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Top 15 best arcade games for Android phones and tablets

Top 15 best arcade games for Android phones and tablets

Whether you remember the arcade or not, you'll love these Android arcade games

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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.

In this list of best Android arcade games, we have everything from cabinet classics like PacMan through 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.

Original Article by Jupiter Hadley, updated by Pocket Gamer Staff.
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1
Angry Birds 2

Publisher: Rovio
Available on: iOS + Android + Windows Phone
Genre: Action, Arcade, Puzzle
Find out more about Angry Birds 2
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!

We have a complete beginner's guide for Angry Birds 2, as well as an Angry Birds 2 review to help give you a better idea of what to expect from this all-time classic.

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2
Golden Axe Classics

Publisher: Sega
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Fighting, Retro
Find out more about Golden Axe Classics
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.

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3
Asphalt 9: Legends

Publisher: Gameloft
Available on: iOS + Android + Switch
Genre: Arcade, Multiplayer, Racing
Find out more about Asphalt 9: Legends
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!

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4
Crossy Road

Developer: Hipster Whale
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Platform
Find out more about Crossy Road
Crossy Road

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 Crossy Road tips and guides either! We've got something for everyone, so make sure to check it out.

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5
Alto's Adventure

Developer: Snowman
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Alto's Adventure
Alto's Adventure

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 game 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.

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6
Doodle Jump

Available on: iOS + Android + Blackberry + Mobile + Windows Mobile
Genre: Casual, Platform
Find out more about Doodle Jump
Doodle Jump

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!

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7
Jetpack Joyride (previously Machine Gun Jetpack)

Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Available on: iOS + Android + Facebook and social + PSP + PS Vita
Genre: Action, Arcade, Endless running
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 face-paced, giving you dangerous missions that feel great to accomplish - if you can.

We always considered this brilliant Android 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.

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8
Pac-Man

Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Available on: iOS + Android + Windows Phone
Genre: Arcade
Find out more about Pac-Man
Pac-Man

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?

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9
Brawl Stars

Publisher: Supercell
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Shooter
Find out more about Brawl Stars
Brawl Stars

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 game types 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 - afterward, you can look at our increasing collection of Brawl Stars guides!

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10
Crazy Platez

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Racing, Retro
Find out more about Crazy Platez
Crazy Platez

I still believe Crazy Platez is the best version of Crazy Taxi, but I am sort of biased. This one plays a lot like the game it was inspired by, but instead of picking up people, you are delivering garbage plates (a type of food) around a version of Rochester NY. I grew up nearby this town, so I am well into this sort of localised version of the game, which is not only fun to play but also funny to people from around that area!

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11
PinOut

Publisher: Mediocre
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Endless running
Find out more about PinOut
PinOut

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.

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12
Metal Slug 3

Publisher: SNK Playmore
Available on: iOS + Android + PS Vita + Steam
Genre: Action, Shooter
Find out more about Metal Slug 3
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!

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13
Stair Run

Developer: Voodoo
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade
Find out more about Stair Run
Stair Run

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).

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14
Subway Surfers

Developer: SYBO Games
Publisher: Kiloo
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action
Find out more about Subway Surfers
Subway Surfers

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 codes for you to check, so if you're eager to check them out, make sure you do so. We also have a bunch of other Subway Surfers guides to help you out when you start your Subway Surfers journey!

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15
Pizzaiolo

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade
Find out more about Pizzaiolo
Pizzaiolo

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 game 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.

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