15 best Android games of 2016
Gaming on mobile has been improving at a far greater rate than any technology that came before it. In 2005, if you had told anyone that you could play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on a telephone with the same graphics as it had on a PS2, you probably would’ve been laughed out of the building. Now there are games that look and play even better than that! Without further delay, here are the best Android games available right now!
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[Price: Free / $3.99]
BADLAND doesn’t seem like much at first. It’s a side-scrolling runner where you must avoid obstacles and keep the ever-scrolling screen from swallowing you whole. However, once you dig into this game, it’s difficult to deny it’s depth. There is a real-time multiplayer (including local co-op mode), a sizable adventure mode, and updates toward the end of 2015 even let players create their own levels. In a land where time wasters get boring very quickly, this one seems to just keep going. BADLAND 2 isn’t as good as the original, but it is there if you want to try it.
Crashlands was released in 2016 and it’s already among the best Android games ever made. It features an intergalactic trucker that ends up crash landed on an alien planet. Your job is to find out what’s going on, build yourself a base, collect various items (and craft them), and save the world from a nefarious plot. It has an RPG element for character development, tons of items that you can collect and craft, and the game makes itself easier by doing things like auto-sorting your inventory. It’s a ton of fun and contains dozens of hours of content. The best part? There are no in-app purchases to get in the way.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Fallout Shelter was released in 2015 to fantastic fanfare and generally positive reviews. In this game, you must build a fallout shelter (roll credits), populate it with people, and then manage everything so that it runs well. You’ll have to send dwellers out into the wastelands for supplies and fend off bad guys trying to kill everybody. You can make babies, create entire communities, and all kinds of stuff. It has substantial depth and it’s a game you can easily play for months before you even realize it has in-app purchases. The developers have also done great work with adding new content to help keep things fresh.
Here are all the apps and games from Bethesda!
The Geometry Wars series has quite a sizable fanbase and has been consistently described as one of the most enjoyable indie games ever made. Geometry Wars 3 continues that proud tradition by introducing 3D maps constructed out of various shapes to make the game more challenging. It features 100 levels, 12 battle modes, and it’s all played over 15 3D grids. As per the norm, you’ll have super abilities and all of the HD, colorful explosions that your brain can handle. $9.99 may seem pricey for a mobile game, but there are also no in-app purchases.
Check out all the titles available from Activision!
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is pretty much what every gamer could ask for on mobile. As with most Grand Theft Auto games, it comes with an open world to explore, dozens of hours of game play, decent graphics, a story line, and plenty of stuff to do. You’ll join a former gang member who returns to the hood to retake his neighborhood and avenge his deceased mother. Rockstar Games also included controller support, graphics settings, and cloud save support to put a bow on a pretty awesome little package. It’s a gigantic game and best of all, there are no in-app purchases.
Here are the rest of the awesome games from Rockstar!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft flew on to the scene in late 2014 and it’s been one of the best Android games ever since. It’s a concept that is similar to games like Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering where you collect cards, build decks, and the duel other players using those decks. There are some offline components but the game is pretty much always online. You can also engage with cloud saving via battle.net which will allow you to play the game on your PC or mobile device interchangeably.
Click here to check out all the apps and games from Blizzard!
See also: The best RPGs for Android
Minecraft is a popular game all around the world for people of all ages. For those who have never played, Minecraft puts you in a giant world where you mine stuff, build stuff, beat up bad guys, and do pretty much whatever you want. There is a survival mode where you must mine your own resources and food along with a creative mode that gives you unlimited everything. Updates at the end of 2015 added in Redstone which allows you to create even more fun stuff and Microsoft has a ton of other new features planned for the next couple of years. It’s a mainstay when it comes to Android games and it also has no in-app purchases.
Here are the other titles from Mojang!
[Price: Free with in-app purchses]
Pokemon Go exploded onto the mobile gaming scene in July 2016 and immediately became of the best Android games ever. It’s an augmented reality game similar to Ingress where you walk around the real world, catch Pokemon, battle for Gyms, and hit up Pokestops to restock on items. It beat virtually every record in the books in a relatively short order. The game has had a history of server issues and they’re still tinkering with various mechanics, but if you can get passed that, this is a special game.
The Riptide GP games are perhaps the best racers available in all of Android gaming. The latest title is Riptide GP Renegade. In this one, you’ll play as a racer who loses their credentials after getting caught in an illegal street race. You’ll battle your way back to the top from there. The game features good graphics, simple controls, fun tricks, and a boost system to help you gain an edge. Perhaps the best part about Renegade is that it’s a pay-once game so there are no ads and no in-app purchases to screw things up. In fact, all three games in the series so far have been pay-once, although Riptide GP2 does have optional in-app purchases if you want to max out your stuff faster (which you can do yourself with a bit of grinding). They’re all fantastic games and worth your time.
Check out all of the Riptide games and other Vector Unit titles!
SOULCALIBUR is one of the more recognizable and popular fighting franchises on consoles. The original title has been ported to Android with great success. It contains improved graphics from the original, Google Play Games services (achievements and leaderboards), and various game modes such as time attack, survival, arcade, and the excessively difficult extra survival. The on-screen controls work surprisingly well and it all adds up to arguably the best fighting game experience on mobile. The price is a little steep but there are no in-app purchases.
Check out the rest of the BANDAI NAMCO collection!
Square Enix is one of the few “big name” developers that took mobile gaming seriously from the start and they have some of the best Android games available anywhere. Fans of jRPG games have remakes of Final Fantasy 1-7 and 9, seven Dragon Quest games, Chrono Trigger, and the Chaos Rings series to play and they’re all really good. Hitman: Sniper, the original Tomb Raider, Deus Ex Go, and Lara Croft Go round out a decent selection of puzzle games. You have Heavenstrike Rivals and Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL for tactical RPGs, Secret of Mana for an action RPG, and the Deus Ex series for strategy shooter enthusiasts. Even their freemium efforts, such as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Mobius Final Fantasy are pretty good. Square Enix actually has two developer pages on Google Play.
For the ones with Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, click the button below. For the one with Lara Croft GO, Hitman: Sniper, and Tomb Raider, click here!
Telltale Games are the undisputed masters of the episodic adventure game genre and they have the chops to prove it. They have several games in their arsenal right now and they are The Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2 along with the standalone Michonne game, Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlands, The Wolf Among Us, and Minecraft: Story Mode. These games all revolve around similar “point and click” mechanics and they all have stories that can be altered by the decisions of the player. They also all have five episodes a piece that are purchased as in-app purchases and they can all be completed in about 10-15 hours. They’re great games with a good stories, good graphics, and easy game play mechanics. Click the button below to check out the entire Telltale Games collection!
The latest game in The Room series is just as big of a hit as its predecessors and they remain among the best Android games. For those who have never played the game before, The Room is a beautifully done puzzle game that involves a number of unique objects in a room that you must solve to unlock their secrets. You progress from room to room to find even more unique objects and solve their puzzles until you win the game. The third one includes cloud saving, multiple profiles, alternate endings, and the same beautiful puzzles and graphics that drove people to play the first two titles. There are also no in-app purchases.
If you want to check out The Room 1 and 2 from Fireproof Games, click here!
This War of Mine is so good that we awarded it the best game released in 2015. In this survival game, you lead a crew of civilians in a city torn apart by war. You’re tasked with making difficult decisions that have heart wrenching results with survival being the key. It comes with good graphics, plenty of content, and a hefty price tag with no in-app purchases. It’s one of the deeper Android games that can really get the emotions going.
Here are more awesome games from 11 Bit Studios, including Anomaly 2!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
UNKILLED is the latest zombie shooter from MADFINGER Games, the same developers that brought us such Android games as Dead Trigger 2 and Shadowngun. In fact, UNKILLED has replaced Dead Trigger 2 as the best zombie shooter on Android right now. It features great graphics, over 300 missions to complete with boss fights, various weapons and things to unlock and upgrade, online PvP mode, and the graphics get even better if you’re using a Tegra X1 device. Yes, it’s a freemium game but it’s a definitely a good one.
Click here to check out Dead Trigger, Shadowgun, and more MADFINGER Games titles!
Related best app lists:
- Looking for some epic fun with friends? Here are the best Android multipalyer games!
- Too pricey? Here are the best free games with no in-app purchases
If we missed any of the best Android games, tell us about them in the comments!