There are plenty of great games on Android, whether you’re using a dedicated Android phone, tablet, or handheld. Some of them even work on your Google TV-equipped TV with a Bluetooth controller connected. And in 2022, it’s gotten a whole lot easier to play Xbox and PC games on the cloud if you don’t mind paying a subscription fee to do so.
For Android veterans and newcomers alike, hopping around the Google Play Store to find a new game can be overwhelming. (It’s not your fault, the curation of the shop is hard to navigate.) Instead of leaving you alone to find what’s good from the huge selection, we’ve pulled out a few handfuls of recommendations. All of these games should support touch controls and some may also be compatible with Bluetooth controllers or snap-on controller accessories like the Razer Kishi V2 and Backbone One.
Many of these games are free (with in-app purchases), although some of them require payment to play. Either way, all should offer great replay value to keep you entertained throughout the holiday season and beyond.
marvel snap is the mobile game of the year, at least in terms of the buzz it generated. It’s a collectible card game where each card features a Marvel character, with unique abilities and attributes. You engage in battles with your deck against online opponents in battles that last six minutes or less. If this sounds a bit like something you’d like, you should check it out. It’s free with in-app purchases, and my colleague Ash Parrish has written a handy getting started guide.
A collectible card game where each card features a Marvel character, with unique abilities and attributes. Free with in-app purchases.
Blizzard Diablo Immortal is the first Diablo mobile game, and fans and newcomers to the isometric dungeon crawler series should check this game out. It’s a very faithful adaptation made for phones and tablets that looks gorgeous, plays great (if your hardware is quite powerful) and offers a lot of depth without costing you money upfront. For the Diablo uninitiated, you choose a character class that has set abilities, and they will grow as you defeat hordes of undead enemies and bosses. One of the best parts of playing any Diablo the game joins friends, which this game also supports.
Diablo Immortal works with touch controls and offers controller support.
A faithful adaptation made for phones and tablets that looks gorgeous, plays well, and offers plenty of depth. Free with in-app purchases.
In mid-2022, Respawn and Electronic Arts released a free mobile version of Apex Legendsits hit first-person shooter Battle Royale. Apex Legends Mobile works with touch controls and has limited controller support (it works with Xbox, PS4, and PS5 wireless controllers as well as the Razer Kishi). The mobile version Apex Legends isn’t exactly a stand-alone copy of the console and PC version of the game. You can play from a first- or third-person perspective, and character unlocks are distributed differently. Your progress from the other version of the game will not carry over to this one either. Otherwise, it’s a great way to bring the Apex Legends experience with you on the go.
A great way to bring the Apex Legends experience with you on the go. Free with in-app purchases.
The games I’ve recommended so far require a lot of active participation, but if you want a more laid-back free game (and just rewards walking), try Pikmin Flower. It’s one of Nintendo’s latest mobile games, and it borrows some of the company’s charming home console game characters and mechanics. pikmine Games. As you walk around (and being tracked by GPS), you pull Pikmin out of the ground in-game and plant seedlings. Between rides, you can take care of them like a Tamagotchi. There is no real end goal other than trying to walk as much as possible to accumulate new types of pikmine throughout your journey.
As you walk around (and being tracked by GPS), you pull Pikmin out of the ground in-game and plant seedlings. Free with in-app purchases.
You can’t go wrong with Minecraft. If you’ve never played before, it’s a first-person survival game meets a building game where everything is made of blocks – a now iconic look. The game is available on virtually all modern consoles and platforms, but you’ll get the full experience on mobile, with multiplayer support. If you own the game on desktop, unfortunately you’ll have to buy it again to play on mobile (unless you scroll down to the next recommendation).
Minecraft is the rare type of game that can go as far as you want. Some people just like to scavenge during the day and fight zombies at night, dig underground tunnels (uh, mines, hence the name), craft replica cultural touchstones, or use as an educational resource for school. .
Iconic first-person survival meets building block gameplay.
Genshin Impact is a shoo-in for this list, even though it’s not technically new. In case you haven’t heard of the game or just haven’t played it, it’s an open-world action-adventure title that takes on the look and gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In short, it’s a lot of fun even if not everything is entirely original. The developer, miHoYo, is constantly adding more content to keep the game fresh, and it’s a continuous joy to watch in motion thanks to its great graphics.
This game is free to play, but keep in mind that it requires a fairly powerful phone to run it at respectable frame rates. Another thing to note is that currently controller support is non-existent, so you will only have to use the touchscreen to play it.
An open-world action-adventure title that takes on the look and gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Free with in-app purchases.
dark souls isn’t on mobile, but other games have made up for its absence. dead cells itchy scratches with fun yet challenging gameplay that is meant to be replayed. It’s a side-scrolling action game with procedurally generated enemy placement (meaning it’s different every time you play), and there are plenty of weapons , abilities, and stages to unlock with cells you collect from slain enemies.
Assuming you’re not dead at the end of each stage, you’ll have a chance to turn in your cells for rewards. But if you die (you’ll probably die multiple times – that’s part of the fun), you’ll be tasked with getting your cells back the moment you dropped them. Collecting them becomes a fun game in itself.
A side-scrolling action game with many weapons, abilities and stages to unlock with cells you collect from slain enemies.
Okay, so this isn’t technically a “game” recommendation, but rather a full gaming ecosystem available on Android. If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($1.99 per month for the first three months if you’re a new subscriber, $14.99 per month thereafter), you can visit this site on your Android phone to turn it into a handheld Xbox. It says “Cloud Gaming Beta” at the top of the screen and gives you access to all the latest games from Microsoft Xbox Game Studios as well as many more.
This cloud-based service lets you play many Game Pass games over Wi-Fi or LTE/5G (you’ll have the best experience over Wi-Fi, but keep in mind that this service uses a plot of data). Some games allow touch controls or you can connect a controller like the Xbox Wireless Controller, Razer Kishi or Backbone One.
Note: There is no app to download, but with the Google Chrome mobile browser, you can give it a permanent place on your home screen. Click the three vertical dots to the right of the URL address bar, then press Add to home screen.
This cloud-based service lets you play many Game Pass games over Wi-Fi or LTE/5G. Get the first month for $1, then $14.99 per month thereafter.
If you have a PC with lots of games on Steam, Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Connect, you might as well try Nvidia GeForce Now. It allows you to play many PC games you own from these three services on your Android device without having to turn on your PC. Here is a full list of supported games. Just connect a controller and you’re good to go.
The catch with this service, compared to Xbox Cloud Gaming, is that GeForce Now doesn’t just distribute a bunch of games for a fee. In most cases, you must own them in order to play them. There are a few free games including Fortnite, available free of charge. GeForce Now offers a free tier that allows you to play your own games and free titles in 720p for hour-long sessions (you’ll just be logged out, but can log back in), or you can upgrade to a 9, $99 per monthly tier that gives you access to a graphics-capable 1080p virtual machine with six-hour gaming sessions.
Like Xbox Cloud Gaming, this service uses a lot of bandwidth, so it will be detrimental to your device’s battery life and your internet data cap if you have one.
Nvidia GeForce Now lets you play many PC games you own on Steam, Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect. The application is free; the service has a limited free tier or costs $9.99/month.