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Best Android games: 15 titles you need to play right now

Scott Adam Gordon
3

The best games on Android is an oft-discussed topic. The Play Store is home to a near-unending list of titles, far too many for just one person to investigate. That's why we at AndroidPIT have compiled a list of the best Android games to help you decide which ones to download. Without further ado... and in no particular order...here are the best Android games.

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What are the best Android games available in the Play Store? / © Google/AndroidPIT

The World Ends With You

Originally released on the Nintendo DS in 2007, The World Ends With You made its way onto Android 7 years later in June 2014. Why was it brought out of the realms of relative obscurity and placed on the Play Store? Because it is fantastic. Developed in part by the company responsible for Final Fantasy (Square Enix) this side-scrolling action game has elements of RPGs, rhythm games, card games and more. It also introduced a unique gameplay feature involving collectible pins in which wearing a certain pin in a certain district (the game is set in Tokyo) will give your character a certain buff, in accordance with the fashion in that area. It’s smashing game with an art style that still holds up after seven years; let’s just hope the steep entry price (17.99 USD) doesn’t turn people off.     

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The World Ends With You's manga art style is awesome. / © Square Enix

Order & Chaos Online

Order & Chaos Online deserves props just for achieving what it does. It’s a Massive Multiplayer Online RPG (MMORPG) which runs on Android, and it is free. Featuring amazing 3D graphics, thousands of items and quests, ways to trade, communicate and play cooperatively with other players, it’s incredibly comprehensive. Order & Chaos Online also features a PvP mode where you can battle your friends, or ally with them to take on others; this is the closest thing to World of Warcraft you’re likely to find on Android. Download it for free from the Play Store.

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Order & Chaos Online is the closest thing to WOW you are likely to find in the Play Store. / © Gameloft

Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers is a free endless runner game in the same vein as Temple Run or JetPack Joyride, where you try to dodge objects for as long as you can. It’s pretty light on story, you play as a graffiti artist trying to escape from the cops while running along a railway track, but it features lots of power ups and coins to collect to keep things exciting. The combination of tight controls, great graphics and addictive gameplay makes this one of the best games on Android. Free at the Play Store.

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Bright and colorful: Subway Surfers always looks funky. / © Kiloo

The Room 2

This atmospheric puzzle game isn't exactly action packed, but it is a slow-burning and incredibly rewarding game if Candy Crush isn't exactly your thing. Observation is key here, as you explore different rooms and objects in first person to try and piece together different riddles and clues. The Room 2 was built from the ground up for mobile platforms, so it is perfectly suited to this system. It runs smoothly, the graphics are amazing, and it is consistently clever and engaging. Pick it up from the Play Store for 2.99 USD, and don't forget to read our The Room 2 review too.

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The Room 2's logic based puzzles are often very rewarding. / © Fireproof Games

XCOM: Enemy Within

Firaxis are known for making epic turn-based strategy games, just look at its Civilization series if you need proof. XCOM: Enemy Within is the spiritual successor to 90's cult PC classic 'XCOM: UFO Defense' which sees you take control of the headquarters of a military defense unit tasked with protecting the world from alien invaders.

The game takes place partly in your base, where you are responsible for managing the “administration” of the defense operation (hiring troops, managing technology upgrades, arranging missions etc.) while the other aspect involves managing a team of special force units on the ground. Both parts of the game are equally compelling, moving your soldiers around the map to assault a crashed alien ship can be nerve racking, and researching the latest piece of nanosuit armour will make your day. Firaxis and 2K China have done an amazing job of bringing a stellar PC title to Android. 9.99 USD from the Play Store. 

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XCOM: Enemy Within is turn-based strategy at its finest. / © 2K Games, Inc

Monument Valley

Monument Valley would earn a place for sound and visual design alone - it feels like interacting with magic. You control the hooded princess Ida whom you must guide through Escher-like scenes, relying on the use of isometric perspective and manipulation of the architecture to achieve this. It’s hard to visualize without playing it, but just imagine something like an interactive never-ending staircase painting that you direct a little figure through. Something like that.

It’s awfully clever and awfully pretty, with puzzles which never becoming frustrating. Despite its relatively short length, there is also a subtle story running through it, which combines with the other elements to elevate Monument Valley above your typical “tap-here-build-this-wait-5-minutes-and-repeat” Android game. You can pick this one up for 3.99 USD.

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The painterly aesthetic of monument valley is stunning. / © ANDROIDPIT / ustwo

Little Inferno

I can’t speak highly enough of Little Inferno. It’s part puzzle game, part social commentary - it’s partly just a game that wants you to stop and think about why you spend so much time tapping on your screen anyway. You play as a young boy in a snowy town who has the joy of owning a "Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace", a device which encourages children to burn their toys (among other items) just to watch the beautiful flames.

Little Inferno is dripping with metaphors and symbolism (come on, the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace is a shiny, sparkling box that asks you to maddeningly interact with it and give up on normal social interaction…sound familiar?) and is accompanied by a wonderful story. If you want a deep game that makes you think, give it a try. A bargain at 2.99 USD.

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Little Inferno is so much more than just a way to pass the time. / © Tomorrow Corporation

Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon is a perfect pick-up-and-play time killer: most games won't last more than a few seconds in the beginning. You guide a small triangle through a maze by rotating the screen to the beat of some thumping chiptune beats. It’s an incredibly difficult game, but it's always fair, requiring great reflexes, speed and accuracy. Yours for only 2.99 USD from the Play Store. Just one more try… just one more try... 

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Seriously, this is what Super Hexagon looks like. And it's brilliant. / © Terry Cavanagh

VVVVVV

I’ve already gushed about VVVVVV (pronounced “vee vee vee vee vee vee”, if you were wondering) on AndroidPIT.com in the past for its amazing level design, so it's only right that we include it on this list. It’s extremely light on story, you control Captain Viridian who must evacuate his spaceship, along with his crew, when the vessel becomes compromised by "dimensional interference". 

On the surface It's a simple platformer, the entire game revolves around one mechanic. Tapping on a part of the screen inverts gravity, so where once you walked along the floor, you would now walk upon the ceiling. That’s VVVVVV’s only trick, but just how inventive and dynamic the use of this one gameplay device becomes is constantly surprising and intelligent. I genuinely believe this game to be a work of art. Currently selling for 2.99 USD.

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VVVVVV may look simple, but wait until you try it. / © Terry Cavanagh

The Walking Dead Season One and Two

Just go and look up the number of awards The Walking Dead has received. Go on...do it.

See? Told you.

The Walking Dead video game has been described by “serious” gaming journos as a true advancement of the medium, creating real characters in a terrifying settings, and a system of (often deadly) choices. It puts you in a position where the actions you take have a real impact on how the story plays out.

The Walking Dead is a point-and-click style adventure game, where you interact with people and objects in the environment to solve puzzles and advance the story. It’s also one of the only games I’ve played where I’ve felt a genuine interest, nay, love, for the people I’ve been responsible for while playing as fugitive Lee Everett, and young Clementine in the sequel. It’s powerful, dramatic and often upsetting, and I would highly recommend it to gamers and non-gamers alike. Though the first episodes of both games are free, you will have to buy the remaining episodes for 5 USD each or 15 USD to play through all five episodes of the season. Worth it.

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The Walking Dead series has set the standard for storytelling in video games. / © Telltale Games

Minecraft - Pocket Edition

Across all of the platforms it is now available for, Minecraft has sold over 54 million copies. If you haven't heard of it by now, a simple description is that it’s a sandbox building game where you mine terrain for blocks and then construct, well, anything. What would you like to build? A recreation of the starship enterprise? Your own theme park? The Eiffel tower? Go for it, because if other people can do it (and they have) then you can do it to!

The Minecraft - Pocket Edition app was poorly received when it was first released on Android for lacking some of the more important features of its PC counterpart. Since then it has been significantly improved, making it worthy of the Minecraft name. Buy it for 6.99 USD from the Play Store. 

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Minecraft has already enjoyed massive success on other platforms. / © Mojang

Terraria

While I hate to include a game that is said to be a rip-off of another on my list, my feeling is that Terraria operates as a separate entity to the aforementioned Minecraft and offers both a visual and mechanical style that will appeal to people who minecraft’s first-person interface won’t.

In Terraria you create a character and dig your way through underground caverns collecting ores and materials and other bits and bobs in the interest of upgrading your hero's gear to take on bigger and badder monsters. You never level up, your character becomes faster, stronger, better through your own effort; the satisfaction upon diving to the bottom of a lagoon to find a ship filled with treasure cannot be overstated. It has a vast number of items and huge variety, it will take a very long time for you to see and do everything is this one. Currently available for 1.99 USD.

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Terraria features an immense amount of variety. / © 505 Games Srl

rymdkapsel

If I had the choice between saying this game, or playing this game, I’d play it. Not because rymdkapsel is a necessarily unfriendly word. It’s fine. rymdkapsel. rymdkapsel. rymdkapsel. It's just that this game is quite, quite brilliant.

rymdkapsel is a beautifully abstract puzzle-game-slash-management-sim set in space. It's based around constructing a space station and sustaining a population while attempting to complete objectives. You order your little minions go to work aboard your space station, upgrading it with extractors, reactors and a weapons bay for defense, among other necessary space station stuff.

It’s a (mostly) meditative game with a serene soundtrack, which quickly becomes frantic when your minions are hard at work and an air strike comes along to destroy them. These enemy air strikes occur more frequently as the game progresses, ramping up the difficulty. It’s minimalist and clever and isn’t filled with in-app purchases and free-to-play tropes. It’s sublime at 3.99 USD from the Play Store.

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It's not as complicated as it looks. Honest. / © grapefrukt games

Wayward Souls

Featuring a classic 16-bit RPG look and brutal rogue-like permadeath sensibilities, Wayward Souls is sure to appeal to those raised on/by 90’s video games. You control one of a number of typical RPG character classes like,warrior, adventurer and cultist,and must storm through a punishing dungeon, grabbing loot as you go.

Death comes frequently in Wayward Souls and when you die you lose most of the progress. Where this game differs from normal rogue-likes is that you don’t lose everything, the upgrades you have purchased for your character (with money earned in game, not in-app purchasing) remain after you die. This makes Wayward Souls, despite its difficulty, a little more user-friendly. It’s an addictive side-scrolling hack and slasher with fantastic; controls which is genuinely rewarding - these facets alone make it better than most of the Android competition. Pick it up at the Play Store for 5.99 USD.

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Wayward Souls is a throwback to classic dungeon crawlers. / © Noodlecake Studios Inc

Phew. There it is, the definitive best games for Android. No need for any discussion on what’s better, or why more “Android only” games aren’t there. We don’t need to talk about why so many PC ports are listed, why Candy Crush Saga didn’t make the cut, or why that game you hate did. It should be left unsaid why two games from the same developer are listed, it's fine. We don’t need to talk about it... but you know where the comments are if you do.

Don't forget to check out our Best Android phones of 2014 and Best Android apps articles if you want to disagree with what we put in there too!

What do you think is the best Android game? 

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  • User picture
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    Kris Carlon 2 months ago Link

    I'd add The Room and The Room Two to this list too!

    2
    • User picture
      Admin
      Scott Adam Gordon 2 months ago Link

      I think I'm going to add another few titles every couple of months because there are just so many. The Room 2 might make it onto the next list...

      1
  • rahul bj 2 months ago Link

    clash of clans

    0