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All-time best Android games

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December 11, 2012

We break down the all-time best Android games

We break down the all-time best Android games

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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

Rockstar brings Max Payne's Bullet Time to Android

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.

Play Store: Max Payne Mobile ($2.99), Grand Theft Auto III (US$4.99)

Chaos Rings, Chaos Rings Ω

Chaos Rings is a fully-fledged RPG for your mobile device

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.

Play Store: Chaos Rings ($12.99), Chaos Rings Ω ($12.99)

Dead Space

Dead Space provides chilling, console-esque gameplay

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

Shadowgun's gameplay isn't the deepest, but its graphics are astounding

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

Great Big War Game blends serious strategy with campy, cartoony humor

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)

Avengers Initiative

Avengers Initiative is Infinity Blade with the Hulk

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

Plants vs. Zombies's quirky premise adds to the great tower defense gameplay

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

Transport your blobs of goo to safety with 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 splendid auto-running platformer

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

For casual fun, you can't beat 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

Slice those melons with the iconic Fruit Ninja

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)

Angry Birds

Now you can even fling birds on Hoth

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 Modern Combat 4 is one of the best shooters on the platform

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.

Play Store: N.O.V.A. 3 ($6.99), Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour ($6.99)

Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower is an addictive tower simulator

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

Jetpack Joyride is one of the best modern arcade-style games

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.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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12 Comments

not a bad list but what about shadowgun:deadzone, need for speed most wanted and granny smith(to name a few)?

Earl Cameron
11th December, 2012 @ 09:14 pm PST

Great Big War Game is my fav :) whats about Orc Genocide?

Simon Schubert
12th December, 2012 @ 01:40 am PST

"Where's My Water" is one of me and my 9yr old daugthers favourites

Riaanh
12th December, 2012 @ 05:23 am PST

I think at least one racing game has to be in there, either Need For Speed or Asphalt or both.

Yusuf Khan
12th December, 2012 @ 12:27 pm PST

Great article! I see a lot of Great Big War Game in my future, particularly since Nintendo isn't doing anything with Advance Wars.

Jon A.
13th December, 2012 @ 11:42 am PST

Nice article, i "lost" many hours with this games ;)

Now im "losing" my time with streetquest - run is a game one of my personal best for like month.

Tom Moris
13th December, 2012 @ 01:57 pm PST

Try 50 stones - a different game which will immediately promtp your ambition

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.coachingsessions.psychologicfree

Facebook User
30th January, 2013 @ 12:52 pm PST

Dead space is my all time favorite game! I recently installed Pocket Mafia on my Android phone.

Alice Jazz
11th February, 2013 @ 03:18 am PST

my all time best game has to be wild blood with brilliant game play

Stephen Bulsara
16th March, 2013 @ 04:49 am PDT

"Bard's Tale", "Solar 2" and "Need For Speed: Most Wanted" are great games. although they are not free the graphics are great and the gameplay is impeccable.

Zach Webb
24th March, 2013 @ 05:48 pm PDT

WOW! Damn awesome list it is, there are still some games to enjoy on my android phone, specifically Max Payne.

I think still several android games I have to explore to make my collection interesting.

Umer Hafeez
20th June, 2013 @ 04:09 am PDT

I'm worried about game addiction. I use a program from safeparentalcontrol.com for screen limiting time.

Lian Arvind
19th October, 2014 @ 03:48 am PDT
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