The best games for your new Android phone or tablet

Shooters, strategy, racing, RPGs and more!

If you've found yourself the proud owner of a brand new Android smartphone or tablet this holiday season, one of the first things you might want to do — once the basics are taken care of — is get hold of some of the top gaming titles. Through the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore, Android has a wealth of gaming variety to choose from, from casual titles like Angry Birds to hardcore, competitive shooters like Modern Combat 4.

Fortunately we've been keeping track of some of the best Android games out there over the past few months, and we've got links to some of our top selections after the break. Dig in!

The best Android games

A selection of our favorite titles across multiple genres — these are all classics, and essential downloads for gamers picking up a new Android phone or tablet over the holidays. If you're after a list of great titles to get you started, look no further.

Read more: The best Android games across all genres

The best Android shooter games

Modern Android phones and tablets now rival last-generation home consoles in terms of graphical and computational prowess, and that means fast-paced first-person shooter titles with stunning visuals are now a reality on mobile. Mobile Nations' gaming guru Simon Sage selects some of the best shooters out there in our breakdown of this category.

Read more: The best shooters on Android

The best free Android racing games

High-end hardware and fast, responsive motion sensors have made mobile devices ideal platforms for racing games. Our favorites include blockbusters like Gameloft's Asphalt series, and quirkier indie titles such as Forever Drive and Motoheroez. What's more, these are all free titles. Check out our full article for the complete list.

Read more: The best free racing games on Android

The best free Android games

We get it — games can be expensive. Some of the top mobile titles can set you back a pretty penny once you factor in the initial download plus in-app purchases. Fortunately we've tracked down some of the best free Android titles to get you right into the action without spending a dime.

Read more: Our picks of the top free Android games

The best Android RPGs

Role-playing games can draw you into a story and fantasy world unlike any other genre of game, and modern mobile devices let you carry these virtual realms around in your pocket. Despite RPGs traditionally finding their home on consoles and PCs, there's a surprisingly wide range of great mobile role-players available for Android devices.

Read more: The best Android role-playing games

The best Android strategy games

With the advent of mobile gaming, many strategy titles have evolved from the mouse and keyboard-oriented controls of old to take advantage of the quick, precise controls offered by modern touchscreen devices. And as Android phones and tablets have offered increased computational power, the door has been opened to richer environments and more devious foes. Check out our list of the best Android strategy games for some great examples.

Read more: The best Android strategy titles

Your favorite games

That's just a selection of our top Android gaming picks. But be sure to share your own favorite Android titles down in the comments. Scroll down and let us know what you're playing this holiday season.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Happy holidays Alex... Now stop working and enjoy the day. Posted via Android Central App
  • Heh... stuff was already prepared in advance. Thanks though :)
  • Hi cool stuff......Loving it Thanks Alex........ =D
  • Don't forget to download the OnLive app. It works great now but in the coming months you will be extremely glad you did.
  • Download Ingress. Go through the missions. Press the blue button. Profit. Posted via Android Central App
  • I tried it out when I had my Galaxy Nexus, but it murdered the battery. I might give it takes another shot now that I have my Moto X. Sent via my Verizon Moto X
  • What he said. Choose the blue side. Its a great social game!
  • GTA San Andreas .:) Posted via Android Central App
  • Hate playing shooters on a touch screen. Has been frustrating with so many good one out now. I just can't get into them because of the controls as Ive been a console guy with controller use for close to 25 years. HOWEVER, I got a Moga PRO Power controller for Christmas today. Should be charged soon and plan on diving into a couple of games like dead trigger and modern combat 4. So excited, I no longer need to wait until I have access to the TV! Posted via Android Central App
  • Do you or anyone else know how well a 360 wired controller works thru an OTG-USB cable one certain games like MC4? Been wanting to try it, but don't wanna waste the money if it doesn't work. Works great with The Bard's Tale. Posted via Android Central App
  • Need for speed! Just download an apk and there you go! Nexus 5...enough said
  • very nice list. downloading shooters...
  • NFS MOST WANTED is Missing, Muffin Knight, Candy Crush, Dark Meadow and Homrun battle are one of the best android games