The 10 Best Android Games in 2021

Last updated: 12/28/2023
12 minutes read

2021 has been another terrific year for the Android gaming community, with some great new games coming out and a few established favorites having bugs fixed or receiving much-needed enhancements.

What are the best Android games in 2021 and what gameplay do they offer?

The following is a mixture of the best new titles that have hit the market in 2021, together with some older classics that combine to give us a list of the top ten best Android games 2021 has to offer.

With a variety of RPGs, action games, and mobile rhythm apps, this is a collection that has something for every type of mobile gamer to enjoy. Let’s get started and find out which games have caught our eye in the last year.

1. Among Us

  • Developer: Innersloth LLC
  • Released: 2018
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 10+

Released in 2018, Among Us rose to prominence in 2020 and has continued to be a firm favorite of gamers over the world in 2021, meaning that it is still considered one of the best games on Android in 2021 just as it was the year before that.

It has been downloaded from the Google Play Store over 12.6 million times and shows no sign of losing its appeal anytime soon.

The game was partly based on the movie The Thing and there was talk of an Among Us 2 game being released in the future, but for the moment the developers have dedicated their time to sorting out the technical issues that have caused issues for some players.

Some of the recent improvements have helped to ensure that it doesn’t lose its spot on the best mobile games of 2021 list.

Up to 15 players join together on a spaceship that will soon be blasting off, but one of the players is an impostor who wants to kill them all while the rest are crew members who need to find the impostor while carrying out their normal tasks.

It’s an incredibly simple idea that has been carried out well, to give a well-rounded mobile experience where sabotage and secrecy are among the keys to success.

As one of the best Android games in 2021, this is a free game worth exploring, with a selection of in-app purchases to help you enjoy the experience more if you want to upgrade.

2. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!

  • Developer: King
  • Released: 2021
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: None

This hugely popular gaming character finally came to our Android screens in 2021 in a fast, colorful adventure. It is designed as one of the endless runner genres of mobile games, where you need to jump, spin, and carry out other slick moves to make your way through a series of maps.

There isn’t much of a storyline, but the game is based on the idea that the evil Dr Neo Cortex is up to no good and only you can stop him. With millions of downloads, Crash Bandicoot has been confirmed as one of the best Android games 2021 has brought us.

The way it is faithful to the original game and the top-level graphics make it stand out against the other endless runner games for Android games right now.

Once you start you will have to choose to play as either Crash or Coco. Since you can’t control your character’s speed, it is just about helping them to avoid the traps and run for as long as possible.

An array of mutants will try to get in your way, while you will eventually run into some of the top bosses if you manage to keep running far enough.

This title comes from the same developer that brought us the Candy Crush Saga, so expect a polished look but also lots of opportunities to spend money on the game. Despite this, it can be played for free if you are patient about waiting for your next game.

The inclusion of Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! on our list of the best Android games for 2021 is largely due to the fun it offers and the simple but highly enjoyable gameplay.

3. Beatstar

  • Developer: Space Ape
  • Released: 2021
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 13+

The mobile rhythm market got a new contender in 2021, with the release of Beatstar on the Play Store. It looks similar to games like Guitar Hero, with a series of musical sequences scrolling down your Android’s screen for you to hit.

The presentation is fantastic, and Beatstar also benefits from having a series of licensed songs from different artists, including an incredibly wide variety of songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Avicii and Doja Cat that you can choose from.

With new songs added regularly, this is a great way to listen to your favorites while trying to match the rhythm. One drawback is that there is no offline mode, so we can’t class Beatstar among the best offline games for Android in 2021.

Miss a note completely and the song will stop in its tracks. This is where the monetization aspect comes in, as it becomes really difficult to unlock new songs as you progress unless you are willing to pay for it.

However, the overall appeal of the game means that it is a solid option for anyone who is happy to slowly work through the catalog at their own speed. Beatstar is undoubtedly one of the best Android games in 2021, and it should become a firm favorite for music fans long into the future.

4. Crossy Road

  • Developer: Hipster Whale
  • Released: 2014
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: None

With almost five million downloads to date, this simple yet massively enjoyable game has been a huge hit, meaning that is an easy choice to add it to our best Android games 2021 list despite it already being a few years old.

The basic idea is that you help a chicken cross the road without him getting squashed, attacked, or even drowned along the way.

The developers have gone for a bright, cartoony feel that helps to make this a fun romp for players of all ages who are looking for a few moments of simple pleasure without having to learn too many rules or controls.

Crossy Road has been described as being like an endless version of the classic Frogger arcade game that first appeared in the early 1980s.

Some gamers might find that it is just a little too simplistic and repetitive for them, but there is no denying that getting past a tough obstacle like a big road or a river is immensely satisfying.

It may not be a game that you play every day, but Crossy Road is a more than decent option to have on your phone for those quiet moments when you just want some fun with no hassles or complex gameplay to worry about.

5. Fortnite

  • Developer: Epic Games
  • Released: 2018
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 13+

You need to head to the Epic Game Store rather than the Google Play Store to download this game. It is a battle royale style of mobile game that has been incredibly popular among gamers on many different formats for the last few years.

The Android version perhaps lacks some of the crisp graphics and smooth action of the PC version, although those complaints certainly haven’t stopped it from becoming one of the best free Android games in 2021.

You play this game online against other human opponents, beginning your mission by flying into the combat zone and choosing when you jump off the craft that takes you there.

After that, you take your place in a huge battle where your mission is to attempt to be the last player standing. You can choose to take on this challenge on your own, or else you could join up with others in a team of two or four.

As one of the best Android games that players can download at no cost, this is a good way to start playing a game for free before deciding whether or not to buy cosmetic items such as skins.

6. Genshin Impact

  • Developer: mihoYo Limited
  • Released: 2020
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 13+

Following its release in the second half of the year, Genshin Impact became one of the best Android games in 2021. This action game was released in Windows, PlayStation 4, and iOS versions at the same time it made its way onto the Google Play Store.

Described as an RPG, Genshin Impact takes place in a fantasy setting in a world known as Teyvat. You need to travel across a series of different settings, dealing with monsters using your combat skills and helping those that need you to help them.

The spectacular success of this game meant that it earned the developer $2 billion in the first year after its release, with the signs pointing towards the total of 2.7 million downloads on the Play Store rising consistently from now on.

The graphics and soundtrack are extremely impressive for a mobile game, although some players have criticized the monetization model that it uses.

Yet, the appeal of seeking out the seven Gods that inhabit this land and finding answers to the key questions makes this one of the best free Android games in 2021.

7. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

  • Developer: Konami
  • Released: 2020
  • Cost: $2.99
  • Age restrictions: 13+

Initially released for the PlayStation console in 1997, this instalment of the Castlevania series was ported to the Android platform in 2020. While the $2.99 price tag may put some players off, fans will probably be happy to pay that price to get hold of this mobile version of the classic RPG.

For those who follow the series, this game is set after the Rondo of Blood title and the action takes place a few years after the events in that game.

You take control of a vampire going by the name of Alucard and need to battle against the other demons that hang around the castle. There are lots of weapons and spells that you can use on your mission, and the castle itself is terrific fun to explore.

The number and variety of enemies that you are pitched against make this a highly varied experience, while the graphics look fantastic too, making this one of the best Android games for 2021.

It took a while for the original to take off, but it is now listed by some critics among the best video games ever made, so it is well worth taking a look at the Android version.

8. Chrono Trigger

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Released: 2012 (upgraded in 2018)
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 10+

Another of the classic RPGs to be released for Android devices, Chrono Trigger first came out in 1995 for the SNES.

It was first transferred to Android in 2012, but the numerous bugs on this version led to the developers bringing out an upgraded app in 2018 that has helped to give a vastly improved and much slicker playing experience.

The game is all about the hero, called Crono, braving entering an unknown world to find his lost friend. Marle. The journey puts you up against a variety of enemies, with interesting locations such as the Dimensional Vortex and Lost Sanctum dungeons adding a lot of atmosphere to the game.

You get to unleash up to 50 different battle combos as you try to get the better of the many opponents who stand in your way as you attempt to rescue Marle.

9. Dragalia Lost

  • Developer: Cygames / Nintendo
  • Released: 2018
  • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
  • Age restrictions: 13+

This action role-playing game brings humans and dungeons together in an epic adventure that takes place in Alberia. The royals here can transform into dragons to go into battle.

However, strange things are happening in the land, and Prince Euden has to begin his Dragon Selection Trial against a backdrop of troubles and waning magic power. Reviewers have given praise to the gameplay, the graphics, and to the great soundtrack that plays during your adventure.

You can play Dragalia Lost as a single player or team up with others to try the four-player cooperative play option. This was Nintendo’s first mobile game to be developed for Android devices without existing as a console game first of all.

It proved to be a hit, with more than 300,000 Japanese players pre-registering for it. In its first year after release, the game had grossed more than $100 million, and it continues to be one of the best Android games in 2021 that players can download for free.

If you like the challenge of playing strategy games, you might like to consider how to progress on Dragalia Lost through diverse tactics such as crafting new weapons and working to increase the potency of your dragon.

10. Railroad Ink Challenge

  • Developer: Horrible Guild
  • Released: 2021
  • Cost: $3.99
  • Age restrictions: None

Released in 2018 as a roll and write board game, Railroad Ink Challenge made the switch to mobile devices in 2021, quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best Android games in 2021 for us to enjoy.

The aim of the game is to roll the dice and then draw the different transport routes that are needed to connect the exits dotted across the board. You can then grow your railroad network by adding in new stations and other features, letting you pick up points as you go.

One of the reasons this app has gained a positive reputation is that you can play alone or challenge others to see who picks up the most points. Leaving open connections will see you penalized no matter how you plan the Railroad Ink Challenge game, though.

The developer has confirmed that expansions will be released, and will be based on the likes of the Forest and Desert sections of the original board game, adding new rules and dice to the gameplay.

Which Is the No 1 Android Game in the World in 2021?

If you are looking for the Android game with the highest number of downloads, the main candidates are 2017’s Garena Free Fire, PUBG Mobile from 2018, and 2016’s Mobile Legends: Big Bang, all of which have been downloaded more than a billion times by players across the planet.

Each OS and device's requirements vary slightly, making our list of the best mobile games in 2021 on Android very specific.

The titles we have included here are just some of the terrific mobile games that you can download to your device, but don't forget to check our very own ones, too.

Happy gaming!