One of the advantages of owning an Android smartphone or tablet is a larger selection of mobile games available—compared to iPhone games. Google isn’t as restrictive as Apple with the types of apps and games that you can download, so you’ll always have a wider range of gaming experiences.
However, there are millions upon millions of apps available to play on the Google Play Store, so it may be intimidating to find a good place to start. That’s where we come in.
We rounded up the top 10 free and the top 10 paid games (20 in total) for your Android mobile device. So whether you like simple, yet challenging puzzle games, in-depth strategy MMO (massive multiplayer online) games, or just looking for something fun to play every once and a while, you’ll find a great selection of games worth playing, below:
TL;DR – These are the most popular Android games
Free Android Games
Paid Android Games
Most Popular Free Games
1. FIFA Soccer
In FIFA Soccer, you build a team of your favorite soccer players to begin your journey to the FIFA World Cup. The latest 2023 update also includes updated players, kits, clubs, and leagues to reflect the new season.
2. PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator
Have you ever wanted to live the life of a YouTuber? Now you can in PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator. Use the YouTuber Simulator in the game to create videos, gain plenty of views, and even more subscribers. As you carry on, you’ll be able to buy items like new equipment, furniture, and clothes to enhance your setup.
3. Wheel of Fortune: TV Game
With Wheel of Fortune: TV Game, you can bring the classic TV game show to your mobile device. Much like the show, you’ll step into the shoes of a contestant as you aim to solve the puzzles of missing words on the board. Spin the wheel, pick a letter, and try to win!
Slither around in Slither.io as you try to become the longest snake. You can play against other players online or against an AI, just watch out for your head. If it touches another player, you’ll explode and it’s game over. But if others run into you, then its game over for them.
5. Subway Surfers
As its name suggests, in Subway Surfers you collect coins and surf the subway system in a fun, colorful fashion. Play as Jake, Tricky, and Fresh, who are trying to escape the Inspector and his dog.
6. Kill Shot Bravo: 3D Sniper FPS
In Kill Shot Bravo: 3D Sniper FPS, you’ll need to complete covert missions with a variety of weapons at your disposal. There are campaign missions available for you to take on and even PVP matches where you can play against other players online.
7. Pokémon GO
Discover Pokémon hiding in the world around you with Pokémon GO. This AR mobile game is great to use while adventuring outdoors. While tracking down new Pokémon to add to your Pokédex, you can also compete in gym battles, fight off Team Rocket, and more.
8. Toy Blast
In Toy Blast, you’ll be transported into a toy world where the goal is to destroy matching color blocks and use powerful boosters to clear different levels. You can also complete daily challenges and participate in fun events while playing.
9. Block! Hexa Puzzle
For those who love a good puzzle, Block! Hexa Puzzle is a must-have addition to your mobile game collection. In it, you’re given various hexagonal shapes that you’ll need to fit into an empty grid. They can’t be rotated and you need to be mindful of blockades while fitting them in, too.
Roblox is the ultimate online community! This is an app that combines games and social media where you can create your own games and experiences, discover other player-created games, and build just about anything they can imagine. It’s also a virtual space where you can meet and chat with others.
Most Popular Paid Games
1. Minecraft ($7)
At $7, Minecraft is where you can explore anywhere and build anything in an open sandbox game. Your journey and experience are all up to you! You can use blocks, items, and other materials to build your home or your village, while you can also craft weapons to defend your home or hunt animals to eat or farm. The game is only limited to your imagination.
2. Bloons TD 6 ($7)
Defend your home from invading “Bloons” in Bloons TD 6 for $7. You can use an army of hero monkeys, structures, towers, bridges, and other devices to prevent balloon-like “Bloons” from traveling from one side of the map to the other. The more Bloons you pop, the more coins you make for upgrades, extra lives, and more.
3. Monopoly – Classic Board Game ($4)
Play the classic board game Monopoly on your Android smartphone or tablet for $4. You can play as the classic game tokens—such as the car, top hat, battleship, and others—as you travel around the board buying up properties, building houses and hotels, and collecting rent via Monopoly Money. The object of the game is to bankrupt everyone, so you’re the sole winner with most of the money and properties.
4. Stardew Valley ($5)
With more than 50 hours of gameplay, Stardew Valley—which is priced at $5—is a farm simulation game that has elements of open-world role-playing. Set in Pelican Town, you inherit a small house and a plot of land from your grandfather. You’re then tasked with clearing the land to grow a farm that’s full of all sorts of livestock and crops. Once you’re ready to harvest, you sell your goods to expand your farm and business with more upgrades, animals, and crops.
5. Five Nights at Freddy’s ($3)
With the upcoming Blumhouse film releasing in October, there’s no better time than now to play Five Nights at Freddy’s. This version is remastered from the PC version as well. Play as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza who needs to carefully watch the cameras and keep an eye on the animatronics there. Their behavior has become a bit unpredictable at night, so you’ll need to be careful as you strive to survive five nights.
6. Garten of Banban 4 ($5)
Garten of Banban 4 finds you venturing through the abandoned lower levels of Banban’s Kindergarten as you, according to its app page description, “uncover the truth behind the place, and find the whereabouts of your missing child…”. Explore its many rooms and hallways and avoid the monsters lurking around.
7. Papers, Please ($5)
In Papers, Please, you play as an immigration officer who’s tasked with reviewing people entering the communist country of Arstotzka, following a war with neighboring Kolechia. You’re set up at the Grestin Border Checkpoint between both locations and must work out who is approved or denied entry. It’s a game we praised back when it first released as well, giving it an 8.7 out of 10 in our review.
8. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ($7)
For $7, you can play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on your Android. This version offers remastered graphics – “including lighting enhancements, an enriched color palette and improved character models,” according to the Google Play store description page – dual analog stick controls, and more. Explore the open world of San Andreas and its three major cities – Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas – as you unfold the main character, CJ’s, story. See our guide to the GTA games in order to see the full series.
9. Terraria ($5)
Terraria—which goes for $5 on the Google Play Store—is a 2D action-adventure sandbox game where you can dig, fight, explore, mine, survive, and build your very own world. It combines elements of platforming and exploration, while it’s described as a mix between Metroid and Minecraft.
10. Ultimate Custom Night ($3)
Much like its title states, Ultimate Custom Night truly is the ultimate customizable experience for Five Nights at Freddy’s fans. Featuring 50 selectable animatronics, you can mix and match them how you like, choose their difficulty levels between 0 and 20, and try to survive.
What to Look for in Android Games
The Google Play Store is the primary place where Android users find and download games with nearly four million apps available. It may sound daunting to search for games, but Google’s most popular free and paid games lists are a good place to start. Here’s what to look for in Android games.
The first thing you should do is check to see if the mobile game you want to play is compatible with your Android device. Most apps in the Google Play Store require that your smartphone is running, at least, Android version 4.4 KitKat—which was released in October 2013. Older mobile devices might not be able to run most modern games.
You should also consider how much storage space is available on your device. While some games have small file sizes of only a few hundred megabytes, there are others that have very large file sizes of up to 20GB. Luckily, there are Android devices that are designed with an expansion card slot built-in. If you run out of space, you can always pop in a microSD card to add extra storage. But if your device doesn’t have an expansion slot, then you’ll have to delete a few apps, photos, or videos to free up some space or get a new smartphone with a larger capacity altogether.
Meanwhile, when it comes to price, the Google Play Store divides games into two categories: Free-to-play and paid. And while free-to-play sounds self-explanatory, it doesn’t mean these games are completely free. Free versions of games might have commercial breaks or some limitations to gameplay, while in-app purchases can upgrade or remove restrictions. For example: Cooking Craze: Restaurant Game includes in-app purchases for additional items and bundles, but purchases are not required to play this game.
Additionally, most paid games download to your Android device completely unlocked. But, it might also include in-app purchases for upgrades. For example: Monopoly has in-app purchases to unlock special editions of the game. There’s also a gaming subscription called Google Play Pass for Android users. Games available for the service include zero ads and in-app purchases, so you’re free to play without restrictions for $5/mo.
Finally, the most important thing about picking an Android game is if it’s fun to play. Whether you’re going to spend a few minutes or hours upon hours playing it on your smartphone or tablet, games have to look like a fun and immersive challenge to conquer.
Upcoming Android Games
Wondering what new games are coming down the pipeline on Android? See the biggest upcoming Android games for the latest.
Rudie Obias is a contributing freelance Tech writer and editor for IGN with a speciality in all things Apple products.