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 when you’re out and about.
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, platformers, racing games, puzzlers, strategy games, and more. There should be something in this list to suit everyone.
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.
Bridge Constructor Portal ($3)
You know what makes building bridges more fun? Science! Bridge Constructor Portal adds the wacky tech from Valve’s Portal series, adding the cutting edge and bizarre technology from the Aperture Science Labs to your Bridge Constructor game. That means you’ll have to find new ways to use weird tech to bridge gaps, all while listening to the original voice of GLaDOS while doing so. While $5 is a lot of money, there are 60 test chambers to bridge, meaning this isn’t bad value for money.
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.
So this might be a tough one to explain, and honestly, we recommend you watch the trailer to get an idea of how the game plays. But simply put, Flipping Legend has you flipping — whether legendarily or not — through levels, taking out enemies and earning gold to buy new abilities. Unlock powerful new characters and unlock their abilities, while reveling in the game’s very good soundtrack.
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 ($1)
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 beneficient 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 finally available on the Google Play Store. 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.