Best Of best-Android-RPGs-2013-FIN-J

by Tyler Burt

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The Best Android RPGs of 2013

Hardcore Droid's Best RPGs of 2013

An RPG could be an enormous decade-spanning epic or it could have almost no plot at all.  It could have a well-written main character or it could have a character that you created.  It could be an open-world first person shooter or it could be a top-down, pixelated dungeon crawler—it’s the most experimental genre of games and the most diverse.

In 2013, Android RPGs found new life in ideas from the genre’s past, and the resulting crop of games are as diverse as RPGs have ever been, with bold visions and experimental designs, inspired by everything from dusty 80s-era tabletop games to Skyrim, not to mention ports of some of the best RPGs ever.  In the list below you’ll find the RPGs we liked the most in 2013, so if you’re in the market for a new RPG, you’ve come to the right place.

Without further ado, here’s Hardcore Droid’s list of the best Android RPGs of 2013:

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Ravensword: Shadowlands ($6.99 in Google Play Store)

HD Score – 4.5
Featuring some of the best 3D graphics on the Droid, Ravensword: Shadowlands has all the basics of open world RPG gameplay (level exploration, grinding for gold/experience, upgrade items, etc.) in a condensed mobile package. Think of it as Skyrim Light. You play as a soldier who survived a mysterious event that wiped out both sides of the battlefield. As the game progresses, you learn what happened and why you were spared. Ravensword: Shadowlands is one of the most expansive open-world RPGs available on the Android.

Read Ravensword: Shadowlands HD Review

 

Epic Pirates Story (99 Cents in Google Play Store)

HD Score – 4.0
If you ever wanted to be Jack Sparrow, Epic Pirates Story is the game for you. Choose your pirate’s gender, name the pirate and island home, and then set out on a swashbuckling adventure to build your following and seek revenge against the pirate king who captured your father. The gameplay is addictive and the writers did a great job of incorporating humor into the story into this Android RPG, earning it a spot on this Best of list. No man is an island but with Epic Pirates Story you can at least own one.

Read Epic Pirates Story HD Review
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best-android-rpg-avernum Avernum: Escape from the Pit ($9.99 in Google Play Store)

HD Score – 4.0
Fans of old school pen-and-paper tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons will love Avernum: Escape from the Pit. With nine player classes and six upgradeable attributes (intelligence, dexterity, strength, endurance, charisma, and negotiation), you lead your party of four through a series of tunnels to explore an underground world. Avernum is easily the best tabletop RPG on the Android.

Read Avernum: Escape From The Pit HD Review

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Chaos Rings II ($15.99 in Google Play Store)

HD Score – 4.0
RPG royalty Square Enix created a rare dark RPG experience in Chaos Rings II. You play as Darwin, who is forced into a world of suspended time and space along with four other individuals. The only way to save the world from impending destruction is to sacrifice the others. Chaos Rings II features visually stunning hand-drawn art and all the standard RPG elements that made Square a legend in the video game industry and cemented their place as one of the best Android RPG developers.

Read Chaos Rings II HD Review

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 QuestLord ($1.99 in Google Play Store)

HD Score – 4.0
In QuestLord, you choose to play as a human, elf, or dwarf and set out to save the realm from destruction. The 8-bit graphics and accessible user interface make for a solid retro RPG experience on the Android. The graphics aren’t hi-tech, but they’re not meant to be. This game is a nod to retro with compelling gameplay, secret passages and monster-battling action. Gamers pining for the classic days of RPG gaming on the PC can add another star to QuestLord. Even if you’re from the new school, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more solid game.

Read QuestLord HD Review

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Final Fantasy Dimensions ($19.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4.5
The Final Fantasy series is arguably the best in RPG gaming. In fact, the series normally makes multiple appearances on every game reviewer’s top 100 All Time Best Video Games list. Dimensions reminds us what makes this series so great. Mixing the best elements from the first five Final Fantasy titles with an original story, this game will make you think you’re playing a game on a DS or Vita. Dimensions is another brilliant offering in the Final Fantasy series, an instant classic RPG, and a must have for every hardcore gamer’s Android collection.

Read Final Fantasy Dimensions HD Review

 

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Heroes of Steel  (Free-To-Play in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4.6
Heroes of Steel  is a squad-based tactical RPG that manages to capture the spirit of a classic dungeon crawler without feeling like a clone of any game in particular.  Its handmade aesthetic gives it a unique look and feel, and with great writing and character customization, it’s a triumph of old-school craftsmanship.  With a free prologue and a $1 price for each story episode, it’s also the only game on this list that you can start playing right now without paying a cent.

Read Heroes of Steel HD Review

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Chrono Trigger  (9.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4.2
If you haven’t played Chrono Trigger yet, you’ve probably been begged to play it over and over again by gaming websites.  It was made by an All-Star team of JRPG developers and visual artists and it’s often been cited as the best RPG ever made, proof that games are art, and all sorts of other lofty praise that’s completely deserved.  It’s a one-of-a-kind game, with a unique battle system, fleshed-out characters, and a time-traveling plot.  It might be the single most critically acclaimed game that you could possibly buy for the Android, so if you’re looking for an Android RPG and you haven’t played Chrono Trigger, maybe you should consider playing Chrono Trigger!

Read Chrono Trigger HD Review

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Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf  (4.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4
Way back in the 1980s, when a good tabletop system and your imagination were the best tools around for fantasy gaming, Joe Dever published the massively popular Lone Wolf series of gamebooks, selling millions of copies and providing some of the most compelling solo role-playing experiences out there.  Lone Wolf was an enormous franchise in its day, and with Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf, the original author returns with a new story and an update on the old gamebook format.  This is a heavily story-based game where you progress through both role-playing choices and skill-based minigames, and the end result is a one-of-a-kind experience with a strong narrative voice.

Read Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf HD Review

 

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Final Fantasy IV  (15.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4
With the Android port of Final Fantasy IV, Square Enix decided to try something different:  fully remaking the game with completely new 3D graphics and a retranslated script.  With the original game’s heavier emphasis on character and story, the approach was a smart choice, and the end result is a game that breaks with nostalgia to rediscover what made the game a classic the first time.

Read Final Fantasy IV HD Review

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Final Fantasy V  (15.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4
If Final Fantasy V were a person, it would have celebrated its 21st birthday in 2013.  It’s an actual classic RPG, not a tribute to classic RPGs or an attempt to recapture the nostalgia of playing a classic RPG.  And while the Android version is reskinned with classy sprites, tiles, and character portraits, the most compelling argument for playing Final Fantasy V isn’t the improved presentation; it’s the chance to play a game made by the masters in their prime.

Read Final Fantasy V HD Review

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Tales of Illyria  (4.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 3.7
How often have you heard Oregon Trail cited as a design influence recently?  Tales of Illyria wears its dysentery-infected heart on its sleeve with its travel system, where getting your party safely across miles of fantasy countryside is not always a given.  With hand-drawn graphics, memorable random encounters, a Choose Your Own Adventure system of moral choices and karma, and a commitment to tabletop RPG complexity, Tales of Illyria means business.

Read Tales of Illyria HD Review

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Shadowrun Returns  (6.99 in Google Play Store)
HD Score – 4.2
Remakes, sequels, and revivals may be outmuscling original properties in modern gaming, but Shadowrun Returns proves that a game can be a breath of fresh air even if it does have the word “Returns” in its title.  It helps that Shadowrun Returns is designed by same guy who created the original tabletop RPG, giving the game a real sense of continuity in addition to its tactical strategy gameplay and well-written story.

Read Shadowrun Returns HD Review

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About the Authors

Tyler Burt

Hardcore Droid Editor Tyler Burt is from Los Angeles, California. He grew up with games, and still plays them today at various hours of the night.


Brian Penny

Brian Penny is not a gamer. At least that’s what he told his parents after secretly dropping out of AZ State to play Smash Bros & Goldeneye. After two years of battling a crippling World of Warcraft addiction, he walked away from a successful career as an analyst in the mortgage industry to blow the whistle on corruption. When he’s not tea bagging fellow gamers, Brian kills time writing for The Huffington Post, Mainstreet, Lifehack, and more. He documents his experiences working with Anonymous, fighting the banks, and practicing meditation and yoga on his blog.



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