With the release of the Pixel 2 XL and the iPhone X, smartphones have hit a new high not just in price, but also raw processing power. These new flagships not only cost more than twice as much as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, they have also become almost as powerful as far as gaming goes. Because of this, a lot of games once reserved for consoles and PCs have made their way to our smartphones.
For many, shooting games are the go-to for killing time and letting off steam — especially after a long, stressful day. They come in a variety of categories, from intense first-person shooters that closely try to simulate combat from the comfort of your smartphone, to classic side-scrolling arcade games that provide hours of excitement as you gun down pixelated foes and rack up points.
With a vast selection of shooting titles currently available for Android and iOS devices, we made our own list of the best paid shooting games for your smartphone to help you get the most bang for your buck. This is a nice companion piece to our best free shooting games roundup.
Before getting started, we first set some basic rules to narrow down the field. First, the game had to be available for both Android and iOS. We also made sure to only include games with 64-bit support, as Apple has abandoned the older 32-bit framework with the arrival of iOS 11. Finally, the games had to have a rating of at least 4 stars on both Google Play and the iOS App Store. As paid games, there are no in-app purchases for most of the games in this list, unless specified.
#1. Hitman Sniper
If you love to snipe bad guys from the comfort of your smartphone, then Hitman Sniper is right up your alley. This game will have you play as the infamous Agent 47 and get behind the crosshairs to carry out professional hits on high-value targets in scenic Montenegro.
Stealth is key in the game, as getting greedy and taking out more targets than necessary increases your chances of getting detected and failing the job. With more than 150 missions to complete and numerous ways to mix and match weaponry with tactics to more efficiently dispatch your foes, the game will surely keep you glued to your phone as you master the art of killing.
Hitman Sniper has great graphics and controls that are easy to master, and also features a leaderboard system to compete against other players and show off your skills as a contract killer.
Skills and perks, along with ever more powerful rifles, can also be unlocked through progression to make you even deadlier on the field. If that's not enough action for you, Hitman Sniper also features a zombie-killing challenge mode, aptly named Death Valley, to test out your shooting skills to the limit.
#2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a groundbreaking open-world game when it was first released for consoles and PCs. It immersed you in a massive open world based on a fictional '90s era Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, and it left you completely free to explore and wreak havoc in.
To capture the spirit of the era, the game comes with an equally massive soundtrack comprising of songs of different genres from the '90s that you can tune into on your car's radio. Needless to say, there's so much more to the game than driving around and shooting down rival gangsters and crooks; It has a great storyline, and awesome features such as character and vehicle customization, with tons of tiny side quests to complete.
The graphics in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been remastered and optimized for mobile gaming and can be further tailored to your device depending on its specs for a smoother gameplay. Controls are also customizable, and once properly set to your individual preference, makes it quite easy to navigate your way in the immersive world that this classic game is known for.
Without a doubt, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the most well-rounded shooter game on this list, and it will undoubtedly give you hours of enjoyment as you rampage and explore.
#3. Space Marshals
Blending in sci-fi with the wild west, Space Marshals is a tactical top-down shooter where you play as a marshal that's out to take down the galaxy's most dangerous fugitives. There are secret conspiracies to uncover as you go on your interplanetary manhunt, and the game features a wide array of weaponry, armor, and equipment to customize your marshal and tailor to your style of play.
If you're a fast-paced player who prefers direct combat over stealth, for example, you can equip your marshal with heavy armor and more powerful guns and grenades to more effectively deal with bandits and pirates head-on.
Stages in Space Marshals are pretty large, with multiple areas filled with neutral characters that you can even use as distractions by pitting factions against each other. You can then turn the ensuing chaos to your advantage as you hunt down your bounty.
While there are only 20 stages in the game, their multi-tiered nature, along with hidden loot and numerous objectives within one stage gives the game a very high replay value. Add to that a vast array of weapons, armor, and other loot to collect, Space Marshals is a game that you definitely need to try if you hadn't done so already.
There's also a newer Space Marshals 2 (free on Android; $4.99 for iOS) that you can try if you end up loving this game.
If you're averse to blood and guts but still enjoy shooting games as a way to kill time while you're waiting on line for something mundane, EPOCH.2 is right up your alley. Set in a post apocalyptic world where only robotic piles of junk roam the streets, the game will have you play as EPOCH, an android that's tasked to find a princess you're programmed to protect, in a desolate landscape filled with warring factions of robots bent on domination.
The game is a cover-based third-person shooter, and relies on a system of taps and swipes as opposed to more traditional analog means of control. This means that instead of using your touchscreen to move or shoot, all you have to do is tap on a target to shoot it, and perform a series of swipes to either take cover, move to another location, or perform a melee attack.
EPOCH.2 also shines with an in-depth upgrade system that lets you fully customize your robot — from weapons, armor, and overall appearance — to better deal with ever more difficult bots. Though in-app purchases are available for those who prefer to skip all the fun grinding that comes with leveling up, they are purely optional and will not hamper overall gameplay. With awesome graphics, a great storyline, and an ingenious control system, EPOCH.2 is definitely worth a try.
#5. Deus Ex: The Fall
For those who prefer to have a deep storyline to go with along with their first-person shooting experience, Deus Ex: The Fall is a worthy title to consider purchasing.
The game is set in the future where human augmentation is the norm, and it has you play an augmented former British soldier that's forced to hunt down an increasingly rare drug that's necessary prevent the body from rejecting its artificial enhancements. During your quest, you are plunged into a world filled with intrigue, corruption, and assassinations — where major moral decisions you make affect the outcome.
Besides being a first-person shooter, Deus Ex: The Fall provides you with other elements such as computer hacking and character customizations that greatly enhance gameplay. Numerous augmentations like X-ray vision and superhuman strength can be unlocked as you progress through the game, as well as the ability to sneak around through vents to get around enemies undetected.
With awesome visuals and excellent controls, Deus Ex: The Fall is a great shooting game that'll keep you glued to your phone until the very end.
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies
Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is a first-person shooter that's based on the infamously fun zombie survival mode that was included on some console versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The game has an incredibly simple premise — survive the endless hordes of undead for as long as you can. Zombies will come at you in waves, earning you currency for each one you overcome, along with a brief respite to reinforce your defenses and collect power-ups like ammunition that may have been dropped by zombies you've killed. The money you earn, in turn, can be used to unlock stronger weapons and gear to help you fight the undead more effectively.
Currency earned through surviving zombie waves also lets you unlock areas within a map to give you more room to evade zombies and plan out a better defense. Along with fully customizable controls and difficulty settings, the game also features adjustable graphics settings ideal for players with older and less powerful devices.
All in all, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies comes highly recommended for gamers who love shooting down undead hordes in their downtime.
7. Max Payne Mobile
Max Payne took the gaming world by storm when it was first released for consoles and PCs back in 2001 with the introduction of Bullet Time mechanics that slowed time to highlight the hero's speed and accuracy in combat. The game has since been fully ported over to both Android and iOS and immerses you in its dark storyline of revenge that's right out of a noir graphic novel.
You play as Max Payne, an ex-cop that tries to avenge his slain family while being hunted down by his fellow officers and the mob. What ensues is intense, action-packed ride full of twists and turns as you uncover the truth and clear your name.
As part of a game that's more than 15 years old, the developers have done a great job of remastering its graphics for both Android and iOS. Though the resolution is low compared to more modern games, they're still more than decent and looks great on smaller smartphone displays. Controls are easy enough to learn as well and will have you leaping sideways and placing well-aimed shots in slow motion thanks to its Bullet Time mechanics in no time flat.
So if you've never played this classic before, now is as good a time as any to try out Max Payne Mobile.
If there's one certainty in the mobile industry, it's that more advanced games will inevitably come our way and naturally displace some of the titles in this list. As such, we will update this list as new and better games arrive. Until then, let us know what shooting games you'd recommend by posting in the comment section below.
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