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10 addictive Android games to play on your tablet or phone

Key Takeaways

  • Phones and tablets now offer console-quality gaming experiences.
  • Android users also have access to top game selections in the Google Play Store.
  • Some must-try Android games include Doom, PUBG, and Bridge Constructor Portal.



The barrier to entry for games is almost non-existent now that phones and tablets offer comparable, or in some cases superior, gaming experiences to consoles and PCs. If you’re an Android user, you’re in a prime position to make whatever device you own your primary gaming platform without having to worry about missing out on much. That isn’t to say there aren’t great games for iPhones and iPads as well, but the Google Play Store’s selection is something special.

Coming up with a list of Android games to play is no easy task. People come to games for a variety of reasons and seek very different experiences. One person might want a simple game to jump into for five minutes while waiting in line, while another is down to sink hours into a deep RPG. I’m stepping up to the challenge here by giving you my pick of the best and most-addictive Android games — ranging from shooters and RPGs, to puzzle and card games.


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1 Doom

It can run Doom

Doom(1)
Doom

At this point, Doom has been ported to everything from a smart fridge to a calculator, so it should come as no surprise that it’s available on your Android. While it is amusing to see what unconventional device people will get it running on next, the reason people are still obsessed with it over 30 years later is that Doom is just that good of a game.

If you have any appreciation for first-person shooters as a genre, you owe it to yourself to play the original Doom. It wasn’t the first FPS ever made, but it set the standard for the genre for decades. If you enjoy Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, or any other modern shooter, you can find inspiration in this classic, which holds up as a great game to this day, beyond just being a history lesson.


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2 PUBG Mobile

Chicken dinner to go

PUBG
PUBG

Just like Doom wasn’t technically the first FPS game, PUBG also wasn’t the first Battle Royale but was the one to hit it big. While other games, mostly Fortnite, have taken the spotlight as the most popular and flashy Battle Royale thanks to multiple crossovers and events, PUBG Mobile has been holding steady as an outstanding game. It remains a more grounded, hardcore game as opposed to the more colorful and cartoony titles.


If you’ve played a Battle Royale game before, then you know the drill. You drop into a map either alone or with a team with the objective of being the last ones standing. You start with nothing and need to find weapons, armor, and items to eliminate enemy teams and take their gear to improve yourself. Action happens fast here, with a few well-placed shots downing or killing an opponent. Gunplay leans closer to the simulation side, so come prepared to face some hardcore competition.

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3 Bridge Constructor Portal

This was a triumph

Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal

Bridge Constructor Portal

The two Portal games are some of the most clever and hilarious puzzle games ever released and are rightly praised by gamers everywhere. What most people may not know is that there was a smaller spinoff game called Bridge Constructor Portal that lets you revisit the wacky and hilariously grim world of Aperture Science.


Just as the name crams together two games, the gameplay is a mashup of the world and mechanics of Portal mixed with the Bridge Constructor series. You will be tasked with building a path for Bendies to navigate from one end of a test chamber to the other. There’s no single solution, so creativity can and will pay off here, and I think we could all use more GLaDOS in our lives.

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4 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

There’s still a very strong argument to be made that Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is the best Metroidvania game ever made, despite being the first to establish the genre. This was a massive shift from the original Castlevania games, but the gamble paid off in one of the best games of all time, which is astounding to have playable on Android.


As Alucard, you will explore a lavishly detailed pixel-art castle while leveling up, collecting new powers, and unlocking new areas to explore. Movement and combat are both fast and fluid, and there’s just a natural sense of satisfaction that comes from uncovering the entire map one block at a time.

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5 Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger

If you haven’t played Chrono Trigger, you don’t have an excuse anymore. This is one of the most incredible JRPGs ever made, coming from a dream team of Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of Final Fantasy), Yuji Hori (creator of Dragon Quest), and Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball). With legendary names like those behind it, you can bet this is a special game.


It’s hard to narrow down what’s so great about Chrono Trigger in a few sentences, but I will say that its strengths lie in its restraint and replayability. You can experience the main story in around 20 hours, but there are so many more things to do and see after that point if you’re curious and a little creative.

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6 Downwell

Downwell(1)
Downwell

For something a little more bite-sized, Downwell is a game that begs to be played on an Android phone. It fully utilizes your screen’s vertical layout as part of the design, which focuses on a little character falling down a well. This is easily a game you can start up for a minute or two, or settle in for a more serious set of attempts, and have fun either way.


As you fall down the well, you need to avoid obstacles, collect treasures, and defeat enemies and bosses using your Gunboots that shoot projectiles downward. This can help you adjust yourself in the air since each shot bumps you up slightly, but they only reload when you land on solid ground. If you love chasing high scores, you will easily find yourself addicted.

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7 TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

TMNT Shredder's Revenge
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

This might look like another old arcade game ported to Android, but Shredder’s Revenge is one of the latest adventures for the Turtles. For anyone like me who remembers playing the classic beat-’em-ups in the arcades, this game will transport you right back to the days of pumping quarters into the machine at a pizza place or bowling alley.


Both controller and touch controls work wonderfully here, so there’s no barrier to entry. With the massive cast of playable characters, tons of stages, bosses, and even a leveling system, you’ll be glad you don’t have to insert a quarter every time you want to play.

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8 Diablo Immortal

Diablo Immortal
Diablo Immortal

Despite being lambasted when first revealed, now that I’ve gotten my hands on Diablo Immortal, I have to say it’s a great Diablo game you can take on the go. If you can just ignore the mildly aggressive microtransactions, all the elements you know and love from the series shine in this spinoff.


For those who are into the series and its lore, Immortal takes place between Diablo 2 and 3 and features a brand-new story and classes, but that familiar and addictive combat has you decimating entire mobs of enemies with powerful spells and attacks.

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9 Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra(1)
Legends of Runeterra

Collectible card games can vary widely in scope and complexity, so I wanted to include two. Starting with Legends of Runeterra, you get a deeper card game with many more moving parts and synergies to learn and employ. For those who enjoy crafting the perfect deck and watching your opponent fall right into your trap, few other Android games will scratch that itch like this one.


While it is technically set in the world of League of Legends, knowledge of that game isn’t necessary to understand Legends of Runeterra. The decks are themed around those heroes, but nothing you need to know isn’t listed on the cards. Best of all, you can earn and unlock any card without having to pay real money.

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10 Marvel Snap

Marvel Snap-1
Marvel Snap

For a shorter, less “big-brain” but still tactical card game, I am still hopelessly addicted to Marvel Snap. Seeing and collecting cards featuring all your favorite Marvel heroes is fun on its own, but the game itself is way better than it has any right to be. Even someone like me, who gets intimidated by card games most of the time, was able to pick it up and start forming strategies after a round or two.


Marvel Snap rounds are quick, which is great not only for when you need a small distraction but also to avoid the frustration some longer card games can have where you know you’ve lost but have to wait for ten minutes before the game actually ends. The only thing you can spend money on is cosmetics for your cards, which are cool but by no means essential.

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