40 fantastic free Android games

Fun doesn’t have to require funding. Got an Android phone or tablet? Then these are the greatest games… gratis!

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There are hundreds of fantastic games available for Android, and a lot of them are available for absolutely nothing.

Whether ad-supported or based on a (boo and indeed hiss) “freemium” model, these titles are free – and guaranteed to make your morning commute a little less painful.

To help you find just the sort of thing you're after, we've grouped the games into sections. First up is racing games on this page, then sports, followed by platformers, then endless runners, strategy and word games, followed by shooters, puzzle and match games, and finally arcade games. Phew!

If you can't find something you like in all that lot, you must already be dead.

Racing games

Best free racing game for Android: Ridge Racer Slipstream

Namco’s racer sits at the midpoint between Asphalt 8’s demented arcade larks and Real Racing’s overly earnest simulation leanings. Like its coin-op ancestors, though, Ridge Racer is still all about barreling along at insane speeds, and having fun — you just have to work at success a bit more than in Asphalt.

Here, driving like a total idiot will likely mean you’ll lose a race. Instead, you should only drive like a part-time maniac, slipstreaming the opposition, drifting through bends, and boosting past rivals. It looks great, sounds suitably meaty, controls really well, and even the IAP’s subdued enough that the game won’t constantly be doing wheelspins on your bank account.

Download Ridge Racer Accelerated

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Given that this is the eighth title in the Asphalt series, it probably comes as no surprise Gameloft's got a bit bored having sports cars merely zoom along at breakneck speeds and drift for ludicrous distances.

As this game's name suggests, Asphalt 8 now also regularly finds your vehicle catapulted into the air, whereupon it can perform crazy aerial stunts that are entirely not covered by your insurance plan. As ever, the hyper-real tracks are faintly barmy too.

Download Asphalt 8: Airborne here

Big Bang Racing

All those sci-fi thrillers about aliens invading on receiving our telly broadcasts, and it turns out they were thirsting for danger of the trials kind all along.

And so it goes in Big Bang Racing, your little green man tackling hazard-laden courses, trying very hard not to get electrocuted or crushed. It’s all rather jolly, with colourful visuals and smart controls.

Once you tire of solo play, you can pit your skills against other racers, battling their ghosts to the finish line. And once you tire of that, you can make your own courses and share them online.

Download Big Bang Racing

Final Freeway 2R

In the 1980s, cars gleamed red, and everyone belted along multi-lane sunlit highways — oddly always in the same direction, while listening to cheesy rock music. At least if you were playing OutRun.

Final Freeway 2R is a modern take on Sega’s classic arcade racer. You get all the good bits — insane speeds, road forks, car flips on crashing — but also modern tilt controls and a pause button for when some idiot calls when you’re about to zoom away from a rival.

This is breezy no-nonsense fun of the kind that’ll smear a grin across your face (unless you’re dead inside); and if you can’t stand being a cheapskate, there’s a paid ad-free version for ₹50.

Download Final Freeway 2R here

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3’s console-level visuals look so good that we’re still amazed we can play it on our smartphones. Throw in the easy-to-use motion-controlled steering (which actually works and doesn’t make us want to throw our phones at the wall in frustration) and you’ve got yourself one of the most polished racers in the Google Play Store.

Its freemium model, which involves having to take large breaks between races unless you pay to speed things up, got plenty of criticism on its release, but once you've got a few cars in your garage it's not a big problem. Besides, it's well deserving of a little of your cash.

Download Real Racing 3 here


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