With such a bountiful choice of great games for Android phones in the Google Play Store, it can prove quite tough to decide which Android apps to download. 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 and some cost a few bucks, 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 that includes first-person shooters, role-playing games (RPG), platformers, racing games, puzzlers, strategy games, and more. There should be at least one game on this list to suit everyone. And if you’re looking for the best iPhone games, we’ve found those too.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($3)
It feels like Castlevania has been around forever, from the ’80s 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 your $3. 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.
Fans of Diablo 2 and 3 will feel all nostalgic when they play this action RPG. With its dark fantasy setting and gorgeous soundtrack, it’s a surprisingly expansive game. Explore more than 40 levels in the single-player offline campaign, with a further 10 secret levels to unlock, and choose from three specializations: Skirmish (melee), archery, or sorcery. Build your character with more than 45 unique skills, or take advantage of the multi-class system to create your own unique skill tree. The fast-paced combat and character customization ensure this game will hold your attention. It’s free to play — there are microtransactions, but they’re in no way essential to level your character and progress through the game.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Arcade racing games have come a long way since the days of Daytona USA — and Asphalt 9: Legends brings hyper-realistic arcade racing to Android. Race more than 50 of the world’s best cars, from Lamborghinis to Ferraris, and customize your vehicle using the editor — you can change the color, material, rims, and more. With over 800 events and 60 seasons, Career mode is the most fun you can have in a mobile racing game. We love the online multiplayer mode, which lets you race up to seven rival speedfreaks to unlock Milestone rewards and make your way to the top of the leaderboard. It’s totally free to play — plus it’s one of the best-looking racing games on Android.
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’s a plethora of enemies to fight, as well as involved crafting and a colorful, sprawling world to explore. Battle Chasers: Nightwar may 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.
GRIS reminds us of the experience of playing Monument Valley for the first time — and it has that artistic vibe to boot, with watercolor graphics that feel more like stepping inside a painting than playing a game. You play as a girl who’s suffered trauma — she’s lost and exists only in a surreal world where nothing is as it seems, even her dress, which grants her special abilities. This platformer sees you travel through a fascinating world, taking on demonic creatures and meeting new friends along the way as you solve skill-based challenges and light puzzles. Instead of text, icons explain the simple controls — so it can be played by anybody, regardless of their spoken language. The entire experience — backed by an original score — is totally serene, making GRIS the ideal chill-out game.
Death Road to Canada ($10)
What’s better than a zombie apocalypse? A Canadian zombie apocalypse — and that’s exactly the scenario in Death Road to Canada. Complete with genuine Canadian humor — which you may or may not find funny — you play as one of a group of friends on a road trip down the Death Road from Florida to Canada. Along the way, you’ll meet some pretty strange people, explore cities, and, of course, be eaten by hordes of slow, shambling zombies. We’re not kidding! Prepare to die — a lot. Pick off zombies with your arsenal of weapons, including a wizard staff, flamethrower, and hockey stick, and create mini-versions of your family and friends with the character creator. It’s up to you whether they get eaten or survive. With 10 modes to unlock, this randomly-generated adventure game has plenty of replay value, which more than justifies its $10 price tag.
Pokémon Café Mix
What’s cuter than a Pokémon? A café that exclusively serves Pokémon, that’s what. Pokémon Café Mix is a fun little puzzle game that tasks you with preparing dishes and drinks for a variety of Pokémon customers. Create good enough treats and you’ll win yourself new friends and be able to expand your business to allow in even more Pokémon. It’s free to start but has in-app purchases available.
Idle games are a great way to keep your fingers busy while you watch TV, and penguins are great in any setting. Combine the two and you get Penguin Isle, an idle game where you create a habitat for a variety of different penguins. The aim of the game is to relax, so crank up the volume and listen to the soothing music, watch the cute animations, and enjoy the relaxing scenery. While not one for someone seeking action, Penguin Isle is a great game for relaxation.
One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0
Based on the hit anime series, One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 puts you in charge of mobilizing the Hero Association’s reaction to various monster attacks. Collect hero cards and use special moves to make sure peace is maintained while you work your way through the anime’s storyline. There’s a player-versus-player mode if you tire of single-player content, and if you’re really looking for a new challenge, you can take on the Extreme Trial too.
Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery
There’s nothing like a good mystery to really snag your attention and keep you buried, and Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery certainly qualifies as a good mystery. You play as a detective who returns to his father’s town, only to find it completely deserted. It’s your job to find out what happened, using all your detective skills to explore fully interactive 3D levels crammed with fun puzzles and clues. Essentially a mix of escape rooms and quests, this is the game to scratch any mysterious itch.
Riffing off the multiplayer castle-builders of past decades, Hades’ Star puts you in charge of a star-spanning empire. Your fledgling empire’s resources and armies are yours to command as you expand your rule across new star systems, build and customize new chips, and optimize trade routes. You’ll meet with other empires, headed by players just like you, and work together in the spirit of jolly cooperation while grinding the mysterious alien races beneath your space-boots. There are missions to complete with other players too, with little pressure to buy microtransactions.
Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are many things, but they’re rarely simple. If you love adventuring through a world with other people, but don’t have time to deal with all the ancillary stuff that tends to come with most MMOs, SimpleMMO could be your new best friend. SimpleMMO is fully text-based, making it easy to play and comprehend, and you can easily join up with other players to take on the intriguing fantasy world. Oddly, it actually has some real depth to it, and you can take part in player battles, become a trader, and even become a hitman.
Game Dev Tycoon ($5)
A game where you create games sounds very meta, but don’t let that put you off. Game Dev Tycoon, as you might expect, puts you in the shoes of a lowly ’80s game developer, coding in their garage. Make a hit game, and you’ll be able to move into an office, hire artists and developers to help out, and make bigger and better games as the industry matures. It’s a simple idea, but an engaging one, and you’ll quickly be enraptured by reports on how well your last games did, and how your next hit can appeal to even more people. While $5 seems like a lot, this is a game that you can sink a lot of hours into.
It may seem as if Monster Legends borrows a lot from the Pokémon franchise, but it’s actually got more in common with the noughties juggernaut Neopets than anything else. Build your menagerie, adding a range of different creatures and train them up to become the best they can be. Each creature requires a different habitat and will evolve and change as it grows. Then, take them into Team Wars and Team Battlegrounds to prove your superior Monster Master skills. There are over 600 monsters to collect, but be aware the lure of microtransactions to speed up your collection is strong.
Clash Royale is the arena battler that will monopolize all of your free time. Based on characters and minions from Clash of Clans, this game pits two players in a head-to-head battle, using spells, creatures, and minions to destroy their opponent’s towers and castle. You can collect a huge range of units and spells, and upgrade them as you collect more and more, making them more and more powerful. It’s a lot of fun to play, and each battle only takes three minutes, making it perfect to play while waiting for the bus, or between appointments. It’s free-to-play, and while you can collect a lot for free, microtransactions are plentiful.
Marvel Strike Force
Someone or something is attacking the Earth, and you must take charge of a ragtag bunch of Marvel characters to contain the panic and defeat your opponents. Marvel Strike Force challenges you to collect all of your favorite heroes, marshall them into a team, upgrade them, and lead them to victory in a single-player campaign and battles against other players. You can use real-world money to purchase characters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also win them for free by simply playing the game a lot. The turn-based collector-battler is a common genre on mobile now, and Marvel’s entry is one of the best around.
Boris and the Dark Survival ($3)
Fans of Bendy and the Ink Machine will recognize his cartoon companion, Boris the wolf. In this tricky survival horror, you’ll need to guide Boris through the eerie studio staying one step ahead of the Ink Demon hunting you. With a classic cartoon style and a new top-down view on the action, you’ll explore Joey Drew Studios searching for useful items, food to replenish your stamina, and secrets that might help you unravel the mystery of what happened. The abandoned animator’s workshop is a great setting and it’s randomly generated each time you enter, which gives this game plenty of replay value. If you like chills and scares, this is for you.
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)
There aren’t many games where you’re trying to avoid an exploding kitten, but here we are. Exploding Kittens is a clever mix of strategy and luck, and is akin to the lovechild of Uno and Russian Roulette. The Android version of the game perfectly captures the spirit of the original card game, complete with the quirky cat-based artwork by The Oatmeal artist Matthew Inman. It takes a while to master, but it’s worth the time to play. It’s best played in multiplayer with a collection of friends, but there’s also a singleplayer mode in case you need to practice, or really want to scratch that itch.
Call of Duty: Mobile
One of the biggest FPS franchises around comes to mobile with a game deliberately designed for touchscreen firefights — Call of Duty: Mobile. 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.
It can be hard to find games that aren’t just your usual casual games on the Play Store, so the inclusion of Tropico was very welcome. Based off the series of very successful PC games, Tropico puts you in the shoes of “El Presidente”, the president of a Caribbean island. It’s up to you to bring your island into the modern world, adding industries and new services — while also lining your pockets along the way. The range of scope here is excellent, and you have the choice of playing a beneficent leader, a tinpot dictator with an iron fist, or anything in between. $12 is a lot for a mobile game, but that gets you full access to the game, ad-free, and the ability to play it offline.
Mini Metro ($1)
You might think designing a public transit system is simple, but Mini Metro will put paid to that idea in no time. While the early levels are simple, and just require you to connect the various stations up in a line, you’ll soon find yourself at the mercy of some devilishly tricky levels. Random city growth, rivers, and other obstacles will get in your way, while newly unlocked trains, carriages, and tunnels will give you even more reason to keep playing. If you’re the sort of person who loves to put their brain to task, then Mini Metro is worth the low price of admission.
Madden NFL Mobile Football
If you need some authentic Madden 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.
Looking for a shooter with a little depth? Shadowgun Legends is exactly that game. You’re thrown into the Shadowgun universe as one of the Shadowguns, warriors who defend humanity from the attacks of a deadly alien invader, while doubling up as celebrity heroes at the same time. The combat is fast-paced and frenetic, and you’ll be able to test your skills against humans as well as A.I.-controlled aliens. The central hub of the game is where you find missions, and it’s replete with quest-givers, shops to buy and sell loot, and ways to build up your mercenary reputation. Easily the best sci-fi shooter on the Play Store.
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.
Oceanhorn (Free to start/$5.50)
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
With the release of Dragon Ball Super and a number of popular movies, it’s safe to say Dragon Ball has had a resurgence in recent years. If you’ve been enjoying diving back into the adventures of Goku and friends, then Dragon Ball Legends is the perfect way to get a Super Saiyan-flavored gaming fix on your smartphone. Playing as one of many Dragon Ball characters, you work your way through a series of levels against a range of opponents. Swiping on the screen will attack, move, and dodge, while special attacks and abilities are pulled off by tapping the cards that appear on screen. It’s a lot of fun, and it doesn’t pressure you to spend money to progress.
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.
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.
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