All-time best Android games
December 11, 2012
For years, Android's gaming library was subpar. Fragmentation, app size limits, and fears of piracy kept many of the best titles out. Though it still has room for improvement, today's Android has grown into a legit gaming platform. Read on, as we break down some of the all-time best Android games.
Max Payne Mobile, Grand Theft Auto III
During the last year, Rockstar ported these two gritty crime classics to Android. They don't disappoint, with touched-up graphics and solid virtual controls.
Chaos Rings, Chaos Rings Ω
The Chaos Rings franchise is Square Enix's answer to the mobile RPG. The first two entries aren't perfect and can get repetitive, but they're much deeper than Android's other options in the genre.
EA's Dead Space is one of Android's most console-like games. Though it too can get repetitive, the impressive visuals and terrific audio create an immersive – and spooky – experience.
Play Store: Dead Space ($6.99)
Shadowgun is a Gears of War inspired third-person shooter. The formula is simple: enter room, take cover, kill bad guys. The wow factor comes from some of the best visuals in the Play Store.
Play Store:Shadowgun ($4.99)
Great Big War Game
Touch screens are well-suited to real-time strategy games, but few stand out. Great Big War Game wows with smartly-crafted gameplay, cartoon graphics, and campy fun.
Play Store: Great Big War Game ($2.99)
Android doesn't have Infinity Blade, but it does have a solid Infinity Blade knockoff. Avengers Initiative delivers countless one-on-one, slash-and-dodge battles featuring Marvel's superhero alliance.
Play Store: Avengers Initiative ($4.99)
Plants vs. Zombies
Popcap's quirky take on the tower defense genre is an all-time classic. Plant groovy sunflowers, rapid-firing pea shooters, and squashing squash to fend off waves of (equally bizarre) undead.
Play Store: Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99)
World of Goo
One of the best puzzlers from the last few years, World of Goo is perfectly suited to touch screens. Collect and manipulate blobs of goo to reach various goals. It's more fun than it sounds.
Play Store: World of Goo ($4.99)
Rayman Jungle Run
Rayman Jungle Run is a delightful running platformer, and the cousin of Ubisoft's terrific Rayman console games. Its soundtrack, cartoon visuals, and lush environments enhance the tight gameplay.
Play Store: Rayman Jungle Run ($2.99)
Cut the Rope
ZeptoLab's Cut the Rope is as good as casual gaming gets. Puzzles start simple, but grow increasingly difficult. Though adults can enjoy it too, it may be one of the best apps for keeping a child occupied.
Play Store: Cut the Rope ($0.99)
Fruit Ninja is an example of a game perfectly suited to the touch screen. Swipe your finger to slice fruit, while avoiding bombs. It's addictive arcade insanity.
Play Store: Fruit Ninja ($1.22)
Rovio has milked the Angry Birds franchise for all it's worth, but the core gameplay is still golden. Physics-based bird-flinging is fun for all ages, and you can now do it in any of five full games.
Play Store: Angry Birds (free)
N.O.V.A. 3, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
Gameloft's formula is simple. Copy popular console franchise, release for mobile devices, cash in. Though story, dialogue, and voice acting suffer, Gameloft dazzles with its graphics and core gameplay. These latest clones of H.A.L.O. and Call of Duty epitomize that blueprint, and are the two best first-person shooters on Android.
Tiny Tower is an addictive building simulator. Build your tower floor-by-floor, balancing "bitizens" with commercial properties. The secret sauce is the Tamagotchi effect: the tower lives on even when you aren't playing.
Play Store: Tiny Tower (free)
Jetpack Joyride is retro arcade fun. The simple gameplay could have been pulled from an Atari game, but HalfBrick injects enough humor and rebellious spirit to keep us coming back for more.
Play Store: Jetpack Joyride (free)
This is our (admittedly subjective) list of the best games going around on the Android platform. If there are any not on our list that are on yours, let us know in the comments.