Thanks to ever more powerful smartphones — the iPhone X with its advanced A11 processor and the Galaxy Note 8 powered by Snapdragon's 835 come to mind — the mobile industry is fast closing in on consoles and PCs with regards to gaming. Game developers have been aware of this fact, and have ported many games once dedicated to computers onto our handheld devices.
Action games are among the most entertaining ways to kill time on your smartphone. They come in a variety of categories, from classic running games that push you to score as many points as possible, to role playing games that suck you into a world filled with adventure and epic loot. Due to the sheer number of action titles available, we decided to compile our own list of nine best paid action games for your smartphone to help you spend your money wisely.
To narrow down the field, we set some basic rules. First, the game had to be available for both iOS and Android. With the arrival of iOS 11 in particular, we made sure to only include games with 64-bit support, as Apple has abandoned the older 32-bit framework. Lastly, the games had to have a rating of at least 4 stars on both the iOS App Store and Google Play. As paid games, there are no in-app purchases for most of the games in this list, unless specified. That said, here's our list!
Crashlands, one of the best action and crafting games that's currently out, will have you play as an intergalactic trucker that's stranded on an alien planet. In order to survive the hostile environment, you'll have to build and upgrade your base, while crafting an ever evolving array of tools and weaponry to better adapt to the landscape and fend off monsters. Cut against a backdrop of intrigue and an evil plot for world domination that unravels as you progress, Crashlands is sure to keep you glued to your smartphone.
As an open world game, Crashlands will provide you with countless hours of enjoyment as you explore the vast alien world and accomplish your quests. And best of all, there are no in-app purchases whatsoever to contend with, leaving you free to concentrate on gameplay. So if you've grown tired of all the generic crafting games that have flooded both the iOS and Google Play Stores and want to try something different, give Crashlands a shot!
Sonic the Hedgehog is as significant to Sega as Super Mario is to Nintendo. Much to the delight of mobile gamers the world over, this rivalry has spilled over to both Android and iOS. There's a slew of Sonic games available right now, both free and paid. As this is a list for best paid action games, we naturally chose Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which captures the classic game in all its glory, with a welcome bonus of added content like new maps and gameplay mode.
There isn't much to say about Sonic the Hedgehog — it's a fast paced game where you dodge enemies while collecting rings and defeating bosses, as opposed to the more laid back gameplay found with its rival Mario. Though the graphics have been updated, it still remains pixelated to stay faithful to the original, which is sure to please folks who grew up playing it. The touch controls are also easy to work with, and with a price of $2.99, it's an undeniable bargain when compared to Super Mario Run.
If you love intense turn-based combat and sci-fi games, then XCOM: Enemy Within is right up your alley. A worthy successor to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, this strategy game will pit you against an invading force of aliens and their sympathizers in an epic bout to save the planet and human race from extinction. It's your job to lead an elite unit of soldiers into combat to destroy the enemy, all while harvesting their technology and using them to enhance your own capabilities.
As with Enemy Unknown, you can recruit soldiers of varying classes — assault, support, sniper, and heavy — that you can level up and and strengthen using perks earned from combat as they progress in rank from a private all the way up to a colonel. Care must be taken in using the same soldiers over and over in missions, however, as sustaining too many injuries will have a negative effect on morale and fighting ability. In addition, you also now have the options to enhance individual fighters' genes and even turn them to cyborgs to increase their combat potency.
Really, we couldn't make this list without including this modern classic. If you've never played this game, Minecraft PE places you in an vast, pixelated world and leaves you to own devices to gather, mine, and craft precious resources. There are two basic modes of play — normal mode, where you craft and build in order to survive and thrive, and creative mode, where you're free to build your own world without the hassle of dealing with monsters that are out to devour you.
Though in-app purchases are available in MineCraft PE, they usually only involve custom prefabricated maps and custom skin packs that do absolutely nothing to impact overall gameplay. And besides, why pay for a pre-made castle when you just build one yourself and let your imagination run wild? That is the whole point of Minecraft PE, after all.
The Geometry Wars series is widely regarded as one of the best action games to touch down for both Android and iOS. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, the latest and greatest of the series, has you survive an onslaught from enemies on beautifully rendered 3D maps in varying shapes, while collecting green diamonds to max out your points. The game features a global leaderboard which shows off your hard-earned scores for all to see and envy.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions also provides numerous bonuses and rewards, such as drones that assist you in destroying your enemies, or even the ability to create black holes to help you get through a stage in a pinch. The game features 100 levels that are played over 15 3D grids, with 12 battle modes to ensure a high replay value. So if you love blowing up colorful shapes into pixel dust, you have to try out Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions.
Wayward Souls is one of the best dungeon crawlers available right now. It's ideal for RPG lovers that lead busy lives due to its quick-play nature. There are no save states in Wayward Souls, and you only have one chance to fight your way through the sprawling dungeon complex unscathed. You start from scratch once you die, and thanks to the game's system of randomly generated maps, you're guaranteed to never play the same stage twice, adding tremendously to its replay value.
There are a total of 6 characters that you can play as — each with their own unique story, traits, and abilities — in addition to upgrades and perks that you can access through special rooms located on various floors as you dungeon-crawl, giving you a fighting chance against ever stronger enemies. You will lose any buffs and perks obtained once you die, though, so keep that in mind as you play, and don't fight hastily.
The Riptide GP series of racing games are among the best of their genre. The latest, Riptide GP: Renegade, is another great addition to the series, and has you race to the top of the pack through futuristic and intense courses using what can best be described as jet skis on steroids. As you rack up victories, your character levels up, rewarding you with perks and unlockable upgrades to bolster your odds against ever more difficult racers and tracks.
In addition to single player campaign, Riptide GP: Renegade offers other modes of gameplay to play through depending on your mood, such as a challenge mode to climb to the top of the leaderboards, a quick race ideal for those on the go, and multiplayer modes to challenge friends. The controls are also customizable to better suit your needs, as you can choose between tilt and touch controls. Graphics are top notch, and unlike the Previous Riptide GP2, Renegade has done away with annoying in-app purchases, leveling the playing field for multiplayer matchups.
Originally a PC game, Titan Quest has since made its way to mobile gaming, and unlike many ports, has stayed true to the original. This classic role playing game is as good as it gets, and boasts awesome graphics, intuitive touch controls, and an excellent storyline that'll span at least 60 hours if played from end to end. There's the usual grinding involved with quest completion and combat, which, in turn, levels up your character with assignable skills to increase his battle prowess. And let's not forget about the loot — there's at least 1,000 unique items and weapons to collect through questing and battling.
Titan Quest is an open world game, which means lots of exploration (and combat galore) to keep you entertained for hours on end. Add to that the 30 character classes that you can play as, with as many as 80 distinct species of enemies waiting to taste your blade, and you're almost guaranteed to replay this game time and time again. Though it costs $8.99, it's still a lot cheaper than its RPG counterparts that tend to cost around $15, if not more, and offer less in terms of gameplay and replay value. All in all, Titan Quest comes highly recommended.
Last, but certainly not least in our list, is the venerable Super Mario Run. The lovable plump plumber and his gang touched down at the end of 2016 and are still going strong, largely due to the rich content that belies its simple premise of jumping around through levels. There's two primary modes of play in the game: Tour Mode, where you play through stages to save Princess Peach and get as many points as possible through collecting various coins, and Toad Rally, which lets you collect toads to populate your kingdom and unlock houses, decorations, and other characters to beautify your little kingdom with.
Super Mario Run's controls are incredibly simple — just tap on the screen to jump over obstacles and enemies. Don't let it fool you though, mastering this simple layout to perfect both timing and performing combos can get challenging and very addicting. This ingenious simplicity, coupled with smaller elements like collecting special coins and competing in player versus player Toad Rallies, add tremendously to the game's replay value. Best of all, Super Mario Run is free for you to download and try out, with an option to purchase the full game for $4.99. So if you haven't already tried this game out, now is as good a time as any to see if it's got what it takes to reel you in.
Action games, without a doubt, are some of the most entertaining ways to pass the time with your smartphone. And as awesome as these games are, there are many others that didn't quite make the cut for our list, so we welcome your suggestions. What's your favorite action game for Android or iOS? Let us know in the comment section below.