Sick of playing the same old games on your commute? You’ve come to the right place: we’ve panned through all the mud on the Google Play Store to come up with gold, and on this list of the best Android games you’ll find everything from 100-hour RPGs to short, tiny puzzlers. If you’re after free Android games, they’re here too, along with full, premium releases that wouldn’t look out of place on your favourite games console.
Hundreds of new games hit the store every day, and keeping up with them can feel like a full-time job. Luckily, we’ll do the hard work for you: we update this list monthly, so you never have to worry about missing out. Here are the 55 best Android games you can play right now.
Each month, we review a major new Android release in the hopes of finding new entries to this list. Some will make the cut, others won’t, but all the games we’ll review are at least worth knowing about. For the full list of the best Android games, turn to page 2.
October Android Game of the Month – Call of Duty: Mobile
After spending weeks playing Call of Duty: Mobile I can confirm that it is, in fact, a Call of Duty game, but on mobile.
I mean that as genuine praise. Call of Duty isn’t for everyone, and when you’re dying to an enemy helicopter over and over the instant you respawn, you start to wonder why you bothered. But its maps can also set the stage for intense bursts of fun, with short rounds that are oh-so-tempting to repeat after the last shot is fired. The best thing about the mobile version, which is free, is that it never gets in the way of that enjoyment, and inventive control schemes make touchscreen shooting less fiddly than normal.
Currently, you can choose between Battle Royale and regular multiplayer, which itself has a long list of game modes ranging from the chaotic team deathmatch to the slower Search and Destroy. Once you’ve won a few rounds you’ll unlock Ranked play, which is where you go if you fancy more of a challenge. Whenever I want a break from one mode I always instantly find another I’m in the mood for.
I’ve never got on with mobile FPSs, and trying to move and shoot at the same time usually feels awkward. While Call of Duty doesn’t solve that problem entirely — I still occasionally squeeze off a whole magazine by accident — it does give you lots of possible ways to fire your gun, and you can pick whatever suits you best.
You can tell it to automatically fire when you’re aiming at an enemy after a brief delay, so all you have to worry about is where your gun is pointed. You can go fully manual, where you aim down sights and fire independently. Or you can set it so that whenever you press fire, it aims down sights and starts shooting immediately. I chose this last option, and it feels intuitive. I probably waste more bullets than I should, but it means I can instantly fire every time I see an enemy, making minute adjustments with my right thumb mid-spray.
You also get complete freedom to put the on-screen buttons wherever you like: I’ve positioned a separate hip-fire button right next to my main fire button, and I can tap that if I don’t need to aim down sights. Jumping with a tap feels smooth, as does tapping crouch to slide into cover while you’re sprinting.
It still has way too many buttons on-screen, and it’s easy to hit the wrong one accidentally, but it’s probably as good a control scheme as I’ve seen from a touchscreen shooter. Early on I felt clumsy, and I stopped moving every time I wanted to shoot, but within half an hour I was transitioning from sprints into headshots without having to think too much.
The maps are taken from previous games in the series — and yes, Nuketown is one of them — and they feel as good as they did when I first played them. Rounds are short and sharp, and I never have to wait more than ten seconds for a lobby to fill. At the end of each round, another starts immediately, and when I’m in the groove it’s hard to tear myself away.
I’ve enjoyed the Battle Royale in particular, and usually play with a four-man squad of strangers. Nobody talks on their microphone, but that’s fine: you can tap on slots in your inventory to request attachments, and your characters will call over the radio whenever they’re under fire. You pilot helicopters or drive jeeps to get to the safe zone faster, and pick a class with a unique skill, such as a medic that heals everyone within a certain radius. I’m impressed by the way it both looks and sounds: you can make out far-off enemies against a grassy hill, and footsteps tell you when a foe is near.
Best of all, Call of Duty: Mobile completely free. Sure, there are microtransactions, but I’ve never felt pressured to spend money, nor have I had a reason to open my wallet. You unlock new weapons fast, and for my first four to five hours I was getting a new scope or magazine pretty much every round. You can spend real money on crates for emotes and gun skins, if that’s your thing. You can also buy weapon XP tickets that let you level up your gun quicker, unlocking new attachments, which sounds a little pay-to-win, but don’t worry — you get loads of these tickets for free anyway.
It really is a generous package: lots of multiplayer modes, lots of maps and even a great Battle Royale, all for free, with customisable controls to boot. I keep returning to it whenever I have a spare ten minutes, and I can’t see that stopping anytime soon. Modern Warfare who?
A polished multiplayer Call of Duty that plays like a greatest hits of the series so far, with impressive touchscreen controls that never get in the way of the fun.
Turn to page two for our pick of the 55 best Android games to play right now...