Looking for a list of the best Android games to play? With Apple Arcade and so many great iOS indies and ports just for iPad, it can be easy to forget that Android has a ton of great games to offer, too. This partly because many ports that head to iOS eventually come to Android as well, so while we don't always get the games on launch day, they do tend to arrive somewhere down the line. Better late than never, eh?
And that's not taking into account the big mobile games that launch simultaneously on both Android and iOS. Titles like Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, and Legends of Runeterra offer high production values for games that cost nothing to play, and all regularly receive new content to boot. That's why we thought we'd create a list of recommendations – the best Android games for each of mobile's most prominent genres.
Here are the best Android games
Call of Duty: Mobile
It's Call of Duty... on mobile. That might seem like an oversimplification, but it cuts to the heart of what COD Mobile really is. It takes the well-known FPS action the series is known for and somehow crams it onto mobile devices, including controls adapted for touchscreens, though you can of course also use a controller. COD Mobile even features the regular seasons that Warzone players enjoy, with new content dropping periodically to freshen things up. It really is the closest you'll get to Warzone on mobile (until Warzone mobile eventually arrives, that is).
While Mario Kart Tour is a fun multiplayer kart racer for mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends feels more impressive in terms of channelling a AAA racing game experience on mobile. Collect iconic cars, modify them, and use them against opponents in high-octane races. Asphalt might look realistic in terms of visuals, but it's far from it in terms of play, as you smash opponents' cars off the track and use nitro to perform death-defying stunts to outrace your rivals.
Asphalt also offers touchscreen-friendly controls where you can swipe left or right to choose a track and boost while letting the game guide the car for you. It's ideal if you have a small phone screen or want to experience the thrills of a high-speed race with a more casual feel.
This classic puzzle game is beloved on mobile – and for good reason. You play as Ida, a girl travelling through a world of twisting buildings, trying to find a route through each by using their strange architecture against them. Monument Valley is basically a game of puzzle boxes, each a lovingly crafted diorama that provides its own self-contained problem to solve, letting you play through the tale in bite-sized sessions. If you're looking for puzzlers, Monument Valley is undoubtedly one of the best Android games.
The Battle Of Polytopia
Is it possible to make a casual 4x strategy game for mobile? Well, The Battle of Polytopia somehow managed it. You choose a starting civilisation and set about conquering Polytopia, expanding your city's influence, and exploiting tiles, as you would in your usual 4x. You can also battle against other opponents, train units, and send them out to capture enemy cities.
But what makes The Battle of Polytopia special is how it streamlines the 4x formula into short, fast-moving games. Sure, there's no diplomacy system, but there are still multiple ways to win, including earning points for building epic cities and wonders or crushing your rivals with military might. Polytopia is micro-strategy at its best. It may not be as complex as Stellaris, but you can't take Stellaris on the bus, now, can you?
Looking for a MOBA with a unique twist? Pokémon Unite lets you step into the role of your favourite Pokémon, fighting against another team in 5v5 arena play. As you battle, you defeat wild Pokémon, letting you evolve and gain access to powerful abilities. If you enjoy MOBAs, Pokémon Unite offers an experience grounded in the genre, but with a few unique twists that make it a little more refreshing. The game also supports cross-platform between Switch and mobile, meaning you can challenge or play with Switch-owning friends as well.
Legends of Runeterra
While Hearthstone is undoubtedly mobile's most iconic card battler, Legends of Runeterra pips it at the post in terms of both production values and the originality of its play. Based in the same universe as League of Legends, Runeterra sees you pick regions and champions to create a deck that effectively multiplies the strengths of both, forging some pretty wild combos. The game also regularly receives new regions, cards, and modes in the Lab and the Gauntlet. The cherry on the cake is Runeterra's gorgeous artwork, which really brings the world and characters on the board to life.
Motion Twin's celebrated roguelike hack 'n' slash is now on both Android and iOS, and it's well worth a look if you've never played it before. Dead Cells follows a reanimated prisoner known as 'The Beheaded' as they fight their way through an island filled with procedurally generated dungeons and tough boss battles. You might think that sounds a bit too familiar, but as with Hollow Knight, what sets Dead Cells apart is how good its platforming and combat feel, as you dash through the dungeon, hacking up enemies with a plethora of powerful weaponry. So, if you're looking for a new roguelike to challenge you on mobile, this is a safe bet.
As the spiritual inheritor of Harvest Moon's crown, Stardew Valley has everything you could want from an escape-to-the-country farming game. You grow plants, harvest materials, craft items, and make friends with the locals as you work towards restoring your granddad's dilapidated farm. Stardew Valley is a game all about starting a new life away from the hustle and bustle of office jobs and city living, which has no doubt contributed towards its massive popularity, making it, undoubtedly, one of the best Android games.
This simple girl-meets-boy narrative game uses the mobile platform to great effect, making you solve little puzzles to move the story forward and experience Florence's relationship and journey towards discovering her passion. The game has no dialogue, relying instead on small everyday details and visual storytelling. It's no less powerful for that, though, and is undoubtedly one of the strongest narrative games on mobile.
Even a year after its release, Mihoyo's open-world RPG, Genshin Impact, remains one of the best games on mobile. Its production values and relatively easy-to-earn currency make it a fun game to play, but also allow you to play entirely for free, which is not something you can often say about a "free" mobile game. Genshin also receives regular content updates with new regions, events, and characters. This makes it one of the best Android games to follow along with, as it has a strong community, and it's fun to get hyped up about new regions, characters, and quests releasing.
This social deduction-based party game became hugely popular last year, in-part, because deep down I guess people just really love lying to each other. Among Us puts you and your friends on a spaceship with a variety of tasks to complete to get it moving. But the kicker is one of you is an imposter, and is actually working to sabotage the ship and murder everyone. If a body is discovered, players can call a meeting and vote on a player to eject into space for being the murderer, so that's where wily deception and misdirection come in. It's a wonderfully simple concept, and a great game to play with friends or family. Best of all? It's free on mobile.
Sky: Children of the Light
This indie exploration game is all about flying through beautifully imagined-skyscapes and positive interactions with strangers. In Sky: Children of the Light, you play as a Sky kid, shepherding their light through the many domains of the world to the mountain at its end. Along the way you make friends with spirits, other sky kids, and even collect new gestures, outfits, and instruments with which to express yourself and communicate with others. Sky is inherently chill—the perfect playground to just fly around in, or take a minute to breath, and that's what makes it one of the best Android games.
From the same developer as the excellent island strategy game, Bad North, this town-builder is the perfect relaxing idle game for mobile. Simply tap the water to create, and experiment with how different buildings and structures interact with each other to construct your perfect island village. It's easy to dip in and quickly add a little extension, and before you know it, you'll have a sprawling island metropolis. You can also change the colour of buildings to add a touch more variety.
Kingdom Two Crowns
Some strategy games are just made for mobile, and Kingdom Two Crowns is a great example. This side-scrolling kingdom management game sees you step into the shoes of a long-line of Monarchs trying to protect their crown from a mysterious invasion of monsters known as the Greed. These creatures want to take everything you have, and each night they come to smash your town and steal anything that isn't nailed down.
So you have to defy them: clearing forests, recruiting soldiers, building walls and towers, and eventually, destroying the portal they use to enter this realm, before moving onto the next island. The game also has multiple thematic versions including Kingdom Two Crowns: Shogun, which is themed around feudal Japan, and the recently launched Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands, if you prefer your survival viking-flavoured.
Alien: Isolation Mobile
It begs belief that in the year of our lord, 2021, Feral Interactive were able to port Creative Assembly's award-winning survival horror game, Alien: Isolation, to Android phones. But they did, and it's an excellent port. There are of course a few little visual sacrifices, which you can read about in our Alien: Isolation mobile review, but it still feels like the same game, with its oppressive, spooky vibes, and Xenomorph stalking you through the vents. If you're curious about how Feral tackled porting such a game, you can also read this interview we did with them. Hell, we even liked it so much we added it to our game of the year list—undoubtedly one of the best Android games of 2021.
And those are our picks for the best Android games. Also be sure to check out our lists of the best Android FPS games, the best Android action games, and the best Android open world games for more recommendations.