Your FPS favorites on Android! [Best games from the AC community]

Update May 27: In this week's roundup, we take a look at the FPS offerings on Android.

First-person shooters are a staple within the gaming world. We all love to play them no matter if you prefer to play with a keyboard and mouse or a gamepad in your hands. Whether you love Battlefield, Call of Duty, Doom or any of the other countless AAA titles, you can play them across all the major gaming platforms — except Android.

I guess that's fair, to a point — there's a clear divide in strategy between the mobile gaming industry space and the larger gaming industry. For example, a major console game will come out priced at $60, and then try to upsell you with DLC content or a "season pass". Mobile gamers aren't going to pay nearly that much for a game like that — even if the phones might be capable of offering a fairly similar experience at this point.

Instead, mobile game developers trend towards the free-to-play model wherein the real game is constantly vying for your attention with notifications and unlockable crates for weapon upgrades and in-game currency to collect.

Because of this, so many first-person shooters on mobile feel like the off-brand, hand-me-down versions of our PC favorites. Don't get me wrong, the games are still pretty good, and even derivative franchises like Modern Combat have really managed to build a substantial audience, and even treading into E-Sports territory.

But the freemium model taints the experience. They're just not quite the pure FPS experience (whatever you consider that to be), but we're free to play them on the go which rules so we love them all the same. Without further ado, here are the AC community's favorite first-person shooters.

Critical Ops

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Critical Ops is still in Alpha phase so the only modes available are deathmatch and bomb defuse. But given this game is in early development and constantly being updated, it's going to be really good when it's finished.

It's kind of got that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare vibe to it, mixed with a healthy dose of CounterStrike to create a best-of-both-worlds scenario that offers great graphics and really solid controls.

Spencer Schenk recommended it in the comments, calling it "a skill based shooter that's basically a noble poppy of cargo done well" — which is some mix of slang I don't think I've come across before... but somehow sums it up quite well.

This game is really fun to play and hasn't yet gotten too bogged down by the free-to-play model, although all the pieces are there. Like I get how the whole system of opening crates or cases to unlock new guns is designed to give us that quick slot machine hit of endorphins — that rush to keep you coming back for more — but I'd much rather just pay some money outright to finally play a game unrestrained by these bizarre restrictions. A boy can dream.

Either way, Critical Ops is definitely a game to watch if you're into FPS on mobile.

Download: Critical Ops (Free w/IAPs)

Modern Strike Online

CounterStrike. In my circle of friends, CounterStrike was king. Unfortunately, I was always mostly a console gamer so any time I'd get a chance to play at a LAN party, I'd get my ass handed to me in short order.

That's why I consider Modern Strike to be the great equalizer. It's essentially a CounterStrike clone on a touchscreen, meaning the twitchy muscle memory from years of keyboard and mouse play don't factor in (although Bluetooth controller support would be amazing).

Modern Strike was mentioned by segag1 in the comments, who says he still plays it practically every day. I used to be a regular player but sort of burnt out on it as you do. Still, I consider Modern Strike to be my favorite FPS for Android. I gave it high praise and I stand by it. It's a fun game that offers a pure multiplayer experience exactly how you'd expect from CounterStrike. Stupid time-delayed chest openings aside, it's a great shooter for gaming on the go.

Download: Modern Strike Online (Free w/IAPs)

Pixel Gun 3D

Ok, so before Modern Strike, for me, there was Pixel Gun 3D. I hate to brag, but I was absolutely ruthless in this game, playing it religiously every day for months during college. There weren't any global leaderboards that I recall, but I would have been in the top 10 for sure.

I fell in love with it shortly after its initial release. Here was this great shooter with Minecraft-inspired graphics and great controls. Not only was there a full single-player campaign and survival mode, but robust multiplayer as well with great modes like Deadly Games, which mimicked the Hunger Games, where you all start in the middle with no weapons and a package in front of you. You all take off into the woods and proceed to hunt each other down one by one. Just EPIC. King of the Hill maps, Capture The Flag, Team Deathmatch… It felt really complete and I sunk a bunch of hours into it.

But that was just the beginning, apparently. The developers continued to flesh this game out with updates and new maps, and modes, and features, and skins and an in-app currency system and… it kind of lost itself. When I revisited the game a few months later (mobile game burnout is real), the game was still fun and popular but all the menus made things feel a bit cluttered and the new weapons and features felt like distractions from actually playing the game.

It's still worth checking out, but I'll always remember the Pixel Gun 3D glory days.

Download: Pixel Gun 3D (Free w/IAPs)

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Marc Lagace

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.