The Best Android Games of All Time
There are fountains of round-ups of the best Android games on the web, so what makes ours different? Well, for a begin, we’ve included not only the most latest trending titles, but also our favourite games of all time – the ones we routinely go back to, despite them being released several years ago. These games never get old. (Also see: Best Android apps.)
We also recognise that sometimes you have to put your palm in your pocket if you want something truly special, so while the majority of the Android games in our list are free, there are a duo of paid-for games, too.
On the subject of payment, you should be aware that even free games usually contain paid-for elements – extra coins or customisation options, for example. If anyone other than you – perhaps a child – is going to be playing games on your phone then it’s worth checking they won’t be able to purchase any of these extras without your permission.
Launch the Google Play app and tap the three vertical lines at the top left of the window. Choose Settings, then scroll down to Require authentication for purchases and ensure this is set to ‘For all purchases through Google Play on this device’.
Also in this Settings menu you’ll find an option to Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only, because some games are yam-sized and can kill your data allowance. When downloading a large game from the Play store you should get a notification warning you and recommending that you turn on Wi-Fi.
Anyway, on to the joy stuff. (Feel free to add your own top picks in the comments.)
Pokémon Go (free)
No best Android games list is finish without the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. True, it has lost some of its popularity since it debuted – to more excitement than we have ever seen for an Android game – in summer 2016, but there are still some die-hard players out there, and thanks to continuous updates Niantic and The Pokémon Company have managed to keep things fairly fresh.
This is an augmented-reality game, loved by anyone who has ever loved Pokémon (so that’s most kids – and most big kids) or anyone who is likely to get sucked into the hype of the latest trend. It will also appeal to competitive types, who can attempt to find the most, best and most powerful Pokémon, then contest to win gyms (found at real-world places such as landmarks, shopping centres and train stations).
Pokémon are caught by throwing PokéBall sack at them, which can be collected from PokéStops in the nearby area. Pokémon Go truly encourages kids to get up and walk about – more so if they want to hatch their eggs – and some of the places they find Pokémon can be fascinating. Pikachu sitting on the bathroom toilet? Fairly possible.
A fresh batch of Pokémon was recently released into the wild, which gave some respite to long-time Pokémon Go players who had already ‘caught them all’. And now legendaries are coming, too.
Minecraft Pocket Edition (£Two.99)
Another Android game that will appeal to small- and big kids alike is Minecraft Pocket Edition, the mobile version of the Minecraft game played on PCs, laptops and consoles. It’s not free, but £Two.99 is a fair trade for the hours it will keep you or the kids entertained.
If you’ve never heard of Minecraft, crawl out from under whichever rock you’re hiding. Minecraft is a construction sim with endless possibilities – if you can think of something you can build it. So it’s not just joy, it’s also creative and educational. Awesome.
Super Mario Run (free)
If you’re into gaming then you have to attempt Super Mario Run. It’s the very first Super Mario game for mobile ever released by Nintendo, and has now made its way to Android after being an App Store sensational since December 2016.
Super Mario Run is, as the name suggests, a runner game. There’s one-touch gameplay and elementary mechanics, but if you’ve ever played Super Mario before you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. You need to hop over gaps and obstacles, collect coins and avoid enemies as you attempt to make your way to the end of the level.
There are three modes, with World Tour the one you’re most likely to recognise. Each world is split into three conventional levels and then a Bowzer’s Castle boss level.
Toad Rally is a 2nd mode in which you attempt to hit the spectacle of other players, while Kingdom Builder lets you spend your ill-gotten gains from the other two modes on creating your kingdom. You can add buildings and decorative elements, and basically anything that will impress the toads enough to have them budge in. The more toads you have, the more stuff you can unlock.
The SIMs Mobile is coming soon to Android, and it is going to be AMAZING, much closer to the PC and Mac game than we’ve ever seen before.
(It’s worth pointing out that there is a way to get The SIMs Mobile now, but we’d recommend waiting for the final release in the UK.)
Until it arrives you do have a few SIMs options. They’re not half as good as what we’re expecting from The SIMs Mobile, but they will permit you to get your SIMs fix. In the meantime we’d recommend The SIMs Freeplay, since if nothing else it won’t cost you a penny.
If you’ve never played The SIMs before, in essence you get to play God. You build and decorate homes, customise characters and practice every stage of their lives and everything that goes with that. You make the story whatever you want it to be.
Football Manager Mobile two thousand seventeen (£Two.99)
Of all the footie games available for Android right now, Football Manager Mobile is the most popular. You can manage any club in fifteen countries, taking charge of everything from who plays each game to tactics and transfers.
Fresh for the two thousand seventeen game are the capability to control leagues in Poland and Turkey, an improved user interface, the capability to search for and hire your own talent scouts, fresh transfer options and enhanced squad control.
If you’re an Android fan you’ll be more than aware of Nokia’s latest comeback to the market. But more arousing than its fresh Android phones was the come back of its 17-year-old Nokia 3310, upgraded somewhat for life in 2017. It’s a cheap, virtually unbreakable phone, but what truly got people excited was the comeback of Snake.
If you’d rather keep your decent Android phone but truly want to play Snake, know that Slither.io is a bit like Snake but so much better. It works in much the same way, but instead of walls you dodge other players’ snakes as your own snake becomes longer and longer.
Crossy Road (free)
Here’s another one that’s popular partly because it harks back to our youth. Crossy Road is just like Frogger, except you’re not a frog. In fact you’re pretty much anything but a frog.
The concept is the same: you have to get across the road unscathed, with cars, trucks, boats, animals, dinasours and anything else that could basically end your life doing their best to mow you down.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the most addictive games we’ve played – you will get across the road if it’s the last thing you do.
Layton’s Mystery Journey (£17.99)
Okay, so this is by far the most expensive Android game on our list, but the recently released Layton’s Mystery Journey will be a surefire hit with fans of the Nintendo 3DS Professor Layton puzzle game series.
The Professor himself doesn’t starlet here, but you play his daughter Katrielle Layton in her search to find him in central London. As you’d expect there is a hefty number of puzzles to accomplish, with extra mini-games and daily puzzles too.
There are maths problems, brainteasers, word games, optical illusions, sliding block games and more – it’s a excellent workout for your brain.
Jetpack Joyride (free)
Jetpack Joyride is one of our all-time favourite Android games, on phone or tablet. It’s a few years old now, but it never gets tired.
You play Barry Steakfries, and you rail your jetpack through an endless world collecting coins (with which you can buy fresh jetpacks, clothing and other bonuses), dodging missiles and bug zappers, and railing vehicles to see how far you can get.
You can rail on the back of a dragon or a bird, defy gravity in a special suit, teleport across the screen, zoom off on a motorbike or crush nearby scientists (those poor, harmless scientists) with Lil Stomper. There’s a boat, too, however that’s paid for.
Achievements and challenges keep things interesting, whether they involve high-fiving a number of scientists, traveling a certain distance without touching the ceiling or floor, or dicing with death ducking in and out of the path of oncoming missiles.
Words With Friends (free)
Words With Friends is Scrabble but with a social element, permitting you to play against your friends, random players or the computer. This one is largely targeted at the competitive among you, suggesting all manner of stats on why you’re a wordsmith legend that you can flash about.
The need to wait for your opponent to make their budge makes Words With Friends tedious at times for impatient types, and not something you can lightly pick up and play whenever you have a spare five minutes. But finding that killer seven-letter word on a triple-word score makes it worth the wait.
Words With Friends is one of those games people just know how to play, so little explanation is necessary. And it gives the grey matter a workout, so it gets our vote.
Plants vs Zombies two (free)
A tower-defence game loved by all, there are a few versions of Plants vs Zombies to download but all will keep you identically entertained.
You play numerous levels in numerous worlds, each concluding with a boss level and each a slight variation on the same basic theme but with fresh zombies to attack and fresh plants at your disposition.
In essence you must build an army of plants, with various types suggesting a different attack mechanism, whether that’s shooting peas or exploding in the face of the baddies, or just doing their best to stop them getting through. If you make it to the end of the level with no zombies passing you by, you stir on to the next.
Dumb Ways to Die two (free)
The Dumb Ways to Die series is plain and addictive, with fine artwork and joy characters that look a bit like Mr Guys. Each has a propensity to dicing with death, and it’s your job to keep them alive.
As you might guess from the title, some of the ways these characters almost meet their maker is pretty dumb. For each live you save you get one hundred points and budge on to the next mini-game, with an ever-increasing level of difficulty.
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (£Four.99)
This is console gaming for your smartphone (or tablet), and it’s remarkably effortless to play on a touchscreen. The San Andreas mobile game is utter of all the joy things you get to do in the console titles – and not just jacking cars. You can shoot guns, fly planes, recruit gang members, pretty much anything that constitutes being up to no good.
San Andreas is based on the story of Carl Johnson, living in a city rife with gangs, drugs and corruption. His family and friends have hit rock bottom, with his mother murdered, his family in lumps, and his friends following totally the wrong path. Framed for homicide, Johnson is compelled to take control.
There’s more than seventy hours of gameplay here, which should just about make up for the fiver you have to pay out to download it.
Last Day on Earth: Survival (free)
If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead you’re very likely going to love this (albeit to be fair there are actual Walking Dead games from Telltale as well). A free MMORPG zombie shoot ‘em up, Last Day on Earth is set in two thousand twenty seven and sees you doing your best to sustain as long as possible in a world packed with enemies following a deadly plague virus pandemic.
You can hone your strategy and survival abilities, and create ever deadlier weapons as you traipse through abandoned military bases and survivor camps searching for fresh resources. Team up with other players, but be careful who you trust.
Asphalt 8: Airborne (free)
No Android games round-up is finish without a decent racer, and Asphalt eight is one of the better known titles. You can drive some earnestly sexy cars around forty tracks covering everything from the Nevada Desert to Tokyo, and pull off some amazing stunts from barrel rolls to 360-degree leaps.
There are more than one hundred ninety cars to race, including the Lamborghini Veneno, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 911.
Hill Climb Racing two (free)
It’s another driving game, but a wee bit different to Asphalt.
Hill Climb Racing involves you driving your 4×4 up hills, across bridges, down hills and then up more hills. Along the way you collect coins to upgrade your vehicle and fuel, with extra vehicles to unlock.
Drive too leisurely and you’ll run out of petrol; drive too quickly and you’ll inevitably spin over the vehicle and snap the poor hillbilly’s neck. At that point it’s game over and you embark over again. Endless joy.
War Wings (free)
If you’ve had your pack of puzzle games, endless runners, shoot ‘em ups and racing games, how about a spot of dogfighting, old chap?
War Wings from MiniClip lets you challenge against players worldwide as you take to the skies to bring down your enemies or simply mess around performing stunts. It’s an awful lot of joy.
Super Stickman Golf three (free)
Now in its third edition, Super Stickman Golf is better than ever and a must for golf fans with geysers of achievements to be won. There are fresh courses, fresh power-ups, fresh game modes, and a fresh spin mode. With twenty courses to play alone or with your friends, Super Stickman Golf three truly lets you get your sway on.
Set up your shot angle and power and do your best to get a fuckhole in one. You’ll keep playing until it comes naturally.
Bejeweled Blitz (free)
It’s my list and I’m sticking Bejeweled Blitz on it, okay?
Bejeweled is a classic match-three puzzler, but with daily challenges, leaderboards, boost items, special gems and more. You get sixty seconds to eliminate as many gems as possible from the board, with extra bonuses given for doing so at speed or matching more than three gems.
It’s effortless to pick up and play whenever you get a spare minute, and its plainness makes it an exceptionally addictive timewaster. Integration with Facebook means you can challenge against your friends, too.
Candy Crush Saga (free)
You’d be forgiven for thinking people had forgotten about Candy Crush, which has to be one of the largest and most popular mobile games of all time. Introduced by King in 2012, the developer reportedly made $493m in a three-month period, with more than ninety three million players. But even today, it remains the second-highest grossing app on Google Play.
Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzler, very similar to Bejeweled Blitz in our list before it. The difference here is you play through hundreds of levels rather than standalone one-minute games, each more complicated than the very first. Some are timed, others require you to hit a minimum score, and Candy Crush Saga keeps mixing things up to keep you entertained.
The abiity to view where on the level map your Facebook friends sit is a major shove, spurring you on to do better and get ahead.
Clash of Clans (free)
Clash of Clans is another oldie that has stood the test of time. In essence you need to build a village that includes all the things required by your warring tribe, such as a town hall, a gold mine and an army camp.
You keep on upgrading your village and unlocking more building types, which eventually permits you to take over the Clan Castle, upgrade your barracks and forge allegiances with other players.
That’s when you can commence to think about coming in battle, but while the very first few fights are effortless the difficulty quickly ramps up. If you’re to sustain you’re going to have to continually evolve your attack and defence, and cautiously consider your decisions.
Bad Piggies (free)
Bad Piggies is a spin-off from Angry Birds – another all-time classic Android game, or should we say franchise of games. Rather than focusing on the birds, this game is all about the pigs. Oink.
Specifically, it’s an addictive and challenging puzzle game, in which you are given a range of materials and asked to build a contraption that will get your pig to the end of the level.
As you might expect there are fountains of obstacles to counter, and different types of terrain to master. Which means it’s nowhere near as effortless as it sounds, and some of the levels are downright difficult. As a result, you’ll never put it down.