Top 20 best arcade games for Android phones and tablets
Whether you remember the arcade or not, you'll love these arcade games
If you've been looking for the best arcade games for Android then look no further. We've compiled this list of the best quick-run, score-chasing titles for your reading pleasure.
Back before everyone had a gaming device in their home or on their body, arcades full of simple games were very popular. They are still around, but so are a plethora of arcade games for Android that you can actually just play at home, often without dumping loads of coins into them.
What are the arcade games for Android and how do they work?As time has passed the definition of 'arcade' as a genre has changed a little bit, not least due to the games themselves moving out of the clunky, standing machines of yesteryear. However, a lot of the mechanics and ideas behind these titles are the same.
These titles should have short, limited-life runs which you can sometimes extend beyond normal means, you should, realistically, be chasing a high score, or at least looking to hit some major milestones ahead of you, and -well- they don't need to be extremely realistic. Nowadays, however, lots of games get listed as arcade-based which might fit in other genres, and sometimes that's simply down to aesthetics.
- If you are looking for some great Tower Defence games for your Android, here they are!
In this list of best Android arcade games, we have everything from cabinet classics like PacMan to runners like Subway Surfers, but we also head off to glorious snowboarding through beautiful winter scenes. Have a read, and let us know what you think of our choices.
So, click on the big button below to read on and find out our favourite Android arcade games, and if you think we've missed something then leave us a comment, because we do occasionally revisit our various lists to make sure that we've kept them completely up to date and true to the genre.
Angry Birds 2
I’ve played so much Angry Birds, both in arcades and on my mobile device. If you don’t know, Angry Birds 2 is an arcade title where you are able to use a slingshot to shoot birds at a bunch of structures, slowly destroying them to defeat pigs.
The materials that these structures are made out of come in a variety of strengths - and your birds have different effects, so it’s up to you to use them wisely to destroy these piggies!Download Angry Birds 2
Golden Axe Classics
For the fans of retro games, we have an arcade classic that will pull a tear or two and a lot of merry memories. Golden Axe Classics is a collection of all three titles. For the players who are uninformed, this is a side-scrolling beat 'em up similar to Streets of Rage with a few noticeable differences. First, it's a fantasy world, so you can expect magic as well as encountering monsters instead of humans. Second, the choices you make actually matter, and there are different paths to take through the games(s).
Graphics is 16-bit so there are no surprises in that field. Just a plain old retro beat them up on your phone.Download Golden Axe Classics
Asphalt 9: Legends
There are racing games in arcades, so Asphalt 9: Legends has slid into this list! The graphics in Asphalt 9 are better than those on a machine - and you can play a large number of real cars made by recognisable manufacturers. You are able to race around beautiful locations and enjoy the scenery as you try to beat other people out.
We have an Asphalt 9: Legends review that gives players a clear idea what to expect from it. We even have a rather large collection of guides and tips to help you unlock specific cars, so make sure to check it out if you'd like to learn something new!Download Asphalt 9: Legends
Crossy Road is the Frogger of our generation - it’s a title I have seen in arcades from time to time, but have never been good enough to get a bunch of tickets from. You are basically trying to get an animal across the road, over the river, and beyond. There are always a lot of hazards in front of you, but you can move left or right before you go forward - onwards unlimitedly through the lands.
Did you already read our Crossy Road review? If you have, then don't miss our collection of tips and guides either! We've got something for everyone, so make sure to check it out.Download Crossy Road
Alto’s Adventure is another one that’s been taking up my afternoons - a simple and cute Android arcade game where you are skiing down some slopes, doing flips, collecting coins, and jumping over rocks. You are given different quests to meet in your runs, leveling up when the quests are completed to get some more.
It’s a simple one but very polished and the graphics are great - it’s just so addictive. You can read about our experience playing this one in Alto's Adventure review, or you can dive straight up into it yourself. You can't go wrong either way.Download Alto's Adventure
Doodle Jump is a title I remember from my childhood. The concept is simple, you have an alien that can jump up, so you tap, and it jumps up. You want to get higher and higher on the screen, landing on moving platforms that change your position on the screen and quickly going over platforms that will soon disappear.
If you make a mistake, you might fall off the screen, and lose the game. It’s simple but very fun! Make sure to read our Doodle Jump review to learn why this is one of the best arcade games for Android of all time!Download Doodle Jump
Jetpack Joyride (previously Machine Gun Jetpack)
Jetpack Joyride is another title that you can probably find in your nearest pier-side arcade! You're looking to fly across different levels, using your jetpack or other vehicles, collecting coins and dodging all sorts of dangers. It is simple and fast-paced, giving you dangerous missions that feel great to accomplish - if you can.
We always considered this brilliant arcade game a timeless one, since the ever-so-changing gameplay brings something new every single day. We even wrote a Jetpack Joyride review to give you some more detailed info about it. So, if you're not sure whether or try this one or not, just give it a read and you'll get your answer.Download Jetpack Joyride
There is no way you can’t include PAC-MAN on your list of Android arcade games or any other platform - it’s literally the original genre game that comes to my mind. Though it’s less common nowadays, people are still downloading it on their phones!
There are leaderboards, a variety of different modes, and sleeker graphics than its original arcade feature - so if you want to play one of the older games but with new life in them, do keep PAC-MAN in mind. Did you know we also have a Pac-Man review?Download Pac-Man
Let’s include a shooter in the mix! Brawl Stars is a fun, vibrant, and colorful Android arcade shooter where you are looking to destroy others before they kill you first. There are a bunch of different modes that can put you against someone else, or put you in teams of up to three against other teams. The rounds are quick and fun to jump into and leave, which is perfect for an arcade title.
We have put together a Brawl Stars best brawlers tier list where we shared our opinion on each character. If you're not sure whether or not you should try it out, you can read that first - afterwards, you can look at our increasing collection of guides!Download Brawl Stars
Clash Royale is one of the most well-known and brilliant arcade games where you will have to fight other players in real-time duels. It will be familiar to you if you have played Clash of Clans before because you will meet different characters from this game. It has solo mode and 2x2 mode which means that you can fight with your ally against the two players.
You can use a large number of different units, which you will have to unlock first. For that, you will have to open the chests that can be obtained after the battle. If you are a Clash of Clans fan who is looking for something new, Clash Royale will be the best option.Download Clash Royale
For our pinball addition to this list, I have chosen PinOut, a neon, endless version of pinball that gives you one ball and lets you see how far you can actually get into it. The graphics are lovely - far better than other pinball machine games I’ve played - and the twist on the machine running endlessly forward is really quite fun!
This pinball masterpiece takes arcade goodness straight onto your mobile phone and makes it playable on the go - who could say no to that?! We've also put together a PinOut review to give you some more detailed information on our experience playing it.Download PinOut
Metal Slug 3
Another shooter, this time a run and gun that looks exactly like it did back when the game was originally on arcade machines back in the day. This version of Metal Slug 3 has been ported well, but there are added modes that let you have a more rounded experience - you can play a campaign, the classic mode, or the mission mode, which allows you to practice more challenging missions.
It’s a great nod to older titles - you can read our complete Metal Slug 3 review here if you want to learn more about it though. We would say that it firmly belongs on this list of the greatest Android arcade games because of its true style and spirit that are true to the genre!Download Metal Slug 3
I wouldn’t be surprised if Stair Run makes its way into arcades in the near future if I am honest. It has you running forward, avoiding obstacles and collecting stairs. You see, these stairs are a way for you to jump, as you need to place stairs down to climb up to higher platforms or over anything that may block you, but at the same time you need to manage the number of stairs you have in your bag, or else you will find yourself running out!
It feels like an io title, but since the pretty vague term arcade refers to, we'd gladly have it on this list! Stair Run is super fun and challenging at the same time. A complete delight running (literally and figuratively speaking).Download Stair Run
Subway Surfers is an arcade game for Android (and iOS) that’s been around for quite some time, and has appeared in some arcades here and there! It’s constantly updated, despite being an endless runner where you are just meant to keep moving forward, avoiding objects, using new paths to get over items, and trying to get the highest score possible. It’s very impressive they’ve kept the game going for so long!
We've got a list of up-to-date Subway Surfers codes for you to check, make sure you do so. We also have a bunch of other guides to help you out when you start your Subway Surfers journey!Download Subway Surfers
Pizzaiolo! Was in the category and I do have fond memories of eating pizza in arcades - so here we have our last title on this list! It’s a simple, bright title where you are making perfect pizzas, quickly cooking them up and serving them - but it’s not got enough depth to be a simulation. It’s great for dipping in and out of and does fit in the best arcade games for Android, though I don’t think we will see it within a real one.
Pizzaiolo is a great and simple cooking game that allows you to relax. And if you are a fan of similar titles, you should definitely check our list of the best cooking games for Android phones and tablets.Download Pizzaiolo
Slash & Girl
A relatively new look to Endless Runners, this anime-inspired title is heaps of fun, topped off with intense fast-paced battles and beautiful visuals. You can pick your desired anime girl to play, change her outfit and adventure into a neo-arcade game that will see you challenging all the obstacles that lay ahead. If you love games like Subway Surfers or Temple Run, but want something a little bit different (and arguably better looking), then Slash & Girl is the perfect choice.
For the anime fans, we would suggest checking out our list of the best anime games for mobile devices. There are a lot of interesting titles that you should try!Download Slash & Girl
With beautiful pixelated graphics and a rather hellish environment surrounding you, all you need to do is prove worthy of Death's appreciation. As a Reaper, you need to complete certain challenges in your trial period (nothing out of the ordinary, just the casual catastrophe, doom, and other similar feats). It's a brilliant game that will see you making rather questionable decisions at times, but it's extremely fun nonetheless!
For those of you who own an iPhone, we also havethe best arcade games for Apple devices!Download Peace, Death!
Shooty Skies is a rather chaotic game where you can experience the blocky arcade Android fiesta at its finest. If you love fast-paced battles, bullethells and an arsenal of lots and lots of pixelated weapons, Shooty Skies will give you more than you've asked for. There are achievements upon achievements ready for you to complete, and the ever-changing environment will never see you get bored.
If you are looking for more information about this game, feel free to check our Shooty Skies review. You will find a lot of interesting info in the article!Download Shooty Skies
Tape It Up
Devsisters has some truly outstanding games (remember Cookie Run: Kingdom or Cookie Run: OvenBreak? - Yeah, that's their work), and it is very obvious in Tape It Up as well. A game that isn't exactly similar in terms of visuals to the previously mentioned creations of theirs, this pixelated title will see you taping and taping all sorts of boxes in a fast-paced environment. It might appear simple at first, but in reality, it can get challenging rather fast.
Also, make sure to read our Tape It Up review. If you're unfamiliar with it, this will be an extremely useful read!Download Tape It Up
Probably one of the most futuristic-looking Android arcade games on this list, Hyperforma is more than just puzzles, blocks and mundane tasks - it also holds an immersive narrative that, if you will follow (and we strongly suggest you do), will unveil the secrets of a civilisation long gone.
Hyperforma is not like your typical arcade bonanza where you aimlessly shoot left and right; it's actually a lot more, and if that's what you've been looking to add to your collection, we strongly suggest you check it out. If you need more information about the game, you can also read our Hyperforma review!Download Hyperforma