What are the best Android RPGs?
Role-playing games are wonderful, story-driven experiences that complement the mobile gaming experience nicely. Despite the relatively tiny mobile screens we're used to (yes, 5.7 inches is still small by gaming standards) RPGs allow us to get lost in fanciful worlds for a while.
In the case of some games, especially those ported over from PC, that "while" could be 20 or 30 hours! This makes the best RPGs worth their price in the Google Play Store. There are some duds in there, so we've hand-picked the best of the best to save you the trouble of digging.
If you're looking for more than just RPGs, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Android games of the year!
Butterscotch Shenanigans makes some quirky and hilarious games and Crashlands is no exception. In what might be the funniest mobile RPG to date, you play as Flux Dabes, a space trucker who's forced to crash-land (get it?) on an alien planet thanks to an alien jerk named Hewgodooko.
As you try to survive on this strange planet, you must craft your way through repairing your ship, build bases, tame wildlife to be pets, and fight the locals while crafting weapons and items from their corpses (it sounds morbid, but it's great).
If you love witty dialogue, a fun story, quirky games, and crafting over 468 items, then you should be playing Crashlands.
Download: Crashlands ($4.99)
Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
If you're a D&D fan, then you're going to want the Baldur's Gate games on your phone ASAP. They use a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition rules and the original Baldur's Gate was credited with the computer RPG renaissance in 1998.
These are your classic fantasy games, wherein you start off knowing only the walls of the castle in which you were born, but are thrust into a war-torn world under mysterious circumstances. Venture off and take on mythical creatures, as well as real ones (like rats!)
If you like a good old fashioned romp around a medieval realm, clearing dungeons and slaying beasts, all while creating potions and bettering your character, then the Baldur's Gate games should be right up your alley.
Download: Baldur's Gate ($9.99, with in-app purchases)
Download: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn ($9.99, with in-app purchases)
One of the most beloved RPG sagas is on mobile in the form of 12 Final Fantasy games:
If you have any love in your heart for the series, then you'll definitely want at least one of these titles on your phone or tablet. Play your way through the entire sci-fi/fantasy saga if you want to and help Cloud stop Sephiroth, help Cecil stop Golbez, and help defeat Queen Brahne alongside Zidane.
Most of the adventures and a few spin-offs are there for you to spend hours and hours with, which makes them worth the cash (they can be as much as $20.99!). Just note that these games can take up a LOT of space, like upwards of 2 gigs. That being said, you're getting the full game with all of these, so 2GB doesn't really seem all the huge.
Whether you're up for medieval fantasy or futuristic sci-fi action, Final Fantasy has something for everyone, easily making them some of the best RPGs around for Android or any platform for that matter!
Download: Final Fantasy (Free-$20.99)
The Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale centers on a rather sly dog of a protagonist who, rather than playing the hero, prefers the company of women and the comfort of ale. You head off on a goofy adventure with a drunken fellow who plays magical songs in order to heal party members, summon party members to help fight, and summon party members to take damage for him (he's kind of a dick).
This features an excellent voice cast, with The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes as the Bard, Tony Jay (Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the narrator, and Brian George and Carlos Alazraqui as additional characters.
If you love a fantasy adventure, but want a break from the dark tones of most RPGs, then check out The Bard's Tale and never be bored again; there are 50 enemy types, over a dozen bosses, tons of weird NPCs, and plenty of satire, sure to slake your thirst for hilarity. Definitely not for kids.
Download: The Bard's Tale ($1.99, with in-app purchases)
Evoland isn't the most original game of all time, borrowing elements from the Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and Final Fantasy to create a classic RPG adventure that might be a bit of a knock-off, but it's as fun as any of the originals, and there's a damn-good reason for its pilfering of the classics.
This game is all about the evolution of video games, starting you off with two colors and a 2D character. As you progress, you unlock new technologies and new graphics until you reach the modern, 3D/HD age.
Your sort of meta-journey is punctuated by references to classic RPGs and movies, so keep a sharp eye out and enjoy the Easter eggs thrown in as you battle and loot and level up.
If you love RPGs, no matter when they were made, then you'll love Evoland.
Download: Evoland ($5.49)
Like Pokémon? Love Rick and Morty? Does the Pope have lips? Is a chicken Catholic? At their core, the original Pokémon games were glorious RPGs and Pocket Mortys is about as close as you can get to (legally) playing the classic Pokémon games on your phone. (Yeah, Pokémon Go is a thing, but it's just not the same!)
You get to control Rick, who's just doing science in his garage when Mysterious Rick comes through a portal and challenges him to a Morty battle. After, Rick goes through the portal to the Council of Ricks, who confiscate his portal gun.
To get it back, you have to defeat the six Ricks sitting on the council, but before you can battle them, you must battle the Ricks from other dimensions and claim their badges. After all that's through, you have to go and capture every type of Morty.
This is probably the most twisted take on Pokémon you'll come across, but it's fun and branded with the cartoon's signature humor, making it a game that just makes you wanna get schwifty.
Download Pocket Mortys and SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT.
Download: Pocket Mortys (Free, with in-app purchases)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
This is the full K.O.T.O.R. experience, so if you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely the mobile game you're looking for. It's a huge download, at 2.4GB, but you get all the force-wielding, lightsaber-swinging, Republic-saving goodness that the console games dazzled us with.
You get to choose your party from nine types of characters, travel to eight planets on the Ebon Hawk, and learn to use the Force, including over 40 powers. You also get to build your own lightsaber!
Knights of the Republic is the epitome of a classic Star Wars RPG and this port is totally worth the cash. This game even supports controllers if you prefer to play that way. As the Jedi's last hope, you decide the fate of the galaxy as you battle your way to becoming a hero or falling to the temptation of the Dark Side.
Download: Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic ($9.99)
Dragon Quest VIII
Possibly the most popular game in the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is available for android in all its cell-shaded beauty. It was the first widely released Dragon Quest title, being the first to hit the PAL region and the first to be called Dragon Quest in North America, where it was always called Dragon Warrior.
In this version, you play as the Hero, a Trodain guard, who embarks on a quest to reclaim a stolen scepter from the evil court jester, Dhoulmagus, who has cursed Trodain castle, turning the king into a troll, the princess into a horse, and everyone else into plants.
This is the full PS2 game, so it's 1.4GB, taking up quite a bit of space on your phone. But you get everything the original has to offer: epic, turn-based battles, crafting via the Alchemy Pot, and classic fantasy, presented in a gorgeous 3D anime style.
If you loved Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, you'll love it on Android too.
Download: Dragon Quest VIII ($19.99)
Mage and Minions
Claiming to be the first RPG truly designed for controls, Mage and Minions is an excellent fantasy RPG that really does feel great to play. The controls are smooth and make sense to the mobile experience and the gameplay is fun and immersive.
You and your party are off on a quest to prevent Ragadam from taking over the world and ultimately destroying it, all the while battling skeletons and demons, collecting loot, crafting items and weapons, and casting spells to get the job done.
The spell-casting controls are particularly cool, since you have to draw symbols on your screen to summon different spells.
If you're looking for an RPG experience that was truly meant for mobile, then indulge in Mage and Minions.
Download: Mage and Minions (Free, with in-app purchases)
Dungeon Hunter 5
This is one of the deepest RPGs on this list, featuring a story mode, an online mode, and co-op mode wherein you hack and slash your way through dungeons, all the while leveling up and unlocking new weapons, armor, and other upgrades you can craft to create even stronger weapons.
This game is HUGE. The initial download is 33MB, but you'll eventually be downloading gigs of data, since there are over 900 weapons to wield and hundreds of different spells and skills to acquire.
While online, you get to develop your own dungeons where your precious loot resides, defended by minions that you recruit and craft from Minion Shards. As an added defense, you get to build Trap Rooms within your dungeons in order to thwart those that might steal your treasure. Just be careful; you'll likely be on the receiving end fairly often!
Dungeon Hunter 5 is a big, immersive, versatile RPG that sucks you in and before you know it, it's the year 2100 and you're a pile of dust, still battling your way to herodom or riches (because apparently heroes don't get paid).
If you're looking for an awesome free RPG that you can play until Ragnarok, then dive into Dungeon Hunter 5 and definitely keep an eye on your data usage!
Download: Dungeon Hunter 5 (Free, with in-app purchases)
Did we miss anything?
What's your favorite RPG for Android? Did it make our list? Sound off in the comments below!