While mobile gaming these days has gotten a bad rap of sorts due to the amount of pay-to-win titles and gacha-centric software out and about, players after a more “traditional” gaming experience might take comfort in knowing that there’s a considerable amount of hidden gems scattered throughout the Play Store.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the best-quality Android games, which take their origins from beloved and dedicated gaming hardware. This list includes titles across different genres, and the best part is that they’re all premium, meaning no hidden fees, no paying for character upgrades, and no silly pay-to-win mechanics on here. Let’s get started!
Starting off this list is a new release on the Play Store. A full console-to-mobile port of “Hitman: Blood Money” which was originally released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox back in 2006, Reprisal is designed with touch controls in mind, and so far has managed to run decently on our Google Pixel 8.
This isn’t the first time that Agent 47 has appeared on mobile, however – the character was also present for “Hitman GO” and “Hitman Sniper”, which were spin-off titles from the main series. GO featured a puzzle-style board game design, while Hitman Sniper revolved around bite-sized sniping missions.
Up next is GRID Autosport, a popular racing sim which first launched on multiple consoles and computers. While there are some differences between the mobile and main console versions, it still remains a fun and challenging racing game.
One thing to note about GRID Autosport is that its gameplay leans more towards a “simulation” type of racing as opposed to arcade racers (like the Asphalt franchise), so there’s a bit of realism involved. Players also get different in-game categories like street racing, touring, endurance, and more.
Regarded as one of the best Star Wars games to ever grace videogame history, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic first appeared on PCs and eventually the Xbox, providing an immersive and story-driven gaming experience for countless Star Wars fans and gamers.
It has in-depth character customization, tried-and-tested turn-based combat, classic RPG-style exploration, and a story that builds upon the already-massive universe introduced by George Lucas those many years ago.
For a more “casual” Star Wars experience, players can check out LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. While it isn’t so “complete” now (as it lacks the sequel trilogy), it’s nevertheless a solid action game, featuring a lot of the same mechanics, characters, and locations in the Star Wars universe. The controls have been adapted for touchscreens, and they do work nicely for the most part.
We’d recommend checking if your device is fully compatible with the game however, as there have been reports of performance issues with certain devices. On its own though, it remains a solid gaming experience.
In addition to the Final Fantasy franchise, Square Enix’s “Mana” series likewise takes its spot as one of the longest-running JRPG franchises in gaming history, and the mobile port of Trials of Mana is a great addition to that legacy. The game features full 3D graphics, and the addition of real-time combat and action gameplay elements make this a must-play title for RPG enthusiasts.
The game features a lengthy story campaign, a variety of side-quests, and even lets you play as several characters. What’s amazing is that the game runs surprisingly well on a lot of devices, and you can tweak the performance settings in the game’s menu should you try and run it on a lower-spec’d handset.
The third mainline Final Fantasy game to hit the PlayStation after VII and VIII (which both took place in futuristic dystopian worlds), Final Fantasy IX takes a step back and reintroduces players to a more fantasy-styled medieval setting. You’ll play as Zidane and his merry band of misfits as they try and save the world from evil forces.
Staying true to earlier Final Fantasy formulas, FFIX retains most of the overworld exploration, dungeon navigation, and turn-based combat gameplay that have been staples in earlier games in the series, although the storytelling and characters in this particular title take part in some of the most prominent JRPG moments in history.
When 2K first ported XCOM: Enemy Within for mobile platforms, it showed that gaming on smartphones had more potential beyond your usual array of casual cash-grab titles. With the release of XCOM 2 Collection on the Play Store, players are now able to experience one of the best-reviewed strategy games on consoles, all in the palm of their hand.
XCOM 2 serves as a direct sequel to the previous game, and will put players up against elite alien squads for some tactical turn-based action. It also includes four DLC packs for players to enjoy. The game does feature high-end graphics, and mid-range devices might have a bit of trouble running the game. If you still want to try it on your phone, then feel free to check it out below.
If you’re in the mood for some real-time strategy, then Company of Heroes might suit you more. Originally launched for PCs, Company of Heroes places you in WWII and gives you command over infantry units, vehicles, and will test your mettle on the mobile battlefield. The game has been reworked to be playable on touchscreens, although the UI can feel a bit awkward to handle at times.
Nevertheless, this mobile port brings over all the tactical goodness from the original game, along with some improvements. If you must know, the port was handled by Feral Interactive, who did a wonderful job bringing over GRID Autosport and XCOM 2 to mobile devices.
Up next is Wreckfest, which combines realistic racing physics, a wide collection of different cars and vehicles, in-depth automobile customization, as well as multiplayer and challenge modes. There’s also a solo career mode which takes players through a speed-loaded campaign to the championships.
Originally launched for PC and console systems back in 2018-2019, Wreckfest pits you in destruction derby-styled events and races, using your vehicle and skills to wreak havoc on the racetrack. The launch of the mobile version of the game also follows its recent availability for the Nintendo switch.
Last but not the least is a much-beloved classic, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. First launched on the Sony PlayStation, SOTN features role-playing elements such as a leveling system, customizable gear, and some meaty in-game exploration, prompting you to spend a lot of time going back and forth through a massive in-game world.
You play as Alucard, tasked to take down his father Dracula in his large, sprawling castle. SOTN also supports both touch controls and external controllers, so you can easily pair a wireless controller to your smartphone and get started with all the action.
More Android Gaming
Want to read more of our gaming lists? Be sure to check out these other entries as well!