Freemium games hit Android like a dump truck. It allowed apps and games to go free with users paying money later if they chose to and it’s been a model that has been dominant. Freemium games make more money than their pay-once counterparts and people tend to download them more often. However, there are many who don’t mind paying for a bigger experience. If you’re one of those people, then we hope you’ll enjoy the non-Freemium Android games!


Beamdog Collection (four games)

Price: $9.99 each
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Beamdog is a developer studio that has ported a few iconic non-freemium games to the Play Store. They’ve done Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale. Each of these are massive RPGs that take dozens of hours of complete. They hold true to their PC counterparts. That means they play just like the originals except on a touch screen. There are technically in-app purchases, but it’s for things like voice packs and have no bearing whatsoever on the games whatsoever. They’re a bit expensive and they’re a little rough to play on smaller screens, but they make up for it having tons of content.
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Crashlands

Price: $4.99
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Crashlands was our pick for the best game of 2016. The game centers around an intergalactic trucker stranded on an alien planet. Your goal is to build him a base, defeat bad guys, and craft items to help him save the day and go home. You can even tame some monsters and use them as pets. It's a deep game with a large world. There is also tons of stuff to do. The title also comes with cloud saving, RPG elements, and controller support. It's definitely among the best non-freemium games.
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Don't Starve: Pocket Edition

Price: $4.99
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Don't Starve: Pocket Edition is an abstract survival game. You play as a scientist named Wilson. He is in the wilderness trying to survive. You'll have to build yourself shelter in order to survive. There are also all kinds of weird creatures you'll need to protect yourself from. It features tons of stuff to craft and build. It's one of the more unique non-freemium games on the list. There is the occasional bug, but nothing too bad. You can play the game offline as well if you prefer.
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Downwell

Price: $2.99
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Downwell is a retro action-platformer game. Your goal is to fall down to the bottom of every level without dying. Each level is random so no two playthroughs are the same. Additionally, you'll have gunboots to help you defeat bad guys. The game also includes secret areas, power ups, and weapon upgrades to help you on your way. It's a decent little time killer with a very reasonable price tag. The controls are relatively simple and it won't take long to learn how to play this one.
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Downwell

The Escapists

Price: $3.99
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The Escapists is a multi-platform sandbox game. You play as a prisoner and your goal is to escape captivity. There are a variety of methods to do so and you'll have your choice. During the course of your planning, you'll have to adhere to prison rules, brawl other inmates, steal stuff, and more. You then use that stuff to craft more complex tools in order to escape. It also has several scenarios to play through. The controls can be a bit difficult to work with. However, other than that, it's a non-freemium experience.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY


Lifeline series (seven games)

Price: Varies
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Lifeline is a series of interactive narratives. Each game has you following the story of someone that is helping someone else. Your suggestions can help mold and shape the story or kill off the protagonist. It depends on the story branches your choose to play through. The games are all text. That means they should work on virtually every device. Most of them also have Android Wear support. They're fun, low maintenance games that you only have to pay for once. The link above will take you to the developer page so you can check them out!
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Lifeline series (seven games)

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

Price: $6.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Minecraft: Pocket Edition is the mobile version of one of the most popular games ever. The game is completely open and you can do pretty much whatever you want. There are things that can kill you if you put it in survival mode or you can just do whatever you want without trouble in creative mode. It’s not quite as robust as the console or PC version, but updates have been floating in to make it closer. You can also use this to play on servers that aren’t on mobile (as of E3 2016) which is awesome. Technically, this one does have in-app purchases. However, they are for skins and they don't affect the game at all.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Mushroom 11

Price: $4.99
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Mushroom 11 was the winner of the Standout Indie title at the 2017 Google Play Awards. Thankfully, it's actually a good game. You play as a giant blob. You control the blob by using your fingers to destroy part of it. The blob will grow in the opposite direction, thus moving forward. The game features seven worlds to play through, a decent atmospheric soundtrack, achievements, and more. There are also mechanics for speed runs and scoring challenges via leaderboard. It's a solid non-freemium game.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

NBA Jam

Price: $4.99
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NBA Jam is a re-release of one of the most entertaining arcade games in the sports genre. In this one, you play two-on-two basketball with a very relaxed set of rules. You can do pretty much whatever you want. Your goal is to score the most points before the end of the game. It includes actual basketball players from the NBA and a mechanic where you essentially get super powers for making three baskets in a row with the same player. It comes with Android TV support, game controller support, local and online multiplayer, and more.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
NBA Jam

PewPew 2

Price: $2.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
PewPew 2 is a retro top-down, non-freemium shooter. It also has enough explosions to be comparable to a Michael Bay movie. The game features nine game modes, three levels of difficulty, and even a story line. That should keep most people busy for a while. You'll also unlock ships, view replays of high scores via the leaderboard, and earn achievements. The title also includes controller support, Android TV support, and smooth game play.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY


Rockstar Games (six games)

Price: Varies
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Rockstar Games has a bunch of non-freemium games on mobile. That includes three remakes of older Grand Theft Auto games, two original mobile Grand Theft Auto games, and a remake of Bully. The games play mostly the same way. You're in an open world and you can do what you want. There are missions to complete, things to do, and various items to collect. The Grand Theft Auto games focus around street wars, organized crime, and the like. Bully is like that, except it takes place in school. All of them are reasonably good games.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic

Price: $5.99 / $1.99-$5.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic is a port of the popular sim game on PC. This version includes both Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2 along with most of its DLC (available as an in-app purchase). Like the originals, your goal is to build a theme park that fits the scenario you've been given. There are dozens of scenarios to play through. You can also keep playing after the scenario is over if you want to fully develop your theme park. Included in the DLC is a toolkit to build your own scenarios and theme parks. It's probably the best non-freemium simulation game on mobile.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

The Room series (three games)

Price: Varies
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The Room is a trilogy of puzzle games. They may also be the best non-freemium puzzle games out there. They're technically escape games. The idea is to find the clues that help you leave the room you're in. It also comes with some of the best mobile game graphics that we've seen. The third version also comes with multiple endings which helps increase the longevity of the game. Most of them also come with cloud saving, achievements, and a hint system in case you need help.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Smash Hit and PinOut

Price: Free / $1.99 each
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Smash Hit and PinOut are about the only two decent non-freemium infinite runners that we've been able to find. Smash Hit is a first-person infinite runner. Your goal is to throw metal balls at glass panels to avoid being hit. The number of balls you have is also your life counter so throw wisely. PinOut is an arcade pinball game. Your goal is to continuously launch the ball into the next segment in perpetuity. Both games are great time wasters. They are both also free to play. You can get the pro version of each one that unlocks stats, save points, and more.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Square Enix games

Price: Varies
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Square Enix hit the ground running on mobile. They have one of the biggest and best collections of non-freemium games from any developer. Some of the titles include Final Fantasy 1-7 and 9, Chrono Trigger, Adventures of Mana, Secret of Mana, Tomb Raider 1 and 2, several Dragon Quest 1-6 and 8, Romancing SaGa 2, the Chaos Rings trilogy, The World Ends With You, and more. The games range from a few bucks up to $20 or more in some cases. Most of them are also console ports. However, most of them are also excellent plays.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

If we missed any of the best non-Freemium Android games, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to see our most recently released app and game lists!

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

    • primalxconvoy

      Unfortunately, Square-Enix games, on mobile, represent the opposite end of the scale; overpriced premium mobile ports, often unoptimised, with no mouse/hardware controller support and almost non-existent customer service (try and email their Google Play supplied address; I’ll wait here while you do).

      No, they are moist certainly NOT a good alternative, and they also sell freemium games.

      • Carlos Luis Barón Carrero

        Well, I played FFVI in my old device an ran well, unfortunately i had to factory reset and lost my savedgame because I didn’t make a cloud backup, I must admit they’re too expensive, I was blinded for another version of my beloved FFVI, well, i’ll have to take back my commentary

  • Jon Wesley

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

    • Derek

      It does not. Tablet only though.

      • Jon Wesley

        I played it on my note 3. Great game.

  • 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.

    • lunawolve

      you are so right

  • 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.

  • Agus Aripin

    Too much addicted games ?

  • Agus Aripin

    Waiting the room three discount ?

  • Davor Bertovic

    NBA jam is from Amiga and that was the last time I played it and want to remember it that way.. Don’t even want to try with touch controls lol

  • David T

    X com is broken for modern phones/tablets; I get a black picture on my Pixel C and the dev refuses to update it. Bastards took my money and ran off with it.

  • No Mortal Kombat X, Gods Among Us..

    • PromethianKnight

      They’re freemium with IAP..
      There is no option for a one-time purchase, hence they’re not in this article…

      • Realistic gamer, doesn’t depend on that and they are fairly achievable since, ‘m one of the many playing them.

        • PromethianKnight

          I’m sorry, I can’t really understand what you mean xD Mainly what I was referring to is that this article includes only games that are paid or free with a one-time purchase for the whole features. Injustice and MKX are freemium and use IAP only for in-game credit.
          lol I didn’t say they were bad I play them all the time :P

  • primalxconvoy

    “…NOVA 3 Freedom Edition is one of the best first person shooters on Android…”

    No, it’s not. The “free” version is FULL of unskippable adverts, including video ads, while both the full (premium) and this version have numerous bugs (some levels can’t be completed). Add to this the always online single player (meaning you can’t play this on the plane, on an underground train or anywhere with poor connection), the lack of full controller

  • Serolf Divad

    I would suggest a personal favorite: Pinball Arcade.

    Yeah, it’s got in-app purchases in the sense that you pay for each new table (usually $4.99, though sometimes that gets you two tables). But once you’ve bought the table it’s yours. You can play it all you like and never get asked to buy upgrades. Also, if you really want you can buy season “table packs” that include a dozen or so tables. They’re expensive at about $35.00, but it’s an option if you really want.

    I don’t mind paying for a decent game. $9.99 may seem expensive in this era of 99 cent “freemium” titles, but it’s a bonafide bargain when you compare to the historical price of computer games, not to mention the price of current console games. I’d much, much rather pay $10 once, and feel I’ve acheived something by the end of the game, than constantly be nickel and dimed and feel that I bought my way to the end.

    Other great paid titles:

    Shadowgun – A fun 3rd person shooter that works really well on a tablet (and even better with a gamepad). I’ve finished only a handful of these type games, and this was one of them. At $4.99 it’s a genuine bargain.

    Sentinel 3: – Amazingly good tower defense game with no IAP. There was an upgrade pack, released after the original that did, I believe, follow the IAP model. But the original, core game does not, and offers plenty of play time.

    Final Freeway/Final Freeway 2R – Enjoyable arcade style racing games reminiscent of the “Ourun” series of quarter gobblers. Don’t look for realistic physics or exquisite 3D models. This is a pure nostalgia trip.

    Forbidden Brakes – This was one of the first games I bought for Android waaay back when I owned an HTC Evo 4G. It’s a bit reminiscent of the “Super Sprint” arcade game. It’s a top down driving game and the graphics are veeery rudimentary, but it’s honestly one of the most fun racing games I’ve played on Android. Probably a “love it or hate it” kind of title, but for me it’s definitely “love.”

  • Who is the stupid soul to buy Kairosoft, the devilish and time-wasting game. Gosh,, @disqus_dy3fXXoj82:disqus is 100% correct, what actually you people are thinking about freemium apps, distorted gameplay and envious storyline or boring graphics.

  • Raphael Alexander

    Even thought they do have in app purchases you can play modern combat 3 and 4 all the way through easily without buying anything and they are probably the best fps games on android.

  • J.j. Evans

    “Good plays”? Nowadays, the reviews on the Play Store all say that Square Enix has butchered Final Fantasy 1. From now requiring an internet connection to play, to unusual speed issues, to allegedly bad controls, to even LACKING the GBA version’s bonus content that made it to the PSP & iOS ports, the Android version of the game is clearly NOT the good play that it used to be. Oh, and the biggest killer is that it doesn’t work on Nougat. Probably doesn’t work on Marshmallow, either. (And it’s questionable on Lollipop; some seem to have worked, others didn’t).

  • Dusan

    I don’t know why, but I really dislike Crashlands. Even the gameplay, not just the graphics.

  • Zubair Hussain Khan

    Tunnel bear better for iPhone.To play online games.

  • primalxconvoy

    Clicking on the “read more” button (and seriously, what type of morons still include such buttons after already clicking on the article at the main page) simply opens up a box to go to the Google play shop.

    Fix your broken page, please.