Mar 19th, 2022

It’s really impressive to see how far Android phones have come in terms of specs and performance. Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten massive hardware improvements – newer, faster processors, RAM and storage sizes that rival those found in computers, and even built-in cooling systems and additional controls for gaming-centric smartphones like the ASUS ROG Phones.

This brings us to our main topic – games! Since the dawn of the Google Playstore (originally known as the Android Market back then) we’ve seen a lot of developers try to come up with games that can take advantage of the ever-evolving hardware on our phones, and give us titles with more advanced gameplay as opposed to your usual slew of fruit-slicing, bird-slinging, and puzzle-solving titles. Role-playing games in particular are abundant on the platform, although when it came to quality it was clear that those titles were miles away from what one could call “console-quality” due to hardware limitations. Over time though, better smartphone hardware has allowed developers and studios to create and port more graphically-intensive games onto Android.

You might have noticed we put “premium” in the title, and for good reason. Aside from great gameplay, these games set themselves apart from the hordes of run-of-the-mill gacha and P2W titles on the Playstore. No IAPs, no daily log-ins, no loot crates – let’s get started!

The Last Remnant Remastered

Our first entry comes from Square Enix, which are undoubtedly one of the leading studios when it comes to making great RPGs. The Last Remnant Remastered is a direct port of the original Last Remnant, originally released for the Xbox 360. It was the first Square Enix game to make use of Unreal Engine, and the fact that you could now load up and play a game of this magnitude on an Android phone is pretty crazy if you think about it.

The transition to mobile also means that we’re dealing with touch controls – but given the turn-based JRPG nature of the game, I think it’s safe to say that navigating throughout the game won’t be too much of a hassle.

In addition to terrific-looking graphics, The Last Remnant Remastered puts a unique twist on classic turn-based JRPG gameplay, built on top of a lengthy main campaign. It’s literally a console RPG in the palm of your hand.

Check it out on Google Play.

Monster Hunter Stories

Originally released for the Nintendo 3DS, Monster Hunter Stories is a spin-off of Capcom’s popular Monster Hunter franchise. It switches things up by taking away the usual real-time combat of the mainline Monster Hunter titles and replaces it with a simpler turn-based approach. It’s almost Pokemon-like in its approach to gameplay, with players having to train up their monster companions and collect other species as well.

In addition, the graphics have been upscaled from the original 3DS version, so they’ll look perfectly fine running on a smartphone screen. Touch controls have been likewise integrated and given that this is a turn-based game, it shouldn’t be too complicated to get used to.

While it is an offline game with a single purchase scheme, it requires a quick Wi-Fi connection check on startup. Considering that it only takes a few seconds this isn’t too bad, and you can play the rest of your session offline as you please.

Check it out on Google Play.

Ravensword: Shadowlands

If you’re after a more “western” RPG feel, something akin to the likes of Skyrim and such, then you should check out Ravensword: Shadowlands. We’re not saying it’s a completely perfect substitute or competitor to Bethesda’s blockbuster masterpiece, but developer Crescent Moon Games has managed to create a competent mobile RPG that blends good production with attractive graphics.

While it’s not a completely open-world adventure, Ravensword allows for a good amount of exploration, quests, and real-time combat. It’s also got decent voice acting, which adds to the immersion and world-building.

The biggest issue that players will probably run into is the touch control scheme, which does have its drawbacks when used for games that require a lot of exploration and quick reflexes during combat scenarios. But if you’re willing to look past that, then you’re in for a treat with this game.

Check it out on Google Play.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars KOTOR was a hit when it first came out on the original Xbox, and the fact that we could now play Bioware’s role-playing masterpiece on mobile devices speaks volumes of the massive popularity and timelessness of this game. KOTOR puts you in the shoes of a seemingly-unimportant character, which you could customize from the get-go with a healthy variety of stats and skills. As you progress through the game you’ll eventually come across more worlds, characters, and plot twists in this award-winning RPG.

While the game does look a bit dated, its gameplay and story definitely hold up, and the transition from PC and console controls to a touch interface has been done nicely. As with the other games on this list, KOTOR is a turn-based affair, although it offers some exploration and adventure as well.

If you manage to finish KOTOR and are itching for more, KOTOR 2 is available on the Playstore as well, and it manages to do justice to the franchise as a sequel to the original.

Check it out on Google Play.

Chaos Rings 3

Square Enix’s Chaos Rings games were originally developed to be played on mobile devices, but they certainly have a “console quality” feel to them, in terms of gameplay, length, and overall production value. The latest (and presumably last, given the lack of any news) entry in the series, Chaos Rings 3 combines many standard JRPG elements, such as turn-based combat, colorful characters (the main protagonist looks like Sora), as well as a storyline that while nothing exemplary, nevertheless manages to do the job of setting forth the tone and in-game world building.

There are optional minor IAPs, but these hardly affect the gameplay and solo campaign. If you’re looking for a solid JRPG experience with good visuals, gameplay and great production quality, then you’ll definitely want to check this out.

Check it out on Google Play.

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