14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (2024)

Arcade apps get us back to basics in terms of gameplay loops, graphics, and design philosophy. The arcade games of yore focused on refining simple gameplay concepts with cost-effective art styles and music, something that drove some great ideas into prominence in interesting ways. Developers of the best modern apps have more advanced assets these days, meaning that those great ideas have more wiggle room to be what they want to be. AP loves how well the best arcade games play on our favorite Android gaming phones, so here is a roundup of our favorites.

1 Horizon Chase

Those who grew up on racers like Sega's OutRun series will certainly appreciate Horizon Chase. This racer wears its inspiration on its sleeve, and it's better for it, as it's one of the best racers on Android, especially if you dig classic arcade racing games. Sure, the graphics are a throwback, but they look good enough so that the game is accessible to all devices. This accessibility pairs well with the monetization, as anyone can play for free, though there are extra courses and cars you can purchase outright in the in-game store. All in all, if you dig games like Cruis'n USA and OutRun, you'll get a kick out of Horizon Chase.

2 Sonic CD Classic

Technically, Sonic CD was never released in the arcade, but that doesn't mean it doesn't fit within the genre. While many love Sonic 2 and 3, CD is also a top contender for quality Sonic games, and it still looks great in action despite its age. This particular version can be played in full for free but with advertisem*nts, or you can pay $2 to remove those ads for a premium experience. Some Bluetooth controllers are supported, though your mileage may vary — an issue with all Sega Forever titles. Still, whether you enjoy touchscreen controls or something more tactile, you have options.

3 PAC-MAN

A list like this would be incomplete without one of the original arcade games, PAC-MAN, a compilation of games based on BANDAI NAMCO's classic collection. The quintessential PAC-MAN experience is recreated fairly well, with additional modes being unlocked as you play. Unlockable costumes and cosmetics give you more motivation to keep playing than simply attaining a high score. PAC-MAN is still fun despite its unresponsive touch controls, adequately recreating an arcade classic that's fun to play but tough to master.

4 Downwell

This game has made a name for itself, pretty much defining the vertical platformer genre. The goal, of course, is to progressively lower and lower in a well, and of course, you'll die a bunch, making for a game where you can quickly perform a few runs to see if you beat your previous record. It's a simple setup that works wonderfully for short, bite-sized gaming sessions during your downtime, and thanks to the slick black, white, and red graphics, there are plenty of styles to enjoy as you delve into the depths of a well.

5 Bullet Hell Monday Finale

There are plenty of shmups on the Play Store, though Bullet Hell Monday Finale is easily one of the flashiest out there, and the gameplay is just as hectic as you'd expect from a game called Bullet Hell Monday. Dodging bullets while shooting enemies is your goal, and it's a challenging one, thanks to all the bullets flying on the screen. Plus, if you're sick of the typical level-based content found in shooters, this is a game that offers quite a few goals, and it's by completing these goals that you'll reach boss fights and ultimately progress. This keeps the game interesting and exciting, as you never know what the next challenge will be.

6 Pocket Arcade Story DX

14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (1)

Although a business management sim being here may strain credulity, Pocket Arcade Story DX does deliver a literal arcade experience, bringing your entertainment establishment to life on the best Android phones. You begin with nothing but an empty room and must install arcade machines, vending units, benches, and all the essential articles of an arcade. The customers these facilities attract generate income that can be used for upgrades. It's not the most complex game in the world, but you can choose what genre of arcade cabinets are available and expand your premises with rising demand, so it's a serviceable business sim if nothing else.

7 Geometry Dash

This mobile game dates back to 2013, and the gameplay still holds up. The premise is simple, simply jump over obstacles to reach the goal. Easy enough, right? Incorrect. This is an incredibly challenging game, to the point it can be infuriating, but that's honestly part of the game's charm. It isn't easy for anyone, which is why completing a stage after memorizing it through repeated play feels so good. This is precisely how old-school arcade games used to play to tease out quarters from the players, and Geometry Dash nails this type of gameplay seamlessly.

8 Crazy Taxi Classic

14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (2)

For a roundup all about arcade games, I just had to include Sega's Crazy Taxi. Not only was this a fantastic game in the arcades, but it was also an incredible title on the Sega Dreamcast. More or less, you'll fill the role of a taxi driver racing their rides across town, all under a time limit, which means you'll have to drive like a wildman. Thankfully the silly setup offers a good bit of humor on top of solid racing mechanics, which is why Crazy Taxi is still a popular game despite the fact it's 23 years old.

9 Blue's Journey

14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (3)

SNK was a big name when I was a kid hanging out in arcades, thanks to games like Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown. But my favorite arcades were the units that offered multiple games in one, allowing me to choose what I wanted to play, and often I'd pick the unknown titles (well, unknown to me). One such title was Blue's Journey, a sidescrolling action game that offers branching paths. The graphics are adorable, and the gameplay offers a mix of Mega-Man and Sonic for some slick sidescrolling gameplay. Best of all, controller support is in the mix, but you'll have to toggle it on through a controller icon on the home screen.

14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (4)

Source: Google Play

Yes, Metal Slug X and 3 are much more popular than 4, but those titles were released ages ago on the Play Store and aren't the best ports. Luckily, SNK has been busy releasing newer ports in the last year, and Metal Slug 4 is one of those. This game offers a much better experience than the previous releases, at least on mobile. So if you're a fan of run-and-gun arcade games like Contra, then you're going to love Metal Slug 4; the pixel art is superb, and the gameplay is on point. Classic SNK is still something to behold.

11 R-Type

R-Type is one of those games that will likely be on any arcade games roundup. Not only is this one of the most recognizable sidescrolling shooters ever made, but the Android port easily offers an enjoyable experience, with controller support available and quality touch controls that work well with the simple navigation. The game has seen many ports, and the Game Boy version is easily one of my favorites, though thanks to Dot Emu's efforts, playing the classic arcade version in color is also fantastic. Don't miss out; this is one of the best shmups ever made.

12 EDGE

EDGE is a minimalist puzzle game based around traversing dynamic terrain as a block. Roll, climb, and teeter over the 3D platforms, manipulating environments to progress. Optimize your clear times and find all the prisms to win. The animations are smooth, the gameplay is relaxing yet challenging, and the soundtrack is brilliant.

13 HoleDown

HoleDown tasks the player with breaking blocks by using a limited amount of shots. Numbers shown within the blocks represent the number of hits needed, containing both upgrades and currency for permanent perks. HoleDown offers a tight and addictive gameplay loop that keeps you coming back.

14 Pirates Boom Boom

Pirates Boom Boom is a pirate-themed third-person shooter that throws the player into high-intensity naval battles with a variety of enemy vessels; all from a tiny wooden gunboat. Players unlock upgrades to their weapons and ship through combat, gunning down enemy ships in frantic high-seas bouts. The game's jaunty soundtrack and striking black-and-white art style give it an old-timey comic feel, which complements its setting extremely well.

Which arcade games are your favorites?

Given that these apps owe their existence to the influential retro classics of the arcade age, this genre is great if you're looking for creativity. If you're still in the mood for some classic gameplay loops, check out our best platformers for Android roundup. Take a peek at the specs on these marvelous cheap Android tablets to keep your skills sharp. Let us know your favorite Android arcade games below!

14 best arcade games on Android in 2024 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terence Hammes MD

Last Updated:

Views: 5799

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terence Hammes MD

Birthday: 1992-04-11

Address: Suite 408 9446 Mercy Mews, West Roxie, CT 04904

Phone: +50312511349175

Job: Product Consulting Liaison

Hobby: Jogging, Motor sports, Nordic skating, Jigsaw puzzles, Bird watching, Nordic skating, Sculpting

Introduction: My name is Terence Hammes MD, I am a inexpensive, energetic, jolly, faithful, cheerful, proud, rich person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.