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November 11, 2017

Best Action Games for Android

by John_A

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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!

Looking for an awesome shooter game? Check out our list of best shooting games!

  • ICEY
  • Death Road to Canada
  • Stranger Things: The Game
  • Death Point
  • Island Delta
  • Downwell
  • Penarium
  • Injustice 2
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

ICEY

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!

Download: ICEY ($2.49)

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!

Download: Death Road to Canada ($9.99)

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.

Download: Stranger Things The Game (Free)

Death Point

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.

Download: Death Point ($4.99)

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Island Delta

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.

Download: Island Delta ($2.99)

Downwell ($2.99)

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.

Download: Downwell ($2.99) .cta large

Penarium

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.

Download: Penarium ($1.99)

Injustice 2

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.

Download: Injustice 2 (Free w/IAPs)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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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.

Download: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas ($6.99)

What did we miss?

What’s your favorite action game for Android? Let us know in the comments!

Updated November 2017: We’ve completely revamped our list with some of the latest and greatest action-packed games for Android, along with some old classics that still hold up.

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