25 best Android games with no in app purchases

by: Joe HindyJanuary 13, 2015
1.3K

Freemium hit Android in a big way. In an atmosphere where developers were literally being destroyed by piracy, they needed to fight back and in-app purchases came into existence. This allowed them to make their games free and to slowly pluck money out of consumers’ pockets as they played. This turned into a serious cash cow for developers as in-app purchases now account for over 90% of all app and game revenue. However, even though in app purchases have slowed the lost flow of revenue from piracy, developers are still learning how to use them without offending all of us. For those who hate Freemium, there are still some developers who rock the old school model of pay-once. Here are the best Android games with no in app purchases.


almightree android apps weeklyAlmightree: The Last Dreamer

[Price: $1.99]
Almightree: The Last Dreamer is a relatively newer game that was released in 2015. It’s a 3D platformer where the world is shattering and you must race through the crumbling mayhem to restore balance. The graphics are bright and colorful and the game itself is very well done. It has more story than you’d expect from a platformer and also comes with over 100 puzzles, 20 stages, 40 challenges, and Google Play Games Services support that includes cloud saves. The price tag is cheap and you’re getting more than your money’s worth with this one. It’s also great for people who don’t need something hardcore. Do note: this does not work on Android devices that have ART (Lollipop) although we imagine this won’t be a problem forever so check the app description to see if it’s been updated if you’re running an ART device.
Get it on Google Play


Icewind Dale best Android games with no in app purchasesBaldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, and Icewind Dale

[Price: $9.99 each]
We grouped these three games together because they were all released by the same developer (Beamdog). All three titles are huge, immersive RPGs that were ported from PC to Android in 2014. They feature very long stories with complex game play and are sure to keep you busy for months upon months. The graphics are decent but not amazing because even by PC standards these games are pretty old. However, these are three of the better RPGs to grace PC and Android. It says that these games have in-app purchases but the purchases are nothing more than voice packs and other miscellany that has no effect whatsoever on the actual game.
Get it on Google Play


the banner saga best designed android games with no in app purchasesThe Banner Saga

[Price: $9.99]
The Banner Saga is a strategy RPG developed by former members of BioWare. It features beautiful hand-drawn graphics, a deep story line that requires the gamer to make decisions that affect the story, and an easy learning curve. It’s inspired by Norse mythology and it happened to be a member of our best designed Android games of 2014. It’s a wonderful play if you like strategy RPGs.
Get it on Google Play


Battleheart Legacy Android gamesBattleheart Legacy

[Price: $4.99]
We wanted to reduce the number of RPGs on this list but we simply couldn’t ignore Battleheart Legacy. It employs an action RPG game play style where you hack and slash your way to victory. It also comes with colorful, decent graphics, over 200 unique pieces of equipment to collect, and excellently choreographed boss battles. Characters can wield over 150 skills across 12 classes and you can even multi-class your character. It also enjoys a 4.6 out of 5 rating on the Google Play Store which shows that this game strikes the right places for most people.
Get it on Google Play
Battleheart Legacy Android games


Doom & Destiny best Android games with no in app purchasesDoom & Destiny

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Doom & Destiny is another RPG title with a lot of content and no in app purchases. It uses retro style graphics similar to the SNES and NES RPGs of old and includes a 20-hour story line with 20 hours of additional stuff to do, turn based combat, 10,000 lines of dialogue, and hundreds of spells, items, and other things to collect. The $2.99 price tag makes this among the cheaper games on this list and there is even a free version you can pick up with advertising.
Get it on Google Play


draw slasher android appsDraw Slasher

[Price: $2.99]
Draw Slasher is a unique hack and slash style game where you use your finger to kill a bunch of bad guys. Think Fruit Ninja, but with a story line you play through as a ninja named Hanzo. This is a remake of a PS Vita game which means it’s already optimized for phone-sized screens. Along with a story and fun mechanics, you also get challenges, endless arcade mode, and you can even upgrade your techniques. It’s a solid game and a decent time waster with good mechanics.
Get it on Google Play


Five Nights at Freddy's 2 best Android games with no in app purchasesFive Nights at Freddy’s 1, 2, and 3

[Price: $2.99 each]
The Five Nights at Freddy’s trilogy are all a set of horror games. You play as a security guard who has to keep watch over possessed animatronics in a pizzeria. If you don’t do a good enough job (or disguise yourself in the 2nd one), they’ll get you. These games are strangely terrifying and were two of the best games released in 2014. They’re also fairly cheap and the game play is easy to learn. The third iteration was released in March of 2015 and we expect it to be a top game of 2015 without breaking too much of a sweat.
Get it on Google Play


game dev story android retro gamesGame Dev Story

[Price: $2.30]
Game Dev Story is a simulation game where you run your own game development company. You are faced with a bunch of problems and obstacles that you must overcome to be a successful studio and to release as many hit games as possible. Much like other sims like Rollercoaster Tycoon, you keep going until you get tired of the game and declare that you’re done with it and there’s plenty of content to enjoy along the way. Also, the developers have a number of other sim games that follow this same philosophy and virtually none of them have in-app purchases!
Get it on Google Play
game dev story android retro games


Goat Simulator best games with no in app purchasesGoat Simulator

[Price: $4.99]
A lot of people don’t like Goat Simulator because it is, at its core, an intentionally unfinished piece of buggy garbage. However, if you have a sense of humor, this game can be quite a bit of fun. You control a goat as you do goat things like exploding and flying through the air as though you were shot out of a cannon. The frequent bugs and glitches are the game’s biggest draw and it’s a goofy way to spend a couple of hours.
Get it on Google Play


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas best android games with no in app purchasesGrand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas

[Price: $4.99, $4.99, and $6.99 respectively]
Rockstar has had great success in porting their Grand Theft Auto series to mobile. In fact, San Andreas won our best game of 2013 award. These games are huge and provide dozens of hours of game play. You can drive around doing whatever you want or follow the story, the choice is yours. The graphics aren’t amazing but they’re not terrible either. The only unfortunate part is the earlier Grand Theft Auto games suffer from some bugs here and there which have angered many people. In any case, make sure you try them before the refund time in Google Play in case you don’t like them.
Get it on Google Play


Ingress best android games with no in app purchasesIngress

[Price: Free]
Ingress is a GPS-based strategy game where you must choose sides, build up portals, and hack the portals of the other team. The entire world is your playing field and aside from Wii Fit, this game is probably more responsible for getting nerds off the couch and out exercising than any other game. There is also a scavenger hunt features called Missions where you go on missions to find things and explore the city. It’s a lot of fun and one of the more unique games available anywhere.
Get it on Google Play


Lego Bionicle best Android games with no in app purchasesA whole bunch of LEGO games

[Price: Free]
LEGO has led a solo effort in making free to play games with no in app purchases that are actually somewhat decent. Altogether, they have 29 games that are all free with no in app purchases. These are great for kids because LEGOs are about as offensive as tomato soup and they have released a good variety of games. There’s a fashion game, a hack and slash game, and many, many others. You’ll have to try them out for yourself to see if there are any that you like and some are definitely better than others. It’s a good option for pretty much anyone who doesn’t hate LEGOs or LEGO games.
Get it on Google Play
Lego Bionicle best Android games with no in app purchases


Limbo android appsLimbo

[Price: $4.99]
Limbo hit the ground running when it was released in 2015 and it’s already one of the most enjoyed and talked about games of the year. You play as a kid looking for his sister in the creepy, monochrome world of Limbo. The throwback black and white design fits the atmosphere perfect and this is easily one of the best designed games of 2015 so far. The story is okay, but the game play mechanics are solid and it even currently rocks an outstanding 4.8 out of 5 rating in the Google Play Store with over 5000 reviews in total.
Get it on Google Play


leo's fortune best android games with no in app purchasesLeo’s Fortune

[Price: $2.99]
Leo’s Fortune is a beautifully done platformer that first saw the light of day at Google I/O 2014. It features simple controls, crisp and colorful graphics, and an actual story. Along with the game play, you can also complete levels in a certain time frame and do so without being hit to earn additional stars and achievements through Google Play Games services. It’s one of the best 2D platformers ever designed on any platform.
Get it on Google Play


Machinarium android games with no in app purchasesMachinarium

[Price: $4.99]
Machinarium was one of the first truly great puzzle games on Android. It features a little robot that you control and you must move about your environment finding items and using them to solve puzzles. It’s been remastered once since its release and includes Google Play Games services, cloud saving, and improved graphics. It’ll be among the first wave of games on Android to be considered “classics” and $4.99 isn’t a bad price for it.
Get it on Google Play


Minecraft best games with no in app purchasesMinecraft Pocket Edition

[Price: $6.99]
Minecraft Pocket Edition is the Android version of the very popular Minecraft game. It features pretty much all of the fun, exploration, and enjoyment of the PC and console versions but you can carry it around in your pocket. It’s been a long time favorite title for Android gamers and has adorned the top paid games list for very large parts of the last two years. It also includes local multiplayer which is a nice touch.
Get it on Google Play


Osmos HD - best android games with no in app purchasesOsmos HD

[Price: $2.99]
Osmos HD is an atmospheric puzzle game where you play as a little mote. Your job is to absorb smaller motes in order to become bigger and eventually become the biggest. In some levels you must absorb special motes that act in different ways. The levels are challenging, the graphics are crisp and colorful, and there is even multiplayer support if you want that. It was one of the best designed games of 2013 and remains one of the best games available today.
Get it on Google Play


out there best android games with no in app purchasesOut There

[Price: $3.99]
Out There is a hybrid of a survival game and a sim game. It brings with it some very challenging game play, google play games achievements, three different endings, and a truly unique and fun premise. You play as an astronaut who awakens from cryonics somewhere deep in the vastness of space. You have to survive, keep your oxygen levels up, and rebuild your ship while dealing with aliens who don’t speak as you speak. It’s entertaining, difficult, and a game that’ll keep you busy for a while.
Get it on Google Play


Pool Break Pro best Android games with no in app purchasesPool Break Pro

[Price: $0.99]
If you’re looking for something a little more leisure, then Pool Break Pro is worth a try. It lets you play some billiards using a number of different rules on a variety of different tables. You can also play Snooker, Carrom, Crokinole, and other games with sticks, balls, and a table. There is a multiplayer available if you choose to use it and your moves go back and forth like chess so you can pick it up and play when you have time. It’s the best billiards game on Android and it doesn’t have in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play
Pool Break Pro best Android games with no in app purchases


The Room 2 best Android games with no in app purchasesThe Room 1 and 2

[Price: $0.99 and $2.99 respectively]
The Room 1 and 2 are puzzle games with a unique premise and some amazing graphics. Each item in each room is a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle. In the background of all of these puzzles is an arcane and dark story line that revolves around the supernatural. The overall feel and atmosphere of the games is dark and the puzzles are very well done. The only downside is the length because these games are pretty short but that shouldn’t stop you from checking them out. It’s only a few bucks.
Get it on Google Play


Shadowrun Dragonfall DC Android games with no in app purchasesShadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall

[Price: $2.99 and $6.99 respectively]
The Shadowrun series of games are a part of a much larger line of products that dates back to a tabletop RPG game first released in 1987. Along with a rich history, you’ll get decent graphics and game play mechanics that are easy to learn. These are both strategy RPG titles that mix steampunk and fantasy elements to create a machines and magic universe that is just delightful to play in. On top of taking part in a series of games that have had a loyal fanbase for the better part of two decades, you’ll also get a couple of pretty good games.
Get it on Google Play


Final Fantasy 6 best Android games with no in app purchasesA whole bunch of Square Enix games

[Price: Varies]
Square Enix has released a good percentage of their early game library to Android. The re-releases include Final Fantasy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 along with various Dragon Quest games, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana. The best part is that these games remain untainted from their earliest days aside from a graphical boost here and there. The other best part is that none of them have in-app purchases. They can get kind of expensive but these are all games with tons of game play, deep stories, some of the best video game music of all time, and lasting value. The button will take you to Square Enix’s developer page on Google Play where you can browse all of their titles. Do beware, there are some Square Enix games that do have in app purchases but none that we just mentioned do.
Get it on Google Play


Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic best Android games with no in app purchasesStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

[Price: $4.99]
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is an old PC RPG that took the world by storm. It allowed you to make decisions that affected the outcome of the game and let you play how you wanted. It helped start a trend that continues today with games like Fallout: New Vegas where you can pretty much create the story. This is a full port and has not been scaled down in any way from its original PC version which is just fantastic. For RPG fans, it’s a must-have.
Get it on Google Play
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic best Android games with no in app purchases


Surgeon Simulator best android games with no in app purchasesSurgeon Simulator

[Price: $4.99]
Surgeon Simulator is another satirical game much like Goat Simulator. In this game, you kind of play Operation but the intention is to lose. This can be accomplished by abusing the life out of your patient with various machines and tools of destruction and you can play as a doctor or a dentist. It’s meant to be humorous and that means how entertaining this game is depends heavily on your sense of humor. It’s pretty goofy and we can all agree on at least one thing: poor Bob.
Get it on Google Play


World of Goo best android games with no in app purchasesWorld of Goo

[Price: $4.99]
World of Goo is a puzzle game where you must connect little pieces of goo to reach a destination. The challenge comes with the physics of the game which drag you down combined with the limited number of goo bits you have to build with. The game is well designed with muted colors and tricky game play. There are a ton of levels to play and after a while, you can play in free-build mode where you simply aim to build the tallest tower of goo that you possibly can. It’s a lot of fun even if $4.99 is a tad expensive.
Get it on Google Play


XCOM Enemy Within best android games with no in app purchasesXCOM: Enemy Within

[Price: $12.99]
XCOM: Enemy Within is a strategy game that was ported to Android from PC in 2014. It features graphics that are far above average for mobile, gripping game play, and tons of stuff to do. You play as humans as you research alien technology and use it to defeat the alien invaders. This is actually a continuation of an earlier release called XCOM: Enemy Unknown with more abilities, more missions to do, and more. There is a multiplayer option if you want to try your tactics online.
Get it on Google Play
XCOM Enemy Within best android games with no in app purchases


Wrap up

If we missed any great games with no in app purchses, let us know in the comments!

To see our complete list of Android apps and games lists, click here!

  • Marty

    I’d like to add Zengrams. Outstanding brain puzzler.

  • Jack Smith

    Where’d you get Surgeon Sim being free from?

    • Who cares anyway

      the name of the article is no in app purchases, its probably paid, just no extra purchases

      • Jack Smith

        I knew that.
        They say Surgeon Sim is free. But in the Play Store is £3 odd. Just wondering where they got the idea it was free from?

        • Who cares anyway

          sorry for the misunderstanding but, I don’t know where they got the idea because even in the U.S. it’s paid

        • BigDoge

          Yeah, $4.83 here in the Us

        • JosephHindy

          It’s called a typo and it’s been fixed.

          • saurjk

            Also, Pool Break Pro is not free

          • me_

            Yep, 0.99$ no in-app purchase.

            It’s Pool Break Billard Snooker Lite who is free w no in-app purchase. You will need this version if you run a low spec/low cost device.

  • BigDoge

    It says that Doom and Destiny is $1 but the play store is showing me $3.

    • JosephHindy

      It might have been on sale when I wrote this. I’ll check again and fix if needed.

      I hate it when games go on sale right when I decide to write about em lol.

      • BigDoge

        I know right, ya gotta be careful these winter seasons. Lotta games on sale recently

        • JosephHindy

          Yeah it was on sale and the price has been changed to reflect that. $2.99 ftw! Writing about Leo’s Fortune during the fall/winter was awful. That dude put that game on sale and changed the price like every two weeks. One week is was $4.99, another it was $2.99, another it was $0.99. Then back up to $3.99. I went 3 months without knowing the actual price of that game and was always tempted to just write “it costs something” lol.

          • Suncho

            you should have :)
            but you should put one “(at the moment of writing, and could change over time)” after each price, because they change the price of apps constantly and not only because of sales.

  • SamuraiCER

    Where are Wayward Souls or Mage Gauntlet. Pretty nice games there no IAPs to be seen

    • This is a great list but Wayward Souls is definitely the big thing that I thought was missing, it’s my favourite Android game

  • Linville Almond

    What game is the screenshot at the beginning of the article from? It looks like a cool little RPG.

    • JosephHindy

      That’s Final Fantasy 4.

      • Linville Almond

        Thanks.

  • Ender

    The full screen ads are getting super annoying

  • Kattie

    Limited Time Offer! Bubble Trouble is available on Google Play Store for Free!
    Grab it now!

    Play Store Link:
    https://bit.ly/BTAndroid

    • DiamondDaveB

      “Free”… with IAP

  • ninux

    You missed game dev story…

  • Will S.

    Nice idea for a list Joe, but I honestly I don’t find any of them interesting.

  • ShawnTay

    Soccer spirit is the best! so addictive, its a mix of a strategy card based football game. i dont usually play card games but it blew my mind. the characters are so hot and pleasing to the eye. Whats best is that you don’t have to use real money to be good in the game. Download “Soccer Spirits” and use my referal “ShawnTay” for in game currency headstart of 10 crystal while i get 3 in return. My advice for newlys, abuse weekly events :) feel free to add me , IGN: ShawnTay

  • Asif Hasan

    Excellent list. The absolute best games on mobile, I would say.

  • getimiskon

    Minecraft has in app purchases on 0.11.1 (skins) :(

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.googlecode.uqm.hd&hl=en

    Ur Quan Masters – This is a port of an old DOS game. Star Control II was possibly the best PC game of the 90s. This is a faithful reproduction, and pretty fun to play for totally free.

  • I also bored of IAP can easy pay $50 one time payments for real games, so long is not have IAP.

  • James

    Thank you for this excellent list. I just spent an hour looking for real games to replace the freemium games that eat my lunch money and most those lists included games like Clash of Clans and every fruit slasher game to date.

    Already downloaded two and put three others in my wishlist (as in; I wish I had room for them)

  • Carlos Luis Barón Carrero

    Definetly “A whole bunch of Square Enix games” are the best example of games with no in-app purchases, these are from the era when videogames were made with love, the’re just fantastc, and the jewel of the crown, a MUST HAVE for all RPG fans,: Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. I’d also include The World Ends With You but I haven’t played it yet, and there’s allways emulators: NES, SNES, GBA, DS, Genesis, PSOne, N64, and more…

  • Jon Wesley

    Does “This War of Mine” have IAP’s? Might be a worthy addition. Also Lifeline. :)

  • twisted liquid

    Soul Calibur

  • Wi

    Civilization Revolution 2 is missing. It’s a brilliant war and strategy game based on the classic Civilization game but totally revamped for mobile. I’m looking forward to new releases of it. Anyone know any other games like it? It doesn’t have in-app purchases :D

  • Robert Miles

    Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if “in-app purchases” means an honest game with an in app unlock, or a horrible zynga-modeled game where the payment method has completely driven the design of the game into a disgusting buy your way to victory bore fest, paying for the “privilege” of being a winner.

    I really don’t have time to find out either, given that so many are like this that there’s a high chance it will be so. Bitten, I now stick only to games with an upfront price, or get my games from Humble Bundle. I do not mind PAYING for games, but I require the game to maintain internal purity, and I require it not to stick stupid ads in my face when I’m seeking a nice escape.

    I’m sorry, devs, but you allowed the well to become poisoned. Charge me once and no ads, or go screw.

  • Aldo1887

    I went looking for this article after I calc’d out it would take me $3012 in purchases or 6 days, 23 hours, 19minutes of watching ads (20 minutes per day) to buy the guns I needed to play Killshot… So $4.99 isn’t looking bad.. Thanks for writing this article!

  • Rafał P

    And what about Funny Sweater The Game ?
    This is also good game.