Best Free Android Games 2021

Free mobile games often get a bad rap. Some of that is justified, as poor quality, overly monetized cash-grabs run rampant in the field of freedom. But not all mobile games are shameless, soulless profit schemes—some of them are actually great!

So if you’ve got some time to kill and only your trusty Android phone to keep you company, you need to take a gander at some of the most exciting, engaging, and free games you can download from the Google Play Store. We have a healthy mix, including shooters, puzzle games, racing, and lots more.

The best RPGs

Expansive and immersive, many of the best games ever made fit into the RPG category, but similar experiences can often be challenging to do well on mobile. Creating an immersive environment, memorable characters, and having it all run smoothly in the palm of your hand is quite a mountain to climb, but we’ve got a few solid choices here for your perusal.

ANIMA

If you liked Diablo II, then there’s a clone on Android for you. AnimA is an action RPG hack-n-slash that evokes many memories of Diablo, right down to the font. It features the classic isometric camera angle, loot, and dark fantasy setting.

I just started playing this week, but I’m already hooked; this suggestion came from our own Daniel Bader, and I jumped on it immediately. This is a free-to-play game with microtransactions, but it seems to be similar to Path of Exile, where they’re not in your face, and you can play through the game on your own terms.

I love ARPGs, so AnimA is right up my alley. It helps me get in that fix when I’m away from my PC (and thus Grim Dawn). Give it a try and see if you like it; you have nothing to lose.

Eternium

Eternium is an ARPG designed from the ground up for mobile, so the touchscreen controls are awesome. The game took obvious inspirations from classics like Diablo and Torchlight and is currently my favorite ARPG on Android, besting even AnimA and Titan Quest.

There are three classes to choose from, loot to discover, companions to rescue, and worlds to see as you pursue your foe. Though free-to-play, you can play the whole game without spending a dime. You can earn premium currency, Gems, with gameplay, or you can buy a bunch at once. Ads were removed in an update some time ago, so you have just an honest-to-goodness ARPG here.

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is an action RPG with fantastic elemental combat and a fun party system. It takes obvious cues from Breath of the Wild with a gorgeous open world to explore, plenty to do, and lots of characters to collect.

It suffers from some monetization pitfalls, including a very gritty endgame, and it’s centered on gacha mechanics to collect new characters and items. Even so, this is a game to try out just to experience the world and characters. This game is a big deal right now, so give it a try on your phone or computer (or PS4, but you don’t get cross-save) and see what you think.

The Best Shooters

It’s easy to see why shooters are so massively popular; it’s just so darn fun to rack up those kill streaks! From first-person immersion to third-person top-down, these games are filled with action and bullets. What else do I need to say? Now get out there and click some heads, champ!

Call of Duty: Mobile

Call of Duty: Mobile is a free-to-play game buoyed by a premium Battle Pass system and in-app purchases. The good news is you don’t need to spend any money to enjoy the best of Call of Duty action on your phone. The even better news is that the gameplay is top-notch and will feel familiar to veterans of the series while remaining accessible for more casual players.

Choose between 5-on-5 battles on your favorite CoD maps or dive into a 100-player Battle Royale mode in a first- or third-person perspective. CoD Mobile is perfect for a quick game on the bus, metro, or waiting somewhere. The 5v5 matches go by pretty quickly since they have a lower point threshold than the full Modern Warfare experience. Controller support comes standard, even if it feels like cheating sometimes,

Not only is this one of the best freebies on the Play Store, but it’s the best shooter for Android. From the different control schemes to the ease of play, CoD Mobile is a surprisingly good Activision product. I haven’t spent a dime in the hours I’ve played, and you don’t have to, either.

Fortnite

Unlike the previous two shooters, Fortnite on Android is the full package deal. It’s not a mobile version of a pre-existing game — Fortnite packs in the same action you’ll find on your PC or console. You even get to keep and work on your saved battle pass progress.

Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world, but it’s been on Android for a little while. However, a legal spat has seen the game kicked off the Play Store, meaning that you will have to sideload it to play. Samsung users can install it via the Galaxy Store. The link to download the Epic Games will be below.

Many have tried to copy Fortnite’s formula, some to varying degrees of success, but it’s hard to unseat the king, even after so many years. Fortnite is packed to the brim with microtransactions, from the battle pass to cosmetics. That’s exactly how it is on other platforms. Since this is the full version of the game, you’ll get to see every update and addition when they go live (except on iOS and Mac). So have at it.

Modern Strike Online: PRO FPS

Modern Strike Online offers a pure online FPS experience packed with many great quick-match options. You earn experience as you play, which levels you up to unlock new game modes. There are six in total, including most of the standard fare you’d expect — free-for-all, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and a hardcore mode.

In-game currency can be bought via in-app purchases or earned via daily rewards, crates, and generally kicking ass, which can then be spent on new weapons, armor, and accessories for your character. There’s a decent amount of customization available for kitting, with over 30 types of weapons available to rent or buy.

If Call of Duty: Mobile isn’t to your liking, but you’re still wanting some awesome shooting action, then be sure to check out Modern Strike Online.

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile’s main attraction is its massive PvP Battle Royale mode, which pits 100 players against each other on a massive island loaded with weapons, ammo, tactical gear, and vehicles. Thanks to Tencent Games continuing to add new content to the game, there are multiple maps and more arcade-style modes to choose from for shorter sessions.

Like many similar games, there’s a tiered progression ladder with a free game pass and a premium one that offers more cosmetic rewards. Every 6-8 weeks, the game pass resets. It’s a fairly typical monetization method popularized by Fortnite, so it’s no surprise to see it here. If you loved PUBG on PC, then be sure to check out PUBG Mobile for that battle royale experience.

The Best Puzzle Games

The best puzzle games do their best to break your brain and yet keep you coming back for more pain. Infuriating, entertaining, and challenging, there are few things as satisfying as getting that AHA! moment when you finally find the solution. Puzzle games are especially well-suited to mobile, often maximizing their minimalistic designs and execution to great effect.

There are many free puzzle games out there, a good chunk of which are, frankly, garbage; so over monetized and/or drowning with ads that they’re nearly unplayable. Thankfully, the lovely puzzlers we’ve assembled below don’t fall prey to those pitfalls. Read on to discover some of the best free puzzle games you can find in the Play Store right now.

Chessplode

Chessplode is an interesting game, and it’s here on our list because of how unique a take it is. Take one guess what this game is about. I’ll wait.

Figure it out? It’s chess with explosions! Yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds. It also drastically changes the way you’ll play chess. So if you’re a chess master, you actually might be at a disadvantage over someone who isn’t as skilled. Vive la révolution and all that. Anyway, Chessplode is massively fun.

When you capture a piece, the whole row or column goes boom, except if there’s a king in the way. This game changes up the whole chess paradigm to the point where it’s unrecognizable from the original game except for the pieces. Even the boards can be weird (even user-generated). The game also throws different challenges at you, multiplayer, and that level generator I just mentioned. It’s a blast of a game and perfect for chess noobs or veterans alike.

Sixit

I love a game with interesting gameplay mechanics and Sixit does a great job of taking its deceptively simple premise to the next level in some really clever ways. In Sixit, you play as Pep, a mammal of unknown species who must wake a dragon to save its village from a sentient storm. The story is wonderfully absurd and the plot plays out like a mystery with some excellent writing and a bevy of hilarious NPCs for you to chat with.

The art style is simple but attractive and the soundtrack is just as charming to match the game’s cozy vibe. The real kicker here though is the way you play the game. Through acquiring various artifacts, Pep gradually gains up to six abilities that help it navigate the world. These six abilities can be things like jump, talk, push, and more. So what’s the catch then? You can only use your abilities up to six times per “run” and once you’ve used up your six turns you have to return to village headquarters to refresh your abilities back up to six. But wait, there’s more! On top of that, you must use your six abilities in the order in which you added artifacts to your inventory, so if you added jump, talk, and push in that order, then your next six moves must be jump, talk, push, jump, talk, push.

The puzzling aspect of the game is fantastic thanks to the constraints around using your moves. You have to think through your next run very carefully and occasionally experiment with your moves to see if there are any other more creative ways to progress that you might not have thought of. Best of all, Sixt is completely free and barely even has any ads. You can, however, choose to pay $1.99 to remove all ads and support the developer. A small price to pay for a very good quality game.

Transmission

Transmission is completely free without any hooks, caveats, or anything else we’re all used to these days. It’s just an honest to good puzzler that challenges the mind, teaches you new concepts (unless you’re a network engineer), and vibes relaxation. Transmission focuses on making connections to enable communication over a network. It sounds geeky, but I assure you, this game is perfect for anyone.

Each level is a different network, composed of six types overall, and the game gently rises in difficulty until you’re creating some truly epic connections. The sense of accomplishment with this game is awesome and certainly keeps you going, even when the next level seems impossible. Remember, you can do a lot of things through perseverance. I digress.

You can get hours and hours out of Transmission, which is incredible given that there are no IAPs or ads insight. And the soundtrack, it’s so good. Top all of that off with the gorgeous visuals, and you have yourself one fine game. Do yourself a favor and try out Transmission. I think you’ll like it.

Asphalt 9: Legends

Asphalt 9: Legends is the latest entry in this celebrated mobile racing game franchise and brings more of the frantic arcade racing action you love. The Asphalt series has always skipped over all pretensions of realism — outside of the photo-realistic car renders — to provide an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings.

Players can work their way through career mode, where they unlock new rides and upgrades for your garage and cars or take the competition online in multiplayer. The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 9 an adrenaline trip you won’t soon forget.

Of course, it has the usual Gameloft trappings, like a stamina meter and plenty of microtransactions for in-game items (including refreshing that stamina meter). Still, you can get by without spending any cash, so from that standpoint, Asphalt 9 is a great free game. If you love cars, this is a great game for you.

Data Wing

Another delightful game that’s 100% free with no-nonsense. Data Wing is a racing adventure through pure neon style. It’s perfect for that 80s/retrowave fan in your life, even if that’s you. The visual styling is striking for sure, and I love every minute I’ve spent with Data Wing, and I just had to tell you all about it.

There’s a fun story behind Data Wings, a bit like the original Tron in some ways. This is quite apt, given the visual style of the game. Touch controls are on point, too, and the levels are awesome to look at. You’ll probably finish Data Wing pretty quick, but it’s really fun to go back and do it all over again. There’s high replay value here.

That soundtrack is pretty great, too. I love everything about Data Wing, and it lacks the downsides and caveats I usually have to note before I send you off to try it out. I wish I could do that more often, but alas. At least we have excellent games like Data Wing to keep that dream afloat.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *