Many of the biggest companies in the gaming industry are creating versions of their most classic and iconic games for mobile platforms, including versions on Android. As much of its player base from the ’90s and ’00s have migrated to phones and tablets, nowadays there is a large number of these iconic titles that are available on Google’s Play Store.
And it’s not only the classic versions remastered for smartphones, such as those in the Final Fantasy franchise, but also original games that mix up the old elements with a smartphone’s touch screen. Among them, there are paid versions, entirely free versions, and those that are free but have in-app transactions.
In this list, we have selected some of the best games from the old days that you can play on your Android smartphone right now!
Index of this article
It was pretty much impossible for us to not start the list with this huge classic, Pac-Man. Not only the original game, but many different adaptations and games in all genres have been released with the charismatic mascot that kinda looks like a mozzarella pizza minus one slice.
However, if you want to have the classic original experience you had way back when, you just need to download this version and have heaps of fun running away from ghosts in psychedelic mazes for free. Download it on the Play Store!
2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Much to fans’ delight (and surprise), one of the biggest classic games ever, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, was released on Android. The game is an amazing 2D platformer with a relatively short campaign (about 9 hours).
The game was one of the biggest hits of the Metroidvania genre. All in all, it easily is one of the best games to play on Android, period. Check it out!
3. Star Wars: KOTOR
Star Wars: KOTOR is a game that has been featured in quite a few of our lists of games, including the one about the best single-player games. Originally released for the Xbox, with versions for many platforms, it is easily one of the best RPG games ever made, in the universe of Star Wars.
If that’s your jam, you can now play it on any Android device, using the touchscreen for controls. Start your journey and become a Sith or a Jedi by following this link!
4. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic
Overall, the Sonic franchise is one of the most well-known all around the world, and it of course has versions for Android in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic. It is a part of a program by SEGA called SEGA Forever.
This game, as well as most in SEGA’s program, is unfortunately full of ads, but you can still enjoy them thoroughly (even more so if you pay to have the ads removed). If you like Sonic, you’ll like it. Check it out!
Get ready to relive all of your emotions from the Atari days with this game. Pitfall Harry is back exploring forests, swinging from vines and jumping over the closed mouths of the crocodiles in the renewed mobile version of Pitfall!
Using the style of the infinite races created by Temple Run, the game manages to pay homage to the classic at the same time as it adapts it to modern mechanics. Follow this link to download it.
6. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
It might feel odd to include Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in this list, but the game is nearly two decades old, being released in 2004! The original, as well as its Android adaptation, offer amazing gameplay along with a pretty fun story.
In the game, you have to travel through a fictitious Southern California to earn your place among the best of the best. It has a vast open world, in which you’ll find many hidden gems. Download it right now!
Easily one of the biggest hits from the arcade era, R-Type also has a great version for Android. This version has all of the original features and mechanics you get to love years ago. In it, you control a ship to the left and to the right to complete the levels.
It has 8 unique bosses, many waves of different enemies, two difficulties, many new weapons and upgrades, and all to make it get a spot among the best classic games on Android. Check it out!
8. Pinball Arcade
It truly is difficult to recreate the amazing mechanics and experience you had in the pinball machines. But, lacking the classic arcades, Pinball Arcade is an amazing alternative, especially as it comes with the machines that existed in the real world.
Even though it is free, many of the tables need to be purchased to unlock, although there are quite a few free ones you can use without paying anything. Follow this link to see more.
9. Metal Slug Defense
Drawing inspiration from the Metal Slug game franchise, Metal Slug Defense changes things up quite a bit. Here, the players are commanders in military bases.
During the matches, you need to recruit soldiers and build vehicles to attack and defend your base from opponents, whether they’re controlled by the AI or by another player in battles via the internet. Download an amazing tower defense remake for Metal Sug on the Play Store.
10. Metal Slug Attack
A direct sequel to the game we talked about previously, Metal Slug Attack makes the mechanics of its predecessor much better while expanding the game.
It has many new modes, among which are missions to rescue prisoners, new weapons, creatures, and characters. Overall, the game is a great option if you like tower defense games and want a more complete option. Check it out!
11. The King of Fighters ’98
One of the most widely acclaimed fighting games ever, The King of Fighters ’98 is one of the best classic games on Android. It was originally created as a special version with most of the characters and teams from the previous editions.
What made it become a favorite was the fact that it had such advanced graphics for the time, as well as improved mechanics and very smooth gameplay. If you want to play a fan favorite once again, you can purchase it on the Play Store. Just keep in mind that Rugal is still just as OP as he once was!
12. The King of Fighters ’97
The fourth installment in The King of Fighters gaming saga, the ’97 version concludes the first arc in the story of the game, that started way back in 1994 and was focused on the stories of Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami and their direct relation with an evil god.
The game features 35 different playable characters, with the hidden characters from the NEO GEO version. It has two different gameplay modes, which only makes the game much more fun. To check it out, follow this link!
13. Samurai Shodown II
From the same company as The King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown II was one of the first games where you could find combat involving samurai, ninjas, and medieval knights!
It was focused not only on the weapons each had, but also their special abilities. The second installment in the franchise is the only one that you can enjoy on Android.
14. Fatal Fury Special
Fatal Fury Special is the remake of the second Fatal Fury game, franchise from which The King of Fighters originated. The game came with completely unforgettable characters such as the ninja Mai Shiranui, the kung-fu master Tung Fu Rue and the British troublemaker Billy Kane.
You can enjoy it playing against your friends using Bluetooth, choosing from 16 different characters. The game is not simply a port, but the game balance was adjusted, with some other improvements. Check it out!
15. My Tamagotchi Forever
The hard to forget digital creatures that needed to be taken care of and came in what was a sort of keyring also feature among the classic games on Android in its My Tamagotchi Forever port.
If you want to relive the nostalgia of seeing the little creature feed, play, and grow up (and inevitably die when you forget about the game for too long), you should try it out. Get it on the Play Store!
16. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Released back in July 2015, Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius seeks to take the dear characters from what is the biggest Japanese RPG games franchise around the world at the same time it brings forth an entirely new plot!
To top things off, it keeps the same style and level of coolness that the franchise has established for many years. If you want to try it out, we have good news: the game is entirely free to download!
17. Final Fantasy Record Keeper
The most played mobile game in the Final Fantasy franchise to date, Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is a homage to the entire franchise and all of the unforgettable characters that have been in it.
To save the world, a young historian will need to search through an entire library and relive important moments from the franchise, all the while recruiting the characters from these worlds and making up the team of his dreams! Check it out.
18. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
The Android remake of one of the favorite games of the fans of the franchise, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions has drawn tears from gamers all around the world, and many consider it to be their favorite, even if it is not a part of the main series!
For those who have never played it, don’t come in expecting it to be all fun, as it deals with quite heavy themes such as prejudice, politics, nobility, and friendship. The only downside is how much it costs, follow this link to see more.
19. Secret of Mana
Considered by many to be one of the best Super Nintendo titles, Secret of Mana had to take a spot among the best classic games on Android. It was first released all the way back in 1993!
Unlike the Final Fantasy series, it is considered to be one of the pioneers in Japanese action RPGs, replacing turn-based battles for live battles. In the game, you will use a group of three characters to fight off an evil empire. Go to the Play Store to see more.
20. Chrono Trigger
We usually don’t talk in the first person here on AppTuts. However, Chrono Trigger is well-deserving of an exception, as it is one of my personal favorites on this list. Drawn by the creator of Dragon Ball Z, the game brings a group of heroes from different moments in history.
They travel in time and see the end of their world, and as such, they need to travel through several different ages to prevent the catastrophe. The game is available in the Play Store, and while it is expensive, it is worth every single penny! Check it out!
21. Pokémon Shuffle Mobile
The first Nintendo game for handheld devices was Pokémon Shuffle Mobile. Originally released for the handheld device called Nintendo 3DS, the game borrowed mechanics widely acclaimed by Candy Crush.
Then, it adapted them so that the fans of the franchise could catch all of the famous pocket monsters without the need to spend a single cent if they don’t want to! Follow this link to see more.
22. Pokémon TCG Online
Other than the games in the main franchise, the Pokemón card game is one of the most popular in the genre, and one of the best of the classic games on Android. If you liked to collect cards and play with your friends, Pokémon TCG Online is a great option!
The app is free and you can get new cards with the currency you get from duels. If you decide to collect the cards in the real world, each pack or deck you purchase can be converted to the digital version, and you can try out your deck against opponents from all around the world. The only real downside is that it is exclusive for tablets. Check it out.
23. Final Fantasy franchise (1 to 9, and 15)
Other than all of the games mentioned previously, a large part of the chapters in the main series is also available for Android. Although some of the versions have received quite a few critics about the graphics, that look extremely dumbed down when compared to the original versions, the nostalgia is guaranteed. Follow this link to see more!
24. Metal Slug franchise (1, 2, 3, and X)
Even though Metal Slug Defense and Metal Slug Attack are some great free games, they don’t actually offer the mechanics from the main series of games, which also are a part of the best classic games on Android.
In the games, which are some of the best shooters ever, you can play with your friends using Bluetooth, using its innovative mechanics to play even better than you once did! Check them out right now!
25. Dragon Quest franchise (1 to 8, except 7)
For many years, Dragon Quest fought hard with Final Fantasy for the title of the biggest Japanese RPG franchise. After they merged, both of the series were a part of the same group, and so they were all made available for Android. You can see more about them by following this link.
Did you like our list of the classic games on Android?
Let us know in the comments if we helped you out in finding a new game to play, as well as if you think we left any good ones out. Don’t forget to also check out the best iPhone games, the best lightweight Android emulators, and learn how to download paid apps for free!