The 30 Best Android Games

With new Android games being released every other nanosecond, coming up with the definitive list of the best games is like some kind of sadistic game of a whack-a-mole. But does that mean we aren’t up to the steep challenge? Of course not.

In creating our list, we’ve mixed in some of the old with some of the new, dipping our fingers into numerous genre jars along the way. Whether you need something new to pass the time on your next flight or just overlooked a modern mobile classic, we think you’ll find more than a few gems in our list of the 30 best games for the Android operating system (in no particular order).

Limbo

Limbo

Originally an Xbox Live exclusive, the brilliantly minimalist Limbo is now playable on Android devices. Trapped in a mysterious and macabre black & white world, you play as an unnamed boy searching for his sister while encountering numerous traps and creatures that are designed to lop your head off your body in the most disturbing of ways. One of the best games of this decade. [Purchase]

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

How does the sword savagery and political backstabbing of HBO’s Game of Thrones translate to the gaming world? Through the first two episodes, pretty well, actually. This six-part episodic series comes from the kings of the genre, Telltale Games, and digs deeper into the story of House Forrester. You play the game from five different points of view, and if you’re in the mood for a story-driven game and know the GoT universe, you should definitely dive in. [Purchase]

Threes

Threes!

At first glance, you’re gonna think Threes! involves some kind of quick-on-your-feet math skills. Don’t worry, it doesn’t. In the classic tradition of Tetris, the simple swipe-to-match mechanics belie the deep strategy involved with this addictive affair, and there’s tons of charm and polish to keep you coming back for more. [Purchase]

Modern Combat 4- Zero Hour

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour

Looking for great military shooters on mobile devices isn’t always wise, but Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour pulls it off convincingly. With outstanding graphics and a smooth framerate, MC4 is one of the best ways to scratch your FPS itch while on the go. [Purchase]

Deus Ex- The Fall

Deus Ex: The Fall

We fell in love with Deus Ex universe 15 years ago, and we’re more than happy to say the trademark hybrid blend of futuristic conspiracy-solving-FPS-RPG-action sticks the landing on the unlikely transition to mobile gaming in Deus Ex: The Fall. As you might expect, you’ll find some flaws with the touch controls when the gunplay gets heavy, but the graphics and plot more than make up for the other shortcomings. [Purchase]

Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack

Perhaps the most viral game of winter 2015, Trivia Crack excels at recreating the pub night trivia vibe on your phone, while also borrowing heavily from the legendary board game, Trivial Pursuit. Yes, it’s addictive as hell, but beware: the bevy of in-app purchases can alter the playing field for users who don’t mind forking over some cash. [Purchase]

Kingdom Rush Origins copy

Kingdom Rush Origins

Tower defense games are, to say the least, an acquired taste. But they actually make a great fit for mobile devices. Kingdom Rush Origins is the third entry in this stellar franchise, and while its gameplay remains the same as the previous two iterations (and that’s a good thing), there’s plenty of new stuff to keep it fresh and fun. [Purchase]

Murder in the Hotel Lisbon

Murder in the Hotel Lisbon

Blending a retro pixel art style with a murder mystery and plenty of wit, this point-and-click adventure plays out much like the old LucasArts classics did of the early 90s. If you long for the simple charms of games like The Secret of Monkey Island, pick this one up. [Purchase]

Zombie Gunship

Zombie Gunship

Zombie Gunship smartly puts you in the gunner seat of a heavily-armed AC-130 ground attack aircraft. The targets? Zombies upon zombies. Avoid hitting the humans and use 3D night vision and an array of authentic guns (25mm Gatling gun, 40mm Bofors auto-cannon, and 105mm Howitzer cannon) to satisfyingly get the job done. [Purchase]

Minecraft – Pocket Edition

Minecraft – Pocket Edition

Minecraft. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Yeah, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and while playing on a smartphone or small tablet limits the fun a bit, this is the best (and only) way to get your brick-building fix on the go. The Pocket Edition includes Survival and Creative modes and available multiplayer over a local Wi-Fi network, but the world is smaller and some features found in other versions aren’t available here. [Purchase]

NBA Jam

NBA Jam

“Boomshakalaka!” For any 80s or 90s kid, that phrase that takes them back to the arcade and the countless quarters pumped into NBA Jam. The mobile version mimics the arcade version perfectly, with plenty of power ups, unlockable players from days gone by, and even online play. [Purchase]

Angry Birds

Angry Birds

It may be six years old, but Angry Birds still deserves (and likely has) a space on most people’s phones. You can go with Angry Birds Star Wars, Angry Birds Epic, Angry Birds Transformers, or many others, but we’ll stick with the original. Rovio’s billion dollar franchise may have jumped the shark by now, but lobbing wingless birds at pig-built buildings is still one of the best ways to kill time in a doctor’s waiting room. [Purchase]

Game Dev Story

Game Dev Story

So wait—a game about making games is actually fun? Hell yes. While a stat-based simulation game like this understandably won’t appeal to everyone, those who dig the business sim-style of gameplay will love it. You manage your own company and try to create a blockbuster video game, as you surprisingly gain insight into what it takes to be an actual game developer. [Purchase]

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans

Remember that great Super Bowl spot with Liam Neeson vowing revenge on “BigBuffyBoy85” after he destroyed Neeson’s village while he waited for a scone? Yeah, this is that game. A pleasantly pick-up-and-play affair, Clash of Clans sees you build your village to fend off raiders, battle against millions of players worldwide, and forge a clan with others to destroy enemies—as you wait for a scone. [Purchase]

Five Nights at Freddys

Five Nights at Freddy’s

This indie point-and-click survival horror game puts you in the role of night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza restaurant. Thing is, there may or may not be a problem with malfunctioning animatronic animal characters, who may or may not be out for you. Despite the simple controls and premise, Five Nights at Freddy‘s delivers tons of tension and a crazy high fear factor thanks to its art direction and smart design. [Purchase]

Scribblenauts Remix

Scribblenauts Remix

This acclaimed side-scrolling puzzle game franchise won over legions of fans on the Nintendo DS before doing appearing on Android devices in this “best of” affair. Scribblenauts encourages you to let your imagination run wild and rewards you for it. Remix features mostly levels rom earlier games in the series, but if you’re new to Scribblenauts, this is the place to start. [Purchase]

Geometry Dash

Geometry Dash

Make no mistake about it, Geometry Dash is hard. You will become more frustrated than a mosquito in a mannequin factory. But this rhythm-based platformer will also keep you coming back for more as you sharpen your timing skills while jumping, flying, and flipping your way through dangerous passages and spiky obstacles. [Purchase]

Injustice- Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

This popular fighting/free-to-play collectible card game has been a big hit on both consoles and mobile devices thanks to its vibrant graphics, solid controls, visceral action, and of course, the awesome roster of DC Comics super heroes and villains that bash each others’ heads in. [Purchase]

XCOM- Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within

This expansion to the acclaimed 2012 turn-based tactical game will see you pay a hefty price for it on your Android device ($12.99), but it’s also devoid of any free-to-play come-ons for extra content. This is all you need, and it’s pretty great. The goal is to manage the XCOM headquarters while engaging in turn-based battles against swarms of aliens and some nasty humans as well. [Purchase]

Asphalt 8- Airborne

Asphalt 8: Airborne

There’s a ton of driving games out there, and really, the difference in quality between many of them is minimal, but we’re gonna crown Asphalt 8: Airborne king of the hill for its adrenalin-fueling arcade racing action. With no shortage of crazy crashes, air-filled jumps, licensed supercars, and beautiful locales, your speed needs will be quite fulfilled here. Just prepare to be tempted to overspend. [Purchase]

The Walking Dead- Season One

The Walking Dead: Season One

The zombie apocalypse is yours to survive in this excellent five-part series from TellTale games. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal with a second chance at life in a world devastated by the undead. Since your choices help tell the story, the emotional component runs high here, as there are some really great moments when deciding who to trust or who to save. A few graphical glitches and lighting issues are the only notable flaws. [Purchase]

Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja

It’s weird to think that a game that’s just five years old can be referred to as a “classic,” but that’s what Fruit Ninja is. Simple finger swipes cut through an assortment of colorful produce as you try to avoid bombs and carpal tunnel syndrome. Another great gaming option as you wait for your haircut. [Purchase]

The Room

The Room

Suspenseful, immersive, and a great use of touch controls, The Room (and The Room 2) is a mobile masterpiece. You’re presented with a series of strange boxes that have to be opened to further unravel the mystery, but that simple description belies the depth of the experience and the outstanding visuals. [Purchase]

Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers

Endless runner games are a big genre on mobile devices, and Subway Surfers is the best of them all. While helping “Jake, Tricky & Fresh escape from the grumpy Inspector and his dog” might be a bit of a stretch for the mature gamer, the fun factor and vivid graphics will suck many a jaded gamer in. [Purchase]

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

An emotional journey with a rectangle as the protagonist? Sounds unlikely, but Thomas Was Alone pulls it off beautifully. This award-winning platformer has you controlling polygon shapes representing out-of-control artificial intelligence entities; yeah, sounds weird, and it is, but it works. It’s proof that excellent game design trumps all else. [Purchase]

Republique

Republique

With one-touch stealth action gameplay, Republique invites you into a Metal Gear Solidesque experience with immersive puzzles and plenty of strategic choices. While we could do without the retracing of steps (a game mechanic that should’ve been gone for good 15 years ago), we love the plotline, with its themes of paranoia, oppression, and censorship. [Purchase]

Hitman GO

Hitman GO

Fans of Agent 47’s murderous exploits in previous Hitman games might be put off by the unique board game-style of Hitman GO, but they’d missing out on a unique turn-based puzzle game. Your goal is to navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target or infiltrate well-guarded locations. If you don’t come looking for traditional Hitman action and can put up with some trial and error sequences, you’ll have a blast. [Purchase]

Plants vs Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies

PopCap’s popular franchise is a little long in the tooth (2009 PC release, 2011 for Android), but it’s still an addictively fun time. You play as a homeowner who resorts to different plants to keep an army of zombies from entering your house and having a brains sandwich. Lively visuals and plenty of content make this tower defense game a classic. [Purchase]

Ridiculous Fishing

Ridiculous Fishing

More fun and less wormy than regular fishing, Ridiculous Fishing has you cast a fishing line and then use touch controls to avoid fish as the hook sinks and to catch as many fish as possible as the reel retracts. You then shoot fish out of the sky for money that can be spent on upgrades. It’s all pretty fun, and as you might assume with that title, the game has a nice sense of humor. [Purchase]

Syberia

Syberia

This 2002 steampunk point-and-click adventure game has now made its way to mobile devices, and while it occasionally frustrates with its puzzles, we still think the offbeat story and charming graphics make it well worth the trip. You play as Kate Walker, an ambitious lawyer from New York who gets thrust into a strange world of automatons as she ravels across Europe to uncover a mystery. [Purchase]

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