best sandbox games
Sandbox games are a different kind of fun. Instead of focusing on linear game play mechanics and level design, sandbox games allow you to explore open worlds. You can interact with the entire game space, play as you choose, and engage with story only if you want to. A lot of people prefer them over regular games because of their freedom. Here are the best sandbox games for Android!


Crashlands

Price: $4.99
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Crashlands burst onto the scene in 2016 and immediately became one of the best sandbox games out there. In this title, you play as an intergalactic trucker. The game starts with you stuck on a random planet. Your job is to defeat bad guys, craft items, and build yourself a home away from home. There is also a quest line where you can save the world while retrieving all of the packages you lost. It’s a huge game that also doesn’t take itself too seriously. You’ll have to shell out $4.99 to play it but there are also no in-app purchases.
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The Escapists

Price: $3.99
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The Escapists is one of the newer sandbox games. You play as an inmate in prison. Your goal is to move about, collect and craft items, engage with inmates and guards, and eventually escape. You also have to follow the prison's rules so your stash isn't discovered. Aside from following the rules, you have free reign to do whatever you want. It also features retro graphics. That can be good or bad depending on what you think about retro graphics. It's $3.99 with no in-app purchases.
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Goat Simulator series

Price: $4.99 each
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The Goat Simulator series is a collection of sandbox games that definitely don’t take themselves too seriously. The core premise is that you play as a goat in a world where the laws of physics simply don’t apply. Most of the game worlds are highly interactive and you’ll earn points by doing a variety of different stunts, maneuvers, and tasks. There are four games available, each with their own special flavor. The only potential bad thing about these games are that they generally don’t have a story or any real purpose. You just play.
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Godus

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Godus is an open-world simulator where you essentially play god. Your job is to keep watch over a civilization as they grow. The entire world is at your whim. That means you can help or hinder progress as you see fit. When it comes with interacting with society, you can be a just and loving creator, or you can hurl meteors at them. The choice is yours. It had a rough start at first However, it seems to be a relatively stable game these days. It's a freemium game in case that matters to you.
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Grand Theft Auto series and Bully

Price: Varies
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Grand Theft Auto games are some of the most popular sandbox games of all time. They’re also pretty fantastic. On mobile, you have five overall options, including Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, San Andreas, and the more recently released GTA: Liberty City Stories and Chinatown Wars. Additionally, Bully was released in late 2016 and it plays a lot like a GTA title. All five games follow a similar formula where you play as a character and you can drive around entire cities to do as you please. There is a linear story that you can follow along with a ton of side quests. Or you can just mow people down for fun. The option is yours and the games are relatively inexpensive for how much content they provide.
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Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
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Minecraft another of the most popular sandbox games of all time. For those who have been living under a rock, Minecraft is a game where you mine things, build things, kill things, and use your creativity to its maximum. Players from all over the world have enjoyed the game and its mobile version actually isn’t half bad. It doesn’t have all of the features of the main games, but it’s slowly making its way there and Microsoft has plans for its future. It's getting better very frequently and it's still fun to play.
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Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

Price: $2.99
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Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is an action platformer with an open world and tons of stuff to do. The developers boast a 20+ hour experience that includes towns, various landscapes, and industrial facilities for you to explore. It also boasts a rather unique FPS style game play that turns into a third-person platformer when you’re not in combat. On top of all of that, the game comes with fully customizable controls, a quirky storyline, boss fights, and HID gamepad support. It’s also quite cheap right now. It's one of the more underrated sandbox games.
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Payback 2

Price: Free with in-app purchases
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Payback 2 is one of the more underrated sandbox games. The idea is fairly similar to something like Twizted Metal. You drive a car in an area where other people are also driving. Your goal is to destroy them. It also includes the ability to race helicopters, fight tanks, race cars, and much more. It includes over 50 campaign events, custom events, and more. You essentially drop in and start doing stuff. It's actually a whole lot of fun. You can try it out for free, but it is a freemium game so do keep that in mind.
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Terraria

Price: $4.99
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Terraria is one of the older sandbox games and it’s definitely one of the best. A popular way to describe the game is as a 2D Minecraft. Much like Minecraft, you’ll spend your time building things, mining for resources, crafting items, and killing bad guys. Unlike Minecraft, Terraria has boss fights, over 450 unique enemies, over 30 pets, and more. It’s a title that takes the open world concept very seriously and there is always something to do. It’s relatively inexpensive and you can demo the game for free.
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Titan Quest

Price: $8.99
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Titan Quest is an action RPG that was released in 2016. It features a huge world that you can explore and it’s joined with action RPG elements that will have you killing bad guys, leveling up and customizing your character, and collecting tons of gear. There is a linear story that you can follow. It faithfully recreates some famous ancient civilizations, including Greece, Egypt, Babylon, and China. It was insanely good on PC back in 2006 and it’s shaping up to be one of the best sandbox games as well. It’s a little expensive at $8.99, but there are no in-app purchases.
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If we missed any of the best sandbox games for Android, tell us about them in the comments!

Joe Hindy
Hi everyone! I'm Joe Hindy the Android Authority app guy!
  • Marco Sobrevilla

    Does Assassin’s Creed: Pirates count as a sandbox game? There are plenty of things to do in each “Level” of the game.

    • JosephHindy

      I had a long list of games like that. They aren’t sandbox but they kinda are lol so I have no idea. I didn’t include it but it may very well belong here.

      • TheMoreYouKnow

        I don’t think you realize what a “sandbox” game is exactly. It’s a game that offers creative freedom without limits. You’re grouping both sandbox games and open world games together, while they are two very different genres.

        • JosephHindy

          Very technically yes. However, the term has been bastardized (and not by me) and I go by the bastardized term because I’m not a purist. Sorry.

  • Kyle

    You forgot Terraria!

    • JosephHindy

      I thought about that one but didn’t include it for some reason.

  • benya

    6guns?

  • parker

    “…Minecraft is borderline blaphemy.”

    Just pointing out a typo to be fixed later.
    blasphemy

    • JosephHindy

      Well there are 900 words on this webpage. I was bound to screw one of them up :P

  • dodz

    10 of the best buggy and hard to control games.
    luckily I have a bluetooth joystick lol.

    • JosephHindy

      They’re not buggy, it’s just challenging to play games with that many controls on a touchscreen. Doesn’t mean it’s a bug.

      • dodz

        I bought GTA-SA and I couldnt get past the Zero mission “Air Raid” where you have to shoot all of berkley’s planes, rockstar did not respond to my complain, also in GTA VC where you pick up Lance, it won’t get past that mission.

  • I have to disagree with Ravensword. I say stay far, far away from that one.

  • so many an0n

    what about 6 guns and the Gangstar franchise?

  • Shez

    I remember there was a game called Survivalcraft and that was pretty good.

  • AlgeBrad

    San Andreas didn’t cost $60 when it was first released. It’s old enough that it was originally published on the PS2 and O.G. Xbox. The MSRP of games for those systems was $50. Just a technicality ;).

    • JosephHindy

      Adjust for inflation sir :)

  • Anonymousfella

    Wouldn’t the Gangstar be considered a good sandbox game? Considering its a typical Gameloft clone of GTA

  • bat0nas

    Where’s Growtopia?!!!

  • Wompus

    Terraria! :0

  • John Garlits

    No goat simulator?! ;)

  • Droidz

    No Terraria?

  • Kitov

    You definitely missed Topia. Great sandbox game, check it out.

  • Lejin

    Guys here i share a best app for education called ‘QuizByte’.It is a game based quizzing app.It works with my students..
    here is the link
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brainistic.quizbyte

  • Vansh

    isnt pay back 2 good

  • Rapping21

    And payback 2?

  • Howard Stern ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    That crashlands video is hilarious haha, the game is not that great tho. I havent played one good Goat game yet. Godus is pretty solid. Cant go wrong with GTA. Minecraft has to be the best on the list. Titan Quest is really good too, cant get a bit boring. Great list overall.

    • JosephHindy

      First time in a long time that I’ve had someone say “this is a good list”, thank you!

      • Howard Stern ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        hey, the internet can be a negative place. someones gotta be positive.

  • Marius-Adrian Zoltan

    Titan quest is the best, no în app microtranzations, long playability, a awesome port, there are still some minor issues but the current version is just 1.0.1, it’s one of the best hack and slash games, better even than the game it was inspired by …. Not so popular though

  • So pretty much no good games or they are multiplatform. Got it

    • JosephHindy

      Well, “good” is in the eye of the beholder. Two of the most beloved gaming franchises on earth are on the list lol. Remember, mobile is a few years behind PC/Console gaming. You’re not getting GTA 5, Skyrim, or full-blown, modded Minecraft on mobile yet :)

      • Like i said, those are multiplatform so i’d rather get those instead on a platform that i can actually play decently on

        • JosephHindy

          And that’s your prerogative. However, this is meant as a “searchable post”, meaning it’s meant for people who are specifically searching for sandbox games on Android…so if people are reading this piece, it’s because they’re looking for games on this platform specifically :)

          I only publish it to the site’s index because I thought maybe others would like to know as well.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    What about Order & Chaos 1 and 2 from Gameloft?

  • LaGallinaTuruleta Turuleta

    Does Godus have to be here?
    Last update on 2015.
    It was a good game…