15 best non-Freemium Android games

by: Joe HindyJune 14, 2016
12 8

best non-Freemium Android games
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 those left that don’t mind throwing down a few bucks on a delightful gaming experience. If you’re one of those people, then we hope you’ll enjoy the non-Freemium Android games!

baldur's gate II best android games with no in-app purchasesBeamdog Collection

[Price: $9.99 each]
Beamdog is a developer studio that has ported a few iconic games to the Play Store. They’ve done Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, and Icewind Dale. Each of these are massive RPGs that take dozens of hours of complete. They hold true to their PC counterparts and none of the games were compromised when re-released on mobile. There are technically in-app purchases, but it’s for things like voice packs and have no bearing whatsoever on the games themselves. 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.

Get it now on Google Play!

crashlands best android games with no in-app purchasesCrashlands

[Price: $4.99]
Crashlands was released in 2016 to high praise. The game centers around Flux Dabes, an intergalactic trucker who gets stranded on an alien planet. The game includes RPG-style character progression, Minecraft-style item crafting, and you’ll engage in building, combat, and there are some monsters that you can tame and use for your purposes. It’s a deep game with a large world and tons of stuff to do. It also comes with cloud saving so you can play across devices.

Get it now on Google Play!

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas best android games with no in-app purchasesGrand Theft Auto (four games)

[Price: $4.99 or $6.99]
Rockstar has had major success porting older Grand Theft Auto titles to Android. Currently, you can get Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. There is also a made-for-mobile GTA called Chinatown Wars. All of these games remain faithful to the GTA culture and you’ll be able to do missions, explore your surroundings, steal cars, shoot people, and otherwise enjoy yourself. Each game is gigantic with tons of content to play through and the controls translate moderately well to a touch screen once you get used to them.

Get it now on Google Play!

game dev story best non-Freemium android gamesKairosoft

[Price: Varies]
Kairosoft is another Android developer with a swath of really good non-Freemium Android games. Their “hit game” is Game Dev Story, but some other really good titles include Ninja Village, Grand Prix Story, and Pocket Academy. These games tend to be simple, but involving and match the style of most Freemium games without having the in-app purchases. If you like a good restaurant sim, or simulation games in general, then check these out for sure.

Get it now on Google Play!

Game Dev Studio best non-Freemium Android games

leo's fortune best non-Freemium Android gamesLeo’s Fortune

[Price: $4.99]
Leo’s Fortune is one of the best platformers on Android right now. The premise is that you play as Leo and you go off on an adventure in search of your stolen treasure. The touch screen controls make the game easy to play and the level design is both unique and challenging. On top of the main story, you can also go back and try to get a three-star score on each level which adds a bit of replayability. It also has a hardcore mode (try to beat the whole game without dying), game controller support, and Google Play Games services (achievements, cloud saving, leaderboards).

Get it now on Google Play!

lifeline whiteout best non Freemium android gamesLifeline series

[Price: $1.99 each]
Lifeline is a series of “interactive narratives” which contain text-based RPG mechanics. In each game you’ll follow the story of someone and then help them make decisions to see how they progress. Your suggestions can help mold and shape the story, or kill off the protagonist depending on the circumstance. The games are entirely text based so they should run well even on older devices and you can rewind to prior instances and fast forward through pauses if you want to play the game at a different pace. The stories are really good and it’s a great, low-maintenance game. In a few of them, you can even use Quick Reply in the notifications to select your next instance without even opening the game. The series has four games in total.

Get it now on Google Play!

lifeline whiteout best non-Freemium android games

Limbo best non-Freemium android gamesLimbo

[Price: $4.99]
Limbo is a 2D puzzle-platformer game where you play as a little boy who must search through Limbo in order to find his lost sister. The game has no qualms with killing you and will attempt to do so frequently. The puzzles are challenging, but manageable and the entire experience is smooth, enjoyable, and fun. The only caveat is that the game is a little on the shorter side, with some being able to wrap it up in a few hours. It comes with auto-saving so you can stop and return when you want.

Get it now on Google Play!

best free android gamesSee also: The best free Android games!111

Machinarium best non-Freemium android gamesMachninarium

[Price: $4.99]
Machinarium was one of the first really good puzzle games on Android. It features a little robot and you control the robot, solve puzzles, and try to save the robot’s lady friend. It has a futuristic, steampunk setting and each level involves solving several puzzles in order to move on to the next part of the city. On top of being enjoyable, the game also comes with support for Android TV, cloud saves, achievements, game pad support, and even a pinch-to-zoom mechanic for smaller screens. It’s a bit short, but very enjoyable overall.

Get it now on Google Play!

Minecraft best non-Freemium android gamesMinecraft: Pocket Edition

[Price: $6.99]
Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a must-have for any creative person. 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 does have in-app purchases, but they are for Minecraft “skins” which you can get for free anyway.

Get it now on Google Play!

nba jam best non-Freemium Android gamesNBA Jam

[Price: $4.99]
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 that allow you to do almost anything that 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.

Get it now on Google Play!

nba jam best non-Freemium android games

nova 3 freedom edition best non-Freemium games for AndroidNOVA 3: Freedom Edition

[Price: Free]
NOVA 3 Freedom Edition is one of the best first person shooters on Android. On top of having no in-app purchases, it’s also entirely free which makes this a game you should definitely try. It’s a sci-fi themed shooter with a campaign mode, many weapons and vehicles that you can use, and there is an online multiplayer that has 12-player battles across seven multiplayer match types. Not bad for a non-Freemium title.

Get it now on Google Play!

the room 3 best non-Freemium android gamesThe Room trilogy

[Price: $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99, respectively]
The Room is a trilogy of puzzle games where you must unlock the secrets of various objects in a room in order to find your way out. It’s technically an “escape game” where the point is to find a way out, but it also comes with a dark, arcane storyline, unusual and clever puzzles, and some of the best graphics of any mobile game out there. The third version also comes with multiple endings which helps increase the longevity of the game since they can be pretty short if you fly through the puzzles.

Get it now on Google Play!

Smash Hit best non-Freemium android gamesSmash Hit

[Price: Free / $1.99]
Smash Hit is an first person infinite runner where you must throw metal balls at glass obstacles in order to avoid being hit. The number of metal balls in your inventory is also your life total which rewards you for accuracy and punishes you for wasting your ammo. The game looks fantastic and is entirely free with no advertising ith the pro version allowing for things like stats, save points, and other other game modes. It’s about as good of a non-Freemium time waster as you can get.

Get it now on Google Play!

final fantasy 4 best non-Freemium android gamesSquare Enix games

[Price: Varies]
Square Enix has been one of the best of the “big developers” to embrace the mobile platform. Most of their work has been re-releases and includes Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and IX along with Dragon Quest I, II, II, IV, V, VI, and VIII. Aside from those, you can pick up Adventures of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics, Chaos Rings I, II, and II, The World Ends With You, Romancing SaGa 2, and others. You can even get the original Tomb Raider I, Tomb Raider II, and others. The games tend to be expensive, but most of them are RPGs are that take dozens of hours of complete and have a ton of nostalgic value.

Get it now on Google Play!

XCOM Enemy Within best non-Freemium games for androidXCOM: Enemy Within

[Price: $9.99]
XCOM: Enemy Within is a tactical shooter where you must move your characters around on a chessboard-style level, find cover, and outwit the bad guys. The game can get pretty difficult, but a quick wit can keep you alive. On top of the general combat mechanics, you’ll be able to recruit new characters, research new technology to make combat easier, and there is a storyline that revolves around an alien invasion. There is also an online multiplayer if you want to test yourself against the online community.

Get it now on Google Play!

xcom enemy within best non-Freemium android games

Related best app lists:

If we missed any of the best non-Freemium Android games, tell us about them in the comments! This is an update of a formerly written article, so check the comments for some suggestions from our readers! To see our complete list of best app 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


  • 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:

    • 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.