble upon more than 100 items, fight 80 types of mythological enemies, and unlock hundreds of new character skills.

The story is a bit run of the mill, but it’s serviceable enough to push the action forward. In short, Titans are running rampant and the Gods need your help to stop them before the planet is destroyed. It’s not much, but when you have this much content to explore, you won’t even notice.

Eternium

Built specifically for mobile play, Eternium uses an innovative “swipe to cast” spell system, requiring players to draw symbols on the screen to conjure up their magical attacks. It’s surprisingly simple to use, and you’ll be an expert by the time the game comes to an end and your character is maxed out at level 70.

Intuitive controls aside, you’ll still be facing massive groups of enemies and slowly building up an inventory of powerful gear. The game can be downloaded and played for free, but microtransactions are offered for those who need the extra boost.

Exiled Kingdoms

Don’t let the low-resolution graphics fool you — this is as close to a classic ARPG as you can get. You’re dropped into a massive open world that is free to explore, with little direction as to what you should do next. It’s a love letter to the titles of yesteryear, before games started holding players’ hands and guiding them every step of the way.

Outfit your character with the usual assortment of gear, skills, and items, then venture forth in whichever direction your heart desires. There are currently 29 quests to tackle and enough content to keep you entertained for at least 30 hours.

Dragalia Lost

Nintendo has released plenty of mobile games on Android, but Dragalia Lost is a brand-new IP made specifically for mobile platforms. The game uses a simple control scheme that revolves around swiping the screen in different directions and includes an interesting story that is fully voiced by 60 characters.

As it was with Nintendo’s other title, Fire Emblem Heroes, Dragalia Lost includes some frustrating gacha mechanics. The drop rates are fairly generous, but it becomes clear that spending money is the best way to move forward near the end of the game.

Wayward Souls

Fans of Dark Souls will be right at home with this brutal action game. It’s designed for short play sessions and includes randomly generated levels to keep each run fresh. This one is a bit light on RPG elements when compared to others on the list, but there’s still much to love about the hardcore mobile game.

Since it was built with mobile devices in mind, Wayward Souls features a control scheme that forgoes virtual buttons and control sticks. Instead, it focuses on swiping and tapping different areas of the screen. Choose your character, loot the best gear, and venture through 13 different areas as you slay hordes of enemies — just don’t break your phone in frustration.

MMORPG

A few years ago, the idea of an MMO on Android might have sounded insane. However, players now have several great options in the palm of their hand. These three games give players a wide range of activities to tackle while letting them socialize with their friends.

Old School RuneScape

It’s one of the oldest MMORPGs on the market, and it just keeps getting better with age. The mobile version of Old School RuneScape is compatible with the desktop version, meaning you can use the same account when you’re at home or on the road. Plus, the simple touch controls translate incredibly well to a mobile screen.

If you haven’t taken your first steps in Gielinor, Jagex offers a generous free-to-play version that does a great job of introducing new players to the retro MMO. You’ll have to pay a monthly fee to unlock the entire OSRS experience, but you certainly get your money’s worth.

Black Desert Mobile

Android users are finally able to explore the world of Black Desert Mobile. Even if it’s not a direct conversion, it features much of the same content and storyline. Players chose between five classes to level up as they traverse one of the best-looking worlds in all of mobile gaming.

We have mentioned many mobile MMO’s on our list with the AutoPlay feature, and Black Desert is no exception. Unfortunately, Autoplay has limited abilities in this game, as you aren’t allowed to employ it in PvP or other crucial operations when you need it most. It helps you get through tedious gameplay, making those missions move along a little more smoothly. Don’t rely on it forever because you’ll miss some crucial things in the game’s final acts.

Lineage 2: Revolution

Offering a similar experience to Black Desert Mobile, Lineage 2: Revolution is another “grind-heavy” Korean MMO. Additionally, Lineage gives you the gift of AutoPlay with multi-faceted utilization that thankfully allows you to knock out long, boring missions quickly and to give the plotline good momentum.

High-level players can take part in massive 100-player Fortress Siege matches, an intense PvP experience not available in most mobile MMORPG. While Lineage 2: Revolution is free to play, it has plenty of microtransactions and no limit on those in-game purchases.

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