Action games look to satisfy one’s need for adrenaline, whether it’s taking on hordes of creatures by yourself or outsmarting opponents in PVP. In the Android marketplace, action games cover quite a diverse cast of styles. And while, yes, it’s true hardcore action titles like Overwatch and the Destiny 2 have yet to go mobile, there exists a handful of gems if you know where to look. To make matters worse, however, it’s hard to distinguish the best of what Android has to offer for the action genre without stumbling on many not-so-savory titles. Instead of you sifting through garbage to find the good stuff, we did that for you and compiled a list of 10 of the best Android action games you can get your hands on right now.
10. Call of Duty: Mobile
With how powerful smartphones are these days, it was about time handhelds got Call of Duty and Activision finally delivered with Call of Duty: Mobile. Bringing the multiplayer FPS to smartphones and tablets wasn’t an easy task. Mobile games operate primarily with touchscreen controls, and many games fail to deliver a satisfying FPS. Not so with Call of Duty: Mobile. Moving, aiming, and shooting has been responsively catered towards touchscreen, even going as far as to combine shooting and aiming down the sights with a single button rather than two. It’s Call of Duty at its finest, and the perfect game to play while you’re self-isolating.
9. Mortal Kombat Mobile
When someone mentions fighting games, chances are Mortal Kombat comes to mind. And for a good reason. When you’re looking to smack someone to the ground, hard enough to make them bounce, you play Mortal Kombat. After all, it’s the king of blood, gore, and wicked fatalities. Now that it’s a part of the Android mobile scene, it’s taking its place on the throne as one of the best fighting games on mobile devices, as well as one of the best Android action games.
Mortal Kombat Mobile takes what everyone’s familiar with in recent titles and ports most of it to mobile devices. What you get from the console is very much what you’ll get on your Android device, as far as gameplay is concerned. It retains the excellent use of juggling, combo stringing, and gruesome fatalities.
8. Death Road to Canada
Here’s what to expect from Death Road to Canada: humor, hordes of zombies, and gun-wielding dogs walking upright. Intrigued? You should be! Death Road to Canada takes the concepts of zombies and injects so much humor and fun. It never takes itself seriously, considering you can beat zombies as someone’s grandma, throw vehicles, and run the living dead down with your car. You have one simple mission: the last nation on Earth is Canada, and you have to traverse Death Road to get there, which spans from Florida to Canada.
7. PUBG Mobile
Everyone is making battle royale games these days. Even AAA studios are reaching for a slice of the pie by adding in the game mode to their annual releases. With that said, PUBG Mobile still manages to be one of the best examples of the genre in the mobile world. Rather than simply port the game, which Tencent did almost one to one, many quality-of-life changes were put in place to cater to touchscreen devices such as automatically equipping items and auto-firing.
For the uninitiated, PUBG Mobile drops you into a massive zone spanning miles alongside dozens of other players. Locate weapons, armor, and attachments in an attempt to survive and, hopefully, be the last man standing.
6. Soul Chase
What do you get when you mix retro graphics, tight controls, and Dark Souls level of difficulty? Why, you get Soul Chase, developed by Harambert Games. It’s practically a love letter to retro gaming, with a simplistic story and tough gameplay. It even goes as far as to advertise Soul Chase “Brings back the challenge in gaming.”
Harambert Games deserves the humblebrag. Level design and tight controls are the heart and soul of this game, not the story. One moment you’re resting on a moving platform and enjoying the 8-bit scenery, the next moment you’re trying to dodge spikes, flying enemies, and the kitchen sink. It relies heavily on your reaction time, and you’ll need plenty of it to reach the end.
5. Black Paradox
Fantastico Studio’s Black Paradox not only has you warping through space but also in time. It’s a perfect example of what you would have found in arcades back in the ‘80s, and certainly one deserving of your quarters. Instead of being locked to an arcade cabinet, you can have Black Paradox on your Android device.
Mow down every spaceship in your way in an effort to reach the Hellraisers, a group of space warlords. But this cyberpunk throwback isn’t content with just that. When you die—and you will—level design changes up. Rather than beat the level through memorization, you rely on your skill. On the way, upgrade your ship with various parts from the black market to increase health, attack, speed, and fire rate. Black Paradox is pure adrenaline, fueled by a synthwave soundtrack. That’s why it has earned its place as one of the best Android action games.
4. Dead Trigger 2
MADFINGER Games already accomplished so much with Dead Trigger, providing the perfect opportunity to blow off steam by way of mowing down hordes of the walking dead. Rather than feel ashamed of its mobile roots, Dead Trigger 2 embraces it wholeheartedly, even implementing some quality of life changes that were missing from its previous title.
What Dead Trigger 2 offers is much of the same it did in the original title: close-range combat against hordes of zombies. The story campaign can be played to advance the story, or you could pick up semi-randomized missions for loot. If you need a quick fix of zombie killing, look to Dead Trigger 2.
3. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Waist deep in the Triad gangs of Liberty City, you play as Huang Lee. His father’s murder still fresh in his mind, revenge thickens the air. All that’s left of Haung’s father is an ancient sword, an heirloom that he must deliver to his uncle.
Only a few games expertly craft a story around revenge with a payoff that’s so sweet, satisfying, and certainly deserved. Something of a first for Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was specifically built with handheld devices in mind. That has done nothing to stop the game from being an excellent addition to the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
Unlike previous titles, Chinatown Wars blends cel-shaded 3D graphics with an isometric point-of-view seen in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. Sell drugs, complete missions, steal cars, and perform all manner of criminal activities. This is GTA at its core.
2. Shadowgun War Games
MADFINGER Games brings another excellent title to this list with Shadowgun War Games. Foregoing zombies this time, the game is entirely a PVP experience. You will be pitted against five other players in game modes such as Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch.
Shadowgun War Games isn’t your average FPS. Rather than run and gun your way to the top, the gameplay is very reminiscent of Blizzard’s Overwatch. Before the match begins, you get to choose from a roster of characters, each with their own unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Shadowgun War Games may be freemium, but there’s no gacha system here.
1. Space Marshals 2
It’s hard to blend the nit and grit of westerns with science fiction, aptly categorized as “space westerns.” Although, every now and then one pops up, like Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds, and now Pixelbites’s Space Marshals 2. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the criminals you’re tasked with killing.
You are Burton, a bounty hunter up against the seedy underbelly of the galaxy. Burton isn’t content with taking out the opposition with a few guns, though. Throw axes, snipe from a distance, use stealth takedowns, and toss grenades. How you approach the situation is entirely up to you.