Gaming on mobile has been improving at a far greater rate than any technology that came before it. Android games seem to hit new heights every year. We see more and more premium game releases that challenge what phones can do and even free to play games are getting better and better.
We’ve tested and rated all the best games for Android, covering all genres, and rounded them all up right here. Without further delay, here are the best Android games available right now! These are the best of the best so the list won’t change all that often unless something excellent comes along.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Price: Free to play
Call of Duty: Mobile was our pick for the best Android game in 2019. We usually wait a while before adding a game, but Call of Duty: Mobile is so intensely popular with such a high rating that we added it more quickly than usual. The game has both a normal FPS online PvP mode along with a 100-player battle royale. That puts it in a rare category where it does battle royale like PUBG Mobile, but also regular FPS PvP like Critical Ops or Modern Combat. There is a surprising amount of stuff to do. It is a free to play game, but most of the in-game purchases are cosmetic items.
World Tour is a high-speed racer that has you guide tiny cars around circuits made from comparatively massive household objects. It’s like the offspring of Micro Machines and Mario Kart. Races are extremely competitive, and find you fending off crazed opponents by way of cunning maneuvers and unsportsmanlike weapons, in a mad dash to the finish line.
Although there are opportunities to upgrade your vehicle to better compete on tougher tracks, World Tour is devoid of IAP. Instead, it’s your skills that will see you take checkered flags – and end up with enough cash to buy swanky new cars.
GRID Autosport is a racer, but also a challenge to Android gamers complaining they never get premium titles, and that freemium fare comes packed with ads and IAP. This is a full-on ad-free premium AAA hit, transferred intact to your phone.
Even on PC and consoles, GRID Autosport was impressive stuff on its release. Five or so years on, it’s no less astonishing as a mobile title, as you blaze around 100 circuits, battling it out in a huge range of cars.
Price: Free to play
Genshin Impact is an action RPG game with gacha mechanics. The game received wide critical acclaim upon its release for its impressive visuals and excellent game play. It looks and acts a bit like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but nobody seems to really mind. The game does have a party system and you summon new characters through a gacha system similar to other gachas. However, the visual elements, game play mechanics, and the completely open world make the game feel a lot less restrictive than most in the genre. Unless the developer messes this one up, it should remain excellent for a long time.
Price: Free + $5.49
There’s more than a hint of Zelda about Oceanhorn, but that’s not a bad thing when it means embarking on one of the finest arcade adventures on mobile.
You awake to find a letter from your father, who it turns out has gone from your life. You’re merely left with his notebook and a necklace.
Being that this is a videogame, you reason it’s time to get questy, exploring the islands of the Uncharted Seas, chatting with folks, stabbing hostile wildlife, uncovering secrets and mysteries, and trying very hard to not get killed.
You get a chapter for free, to test how the game works on your device (its visual clout means fairly powerful Android devices are recommended); a single IAP unlocks the rest. The entire quest takes a dozen hours or so – which will likely be some of the best gaming you’ll experience on Android.
Minecraft on Android is the hugely popular sandbox PC game based around virtual blocks, right in the palm of your hand. Sort of.
In effect, it’s a stripped-back take on the desktop version, although you still get different ways to play. In creative mode, you explore and can immediately start crafting a virtual world. With survival mode come the added complications of gathering and managing resources during the day – and then battling against enemies during the night.
Although it’s a mite more limited than the full desktop release, Minecraft on Android still gives you plenty to do, and the randomly generated nature of the world provides potentially limitless gaming experiences. It’s certainly more than just a load of blocks.
GRIS is an adventure game with puzzle-platformer elements. This is one of those ones you know is good just by looking at it. The game follows Gris, a young girl lost in her own world while dealing with the painful experiences in her life. It doesn’t have anything like player death or anything like that. You simply explore the world, solve some puzzles, and enjoy. The game features almost no text and chooses instead to tell its story through visual elements instead. It’s an artsy game, but one of the best in its genre.
Osmos HD is a rare arcade game about patience and subtlety. Each unique level has you guide a ‘mote’, which moves by expelling tiny pieces of itself. Initially, it moves within microscopic goop, eating smaller motes, to expand and reign supreme.
At first, other motes don’t fight back, but the game soon immerses you in petri dish warfare, as motes tear whatever amounts to each-other’s faces off. Then there’s the odd curveball, as challenges find you dealing with gravity as planet-like motes orbit deadly floating ‘stars’.
It’s a beautiful, captivating game, with perfect touchscreen controls. And if you can convince a friend to join in, you can battle it out over Wi-Fi across six distinct arenas.
Legends of Runeterra
Price: Free to play
Legends of Runeterra is one of the newer Android games on this list. It’s an online battler similar in scope to games like Hearthstone. Players collect cards and heroes, then build decks from those cards and heroes. You then battle opponents online. The game removes as much of the randomness as it can and it leads to a good game play experience overall. The game includes 24 champions, a bunch of cards, and you can invite friends to duel with you as well.
In Her Story, you find yourself facing a creaky computer terminal with software designed by a sadist. It soon becomes clear the so-called L.O.G.I.C. database houses police interviews of a woman charged with murder.
But the tape’s been hacked to bits and is accessible only by keywords; ‘helpfully’, the system only displays five search results at once.
Naturally, these contrivances exist to force you to play detective, eking out clues from video snippets to work out what to search for next, slowly piecing together the mystery in your brain.
A unique and captivating experience, Her Story will keep even the most remotely curious Android gamer gripped until the enigma is solved.
Path to Mnemosyne
Path to Mnemosyne finds a little girl staring at a seemingly endless pathway. This peculiar road is often surrounded by nightmarish tunnels seemingly comprising human body parts. It’s not pleasant. A voice-over asks her to not be afraid of what are just memories, and urges you to explore and recover further memories to remember.
Frankly, we’re not sure you’d want to remember when confronted by terrifying bits of skeleton, eyes, and massive teeth in a tunnel from hell, but it makes for a good game. Mostly, we’re in puzzling territory, with the protagonist having to figure out how to open the next door.
Often, these puzzles are a bit familiar (lots of prodding switches), and the voice-over is a bit weak; but the atmosphere, gorgeous visuals, and some more imaginative challenges make up for any shortcomings.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes pits you against a bomb designed by someone who’s watched one too many Hollywood movies featuring an over-the-top evil genius. The case is packed with modules, with anything from traditional wires to cut through to full games of Simon. Naturally, there’s also a massive LED countdown timer, because bomb-makers in games and on TV just love those.
The ‘making sure nobody explodes’ bit of this Android game requires help from one or more friends armed with the instructions (PDF or print-out) for defusing the contraption. If you’re playing properly, you can’t see the manual, and they can’t see the screen. This leads to a Spaceteam-style cacophony as you try to explain the cryptic switches and buttons before you, and they attempt to relay how to disable everything
Levelhead is a new platformer from Butterscotch Shenanigans, the same developer of Crashlands. Crashlands was on this very list for a good two or three years, and we expect Levelhead to be here for a while too. It’s a platformer with 90 levels, surprisingly satisfying controls, and some excellent humor. However, this one sets itself apart from others with its truly excellent custom level building. Players can build levels and upload them to the game. Other players download them and the most popular end up in the game’s prestigious vault. Plus, the game has speed running features and each level comes with its own leaderboard (even the custom ones). Finally, the game is cross-platform with cloud saves. It covers all of the bases for a mobile platformer. It’s also free with Google Play Pass if you use that. This is easily the best in its class, but here are some other good platformers to try as well.
A young boy hurls himself down a massive well, with only his ‘gunboots’ for protection. There are so many questions there (not least: what parent would buy their kid boots that are also guns?), but it sets the scene for a superb arcade shooter with surprising smarts and depth.
At first in Downwell, you’ll probably be tempted to blast everything, but ammo soon runs out. On discovering you reload on landing, you’ll then start to jump about a lot. But further exploration of the game’s mechanics reaps all kinds of rewards, leading to you bounding on monsters, venturing into tunnels to find bonus bling, and getting huge scores once you crack the secrets behind combos.
The game might look like it’s arrived on your Android device from a ZX Spectrum, but this is a thoroughly modern and hugely engaging blaster.
ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun finds a nutcase blasting his way through corridors of extremely angry, heavily armed aliens, while he himself is only armed with a really big gun. That might sound fine, until you realize the gun is also his means of staying aloft.
This means to go higher, he must blast downward, temporarily becoming vulnerable to incoming fire. If he shoots forward, he starts to plummet towards the hard, deadly ground. ATOMIK therefore becomes a manic, high-octane balancing act of finger gymnastics, with the potential to get killed very frequently.
On every death, the game rewinds the level so you can try again, and wallow in your failure to complete challenges that are a mere 20 seconds long without dying dozens of times first. But when you crack one, you really do feel like a boss.
Price: Free to play
Pokemon GO exploded onto the mobile gaming scene in July 2016 and immediately became of the best Android games ever. It’s an augmented reality game similar to Ingress where you walk around the real world, catch Pokemon, complete little side missions, battle for Gyms, and hit up Pokestops to restock on items. It beat virtually every record in the books as the world’s most popular mobile game. Thanksfully, the game gets frequent updates with new features. Some more recent features include an AR camera mode, new Pokemon, and a bunch of other neat stuff. Niantic also launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a Harry Potter AR game with similar mechanics. The two games stand alone atop the best augmented reality games on mobile.
Super Crossfighter is essentially a neon Space Invaders played at breakneck pace. Your little craft sits at the foot of the screen, darting left and right, blasting the aliens above. But the foes you face aren’t doddering critters from 1970s gaming – they come armed to the teeth, hurling all manner of instant laser death and bullet hell your way.
Fortunately, you’re not wanting for firepower either. Your speedy craft can leap from the bottom to the top of the screen, scooping up gems that can subsequently be used to upgrade the ship in an in-game shop. There’s no IAP, note, for extra cash – this intense blaster is all about the skill you have in your thumbs, and your ability to survive wave after wave of neon-infused shooty action.
PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite
Price: Free to play
PUBG Mobile hit the ground running upon its releases. It already has over ten million downloads and nearly a million user reviews. Thankfully, it’s actually a very competent mobile FPS. It features simple, effective controls, decent graphics. and a simple premise. Basically, 100 people drop from a plane onto an island and duke it out until only one is left standing. The island is littered with gear, weapons, and vehicles along with a mechanic that lowers the play area over time to keep matches from lasting too long. Recent updates added new game modes as well as a free to play element. PUBG Mobile Lite is a lighter version of the game with fewer players per match and lower graphical settings. It’s only available for some devices, though.
Implosion – Never Lose Hope
Price: Free + $9.99
Implosion finds Earth having been given a beating by nasty aliens, leaving humans on the brink of extinction. As this is a videogame, humans have pinned all their hopes on you and your natty battlesuit.
Fortunately, said suit can dish out serious damage. As you stomp about Implosion’s gleaming environments, you blast, slash, and dash your way through hordes of identikit alien drones. Occasional boss battles then shake things up in terms of pacing and challenge. Between levels, you customize your suit, to unlock new combos.
The game’s creators call Implosion a AAA console-style title, and it looks superb and feels the part. Even the complex controls (for a touchscreen game) work well. A sticking point for some might be the price, but you can play six missions for nothing. If you then balk at a one-off IAP for a premium title, don’t subsequently wonder why we can’t have nice things.
Football Manager 2020 Touch
Football Manager 2020 Touch is the game that says ‘Oh, really?’ when you see your soccer team get obliterated and shout loudly that you could do better. It’s almost ludicrously deep and intricate, giving you control of pretty much every aspect of running a club. You build the team, outline and develop your club’s vision, nurture new talent, and watch through your hands as your team inexplicably forgets how to defend in the 89th minute.
If that all sounds a bit too much, the game does let you offload some of this to an assistant. Alternatively, you can choose from a range of challenges. Want to know how you’d fare if dumped into the middle of a fraught relegation battle, or faced with a team of injured players? It’s all here, in the most comprehensive, richest management title on mobile.
Price: Free + IAP
Civilization VI isn’t some cut-down version of the famous PC turn-based strategy game. It is the famous PC turn-based strategy game, squeezed onto your Android device. This means effectively limitless empire building, from humble beginnings, through brutal battles, and eventually to a space race to the stars.
If you’ve not played Civ before, this is a deep game. It’s reasonably accessible, but designed to eat into hours of your day as you figure out how to keep your citizens happy, research technologies, and give your enemies a thorough kicking. There’s also the thorny issue of it being extremely demanding in a hardware sense.
However, if you’ve got a compatible device, the nimble fingers to deal with the complex interface, and the brainpower to conquer the world, you won’t find a better strategy title on mobile.
Kingdom Two Crowns
Kingdom Two Crowns is an Android game that pits your monarch and their subjects against the nasty Greed. Things start with you finding a campground and bribing the locals to do your bidding by lobbing them a few coins. Before long, they’re hunting nearby wildlife for food, and erecting fencing to keep out undesirables.
At nightfall, the demonic Greed rock up, stealing tools from leveled-up peasants (meaning you need to dig deep into your purse to retrain them), and – if you’re not careful – your crown. Losing your fancy headpiece means game over, and giving your heir a chance to beat the Greed.
This one’s very much about the long game, but it’s also an approachable slice of mobile strategy that rewards exploration, experimentation, and a certain amount of risk. That it looks gorgeous throughout and works wonderfully on a phone makes it unmissable.
Sky: Children of Light
Price: Free to play
Sky: Children of Light is an excellent adventure game from 2020. The game features seven worlds for you to explore, a variety of character customizations to look how you want, some truly excellent graphics, and one of the most unique social experiences on any game. You can interact with players in the game without a voice or text chat (although text chats are available). Players get your attention to take you where you need to go by grabbing your hand and taking you with them. It’s preposterously adorable. There are a bunch of truly great adventure games here, but Sky: Child of Light is just something different.
Stardew Valley is easily one of the best premium games from 2019 and one of the best games overall. It’s a farming simulator with some RPG elements. You start out with a neglected farm and must rebuild it to its former glory. Players catch fish, grow crops, raise livestock, and interact with the various townspeople. You can even get married and have a family.
The retro graphics helps keep things simple, but the game has dozens of hours of content. Plus, the controls are simple and most of the in-game interactions are charming and fun. It’s the best farming sim on mobile even if it’s not entirely realistic. It’s also free if you subscribe to Google Play Pass.
Thank you for reading!
If we missed any of the best Android games, tell us about them in the comments!
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