From the adrenaline burst of a new high score to the teeth-grinding frustration of a near-impossible boss level (or the dreaded in-app purchase screen), gaming on our Android smartphones is an emotional rollercoaster.
But, it’s also a hugely enjoyable experience – so much so that we’ve spent a long time debating and attempting to rank the best Android games.
We don’t expect everybody to agree (we couldn’t even get a consensus within our office!), but in celebration of the fantastic gaming apps available, we’ve put together this guide to some of the best Android games currently out there.
Temple Run meets Mario Kart in this addictive racing game, which requires you to get to the checkpoints before the timer runs outs. Beautifully designed, Beach Buggy Blitz will have you coming back for more to unlock power-ups and faster wheels, as you discover more of the sun-drenched island.
There’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned game of pinball, but it’s often hard to replicate the joy of a pinball machine on a mobile device. This game captures the spirit of the hugely success Portal series and combines it with a visually stunning pinball table, full of objectives to keep you playing for hours. It even features audio snippets from the cast itself, as well as great background music to add to the atmosphere.
Reimagined, remastered, and rejuvenated, Pac-Man Championship Edition is a beautifully playable update of the arcade maze classic. The aim of the game hasn’t changed, but – with updated graphics and mazes – the Pac-Man franchise has brought classic gaming to a new platform.
A favourite of quiz aficionados worldwide, the Pointless app brings the challenge of the BBC quiz show to your Android phone. We’ve derived hours of enjoyment from outsmarting friends and random challengers, not to mention endlessly taking on the CPU in offline mode.
As frustrating as it is downright silly, The Impossible Quiz! is the delightfully alternative face of Android quizzing. Forget the usual trivia and get ready to think outside the box, as you come to enjoy hours of humorous questions, weird answers, and a cat named Chris.
One of the best Android games of all time, it’s hard to believe that Angry Birds has been with us since 2009. Despite a variety of hugely enjoyable spin-offs, the original masterpiece is difficult to beat. What’s more, Angry Birds is amongst a chosen few of the top Android games that’s totally free to download, and – unlike some of its rivals – you don’t need to spend a fortune on in-app purchases to have fun.
Little ones love the Peppa’s Paintbox app for Android, the creative app that will keep your kids entertained for hours. They’ll draw and colour with Peppa and George, and discover a range of vibrant colours and painting styles that are perfect for budding young artists. There are no in-app purchases, and Peppa’s Paintbox is free to download – so you won’t have to break the bank to keep them entertained!
Another sublimely ridiculous and highly addictive app, Ridiculous Fishing is one of our favourite Android games. Cast your line into the depths of the sea, then drag up as many fish as possible. Sound simple? Think again – once you’ve hooked the fish, you’ll have to throw them in the air and shoot them down to score points!
Table-top phenomenon air hockey has finally arrived on Android, in the colourful and frenzied Glow Hockey 2. Where the original Glow Hockey app was an excellent, if occasionally, glitchy experience, its replacement has ironed out the issues while keeping the frenetic, exciting gameplay experience intact. The app is free to download, and although we’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than experience another 5 second in-app advertisement, the fun we have in between makes it all worthwhile.
Worms 3 is a bit like chess – except with guns… and worms. Okay, so it’s nothing like chess. That doesn’t matter though; a classic console series that has made a spectacular transition to Android, Worms is as enjoyable now as it was when it first interrupted the halcyon days of our youth. Although Worms 3 remains as chaotic as ever, the gameplay itself is exceptionally smooth (even in multiplayer mode, which has often been problematic in the past!). Whisper it, but this might even be better than the original games.