The best Android games 2023

A definitive list of the best Android games you can pick up from Google Play, including some of the best free Android games on the market today

Best android games: Final Fantasy IX. Image shows two characters having a sword fight

What are some recommendations for the best Android games? Whether you’re into strategy, roguelikes, deck-builders, gachas, MOBAs, or point-and-clicks, the range of great games available on the platform is mind-boggling. You could spend a good hundred days playing only Android games, and after, a friend would still pop out of the woodwork to recommend another one that you missed.

Variety is the spice of life, and the best Android games, in all their versatility, have a lot to offer you, including some of the best free Android games you can grab today. Also, as technology improves, there are fewer limitations in terms of what our phones can run. So, we’ve created a list of our ultimate picks; be they games that started on PC, but are wonderfully suited for mobile, or the homegrown, which began right here on this platform. 

The best Android games are:

Raid: Shadow Legends

If you’re new to the world of Android games and want to know what the fuss is about over all of these gacha games, Raid: Shadow Legends is a great place to start. It’s a gorgeous RPG with plenty of heroes to collect, bosses to battle, and loot to gather.

Play Raid: Shadow Legends for free.

Rise of Cultures

This free-to-play city-building strategy game from Innogames is the latest of a few stand-out games in a similar mould. However, what makes Rise of Cultures stand out for Android gamers in particular, is that, unlike the developer’s previous offerings, it isn’t exclusive to Apple devices.

So, what is Rise of Cultures? Well, it’s a game that’s all about creating a civilisation and watching it grow over time. You start with a small settlement, then you build more constructions while upgrading and enhancing the buildings you already have – before long, you’ll have progressed through several historic eras. As a nice bonus, you can even integrate real-world architectural icons into your cities.

Play Rise of Cultures for free.

Genshin Impact

This free-to-play Zelda-inspired open-world RPG has quite honestly taken the world by storm, earning $100 million in its first two weeks of release, and now has the biggest Discord server ever. Genshin Impact sees you awake in the magical world of Teyvat, setting out on an adventure to find your lost godly sibling.

The game lets you explore a massive world, and face off against fearsome monsters in RTS hack-and-slash combat. Alongside amazing visuals and a beautiful soundtrack, it’s no wonder that many consider Genshin to be one of the most ambitious mobile games ever. See our Genshin Impact review for more thoughts!

Play Genshin Impact for free.

Magic: The Gathering Arena

It turns out that one of the best card games around is also one of the best Android games around. Who knew? Magic: The Gathering Arena takes the iconic trading card game and adjusts it to suit the digital medium. If you’ve always wanted to get into MTG, this might actually be one of the best ways for you to do so, considering the tutorials it provides.

If you’re a fan of mobile multiplayer games, you’ll enjoy being able to play against players all over the world. Plus, if it’s the collecting aspect of TCGs that you like, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the game allows you to build your own collection and even your own decks.

Play Magic: The Gathering Arena for free.

Supremacy 1914

Fancy the life of an armchair general? In Supremacy 1914, you’ll take control of one of the nations involved in the First World War. Then the course of history is left in your hands. Whether you decide to invest in enhancing your country’s economy or bolstering its military forces, every decision you make will impact the outcome of the war.

This is a long-term grand strategy MMO and a single game could last for multiple weeks or even months. With each nation offering a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, the country you choose will have a big impact on how you play, and with so many options open to you, you’ll soon find yourself getting deeply invested in this sprawling war. History buffs will also appreciate the attention to detail in giving each nation the resources and munitions it would have had at the time.

Play Supremacy 1914 for free.

Conflict of Nations: World War III

While Supremacy 1914 takes the First World War and turns into a grand strategy MMO, Conflict of Nations applies that formula to a hypothetical World War III. Set in a near future where global tensions have escalated, you choose a nation from a list of countless others and then… Well, that’s up to you. As you can imagine, there are plenty of options available to you as the leader of a nation.

A game of Conflict of Nations can last for months, and with so many other players all doing their best to bring glory to their respective nations, you’ll find yourself looking forward to checking in each day so that you can find out about all the latest developments… and plan your next moves. If you have a mind for tactical thinking, this is where you can put it to the test.

Play Conflict of Nations: World War III for free.

Best Android games: Epic Seven. A screenshot shows up of a white haired anime woman's face.

Epic Seven

Looking to scratch that gacha itch? Well, Epic Seven will do that, and it’ll give you an epic anime storyline simultaneously. In this free-to-play game, you build up your own selection of heroes, then take them through various turn-based RPG battles as they progress through the game’s story.

If you love anime, you’ll really enjoy this game’s beautifully animated cutscenes. Its cast of characters will also make quite an impact on you, with great efforts having been made to give them each a distinctive personality. As the gacha mechanics will give everyone different selections of heroes, it’ll help make your own journey through the game very personal to you.

Best android games: Final Fantasy IX. Image shows two characters having a sword fight

Final Fantasy IX

This classic Final Fantasy title runs like a dream on Android. If you’re looking for a game with turn-based combat, an enthralling story, and some fun minigames, look no further than Final Fantasy IX (or any other Final Fantasy on mobile might I add). This version benefits from high speed and no encounter modes and the ability to autosave.

Best Android games: Among Us. Image shows a group of crewmembers.

Among Us

This social-deduction-based indie game has risen to astonishing popularity in recent months after it caught the attention of the gaming community via popular Twitch streamers. And with the developer recently reporting 200 million downloads, it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. In Among Us, players must complete tasks to fix their ship, while also uprooting a murderer in their ranks before they are all wiped out. It’s enjoyable, and best of all, it’s free on mobile.

Best gacha games: PUBG. Image shows a man in a chair.

PUBG Mobile

The original battle royale is on mobile, but PUBG Mobile is a strange one. A lot of people enjoyed the original PC game, because of a certain level of what I shall call, jank. People liked the glitches and weird unexpected stuff that happened.

By comparison, PUBG Mobile actually plays very well, with regular PUBG Mobile updates adding fresh new content to the game, including the fresh, futuristic New Eden map. Undoubtedly one of the best Android games if you’re hankering for a battle royale – and best of all, it’s free to play.

Best Android games: Candy Crush Soda Saga. Image shows a game in progress.

Candy Crush Soda Saga

If you like match-three puzzlers and are looking for a fun, free experience, then we can’t recommend Candy Crush Soda Saga enough. It’s the King of the genre on mobile, providing hundreds of levels of satisfyingly crisp gameplay.

There are a load of great games like Soda Saga, make sure you check out our list of the best Candy Crush games to get your fix. Or head on over to our Candy Crush download guide to learn how to get this game on your device.

Best Android games: Pokémon GO. Image shows Groudon, Rayquaza, and Kyogre.

Pokémon Go

While not an RPG in the strictest sense of the word, Pokémon Go does see you explore an open world in a more classic sense. This free, location-based game has you out and about in the actual world, catching Pokémon, and competing with other players to become leaders of your local gym.

Many of you may have lost contact with the game after its surge in popularity a few years back, but it’s still supported with fairly regular Pokémon Go events and Pokémon Go raids. It may be location-based, but it’s still one of the best Android games.

Best Android games: Bad North. Image shows an island in the rain.

Bad North

In more Viking-based, mobile shenanigans, Bad North is one of the best strategy games on mobile. Adapting the classic tower defence formula, you and your units must defend islands from a fleet of rampaging raiders.

The game features a wonderful simplicity, both in terms of visual aesthetic, and in terms of how you play. But as the islands get bigger, and the units multiply, things really start to heat up, and you find yourself having to put out fires left-right-and-centre – quite literally. Not only one of the best strategy games, but one of the best Android games too – see our Bad North review if you don’t believe us!

Best Android games: Monument Valley. Image shows an island at sea.

Monument Valley

Undoubtedly one of the best games on mobile, Monument Valley is a smart and beautiful puzzle game, which sees you navigating your way through shifting architecture. The concept is simple; you are presented with a structure, and your character has to make their way from the entrance to the exit.

But a lot can happen between those two doors. Monument Valley plays with space and architecture smartly, using optical illusion and point-and-click play, as you discover your often surprising route through space. You wouldn’t have thought architectural puzzles would have such mass appeal, but Monument Valley has earned its place as one of the best Android games. Check out our Monument Valley interview to learn more about the future of the series.

Best Android games: Mario Kart Tour. Image shows Toad and Toadette racing.

Mario Kart Tour

That’s right, Mario Kart on mobile – and it’s free! Just as with Call of Duty: Mobile, simply the act of bringing a classic game to the mobile platform should be enough to impress. But Mario Kart Tour also brings your favourite characters, plenty of modes to play in, and regular content updates, meaning that they’ll always be more racing to do. Racing is a competitive genre, but Mario Kart Tour is one of the best Android games out there.

Best Android games: Alto's Odyssey, Image shows a beautiful tower silhouetted in the darkness.

Alto’s Odyssey

Endless runners aren’t racing games in the classic sense, but you are still racing against something. In Alto’s Odyssey, it’s yourself. In the game, you move through each gorgeous generated map, completing a series of goals, which then allow you to move on to the next level. But Alto also features an endless mode, where you can just ride forever through an ever-changing map, which with beautiful architecture, and changing weather conditions, is a truly relaxing experience that you can play for free.

Best Android games: Downwell. Image shows progress being made through a dark tunnel.

Downwell

Imagine the intentional monochrome dreariness of Binding of Isaac, crossed with the descent and escalation of Spelunky, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Downwell is. In this dungeon-descending roguelike, you play as a young boy, exploring a well for untold riches, his only companion, a set of gun boots. Pretty convenient for well-based exploration I’d say!

Best Android games: AFK Arena. Image shows two fantastical characters.

AFK Arena

With a beautiful art style inspired by Celtic mythology and a cast of characters with fun abilities, AFK Arena is not your typical RPG. Simply sit back and enjoy the ride as your heroes work hard to level so you don’t have to, only pitching in when it’s time to have some fun, enacting strategies in battles or exploring, and it’s free-to-play. We also have plenty of guides for AFK, including an extensive AFK Arena tier list and an AFK Arena codes guide.

Best Android games: Brawhalla. Image shows two ladies about to fight.

Brawlhalla

If you’re looking for a fantastic, free mobile fighting game, you could do a lot worse than Brawlhalla. This port of the PC game sees you duking it out with up to eight other players online in a variety of modes, whether casual bouts, or ranked matches. Best of all, it’s free, and there are 50 distinctive characters to try your hand with. For more details, see our Brawlhalla characters list!

Best Android games: Call of Duty Mobile. Image shows a group of soldiers.

Call of Duty: Mobile

Distilling the classic COD experience onto Android and iOS, Call of Duty: Mobile is a fantastic first-person shooter, and you can play it for free. The game caters to all kinds of players, letting you choose an auto-fire mode or manually aim and shoot.

TiMi Studios also keeps it updated with plenty of seasonal content, including new modes, weapons, skins, and characters. It’s a formula that has made Call of Duty: Mobile one of the most popular shooters on mobile, ranked among the likes of PUBG Mobile, and Garena Free Fire.

Best Android games: Stardew Valley. Image shows a pixelated farmhouse with a cow, chicken, and farmer taking a break

Stardew Valley

The popular Harvest Moon-esque farming RPG Stardew Valley is a fantastic game to play on Android. It sees you move to the country to take over your grandfather’s failing farm, grow crops, raise animals, and become part of the local community. You can even get married, explore the open world, fight monsters, or simply find a secluded spot to go fishing. If you’re looking for some relaxing simple life vibes, this is definitely a good option.

If you’re new to Stardew, feel free to browse our Stardew Valley fish, Stardew Valley coop, and Stardew Valley silo guides.

Best Android games: Chrono Trigger. Image shows a group of Chrono Trigger characters standing around the game logo.

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a timeless RPG classic that houses some amazing quality-of-life improvements on Android. The game is developed by the Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, and the creators of Final Fantasy. A must-play for any RPG fan out there.

We got the chance to play this game’s sequel, check out our Chrono Cross remaster review to read our thoughts.

And that’s our list of the best Android games. We hope you find something fun to play. Do you need a bit of extra privacy in order to truly enjoy yourself on your phone? Check out our guide on the best VPN for Android.

If you prefer Apple, why not browse our lists of the best iPhone games or the best iPad games?