Android gets a bad rap for not having as many good games as iOS, and while it’s true that the platform hasn’t yet closed the gap, there are still plenty of great games to be had. There’s a new app called, appropriate enough, Google Play Games that works much like Game Center in iOS. It’s a good place to browse what your friends are playing and to see your high scores, too. But if you just want our favorites for this year — from a zenlike strategy game to monster-punch madness — we’ve collected them all right here.
This year we've picked out some of the very best apps, games, books, and downloads for your new devices. Dig into our top selections for Android apps, Android games, iPhone apps, iPad apps, iOS games, Windows Phone apps, Kindle books, console games, and for your Mac and PC.
Rymdkapsel is a space-age strategy game set in a bizarre, pixel-perfect world. You control several white rectangles as they gather resources, build food stores, research mysterious monoliths, and fire lasers at intruders.
Super Stickman Golf 2
Master the fairway again in 20 new courses, complete with moving obstacles and customizable characters you can outfit with your favorite fedora. Super Stickman Golf 2 reinvents its popular predecessor, challenging you to play solo or with friends and become the next golf legend.
Dots is a simple yet addictive puzzle game. There are two modes available; the original sees you race against the clock to connect as many same-colored dots as you can in 60 seconds, while the second restricts the number of moves you can make. In both, the dots you connect become yours to spend on power-ups that you can use to help you catch even more dots.
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Crazy Dave is back with more flowers and more undead creatures to destroy in Plants vs. Zombies 2. Position your plants strategically across the game board to stop the legion of zombies coming to take over your home. This sequel's got new plants, new Finger Powers, new challenges to keep you on your toes, and of course, more zombies than you can handle.
A Ride Into the Mountains
A Ride Into the Mountains has you touching and sliding to shoot foes with arrows, all the while switching from 2D side-scrolling views to top-down 2D on different levels. A Ride gives you something new to discover at every turn.
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2 is one of those games that shows you just how far mobile gaming has moved forward over the past few years. It's a zombie first-person shooter with gorgeous graphics and a more-than-passable control scheme, and it's free! The only downside? There are a lot of very expensive in-app purchases, and you'll find progressing through the latter stages very hard without spending some real-world cash.
In Super Hexagon you play as a triangle, rotating your way around a pulsating hexagon to thwart obstacles rapidly flying toward you. It's almost unfairly hard to stay alive for the 60 seconds required to unlock harder difficulty levels, but you won’t stop trying.
Use Little Planet's power to travel back in time and destroy Dr. Eggman's machines, which have a hold on the future. Sonic CD immerses you in the classic world of Sonic, complete with US and Japanese soundtracks, and has you on a mission to find the missing Time Stones and put an end to Dr. Eggman's madness. Will you be able to save the future by altering the past?
Angry Birds Star Wars
Angry Birds Star Wars pits the Rebel birds against the Empire’s evil Pigtroopers in a fight to save the galaxy. With more than 200 levels, all the lightsabers, blasters, and Jedi powers you could ever want, and hidden bonuses, you’ll easily get sucked into battling the Imperial Pigs and destroying Darth Vader.
Punch Quest gets all of your anger out while you tap your thumbs. The arcade-style fighting game has you jabbing, slamming, uppercutting, and otherwise destroying everything in your path. Walls, monsters, and pottery are no match for your customizable character, especially when you have Supermoves and an array of fancy hats at your disposal.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Don't let the cute graphics mislead you — there's a serious game hidden behind these hand-drawn sprites. Accessible yet deep gameplay, unique tactical elements, and perhaps the perfect difficulty curve await you in Kingdom Rush Frontiers.
Trial Xtreme 3
In Trial Xtreme 3, customize your rider and bike, choose one of the 112 courses, and race your friends to prove your supremacy. Tilt your way to victory, or switch to button controls for even more accuracy.
Taking influence from the urban-ninja sport parkour, the arcade-style game Vector has you as a free runner trying to flee a totalitarian world by sliding, climbing, and running away from The Man. Conquer all 20 levels of rooftop adventure only by using the 100 parkour moves at your disposal.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition
Minecraft: Pocket Edition puts those little cubes you love in your hands at any time. While some hardcore Minecrafters might find Pocket Edition's limitations a drag, the game does a good job of harnessing Minecraft's essence on the go.
Real Racing 3
Challenge your friends and compete in more than 1,000 eliminations, challenges, and drag races in Real Racing 3 with over 50 detailed cars from makers like Porsche, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. It’s got stunning graphics, but it’s not a small game — you’ll have to allot at least 1.2GB.