There was a time when good games for Android were few and far between. These days, however, iOS developers are continue to port games over to Android and the platform even has a few exclusive titles that you can only get for Android (e.g. Minecraft Pocket Edition). If you haven’t dived into multiplayer gaming for Android you might be surprised at how similar the experience is compared to console or PC multiplayer games.
1. Words With Friends and WordFeud
Word games are an easy way to jump into multiplayer gaming and the options are practically limitless. In fact, if aren’t already playing one of these Scrabble clones you’re probably in the minority of Android users. Now, we’ve had this Wordfeud vs. Words With Friend argument before and if you’ve had Android for awhile you’ll probably side with WordFeud because it was offered way before Words With Friends. If you have a lot of iPad and iPhone friends you want to play with though, Words With Friends is a better option, although sometimes a buggier one for Android.
Free: Words With Friends
2. N.O.V.A. 2 HD
More serious gamer should check out N.O.V.A. — the undisputed king of first person shooters on Android. N.O.V.A. (Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance) has a classic Sci-Fi aliens vs. humans theme and multiplayer is intense — supporting up to 10 different players at a time. The only downside to play first person shooters on a touch screen phone are the incredibly awkward controls needed to both shoot and aim (and not drop your phone) at the same time. N.O.V.A. is a pricey app at nearly $7.00, but is a must have for those love to dig into mobile gaming.
Paid: N.O.V.A. 2 HD
3. Minecraft: Pocket Edition
A few weeks ago Minecraft Pocket Edition was released for the majority of Android and downloads shot up to over half a million in just a few weeks. Minecraft Pocket Edition is an incredibly accurate port of the real time game that works great on multiplayer. Whether you’ll have the patience to sit and build all day on your phone is a completely separate issue. Minecraft offers a demo that I recommend downloading first before chunking out the $6.99 required for the full version.
Paid: Minecraft Pocket Edition ($6.99)
My friends and I discovered this game after a few beers and literally played a 5 hour long game with two of us using Android phones, one person using an iPod Touch and the other using an iPad. StarPagga is a crazy addictive 3D space fight game where you battle head-to-head over Internet or locally. If you choose to play locally then this game almost guarantees massive shit talking and looking like an idiot as you try to barrel roll to dodge missiles. The free version is a full fledge game and you can upgrade to get access to better ships and weapons.
Free: StarPagga Lite
Paid: StarPagga (Around $2.40)
5. Order & Chaos Online Or Pocket Legends
Whenever someone mentions that they like World Of Warcraft I instantaneously give them a mortal look of shame and award them no points. If you love the genre though then there are several apps that offer a massively multiplayer online experience for Android. Order & Chaos is one of the most popular and offers fans a surprisingly detailed experience for their phone’s or tablets (which is why this is the 6th most popular game on Android). Order & Chaos will cost you $6.99 and a monthly subscription fee (generally around a $1.00 a month).
If this is a little too rich for your blood then Pocket Legends makes a cheap alternative. If you think the idea of spells and magic is, um, lame, then check out Space Legends, which is basically a spaced themed version of Pocket Legends.
Paid: Order & Chaos Online ($6.99 plus monthly subscription fee).
Free: Pocket Legends
Free: Space Legends
6. Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
As much as this game shares it’s roots with N.O.V.A. it would be a shame not to mention in the wake of popular games like Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. Modern Combat 2 is an intense military first person shooter that should run great on almost any level of Android device. Again, no demo or free version so it will run you the heafty $6.99 price tag.
Paid: Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus ($6.99)
7. Age of Defenders
For tablets only, Age of Defenders is a team based take on tower defense (one that actually feels like a real time strategy game). Age of Defenders is the perfect example of a game optimized and oriented around a larger screen size. Plus, the game is a steal for only $2.99.
Paid: Age of Defenders (Tablets Only, $2.99)
Galcon is based on a classic game of moving and dividing armies to different planets. While there are a ton of clones on the Android Market, Galcon stands out because of it’s multiplayer and graphics.
Paid: Galcon ($2.99)
Tanked is a funny little 3D game where you are, surprisingly, a tank… armed with huge dogs! Aside from the inexplicable dog thing, Tanked is an incredibly well designed tank game that is as challenging as it is fun. Best of all, Tanked is free.
10. Smart Dots Multiplayer
If you remember the dot and line games you used to play in class as a kid then you’ll love this free app, which saves you the time of actually having to set all those lines up. This app not only looks great but is a fun way to get into Android multiplayer without having to invest a ton of time or effort.
Free: Smart Dots Multiplayer
11. GT Racing: Motor Academy Free+
If you can ignore the awkward name GT Racing provides one of the funnest multiplayer experiences on Android and for most people the accelerometer based controls are considerably easier to use than first person shooters. Most of the game is free, but there are in game purchases for various items for your car.
Free: GT Racing
12. Live Blackjack 21 Pro
Whenever I gamble, I always go with blackjack. Seriously, however, blackjack is one of the easiest card games to learn and testing out your abilities online is a fun way to not lose any money in real life. Live Blackjack 21 Pro is an excellent and intuitive blackjack game that is free, but will require an account sign up.
Free: Live Blackjack 21 Pro
13. Reckless Racing
There are a ton of racing games for Android but Reckless Racing is slightly different in that it shows you in an overhead view in a beautifully rendered off road race. Initial only a paid app, Reckless Racing is now in a lite version that plays more like a limited demo.
Free: Reckless Racing Lite
Paid: Reckless Racing ($2.99)
Robotek is like a cross between a turn based strategy game and a Sci-Fi novel. Two things are clear though: This game is incredibly fun and now offers multiplayer. The graphics are beautifully animated 3D and the learning curve is easy enough that anyone can get the hang of defeating your opponent’s mainframe.
15. Skies of Glory Reloaded
Skies of Glory has been popular on iOS and the developers have continued to refine this port for Android. While some have complained about the lack of planes and generally bugginess (compared to the version for iPhone), the app has worked well for us had offers fun WWII style dogfighting that looks great and is a blast to play online.
Free: Skies of Glory Reloaded