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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ₹50.