Apple and Google are two of the most powerful gaming companies on earth. The success of their mobile operating systems, iOS and Android, respectively, created a huge ecosystem of games and potential players. You may need to trudge through exploitative, free-to-play garbage to find them, but there are many great games on mobile devices. You won’t see the same AAA blockbusters you’ll find on consoles or PC, but you can still enjoy indie debuts, retro classics, and even original Nintendo games.
New subscription services make it easier than ever to spot those gems. Apple Arcade offers an exclusive curated catalog of premium mobile games. Google Play Pass now gives you hundreds of games (as well as apps) free of microtransactions for a $5-per-month subscription. GameClub resurrects mobile gaming classics from both ecosystems in one subscription.
Google’s willingness to license Android to more partners also means most gaming-focused mobile hardware targets Android. Razer Phone offers a great gaming experience (at the cost of other phone features), while the Razer Junglecat controller makes it easy to play Android games on a television. Google Cardboard turns your Android phone into an accessible virtual reality headset.
In fact, as a gaming platform Android is arguably better and more comprehensive than Google’s half-baked game streaming service Google Stadia, even if that subscription does technically let you play Red Dead Redemption 2 on a Pixel phone. For a superior Android game streaming experience, check out Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. So, have some fun on your phone with something that isn’t Twitter. Check out these mobile games for your Android device of choice. For you non-gamers, we also have a list of best Android apps.