5 games to play on your new Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S8, or HTC U11

Or OnePlus 5T. Or LG V30.

5 games to play on your new Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S8, or HTC U11

Has someone bought you a new flagship Android phone for Christmas? You lucky thing.

It doesn't really matter which phone you've been given - if it's a modern premium-priced Android phone, it's almost certainly a fine phone. The general quality level of smartphone hardware has never been more consistent.

These devices also tend to be broadly similar. Whether you have a Pixel 2 XL, a Samsung Galaxy S8, an HTC U11, a OnePlus 5T or an LG V30, they basically go like this: large, sharp display; speedy Snapdragon processor; loads of RAM; strong camera.

The former three components in particular make for great gaming devices. All you need to do is supply them with the right ammunition.

Fortunately, the Google Play Store is in pretty rude health these days. Here are a couple of suggestions for what to play on your new high-end Android phone.


Nothing shows off a new gaming device like a top notch racing game, and on Android there's no better choice than Gear.Club.

Made by a team of console racing game veterans, Gear.Club has serious technical chops. It looks brilliant, especially on the vibrant 5.5-inch-plus displays that end up on top Android phones these days.

While the game is pretty demanding, it'll run at full pelt on any high-end Android phone. It's also a fine made-for-mobile racer, with short snappy races and tight controls.

The Talos Principle

It's not often that a game blends brains with looks as well as The Talos Principle.

This is a first person puzzler that was originally made for console, but you can tell that just by looking at a screenshot. It's beautiful.

Moving through the game's mysterious world, solving spatial and logic-based puzzlers, feels like a brilliant use of your new Android phone's components.

Monument Valley 2

It would only be right to include the one Android game that received a PG Platinum Award (10 out of 10) in 2017.

Monument Valley 2 is a truly memorable isometric puzzler that has you twisting and rotating level elements in physics-defying ways. All of this is backed by a moving story about a mother and daughter.

It's also a lovely looking game that will really pop on whatever screen size you have to hand - from the 5-inch Pixel 2 to the 5.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S8. Figure out your new phone's screenshot command (try power and volume up) and it's a source of beautiful abstract wallpapers.

Super Mario Run

Most of the games on this list show off what your new Android phone's processor can do first and foremost. Super Mario Run is all about the screen.

Nintendo's knack with bold primary colours, high framerates and impeccable animation is firmly on display in its first proper mobile game, which launched in early 2017 on Android.

It's truly a sight for sore eyes on any large-screened phone, but Super Mario Run is also a brilliant autorunning platformer. You don't have to pay anything to give it a try, either.

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade is far from the best game available for Android. It's good, but not great.

But it earns its place on this list for the sheer eye candy it provides. This is an on-rails arcade shooter of the simplest variety, but it looks absolutely spectacular, and will do wonderful things with all those extra pixels and MHz your new phone can provide.

Besides being a slick tech demo, Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade is also great fun for a quick brainless blast when you have a few minutes to kill. Which is arguably what mobile games are for.