Top 25 best action games for Android phones and tablets
Your afternoon is boring and you need something to lift up the spirits? You'll find it on the list of best action games for Android
Updated on November 19, 2021: New entries added, updated with download links
Looking for the greatest adrenaline surge titles that you can play on your phone or tablet? Today we are going to talk about the best action games for Android!
What is an action game? We often see games given that description, but what does it mean, exactly?
They aren't a specific genre. Head the said genre's section of the Google Play Store, and you'll find all manner of shooters, beat-'em-ups, platformers, and arcade oddities. The term signifies something altogether more visceral. A feeling of empowerment and aggression.
To put it a little more crudely, if you're getting your virtual kicks through some form of real-time violence, then you're probably playing one. That doesn't really narrow things down all that much, does it? Thankfully, we have a handy list of exceptional Android action games to help with that.
Don't see your personal favourite on there? Let us know in the comments below.Original list by Jon Mundy, updated by Pocket Gamer Staff.
Don't let the retro graphics and 2D shmup mechanics fool you - Black Paradox is a decidedly modern experience, complete with roguelike elements and stacks of weapon types. It's got colourful graphics that will lure you right in and a fast play style that will leave you asking for a break!
It's one of the best action games for Android to kick off our list, and therefore it deserves the landing spot. Here is a Black Paradox video review by our video wizard, James who can explain it in a bit more detail!
In Downwell, you don't just shoot to destroy baddies - you shoot to move. It's an ingenious twist in an ingenious game, that takes you back to the old arcade machines where you'd just shoot your heart out (not literally). Ah, and what a joy it is - just read our Downwell review! It will be much clearer how it got on the list of the best action games for Android.
Although it is pretty simple in terms of graphics, it leaves more than enough room for the thrilling action to kick in. Make sure to give it a try - we even got some tips from the developer!
A fascinating twist on the arcade shooter that celebrates the noble rearguard gameplay, as you seek to evade your opponents whilst simultaneously blasting away at them.
The colour scheme in this game is mesmerizing, and the levels will get hard-to-impossible quickly. Quickly. So, if you want a game that will leave no room for error and will challenge your ability to keep up with the controls, give it a try! Did you already read our BackFire review?
A truly awesome roguelike hack and slasher that you can play single-handed, but that doesn't lack in strategy or depth. This is a game with brains as well as brawn. The added strategic element offers the game enough to give you something to look forward to with each passing moment, and the graphics make it wildly enjoyable to do so.
It's quite an underrated game, and if you get to play it, you'll quickly fall in love with it. It's a great Android action game that we'd suggest trying out on your tablet - the bigger the screen, the better! We've already got an Immortal Rogue review, but if you want some additional tips on the game, make sure you read these essential combat tips!
A delightfully detailed game that combines colourful graphics with the universe and the seas. It sounds crazy, but it's so much fun that you won't believe somebody actually thought of that as a concept.
It's a highly engaging game that is pleasant to the eye and lets you grow and develop your very own space-quarium (that's an aquarium in space if you were wondering). It's exciting, even though it has none of that finger-breaking performance.
Did you know we also got a Super Starfish review? Make sure you read it if you're curious what this game is all about and what our opinion of it is!
Guns of Boom
Without a doubt, one of the reigning mobile online FPS kings, Guns of Boom hones the FPS format for mobile play without losing its competitive edge. Some would say it's a mobile Team Fortress, and they wouldn't be too wrong! It certainly fits into the category of the best action games for Android!
While it has a lot of players and some smooth-looking visuals, the game also has some fun customizations and a highly dynamic PvP approach. You can read our Guns of Boom review if you're curious to learn more about it, or you can read some beginner tips if you're just starting out!
Call of Duty Mobile (2019)
There have been mobile Call of Duty games before, but this is the first one that actually feels worthy of the bombastic console and PC FPS series. It's one of the best multiplayer shooters and one of the top action games for Android.
Of course, if you are an FPS fan already, chances are you know all about CoDM and just how exciting it can become with just a little bit of practice (because we all know not hitting your target is not fun at all).
With fun-looking 2D cartoon animations and battles lurking at every corner, Skullgirls is one of the games that could go in the dictionary next to the definition for 'action game'. It's a fighting RPG that gives players a lot of opportunities to show their skills in real-time against other players, in a similar style to Street Fighter.
It's also got more than enough fighters and moves a player can learn, so there is literally no time to get bored when playing this game. Don't forget to check out our Skullgirls tips once you start playing!
Bleach: Brave Souls
It couldn't have been a proper list without mentioning at least one of the top anime/manga-inspired games. Bleach: Brave Souls is the one that we went with, for a number of reasons. First, it would be the interactive graphics and fun-looking characters. Then, it would have to be the action-packed play style.
When delving into the depths of Brave Souls you really get that genuine feeling you would from reading Tite Kubo's manga or watching the anime. It's got a story, a lot of appealing features, and a highly active community as well.
This brilliant pixel shooter lets you take your friends into various dungeons and shoot each other down (or shoot at enemy monsters). Whichever one you prefer, it's still lots of fun and plenty of energetic gameplay.
In Soul Knight you have a ton of unique heroes, each with their very own set of abilities, so there are plenty of factors to consider. The pixel graphics match the intensity of this game like a glove, so if you want a crazy multiplayer game to enjoy with your friends, invite them over for a round of Soul Knight!
Fruit Ninja 2
The only violence you will run into in Fruit Ninja 2 is against some juicy fruit - with suitably delicious, squelchy, tactile results, you will slash your way to victory and some all-time top scores.
It's a classic game, but it's an action-packed one nonetheless. Plus, there are high chances you already have some experience playing this game from years back when it used to be all the rave.
Essentially Dark Souls for your mobile, Pascal's Wager is a third-person aRPG of rare heft. For weighty bladed combat, you can't get much better on mobile (only maybe Grimvalor, which we've listed below).
This game looks absolutely stunning, and the combat feels as realistic as it could get. It's well worth the premium price you'd pay for it. For a more detailed explanation, go for our Pascal's Wager preview!
This game not only looks great but also feels great. Nameless cat, in essence, follows the story of a cat who strayed and ended up in a strange fantasy realm. It is an amazing game with pixel graphics and platformer elements.
Once you start playing it, you'll understand why it so clearly deserves a spot on our list. It's unique, it plays amazingly, and it also follows a compelling story. In short, it has all the ingredients for a highly successful game!
A thrillingly pure and empowering game that sees you tapping the screen to hop your little 2D radish around each arena-like level, avoiding danger and bopping baddies. It's cute, but don't let that fool you.
Down at its core, it's one of the best action games for Android out there, and if you love a challenge, Dadish 2 can easily fulfil your wish. Just don't let it get to you, because sometimes you'll end up replaying some levels and that can become a tad bit frustrating!
If you'd like to know more, read our Dadish 2 review!
Do you want a more light-hearted pick, but one that will still provide enough activity to keep you on your toes? Then try out Archero! This game has a story, but to be fair, nobody cares for it much. The gameplay is what all the rage is about. It's so highly addictive and fun that it makes it easy to fall in love with the game.
Unlike some of the other titles on this list, even though it's a free-to-play game, it is not at all pay to win. You will have more than enough rewards by playing the game at your own pace, so if you haven't checked it out yet, make sure you do so.
Ronin: The Last Samurai
A game that beautifully adds a unique artwork style to the genre, Ronin: The Last Samurai is somewhat of a unique game among the others on this list. You basically play as the last samurai in Japan, and try to fight your way through to survive.
The real Japanese weapons and ink-and-wash graphics make it stand out for all the right reasons. But by all means, it's a challenging game. Even though it is available for free, if you want to excel at it, you need to either spend some money or dedicate yourself to it for a while.
Taking all of these into consideration, it's still one of our top picks. It's just that good.
Otherworld Legends is a rogue-like aRPG that's way more accessible than we've come to expect of such things. It's an intuitive hack-and-slash delight that truly packs a punch through its colourful graphics and exciting gameplay.
You have items to collect and monsters to beat, so try out various builds in order to discover what really works for your character and play style.
While this game starts off for free (the first act), it's well worth investing in it as you would into a premium game, because it's absolutely amazing. From graphics to playstyle, everything feels realistic and fantastic at the same time (somehow it manages to do that).
There are no words to explain just how right
Grimvalor feels when playing, and if you love adventure RPGs where you can shape your own characters, but without all that auto-play function, by all means, give it a try. To put it in plain words, it's similar to Dark Souls but for mobile. It's amazing.
Tesla vs Lovecraft
This twin-stick shooter packs an appealingly flamboyant steampunk style, satisfyingly squelchy gunplay, and relentless action, all for the mobiles. It's a winner from a multitude of viewpoints, from the graphics to gameplay and much more.
Furthermore, it also has a story (that you will soon forget about because the gameplay is just so flippin' great) that you can follow. We highly doubt you'll play it for the story though when there are just so many other outstanding features to this game. How good is it? Read our Tesla vs Lovecraft review!
Lovecraft's Untold Stories
This 8-bit action rogue-lite is absolutely stunning. The RPG elements featured within the game give it a lot of character, while the battles and characters make it something straight out of one of Lovecraft's stories (which it so cleverly aims to do).
It's a premium game, but if you want more from this genre than just shooting or running around aimlessly, Lovecraft's Untold Stories adds more than enough to bring it amongst the top of the genre.
Danmaku Unlimited 3
Android is the platform to go to for bullet hell shmups these days, and Danmaku Unlimited 3 is one of the most visually arresting examples of it. With its dense action and ethereal palette, this shooter amazes through a simple but well-executed concept.
Furthermore, something that has clearly set this game apart from the others is the music. It's absolutely gorgeous, and it never tends to become repetitive even though you could play the game for hours on end. That's what made it stand out to us as one of the best Android action games in 2021 - just read our Danmaku Unlimited 3 review.
This twin-stick shooter excels in a number of areas, including its moody story, range of weapons, challenging bosses, and tense combat. If you love bullet hell roguelikes, this one will definitely be among the top Android action games to check out.
Once you start playing it, you'll definitely return for some more - we know that from our own experience! We've written it down in our Neon Chrome review, and while it was on iOS, we are pretty positive the game will be equally fun for Android too!
Tomb of the Mask
If you love some retro arcade action, then Tomb of the Mask will give you all that excitement packed into a rather strange-looking procedurally-generated game. In this game, you will have to climb through labyrinths and try to fight your way out, through enemies, traps and whatnot.
It's a unique-looking title that will leave you wanting more and more every time. It's brilliant - just read our Tomb of the Mask review if you need further convincing. And if you're already playing the game, did you know we also have some Tomb of the Mask tips?
Suspects: Mystery Mansion
I bet you've heard of Among Us by now - Suspects: Mystery Mansion is similar to that, except it features some dope-looking killer animals. Sounds fun? You bet it is!
This murder mystery game is full of activity and will keep you on your toes every second you're playing it. It's fun, it requires some strategic thinking, and it has a lot of replay potential! Easily one of the top action games for Android tablets you should check out.
A great game that shifts the players' attention towards battles that unfold in a blocky-looking colourful arena. This battle royale is highly engaging and exciting and even allows players' creativity to come forth and come up with their own arena design.
It's the perfect title to finish our list of best Android action games phones and tablets with, don't you think?