Speedy NinjaSpeedy Ninja’s name says it all: you play as an agile Ninja running speedily across the screen, battling through opponents with the aid of swords, fireballs and more.
What makes Speedy Ninja such a great endless runner is that the action takes place above and below a burning fuse that you run across, so you have to pay close attention to what is happening in both directions to make the best decisions and collect the most coins (the in-game currency of choice). When you have enough coins you can buy additional weapons and characters.
Speedy Ninja is not the most inventive endless runner, but it covers the basics well. It has flashy graphics with good effects, tight controls and challenging levels. Oh, and a dragon to ride.
Spider-Man UnlimitedCombining Spider-Man with an endless runner seems like a match made in heaven. Spider-Man swings through the streets of New York, climbs skyscrapers and fights exciting battles against Doc Ock, The Green Goblin and a whole host of other baddies from the Spider-Man universe in another polished title from Gameloft.
The look and feel of the game borrows heavily from the comics, with excellent cell-shaded graphics that work perfectly with the 3D level design. You shouldn’t expect an epic plot, but even non-Spider-Man fans will enjoy this one.
VectorIf you like Mirror’s Edge, you should be right at home with Vector: it’s probably the closest thing on Android to DICE’s 2008 masterpiece. It features a silhouetted protagonist with a flair for parkour, on the run in a totalitarian city.
The animations are superb, and the character's movements look completely human. There are fewer collectible items than in many other endless runners – the focus more on survival rather than trophy hunting. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop never felt so good.
Best Android action games
Implosion - Never Lose HopeImplosion - Never Lose Hope is a highly polished mobile game in terms of both graphics and gameplay. It’s a third-person action title that sees you slicing and dicing your way through hordes of enemies in the style of God of War or Devil May Cry.
You play as an armor-covered warrior equipped with a sword and a gun, dishing out damage to mutants across a variety of short and sweet locations. This game absolutely nails the controls and feel, working whether you want to button-mash, or build up combos with some more rhythmical strikes.
The graphics are as good as you'll find on the platform and the boss battles are often epic. You can play through the first few missions for free, but after that you’ll be required to buy it for US$9.99, which I think is entirely worth it.
Implosion - Never Lose Hope
Into the DeadInto the Dead isn't new to the Play Store, but it's still one of the best Android action games. Combining an endless runner and first-person shooter, Into the Dead sees you darting headfirst through mobs of zombies, testing your reflexes as you try to dodge those in your way.
Along the way you will find weapon creates to help eliminate those directly in your tracks, including that old zombie kryptonite – the chainsaw. It’s a simple romp, but an often thrilling one. It's free in the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases.
Into the Dead
Hitman: SniperSquare Enix’s Hitman series has been a big franchise on PC and consoles for some time, but it has recently been given the smartphone and tablet treatment. The turn-based Hitman GO title was released last year, and now 'Squenix' has followed up with a first-person shooter, Hitman: Sniper.
Hitman: Sniper takes place largely in a fixed position behind a sniper rifle scope. You operate as Agent 47, an assassin for hire tasked with picking off a number of high-profile targets. Though it's easy enough to identify and take out the main mark, killing the surrounding guards in the best order brings some tactical depth to Hitman: Sniper.
There are around 150 missions to keep you occupied for the US$2.99 asking price, and few Android FPSs can instill the kind of tension that Sniper does. Once the NPCs get wise to you, things can get hectic.
Best Android racing games
Reckless Racing 3Reckless Racing 3 is Micro Machines-style racer with an isometric view, which allows you to look down from above, leading to some fantastically frenetic contests.
Reckless Racing 3 uses four on-screen controls for turning right and left, and driving forwards or in reverse. It might seem like a lot compared with other racers in which you just tilt the screen, but it handles perfectly. That’s not to say that it’s easy to control – your car is perpetually sliding around the track and it’s a battle to keep it in place. It's the control setup that makes the experience, but thankfully the 3D graphics also look the part and the maps are highly realistic.
It’s a throwback to the arcade-style racing games from the 90s (anybody old enough to remember Super Skidmarks?) and it's one of the best racers on Android.
Angry Birds Go!Angry Birds Go! is a free-to-play racing game from Rovio, the team that brought us the original Angry Birds.
It looks like a cartoon with neatly cel-shaded graphics and plays something like Mario Kart. It features a number of different modes, such as avoiding obstacles, racing others, crashing through a predetermined number of items, and boss chases.
It feels like a playable version of Wacky Races. Cars can be upgraded, and new characters are unlocked as you progress, each with their own unique characteristics.
It’s clear that the painterly visuals arrive from a highly talented team of artists; the animations and backgrounds are consistently strong. The shallow learning-curve also makes it easy and fun to get to grips with, and once you get past the introductory levels you're in for an entertaining ride.
Angry Birds Go!
Riptide GP2Reminiscent of Nintendo classic Wave Race, Riptide GP2 is a futuristic jet ski racer. The career mode is fairly typical; you earn money depending on your race position, which you can then use to buy simple vehicle upgrades.
What it lacks in originality, Riptide 2 makes up for with excellent 3D graphics and tight controls. Rotating your device, even slightly, translates accurately on-screen. It might be too sensitive for some, but the controls and sensitivity can both be customized to your liking.
To make races more interesting there are ramps placed around the map – successfully completing a trick on them grants you a boost. It presents a nice risk/reward scenario into the courses, as failing to land the trick properly will actually slow you down.
It’s tough to get a three-star rating on every race, but the challenge is welcome in a game that handles as good as Riptide GP2 does. Check it out via the Play Store link below.
Best Android fighting games
Marvel Contest of ChampionsFeaturing some of the greatest Marvel characters ever, Marvel Contest of Champions is the Android brawler you’ve been waiting for. Battle your way through a variety of stages as you level up and unlock new characters in this epic quest.
It’s Marvel Contest of Champions' control-precision that makes this one of the best fighters out there. It feels incredibly fluid and responsive: simply swiping with your thumbs in different directions brings out a range of perfectly animated attacks, and there are no annoying on-screen controls to try to connect with.
You’ll have to be running a pretty modern device to play it smoothly, but if you’re itching to battle it out as some of your Marvel favorites, you need to check this out. It's free in the Play Store, with in-app purchases.
MARVEL Contest of Champions
WWE ImmortalsWe've been playing WWE Immortals recently for an epic mix of fantasy and, well, almost reality. The game fuses the cast of Injustice: Gods Among Us with pro-wrestlers for some awesome, silly fun. The graphics and animations are top-notch, and you can tag up to three characters for some thrilling three-on-three match-ups. Get ready to rumble.
SOULCALIBURSOULCALIBUR (yes, all caps) is an arcade classic: the fact that so little has changed between its release in 1998 and now speaks volumes about its mechanics.
It’s a somewhat predictable fighter by today's standards. There aren’t any surprises here in terms of gameplay, but its tried and tested formula provides some of the most enjoyable battles in the genre. You don’t need to memorize a whole bunch of complicated button presses to unleash a combo in this fighter; anyone could have a decent, ahem, stab at playing it. Yet it maintains the nuance to allow experienced players to gain an edge in combat.
SOULCALIBUR features a variety of fighters, each with unique weapons and moves, but it disappointingly lacks multi-player support. It's one of the more expensive games (currently US$13.99) in the Play Store, but as a pure fighting experience on Android, it’s one of the best.
Best Android strategy games
XCOM: Enemy WithinXCOM: Enemy Within is one of the best Android strategy games because it wasn't founded on free-to-play principles like many other popular strategy games from the Play Store. It was built to be enjoyed without any additional purchases.
It was an award-winning strategy title for PC long before it ever made its way to Android, so expect top-end graphics, but also a top-end Play Store price. We can assure you it is well worth the initial investment, though.
XCOM®: Enemy Within
DomiNationsDomiNations might be fairly new on the Android scene but it has already amassed over a million downloads, and a high level of critical acclaim. Running somewhere between Clash of Clans and Civilization, DomiNations is a basebuilding game in which players take control of an entire nation "from the stone age to the space age" to explore, expand and conquer the world.
The level of strategy afforded by DomiNations is far beyond what is seen on most Android games. Should you spend money on building a stronger army, or plow it into researching a new technology at the library? DomiNations is filled with these minute-to-minute decisions that could swing the chances of victory in your favor, as well as some sweeping battles to take part in. It's free to play and you can check it out in the Play Store.
Best offline gamesOur current favorite: Ridiculous Fishing is easily our favorite offline Android game. Mostly because it doesn't stop at fishing for fish; you can also blast them with a whole arsenal of weaponry. No one ever said the fish had to get on your place in one piece, so bazookas are totally legitimate fishing tackle. Cast away.
Ridiculous Fishing If you find yourself almost out of your data allowance or facing a long trip where you need to conserve battery life, offline games are a must-have in your games repertoire. Take a look at our roundup of the best Android offline games to keep on your phone for those no-internet fun times.
Best Android puzzle gamesOur current favorite: One of the best Android puzzle games of all time is Monument Valley, highlighted on the Google Play Store as one of the best of 2014 and sitting at the top of basically every 'must play' list of last year. For painterly beauty, mind-bending architectural geometry (think MC Escher), and clever puzzles that get progressively more difficult, be sure to check it out.
Monument Valley If you're after some other great puzzle games for Android, there's plenty to choose from. They're great for your morning commute or while you're waiting at the doctor's office. Sometimes brainless fun, and other times more complicated than you would think, puzzle games are as essential as your phone itself. Check our our other favorites at the link below.
Bonus: Try new apps and get rewardsIf you're looking for more great games for Android, download Buzzinga!
Buzzinga is an app that recommends new games for you to discover and review. Best of all, you get rewarded for it. The premise is simple: the more games you download and review, the more points you accumulate. You can exchange those points for the chance to win prizes, including Ultra HD TVs, the newest smartphones and other gadgets, or you can redeem them for Amazon, Starbucks and GameStop giftcards. Buzzinga is developed by App Media, which is owned by Fonpit, the publisher of AndroidPIT.