While iOS tends to get most of the mobile gaming attention, Android has a larger userbase and just as many wonderful games to choose from. Whether you’re new to the Android world or you’ve been around forever, you deserve to play good games.
The best Android games
1) Minecraft: Pocket Edition $6.99
If you know a child under 14, you've seen Minecraft before, but the open world-building and adventure game is far deeper than its often young audience might imply. Players have built recreations of starships, castles from folklore, and even working calculators in the game. While Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a slightly stripped-down version of Minecraft the title offers some of the most powerful creation tools of any game on mobile devices. You have the power to build a castle in your pocket and then fight monsters in it. While $6.99 might seem a little expensive for a mobile game, the hundreds of hours you’ll put into this title will make it worth it.
2) Bully $6.99
Rockstar Games might have made its name with the Grand Theft Auto series, but this unsung classic from the '00s deserves a second look, especially when you can take it with you on your phone. Bully follows 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins as he tries to navigate the chaotic world of Bullworth Academy prep school: fighting bullies, dealing with evil teachers, playing pranks on your enemies, and unleashing hell as you try to get through the school year. While not as extreme content-wise as GTA, Bully still packs in loads of Rock Star’s traditional dark humor.
3) Deus Ex GO $0.99
Deus Ex GO is a turn-based logic puzzle game that puts you in the boots of cyborg assassin Adam Jensen as he navigates his way through enemy bases. Using cybernetic add-ons and combat to overpower the guards, turrets, drones, and other enemies that populate the world, you must sneak your way through 50 levels of cyberpunk nightmares. Easy enough to quickly pick up and play but hard enough to keep you coming back to grind down your high score Deus Ex GO lets you play spy games, one five-minute session at a time.
4) Knightmare Tower Free with in-app purchases
You’ve played dungeon crawlers before, but have you played dungeon jumpers? Knightmare Tower throws you up a tower, jumping through a sea of enemies while using your slashing sword to propel you upwards. With 70 quests, 50-plus different monsters, three legendary monsters to discover, and with a plethora of armor and weapons to try, Knightmare Tower gives you tons of content along with its great gameplay. Spring for the full version after you try the free one. You’ll want the extra goodies, and the developers deserve your support.
5) Threes $2.99
Threes is a deceptively simple puzzle game that will have math lovers swooning. All you do is slide little number tiles around a grid, trying to combine addends and multiples of three. When you run out of possible moves, the game ends and tallies your score. Threes addictive gameplay is enough to justify the $2.99 price tag, but along with this wonderful puzzle game, you get one of the most oddly soothing soundtracks in mobile gaming. It's perfect for commuters who would rather think than destroy enemies.
6) Framed $2.99
Part puzzle, part comic book, Framed tasks you with changing the outcome of a story by rearranging frames in a digital comic book. Full of stunning animation, an original jazz soundtrack, and gameplay unlike anything you’ve ever tried, Framed is a thinking person’s adventure title. If you’re the kind of person who likes watching a story unfold while directing the movements yourself, Framed is a delightful neo-noir.
7) Ridiculous Fishing $2.99
Fishing isn’t for everyone. It can be boring as hell if you’re not patient. Thankfully Ridiculous Fishing sacrifices accurate fishing simulation for an action-packed fish massacre that throws everything from guns to explosives at your aquatic enemies. Over the top, fun, and frankly ridiculous, Ridiculous Fishing is one of the best oddball gems in the Android store.
8) Super Hexagon $2.99
If you need action that won’t relent, Super Hexagon is your friend. All you do in this game is dodge a series of geometric shapes as they hurdle towards the center of the screen. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, that’s easier said than done, so prepare to die. Die quickly. Die often. Die until you’re screaming at the screen. And then, load the next game because you’re now addicted.
9) Candy Crush Free with in-app purchases
Despite tons of detractors, Candy Crush has built a rabid following for a reason. No one else offers up thousands of levels for free. Sure, it’s hard as hell to beat some of them without paying for power-ups with in-app purchases, which sucks. But it can be done. You probably have a friend who is on level 1,503 who has yet to spend a dime because they have a lot of free time and special wiring that lets them beat crazy puzzles.
10) Carcassonne $4.99 with in-app purchases
Board game adaptations can be hit or miss, but Carcassonne is as big a hit as they come. The game is simple: You and the other players try to build the most farmland, roads, and cities as possible before running out of tiles. Be careful, though; people will try to steal your lands out from under you. Deceptively simple, Carcassonne will take you a long time to master. Thankfully, Android supports online and local multiplayer up to six players, so when you get sick of playing the AI, you can play your friends. Expansion packs are available to add inns, festivals, and other goodies.