What's better than a free game? Pretty much nothing. Unless it's awful and you've wasted time downloading and playing games. Fortunately, there are tons of fantastic free games for Android – and we list the very best here.
Whether you like word games, endless runners, platformers or puzzles, here's something for you.
Click through the pages below to see each category, or read on to see our pick of the week. And check our latest selection weekly.
Free Android Game of the Week: The Ninja in the Dark
The ninja in the dark is not far from Fruit Ninja. Their task is to quickly cut a few things (in this case, evil animals) into pieces on screen, avoiding being struck with bombs destroyed by heroes. Only in this game do you do that in the dark.
So it's something of a memory test. You have a few seconds to study the screen layout. then your finger becomes a virtual sword that flies around and hopefully sees nothing deadly.
The core game may be inevitably repetitive. But the Ninja in the Dark is fun in short sessions. Stay in the long run and you'll fight against wilder monsters and unlock new worlds and power-ups.
The best free racing games for Android
Our most popular free Android racers for 3D, Retro, 2D and On-Rails.
Beach Buggy Racing 2
Beach Buggy Racing 2 is a high octane kart racer. Formally, your playful vehicle girdles on larger-than-life routes, from medieval castles with fire-breathing dragons to an ancient world full of dinosaurs – and giant sea creatures that can bounce off you.
Your goal is, of course, to reach the checkered flag first in just two laps. To do this, you'll need to find shortcuts and use power-ups that turn enemies into a block of ice, blow them up, and more.
Unfortunately, there are no leagues and Beach Buggy Racing 2 offers you only two races to choose from. But the forced loop is extremely strong, the upgrade / unlock path is appropriate, and the racing action is one of the best on Android.
CD drive '2
CD drive '2 is the turn-based driving game that was probably created when someone reworked the shuffleboard as a Mario Kart and pushed this weird invention online for web-based multiplayer contests.
The concept of a turn-based racer is crazy and it should not work, but it really works. As you sweep over space-hovering tracks with your little CD, the excitement increases as you return to your opponent. You will learn to master shortcuts, overcome threats, and get the most out of the bonus powers you give your small disk.
It's absurd to think that one of the best mobile racers on Android throws a coin over a track, but there we have it. Miss this at your risk.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: LegendsLike its predecessors, it is a decidedly nitrofreudige, larger than life version of the arcade racing. You race at insane speed, float in the air on a regular basis, and your car turns and turns so that your car insurance tears your insurance records furiously.
This racer also differs in that the controls are optimized so much that you no longer need to steer them. The car moves on rails, switching between lanes and timing actions such as boosts and drifts. That may sound restrictive, but does not affect the racing feel. You can focus on timing and there is a manual option if you really want it.
As an asphalt game, there are some problems, but this is offset by the fact that you dive into the most unusual and eye-catching arcade races on Android.
Carmageddon is a blast from the past of PC gaming. It disguises itself as a racing driver, but often feels like a prey – albeit in a suit of raging metal.
The free-form arenas of the game are road networks in a dystopian future. People and cows frolic cheerfully, while crazy drivers beat each other to pieces. Victories are gained by laps, ruining all your opponents, or mowing down all living things nearby.
In the 1990s, this was so shocking that Carmageddon was banned in some countries. Today, the lo-fi violence seems strange. But the humorous humor of the game has been preserved to this day, as it comes in handy with bouncy physics, crazy races and crazy cops trying to forget you when you cross their path.
Asphalt 8: in the air
Asphalt 8: Airborne is a high octane racer who has cast a cursory glance towards realism. It then decided against dealing with such a minor problem and decided that you would much rather be sneaking around at insane speeds under the power of the magnificent nitros that often drives your car up.
None for the simulation crowd, but this racer is perfect for everyone else. The larger-than-life, branched courses – hyperreal scenes in real locations – are crazy and exciting. Instead of spinning laps on a boring race track surrounded by pebbles, you shoot through rocket launches and blaze through volcanoes.
There are downsides – cynical IAPs and timers abound, which weld a huge comedy tail fin to the styling of this otherwise slim racer. But for dizzying speed, balloons and lots of laughter, this racer is hard to beat.
Data Wing looks like a minimal top-down racer but is much more. That does not mean that the racing game is not great – because that's how it is. You'll be driving your small triangular ship around neon courses, scanning over boost pads and scraping the track edges for a bit more speed.
But there is something else going on here – an underlying narrative in which you discover that you are actually transferring pieces of data under the gaze of an artificially intelligent parent. At first, everything seems to be all right, but it soon becomes clear that mother has lost some electrons, not least when you start looking at a world beyond silicon.
With perfect touch control, various levels of racing, a few hours of storyplay, and a lot of replay, Data Wing would be a bargain for a few bucks. Free, it is absurdly generous.
One Tap Rally
This game races what car runners do for platform games. One Tap Rally is controlled with one finger and pushes on the screen to accelerate and release to slow down while your car steers automatically. The goal is not to hit the sides of the track because it slows you down.
If you win, you move up in the leaderboard and then play a harder, faster opponent. These opponents are shots of real attempts of other players, ordered by time.
In essence, this is a digital version of the slot race, so without the slots. But the mix of speed and strategy, along with a decent selection of tracks, lets you forget the simple controls. If anything, they become a blessing and focus on learning track layouts and razor-sharp timing. Great stuff.
In the world of Splash Cars, it seems that everyone but you is a miserable cheater. Your world is boring and gray, but your magical vehicle brings color to everything that is approaching. The police are not happy about this and have set themselves the goal of ending their color-coordinated games by forgetting their car. There is also the tiny catch of a gasoline tank that runs dry alarmingly fast.
Splash Cars becomes a fun game of fleeing from the fuzz, zooming in on buildings, picking up gasoline and coins lying carelessly, trying to hit a painted target before the timer runs out. Success and drive with ever more powerful cars to bigger and better places.
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