Best Android games: what you should play in 2016

AndroidPIT best android games 9Defense Zone 2 HD: one of our best Android games. / © ANDROIDPIT

New Android games this month

Every month we’ll bring you scorching hot new games, plucked from the undiscovered depths of Play Store obscurity, to help you stay on the cutting edge of what’s worth playing on your Android smartphone. Be the one to tell your friends what’s worth playing right now by checking the article at the link below.

Best Android puzzle games

Roll the Ball: our current favorite:

Roll the Ball is a slide puzzle game that requires you to use physics and engineering to win. Well, you at least have to do some planning that takes a good amount of strategy. This is a brain-exercising game that requires you to be actively focused and plan ahead. So if you’re in for a challenge, then this is for you. 

The goal of the game is to get the ball from the start to the ‘goal.’ You do that by configuring the tiles so the ball can move though a continuous tube. The blue and red tiles cannot be moved, they have screws that connect them to the ‘wall’. All of the wood tiles can be moved, that includes the ones with tubes and without. Remember, it’s not always necessary to use every tube tile, so get creative with your moves. 

Once you start solving the puzzles, the tile volume increases. There are different features and bonus games that earn you hints that you can later use if you get into a jam. You can also earn them by watching videos. The only complaint I  have is the ads. Unless you pay, they pop up every third game. 

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Roll the Ball requires you to do some planning and think ahead with your moves. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download Roll the Ball from Google Play. 

Cut the Rope 2: best puzzle games graphics:

Our current favorite puzzle game on Android is Cut the Rope 2, in which you feed candy to a little green critter known as Om Nom. How do you do this? By cutting rope, of course.

This free-to-play title features painterly graphics and fiendishly clever puzzles. Don’t be fooled by the cutesy visuals, Cut the Rope 2 gets seriously tough by the time you reach the later levels. But because success is only ever a few snips away, this one never gets old. 

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Cut the Rope 2 is our current favorite Android puzzle game. / © ANDROIDPIT

Cut the Rope 2
Install on Google Play

If you’re after some other great puzzle games for Android, there are plenty to choose from. Puzzle games are great for your morning commute or while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office. Sometimes they offer brainless fun, and other times they’re more complicated than you think, but they are as essential as your phone itself. Hit the link below for our favorites.

Best Android tower defense games

Plants vs Zombies 2: our current favorite

Plants vs Zombies is one of the classic free-to-play tower defense games and its sequel might be the shining star of the genre. Plants vs Zombies 2 sees you employing the services of assorted shrubbery to defeat an approaching zombie army.

PopCap delivers a colorful, addictive, well-balanced strategy game with near-endless replay value. It’s continuously inventive and each stage has its own set of unique traits, which means that progressing through them always throws up new challenges.  

As far as free-to-play games go, Plants vs Zombies 2 is pretty generous in terms of the unlocked content that is freely available. And it’s also a helluva good time. 

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Plants vs Zombies 2 is one of the kings of the tower defense genre. / © ANDROIDPIT

Plants vs. Zombies 2
Install on Google Play

Defense Zone 2 HD: for those seeking a serious challenge

Defense Grid 2 HD is a more realistic tower-defense game, with a modern military theme. In comparison to its cutesy competition, it certainly has more grit, but it also has excellent gameplay.

There is a lot of tactical depth to the game, which may make it difficult to get into if you’ve never played a tower defense game before. However, I suspect that genre veterans will relish the challenge it presents.

Defense Zone 2 HD costs US$2.99 for the full version, but there is a light version available if you want to check that first. It’s definitely one of the best tower defense games on Android.

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Defense Zone 2 HD has the gameplay to match its excellent graphics. / © ANDROIDPIT

Defense Zone 2 HD Lite
Install on Google Play

Castle Defense: for beginners

Castle defense is another free-to-play title. Set in a fantasy realm, it’s one of the older tower defense titles and there’s nothing exactly revolutionary to be found here. But Castle Defense nails the basics of the genre and acts as an excellent starting point for those who are new to this type of game.

The enemies walk along a fixed path which you must line with towers to prevent them reaching the end. The graphics and audio are just okay, but with more than 100 levels, three difficulty settings and an exciting upgrade system, Castle Defense will still keep you coming back for more. 

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Sadly, the Castle Defenders graphics are quite low-res compared to the competition. / © ANDROIDPIT

Castle Defense
Install on Google Play

Best Android RPG games

Dragon Heroes: Shooter RPG

Essentially a vertical-scrolling shooter with RPG elements, Dragon Heroes: Shooter RPG lends some welcome depth to an inherently simplistic genre. By progressing through the levels, you can unlock a variety of heroes and upgrade their skills in a bid to save Dragonia from a spate of Dragons, who are also the bosses on each level.

The shooting gameplay is simple, colorful and kinetic and there are seemingly endless buttons to press in the menus, lending it a nice arcade vibe. The only gripe is the absurd loading time the game requires, particularly when starting up. It’s quickly forgotten once you’re blasting merrily away at dragons, but it can be frustrating when you want to dive in for a quick game and you have to wait several minutes to get onto a level.

The game feature several different modes, PvP battles and Guilds, so there’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into.

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Vertical-scrolling, dragon-obliterating mayhem. / © ANDROIDPIT

Dragon Heroes: Shooter RPG
Install on Google Play

The Walking Dead: Road to Survival

The Walking Dead provides the basis for another Android game, as well as more evidence that franchises thrive as well as zombies on the post-apocalyptic earth. The Walking Dead: Road to Survival is probably the richest Walking Dead Android experience yet. It functions mostly as a base-building game, and Woodbury is the setting in which you construct the usual workshops, training grounds and farms to get humanity back up on its feet.

Outside the base, there are missions and raids. The former finds you exploring the surroundings through story-led turn-based combat, and the latter lets you face off against opponents online, fighting for reputation and supplies. The story mode lets you make decisions at key moments, and will prove particularly enjoyable for fans of the comic books.

Overall, the game is pretty involving to start out with, and its dynamics function well, but its pay-to-win nature becomes apparent after a few hours of gameplay. There have been complaints about the random chance of characters and equipment you acquire and the cost of doing so. We would advise you to enjoy the game as far as possible for free, and try to avoid dropping any (or at least too much) money into it. 

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The end of days is a grim time, but it offers plenty of headshot opportunities. / © ANDROIDPIT

Walking Dead: Road to Survival
Install on Google Play

Marvel Future Fight

Marvel Future Fight is a very attractive and immediately engaging addition to the Marvel gaming universe. You start out with Black Widow, Captain America and Iron Man, who are sent on a quest to gather a band of heroes capable of saving the world from a future trans-dimensional threat.

There’s a choice of control styles – 1-touch or Pad – and you scurry around brief levels, hammering away at surprised villains until you reach a boss. Once you’ve unlocked more characters, you can swap them in and out of your trio and switch between them at any time throughout a level.

When things heat up, and the levels start taking multiple attempts to pass, you may find your finger hovering over the in-app purchases, but there’s enough here to keep you entertained for quite some time before you get to that point.

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There are loads of leaping lycra-clad superheroes to collect. / © ANDROIDPIT

MARVEL Future Fight
Install on Google Play

Best Android endless runner games

Speedy Ninja

Speedy Ninja’s name says it all: you play as an agile Ninja running speedily across the screen, battling through opponents with the aid of swords, fireballs and more.

What makes Speedy Ninja such a great endless runner is that the action takes place above and below a burning fuse that you run across, so you have to pay close attention to what is happening in both directions to make the best decisions and collect the most coins (the in-game currency of choice). When you have enough coins you can buy additional weapons and characters.

Speedy Ninja is not the most inventive endless runner, but it covers the basics well. It has flashy graphics with good effects, tight controls and challenging levels. Oh, and a dragon to ride.

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Speedy Ninja’s graphics look simple, but in motion they are stunning. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download Speedy Ninja from the Play Store

Spider-Man Unlimited

Combining Spider-Man with an endless runner seems like a match made in heaven. Spider-Man swings through the streets of New York, climbs skyscrapers and fights exciting battles against Doc Ock, The Green Goblin and a whole host of other baddies from the Spider-Man universe in another polished title from Gameloft.

The look and feel of the game borrow heavily from the comics, with excellent cell-shaded graphics that work perfectly with the 3D level design. You shouldn’t expect an epic plot, but even non-Spider-Man fans will enjoy this one.

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The 3D graphics in Spider-Man Unlimited looks great on tablets. / © ANDROIDPIT

Spider-Man Unlimited
Install on Google Play


If you like Mirror’s Edge, you should be right at home with Vector: it’s probably the closest thing on Android to DICE’s 2008 masterpiece. It features a silhouetted protagonist with a flair for parkour, on the run in a totalitarian city.

The animations are superb, and the character’s movements look completely human. There are fewer collectible items than in many other endless runners – the focus more on survival rather than trophy hunting. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop never felt so good. 

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Vector’s animations look and feel realistic. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install on Google Play

Best Android action games


The name says it all: Stack is a block stacking game that requires good timing and nerves of steel. While it’s action packed, it has a simplicity that’s refreshing. That’s because the blocks and background colors change during the game and from one round to the next. 

Timing is key in Stack. You need to build a tower with blocks that slide in from the left and right side of the screen. If you are just a tiny bit off, you will lose part of the block. As you lose more and more, it becomes more difficult to time and soon enough you miss entirely and your game is over. If you continually get perfect timed stacks your base will increase in size and it will become easier. 

As you play more, you unlock gems. These gems go towards new block styles you can use. There are plenty of different choices you can make like retro, zigzag, brick and platinum. You can also watch a video to get more gems. 

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You need quick fingers and expert timing for Stack. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install on Google Play

Implosion – Never Lose Hope

Implosion – Never Lose Hope is a highly polished mobile game in terms of both graphics and gameplay. It’s a third-person action title that sees you slicing and dicing your way through hordes of enemies in the style of God of War or Devil May Cry. 

You play as an armor-covered warrior equipped with a sword and a gun, dishing out damage to mutants across a variety of short and sweet locations. This game absolutely nails the controls and feel, working whether you want to button-mash, or build up combos with some more rhythmical strikes.

The graphics are as good as you’ll find on the platform and the boss battles are often epic. You can play through the first few missions for free, but after that you’ll be required to buy it for US$9.99, which I think is entirely worth it.

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The graphics and gameplay of Implosion are Triple-A all the way. / © ANDROIDPIT

Implosion – Never Lose Hope
Install on Google Play

Into the Dead

Into the Dead isn’t new to the Play Store, but it’s still one of the best Android action games. Combining an endless runner and first-person shooter, Into the Dead sees you darting headfirst through mobs of zombies, testing your reflexes as you try to dodge those in your way.

Along the way, you will find weapon creates to help eliminate those directly in your tracks, including that old zombie kryptonite – the chainsaw. It’s a simple romp, but an often thrilling one. It’s free in the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases.

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Into the Dead’s glorious presentation plays a large part in its success. / © ANDROIDPIT

Into the Dead
Install on Google Play

Hitman: Sniper

Square Enix’s Hitman series has been a big franchise on PC and consoles for some time, but it has recently been given the smartphone and tablet treatment. The turn-based Hitman GO title was released last year, and now ‘Squenix’ has followed up with a first-person shooter, Hitman: Sniper.

Hitman: Sniper takes place largely in a fixed position behind a sniper rifle scope. You operate as Agent 47, an assassin for hire tasked with picking off a number of high-profile targets. Though it’s easy enough to identify and take out the main mark, killing the surrounding guards in the best order brings some tactical depth to Hitman: Sniper.

There are around 150 missions to keep you occupied for the US$2.99 asking price, and few Android FPSs can instill the kind of tension that Sniper does. Once the NPCs get wise to you, things can get hectic.

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Hitman: Sniper’s lulls in action make it even more exciting when the bullets start firing. / © ANDROIDPIT

Hitman: Sniper
Install on Google Play

Best Android racing games

Reckless Racing 3

Reckless Racing 3 is Micro Machines-style racer with an isometric view, which allows you to look down from above, leading to some fantastically frenetic contests.

Reckless Racing 3 uses four on-screen controls for turning right and left, and driving forwards or in reverse. It might seem like a lot compared with other racers, in which you just tilt the screen, but it handles perfectly. That’s not to say that it’s easy to control – your car is perpetually sliding around the track and it’s a battle to keep it in place. It’s the control setup that makes the experience, but thankfully the 3D graphics also look the part and the maps are highly realistic.

It’s a throwback to the arcade-style racing games from the 90s (anybody old enough to remember Super Skidmarks?) and it’s one of the best racers on Android.

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With a great 3D engine and simple controls, Reckless Racing 3 will have you coming back for more. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download Reckless Racing 3 from the Play Store

Angry Birds Go!

Angry Birds Go! is a free-to-play racing game from Rovio, the team that brought us the original Angry Birds.

It looks like a cartoon with neatly cel-shaded graphics and plays something like Mario Kart. It features a number of different modes, such as avoiding obstacles, racing others, crashing through a predetermined number of items, and boss chases.

It feels like a playable version of Wacky Races. Cars can be upgraded, and new characters are unlocked as you progress, each with their own unique characteristics.

It’s clear that the painterly visuals arrive from a highly talented team of artists; the animations and backgrounds are consistently strong. The shallow learning curve also makes it easy and fun to get to grips with, and once you get past the introductory levels you’re in for an entertaining ride. 

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Angry Birds Go feels a bit like a Mario Kart title. / © ANDROIDPIT

Angry Birds Go!
Install on Google Play

Riptide GP2

Reminiscent of Nintendo classic Wave Race, Riptide GP2 is a futuristic jet ski racer. The career mode is fairly typical; you earn money depending on your race position, which you can then use to buy simple vehicle upgrades. 

What it lacks in originality, Riptide 2 makes up for with excellent 3D graphics and tight controls. Rotating your device, even slightly, translates accurately on-screen. It might be too sensitive for some, but the controls and sensitivity can both be customized to your liking.

To make races more interesting, there are ramps placed around the map – successfully completing a trick on them grants you a boost. It presents a nice risk/reward scenario into the courses, as failing to land the trick properly will actually slow you down.

It’s tough to get a three-star rating on every race, but the challenge is welcome in a game that handles as good as Riptide GP2 does. Check it out via the Play Store link below. 

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Riptide GP2 is like a futuristic Wave Race. / © ANDROIDPIT

Riptide GP2
Install on Google Play

Best Android fighting games

Marvel Contest of Champions

Featuring some of the greatest Marvel characters ever, Marvel Contest of Champions is the Android brawler you’ve been waiting for. Battle your way through a variety of stages as you level up and unlock new characters in this epic quest.

It’s Marvel Contest of Champions’ control precision that makes this one of the best fighters out there. It feels incredibly fluid and responsive: simply swiping with your thumbs in different directions brings out a range of perfectly animated attacks, and there are no annoying on-screen controls to try to connect with.

You’ll have to be running a pretty modern device to play it smoothly, but if you’re itching to battle it out as some of your Marvel favorites, you need to check this out. It’s free in the Play Store, with in-app purchases.

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Play as your favorite Marvel characters in Marvel Contest of Champions. / © ANDROIDPIT

MARVEL Contest of Champions
Install on Google Play

WWE Immortals

We’ve been playing WWE Immortals recently for an epic mix of fantasy and, well, almost reality. The game fuses the cast of Injustice: Gods Among Us with pro-wrestlers for some awesome, silly fun. The graphics and animations are top-notch, and you can tag up to three characters for some thrilling three-on-three match-ups. Get ready to rumble.

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WWE Immortals has had us in a bear grip recently. / © ANDROIDPIT

WWE Immortals
Install on Google Play


SOULCALIBUR (yes, all caps) is an arcade classic: the fact that so little has changed between its release in 1998 and now speaks volumes about its mechanics.

It’s a somewhat predictable fighter by today’s standards. There aren’t any surprises here in terms of gameplay, but its tried and tested formula provides some of the most enjoyable battles in the genre. You don’t need to memorize a whole bunch of complicated button presses to unleash a combo in this fighter; anyone could have a decent, ahem, stab at playing it. Yet it maintains the nuance to allow experienced players to gain an edge in combat.

SOULCALIBUR features a variety of fighters, each with unique weapons and moves, but it disappointingly lacks multi-player support. It’s one of the more expensive games (currently US$13.99) in the Play Store, but as a pure fighting experience on Android, it’s one of the best.

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SOULCALIBUR’s fluid fighting makes it one of the most enjoyable brawlers on Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install on Google Play

Best Android strategy games

XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within is one of the best Android strategy games because it wasn’t founded on free-to-play principles like many other popular strategy games from the Play Store. It was built to be enjoyed without any additional purchases.

It was an award-winning strategy title for PC long before it ever made its way to Android, so expect top-end graphics, but also a top-end Play Store price. We can assure you it is well worth the initial investment, though. 

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XCOM: Enemy Within offers a deep turn-based strategy experience like no other. / © ANDROIDPIT

XCOM®: Enemy Within
Install on Google Play


DomiNations might be fairly new on the Android scene, but it has already amassed over a million downloads and a high level of critical acclaim. Running somewhere between Clash of Clans and Civilization, DomiNations is a base building game in which players take control of an entire nation “from the stone age to the space age” to explore, expand and conquer the world.

The level of strategy afforded by DomiNations is far beyond what is seen on most Android games. Should you spend money on building a stronger army, or plow it into researching a new technology at the library? DomiNations is filled with these minute-to-minute decisions that could swing the chances of victory in your favor, as well as some sweeping battles to take part in. It’s free to play and you can check it out in the Play Store.

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DomiNations was created by a former Civilization II dev, and the quality shows. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install on Google Play

Best offline games

Our current favorite: Ridiculous Fishing is easily our favorite offline Android game. Mostly because it doesn’t stop at fishing for fish; you can also blast them with a whole arsenal of weaponry. No one ever said the fish had to get on your place in one piece, so bazookas are totally legitimate fishing tackle. Cast away.

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It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Except that the barrel is the sky… / © ANDROIDPIT

Ridiculous Fishing
Install on Google Play

If you find yourself almost out of your data allowance or facing a long trip where you need to conserve battery life, offline games are a must-have in your games repertoire. Take a look at our roundup of the best Android offline games to keep on your phone for those no-internet fun times.

What do you think is the best Android game? Let us know in the comments.

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