The library of action titles available on Android is overwhelming. But increasingly, a lot of those games are online-only. What’s a gamer with unreliable Wi-Fi to do? Easy—consult Hardcore Droid’s list of the Best Offline Android Action Games.
11. Sky Force Reloaded
Gun for the perfect run in this old-fashioned bullet hell shooter. Right from the title screen, Sky Force boasts a polished presentation. Sound design in particular stands out. Perfectly silly voice acting elevates the simple story—you’re not just shooting down faceless foes, you’re battling campy villains a la Starfox. Sky Force Reloaded also features an addictive upgrades system. Altogether, this classic shoot ‘em up is elevated by polished presentation and a surprisingly deep progression system that will keep you coming back for one more run.
10. Into the Dead 2
A zombie game with heart and brains. As the long-awaited followup to (what else?) Into the Dead, Into the Dead 2 is essentially a runner with guns—lots of guns. Yes, you’ll need to conserve ammo in the apocalypse. But this time around, weapons upgrades turn your arsenal into veritable BFGs capable of mowing down the undead by the bushel. Also new to the series: a proper single player campaign. The voice acting is top notch and the story, while cliché, lends emotional weight to every run. Developer PikPok clearly took several doses of inspiration from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, as evident in the guitar-heavy soundtrack and father-daughter tale of survival.
9. Nindash Skull Valley
Controls can’t get much simpler or more instantly accessible than tapping. With a simple, well-placed tap, you’ll dash through foes, crash into giants, and smash skeletons to bits. But paired with a disarmingly cute chibi aesthetic, the ninja theming does a lot to make Nindash Skull Valley stand out from other tappers. It’s no surprise that ANKAMA Games is also behind the massively popular Drag’n’Boom, another easily recommendable, endearingly animated mobile title. With varied enemies, engaging boss encounters, and a host of unlockable characters, Nindash Skull Valley will be a featured player in your mobile gaming lineup for weeks.
8. Apple Knight
Because classic action/adventure platformers tend to require a lot of buttons, they are notoriously hard to replicate on mobile. But with its warmly nostalgic story and responsive controls, Apple Boy prevails. Reminiscent of the Wonder Boy series, players guide a sword-wielding youngster through a fantasy world full of wizards, dragons, and well-placed spike traps. Colorful 16 bit visuals complete this homage to the Sega Genesis/SNES era and tight controls make picking up Apple Knight a breeze. It’s a thrill to dash and double jump through Apple Knight’s sprawling stages which were clearly designed with verticality and exploration in mind. Dash—don’t walk—to download this hit.
7. Hungry Shark Evolution
It’s no exaggeration to say that Hungry Shark Evolution is the best shark game ever made. Developer Ubisoft clearly took inspiration from the gameplay of Flash “goldfish” games: eat little fish and avoid big fish until you are the big fish. The watery platforming also undeniably echoes, well, Ecco the Dolphin. Take a leisurely swim through the coral reef or explore the spooky, mysterious depths of oceanic trenches. Explore each new locale, meet the locals, eat the locals, rinse and repeat. Years after its initial release, the over-the-top action is still worth coming back to. More than a mobile recreation of browser games or a knockoff of a console title, Hungry Shark Evolution is a modern classic best experienced on mobile.
6. GTA San Andreas
It’s been 16 years since Rockstar Games introduced us to their frenetic parody of San Francisco. Now that GTA San Andreas is finally old enough to legally drive, a new crop of Android gamers are experiencing the generation-defining classic for the first time. And if you’re looking to revisit the open world sandbox shooter but are worried it won’t hold up on Droid, fret not! Cleverly mapped controls make this exceptional port a smooth joy ride. Take GTA San Andreas for a spin for just $6.99, the price of a hot coffee.
5. One Epic Knight
Looking for an infinite runner with a fantasy theme? Your days of waiting are over. Actually, they’ve been over since 2016, but One Epic Knight is still one of the best runners out there. Its goofy tone and PlayStation One visuals instantly call Spyro to mind and the intentionally corny voice acting makes every run a treasure. Speaking of treasure, you’ll be swiping and sliding your way around fantastical pitfalls to snag trails of gold coins so helpfully spilled across the endless dungeon floor. It’s hard to put down—especially when that next achievement is just around the next corner.
4. Dead Cells
What is left to say about Dead Cells? This stylish innovator of the “Souls-like” genre incorporates a metroidvania progression loop and fast-paced, hardcore combat. You’ll explore a 2D side-scrolling landscape to unlock new abilities which in turn will unlock new areas of the game world to explore. If you have not yet experienced the magnum opus of French indie studio Motion Twin, now is your chance—it’s on the Google Play Store for just $8.99. Yes, it handles astonishingly well on mobile. Mobile publisher Playdigious caught some flak from players early on, but their port has been updated and is now every bit as slick and responsive as the original title.
Most mobile games from 2012 hold up and fewer still elicit calls for sequels all these years later. But Swordigo is not most games. Every decision in the game’s design was made with fun in mind. Why can the player character double jump right from the beginning? It’s fun! Why can you pick up and throw pots even though it serves no discernible purpose? It’s fun! That, and because Zelda games let you do it. An action-adventure platformer in the Nintendo vein, Swordigo plays a lot like a side-scrolling Zelda (though thankfully not quite like that actual side-scrolling Zelda). Nearly nine years on, this modern classic’s disarmingly cartoony visuals have only grown more charming.
2. Cat Bird
These days, mobile gamers have their pick of pixel art platformers. However, few in the crowded genre can match Cat Bird for sheer joy. Every inch of the game shines with pastel charm while the emulated chiptune soundtrack recalls the best of Jun Ishikawa’s scores for Kirby titles. And while the aesthetics are delightful and the controls are kept approachably simple, there is plenty for more experienced gamers to enjoy. Levels are short, designed to be played in under a minute, but are highly replayable for high-scores and out-of-reach collectibles. It’s worth going ad-free for $1.99 to support this delightful title—it’ll put a smile on your face and a cheery tune in your head.
Inspiration from Dark Souls is evident in every brooding corridor of Grimvalor. From collecting souls off fallen foes to finding notes on corpses, it’s clear the macabre fantasy world of Grimvalor owes a huge debt to that of the Souls franchise. Roll to dodge incoming attacks from the horrifying, massive demons who skulk every crypt, then strike them from behind. However, it’s a far more forgiving experience than many other rogue-lights; Grimvalor was made by the same folks behind Swordigo and carries forward some of its light, fast-paced platformer feel. Grimvalor is free to try, and playing past Act I costs only $6.99. The successor to Swordigo was worth the wait and is worth your time.
What do you think—did we find the best offline action games for Android? Check out our list of the Best Offline Android Games, the Most Hardcore Offline Android Games, the Best Offline RPGs for Android, the Best Offline Strategy Games for Android, the Best Offline Android Shooters and the Best Offline Android Indies.