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, then sports, followed by platformers and endless runners, then shooters and strategy and word games, next up is puzzle and match games, and finally arcade games. Phew!
If you can't find something you like in all that lot you must hate games. In which case, this is an odd article for you to be reading.
Best free racing game for Android: Data Wing
Calling Data Wing a racing game almost seems reductive once you’ve played it, but the basis of the game is speeding around circuits in a tiny triangular craft. It feels like Asteroids meets top-down racing as you battle inertia, scraping the edge of circuits for boost.
But there’s far more to Data Wing than time trials and multi-ship races: some levels head into puzzle-oriented adventure territory, with you fighting gravity and hunting down keys. And throughout, a dual-narrative plays out, telling the story of the mobile OS you’re a part of, and the real-life trials troubling your owner.
It’s all great stuff we’d recommend for a fiver. For free, it’s a bafflingly generous bargain.
Disc Drivin’ 2
If you’d have told us a while back that one of the finest racers on mobile would be a turn-based online multiplayer shove ha’penny, we’d have given you a funny look – and then backed away slowly. But that’s more or less Disc Drivin’ 2, which adds a smattering of MarioKart by way of power-ups and twisty circuits.
Surprisingly, the game’s turn-based approach doesn’t rob the racing of excitement and tension. That’s because every flick counts – mess up by hitting a turn wrong or missing a vital booster pad, and that’s the difference between the chequered flag and being a flicky also-ran.
One Tap Rally
If you’re fed up of virtual d-pads and tilt controls in mobile racers, One Tap Rally requires only a single digit. In this top-down effort, you accelerate when pressing the screen, carefully timing everything so as to not collide with the track’s edge, because doing so robs you of speed.
As you belt along, you take on other player’s ghosts. Shave fractions of a second off of your time and you slowly move up the leaderboard, taking on increasingly skilled racers. In essence, it’s an online multiplayer take on slot racing, then, albeit with dinky cars on minimalist tracks, and no chance of your car flying off of the road and smashing to bits when hitting a wall.
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 79p.
Best free sports game for Android: Super Stickman Golf 3
Super Stickman Golf 3’s ancestor is the same Apple II Artillery game Angry Birds has at its core, but Noodlecake’s title is a lot more fun than catapulting birds around.
It’s a larger-than-life side-on mini-golf extravaganza, with you thwacking balls about giant forests, moon bases, and metal-clad courses with a suspiciously high deadly saw-blade and laser count. The single-player game’s fun, but SSMG 3 really comes into its own in multiplayer, whether you’re taking the more sedate turn-by-turn route or ball-smacking at speed in the frenetic race mode.
Flappy Golf 2
Given that it was conceived as a joke, riffing off Flappy Bird, Flappy Golf was a surprise hit. Despite being utterly stupid, it proved a compelling experience as you tapped to flap a winged ball around courses from Super Stickman Golf 2.
Flappy Bird 2 is a moderately more serious affair, in the sense it has a bit more polish. This time, you’re flitting about courses from Super Stickman Golf 3. As ever, sinking the ball in relatively few shots nets you stars, used to unlock more courses. The best bit, though: the absurd, fast and furious multiplayer race mode.
If you’ve played previous Score! efforts, you’ll know what you’re in for here – a bout of staccato footie, where hand-drawn wiggly lines direct your shots and passes. But unlike in those older games, you’re no longer trying to recreate classic goals – instead, you battle against online opponents.
Truth be told, it’s a bit weird, and there’s enough freemium rubbish gumming the place up that you’ll almost want to give Score! Match a red card. But there’s something weirdly compelling about the game, in part because the weird controls are a great fit for mobile, giving a serious kicking to virtual joypads.