Droid: It’s not just a robot from a galaxy far, far away. It’s also a pretty great option for anyone who wants a mobile device unshackled by the closed operating systems of certain other smartphone manufacturers.

There are a bunch of really great games available for Android phones and tablets, including lots of the best games that are also on Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Below, our list of the 12 best games for Android. Above, a video version of the same list.

Hitman games are famous for their open-ended sandboxes. At their best, they let you creep around a party or a museum, find your target, and creatively take them out. Hitman GO… doesn’t really do that. What it does do, however, is offer a bunch of smart, tightly designed puzzles that gradually become more complicated as you go, but are never too complicated to finish off in the space of a single bus ride. With its stripped down board-game aesthetic and abstract violence, it may not look much like a Hitman game, but it still manages to capture the series’ meticulous, satisfying nature.

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A Good Match For: Hitman fans, puzzle fiends, people who like imagining what it means when one board game piece “assassinates” another board game piece.

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Not A Good Match For: Those looking for an actual portable Hitman game.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Google Play

You’re a knight. You’re trying to ascend a tower. You are trying to fly ever higher by bouncing yourself off of enemies that are flying up from below. The better you attack, the swifter you fly. The ascent is exhilarating, but you’ll probably eventually fail. No bother. You’re constantly earning new and better abilities that allow you to soar ever higher. Warning: this game can be tough to stop playing.

A Good Match For: Gamers who are looking for something on their tablet that rewards strategy and reflexes while wrapping it all up in a good bit of monster-slaying and constant rewards.

Not a Good Match For: Those who want a long-session game. Your ascents in Knightmare Tower won’t last long, so even as games get a bit longer, this one is going to be over quickly, again and again.

Read/watch our review.

Purchase from: Google Play

AreaCode’s numerical puzzle game may be the most perfect short-session game ever created. As falling numbers land on a 7×7 grid, you need to make them disappear by matching the number of vertical or horizontal spaces match the digit. Yes, it sounds tedious, but when the rules finally click in your head, it’s a lifetime addiction.

A Good Match For: Anyone who spends a lot of time waiting for things or people. Whether it’s stuck in traffic or waiting on a queue at the bank, a few quick levels of Drop7 will make any kind of stationary drudgery more bearable.

Not a Good Match For: Those hoping to stay productive. It take superhuman willpower to resist the siren call of Drop7, and if you want to get anything done after installing it, make sure your phone is out of reach.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Google Play


Rymdkapsel is a real-time-strategy base-building game with a Tetris twist. It’s simple. Place odd-shaped floors of different colors on a plane in outer space. Command little rectangular men to farm on or work in these spaces to generate resources to build more spaces and feed more workers. Rally the little men to defend the base against alien invaders every so often. Survive and repeat.

This is a minimalist game, a stripping down of the real-time-strategy genre that went baroque with visually and technically complex games like StarCraft and Company of Heroes. Rymdkapsel makes its more ornate competitors feel needlessly garnished.

A Good Match For: Gamers looking for a portable real-time-strategy game. There ain’t much to choose from, and this one has the bonus advantage of being good.

Not a Good Match For: Those who want a lot of action or complexity. This is a mellow game with a single unit-type and a handful of rooms to create. Players won’t be progressing through complex skill trees.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: Google Play

Threes is basically a game about kissing. And math. You slide a bunch of little numbers around a tiled pad, trying to get two like numbers next to each other. If you can do that, they’ll get friendly and combine to form a new, bigger number. Keep on moving, keep on combining, and your score will climb and climb. Threes is an immaculately designed game made all the more winning for its aesthetics. Charming, musical, and deviously addictive, it’ll become a new obsession.

A Good Match For: People looking for a simple puzzle game to play on a commute, anyone who likes competing with their friends for high scores.

Not a Good Match For: People hoping for a deep story, those who prefer sub-standard clones.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Google Play

In Hoplite, you play a man in armor who has a blade, a spear and a very specific chess-like move-set. Each enemy has their own movement and attack rules. And each board of the game is ultimately a maze of survival through which you move one hop, spear, stab or shove at a time. Bit by bit, you can make your guy tougher. Until you die. Then start again.

It’s so simple, so pure, so damn hard, but it allows so many different approaches that it’s hard to stop playing. Become a master at distanced spear-based attacking. Or upgrade your bashing ability and just push guys off the grid. Options, options, so many to tease your brain!

A Good Match For: Careful planners who love facing impossible odds.

Not A Good Match For: People who want a please-undo-the-last-stupid-move-I-made button.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: Google Play

While just as polished and fun as its two predecessors, The Room 3 further improves on the series’ basic formula in some interesting ways. Each level still consists of a large object in the middle of a room, with you slowly picking, twisting, and puzzling it open. When you finally trigger a solution, it’s as gratifying as ever to watch the mechanism whirr to life and unfold into a whole new set of intricate challenges. But The Room 3 also turns inward, bending its rules of time and space in order to fit puzzles within puzzles and achieve maximum puzzle density. Same creepy atmosphere, same mysterious story, better puzzles than ever.

Read/Watch our longer thoughts on the game.

A Good Match For: Puzzle maniacs, Myst fans, collectors, machinists, occultists.

Not a Good Match For: The easily frustrated, anyone looking for an action game, those looking for a video game adaptation of a Tommy Wiseau film.

Purchase from: Google Play

By boat, by land, by airship, by giant mechanized city with legs, do you have what it takes to make it… Around the World in 80 Days? That’s the question at the heart of 80 Days, a fantastical re-imagining of Jules Verne’s famous novel that casts you as Passepartout, manservant to the gentleman Phileas Fogg. As a valet, you are responsible for packing the bags, negotiating at markets, and planning the itinerary on your journey ‘round the globe. Each trip will be different from the one before it, and thanks to the game’s peppy writing and frequent surprise detours, each trip will be great deal of fun. 80 Days captures the joy and melancholy of travel with unusual wit and humanity.

A Good Match For: People who like interactive stories, geography buffs, fans of travel.

Not a Good Match For: Anyone looking for a low-investment, pick up/put down action game. Also, those who hate to read—the majority of 80 Days is text-based interactive fiction.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: Google Play

Framed tells a comic-book tale of espionage, intrigue, and death-defying escapes, with a twist: You, the player, can re-arrange the frames of the story to change the outcome of a given page. That usually means figuring out the best way to set things so that the protagonist sneaks past their pursuers undetected, but it can mean a lot of other things, as well. Framed is a great deal of fun, with style to spare.

A Good Match For: Puzzle fans, comics fans, saxophone solo fans.

Not a Good Match For: Anyone looking for a substantive mystery or adventure.Framed is a pure puzzle game, with little actual story or character development.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: Google Play

You wouldn’t think that a game that stitches together fishing and firearms would be a sublime mobile experience. Well, maybe you would think that... and if you did, you’re right, so good for you. Everything about Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption is both as ridiculous and as great as the title suggests. You’ll be playing, fishing, and shooting for many hours to come.

A Good Match For: Anyone who’s ever been bored with real-world fishing. All that quiet and waiting and patience that usually comes with the ol’ bait-and-line pastime gets thrown overboard in Ridiculous Fishing. Thank God.

Not a Good Match For: Those who want tilt-free gameplay. You’re going to look a little silly with all the turning and twisting your 21st century smartphone in pursuit of crazy levels of fish death. But it’s worth it, by God.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Google Play

Super Hexagon is a game that will kill you in seconds. It’s not impossible, but at first, it seems like it is. A series of geometric shapes flows toward the center of the screen to the beat of the music, and your task is to dodge them. You won’t. You’ll die. At first, you’ll die in seconds. If you get really good, you’ll die in minutes. And you’ll love every moment.

A Good Match for: Eye-hand coordination masters. Seeing the path your little dot needs to be in is one thing. Getting there is another thing entirely.

Not a Good Match For: Those looking for lengthy gameplay sessions.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Google Play

Endless snowboarder Alto’s Adventure defies whatever fatigue we might feel for the endless runner genre, stripping away layers of gaudy mobile paint to rediscover an elegant core. It’s a simple, fun game about floating, sliding, and jumping endlessly forward, through rain, snow, and darkest night.

A Good Match For: Fans of quality endless runners like Canabalt and Time Surfer, or the mechanically similar Ski Safari.

Not A Good Match For: People who don’t like endless runners, people who hate snowboarding.

Read our review.

Purchase From: Google Play

How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Update 2/18/216: Now with video!

Update 2/11/2016: We’ve done another large round of cuts and swaps to bring our Android list close to its comparable cousin, the iPhone list. Hitman GO, 80 Days, Alto’s Adventure, Framed and The Room Three all enter, while Angry Birds Star Wars II, Rayman: Fiesta Run, Plants vs. Zombies, Asphalt 8 and The Room Two say goodbye.

Update 11/26/2014: Again our Android list has gone far too long without an update. (Sorry!) We’ve remedied that by completely overhauling it, bringing it much closer to parity with the generally similar iPhone list.

Update 10/04/2013: Way past time for an update, so we’re playing catch-up. We removed Arcane Legends, Muffin Knight, Fruit Ninja, Dead Space, and Angry Birds Star Wars. We’ve added Angry Birds Star Wars II, Reaper, Temple Run 2, The Room, Rymdkapsel, Super Hexagon, and Dots.

Update 12/25/2012: Angry Birds Space and Need for Speed Most Wanted, Arcane Legends and Hamlet all land onto the Bests.


Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC GamesThe Best PS4 GamesThe Best Xbox One GamesThe Best Wii U GamesThe Best 3DS GamesThe Best PS Vita GamesThe Best Xbox 360 GamesThe Best PS3 GamesThe Best Wii GamesThe Best iPhone GamesThe Best iPad GamesThe Best Android GamesThe Best PSP GamesThe Best Facebook GamesThe Best DS GamesThe Best Mac GamesThe Best Browser GamesThe Best PC Mods

Note: If you buy any of these games through the links in this post, our parent company may get a small share of the sale through the retailers’ affiliates program.