Best Arcade Games for Android
Bring back all the nostalgic feels with these arcade classics for Android.
For all the great new games that are released on Android, sometimes you want to play something … familiar. Maybe something a little retro that reminds you of those arcade days spent plugging quarters into standalone machines for hours on end.
You can relive those moments on your Android phone with these great arcade games available in the Google Play Store.
PinOut is a brilliant reimagining of the classic pinball action we’re all familiar with into an endless arcade format, created by the award-winning developers behind Smash Hit. The game features sharp, futuristic graphics and smooth controls as it pits you in a race against the clock to see how far you can make it on one ball.
Unlike other pinball games that give you a set number of balls and have you focused on racking up combos and bonuses by strategically hitting bumpers and other features on the table, PinOut instead offers an infinite race against the clock on a seemingly neverending table. Tap to use the left and right flippers and strategically work the ball up through rails and onto the next section. Some rails feature a trail of dots which add time to the countdown clock at the top, so you’ll need to master your flipper control and focus on hitting the ball through the time bonus rails. If you fail to hit the ball and it falls between your flippers, the only penalty imposed is the time you waste getting the ball back up to where it once was. If the time runs out, it’s game over.
PinOut is a free download from the Google Play Store, but you might want to spend $2.99 on the one-time upgrade to premium to unlock the ability to start from previous checkpoints you’ve reached.
The quintessential arcade classic has been ported to Android over and over again, with a dozen of different twists on the tried and true gaming formula. But if you’re looking for a pure Pac-Man experience, Bandai-Namco’s free PAC-MAN app is everything you’ll need.
In Classic Mode, you’ll find everything looks and plays as you remember — minus the need for a stack of quarters. Once you’ve had your fill of the classic mazes, check out the collection of new mazes which add a new layer of strategy.
Tournament mode adds another layer of replay. Try and set the high score in regularly occurring tournaments against players from around the world.
PAC-MAN is a free download in the Google Play Store, and includes in-app purchases for different maze packs.
Galactic Nemesis is an updated version of arcade classics like Galaga and Galaxian for your Android phone. Blast your way through wave after wave of alien invaders, upgrading your ship as you go.
Controls are dead simple. Tap and drag your finger around the screen to move and shoot at the same time. Power-ups collect along the right side of the screen, so simply tap them when you need a little help.
You get the first world for free but will have to pay $1.99 to unlock 3 other worlds. You’ll also get 10 ships to unlock, over 50 in-game challenges, and no ads.
With great pixel art, simple controls, and a winning gameplay formula, you can’t go wrong with Galactic Nemesis if you’re into classic arcade games.
Metal Slug 3
A classic run-and-gun arcade title, Metal Slug 3 has been perfectly ported over to the Google Play Store and is worth checking out if you’re a fan of the original games or simply enjoy action arcade shooting games.
The Android version gives you multiple ways to play.There’s a single player campaign, which you can play in classic Arcade Mode or Mission Mode, which allows you to play your favorite mission or practice a particularly tough mission.
If your friends have the game, you can connect up via Bluetooth and play co-op modes. Metal Slug is always more fun with friends, so the addition of wireless local multiplayer greatly enhances the replay value.
Fans of R-Type will enjoy how smooth this classic side-scrolling shoot-em-up game plays on Android. Man your ship and take down the alien invasion one level at a time.
The game lets you control your ship directly via touch or using an on-screen joystick (Bluetooth controller support would have been nice here) and has a toggle for autofire. We’ve found the touch control to be the best compromise for allowing full control for evading enemies without obstructing too much of the screen.
Having reliable controls is important because this game is as tough as you remember it being. With wave after wave of enemies, tough boss battles, and one-hit deaths, you’re in for a real challenge with R-Type.
We’d be remiss to have a list of best arcade games without at least one fighting game making the cut. This port of Soul Calibur is one of the nicest direct ports we’ve seen, featuring (thankfully) updated graphics from the 1998 original.
Beyond the classic Arcade Mode, there are multiple game modes to enjoy: Time Attack challenges you to beat all characters as fast as you can, Survival sees how far you can go in sudden-death battles, and Extreme Survival cranks things up to see how far you can go without being hit.
Before you click your heels and jump into the Google Play Store to get this one, here’s the bad news: the price. At $13.99, this is priced more along the lines of a console download than a mobile offering. But this is essentially a full-fledged console game on your phone. This might be strictly for the hardcore SoulCalibur fans, but if you’re looking for a quality fighting game for your Android device, SoulCalibur is as good as you’ll find.
The only other downside besides the price is its lack of controller support; however, the virtual gamepad is surprisingly responsive and fully customizable.
For fans of pinball, nothing will quite replicate the experience of playing on a glass-top pinball cabinet. Pinball Arcade for Android might just be the next best thing, featuring 70 classic pinball tables.
Each table is faithfully reproduced with all original features and graphics in rather stunning 3D graphics.
You get the full Arabian Nights table for free and are able to play free versions of all of the other tables included in the game, but you must plop down some serious cash to get full access to the other tables, which are sold individually ($5-$9 per table) or as part of a Season Pack ($35-$42 per season pack).
These prices are going to be way too steep for most, but if you’re a hardcore Pinball fan who collects pinball cabinets, you’ll appreciate the ability to test and play classic tables for a fraction of the cost of owning one in real life.
Any arcade games we missed?
In our research, there were a number of games we seriously considered but dropped for one reason or another, including Atari’s Greatest Hits (too many in-app purchases), Double Dragon Trilogy (game wouldn’t load for us), and Crazy Taxi Classic (also wouldn’t load). Let us know in the comments below if there are obvious ones we missed.