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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 (opens in new tab) 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

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) (opens in new tab)

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) (opens in new tab)

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) (opens in new tab)

What are you playing?

We want to know what Android games you're playing — even if you're still addicted to Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. Let us know in the comments below or you can join the conversation in our recently revamped forums!

Submit your gaming reviews and opinions!

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

  • Does the final fantasy game support bluetooth controllers? TIA!
  • Not sure but it's optimized for touch, the only time you'll move around is in towns and exploration events/zones which is not too terribly often. You also don't have to move and attack at same time so there are no on-screen buttons, you just move your finger around to move and it's pretty simple. Controller seems like it'd be wasted pulling it in and out, using it/not using it, etc.
  • Thanks for the info. I'm not very fond of the on screen controls and prefer to use a controller. I will probably give it a try regardless.
  • CSGO autocorects to cargo and autocorect f***ed with me many other times on this app. It creates after I oposted and I didn't think it did that. Screw me..... S***.... Well, my only complaint with critical ops is that you cant have a match that doesn't allow aim assist. I sugjest putting the fire button at the top right for your pointer finger to use so you can aim and shoot at the same time. And one last time........... **** AUTOCORECT ON THIS APP........ LOL
  • Als oigured out coppy was corrected to poopy after a misclick.... JUST ****..... WTF. Theirs got to be a fix for this autocorrect **** and if their is one tell me... PLEASE!!!!!
  • Oceanhorn!!!!
  • Not really sure how to move around in the game
  • Directional pad on screen or w a Bluetooth controller!
  • Touch on Tablet
  • Oh, yes... I forgot about this game. it´s very good, but I only play it when i'm home with my bluetooth controller. The screen controls are horrible IMHO.
  • Have the full game on iOS for 99 cents one time.
  • Real racing 3
  • That's my favorite game.
  • Heroes of Incredible Tales!
  • The Ariana Grande in Brave Exvius is just weird. Squeenix why. Still fun though.
  • I am a Reign junk at the moment.
  • Does Arcane Quest support controllers?
  • Ah AC mentioned me I feel great now lol.
  • Final Fantasy VIII via PlayStation Emulator! The perfect way to go. I use ePSXe.
  • Crash bandicoot 1 2 3 , crash team racing , crash bash , tekken 2 3 , ridge racer are also great on epsxe
  • Free to Play Games I'm playing / played worth the time:
    • FF Brave Exvius • Summoners War • Neko Atsume (super quick to log in / log out and be done) • Abyssrium • Burrito Bison Launcha Libre Premium Games on my current roster:
    • Crashlands • Banner Saga • Lumines • Pac Man CE DX • Legend of the Skyfish Good Premium Games worth your time:
    • Riptide GP: Renegade • Never Alone Ki Edition • Lifeline 1 and maybe Silent Night (direct sequel) • Goo Saga • Leo's Fortune • Evoland • Attack the Light • Sproggiwood • Geometry Wars 3 • Botanicula • DuckTales Remastered • Fearless Fantasy • Limbo • Five Nights at Freddy's series • Goat Simulator • Castle of Illusion • Bard's Tale • As you can tell though I'm kinda into RPGs.. I would recommend a bunch of Square Enix RPGs but dems pricey...
  • Pretty much the only game I ever play on a regular basis is Super Hexagon. However, I do play Castle of Illusion and Avicii-Gravity occasionally.
  • Great mentions! Thanks.
  • War Robots (FREE) will destroy your phone battery as well as your life. I am forced to use 2 devices (grab the other when the 1st battery needs a charge) due to not being able to put it down in my spare time. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ha. I play all the time. Are you in a clan?
  • Clash of Clans
  • The only thing I play is freecell.
  • Freecell and Solitaire... can't go wrong!! :)
  • Sorry! i fat-finger reported your post trying to up-vote it =o(
  • HA! ^^^^^ this made it worth reading through the comments!
  • Zombie highway 2. Love that game.
  • War Friends and MMX Racing have my picks. Best games I'm playing right now.
  • Pretty much been stuck on Game Of War Fire Age.
  • Modern Strike Online for FPS fun!
  • Bard's Tale...?
  • Definitely.
  • Teeny Titans for collect 'em, upgrade 'em and battle 'em ups. Beautiful funny game with perfect gameplay. This is truly a game for everyone.
  • 3D Curveball.
  • Here are the games that were featured in this space on January 24: Star Wars: KOTOR (via Beigealini) Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (via Zardos) Arcane Quest 3 (via ZoneofJhay)
  • I am embarrassed to say I have spent way too much time playing Burrito Bison, it just clicked with me. Quick games that I don't have to think about are what I usually want from a mobile game. I have since moved on but for a while there sheesh.
  • Burrito Bison did hook me badly for a few weeks, but haven't played it much since I got the first recipe book. BTW, the plural of luchador is luchadores...
    But nothing comes close to Clash Royale for me. I play it all the time, to the point that my internal clock knows when the 3 hours to collect a chest is up! Even invested on some IAP, though they are totally not necessary to get ahead
  • Yeah, when I got the first recipe book I lost interest pretty quickly. Was fun for a week or two though.
  • Hitman: Sniper, and Zen Pinball
  • Asphalt 8... And angry birds 2. Don't judge.
  • way a guy who's been playing Words With Friends for maybe 7 or 8 years now is gonna judge anyone.
  • SimCity on a tablet? Might as well just hook me up to a crack IV.
  • Psy Run. Gives you trips as its description says.
    Even better when you're high, specially the music and lights. *_*
  • BBTAN, and DDTAN are great Breakout variations. I like CCTAN (where you are an elephant in the centre of the screen firing at cubes moving towards you from the outside of the screen) less along with EETAN where you are a superhero flying upwards through blocks.
  • XCOM 1 & 2, NFS Wanted, hocus and SideSwype.
  • Final fantasy brave exvius
    real racing 3
    ridge racer slipstream
  • Clash Royale!!!
  • Rollercoaster tycoon
  • Clash of Clans (going on 4 years)
  • My condolences.
  • Hearthstone
  • Star Wars Force Arena
    Dawn of Titans
    The Walking Dead No Man's Land
  • Marvel Future Fight
    Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
    Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes - although considering what I'm doing "playing" is an affront to the word.
  • If you're a fan of decision-making life puzzles, check out Loser Simulator. It's free Ripe with social commentary and self condescension.
  • If it weren't for the time-gating and exponential difficulty pushing you toward making in-app purchases, Alphabear would by far be my favorite Android title. Even with the annoying F2P mechanics, I find it's one of the only mobile games I ever play.
  • Knightmare Tower, for an incredible take on mobile controls. Mmm fingers is simple fun but currently not working on Nougat. Wayward souls is a good RPG and looks amazing on an Amoled screen.
  • Pokemon Go... Don't judge I just came to Android from Windows Mobile
  • Mainly Marvel's puzzlequest on my phone, Zen Pinball on my Shield tablet & Pro.
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is an addictive game. It can be a grind sometimes but the devs are always trying to add new features and give as much to do as possible for free.
  • Hearthstone
  • Unmatched air traffic controller... Keeps me amused for hours... Not for everyone...
  • Golf Clash
    Magic Heroes Rush (money sink game though)
    Taps to Riches
  • Leo privacy is a best 'applock' application for people who are useing andriod phone.It is running very fast than other applock application.Fast working and good background.You can also change the theme and accelerate your phone with boost feature.And There is a new function. Private browsing.
  • Pvz game ive played..keeps getting better with updates!
    I got to ultimate league without spending a single penny. One of the few games where u reach max level without paying any money
    U guys will love it
  • Actually i'm playing multiple games at a time:
    1- Revolution 1979
    2- Deus EX GO
    3-Bully Scholarship edition
    4- I just beat Implosion: Never Lose Hope
    5- and last but not least I'm re-playing Dead Space
    Personally I'm not a fan of casual games like Clash of Clan or Angry Birds.
  • OCEANHORN is such a good Zelda game! Also, SUPER PHANTOM CAT if you want a Mario clone.
  • Never even heard about "Oceanhorn" until you mentioned it! I checked it out, think I'll get it, thanks!
  • suggest me some ppsspp emulater games please...
  • For some reason Tiny Tower keeps sucking me back in, and I hate myself for it.
  • Put critical ops on there
  • Put critical ops on there.
  • Heart Star
  • Color switch is a fun and addicting game to play. On some levels, you get the opportunity to continue (by viewing an ad) if you're close to completing the objective.
  • Use to be good before the influx of ads everywhere
  • Modern Strike Online
    Monster Legends
    Turbo league
  • Heart Star
  • Saw Oceanhorn in the Xbox One store also. Game preview section, I believe.
  • Excellent game, probably the best of these three.
  • Repost or not, that's a pretty bold title the week breath of the wild and horizon zero dawn come out... This comment originally posted 4/3/2017 (or 3/4/2017 in the colonies)
  • Pretty sure this is in the context of Android games, in which case a Nintendo Switch game and a PS4 game don't really matter.
  • The article/list surely was written in the context of android, but that isn't what the title said. The ambiguity is very much there and these days you definitely can't argue that "this is android central, they're obviously not talking about console games".
  • 8 ball pool
  • Agreed
  • Sky Dancer, Madden Mobile and Warhammer 40k Freeblade
  • Star wars force arena, love this game
  • Warhammer 40k Freeblade
  • Hearthstone.
  • rr3
  • I've been eagerly awaiting the mobile release of Mushroom 11 since I saw the PC version at GDC a few years ago. It just came out this week. Basically, you're guiding a fungus through mazey puzzles by erasing portions of it with your finger that it grows out of the other end. The controls are very touch-friendly, and the gameplay reminds me a whole lot of World of Goo, which I loved. A little pricey, but I don't think there are any ads or IAPs.
  • Lords Mobile!!!
  • Can anyone tell me why PES2017 is not available in most countries? And how to install the latest version. I tried and it didn't work
  • I also ran across a "free game of the week" recently which had Bloon Tower Defense 5 for free. This week it looks like True Skate is Free. Also of note Capcom released Ghouls n Ghosts and 1942, and other notable released, Mushroom 11, and Clue. And next week (23rd) Mario Run will release.
  • War Dragons
  • I rather play Nintendo than android games on phones lol. I like android phones but games are useless on tiny touch screens. Games are better with button. I hope I can find a phone built like PSP.
  • Why am I thinking you've never seen the nokia ngage lol
  • Graphically, Force Arenas is awesome, but that is all it has going for it. The rewards for winning are so minimal, it barely matters. This game is nothing more then a money grab. It takes a ton of wins to even get some cards to upgrade anything! PLus, the people I have been getting on 2v2 teams with, completely destroy my ranking over and over again! There is also a small iota of balance, so if you get 2 Empire toons and both have ATST's, just quit the game and queue up for the next. I really REALLY wanted to like this game, but seeing what it has become, I only log in now to claim my free packs, but thats about it. I have been back playing Galaxy of Heroes again, as I am not in a decent guild. I have a pretty stacked roster but even that game, while F2P, is bringing out so many new toons now, from Hera, Chopper, Sabine, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, Darth Nihilus, and even 2 characters from the Old republic in Sith Assassin, and Sith Trooper! And of course, to progress them at all, ya need to bust out the wallet. And drop for them are so pathetic, gear wise, there are numerous complaints that the drop tables are busted and havent been tuned since the max level was 65 or something like that
  • sorry IN a decent raiding guild
  • I'm still playing GTA Chinatown Wars ever since I got for $.99. Shame that I keep losing the save files every time I reload it to a new device.
  • I'm tired of all these freemium crap that are constantly being reviewed. I'm playing Wayward Souls, some kind of tiny 2D Dark Souls for android, impressive gameplay, insane difficulty and beautiful ost.
  • You just can't recommend Wayward Soul without mentioning its little brother Mage Gauntlet, cheaper but just as enjoyable.
  • Ahah saw it! My next game once I finish Wayward Souls ;)
  • I'm playing boom Beach and War Robots. Come on over! We always need new people for our task forces or clan.
  • Star Wars Force Arena
    Zombie Gunship Survival
    Dawn of Titans
    The Walking Dead: No Man's Land
  • Hey thanks for the update ! Glad my comment on Wayward Souls had some impact :) I'm still struggling to finish the game with all the classes !
  • Sky Dancer is a visually beautiful game but it's incredibly mediocre and very tedious to be honest. I think AC definitely needs its own App section, or at least let it be more defined in actually finding and reviewing beautiful games/app that are of quality and worth ones money, especially how a game like Kingdom: New Lands, a full Steam port based on exploration and survival with your character being the King/Queen of the 'Kingdom', just came out for the Play Store, and nothing showcased for it. When the iOS App Store still ranks in superiority in games and apps, I think showcasing the Play Stores own quality apps is vital.
  • Well, I'm currently playing My Hospital. Can't stop. Kinda addicting.
  • Hearthstone - regularly
    Subterfuge - religiously
    Vainglory - a lot less often than I used to
    Dawn of Titans - regularly
  • Pinball Arcade with something like ten different tables. They digitally recreate numerous tables, some of the most famous.
  • Still on my fav time waster, King Oddball.
  • I just downloaded this. It's so stupid and I love it.
  • Dan the Man!
  • Yes!!!!!
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath.
  • Candy Crush Soda, level 740 :V
  • man how did u get up to level 760 please just stop
  • I'm on level 793, can't stop :(
  • Where's the game mentioned in the title from home screen? It's not even in the article
  • modern combat 5 and bomber friends
  • I'm still enjoying Super Mario Run, which seems disappointingly short and easy, until you start trying to do all the coin challenges.
  • Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre is my guilty pleasure game. I can't put it down once I pick it up.
  • I'm still playing Modern strike. Practically every day
  • Critical ops. A skill based shooter that's basically a noble poppy of cargo done well
  • Tekken 6 and Angry Birds 2, too long playing those two, sometimes adding random stuff.
  • Sounds like Mr. Schenk's phone autocorrected "...a noble copy of CS:GO done well." .
  • I like what he actually posted better haha!
  • Minecraft with my daughter, SimCity build it herthstone, magic the gathering
  • Bullet force
  • Guns of Boom!!! Swordigo!!!
  • Lol autocorrect sucks. I ment csgo not CSGO and I don't know about the other one. It aitocorects to cargo.
  • Clash Royale on Smartphone and PES on PC
  • Fidget Spinner and Pokemon Go
  • Real Racing 3 and Tallowmere