Riptide GP

You might have heard that a lot of folks have been able to get their hands on the Nexus 7 today. Of course, not everyone who ordered and is waiting was able, and that's caused a bit of a ruckus, but we're certain that everyone will be getting their greasy fingerprints on the N7 in short order. After you marvel at the Googly-goodness, and sign into it, it's time to fill the less-than-ample storage with apps. If you've not used a Tegra 3 device before, I'm going to tell you that games need to be part of that. If you have used a T3-powered phone or tablet, you know where I'm coming from. This thing was built to play awesome games on. Trust me.

But since we can't just load every cool game and their hundreds and hundreds of megabytes worth of files, you need to be a bit choosy. I'm here to help. I spend more time playing games on my Android tablet than a grown man should, but rather than feel guilty about it I am going to put my slacker-powers to good use and give you my top five games to install right now on your Nexus 7. Hit the break and have a look.

Riptide GP

Riptide GP

Racing a jet-ski with real world physics, insane jumps and stunts, and amazing graphics is what you've got here. There are plenty of newer games in the Google Play store, but to me, Riptide GP is still the funnest of them all. You cruise through the various tracks, and notice the high-quality reflections and game tiles, then hit the turbo-boost to get one of the best speed effects ever on a handheld. It's enough to justify the purchase of a T3 device on its own, and on the Nexus 7 it's great to play. Grab it from Google Play for $1.99



Another great game that proves oldies can be goodies. Over 50 planes to unlock, gorgeous backgrounds, and great (that means simple on a touchscreen) controls make MiniSquadron! a must have. You're a crack pilot in the dogfight or your life, with a seemingly endless supply of foes. Fly through them, keeping yourself away from the hazards on the ground, and take them out with your weapons -- before they do the same to you. A really cool touch is local Wifi multiplayer mode, so you can have all this fun with a friend or family member. Gamers need friends IRL! Grab it from Google Play for $2.99.

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies

Braaaiiiins! The popular PC game from PopCap is a joy to play on the Nexus 7, and a great way to break the fast pace of some of the others on my list. Protect your yard from the hoard of undead, by strategically planting flowers to kill them. Any game where flowers and veggies shoot to kill gets an A in my book, and the mini-games that go along with the story line make this one another must have. Download from Google Play for $2.99

Shadowgun THD

Shadowgun THD

It's simply the best shooter ever made for Android, and the Tegra 3 version makes it even better. You play as Bruce Willis John Slade, and you're the galaxy's best bounty hunter. Your quarry is Dr. Edgar Simon, who happens to have an army of mutants and cyborgs at his disposal. Work your way through his fortress, and marvel at the console quality textures and game physics. Forget quadrant, this is the benchmark that matters for the T3 -- it passes the kicks-ass test on every level. Find it in Google Play for $4.99.



If you're looking for a physics-based puzzler, and Angry Birds just isn't cutting any longer, have a look at Sprinkle. A water cannon mounted on a crane is your weapon, and your duty is to drown the fires before the homes are set ablaze. the water physics are near perfect, and as a bonus this one plays really well on any high-end Android device -- so you can install it on your phone as well. It gets more challenging as things progress, and you'll spend plenty of time figuring it all out -- and loving every minute of it. As a bonus, it's on sale in Google Play for just $0.99

There are 32 comments

MiniSquadron is a fun game...hard as hell in later levels though!

HAAS599 says:

Dead Space


Nova 3

Death Worm

X-Plane 9

Jelly Defense

Hand_O_Death says:

Dead space and NOVA 2 are not compatible. Sigh

Gearu says:

Riptide is great, it's like Formula 1 on water thanks to the feel of the controls.
It's about time for Riptide 2 I think, I hope they're making it.

Small_law says:

Minecraft, if you're into it. And GTA 3 for kicks.

radgatt says:

Any free tegra 3 games?

Gearu says:

Everyone with a Nexus 7 should try Shogi lv100, it would be perfect on a 7 inch screen, AC should really do a review of this.

slackerjack says:

Uhh big omission..."dark meadow"

Lito187 says:


itmustbejj says:

Hah I wouldn't be suprised if the 8GB doesn't even have enough internal storage to store all these at once. Some of those apps are monsters. Y U NO 32GB GOOGLE??!?!?!

bdfull3r says:

Final Fantasy 3
Dead Trigger
Shadowgun or Dark Meadow

cohoman says:

FYI, when tapping on the Plants vs. zombies link in the Google Play Store, I get:

"Your device is not compatible with This app"

Not sure why...

Try downloading it from the amazon app store, that's what i had to do with my phone

FYI: EA just released Plants vs. Zombies for the Nexus 7 via Google Play - just downloaded it and love it! Looks awesome and works great.

BIGsinner says:

Pong 2012

Sonic episode 2 heheehe :)

TDMaster says:

man i cant wait to get the Nexus 7 in my hands :)

TrackerF16 says:

pulling up plants vs zombies from my nexus says "your device isnt compatible with this version"..

you should probably take it off your list...

doing some further research says this has been an issue since the birth of ICS, definitly think you should suggest something else

Presumably, the screenshot shows the game running on a Nexus 7, so it definitely works. Perhaps he should remove the Play Store link and suggest using the Amazon Appstore.

seanjenkins1 says:

Amazon Appstore only available in the US. This site has an international readership

TrackerF16 says:

id really like to know what they did you get it to work, cause this is a screen shot of the play store from my computer

Actually.. EVERYTHING that EA has laid its hands on shows up as incompatible with the nexus 7

FYI: EA just released Plants vs. Zombies for the Nexus 7 via Google Play - just downloaded it and love it! Looks awesome and works great.

FrasierCrane says:

I liked Riptide GP and really liked Plants vs. Zombies, although they weren't perfect. Riptide GP gets monotonous eventually, mostly because all the tricks give the same amount of boost and take the same amount of time to do, so you can just randomly pick something. On the other hand, the graphics are terrific, and there's a good sense of speed (although not on the level of the old Star Wars Pod Racer PC game, the best drunk racing game ever). I thought Plants vs. Zombies was mostly a bit on the easy side compared with, say, Myth Defense, but it's a lot of fun and has the crucial "one more level..." quality.

lemeiux1 says:

Wow no mention of Machinarium? Tsk tsk.

tschallb says:

Yes, Machinarium!

mechapathy says:

Not compatible. And because it hasn't been updated since launch, I'm not holding my breath.

mroddriguez says:


TrackerF16 says:

gnes will crash when you hit the "settings" tab. by default it scand the SD card for games first.. but thats right, the Gnex has no SD card

jrod986 says:

Great Little War Game is fun. Spectral Souls is like crack if you're into Final Fantasy Tactics/Disgaea-type games. It costs $15 though.

thunder79 says:

Osmos HD, Minecraft Pocket Edition...they run silky smooth on the Nexus 7...unlike the Kindle Fire.

dpilgrim says:

Plants vs. Zombies is not currently supported for the Nexus 7. I suspect this has to do with the lack of Flash on the Nexus 7, and EA's unwillingness to invest in developing a non-Flash version.

FYI: EA just released Plants vs. Zombies for the Nexus 7 via Google Play - just downloaded it and love it! Looks awesome and works great.