Role-playing games are wonderful, story-driven experiences that complement the mobile gaming experience nicely. Despite the relatively tiny mobile screens we're used to (yes, 5.7 inches is still small by gaming standards), RPGs allow us to get lost in fanciful worlds for a while. In the case of some games, especially those ported over from PC, that "while" could be 20, 30 hours, or even more! This makes the best RPGs worth their price in the Google Play Store.
Unfortunately, like most game genres, there are some mobile duds. We've hand-picked the best of the best to save you the trouble of digging.
If you're looking for more than just RPGs, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Android games out there!
BattleChasers: NightWar is an award-winning JRPG that offers one of the most complete mobile RPG experiences you'll play in 2020 — and that's complete in the sense that there's no in-app purchases or paid DLC to worry about. Hallelujah!
Everything about this game is polished and complete, and it starts with a robust overworld that's filled with hidden dungeons to explore, epic bosses to take down, and other surprises along the way.
The turn-based combat is inspired by all the favorites you remember from the JRPG genre and is a real treat even for a casual fan like myself. Along with the dense and sprawling world to explore that's teeming with enemies to do battle with, there's also deep crafting elements for upgrading your team's weapons, armors, and magical jewelry. An RPG is only as good as its story and characters, and given that this game is based on a graphic novel of the same name, we're given fully developed characters and a compelling story.
The main character of the story a young girl named Gully who is on a quest to find her father, Aramus, a renowned hero who left behind powerful gauntlets before mysteriously disappearing — gauntlets that his daughter now makes use of in her own epic adventure. Gully is joined by a supporting cast that includes Knowlan the wise old mage who always travels with Calibretto, an ancient war golem built for battle that developed his own sentience and emotions.
This game is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of either BattleChasers or simply looking for a new JRPG to dive into.
One of the most beloved RPG sagas is well-represented on Android with 12 iconic Final Fantasy games to choose from:
- Final Fantasy
- Final Fantasy II
- Final Fantasy III
- Final Fantasy IV
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
- Final Fantasy V
- Final Fantasy VI
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy IX
- Final Fantasy Dimensions
- Final Fantasy Tactics
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
If you have any love in your heart for the series, then you'll definitely want at least one of these titles on your phone or tablet. Play your way through the entire sci-fi/fantasy saga if you want to help Cloud stop Sephiroth, help Cecil stop Golbez, or help defeat Queen Brahne alongside Zidane.
Most of the adventures and a few spin-offs are there for you to spend hours and hours with, which makes them worth the cash (they can be as much as $21!). Just note that these games can take up a LOT of space, like upwards of 2GB. That being said, you're getting the full game with all of these, so 2GB is a reasonable trade-off. You may have seen ads for Final Fantasy XV, but do note that game was not directly developed by Square Enix and is full of pay-to-win mechanics.
Whether you're up for medieval fantasy or futuristic sci-fi action, Final Fantasy has something for everyone, easily making them some of the best RPGs around for Android — or any platform for that matter!
Chrono Trigger is another legendary RPG developed by Square Enix that's been celebrated for its fantastic storytelling and gorgeous 16-bit graphics; and it still holds up as one of the best video games of all time.
The game and gameplay itself have been preserved here while upgrading some of the visuals and sound in the port over to Android. Admittedly, this is going to be a bit jarring for hardcore fans of the game; this is not an emulated SNES ROM but rather a standalone game that's been optimized for mobile gaming, with touch controls set by default and support for Bluetooth controllers. You're also now able to play this game offline, making it a great travel companion for a long plane ride.
If you've never played Chrono Trigger before, this game is absolutely worth your time and money. It's a game full of mystery, adventure, and action with a riveting story that is just so satisfying.
Evoland isn't the most original game of all time. It borrows elements from the Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and Final Fantasy to create a classic RPG adventure that might be a bit of a knock-off, but is as fun as any of the originals.
However, there's a damn-good reason for its pilfering of the classics. It offers a meta-narrative that explores the evolution of RPG video games, starting you off with monochrome graphics and a 2D character. As you progress, you unlock new technologies and new graphics until you reach the modern, 3D/HD age. Your journey is punctuated by references to classic RPGs and movies, so keep a sharp eye out and enjoy the easter eggs thrown in as you battle and loot and level up.
For the sequel, the scope of gameplay was expanded to include a broader look at the history of video games, blending in different genres as you embark on a new adventure. If you love RPGs, no matter when they were made, then you'll love Evoland and the sequel Evoland 2.
Arcane Quest 3
Arcane Quest 3 is a mobile RPG game for fans of classic tabletop games. It's a turn-based RPG that mixes adventure, role-playing, and strategy elements to tell an epic story of revenge and redemption. You create your adventurer from your choice of 10 unique classes as you battle hordes of orcs and other undead enemies to restore the honor of your guild and save your people.
On top of the main storyline, there are real-time multiplayer quests so you can team up with your friends and other players from around the world and unlock fantastic rewards. There's also a quest editor that lets you create, publish, and share your custom-made quests, as well as options to play quests created by other players.
There are hours of gameplay to be had, which are sure to please the hardcore RPG gamer, all without implementing a pay-to-win mechanic.
Butterscotch Shenanigans makes some quirky and hilarious games and Crashlands is no exception. In what might be the funniest mobile RPG to date, you play as Flux Dabes, a space trucker who's forced to crash-land (get it?) on an alien planet thanks to an alien jerk named Hewgodooko.
As you try to survive on this strange planet, you must craft your way through repairing your ship, building bases, taming wildlife to be your pets, and fighting the locals while crafting weapons and items from their corpses (it sounds morbid, but it's great).
This is an award-winning RPG that most of you have been sleeping on. If you haven't checked it out yet what exactly are you waiting for?
Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
If you're a D&D fan, then you'll want the Baldur's Gate games on your phone ASAP. They use a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition rules and the original Baldur's Gate was credited with the computer RPG renaissance in 1998.
These are your classic fantasy games, where you start off knowing only the walls of the castle in which you were born but are thrust into a war-torn world under mysterious circumstances. Venture off and take on mythical creatures, as well as real ones like rats.
If you like a good old-fashioned romp around a medieval realm, clearing dungeons and slaying beasts, all while creating potions and bettering your character, then the Baldur's Gate games should be right up your alley. Given the smaller text and menu controls, this game should ideally be played on a tablet, but you might be able to get by if you've got a larger flagship phone. Once you're done with the enhanced version of the original game we've linked below, check out the sequel Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. You won't be disappointed.
Like Pokémon? Love Rick and Morty? Does the Pope have lips? Is a chicken Catholic? At their core, the original Pokémon games were glorious RPGs and Pocket Mortys is about as close as you can get to (legally) playing the classic Pokémon games on your phone.
You get to control Rick, who's just doing science in his garage when Mysterious Rick comes through a portal and challenges him to a Morty battle. Rick then goes through the portal to the Council of Ricks, who confiscate his portal gun.
To get it back, you have to defeat the six Ricks sitting on the council, but before you can battle them, you must battle the Ricks from other dimensions and claim their badges. After all that's through, you have to go and capture every type of Morty.
This is probably the most twisted take on Pokémon you'll come across, but it's fun and branded with the cartoon's signature humor, making it a game that just makes you wanna get schwifty.
Download Pocket Mortys and SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
This is the full KOTOR experience, so if you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely the mobile game you're looking for. It's a huge download — at 2.4GB — but you get all the force-wielding, lightsaber-swinging, Republic-saving goodness that the console games dazzled us with.
Choose your party from nine types of characters, travel to eight planets on the Ebon Hawk, and learn to use the Force, including over 40 powers. You also get to build your own lightsaber!
Knights of the Old Republic is the epitome of a classic Star Wars RPG and this port is totally worth the cash. This game even supports controllers if you prefer to play that way. As the Jedi's last hope, you decide the fate of the galaxy as you battle your way to becoming a hero or falling to the temptation of the Dark Side.
Dragon Quest VIII
Possibly the most popular game in the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is available for Android in all its cell-shaded beauty. It was the first widely released Dragon Quest title, the first to hit the PAL region, and the first to be called Dragon Quest in North America, where it was always called Dragon Warrior. (You can check out the earlier Dragon Quest games on Android as well.)
In this version, you play as the Hero, a Trodain guard, who embarks on a quest to reclaim a stolen scepter from the evil court jester, Dhoulmagus, who has cursed Trodain castle, turning the king into a troll, the princess into a horse, and everyone else into plants.
This is the full PS2 game, so it takes up 1.4GB of space on your phone, but you get everything the original has to offer: epic, turn-based battles, crafting via the Alchemy Pot, and classic fantasy, presented in a gorgeous 3D anime style. If you loved Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, you'll love it on Android too.
Claiming to be the first RPG truly designed for touch controls, Eternium is an excellent fantasy RPG that does feel great to play. The controls are smooth and make sense to the mobile experience and the gameplay is fun and immersive.
You and your party are off on a quest to prevent Ragadam from taking over the world and ultimately destroying it, all the while battling skeletons and demons, collecting loot, crafting items and weapons, and casting spells to get the job done. The spell-casting controls are particularly cool, since you have to draw symbols on your screen to summon different spells.
If you're looking for an RPG experience similar to dungeon crawlers like Diablo that was truly meant for mobile, then indulge in Eternium.
Dungeon Hunter 5
This is one of the deepest RPGs on this list, featuring a story mode, an online mode, and a co-op mode where you and up to three friends can team up to hack and slash your way through dungeons, all the while leveling up and unlocking new weapons, armor, and other upgrades to create even stronger weapons.
This game is huge. The initial download is 33MB, but you'll eventually be downloading gigabytes of data, since there are over 900 weapons to wield and hundreds of different spells and skills to acquire.
While online, you get to develop your own dungeons where your precious loot resides, defended by minions that you recruit and craft from Minion Shards. As an added defense, you get to build Trap Rooms within your dungeons in order to thwart those that might steal your treasure. Just be careful; you'll likely be on the receiving end fairly often!
If you're looking for an awesome free RPG that you can play until Ragnarok, then dive into Dungeon Hunter 5 and definitely keep an eye on your data usage!
We have a few classic RPGs on this list and I figured it was time to add some more. Among those is the Enhanced Edition of Neverwinter Nights, one of my favorite games of my early years. This BioWare CRPG is often eclipsed by Baldur's Gate and KOTOR in terms of what people remember, but it's still a fantastic game.
As I recall, it's a bit darker than Baldur's Gate, but I haven't played it in years. Like the other Beamdog titles, Neverwinter Nights' Android port features a ton of mobile enhancements, like a refined UI, touch controls, graphics options, cross-platform multiplayer, and backwards compatibility with your old save games and mods.
At $10, it's a steep price, but you're getting a ton of value for your money. Like the similarly-priced Android versions of KOTOR and Baldur's Gate, there is multiple hours' worth of content to play through. If you're a fan of classic RPGs, or want to experience more of the genre's history, then be sure to check this one out.
Continuing the trend of classic RPGs, Icewind Dale deserves a shoutout. While perhaps not as memorable as Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights, I still have fond memories of Icewind Dale "back in the day." Thanks once again to Beamdog, it has seen new life on Android.
Much like the other Enhanced Edition ports, Icewind Dale has received some upgrades to make it more palatable to modern audiences. It's optimized for large tablet screens, but it's playable on a big phone. There are a slew of bugfixes and improvements versus the original and it sports cross-platform multiplayer for that epic adventuring with friends.
Many RPGs tend to pack in a ton of value for the money, and Icewind Dale is no different. It definitely shows its age, but I think any RPG fan can enjoy it.
Going back to 1999, we have one of the best RPGs ever, Planescape: Torment. This game is legendary for its story, soundtrack, and characters. Now it's been remastered and ported to modern platforms, including Android, all thanks to Beamdog.
Planescape: Torment's return comes with several improvements to the core game, like bugfixes and so on. What made the original so amazing is still here, like the excellently-written dialogue, character builds, and the soundtrack (which has also received a remaster).
It's well worth the monetary and time investment to experience this gem of RPG history and to see what inspired so many others that followed. For me, personally, there hasn't been anything quite like Planescape: Torment since, though there are other RPGs I like better. That's nostalgia for you.
The Banner Saga
The Banner Saga is a pretty awesome Norse fantasy tactical RPG that reminds me a lot of Fire Emblem. I only got a chance to play a little bit of the first game, but I hear nothing but good things about the trilogy. Unfortunately for Android users, only the first two games are available on the Play Store. Still, those are two games worth your time.
The art style is simply stunning, with excellent character design and gorgeous vistas. The gameplay itself is fairly intense, requiring a lot of strategy in how your form your party, place your units, and engage with your enemies. The Banner Saga features plenty of characters to interact and develop relationships with. Your choices matter here, so be careful in how you approach things.
I highly recommend both The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2. Yes, they're $10 each, but if you're a fan of tactical RPGs, then you should give them a try.
AnimA is a Diablo clone for Android, even down to the fonts used, but I'm here for it. This game pays homage to Blizzard's classic ARPGs. It has a dark, foreboding atmosphere, a fun loot grind, and plenty of enemies to hack-and-slash to death.
This is a free-to-play game with microtransactions, but it seems to be similar to Path of Exile where you can still play through the game on your own terms. Overall, the monetization isn't too egregious and the developers just let you enjoy the game.
So give AnimA a try if you're into ARPGs and need something new to play. It's a great time while you wait for Diablo Immortal to arrive.
ARPGs aren't super common on Android, other than AnimA, but we have a classic on our hands. Titan Quest filled the void for a lot of us in the time between Diablo II and Diablo III. It plays heavily into different mythologies, looks nice (especially given that the original game came out in 2006), and the Android port is mostly good.
It's no secret that I love Titan Quest and I gush about it whenever I get the chance. The story is fun as heck, the gameplay is incredibly addicting, and the loot pool keeps you coming back for more. Within hours of starting the game, you'll have a pretty badass-looking hero ready to save the world from the Titans.
My biggest complaint is that this is a port of the OG Titan Quest, not the more recent Anniversary Edition. That means it lacks the additional content that THQ Nordic has packed in.
However, if you love the thrill of finding new loot and want a classic game that does it right, then be sure to pick up Titan Quest in the Play Store. I've played through this game tons of times and loved each playthrough. There's a lot of build diversity, and though there are fewer disciplines than the Anniversary Edition, you still have plenty to work with.
Wayward Souls is a special treat of a game, blending APRG elements with a rogue-like. Each level is randomized, including loot and enemy placement, and death is permanent. Combat is fun and in real-time, so things can get out of hand rather quickly if you're not careful. This game doesn't hold your hand and you will die several times over.
The goal is to reach the exit of each level, but that can often be extremely difficult or super easy, depending on your luck of the draw and your skill. Some people have even said Wayward Souls sports some Dark Souls design cues, though it doesn't quite qualify as a Souls-like. Think of an ARPG like Diablo and a rogue-like with a hint of Dark Souls thrown in.
Wayward Souls is hard, don't get me wrong, but it's something you need to experience for yourself. Controls are super tight, there are no microtransactions, and it's overall a must for people who like a challenge, love retro-style pixel art, and want a game that will keep them really busy.
Genshin Impact sort of came out of nowhere. It's an action RPG with fantastic elemental combat and a fun party system. You'll need to switch characters, choosing from an impressive roster, often to have the best outcomes in battle. It takes obvious cues from Breath of the Wild with an "anime" twist. The open world is beautiful and filled with things to do, resources to find, and monsters to slay.
I'd say the biggest downfall of Genshin Impact is the monetization. It uses gacha mechanics to get you to spend more on additional characters, new weapons, and more. Even with the game getting very grindy in the endgame, it's still worth playing just to experience the beautiful world and characters.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Night Road
Android finally sees a Vampire: The Masquerade game! Night Road is a 100% text-based RPG where your choices matter. It also helps that the writing is awesome and the game itself is huge at 650,000 words. It's quite the long game, all told, but I had a ton of fun with it. If you like roleplaying as a vampire, you'll enjoy yourself.
Pick a clan and give your character a backstory. Everyone, however, will see the same basic premise. You're a courier for the vampire higher-ups and you run your missions at night (for obvious reasons). Not only is the dawn a major antagonist, but you have other problems like vampire hunters to worry about.
Updated December 2020: Added Genshin Impact and Vampire: The Masquerade - Night Road to our list!