With such a bountiful choice of great games for Android phones in the Google Play Store, how do you decide which Android apps to download? If you’re anything like us, you’ll know only too well that feeling of download regret, but don’t worry — we’re here to make it a thing of the past with our handpicked list of the best Android games available. Most are free, some cost a few bucks, many are great to play online with friends when you can’t get together in person — but all of them will keep you entertained at home or when you’re out and about. You’ll need internet connectivity for many of these games, but we’ve also gathered together some of the best Android games to play offline.
There are many different kinds of games in the Play Store, so we’ve aimed to pick a good mix of categories, including first-person shooters, role-playing games (RPG), platformers, racing games, puzzlers, strategy games, and more. At least one game on this list should suit everyone. If you’re looking for the best iPhone games, we’ve found those, too — but if you’re gaming on an Android tablet or Android phone, then you’re sure to find something to enjoy here.
This Fallout-inspired post-apocalyptic RPG survival game’s somewhat basic visuals may not grab you from the start, but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with an engrossing experience with plenty of replayability. You play as one of Earth’s last remaining survivors of nuclear fallout. Your task is to explore the harsh wasteland, battle unwanted visitors, search for supplies, and don’t, whatever you do, mutate into one of them. Along the way, you can gather parts to fix your broken campervan so you can travel faster and upgrade your storage space, customize your character, and upgrade your stats and items. The choices you make and interactions with every character you encounter all affect your karma, ultimately impacting how the game plays out. There are loads of towns and varied locations to explore while on a supply run, and a randomized map and adjustable difficulty levels mean the game is different on each playthrough, giving it plenty of longevity. Don’t forget to look out for a four-legged companion who will assist you in fighting enemies and provide much-needed company on the road. The Wanderer is free to play, with no ads or in-app purchases to distract from the experience.
Fans of Monument Valley and The Unfinished Swan will love Inked, a gorgeous little hand-drawn puzzler that sees you thrust into a world created by ballpoint pen. You play as the “Nameless Hero,” a rogue samurai who must travel the world on paper with his true love, Aiko. The world around you has been created by the mysterious Artist, whose hands you’ll often see appear in the game as you explore. When everything you love is suddenly stripped away, you must take back what’s yours by manipulating the world around you, erasing and redrawing parts of the landscape to solve puzzles. You have total control of the world and must unlock the path forward — sometimes a simple task, other times more complex. An emotional music score, heartwarming story, and gorgeously rendered, immersive world add up to one of our favorite games so far this year. True, it only takes a few hours to complete the story, but Inked is well worth the price of entry if you’re a fan of this sort of game.
The premise of Letterpress — and the app’s design — is pretty simple: Use the letters on the board to spell words and capture the board. The player with the most letters in their own color at the end of the game wins! As we mentioned, the app design is very basic and isn’t really that exciting, but you’ll find the game surprisingly addictive once you get started. Play with friends, a random opponent, or against one of the game bots — we recommend starting with Protobot, as they’re ordered by level of difficulty. Tap to see the words you’ve already played and get the definition of any you’re unfamiliar with — and trust us, there will be plenty. This is a great little word game to fire up your brain cells if you’re feeling sluggish, or just while away a few moments in a line. There are ads, but they’re pretty unintrusive, and you can skip them almost immediately and get back to your game.
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is the latest — and 15th — installment in the Final Fantasy series (with Final Fantasy XVI rumored to be releasing on PS5 — and hopefully mobile — later this year). This mobile version of the original console game divides the story into 10 chapters — you can play the first for free, with subsequent chapters available for purchase. Behind the cute animation lies a stunning soundtrack and a sprawling story that tells the tale of the Chosen King, Savior to the Star. The nations of Niflheim and Lucis have finally agreed to an armistice after years of fighting. Noctis, the crown prince of Lucis, is betrothed to Lady Lunafreya of Tenebrae, the youngest Oracle in history, as a symbol of this peace. The prince sets forth for his wedding on the eve of the signing ceremony, but unbeknown to him, many perils await him on his journey …
Garena Free Fire — World Series
Falling neatly into the battle-royale-games-you’ve-probably-never-played category, Garena Free Fire is well worth your time if you’re bored of Fortnite and PUBG. Taking a short and sweet approach to the much-loved battle-royale format, each game lasts for just 10 minutes and pits you against 49 other players, all with the same mission: Survival. The short match time works well on mobile, but there’s still plenty to give the game longevity, from the ability to create a four-man squad with in-game voice chat to the 4v4 clash squad mode. True, the graphics may not be the most impressive thing you’ve ever seen on your phone screen, but they’re not bad, and what Garena Free Fire lacks in beauty it more than makes up for with gameplay.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run
Three reasons to download this game: It’s free, it’s an addictive runner, and it features everybody’s favorite mutant eastern barred bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot. In all seriousness, though, this is a great little video game to play while you’re watching a show that doesn’t hold 100% of your attention or just whenever you have some time to waste. The gameplay is pretty typical for a runner, but because it’s set in the Crash universe, the locations, characters, and villains are pretty cool and sure to appeal to all Crash fans. Run as far and as fast as you can, avoid obstacles, and collect items. That’s just about it — except for the multiplayer mode where you can team up to see who out of your friends can run the farthest or fastest. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run is free to play, but there are in-app purchases that you can easily disable if younger players are having a go.
Donut County ($5)
Did somebody say Krispy Kreme chocolate-iced raspberry-filled donut? Turns out, Donut County isn’t actually about donuts. Sigh. But it is a super cute, strange, addictive physics-based puzzle game that you’ll find hard to put down. The game was created by one of the designers who worked on What Remains of Edith Finch and The Unfinished Swan, so if you like your games quirky, this will tick every box.
Set in Donut County, you play as a hole in the ground — yes, you read that right — whose goal is to swallow up every object in sight, growing larger by the second. The more objects you consume, the larger you get. That’s not all, though; you can combine objects for some cool effects, like creating your own fireworks. You can also catapult objects to destroy stuff or solve puzzles. That doesn’t detract from the game’s main mission, though: Devour everything in sight. If we had one criticism, it’s that the game is rather short and sweet, but it’s still a puzzle game that’s well worth the price of entry.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
If you’ve ever watched the Harry Potter films and wished you too were a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you’re going to love this award-winning narrative RPG. You arrive as a new student at Hogwarts, going through Year 1 sorting to determine whether you’ll be a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. As well as attending classes, learning magical skills, forming friendships and rivalries with your fellow students — and, of course, playing Quidditch — there’s a mystery afoot. Your brother has disappeared, and you must adventure to learn the truth behind the Cursed Vaults. The game offers plenty of options for customizing your avatar, and it’s free to play, although there are in-app purchases that can easily be disabled if younger children are playing.
Five Nights at Freddy’s ($3)
Think nothing can scare you when it comes to horror games? Think again. The first Five Nights at Freddy’s has been around for a while, but it’s still the same utterly terrifying experience it was when it was first released. If you survive number one, you can grab the other Five Nights at Freddy’s games for $3 each.
Basically, you’re the security guard for the summer at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. So far, so not-scary, right? Wrong. The animatronics — Freddy Fazbear and his two friends — are the main attraction here (a bit like the plot of the recent Willy’s Wonderland). But something’s wrong with the robots … they’re wandering the halls at night and behaving unpredictably. You’ve been tasked with watching the cameras from your tiny office, but there’s a limited amount of electricity, which means choosing between the lights, cameras, and the security doors standing between you and the animatronics.
It’s a simple premise, but a classic if you’re into being scared to death — and it’s not one we’d play alone after dark.
CarX Drift Racing 2
CarX Drift Racing 2 is the sequel to one of the most popular drift games of all time, bringing a true-to-life racing game to mobile. With over 65 sports cars to unlock in single-player mode as well as the option to tune your car for the best performance — adjusting the engine, gearbox, turbine pressure, wheel angle, and more — it’s easy to find yourself losing several hours to this game. This isn’t just your average racing game though, as here tire pressure affects driving physics, and your car control varies depending on the surface you’re driving on, from snow to sand and asphalt — so you’ll need your wits about you. There’s plenty of customization when it comes to visual auto-tuning too, and you can make your car unique by replacing mirrors, bumpers, lights, and adding rims and body kits. We love the multiplayer mode where you can compete to hit first place in the championships, and you can join car clubs or create your own to team up. It’s totally free to play and you’ll need to work hard to unlock new vehicles and buy upgrades for your car, so you can sink a lot of time into it.
This indie CivBuilder/Idle Adventure game looks deceptively simple but poses a real challenge. Its charming yet minimalistic style is reminiscent of text adventures of old. You are lost in an unknown land — your goal, to build your town, gather and train an army to defend your lands from enemies, collecting resources and treasure along the way. You don’t need an internet connection to play, making it ideal for travel, and because it’s an idle game it’s great for those moments of boredom. Balancing your workers to ensure even distribution of resources quickly becomes addictive, and battles are surprisingly tough once you get into the game. A victory — often hard-won after days of growing your army — brings immense satisfaction alongside new resources and army ranks.
Home Quest is free, but if you’re enjoying it we’d recommend purchasing the Gold Edition for $4. Not only does it help out the developers, but it also gives you a few little in-game bonuses and allows you to build unlimited Soul Wells too — a must for producing Jade to train your healers.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
If you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to see Kim Bodnia as Vesemir in season two of The Witcher on Netflix later this year. But if you’re growing impatient for your Witcher fix, let this fill your time until then. Hardcore Gwent fans are no strangers to the PC version, but now you can get your fill on-the-go with the mobile version. Hand-drawn art and stunning visual effects breathe new life into every PvP duel, and there’s no shortage of challenges thanks to the new Arena mode that Geralt of Rivia himself would relish. You can choose from a variety of other modes too, from classic to seasonal. It’s free to play Gwent but a word of warning — you may see little of the light of day as you toil to build a deck you can be proud of and collect cards to gain spells and special abilities. If you’re up for the challenge, then you’ll find Gwent: The Witcher Card Game easy to get into, hard to master — and it makes for a satisfying morning commute or a sweet time sink whenever you have some time to spare.
The Room: Old Sins ($5)
Whether you’re totally new to The Room series or have already played the other three games in the franchise, the general consensus is that The Room: Old Sins is the best of the bunch. In this spooky puzzle game you’re hunting for a mysterious artifact, and follow the trail to the attic of Waldegrave Manor, home to a missing engineer and his socialite wife. There, you become trapped in a strange dollhouse and must solve puzzles to escape. The game is stunning to look at, and there are plenty of unsettling, detailed locations to draw you in. It’s free to play, and there are no microtransactions or ads to detract from the experience. If you haven’t played the other games in the series, you’ll want to once you complete this one.
This 3v3 multiplayer and battle royale game is the most fun you can have with your friends online — although there are also a variety of modes to play through solo. Unlock dozens of Brawlers, each with their own gadgets, Star Powers, and abilities — and customize them with unlockable skins as you battle across a variety of locations. Play Brawl Ball (3v3) and show off your soccer skills or be the last Brawler standing in Showdown, a battle royale-style fight to the death. With local and regional leaderboards to climb, this is a game you will pick up quickly and won’t put down easily. It’s free to play, with in-game purchases to upgrade your Brawler, if you choose.
Fans of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, listen up! Genshin Impact has drawn comparisons to the Nintendo favorite and it’s easy to see why. This massive open world RPG adventure game has stunning visuals and a soothing soundtrack by the London Philharmonic orchestra. You arrive with your sibling in Teyvat, a vast open world to explore — but you find yourself stripped of all your powers. Setting out across the world you must find The Seven, elemental gods who will hopefully provide you with the answers you seek. Play alone or with friends — cross-platform play is supported — and enjoy the gacha system, which provides a free-to-play base game and optional in-game currency which you can spend on opportunities to win prizes like loot, new characters for your party, and weapons.
This mobile port of the popular console and PC game is an excellent choice if you’re into gaming with friends. It’s a platform fighting game where you can battle up to eight other players in ranked matches and casual free-for-alls, and it supports full cross-play. But the best bit is creating a custom room with your friends where you can battle it out — just make sure you hone your skills in the Training Room first. With 50 unique characters to choose from — and a rotation of new characters every week — there’s a wide range of game modes, too, like Capture the Flag and Brawlball. You’ll be matched quickly with others thanks to the huge number of players, and Brawlhalla is 100% free to play.
If you’ve ever played Town of Salem or Werewolf, you’re going to love Among Us. The online game’s popularity has really taken off — as the memes you’ll find online demonstrate. Set on a spaceship, this multiplayer strategy game can be played with four to 10 players over local Wi-Fi or online. It’s fun with friends, as long as you don’t take it too seriously, but the real madness comes when playing with a bunch of strangers online. The basic premise is simple: You’re a crewmate, and your job is to complete various tasks around the ship — but wait! There’s an imposter amongst you with a dastardly plan: to slaughter everyone horribly! Your goal is to figure out which one of you is the guilty party. Along the way, the imposter tries to throw others off their scent by sabotaging things, creating alibis, and covering up the murders. If you play as a member of the crew, you just need to ensure you complete your tasks while trying to figure out who the imposter is. Playing as the imposter means your goal is to kill everyone before they figure out who the guilty party is. It’s free to play, and surprisingly addictive once you get to grips with it.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($3)
It feels like Castlevania games have been around forever, from the 1980s games on NES, SNES, Game Boy, and Sega Genesis to the 1997 releases of Symphony of the Night and Legends games on PlayStation. Whether you’re already a fan of the series or just looking for a decent platformer to play on mobile, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is well worth the price of entry. The original PlayStation version is undoubtedly the best Castlevania game around — and the Android version lives up to the hype. Charm and nostalgia aside, you can play using your touch screen, but we’d highly recommend using an Android controller. You follow Alucard, Dracula’s son, as he explores a mysterious castle looking for Richter, discovering new abilities and becoming more powerful along the way. The achievement system with battle milestones and seriously difficult boss fights ensure this game has longevity, and you can choose to play as Richter or Maria, too. Arguably the best mobile action game of all time, and well worth your money.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar ($10)
Fans of the original comic book series of the same name will be as excited by this Japanese RPG (JRPG) as we are. You play the role of Gully, a young girl who sets out to find her long-lost father, Aramus, who has vanished and left behind his magical gauntlets. Along with a motley crew of sidekicks, including an ancient war golem, you must learn to wield the gauntlets as you set out to cross the mysterious Grey Line in search of your father. Combat is turn-based, and there are a plethora of enemies to fight, as well as involved crafting and a colorful, sprawling world to explore. Battle Chasers: Nightwar will set you back $10, but with no in-app purchases or paid downloadable content (DLC), this is a game that’s going to keep you busy for a while.
One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0
The follow-up to the original 2019 game, One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 features all your favorite characters from the popular anime — in fact, the game was actually overseen by ONE, writer of the original anime show, and illustrator Yusuke Murata. This is an idle strategy card game where you’re in charge of mobilizing the Hero Association’s reaction to monster attacks. There’s no hack n’ slash gameplay here though — instead, you collect hero cards and add heroes to your formation based on their skills, strengths, and abilities, then they fight enemies automatically. The main story mode has around 20 chapters to complete and features cool cutscenes from the original anime, but there are loads of other play styles too including Extreme Trial and PvE tournament, where you can compete with others, giving the game plenty of longevity.
Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery
We all love a good mystery, and if you’re looking for an immersive puzzle app to take your mind off real life right now, Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery does the job nicely. You play as a PI who, after receiving a mysterious letter from his father, must return to his hometown only to find it completely deserted. It’s up to you to find out what happened, discovering clues, opening locks, solving puzzles, and exploring interactive, fully 3D levels along the way. This is one of the best detective story games available on Android — a cool blend of mystery and escape room. You’ll explore a variety of locations too, from ancient catacombs to downtown cityscapes.
Forget World of Warcraft and Eve Online — why not try a simpler massively multiplayer game (MMO) this year? For those who love adventuring through a world with other people but don’t have time for everything that comes along with that, there’s SimpleMMO, a fully text-based game that’s easy to play and comprehend. Right now there are over 400,000 players, so you can easily join forces with others to find loot, level up your character, and defeat world bosses. Despite its simple premise — and name — this game has some real depth, with plenty of character customization options as well as a range of different jobs for your character to do, from blacksmith to master thief. If you’re not the kind of person to take life — or gaming — too seriously, you’ll love SimpleMMO.
Game Dev Tycoon ($5)
The concept of Game Dev Tycoon may sound very meta — a video game where you create video games — but don’t be deterred. You play as an ’80s game developer — because we all know the ’80s are the coolest decade — coding in your garage. The aim? Make a hit game so you can move into a cool office and hire a team of developers and artists to help you out. Make bigger, better, more bad-ass games as the industry matures and, of course, make your fortune. The idea is simple but engaging, and you’ll find yourself impatiently anticipating reports of how well your last game did, and how your next hit can reach an even wider audience. It’s not free, but for a mere $5 you’ll have a game you can sink a lot of time into, so it’s well worth the price of admission.
Bloons TD 6 ($5)
If you’re a fan of tower defense games, where bad guys invade your map around a predetermined route and you have to erect destructive towers to wipe them out before they kill you, then you owe it to yourself to buy Bloons TD 6. With a cute and chaotic cartoon art style and hordes of bizarre enemies, things can get seriously crazy. The depth of your choice in how to defend is unsurpassed with dozens of towers, each with its own upgrade trees to climb. To mix things up, there are other defensive units you can deploy that will patrol, and there are loads of challenges that give you specific objectives and earn you money when you complete them. There are also some in-app purchases, but there’s so much depth here that they’re easy to ignore, making this a great strategy game to pass the time with.
Exploding Kittens ($2)
If you’re a HUGE fan of kittens and love the idea of them not exploding, you may wish to look away. We’re just kidding, as the whole purpose of Exploding Kittens is to avoid them — in this version of the original card game, anyway. Quirky artwork from The Oatmeal artist Matthew Inman just adds to the weirdness of this popular game, with cards such as “Defuse Kitten Banjo” and “Annoy Diarrhea Kitty” popping up, among others — and some new cards exclusive to the digital version. Basically, you draw cards in turn until one player draws an Exploding Kitten. They’re then out of the game unless they can play a Defuse card, using things like belly rubs and laser pointers to defuse the Kitten. We promise it will all make sense once you start to play, and the game is actually a pretty simple, if strange, combo of Uno and Russian Roulette, mixing luck with strategy and a dose of the darkest humor. True, it’ll take you a while to master, but part of the fun is battling your friends in multiplayer mode — although there’s a single-player mode too, which we like best for honing our skills prior to battle. We promise no cats were harmed in the making …
Call of Duty: Mobile
Whether you’re a fan of Call of Duty already or new to one of the biggest first-person shooter franchises around, Call of Duty: Mobile deserves your time. Specially designed for touchscreen firefights, this shooting game fulfills all your shooter action cravings — and it’s free too. Choose from a bunch of multiplayer modes, including Battle Royale, with top-notch graphics and fast, frenetic yet satisfying gameplay. Fans will spot familiar characters and classic maps from other Call of Duty games. Is this the best mobile shooter around right now? We’d say so — and we’d recommend checking out our Call of Duty: Mobile tips before diving in.
Mobile games in the Play Store often fall into the casual category, so it’s refreshing to find a strategy game as involved as Tropico. Whether you’ve played the series of highly successful PC games or not, you can dive right into the action as “El Presidente”, the president of a Caribbean island. You’re the ruler of this underdeveloped paradise and are responsible for developing and managing every aspect, from building roads to expanding industry and adding new services, managing the military, and overseeing trade. Decide whether you want to rule as a dictator with an iron fist, turning your island into a police state, or as a beneficent leader, creating a paradise for tourists — or somewhere in between. $12 may seem like a lot for a mobile game, but you do get full access to the game, ad-free, the ability to play it offline, and everything from the Absolute Power expansion pack.
Mini Metro ($1)
If you’ve ever fancied designing your own public transit system, prepare for a challenge. Turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. The early levels of Mini Metro may be simple, as you connect various stations in a neat straight line, but the tension soon amps up as the puzzle game throws rivers, cities that spring up out of nowhere, and a whole host of other obstacles in your way. Unlock new tunnels, carriages, and trains along the way and challenge your brain for less than the cost of a subway ticket with Mini Metro.
Stardew Valley ($5)
You might not be blown away by the words “farming RPG” but bear with us — this little game is surprisingly charming and immersive. From its cutesy pixel art to its vast range of activities and mini-games, Stardew Valley is a game you can really get lost in for a while. Meet new interesting characters, raise animals and crops, tame your overgrown fields, and tackle terrifying monsters that threaten your town. Pick this up and you’ll soon be recommending it to all your friends.
Real Racing 3
Burn some rubber and take on your friends in this car racing game that offers over 250 cars, on 40 circuits, in 19 real-world locations around the globe. Get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Mercedes-Benz and test your skills on tracks like Hockenheimring, Dubai Autodrome, and Le Mans. There are over 4,000 events to enter, and you can play with up to eight friends on cross-platform, real-time multiplayer. Add to that a whole host of customization options and you have yourself one of the best racing games around, despite the ads and nudges towards in-app purchases.
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