Retro games have always had a certain charm. They evoke nostalgia and make us think of the old days when graphics didn’t matter as much as they do now. However, don’t let the simple graphics fool you. Some retro games, like Baldur’s Gate, are among the most hardcore games in each one’s respective genre and Minecraft is the world’s most popular game. If you’re looking to get your hands dirty with a bit of nostalgic gaming, we have the best retro games currently available on Android.
Beamdog games (six titles)
Price: $9.99 each
Beamdog is a developer on Google Play. They’ve remastered four retro games. The available titles include Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, and Seige of Dragonspear. These are all early 2000’s-style RPGs with vast world, deep story lines, and tons of game play. Each one can easily go for four or five dozen hours. The UI feels cramped on smaller displays. These games are best on larger displays like big phones or tablets. Otherwise, these are all classics. They run for $9.99 each with optional DLC like voice packs.
Price: Free / $4.99
Beat Cop is a good retro Noir game set in the 1980’s. You play as Jack Kelly, a disgraced former detective on the beat cop grind. You were framed for murder, your new boss is horrible, and your wife is a money sucking leech. The player grapples with these obstacles while trying to find out who framed them for murder. The graphics help set the old school ambiance and the mechanics are also engaging. You can try the game for free and purchase the full version for $4.99.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a port of the popular PlayStation game from 1997. The game is a faithful port of the original classic with some modern add-ons. They include full compatibility with game controllers along with on-screen controls, various achievements, support for six languages, and a new continue feature. The game plays like classic Castlevania. It’s an arcade-platformer with some hack-and-slash and horror elements. It’s an excellent overall translation and it’s only $2.99 with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
Price: Free to play
Crossy Road is an iconic retro mobile game. It’s this generation’s version of Frogger. You bounce a chicken across various roads and streams. You must also avoid obstacles and employ proper timing. It’s a simple arcade game that is both family friendly and actually fun. There are also a variety of unlockable characters as well as Android TV support. It hits all of the right buttons. The same developers also did Pac-Man 256 and Shooty Skies, two more excellent retro games. All of them are freemium games, but the freemium element isn’t a problem at all.
Dotemu is a developer on Google Play with some truly excellent retro style games. Many of them are ports of popular old games like Ys Chronicles 1 and 2, R-Type I and II, and some older arcade classics like Double Dragon, Another World, and I Have No Mouth. The games seem to be mostly RPG, arcade, adventure, and horror with some beat ’em ups thrown in for good measure. The most expensive game in Dotemu’s lineup is $5.49. Everything else is the same or lower in price and none of them have in-app purchases or ads.
Evoland 1 and 2
Price: $0.99 and $7.99, respectively
Evoland 1 and 2 are modern mobile games with retro gaming elements. It’s difficult to express their genre. Both games encompass a variety of styles, graphical designs, and game play mechanics. That includes RPG, fighter, top-down shooter, trading card game, platformer, hack-and-slash, and others. These are great games for people who just like old styles but aren’t married to a specific type or genre of game. The first one is fairly inexpensive. Evoland 2 is newer and, thus, more expensive by comparison. Both are excellent games. Doom & Destiny Advanced is another excellent, original, retro-style JRPG.
Kairosoft is yet another developer on Google Play. Most of their games have a retro theme and feel to them. Some of the more popular games include Grand Prix Story 2, Ninja Village, Game Dev Story, and The Manga Works. All the games have varying mechanics. However, they do all share a simulation element. In Grand Prix Story 2, you race cars, but you also run a race car business. In Ninja Village, you do combat for regional dominance, but you also much build the ninja village. You see where this is going. The graphics are charming and the game play typically isn’t difficult to learn. Some of the games are freemium, others are pay-once titles. There are a lot of options here.
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is a classic. The decidedly retro graphics have long been a part of the game’s charm. It also features tons of stuff to craft, kill, explore, and do. Updates in 2017 gave the game cross-platform support. You can play the same worlds on your computer as you can on your Xbox and mobile versions. The games are all basically the same at this point. The game runs for $6.99. The in-app purchases include character skins and Minecraft Realms add-ons.
Old School RuneScape
Price: Free / $10.99 per month / $99.99 per year
Old School RuneScape is, well, RuneScape. This game originally launched in 2001 and that makes it retro by today’s standards. It’s the full game without any compromises. The subscription costs, in-world activities, and all of that is identical to the web version. There is a free version with a bunch of stuff to do. However, the subscription makes the world about three times larger with more skills, more quests, and a ton of extra bank slots. It’s one of the few MMORPGs that doesn’t rely on freemium tactics to earn a buck and we also appreciate that.
OK Golf is reminiscent of old arcade golf games. This one is about as retro arcade as it gets on mobile for golf, anyway. You drag back and release to launch the ball. There are no clubs or anything like that to distract from the experience. The game also features unlockable courses, secret areas, and challenges. There is even an online multiplayer mode and that adds a bit of modern flair to a classic premise. This one is inexpensive at $2.99. There are no additional in-app purchases or advertisements. This game is also free for Google Play Pass subscribers.
Raw Fury is a developer on Google Play with some truly entertaining retro games. The developer has a few decent titles, including Kathy Rain (point-and-click adventure), Whispers of the Machine (Sci-Fi Noir, mysery), Dandara (platformer/Metroidvania), and Bad North: Jotunn Edition (RTS). Each game is surprisingly well done and are excellent examples of retro games in each one’s genre. They also represent something a little different from the usual array of arcade fighters and platformers that usually dominate lists like this.
SEGA Forever games
Price: Free / $1.99
SEGA has a bunch of retro games in their SEGA Forever collection. Some of the titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Phantasy Star II, Ristar, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and several others. Each game has their own sets of mechanics. However, they all share a common theme: they’re old SEGA games. You can play each one for free with ads. There is an optional $1.99 purchase for removing advertisements. It’s a veritable treasure trove of retro games goodness.
Slayaway Camp and Friday the 13th
Price: $2.99 and Free / Up to $9.99, respectively
Slayaway Camp and Friday the 13th are horror games with retro puzzle elements. Slayaway Camp features tons of gore, unlockable characters, 140 levels, and a hair metal-inspired soundtrack. Friday the 13th features 100 levels, all of the various varieties of Jason Vorhees, tons of gore, and more. Both games are by the same developer. The gore would be worrisome if it weren’t the same style of graphics as Minecraft. It helps take the edge off of how truly brutal these games can be. They are excellent retro puzzle games with some adult themes.
Price: Free to play / Varies
Square Enix is among the best developers for retro games. They ported many of their old console classics to mobile with a bit of modern flair. Some of the titles include several main Final Fantasy games, several main Dragon Quest games, Adventures of Mana, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL, The World Ends With You, and many others. Those looking for jRPG retro games should definitely start here. The games are a bit expensive, though. We understand if $10 or more is too much for a mobile game for you. However, you are purchasing a complete port of these old games with no ads or in-app purchases to gum up the works.
Sky Force Reloaded
Price: Free to play
It doesn’t get much more old school than top-down aerial shooters. Sky Force Reloaded is exactly that. It features a bunch of levels, upgradeable ships, simple controls, and plenty of mini-missions to do. The graphics aren’t retro, but everything else about it feels like the 1990’s. It is a freemium title with a few of the usual pitfalls. However, it more than makes up for it by being accessible, fun, modern, and old school all at once.
If we missed any great retro games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!