Best Android games in 2022: The Play Store tends to be pretty static when it comes to highlighting worthwhile apps and games, often floating content that’s filled with awful monetization. This is why we here at AP have cataloged the quality apps and games to showcase on your favorite Android phone, and today’s list is the head of the pack, with our hand-picked selection of the best games for mobile. So if you’re tired of wading through mediocrity that’s vying to empty your wallet, you’ve come to the right place.
Apex Legends Mobile came out in 2022 and hit the ground running. It’s a battle royale shooter in the same genre as Fortnite and PUBG New State. However, this one came out relatively polished with some excellent controls, a few different game modes, and more interesting abilities. The base battle royale mode features 60 players across 20 squads. There is a ranked variant as well, along with a team deathmatch mode. You unlock new Legends as you play, and each Legend has its own set of abilities. It’s new, so it’s a little light, but it got over ten million downloads in its first month, and it’s honestly more fun than most other offerings in the genre.
Call of Duty: Mobile was our pick for the best Android game in 2019. We usually wait a while before adding a game, but Call of Duty: Mobile is so intensely popular with such a high rating that we added it more quickly than usual. The game has both a normal FPS online PvP mode along with a 100-player battle royale. That puts it in a rare category where it does battle royale like PUBG Mobile, but also regular FPS PvP like Critical Ops or Modern Combat. There is a surprising amount of stuff to do, and the gameplay mechanics are solid and smooth.
It is a free-to-play game, but most of the in-game purchases are cosmetic items. You can find some more excellent FPS games here or some general shooting games here if you want more options.
Genshin Impact is an action RPG game with gacha mechanics. The game was also our pick for the best game of 2020. Upon its release, it received wide critical acclaim for its impressive visuals and excellent gameplay. It looks and acts a bit like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but nobody seems to really mind. The game does have a party system, and you summon new characters through a gacha system similar to other gachas. However, the visual elements, gameplay mechanics, and the completely open world (complete with a glider) make the game feel a lot less restrictive than most in the genre.
Unless the developer messes this one up, it should remain excellent for a long time. You can play on PC or PlayStation as well with the same saved data, even if it is annoying to set up at first. Of course, other excellent gacha games are here if you want to see more. Tower of Fantasy (Google Play) has some similar mechanics, but Genshin does it better.
GRID Autosport launched in 2019 and immediately became one of the best racing games for Android. It’s a premium game with no in-app purchases or advertising, a rarity in this space. The game also boasts excellent graphics, excellent controls, hardware controller support, tons of content to play through, tons of cars to unlock, and a variety of racing styles.
5. League of Legends: Wild Rift
Price: Free to play
League of Legends: Wild Rift is a 5v5 MOBA game. Mobile used to have a ton of these, but several kind of fell off over the last few years. League of Legends: Wild Rift is arguably the best of the bunch right now. Matches take about 15-20 minutes, and that’s a bit long for a mobile MOBA. However, the game is fun, you can’t buy wins, and the developers seem intent on making sure this one stays balanced.
It’s not perfect. Casual games sometimes have unbalanced teams, which can be frustrating. However, there isn’t much that can be done about it. This is a rock-solid MOBA in a genre where nothing has been consistent for a few years now. Of course, there are other good mobile MOBAs here if you’re interested.
6. Legends of Runeterra
Price: Free to play
Legends of Runeterra is one of the newer Android games on this list. It’s an online battler similar in scope to games like Hearthstone. Players collect cards and heroes, then build decks from those cards and heroes. You then battle opponents online. The game removes as much of the randomness as it can, and it leads to a good gameplay experience overall. The game includes 24 champions, a bunch of cards, and you can invite friends to duel with you as well. Hearthstone donned this list for a long time, but it’s time for a new champion in this space. You can find more great card dueling games here.
Levelhead is a new platformer from Butterscotch Shenanigans, the same developer of Crashlands. Crashlands was on this very list for a good two or three years, and we expect Levelhead to be here for a while too. It’s a platformer with 90 levels, surprisingly satisfying controls, and some excellent humor. However, this one sets itself apart from others with its truly excellent custom-level building. Players can build levels and upload them to the game. Other players download them, and the most popular end up in the game’s prestigious vault.
Plus, the game has speedrunning features, and each level comes with its own leaderboard (even the custom ones). Finally, the game is cross-platform with cloud saves. It covers all of the bases for a mobile platformer. For real, this game is so good. It’s also free with Google Play Pass if you use that. This is easily the best in its class, but here are some other good platformers to try as well.
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is a popular game all around the world for people of all ages. For those who have never played, Minecraft puts you in a giant world where you mine, build, beat up bad guys, and do whatever you want. There is a survival mode where you must mine your own resources and food along with a creative mode that gives you unlimited everything. Frequent updates have added tons of new content and possibilities.
The game is pretty much on par with its PC and console counterparts. In fact, you can play on multiplayer servers with people on those platforms. There are in-app purchases, but they’re just for customization things like skin packs. It’s not only the best sandbox game on Android but also one of the best survival games as well.
Monument Valley returns to the list with the release of Monument Valley 2. Both games are still very excellent. In fact, they both have virtually identical gameplay mechanics and graphics. The player adventures through Escher-style puzzles where levels are movable to complete the path using illusions. The premise is still charming, and the Monument Valley franchise continues to stand as a couple of the best mobile games ever.
The first one runs for $3.99 with an optional $1.99 in-app purchase for the Forgotten Shores DLC. The second game runs for $4.99 right now. If you subscribe to that, you can play both games as part of the Google Play Pass. Here are some other great puzzle games as well if you want more options.
10. Nintendo games
Price: Free / Free to play / Varies
Nintendo has a decent number of Android games and they’re all pretty decent. They have one premium game with Super Mario Run. Many believed it to be too high of a price. However, mechanically, it’s one of the best platformers on mobile. Nintendo also has a couple of free-to-play options including Fire Emblem Heroes (strategy RPG) and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp (simulation).
Nintendo added Dragalia Lost to its repertoire in September of 2018 as well as Dr. Mario World in 2019. Finally, Mario Kart Tour is the second biggest mobile game release of all time, second only to Call of Duty: Mobile. Nintendo’s games can be a bit rough around the edges sometimes, but they all provide relatively fun and solid experiences.
Pokemon GO exploded onto the mobile gaming scene in July 2016 and immediately became of the best Android games ever. It’s an augmented reality game similar to Ingress where you walk around the real world, catch Pokemon, complete little side missions, battle other trainers for Gyms, and hit up Pokestops to restock on items. It beat virtually every record in the books as the world’s most popular mobile game. Many think the game has died off, but it’s been maintaining its active player base for the last few years and seems to be getting more popular.
Thankfully, the game gets frequent updates with new features. Some more recent features include an AR camera mode, new Pokemon, and a bunch of other neat stuff. Niantic also launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, a Harry Potter AR game with similar mechanics. The two games stand alone atop the best augmented reality games on mobile.
Sky: Children of Light is an excellent adventure game from 2020. The game features seven worlds for you to explore, a variety of character customizations to look how you want, some truly excellent graphics, and one of the most unique social experiences on any game. You can interact with players in the game without a voice or text chat (although text chats are available). Players get your attention to take you where you need to go by grabbing your hand and taking you with them. It’s preposterously adorable. There are a bunch of truly great adventure games here, but Sky: Child of Light is just something different.
13. Square Enix games
Price: Free / Free to play / Varies
Square Enix is one of the few “big name” developers that took mobile gaming seriously from the start and they have some of the best Android games available anywhere. Classic JRPG fans have Final Fantasy I through IX, seven Dragon Quest games, and many other old console ports. Free-to-play RPGs from Square Enix include Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Echoes of Mana, NieR Re[in]carnation, and DQ Dai: A Hero’s Bond. Most of those games are rock solid, fun to play, and friendly to free-to-play people.
The company does have other genres as well, like Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier (battle royale), FFBE War of the Visions (strategy RPG), and others. Some newer titles include the Pixel Remasters of Final Fantasy I through VI, which are quite good. Square Enix is arguably the champion of the mobile gacha RPG, but you can find more great RPGs here.
14. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is easily one of the best premium games from 2019 and one of the best games overall. It’s a farming simulator with some RPG elements. You start out with a neglected farm and must rebuild it to its former glory. Players catch fish, grow crops, raise livestock, and interact with the various townspeople. You can even get married and have a family.
The retro graphics help keep things simple, but the game has dozens of hours of content. Plus, the controls are simple and most of the in-game interactions are charming and fun. It’s the best farming sim on mobile even if it’s not entirely realistic. It’s also free if you subscribe to Google Play Pass. Stardew Valley sits atop its genre, but there are more good farming simulators here if you want to see more.
15. The Room series
Price: $0.99-$4.99 each
The Room is a series of four puzzle games. It was the first franchise that did the puzzle genre really well on mobile. The latest game in The Room series is just as big of a hit as its predecessors and they remain among the best Android games. The Room is a series of escape puzzle games. Each room has a bunch of mysterious objects. Your goal is to solve the puzzles and get out. Players progress from room to room to find even more unique objects and solve their puzzles until they win the game.
The latest one, The Room: Old Sins, includes cloud saving, Google Play Games achievements, and even a small exploration element. That sets it apart from the pure puzzle experience of the first three games. You can’t go wrong with any of these. They’re all very good. There are some other decent escape games here if you want to see more, but The Room is definitely the best one.
If we missed any of the best Android games, tell us about them in the comments.