Android tablets have been around for more than a year, but there still aren’t very many games designed to take advantage of a large screen. These games are not only playable on tablets as well as Android phones (at no extra charge, unlike iOS apps), they are all more fun to play on the big screen. Some of these Games were first available on Apple’s iPad, but as the number of Android tablets increases, we are seeing some companies release games for both formats at the same time.
Keep in mind that, try as we might to pick the best Android tablet games with broad tablet support, it is possible that any given game on our list might not be compatible with your tablet. If your favorite game hasn’t made our list, please let us know and we will take a look at it.
Once you know what games to play, you’ll need a tablet to play them on, so check out picks for the 2013 best and cheapest Android Tablets:
Part One. 2013 The Most Popular Free Android Tablet Games
You just can’t beat a bit of first-person shooter action with zombies. There’s something relaxing and deeply satisfying about slaughtering wave after wave of the undead. Dead Trigger features the standard post-apocalyptic zombie uprising scenario and it looks great. The basic game is free, but you do have the option of splashing out on in-app purchases like better weapons and upgraded abilities.
Those little green porkers from Angry Birds don’t spend all their time stealing eggs. Rovio has created a twist on its classic hit here that has the same format and cute cartoon art style, but introduces new gameplay. The addictive action challenges you to create weird and wonderful vehicles so you can reach all the collectibles across over 80 levels. This is good, clean fun for the whole family and it requires some creative thinking to score maximum stars.
There’s not a whole lot of games out there that manages to appeal to both ninjas and vegans, but Fruit Ninja manages to encompass the cross-section of those markets. Fruits come flying across the screen in vibrant, beautiful color. It’s your job to turn the flying produce into a sliced serving with quick swipes across the screen. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s truly one of the best games around, especially for those that really get a kick out of cutting up fruit.
Seize control of the post-apocalyptic remnants of humanity with Neuroshima Hex! A mobile port of the Polish board game of the same name, players take command of one of disparate factions of survivors attempting to destroy their rivals by laying down hex tiles representing troops. Set up your assault while blocking off your opponents, and when the battle tile is played, hell is unleashed. The game includes detailed rules and links to video tutorials, and supports 2-4 player battles against a competent AI or pass-and-play multiplayer. Unfortunately, Android players are still waiting for online multiplayer, which has already been implemented on iOS. The Lite version only allows you to play against the AI and with limited army access. The full version unlocks more armies with additional ones released as IAPs (in-app purchases).
Zynga’s Words with Friends is a multiplayer Scrabble-like game where players compete for the highest score by forming words on the board and taking advantage of previously laid down letters and special tiles in order to magnify the points of their words. Asynchronous multiplay allows you to play at your own pace, with up to twenty games open at any one time. Play with your friends and contacts, or against random strangers, and keep in touch with in-game chat messaging. Additionally, a notifications system informs you when your turn rolls around, allowing you to get right to it.
If you enjoyed the third-person shooter adventure Shadowgun, you might be interested in this multiplayer offshoot. You’re never going to replicate the shooter experience you’ll get with a console or desktop on a tablet, but this is a good effort. You can have up to 12 players shooting it out for supremacy in Deathmatch and there’s an alternative Zone Control mode which pits two teams of six against each other for control of the map. There’s a ranking system, weaponry to buy, and optional in-app purchases for cosmetic items.
Gameloft’s Heroes of Order and Chaos is an impressive attempt to bring MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) gaming to mobile formats. Heroes of Chaos is a multiplayer game with players choosing specialized teams of heroes to lead against in battle against their enemies. New heroes cycle in and out every week, though players can choose to buy personal favorites for everyday use, and the game supports 5-on-5 sessions. Heroes of Order and Chaos has a surprisingly good interface with responsive movement and easily accessible icons.
Spry Fox LLC’s Triple Town is a simple, addictive match three game. Players try to build the biggest town they can, earning points by matching three objects of the same kind in order to create the next object up the hierarchy. Three clumps of grass make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees to a house, etc. Along the way, you need to outwit giant bears who will get in the way of your construction plans. Free-to-play, Triple Town uses a time energy mechanic, though you can use in-game points to buy turns, or purchase unlimited turns with real money.
Zooming out from the survivor’s view to the commander’s, we get Global Outbreak, a free-to-play strategy game where players take the role of mercenaries fighting the zombie apocalypse. The game plays out on the tactically and strategically as players direct their mercenaries through a top-down view, slaying zombie hordes and rescuing VIPs while taking command of the global conflict by building a network of helicopter bases and turrets to contain and eliminate zombie outbreaks. It’s the strategic level that is this game’s blessing and curse, as the worldmap system, while well designed, takes a fair amount of real time (constructing bases can take 15 minutes, and some research projects more than an hour). This means the game oscillates between tactical action segments and lots of thumb-twiddling in the slow worldmap mode. Being free-to-play, of course, there’s an option to spend real money to skip the tedium.
10. Zenonia 5 (Free)
If you’ve never heard of the series, Zenonia 5 is a freemium Anime action RPG. You can choose from four character classes with a full range of customization options and skill charts to level up. It’s packed with missions and it offers PvP as well. If you’re a fan of RPGs and you want a great-looking example designed for tablets then this is it. The control system is well designed and if you get bored of grinding you can shortcut to the goodies you want via in-app purchases.
11. Six Guns (Free)
A tumbleweed rolls across the screen. The clock in town rings out and the sun is just beginning to set. You walk out through the swinging doors of a saloon to meet a man in the middle of town, both of you ready to reach for the gun on your hip at any given moment. That’s the world you’ll enter in Six Guns. This title takes you back to the Wild West and allows you to roam through the old frontier on foot or horseback.
No matter how much you loathe Donald Trump, you can’t deny that having multimillion-dollar buildings with your name on it would be pretty awesome. Tiny Tower lets you live this fantasy without the terrible Trump hair. Build from the ground up until you’ve got a building that is prime real estate for businesses and residents. This game is deceivingly deep, with an in-game social network for characters and completely customizable floor and room layout. It’s like Sim City if it took place in a single building.
13. OnLive (free)
Why be limited to specific games when you can install the free OnLive app and play the latest console titles on your Android tablet? The service allows you to stream games to your tablet from remote servers. You can check out our OnLive hands-on impressions to find out more. There are a few touch-based options available, like L.A. Noire, or you can opt to buy the wireless controller and play games like Batman: Arkham City in all their glory.
Part Two. 2013 The Most Popular Paid Android Tablet Games
Can you stay ahead of the avalanche in this side-scrolling runner? You’ll need to build up speed by pulling off tricks and grabbing strange animals and vehicles, but make sure you avoid the obstacles. The game is easy to pick up and play, and there are tricky achievements to aim for that will keep you coming back for more. The game has a nice sense of humor and it’s well crafted so genre fans of titles like Canabalt and Tiny Wings should definitely grab this.
Gameloft’s Modern Combat franchise is the closest we’ll get to a Call of Duty on an Android tablet for the moment. Sure, you could call it just another derivative modern war shooter, but it’s an excellently made one, hitting all the right points in graphic design, level design, gameplay, and online multiplayer. The singleplayer campaign? Well, the writing isn’t really anything groundbreaking or fantastic, but you can cut it some slack with the richness of the gameplay that Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour delivers.
Angry Birds is a ubiquitous mobile game series that’s hit on a good formula of classic catapult demolition gameplay, accessible art style, and sound puzzle design to spawn a hit gaming franchise. The latest release, Angry Birds Star Wars, takes Angry Birds’ classic formula and adds new powers and puzzles inspired by George Lucas’ classic space opera series.
Fancy yourself as a tactician? You have to try out the turn-based strategy classic, Great Big War Game. The cartoonish graphics are great, it has a bit of humor to it, but most importantly the gameplay is immersive. You’ll need some real tactical skill to emerge victorious from the 50 mission single player campaign. You can also indulge in a spot of multiplayer action so there’s plenty of content on offer to justify that price tag.
18. Nes.emu ($4)
New games are great, but there’s a certain charm to those old titles we grew up on. Get nostalgic with NES.emu, a Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator built for your Android device. It’s all the fun of one of the greatest console experiences ever – and now it can come with you. From first party classics like Mario and Metroid to awesome ports like Bubble Bobble and Mega Man, just launching this app will feel like you’re stepping back into the 1980′s – without having to wear the terrible clothes.
It looks gorgeous and it plays like a physics-based dream. World of Goo started its life as a Wii game, which makes it ideal for your Android tablet. If you’ve never seen this smash hit before it’s essentially a very weird and addictive puzzle game that came out a few years back. Just buy it, you won’t regret it. If you’re tempted then check out the Humble Bundle where you can pick up World of Goo, along with a bunch of excellent indie classics for your Android tablet, and give to charity at the same time.
You could call ShadowGun the mobile Gears of War. Bounty hunter John Slade is tasked with tracking down a mad scientist and his genetically engineered creations and putting a stop to his schemes using a high-tech arsenal of weaponry. All cliche, but you’re playing this game for the gory action, not the deep, soul-scouring plot. This third-person shooter delivers moody, gritty environments, tough enemy AI, and cover-based gameplay. It delivers hours of entertainment, and the expansions ‘ShadowGun: The Leftover’ and ‘ShadowGun: Deadzone’ offer more single player action and multiplayer mayhem respectively.
SuperBrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an audiovisual experience wrapped around an adventure game. You take control of the Scythian as she explores a gorgeously rendered pixel-art fantasy world, doing battle against strange creatures with her sword and using the magic of sworcery to solve puzzles. The beautiful soundtrack is one of the compelling draws of the game, meshing perfectly with the gameplay and its visuals. The beautiful art and soundtrack are accompanied by the fun writing for the narrator Archetype, and the Scythian’s inner voice. This is best described as a silly hipster Conan. It doesn’t break through the fourth wall. It never bothered to build one in the first place.
Minecraft Pocket Edition is a mobile port of Mojang’s open-world sandbox classic that manages to capture much of the game’s charm while distilling it down for the mobile platform. Explore enormous, randomly generated worlds, get busy terraforming, building fanciful structures and Rube Goldberg machines, and even have a blast with local WiFi multiplayer options. While it doesn’t have everything the PC version has, Minecraft Pocket Edition, like it’s desktop sibling, is a game constantly in development, with new features always being worked into the game.
N.O.V.A. 3 is the latest installment in Gameloft’s sci-fi shoot-em-up series. As Kal Wardin, you fight your way through stunningly rendered urban and alien landscapes with a deadly arsenal of weapons powered by your Mobile Armored Suit. N.O.V.A. 3 also offers fierce multiplayer battles with up to 12 players. The entire package is a thinly-veiled riff of marquee shooter franchises like Halo and Crysis, which isn’t a bad thing. Like many mobile shooters, controls can feel a bit crowded and take some getting used to. Otherwise, N.O.V.A. 3 is one of the best shooters on Android.
Mass Effect Infiltrator is a mobile tie-in to Electronic Arts’ Mass Effect 3 RPG shooter. Infiltrator puts players in the shoes of Randall Ezno, a Cerberus commando who turns against his masters once he finds out the shocking truth behind the conspiracy’s machinations. Armed with high-tech weaponry, stealth armor, and awesome biotic powers, players are a one-man army hell-bent on stopping Cerberus’s vile experiments. Progress in game can be tied into Mass Effect 3′s Galaxy at War mechanic, providing extra resources to a player’s campaign.
The mobile Dead Space game is a tie-in to the hit video game series, with players taking on the role of Vandal, an agent of the Church of Unitology doing some less than savory assignments who gets caught up in a bloody Necromorph outbreak. Of course, this is the SF horror universe of Dead Space, and nothing is ever what it appears to be. Moody soundtracks, brooding environments, and tense, gory action keep the pressure on the player throughout. As Vandal’s sanity unravels, can the Necromorph outbreak be stopped?