Gaming

The Best Android Games Currently Available (March 2021) | Digital Trends


With such a bountiful choice of great games for Android phones in the Google Play Store, how do you decide which Android apps to download? If you’re anything like us, you’ll know only too well that feeling of download regret, but don’t worry — we’re here to make it a thing of the past with our handpicked list of the best Android games currently available. Most are free, some cost a few bucks, many are great to play online with friends when you can’t get together in person — but all of them will keep you entertained at home or when you’re out and about. You’ll need internet connectivity for many of these games, but we’ve also gathered together some of the best Android games to play offline.

There are many different kinds of games in the Play Store, so we’ve aimed to pick a good mix of categories, including first-person shooters, role-playing games (RPG), platformers, racing games, puzzlers, strategy games, and more. There should be at least one game on this list to suit everyone. And if you’re looking for the best iPhone games, we’ve found those, too.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

If you’ve ever watched the Harry Potter films and wished you too were a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you’re going to love this award-winning narrative RPG. You arrive as a new student at Hogwarts, going through Year 1 sorting to determine whether you’ll be a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. As well as attending classes, learning magical skills, forming friendships and rivalries with your fellow students — and, of course, playing Quidditch — there’s a mystery afoot. Your brother has disappeared, and you must learn the truth behind the Cursed Vaults. The game offers plenty of options for customizing your avatar, and it’s free to play, although there are in-app purchases that can easily be disabled if younger children are playing.

Google Play

Minecraft ($7)

Minecraft

The main appeal of Minecraft on your Android phone is cross-platform play with up to 10 friends, on your own private server (a monthly charge applies, depending on how many friends you’d like to invite). But you can also get stuck into survival mode, crafting armor and weapons to fend off angry mobs, or enjoy unlimited resources and build anything you can imagine in creative mode. Check out the Marketplace where you can pick up everything from custom skins to maps and texture packs from other creators, or play with up to four friends with a free Xbox Live account.

Google Play

Five Nights at Freddy’s ($3)

Five Nights at Freddy's

An oldie but a goodie, the first Five Nights at Freddy’s mobile game may have been around for a few years now, but it’s still the best place to start out if you’re new to the franchise. You can also pick up the other Five Nights at Freddy’s games for $3 each. It’s not for the faint of heart though — and is genuinely one of the scariest games we’ve ever played.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plot, you’re working a summer job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where the main attraction for kids and parents alike is Freddy Fazbear and his two animatronic friends — a lot like the plot of Willy’s Wonderland. Something’s not quite right with the robots though — their behavior has become unpredictable at night, and hiring you as a security guard was cheaper than getting in a repairman. Your job is to watch the security cameras from your small office: so far, so simple, right? Hmm. Not really. There’s a very limited amount of electricity, so when you run out of power for the night, there’ll be no more lights — and no more security doors. You’ll need to keep an eye on where Freddybear and his friends are, and protect yourself!

The premise is simple, as are the controls, but this is a must if you’re into scary games — and we definitely don’t recommend playing it after dark.

Google Play

CarX Drift Racing 2

CarX Drift Racing 2 is the sequel to one of the most popular drift games of all time, bringing true-to-life racing to mobile. With over 65 sports cars to unlock in single-player mode as well as the option to tune your car for the best performance — adjusting the engine, gearbox, turbine pressure, wheel angle, and more — it’s easy to find yourself losing several hours to this game. Unlike some other racing games, here tire pressure affects driving physics, and your car control varies depending on the surface you’re driving on, from snow to sand and asphalt — so you’ll need your wits about you. There’s plenty of customization when it comes to visual auto-tuning too — make your car unique by replacing mirrors, bumpers, lights, and more and adding rims and body kits. We love multiplayer mode where you can compete to hit first place in the championships, and you can join car clubs or create your own to team up. It’s totally free to play and you’ll need to work hard to unlock new vehicles and buy upgrades for your car, so you can sink a lot of time into it.

Google Play

Word Trip

If you’re one of the many of us working from home right now, keep your brain sharp with Word Trip. This word puzzle/brain teaser game’s premise may seem simple — connect letters to make words — but it’s surprisingly challenging. Work your way around the world, traveling to new destinations and scoring as many words as you can. You’ll find yourself asking friends and family for help when you — inevitably — get stuck, and there are more than 5,000 puzzles to complete. The regularly changing tournaments, like the Gold Rush tournament, earn you rewards and Clues you can spend on puzzles. Although there are ads, they’re fairly short and not too intrusive.

Google Play

Home Quest

A recent Google Play store addition, this indie CivBuilder/Idle Adventure game looks deceptively simple but poses a real challenge. Its charming yet minimalistic style is reminiscent of text adventures of old. You are lost in an unknown land — your goal, to build your town, gather and train an army to defend your lands from enemies, collecting resources and treasure along the way. You don’t need an internet connection to play, making it ideal for travel, and because it’s an idle game it’s great for those moments of boredom. Balancing your workers to ensure even distribution of resources quickly becomes addictive, and battles are surprisingly tough once you get into the game. A victory — often hard-won after days of growing your army  — brings immense satisfaction alongside new resources and army ranks.

Home Quest is free, but if you’re enjoying it we’d recommend purchasing the Gold Edition for $4. Not only does it help out the developers, but it also gives you a few little in-game bonuses and allows you to build unlimited Soul Wells too — a must for producing Jade to train your healers.

Google Play

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

If you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to see Kim Bodnia as Vesemir in season two of The Witcher on Netflix later this year. But if you simply can’t wait any longer for your Witcher fix, let this fill your time until then. Hardcore Gwent fans are no strangers to the PC version, but now you can get your fill on-the-go with the mobile version. Hand-drawn art and stunning visual effects breathe new life into every PvP duel, and there’s no shortage of challenges thanks to the new Arena mode that Geralt of Rivia himself would relish. You can choose from a variety of other modes too, from classic to seasonal. It’s free to play Gwent but a word of warning — you may see little of the light of day as you toil to build a deck you can be proud of and collect cards to gain spells and special abilities. If you’re up for the challenge, then you’ll find Gwent: The Witcher Card Game easy to get into, hard to master — and it makes for a satisfying morning commute or a sweet time sink whenever you have some time to spare.

Google Play

The Room: Old Sins ($5)

Whether you’re totally new to The Room series or have already played the other three games in the franchise, the general consensus is that The Room: Old Sins is the best of the bunch. In this spooky puzzle game you’re hunting for a mysterious artifact, and follow the trail to the attic of Waldegrave Manor, home to a missing engineer and his socialite wife. There, you become trapped in a strange dollhouse and must solve puzzles to escape. The game is stunning to look at, and there are plenty of unsettling, detailed locations to draw you in. It’s free to play, and there are no microtransactions or ads to detract from the experience. If you haven’t played the other games in the series, you’ll want to once you complete this one.

Google Play

Brawl Stars

This 3v3 multiplayer and battle royale game is the most fun you can have with your friends online — although there are also a variety of modes to play through solo. Unlock dozens of Brawlers, each with their own gadgets, Star Powers, and abilities — and customize them with unlockable skins as you battle across a variety of locations. Play Brawl Ball (3v3) and show off your soccer skills or be the last Brawler standing in Showdown, a battle royale-style fight to the death. With local and regional leaderboards to climb, this is a game you will pick up quickly and won’t put down easily. It’s free to play, with in-game purchases to upgrade your Brawler, if you choose.

Google Play

Genshin Impact

Fans of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, listen up! Genshin Impact has drawn comparisons to the Nintendo favorite and it’s easy to see why. This massive open world RPG game has stunning visuals and a soothing soundtrack by the London Philharmonic orchestra. You arrive with your sibling in Teyvat, a vast open world to explore — but you find yourself stripped of all your powers. Setting out across the world you must find The Seven, elemental gods who will hopefully provide you with the answers you seek. Play alone or with friends — cross-platform play is supported — and enjoy the gacha system, which provides a free-to-play base game and optional in-game currency which you can spend on opportunities to win prizes like loot, new characters for your party, and weapons.

Google Play

Alto’s Odyssey

Whether you’re a huge fan of Alto’s Adventure or have never played it before, its follow-up Alto’s Odyssey is well worth your time. Play as Alto, sandboarding across windswept dunes and vast, bleak desserts to discover the secrets of the sky and master the elements. There’s plenty of longevity in this free game, with 180 goals to complete and six unique characters to unlock, each boasting their own attributes and skills. It’s a beautiful game indeed, with relaxing visuals and a soundtrack to help you chill out after a long day. If you’re looking for an even more relaxing experience, Zen mode lets you explore the endless desert and enjoy the serene soundtrack without any coins, power-ups, or scores. If we had one complaint, it’s that the ads can be a little intrusive — but don’t let that put you off.

Google Play

Brawlhalla

This mobile port of the popular console and PC game is an excellent choice if you’re missing hanging out with your friends right now. It’s a platform fighting game where you can battle up to eight other players in ranked matches and casual free-for-alls, and it supports full cross-play. But the best bit is creating a custom room with your friends where you can battle it out — just make sure you hone your skills in the Training Room first. With 50 unique characters to choose from — and a rotation of new characters every week — there’s a wide range of game modes, too, like Capture the Flag and Brawlball. You’ll be matched quickly with others thanks to the huge number of players, and Brawlhalla is 100% free to play.

Google Play

Among Us

If you’ve ever played Town of Salem or Werewolf, you’re going to love Among Us. The game’s popularity has really taken off — as the memes you’ll find online demonstrate. Set on a spaceship, this multiplayer strategy game can be played with four to 10 players over local Wi-Fi or online. It’s fun with friends, as long as you don’t take it too seriously, but the real madness comes when playing with a bunch of strangers online. The basic premise is simple: You’re a crewmate, and your job is to complete various tasks around the ship — but wait! There’s an imposter amongst you with a dastardly plan: to slaughter everyone horribly! Your goal is to figure out which one of you is the guilty party. Along the way, the imposter tries to throw others off their scent by sabotaging things, creating alibis, and covering up the murders. If you play as a member of the crew, you just need to ensure you complete your tasks while trying to figure out who the imposter is. Playing as the imposter means your goal is to kill everyone before they figure out who the guilty party is. It’s free to play, and surprisingly addictive once you get to grips with it.

Google Play

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($3)

Screenshot of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night game on Android

It feels like Castlevania has been around forever, from the ’80s games on NES, SNES, Game Boy, and Sega Genesis to the 1997 releases of Symphony of the Night and Legends games on PlayStation. Whether you’re already a fan of the series or just looking for a decent platformer to play on mobile, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is well worth the price of entry. The original PlayStation version is undoubtedly the best Castlevania game around — and the Android version lives up to the hype. Charm and nostalgia aside, you can play using your touch screen, but we’d highly recommend using an Android controller. You follow Alucard, Dracula’s son, as he explores a mysterious castle looking for Richter, discovering new abilities and becoming more powerful along the way. The achievement system with battle milestones and seriously difficult boss fights ensure this game has longevity, and you can choose to play as Richter or Maria too.

Google Play

AnimA

Screenshot of Anima ARPG on Android showing the different class specializations and skill trees

If you’re a fan of Diablo 2 and 3 prepare to come over all nostalgic when you play this action RPG. It’s surprisingly expansive, with over 40 levels in the single-player offline campaign and a further 10 secret levels to unlock — and add in a dark fantasy setting and gorgeous soundtrack and you have the recipe for a memorable game. You can choose from three specializations: Skirmish (melee), archery, or sorcery, build your character with more than 45 unique skills, or take advantage of the multi-class system to create your own unique skill tree. The fast-paced combat and character customization ensure this game will hold your attention. It’s free to play — there are microtransactions, but they’re in no way essential to level your character and progress through the game.

Google Play

Battle Chasers: Nightwar ($10)

Screenshot of Battle Chasers: Nightwar

Fans of the original comic book series of the same name will be as excited by this Japanese RPG (JRPG) as we are. You play the role of Gully, a young girl who sets out to find her long-lost father, Aramus, who has vanished and left behind his magical gauntlets. Along with a motley crew of sidekicks, including an ancient war golem, you must learn to wield the gauntlets as you set out to cross the mysterious Grey Line in search of your father. Combat is turn-based, and there are a plethora of enemies to fight, as well as involved crafting and a colorful, sprawling world to explore. Battle Chasers: Nightwar will set you back $10, but with no in-app purchases or paid downloadable content (DLC), this is a game that’s going to keep you busy for a while.

Google Play

One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0

The official idle strategy card game based on the hit anime series, One-Punch Man: Road to Hero 2.0 puts you in charge of mobilizing the Hero Association’s reaction to various monster attacks. Collect hero cards and monsters and use special moves to make sure peace is maintained while you work your way through the anime’s storyline. With a wide range of play styles including Extreme Trial and Road of the Strong, which rewards you with random buffs, the game has plenty of longevity. For a real challenge, you can take on other players in a PvP tournament in the Fight Arena and prove your worth.

Google Play

Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery

We all love a good mystery, and if you’re looking for an immersive game to take your mind off real life right now, Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery does the job nicely. You play as a PI who, after receiving a mysterious letter from his father, must return to his hometown only to find it completely deserted. It’s up to you to find out what happened, discovering clues, opening locks, solving puzzles, and exploring interactive, fully 3D levels along the way. This is one of the best detective story games available on Android — a cool blend of mystery and escape room. You’ll explore a variety of locations too, from ancient catacombs to downtown cityscapes.

Google Play

Hades’ Star

Find yourself dreaming nostalgically of the multiplayer castle-builders of days gone by? Us too — and that’s why we’re really into Hades Star. Command an empire complete with its resources and armies and expand your rule, optimizing trade routes along the way. Build your own mining, combat, and trade ships and meet other players along the way, teaming up to tackle terrifying Red Star missions before the star goes Supernova and working together to take out mysterious alien races hell-bent on crushing you to space dust. There’s little pressure to purchase microtransactions, and no need to worry about your resources being stolen while you’re offline, as the game lets you grow and play at your own pace.

Google Play

SimpleMMO

Forget World of Warcraft and Eve Online — why not try a simpler approach to massively multiplayer games (MMOs) this year? For those who love adventuring through a world with other people but don’t have time for everything that comes along with that, there’s SimpleMMO, a fully text-based game that’s easy to play and comprehend. Right now there are over 400,000 players, so you can easily join forces with others to find loot, level up your character, and defeat world bosses. Despite its simple premise — and name — this game has some real depth, with plenty of character customization options as well as a range of different jobs for your character to do, from blacksmith to master thief. If you’re not the kind of person to take life — or gaming — too seriously, you’ll love SimpleMMO.

Google Play

Game Dev Tycoon ($5)

The concept of Game Dev Tycoon may sound very meta — a game where you create games — but don’t be deterred. You play as an ’80s game developer — because we all know the ’80s are the coolest decade –coding in your garage. The aim? Make a hit game so you can move into a cool office and hire a team of developers and artists to help you out. Make bigger, better, more bad-ass games as the industry matures and, of course, make your fortune. The idea is simple but engaging, and you’ll find yourself impatiently anticipating reports of how well your last game did, and how your next hit can reach an even wider audience. It’s not free, but for a mere $5 you’ll have a game you can sink a lot of time into, so it’s well worth the price of admission.

Google Play

Bloons TD 6 ($5)

Bloons TD 6

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 its 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.

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Exploding Kittens ($2)

Exploding Kittens

If avoiding an exploding kitten sounds like your idea of fun — hey, we’re not judging — this is the game for you. The Android version of the original card game works pretty well, complete with quirky cat-based artwork by The Oatmeal artist Matthew Inman. A strange combo of Russian Roulette and Uno, the game mixes luck with strategy and some very dark humor. Exploding Kittens takes a while to master, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be addicted. You can play in single-player mode but the most fun is to be had in multiplayer with your friends. Despite the name, no cats were harmed in the making.

Google Play

Call of Duty: Mobile

Whether you’re a fan of Call of Duty already or new to one of the biggest FPS franchises around, Call of Duty: Mobile deserves your time. Specially designed for touchscreen firefights, this game fulfills all your shooter action cravings — and it’s free too. Choose from a bunch of multiplayer modes, including Battle Royale, with top-notch graphics and fast, frenetic yet satisfying gameplay. Fans will spot familiar characters and classic maps from other Call of Duty games. Is this the best mobile shooter around right now? We’d say so — and we’d recommend checking out our Call of Duty: Mobile tips before diving in.

Google Play

Tropico ($12)

Mobile games in the Play Store often fall into the casual category, so it’s refreshing to find something as involved as Tropico. Whether you’ve played the series of highly successful PC games or not, you can dive right into the action as “El Presidente”, the president of a Caribbean island. You’re the ruler of this underdeveloped paradise and are responsible for developing and managing every aspect, from building roads to expanding industry and adding new services, managing the military, and overseeing trade. Decide whether you want to rule as a dictator with an iron fist, turning your island into a police state, or as a beneficent leader, creating a paradise for tourists — or somewhere in between. $12 may seem like a lot for a mobile game, but you do get full access to the game, ad-free, the ability to play it offline, and everything from the Absolute Power expansion pack.

Google Play

Mini Metro ($1)

Mini Metro

If you’ve ever fancied designing your own public transit system, prepare for a challenge. Turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. The early levels of Mini Metro may be simple, as you connect various stations in a neat straight line, but the tension soon amps up as the game throws rivers, cities that spring up out of nowhere, and a whole host of other obstacles in your way. Unlock new tunnels, carriages, and trains along the way and challenge your brain for less than the cost of a subway ticket with Mini Metro.

Google Play

Stardew Valley ($5)

You might not be blown away by the words “farming RPG” but bear with us — this little game is surprisingly charming and immersive. From its cutesy pixel art to its vast range of activities and mini-games, Stardew Valley is a game you can really get lost in for a while. Meet new interesting characters, raise animals and crops, tame your overgrown fields, and tackle terrifying monsters that threaten your town. Pick this up and you’ll soon be recommending it to all your friends.

Google Play

Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball has become even more popular lately, thanks to the release of a number of popular movies and Dragon Ball Super. If you’re in need of a fix of Goku and friends, Dragon Ball Legends is the ideal way to dive back into the adventures for some Super Saiyan-flavored fun on your smartphone. Playing as one of many Dragon Ball characters, including Shallot, the brand-new character designed by Akira Toriyama, you’ll work your way through a series of levels against a range of opponents. The action-packed RPG gameplay features simple, card-based attacks and epic 3D animation and visuals. Swipe on the screen to move, attack, and dodge, then tap the cards that appear to pull off special attacks and abilities. Dragon Ball Legends is loads of fun, and you won’t need to spend money to progress.

Google Play

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3

Burn some rubber and take on your friends in a wide range of over 140 cars on 39 circuits in 17 real-world locations around the globe. Get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Mercedes-Benz and test your skills on tracks like Hockenheimring, Dubai Autodrome, and Le Mans. There are over 4,000 events to enter, and you can play with up to eight friends on cross-platform, real-time multiplayer. Add to that a whole host of customization options and you have yourself one of the best racing games around, despite the ads and nudges towards in-app purchases.

Google Play

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile

In the mood for some free-to-play multiplayer action? You’ll find 99 other people with the same goal: survival, in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile. This is console-quality gaming on your smartphone, although the controls inevitably take a bit of getting used to. Play solo, with a friend, or in four-player squads. Check out the terrifying Zombie mode or take on a challenge in a 4V4 Team Deathmatch. Along the way scavenge for loads of different weapons and gear — you’ll also find a huge range of vehicles to suit the game’s varying terrains. Speaking of terrains, there are four massive maps each varying in size, terrain, and climate. Master the secrets of each to be the victor! This game runs well on most Android phones, and will happily scale back the graphics for less capable devices.

Google Play

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