Google Play Pass continues to offer great value for Android users looking to save on premium apps and indie-developed games in 2021. It's only $5 per month and gives you access to tons of premium content. Plus, if you need to take a break and cancel your subscription, all of your favorite games and apps, as well as their save data, will be waiting when you return.
There are a ton of great games that have already been added to the service across multiple genres — from intense strategy games and action-packed indie platformers to relaxing puzzle experiences and immersive RPGs. Of course, this isn't a full list of Play Pass games, just the ones we think you should check out first. If you're looking for other great games to try, be sure to check out our collection of the best Android games!
Note: All games on this list are included with your Google Play Pass for no additional charge. The prices shown are what you would pay without having a Play Pass subscription.
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal brings the physics-based fun of the core game into the chaotic world of Portal, including our old friend GLaDOS. Now, not only are you tasked with building structures capable of carrying vehicles from point A to point B, but you've got to also contend with an assortment of Portal goodies, including portals (duh), propulsion and repulsion gels, cubes, and much more from the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.
It's a simple game that's extremely addicting. Just remember, while your test subjects may incur serious injuries, remember that it's all done in the name of science.
Stealth is the name of the game in Card Thief. You play a thief who must sneak their way through a deck of cards collecting treasure while avoiding detection. You can use equipment cards to assist you in your thieving ways, too, but don't get too cocky or you'll run out of sneak points and get caught.
Card Thief features daily challenges and deep strategies, and a nice progression system that lets you upgrade equipment cards as you pull off heists. There's a bit of a steep learning curve involved here, but it's a rewarding game for fans of strategy card games.
The name of the game here is SPEED. Chameleon Run is an auto-runner that has you jumping and dashing across different colored platforms. Like a chameleon, you have special jump skills and the ability to change colors to help you make it through each course — because the catch is you're only allowed to touch objects that match your color.
Seem easy enough? Well, think again! Each level is designed to be non-linear, meaning there are multiple paths to take to make it to the finish. There are also three special objectives to complete for each level which keeps you coming back for more.
You'll push your thumbs to their absolute limits in this truly exceptional rhythm game since Cytus II has hundreds of playable high-energy tracks. The concept isn't hard to learn; a line bounces up and down the screen as your metronome and notes appear on screen that you have to hit in time to the beat to increase your score.
Where Cytus II is unique, though, is in the margins. The gameplay is bolstered up by a fascinating story unfolding in an in-game UI that is a lot like Twitter, but in a post-apocalyptic, technologically advanced world. Between the extremely addictive gameplay and the ever-deepening mystery, Cytus II is easily the game that I have sunk the most hours into this year.
And thank goodness this title came to Play Pass because otherwise, I would not have been able to afford its massive list of playable charts. All tracks are unlocked via Play Pass and you never have to pay a single cent for new track packs. You could spend hundreds of dollars unlocking everything the game has to offer otherwise, so Play Pass is a stunning deal when it comes to Cytus II. I cannot recommend this game highly enough!
Fans of Metroid or Castlevania (known as the Metroidvania genre) know how addictive and satisfying games in this genre can be. Dead Cells begins in what appears to be a traditional Metroidvania fashion but reveals its unforgiving roguelike nature in a short time. It's a game that's sat atop our best Android games list since its debut, and that's because it was an incredible PC and console game before it launched on Android.
The Android port is as perfect as it gets, with full controller support (you're going to need it) and custom-built touch controls — although you probably only want to use those if you really enjoy punishing yourself, and this game is punishing enough as it is! Part of the charm with Dead Cells is the permadeath structure, which forces players to learn enemy patterns and upgrades.
As a bonus, the Android version now includes The Bad Seed DLC (trailer above) that sets the tone for a decidedly more relaxing romp through the lands of Dead Cells. New levels, new monsters, new weapons, and even new boss fights round out the content additions and will have you returning over and over again in true roguelike fashion.
Both FRAMED and its sequel are included with Google Play Pass and are a couple of the most unique and engaging puzzle games you will ever play. The story unfolds before your eyes as you control things by rearranging the comic book panels to help your character make his way through each section.
It's a great style and atmosphere. FRAMED has been around for a while, but that doesn't make it any less great. Its sequel is just as good, too. These award-winning games are absolutely beautiful and are well worth checking out.
Grimvalor is a side-scrolling action RPG that features tight controls, excellent movement abilities, an interesting (albeit familiar) story, and pretty graphics. You need to be tactical about how you approach enemies and level your character because this game can certainly be a challenge if you're not careful.
There's plenty to explore, too, with secrets hidden throughout the map. All told, the world is hellbent on seeing you fail, but take up your sword and fight on anyway. Most of the time, the odds are against you and it's up to your skill to see yourself through.
Hidden Folks is a game that takes everything you loved about Where's Waldo — the hand-drawn art style, the relaxing and focused fun — and pushes it into the digital age. Here, instead of scanning a page, you're left to swipe and tap around to uncover secrets hidden throughout the living scene.
At each level, you're given a list of people or items to find in the scene, and it's up to you to explore every inch of the canvas as you happen upon all sorts of little moments that play out. The sound design is charming and comprised of layered human-made sound effects that remind me of a parent making sounds while reading a book to their kid.
LIMBO is a brilliant puzzle platformer that looks and plays like the absolute work of art that it is. You play as the silhouetted young protagonist who is searching for his missing sister in LIMBO, a dark and dangerous place filled with traps and monsters.
If you're looking for a fun and yet incredibly creepy platformer, then LIMBO is a must. This shadowy game will give you the heebie-jeebies more than once. With such wonderful quirks, LIMBO is delightfully weird. If you've played it before, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The game features ingenious puzzles and an award-winning aesthetic that will haunt you and stick with you long after you've put the game down.
Mini Metro is an award-winning subway simulator. You're tasked with drawing up subway lines that connect the various stations that pop up as your city expands. You need to make sure passengers arrive where they need to go in a timely fashion, which often requires re-drawing your lines to be more efficient.
With a brilliant minimalist aesthetic, a responsive soundtrack that's fleshed out by the subway lines you build, and a ton of different game modes to enjoy, you will absolutely fall in love with Mini Metro.
Monument Valley 2
Embark on an adventure that follows a mother and her child as they explore new architectural marvels featuring mind-bending puzzles. This game is all about messing with your perspective and solving puzzles that require you to alter the beautifully rendered environments.
This game is plain awesome, just like its predecessor. It's OK if you never played the original game as the stories are entirely unique… but if you love the sequel, you'll definitely want to double back and play the first Monument Valley, too.
Sago Mini School
Right off the bat, you know Sago Mini School is wildly different from everything else on this list. That's because Sago Mini School isn't a game for you; it's a game for your kids. Sago Mini School is part of the Sago series of apps, games, and toys that are all designed for educational purposes — but, with a fun streak, of course. Sago isn't just a bunch of games to keep your kids busy, though. This is educator-designed content, not just colorful gobbledygook to fill your kids' heads with.
Sago Mini School offers a free month trial to everyone, but Google Play Pass subscribers get access to the app monthly instead of having to pay a separate subscription. That's an $8 value every single month just from this app alone! On top of that, Sago adds new content every single month — which is the reason for the subscription cost — meaning your kids won't be getting bored but, instead, will both be entertained and learning math, creative and social skills, language, speech, and everything in-between.
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition
Shadow Fight is one of the best fighting game series developed for mobile, featuring gorgeous graphics, smooth animations, and a huge variety of deadly weapons to upgrade and master. This special edition is the premium version, with no ads or energy bars, so you can play whenever you want.
There's a complete story mode to battle through with Shadow Fight 2's surprisingly tight touchscreen controls. It's not the newest kid in the series, but it's still a kickass game worth your time if you like fighting games. There's a lot of variety for different play styles.
Just like Terraria (which we'll get to in a bit), Stardew Valley is another beloved PC game that has been ported over to mobile fully intact and optimized for touchscreen devices. Stardew Valley is an open-ended RPG that opens with you taking over the old family farm, with you getting to know the townsfolk and exploring the nearby countryside.
Your first task is to fix up the old farm, but from that point on, the adventure is really up to you. Whether you choose to settle down, marry, and live out a quiet family life running the farm or dedicate your life to adventuring as a treasure-seeking explorer, the choice is yours — as is the choice of touchscreen controls or a Bluetooth controller.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was, to my recollection, one of the first full console/PC games to be released on mobile in its full glory. Coming from the good ol' BioWare days, it's also regarded as one of the greatest RPG video games ever set in the Star Wars universe, and perhaps one of the best RPGs ever (even if I think the sequel is better as a whole).
The game is set thousands of years before the rise of the Galactic Empire and lets you choose your character's path — will you use the power of the Force to save the Republic or go down the Sith path and join the dark side? An absolutely epic game that still holds up to this day.
Terraria is basically a 2D Minecraft with seemingly endless areas to explore and serious depth to the crafting system. For example, you're able to discover and craft over 400 different weapons to defend yourself. There are NPCs to interact with and lore to be uncovered, too, but this game is largely what you make of it.
The controls have been optimized for mobile, and there's even multiplayer available for up to 8 players connected on the same Wi-Fi or playing on a custom server. If you've never experienced Terraria before, Google Play Pass makes it easier than ever.
Modeled after classic point-and-click adventure games like Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Island, Thimbleweed Park is a true modern callback to the genre. Where it differs is with its story and content, which take on characteristics that many gamers might align with cult-classic media like Twin Peaks and the X-Files.
Gameplay is straightforward from a mechanical standpoint, but very complicated from the logic side. If you've never played any of ye olde point-and-clicks, be prepared to encounter some frustrating puzzles and possibly also need to consult a walkthrough. The story at the heart of the game is very entertaining though, with lots of humor, weirdness, and a big mystery to be uncovered at the center.
The characters are memorable, the pixelated graphics are lovely, and you're sure to sink quite a few hours into this adventure before you're done. Thimbleweed Park is normally premium priced at $9.99, but it's free for Play Pass subscribers, so it's a killer value.
This Is the Police
Police Chief Jack Boyd is being forced into retirement and needs to put away $500,000 in 180 days. How he goes about making that money is entirely up to the decisions you make in This Is the Police, an intense indie adventure strategy game.
Your morals will be tested as you task your team of officers to investigate crimes in a city with a strong mafia presence and political corruption run amok at city hall. Accruing half a million isn't going to be easy. Your choices matter, both in terms of Jack's character development and for the world itself.
Ticket to Earth
A cross between tactical turn-based RPG and tile-matching puzzler, Ticket to Earth took its bold concept and just ran with it, no holds barred. At surface level, the gameplay looks deceptively simple. Combat takes place with your player character and opponents on a colored tile gird that dictates how you navigate the board. To move, you draw lines along a tile color wherein the route can be as long as the color can conceivably continue in an unbroken line, including diagonals.
In most encounters, you'll want to take the longest possible route each turn, as this accomplishes a couple of different goals. It gives you greater mobility to put yourself at a position advantage over your enemies and running along with colored tiles charges up character abilities associated with each color. Think about it kind of like chess, but the board shifts as you progress and you get to kill robots and space roaches. Plus, it's much more fun!
Enveloping the addictive gameplay is an equally interesting sci-fi story. Ticket to Earth takes place in an off-world colony where tickets back to Earth are nearly impossible to get. Societal strife, betrayal, and insurrection lie at the core of this tale, and watching it unfold through comic-book style cutscenes will keep you on the edge of your seat to the end.
Ticket to Earth has it all. Engaging gameplay, fun setting, absolutely bangin' soundtrack, and a well-thought-out plot. Clocking in at over 20 hours of playtime, Ticket to Earth is a steal for a mere $4.99, or free with Play Pass. Trust me on this one, you really need to play this game.
Wayward Souls is a fantastic addition to the Play Pass because it's a perfect game to play in short bursts. This is a top-down rogue-like action game designed with randomly generated levels and permanent death. The first time you play, you're just sort of dropped into the game and have to learn how to play as you go.
If you die, that character is permanently dead, and you just start over with a fresh character in a new part of the world. The gameplay is really great, and the graphics and soundtrack are spectacular. Again, the difficulty here is insane, but that just makes each play-through challenging, and the game rewards players with skills, so the more you play and learn how to use your character's powers, the better off you are on your next play-through.
Update June 2021: Added Thimbleweed Park to our list.
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