With such a bountiful choice of great games for Android phones in the Google Play Store, it can prove quite tough to decide what you should be playing. Don’t worry, we’re here with our hand-picked list of the best Android games that are currently available. Most of them are free, some cost a few bucks, but all of them will keep you entertained at home or on the go.
There are many different kinds of games in the Play Store, so we’ve picked a good mix of categories that includes first-person shooters, role-playing games, platformers, racing games, puzzlers, strategy games, and more. There should be something in this list to suit everyone.
Rest in Pieces
This is a clever spin on endless runners like Temple Run where you have to dodge right or left to avoid obstacles. Instead of running you’re a porcelain figurine hanging from a rope and you have to swing from side to side to avoid being smashed. The gameplay mechanic is easy to grasp, but like all great games, it takes a lot of practice to master. What really elevates this title above other endless runners is the horror theme. You are fighting to save a series of beautifully designed characters from their nightmares starting with poor little Georgina and the evil clown. You can unlock alternative skins for each character and you’ll square off against a Kraken, Medusa, and even Count Dracula before it’s all over.
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 their 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.
Exploding Kittens ($2)
This clever card game is a good mix of strategy and luck as you and two to five other players try to avoid being blown up by an exploding kitten. Reminiscent of Russian Roulette with plenty of Uno thrown in, Exploding Kittens has a comical, quirky art style and features a host of bizarre cat-themed cards. The Android version captures the spirit of the original card game perfectly. It’s easy to pick up and learn, but takes a while to master. Best enjoyed in multiplayer, there is still a single-player mode for practice or when you can’t find anyone to join you. You can buy expansion card packs, but the basic game is engaging enough.
Call of Duty: Mobile
One of the biggest FPS franchises around comes to mobile with a game deliberately designed for touchscreen firefights. If you love your shooter action, then this is a must on your Android phone. It’s free, features a bunch of multiplayer modes, including Battle Royale, and you’ll find some familiar classic maps and characters from other Call of Duty games. You can customize loadouts, get ranked, win prizes, and more. But more important than all of that is the fast, frenetic, satisfying gameplay and the great graphics which combine to make this the best mobile shooter around right now. Just be sure to check out our Call of Duty: Mobile tips before you dive into the fray.
There aren’t enough in-depth strategy games in the Play Store, so the arrival of a redesigned Tropico title is worth celebrating. Cast in the role of El Presidente, you must modernize your Caribbean island and see if you can line your own pockets along the way. You decide on an approach, from ruling with an iron fist as a military dictator to creating a tourist haven beyond compare to leading your people through a glorious industrial revolution that raises living standards for all. This unique mix of building sim and political strategy is a lot of fun and has been tailored for mobile play. The $12 price of entry gets you the full game, free of ads or in-app payments, and you can play it offline.
Mini Metro ($1)
Can you create a working subway system for a city as it expands? This stylish, strangely soothing puzzle game seems simple at first, charging you with drawing lines between stations to keep everything connected. But random city growth soon throws up obstacles and you’ll unlock new trains, carriages, track, tunnels, and other upgrades to help you build out a great metro network. There are 20 different cities to play, each with a slightly different feel and unique challenge presented by the local river system. There are a few different modes and you can compete against other players in daily challenges which keeps you coming back. It’s a very moreish game and well worth the price.
The Room: Old Sins ($5)
This is the fourth entry in the creepy puzzle series The Room and it’s a game all puzzle fans should grab. The plot concerns the disappearance of a couple from Waldegrave Manor, and there’s a detailed dollhouse in the attic that serves as a challenging and intriguing puzzle box. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played previous titles in the series, because it’s easy to get to grips with the clever touch controls as you explore intricate environments and manipulate the objects within to uncover hidden mechanisms that enable you to progress. It’s a beautiful game with a score that adds some atmosphere and a twisty plot that gradually comes into focus as you work your way through the puzzles.
If you’re looking for a space strategy game with an expansive universe this could be the one for you. In Hades’ Star, you’ll colonize planets, construct a fleet of spaceships, open trade routes, mine resources, research new technologies, and explore the farthest reaches of the galaxy. You’ll also come up against hostile alien races. The multiplayer modes allow you to work together with others to complete tricky missions, establish diplomatic relations, and even band together into Corporations, but the PvP stuff is all optional. It’s a little slow and there’s inevitably some grinding, but this is one of the best sci-fi-themed RTS games in the Play Store.
Madden NFL Mobile Football
If you need some authentic NFL action on your phone, this might be your best option. Build a team as general manager and head coach and try to guide them to NFL glory. The controls are easy to pick up and you’ll be calling the plays and scoring touchdowns in no time. Graphically, this is probably the best NFL game in the Play Store and it features real rosters and NFL legends from years gone by. There’s quite a lot of depth and you can customize your team, but it is still a watered-down version of the popular console game. You also need to be online to play and it makes you wait sometimes to push the in-app purchases.
If you love some shooter action, but like a little sprinkle of RPG in there, then it’s time to suit up and get ready for some alien combat. The neon-lit central hub is a hive of activity, with a bar, stores, a casino, and lots of shady characters who can give you missions. You can complete missions to loot gear, sell it to buy more gear, and build up your abilities and reputation as a tough space mercenary. The combat is frenetic, there’s a decent amount of customization on offer, and you can also take on co-op missions with other players or test your mettle in real-time PvP arenas. This is probably the best sci-fi shooter in the Play Store right now.
Stardew Valley ($8)
A farming RPG may not sound like a good time, but this charming title will whisk you away to a surprisingly immersive rural world full of interesting characters and strange new challenges. Can you tame your overgrown fields, raise animals and crops, and juggle a romance and family? Beyond the quiet village life, there are caves to explore and treasure to loot, but watch out for monsters. Packed with different activities and mini-games, the scale of Stardew Valley is incredible, the pixel art is undeniably cute, and you can play gently at your own pace. If you need something to get lost in for a few hours this game will serve you well.
If you’re a Legend of Zelda fan, then Oceanhorn might be the game for you. The popular title features a solid narrative and terrific visuals, along with a captivating soundtrack. It’s an accessible action-adventure packed with enticing quests, piles of treasure, monsters, magic, and puzzles to solve. This RPG starts out gently as you set out to solve the mystery of what happened to your father and get dragged into a bigger adventure in the ancient kingdom of Arcadia. You can play the first chapter for free to see if it grabs you before deciding whether to unlock the full game for $5.50 via an in-app purchase.
Dragon Ball Legends
The Dragon Ball series has seen somewhat of a resurgence over the past few years, and Dragon Ball Legends capitalizes on that. The game is a lot of fun, especially if you’re a Dragon Ball fan, and it sees you fight through a series of different levels, collecting abilities and characters along the way. Tap and swipe to attack, move, or dodge and tap cards for special attacks and abilities; everything can be pulled off with a single finger. It’s also built to be played in portrait mode, which makes it easy to play on the road. There is also a PvP mode for real-time one on one fights with people around the world.
Real Racing 3
It’s time to burn some rubber in a wide range of meticulously re-created cars on an impressive lineup of real tracks from around the globe. Real Racing 3 features cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and others. You’ll also get to test your skills behind the wheel on tracks like Silverstone, Hockenheimring, and Le Mans. With countless events to enter, cross-platform multiplayer, and lots of customization options, this is one of the best racing games around. The realistic graphics are impressive, but there are also ads and nudges towards in-app purchases.
Whether you remember classic racing games like Out Run or not, this retro racer is loads of fun. The creators of Horizon Chase have put together a 16-bit look with an authentic, classic, arcade soundtrack. The game is a refreshing alternative to photorealism, that ramps up the challenge as you progress through a series of vibrant and colorful levels across 40 cities. You can upgrade your car, unlock new cars, and compete to win 10 different trophies. This is simple, accessible, racing game fun that’s sure to put a smile on your face.
If you’re looking for a puzzle game with a charming, minimal art style, tranquil soundtrack, and some genuine challenges, then inbento could be worth your $3. You play as mother cat and you need to make up a bento box to feed your kitten. You can drag pieces of food onto the box, or tap to rotate them, but you need to nail the recipe exactly and that means getting every piece in its rightful place to produce the correct pattern. Like all good puzzle games, it starts out gently and seems simplistic, but grows more and more difficult as you progress through the levels. There are lots of puzzles here to keep you busy and the price of admission ensures there are no ads to disturb your play.
Skydive down to Erangel Island, scavenge what you can, and kill, kill, kill in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile. You’ll take on 99 other people with the same goal, but there can be only one victor. Controls are inevitably a little awkward until you get used to them, but this is a tense shooter that will suck you right in. There are loads of different weapons and pieces of gear littered around to scavenge, not to mention vehicles you can commandeer. There are also now four enormous maps to play on, each with their own weather and day and night cycles. If you don’t like playing solo there are duo and four-person squad options. This game also runs well on most Android phones and it’s good at scaling back the graphics for less capable devices.
The most popular game in the world is available on Android, but you can’t get it on Google Play. Instead, you’ll need to get it from the Epic Games website. For the uninitiated, Fortnite is a battle royale-style game full of color and strategy where you play on your own or in squads against up to 99 other players. It’s packed with weaponry, explosives, health boosts, shields, outfits, dance moves, and more. You’ll need to master building structures to truly compete with the best — but even if you don’t, it’s still a fun time. A lot of superfluous extra content requires in-app purchases to unlock, but you can play the full game for free.
Into the Dead 2
The original Into the Dead game was pure zombie-killing fun, and the follow-up is even better. In this action-packed game, you’ll experience the zombie apocalypse as you race through maps to save your family. Along the way, you’ll pick up powerful weapons and do whatever it takes to put those zombies down. Can you survive as the zombies close in and surround you? There are lots of interesting environments, from farms to military bases, and a story that unfolds as you complete chapters. There are also plenty of challenges to keep you coming back for more.
Some games stand the test of time better than others. Classic arcade game Pac-Man is still giving gamers a run for their money nearly four decades after its release. The Android Pac-Man app stays true to the original format, challenging you to eat the dots and fruits, while avoiding the ghosts. There are a few new levels to keep things fresh and daily challenges to keep you coming back for more.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a true classic, one Sega finally brought to smartphones with the Sega Forever collection, but rather than replay the classics, why not try this endless runner with Sonic as the star? It plays much like any other endless runner, swipe left and right to avoid obstacles and collect coins, swipe up or down to jump over or slide under things. There are a few special powers you can use to avoid doom when played at the right moment and there are boss battles with Dr. Eggman and Zazz. You can also play as Tails, Shadow, or Knuckles.
Minecraft — Pocket Edition ($7)
The phenomenon known as Minecraft made an incredibly successful jump to smartphones, giving fans of the franchise the ability to mine, explore, and build their way to 8-bit glory anywhere. Generate new worlds filled with dangerous mobs and see if you can survive, or play stress-free in creative mode and build your grand designs.
Breaking Bad: Criminal Elements
Breaking Bad: Criminal Elements is what happens when you cross Sim City with the much-loved Breaking Bad. In the game, you’ll build a meth lab, increasing your income and defending yourself against your rivals. As you grow, your lab will expand and you’ll make more cash, and while the game is a little aggressive with the in-app purchases, any Breaking Bad fan will appreciate the nods to the TV show.
A stylish sandboarding twist on endless runners, Alto’s Odyssey is available for free. In the game, which is a follow-up to Alto’s Adventure, you’ll explore beautifully designed levels, grind across vines, and bounce on hot air balloons as you uncover the mysteries of the desert. It’s a slick game that’s very easy to pick up, but you’ll need to master combos to complete all the goals. Lovely art and a serene soundtrack combine with the engaging one-touch gameplay to make this well worth playing.
Even if you’re not a Fallout fan, this addictive sim is one of the best Android games around. Tunnel into the earth and build a vault to provide for your dwellers and help them survive the post-apocalyptic wastelands. You can send out scavengers for supplies, use different types of room to train your dwellers up, and kit your vault defenders out with the best armor and weaponry. Can you keep them alive in the face of raiders, radroaches, and other threats? Our Fallout Shelter tips will give you a better chance of surviving.
Pokémon Masters is the next big Pokémon game for mobile. The game is set on the island of Pasio, and sees you battling trainers, improving your Pokémon, and more. You can even play other trainers online and in the game, and everything has been simplified and optimized for mobile use. It’s fun, light-hearted, and full of personality.
Clash of Clans
Build up your settlement, plan your defenses, raise an army, and guide your tribe to victory against nasty goblins or other clan leaders. It’s a good combination of slow planning and quick, chaotic battles, but if you choose to join a clan be prepared to commit to regular battles or you’ll be letting your teammates down.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
Can you don the hockey mask and take on the role of Jason Voorhees? This puzzle game is all about stalking, trapping, and ultimately slaying unwitting victims and there are more than 100 puzzles to solve. You’ll start the mayhem in camp at Crystal Lake, but there are levels in prison, Manhattan, a ski resort, and a few other places. Level up to unlock more weapons and play through the campaign, or drop in daily for the bonus mode levels, which can be really tricky. Ramping up the gore intensity is optional, so you can keep things cute if you prefer and the game has a good sense of humor about your merciless slaughter.
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