The best Android games aren’t just designed to help you kill time on a lengthy commute or while you’re queuing at the grocery store, they are also fantastic opportunities to be swept up into different digital worlds. The Google Play store has hundreds of thousands of games on it which can make finding the best games to play on your Android phone something of a challenge.
That’s why we’ve made picked out what we believe to be the best Android games that you can play today. Across a multitude of genres and price-points, these fantastic experiences should work on your device no problem in 2023 – even if you don’t have the best gaming phone in the world. So from fantastic first-person shooters to excellent CCGs, fiendish puzzle games to awesome adventures, here’s our pick of the 25 best Android games that you should play today.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Genre: First-person shooter
A fully-fledged Call of Duty multiplayer game with flexible controls and a huge number of modes. Maps are plucked from the franchise’s greatest hits — Nuketown is back, baby — and Battle Royale is consistently fun, with helicopters to fly and plenty of airdrops to claim. The touchscreen shooting works surprisingly well, and after an hour you’ll be hitting headshots with no trouble. Online connection is consistently good, and there’s always enough players online to fill lobbies. When one round finishes, the next starts almost instantly, and the only reason to quit is to attach the new scope you unlocked for your sniper.
Genre: Battle Royale
Price: Free (in-app purchases)
You might think of console and PC as Fortnite’s natural homes, but millions of people play it on mobile: every time you login you’re instantly matched with 99 other players, all of whom want to murder you. The controls aren’t as smooth as a controller or a mouse, but you can still be accurate, and before long you’ll be placing walls and stairs with a tap. The on-screen sound cues, which tell you the direction of nearby footsteps, are a masterstroke, and should be in every touchscreen shooter. This is definitely a game that favours higher-end phones, but it’s free to see how well it runs on your device. It might take you a while to get a victory royale when you’re still getting used to the controls, but when you finally do it, when you finally outmanoeuvre your opponent in that tense 1v1 finale, it will all feel worth it.
Do you like the 80s, smart-talking teenagers, and mysterious islands where alternate dimensions might be a thing? Then this atmospheric adventure will be right up your misty street as a group of teens uncover a creepy supernatural surprise when they go away for the weekend. Complete with incredible moody synth soundtrack, Oxenfree is full of brilliant dialogue, memorable characters, and plenty of different ways for the action to unfold as you explore. Will everyone get off the island the next day? That’s kind of up to you, dude.
Genre: Endless runner
Price: Free, with in-app purchases
Alto’s Adventure was the best endless runner on Android—until the sequel came along. Odyssey swaps Alto’s snowboard for a sandboard and sends you swooping over dunes and into canyons, performing jumps, tricks and grinds as you pick up speed. The scenery is stunning, and the weather changes from perfect sunshine to flashes of lightning as you zoom past temples and desert city skylines. It’s all set to a soothing soundtrack of flutes that keep you relaxed, even when you crash, and the procedurally-generated levels make every run feel fresh. Whether you played the original or not, this is a must-own.
Developer Inkle is renowned for its writing chops and 80 Days is its magnum opus. You play a valet to explorer Phileas Fogg, and it’s your job to plot a route around a wondrous world, which blends reality and sci-fi to create a unique setting. Amphibious trains dive into the English Channel, and bustling markets float in the sky.
You’ll have to manage your finances closely and keep an eye on Fogg’s fragile health, but this isn’t a game where you worry about failing. It’s about the journey: the cities you’ll see, the memorable people you’ll meet, the trouble you’ll get into. The interplay between Fogg and Passepartout is endearing, and every line of dialogue has been honed until it’s razor sharp.
You could play 80 days hundreds of times and still stumble across new stories. It’s available on PC, but the mobile version is still the best fit for its simple interface. If you only play one Android game this year, make it this one.
Thumper is a gnarled nightmare in rhythm game form. It’s a thrashing trip into hell that never wants you to sit comfortably, and beats you over the head with doom until you plead it to stop. You control a metal beetle screaming along a track, jumping over obstacles and skidding around corners in time to the beat. One mistimed tap can end your lift. What makes Thumper so unique is not its flawless touch controls, but its oppressive atmosphere. The music rumbles and screeches, tentacles flail in the background and red eyes stare at you from the abyss. It wants you to know that you’re not welcome, and every beaten level comes with a wave of white-knuckle relief.
Machinarium, from decorated developer Amanita Design, is one of the best point-and-clicks of our generation, and its move to touchscreen is flawless: controls are responsive and the mobile interface is easy to understand. Its grungy, unforgiving world is beautifully drawn, and all the rusting metal and whirring contraptions create an immediate sense of place. Just by looking at this harsh environments you’ll start to feel for your little robot protagonist, lost in a wasteland and searching for his lady-robot love. It’s a tricky puzzle game, but a clever two-tier hint system is on hand to help you out.