Get your blood pumping with these action-packed games for Android
There are so many awesome action games in the Google Play Store, it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. But we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and after hundreds of hours of playing, we’ve rounded up the best action-packed games for Android that are worth checking out.
Many of the games on this list are paid apps which might give you pause, so you’ll need to trust us when we say these games are well worth the initial investment. Plus, it’s always good to support those teams developing great games for Android!
In Fowlst, you play as a loot-seeking owl that has somehow gotten itself stuck in Hell’s underground labyrinth. Every time you play is its own unique challenge because each chamber is randomly generated and filled with demons and other deadly traps to deftly dodge.
Controls are dead simple. You tap on either side of the screen to flap your wings in that direction and you got to keep flapping to fly. You automatically kill demons by running into them but they’re constantly trying to shoot at you so you have to dodge their attacks while setting up to swoop in on them.
Enemies drop loot in the form of money sacks along with power ups which you can trigger with a quick swipe up anywhere on the screen. You’ll want to collect as much loot as possible as you can spend them on valuable upgrades that will increase your health, give you magnetic powers for collecting loot, and also give you more attacks like egg bombs and homing rockets that shoot out your butt.
There’s a sequel — Super Fowlst — that’s free to play but has more ads that distract from the core gameplay.
Battlelands Royale is a made-for-mobile battle royale game that combines cartoony graphics and a top-down perspective with a simplistic last man standing gameplay format that works really well. This game offers a fairly unique take on the battle royale formula that is absolutely for casual gaming sessions as a match takes only a few minutes to complete. Just like PUBG or Fortnite, you parachute down onto a map with a bunch of other players — 29 opponents in this case — and must scavenge for weapons, ammo, and armor while staying in the safety circle and eliminating your enemies.
You’re limited to carrying one gun and ammo is very sparse, leading to some pretty intense moments where you need to decide whether to engage an enemy or try and sneak past them. There’s also a duo mode where you can team up with a friend or a random player. The art style and gameplay are bright and fun and this is a great little game for killing time. It’s free to play with in-app purchases for character skins.
JYDGE is a gritty and violent top-down twin-stick shooter that is an absolute blast to play. You are the JYDGE, a cybernetic enforcement officer who uses his Gavel (see: BIG freaking gun) to dole out RoboCop-style justice.
Each level features different challenges that are required to progress but never feel like a slogging chore. Confiscating illegal cash along the way, you’re able to upgrade JYDGE and his gavel with a deep selection of accessories. In that way, JYDGE retains the rogue-like element from its predecessor Neon Chrome by encouraging you to replay levels with different upgrade combinations until you complete all the challenges.
With a game that has you replay levels over and over again, it’s imperative for a game to find that mix of great gameplay with an interesting soundtrack that isn’t super annoying or repetitive — and JYDGE absolutely delivers.
Check out my full review if you need more convincing.
Tesla vs Lovecraft
Tesla vs Lovecraft is the latest game from Finnish developers 10tons Ltd and it’s a real treat. The game pits Nikola Tesla and his hi-tech inventions against a vengeful H.P. Lovecraft who has unleashed endless waves of nightmarish monsters that will quickly swarm around you unless you fight back.
This is an incredibly polished game that uses twin-stick controls for moving and shooting. The campaign gradually increases in difficulty with well over 200 enemies spawning on screen at one time if you aren’t fast with your trigger finger. Fortunately, there are power-ups and perks aplenty which are accessible in rogue-like fashion. You collect XP as you slay monsters and get a new perk every time you level up. Power-ups and weapons randomly spawn on the map and you’ll also want to collect the six pieces required to build Tesla’s mech which can cut down any horde in short order.
The touchscreen controls feel comfortable and the game also offers great support for Bluetooth controllers which is always fantastic to see in a premium game. There’s a ton of content built into the base game, along with some DLC available that offers new monsters, weapons and much more. Don’t be worry, the game feels polished without needing to shell out more money, but once you’ve finally made it through everything that Tesla vs Lovecraft has to offer you might be glad there’s a little bit more to explore.
Suzy Cube is a game that’s been in the works for many years. Developed by an indie game developer, this action-packed platformer is a must-play game on mobile with touch controls that have no right being as good as they are. It’s easiest to compare the graphics and gameplay to Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS and is far superior to Mario’s mobile debut, Super Mario Run.
In Suzy Cube, you play the titular character who has set out on an adventure to reclaim her family’s fortune which has been stolen by block-shaped baddies. Most enemies can be defeated by jumping on their heads, while other obstacles require quick reflexes to dodge each attack.
There are a lot of ways a 3D platformer can go wrong — bad controls, shoddy camera, uninspired level design — but Suzy Cube is a rare gem that shows that a proper console-quality platformer can be made for mobile without compromise. You hear that, Nintendo?
From its name to its app icon, ICEY is a rather unassuming entry in the Google Play Store that would be easy to overlook — but that would be a mistake.
At its core, ICEY is a 2D side-scrolling action game where you play as the titular character, a mysterious cybernetic warrior that kicks serious ass. The game plays flawlessly, with tight controls and new skills to be unlocked and upgraded as you progress through the game.
If that’s all ICEY was — a kick-ass side-scrolling action game — it would still find a spot on this list. But that’s just the beginning, there’s also an entire meta-narrative at play here exploring the relationship between the player and the narrator. The narrator will guide you around the world and tell you where you should go… but what happens if you ignore the narrator?
There are layers to this game and a sizeable list of trophies to unlock. If you love indie games and meta-humor you definitely need to check out ICEY!
Death Road to Canada
When you’re going to be dropping money on a game, you’re going to want to be sure it has good replay value. In that regard, Death Road To Canada is an outstanding choice.
Facing a zombie apocalypse, you must lead a scrappy squad of somewhat interesting characters on a deadly mission to the relative safety of Canada. Along the way, you’ll need to explore and loot places for supplies, while also managing your team’s health and morale.
Everything in Death Road to Canada is randomly generated, making every play-through a unique experience in this road trip action-RPG. You can randomly generate your character and buddy or custom design your starting characters with different attributes to help them stay alive.
The controls take some getting used to, and there’s a pretty steep learning curve as you learn which weapons are most effective and when it’s better to fight or run. And you will die, early and often, although that’s part of the fun of a zombie apocalypse, right?
There’s a ridiculous amount of depth in this game, including 10 different game modes to unlock. The price might seem a little steep, but if you’re a fan of rogue-like zombie games, it’s well worth the investment!
Stranger Things: The Game
If you’re a true fan of Stranger Things, you’ve already binge-watched the entirety of Season 2 (possibly in one sitting). But the truest of Stranger Things fans have also beaten Stranger Things: The Game, a surprisingly solid game released by Netflix that has no right being as good as it is.
Set in the town of Hawkins, Indiana you start out playing as Police Chief Jim Hopper as he heads out to search for a missing kid, but discovers much more than he bargained for. The gameplay has a classic Zelda vibe to it, and the mix of puzzles and action sections keep things feeling fresh. As you explore the town, you’ll find other characters from the show who join your party and have special abilities which allow you to reach new areas of the world.
There’s just so much to appreciate here. Not only is it a faithful adaptation of the show, it’s available for free with no in-app purchases or annoying ads…beyond the game itself.
Yes, this game is essentially a playable advertisement for Season 2 of Stranger Things — in fact, one of the rewards for completing the game is an extended trailer for said season. But unlike other mobile games tied into movie or TV show franchises, Stranger Things: The Game can stand on its own as a great game whether you’re a fan of the source material or not.
Death Point is as polished a game as you’ll find on Android. It’s a top-down stealth shooter in which you play a captured spy in a post-apocalyptic world where you must sneak through enemy compounds taking out guards and sabotaging their systems as you go.
Your goal is to meet up with the only other member of your team who has survived, an operator who is able to communicate with you through technology implanted in your brain. She’s there to give you tips and info on upcoming sections, and provide some lighthearted banter and story as you get down to business getting your revenge.
The graphics are next level, and you’ll probably need a recent flagship to get the most out of this game, with great lighting effects to show you when you’re visible to guards and when you’re hidden in the shadows. You’re free to play through however you please — be extra stealthy, or go in Rambo-style — but you’ll quickly learn that this game is very unforgiving if you make mistakes making a stealthier approach the clear winning strategy.
There are 10 challenging chapters to play through that will test even the most hardcore gamers. It’s a great title that’s worth the premium price.
Island Delta was published by the fine folks at Noodlecake Studios, which alone makes it worth checking out. Developed by Mantisbite out of Finland and released for iOS in late 2016, Island Delta brings unique top-down action-adventure-puzzler fun to Android. You’re tasked with exploring a mysterious retro-futuristic island with your heroes, Zoe and Baxter, as you try to take down the evil Doctor Gunderson and his army of henchmen.
Using your anti-gravity gun, you must work your way past mechanical minions, traps, and guards as you solve puzzles to make it through to the end of each level. At times Island Delta feels like a stripped down, third-person version Portal, which is something I wasn’t aware I needed in my life.
The cartoony graphics and outstanding level design will immediately draw you in, but this game can get seriously challenging at times. Fortunately, the game is fairly forgiving with checkpoints.
Check out our full review of Island Delta for a more in-depth look at what this game has to offer.
Downwell is a retro-styles rogue-like game where the goal is fairly simple — you jump down the well and see how far you can fall. Easy, right? Well, not quite — the well is filled with enemies. But don’t worry, you’re able to shoot down as you go, which also helps you kind of float.
Story? Who needs a story when all you’re looking for is action, baby! From the cool graphics and simple controls, this is a game that’s easy to jump into but hard to master. Each time you play is unique, with new weapon upgrades popping up randomly. At the end of each stage, you also get to choose an additional power-up to help you along.
But be warned this game is challenging as hell. There’s a steep learning curve as you learn how to best use your weapons and which enemies can be stomped and which need to be blasted. Since this is a rogue-like game, you can pick up and play it a different game each time.
Penarium is a tough-as-nails platformer created by Team 17, who you probably remember best from the Worms franchise. Whereas Worms was a slow-paced strategy game, Penarium is on the opposite end of the spectrum featuring fast-paced action and requiring quick reflexes to survive.
It tells the tale of a Willy, a portly farm boy who’s always longed for adventure. One day, a circus show rolls into town and Willy decides to run away for a bit of fun and excitement. But unfortunately, this is no ordinary circus — it’s Penarium, the sadistic circus extravaganza!
Willy’s the next contestant in their twisted game, where the goal is to smash the barrels while dodging all sorts of devious traps and weaponry. This game was originally released on Steam, but the gameplay is ideal for mobile devices. The platforming action here is really tight, with a rotating variety of traps and weapons keeping things fresh.
The graphics are beautiful without ever affecting the gameplay performance, and blends with the soundtrack to create a really polished experience. Touch screen controls are often hit or miss, but I think they work really well here as an homage to the simple penny arcades of the era. The platforming action here is really tight, and the graphics are beautiful without ever affecting the gameplay performance.
There are two game modes to play: Campaign mode which lets you unlock additional arenas and is the “story mode” so to speak; and Arcade mode, which challenges you to survive for as long as you can collecting coins which you can spend on upgrades. It’s a great game for quick casual sessions that offers a great challenge. It’s a paid app as well, so there’s no ads or in-app purchases to distract you.
Injustice 2 is the sequel to the award-winning game Injustice: Gods Among Us, which is also one of the best fighting games for Android. If you’ve played and enjoyed the first game, you’re sure to enjoy the sequel which features more fantasy fight match-ups between your favorite heroes and villains from the DC Universe.
Unlock new heroes and build your ultimate team as you battle in 3 vs 3 fights with the ability to swap out fighters as needed. The usual suspects are here — Batman, Superman, Joker, Harley Quinn — as well as a whole slew of new heroes and villains which you’ll discover and unlock as you play.
Controls are optimized for Android and feel even better than they did in the first game. It’s easier than ever to jump, duck and shoot projectiles, with epic Super Moves available to finish off your opponents. Graphically this game really shines, powered by the Unreal engine. You start out with a Campaign mode only, with Arena, Story, Operations, and Challenge modes unlocked later on.
Like the first game, Injustice 2 is free-to-play with a stamina bar to manage and coins and crystals to collect and spend. There are in-app purchases if you’re impatient and want to unlock new characters quickly, but there’s plenty of fun to be had without spending a dime.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto is one of those iconic video game franchises that continues to influence other games. Chances are you’ve played a GTA title before on PC or console, but they play just as nicely on Android, too!
Rockstar Games has released five great GTA titles for you to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Play through Liberty City Stories, San Andreas, Vice City, GTA III, and Chinatown Wars and get your shoot-’em-up, blow-’em-up, car-stealing fix on mobile!
They’re all great games to choose from, but I’ve decided to highlight San Andreas because it’s got that massive map and introduced a bunch of awesome features to the series that remain to this day. Reconnect with CJ and the Grove Street Families gang as you spill enemy blood on the streets of Los Santos. On that note, it’s worth stating that these games are NOT for kids. The Mature rating in the Google Play Store isn’t lying.
So, if you want full Grand Theft Auto games right on your phone, hit up the Google Play Store and go to town. Just remember that, since these are the full games you know and love, they will occupy a ton of space on your device.
What did we miss?
What’s your favorite action game for Android? Let us know in the comments!
Updated May 19: Added Fowlst and Tesla vs Lovecraft to our list!
Read more: androidcentral.com