Retro games have always had a certain charm. They invoke nostalgia and make us think of the old days. They are odes to a simpler time when the graphics didn’t matter so much and developers were forced to craft video games around ideas rather than looks. If you’re looking to get your hands dirty with a bit of nostalgic gaming, we have the best retro games currently available on Android.
10000000 is a match-three type of game and one of the few out there that are pay-once with no in-app purchases. This one has dungeon crawler mechanics and you’ll be fighting bad guys by matching shapes and then using the loot to build yourself a castle and upgrade your character. It’s a simple premise with retro-style graphics and, unlike most match-three games, this one actually has a hard ending (ten million). It’s unusual in comparison to other retro games, but it’s a nice mesh of old and new.
Another World is actually a re-release of a classic survival-platform game of the same name from 1991 (it was called Out of This World in North America). The basic idea is that you play as a physicist that gets warped into another world (roll credits) full of strange creatures that are out to kill you. It requires some quick, strategic thinking, and the game does a great job of being challenging and even a little scary. It also comes with revamped HD graphics which can be reverted to the original graphics, various controller options, remastered music, and more.
[Price: $9.99 with in-app purchases]
Developers Beamdog have remastered and re-released Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, and Icewind Dale. For those that don’t know, these are three classic PC RPGs that contain huge worlds, long stories, and tons of game mechanics for you to learn. These are among the largest, most expansive games available in all of mobile gaming with the only real caveat being that there are so many controls that it gets very cramped on smaller screens. The in-app purchases are just in-game content like voice packs, so these aren’t pay-to-win retro games, and it’s a positive overall experience. We do recommend you play it on larger screens. Click the button below to check out all three games!
Doom and Destiny Advanced is a jRPG where you run around, explore dungeons, gain levels, and play through a story line much like the older RPG retro games. This is called the Advanced edition because it’s a reboot, prequel, and sequel to the original Doom and Destiny game which is also quite good. It comes with about 15 hours of story line, 15 character classes, 22 cosplays (outfits), 150 super powers, 200 monsters, 500 locations, and it comes with cross-platform PvP and co-op modes. This is about as much gaming as you can get for $0.99 and there are no in-app purchases.
Evoland is another jRPG that is an ode to many other jRPGs. The game revolves around many styles of retro games. You start out in an old, monochrome, hack-and-slash style game like old Zelda games and then you’ll end up in a 3D RPG similar to Final Fantasy IX. It’s an enjoyable experience that makes frequent nods to various gaming franchises and it’s an interesting way to experience the early history of console gaming. Some customer reviews lament the control scheme on a fairy regular basis, but it’s not so bad once you get used to it.
Kairosoft has a variety of retro games available for you to play. They’ve all been modernized, but the graphics and mechanics are odes to a simpler time. Some of the really good options include Game Dev Story, Ninja Village, Skyforce Unite, and many others. The games all have varying mechanics, but they all generally tend to have simulation game mechanics, retro-style graphics, and simple concepts. They’re all a ton of fun, are relatively inexpensive, and most of them don’t have in-app purchases.
[Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases]
Knights of Pen and Paper is a little difficult to explain. You play as a group of people who are playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Thus, your job is to play as players who are playing another game and you play as the characters that they create. It features some old school style graphics, simple RPG mechanics, and more. There is gear to unlock, various character classes to play with, and tons of dungeons and towns to explore along with people to talk to. We have the +1 Edition linked with the button below which also adds extra content.
Minecraft is one of the biggest gaming experiences out there and it’s one of the most popular retro games out there. The mechanics are deceptively easy as you’ll be mining stuff, building stuff, killing bad guys (in survival mode), and crafting stuff. The graphics are set up in such a way that your device can render entire worlds without much difficulty which just adds to how big this game is. It’s not as big as the PC version, but it’s getting closer every year.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Pac-Man 256 is about as retro as retro games can be. You play as the venerable protagonist and you’ll return to the game board to eat white pellets, run from ghosts, and stay alive. This version adds a bit of twist. This one is an infinite runner where you must from The Glitch before it gets you. There are also 15 power ups to help you defeat ghosts and keep going. It remains relatively simple so it shouldn’t take you long to get back into and it’s free to play with in-app purchases that are easily ignored. It’s a nice, modern spin on one of gaming’s most iconic retro games.
PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist is a 2D platformer that plays an ode to many retro games. The graphics are pretty good for their style, and you’ll be fighting dinosaurs, flying airplanes, jumping around on trains, and there are tons of pop culture, game culture, and YouTube culture references to keep you entertained. You can collect Brocoins to unlock other characters along with new attacks. It also comes with multiple difficulty levels, boss fights, and decent music. There are also no in-app purchases.
The original Snake game on old Nokia phones provided a lot of people with a good time and could be considered one of the first really popular time-killer retro games. You can play a recreation of the game on your mobile phone and the best part is that it’s entirely free. There’s even a graphic of a Nokia phone so you can use the same old buttons you did before. You don’t get the tactile feedback of actual buttons, but the game is more or less the same as it was back then. If you’re up for a modernized version, the original creator also did Snake Rewind, a “sequel” to the original.
Square Enix have been re-releasing their old catalog of games on Android for a while and they are one of the best sources for retro games on mobile right now. Currently, you can pick up Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, IV: The After Years, V, VI, and IX along with a variety of Dragon Quest games, Adventures of Mana, Secret of Mana, The World Ends With You, Romancing SaGa 2, Chrono Trigger, and even the original Tomb Raider I and II. The games have been remastered in one form or another for their mobile release, but they all play like their originals. At least, as close as they can be on a touch screen. The only caveat is that they’re all quite expensive, although they do have no in-app purchases.
[Price: $2.99 each]
Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 are classic retro games from an era where platformers dominated the gaming charts. These are faithfully remastered editions of the two games and you’ll once again play as Sonic as you traverse various levels in various environments, dodge obstacles, defeat bosses, free furry animals, and take on Dr. Robotnik. The touch screen controls take a little getting used to, but the game also works with hardware controllers to give you more of a familiar feel and both games are relatively inexpensive with no in-app purchases.
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Sky Force Reloaded is a top-down shooter and probably the best one currently available on mobile. The top-down shooter in general used to be a favorite in arcades and earlier consoles and this game brings back a lot of those memories. The graphics are actually pretty good and most of the game play has been expanded in comparison to the days of old. In this one, you’ll take on various bad guys, upgrade your fighter plane, experience a variety of levels, and each level contains sub-missions to make it more difficult. Despite its modern exterior, at its heart lies the top-down shooter mechanics we all remember as kids.
[Price: Free / $4.99]
Terraria is a 2D adventure game that takes a lot of its cues from Minecraft. You’ll have a big world to explore, over 1350 recipes to “craft”, over 100 things that you can mine, and tons of pets, enemies, bosses, and environments to engage with. You also have local multiplayer mode where you can play with up to four other people on your home WiFi network. You can check out the trial version for free and the full game costs $4.99.