The best RPGs for Android

Role Playing Games – better known as RPGs – give you the chance to fully immerse yourself in the fantasy world of your choice. You can spend hours developing the stats of your character, crawling dungeons, exploring planets or sailing the high seas as a pirate. While there are countless RPGs on Android, finding out which ones are really worth your time isn’t an easy task. Don’t worry though – we’re doing the hard work for you with this detailed list of the best RPG games for Android available today.

The best thing about the The Quest is the player’s autonomy. The game doesn’t hold your hand and you’re free to explore the vast, vast fantasy world and basically do what you want. You’re not forced to do quests in a particular order, and the decisions you make as a player can lead to many different story developments and changing relationships with NPCs.

As for your player character, there’s a choice of race (unique to the game world, no elf or dwarf for you this time) and class, both of which give you bonuses to certain skills, but the game lets you develop as you see fit, so you can push your character in the direction you feel like during your playthough, which is helpful if you change your mind or, say, want to combine magic and heavy armor use.

To go on this quest, you’ll have to pay four bucks, but you’ll get many hours of gameplay in return, with no annoying ads. And if that’s not enough for you , there are five expansions with new quests and areas to add on.

  • App version: 9.0.1
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: $3.99

Sdorica Sunset

Free RPG with cute visuals and puzzle elements

Rayark has given us some high-quality premium-paid mobile games like Implosion: Never Lose Hope and the Ctyus games, and Sdorica Sunset is the studio’s take on that ubiquitous but much-maligned concept, the free-to-play mobile RPG. Thankfully, Sdordica Sunset avoids the worst practices of the genre, and stands out for its charming design and well-crafted mechanics.

The first thing you notice about Sdorica is its distinctive colorful drawn visual style. It’s not going for grim n’gritty (n’ often gray) but it’s not as extravagant as other anime-style titles. Lavish cutscenes serve to flesh out the story and bring the world to life. Even though it’s not really my style, Sdorica still managed to draw me into its cute fantasy. This is helped along by some excellent voice talent, which tease more character out of the paperdoll protagonists. 

The storyline is essentially told through episodes of conversation in between battles, which is the bulk of the gameplay and another way in which Sdorica Sunset stands out. Combat is basically a turn-based puzzle mini-game. The two sides line up and face each other, and the player matches colored orbs with their finger to trigger different attacks, spells and abilities. 

Battles involve a surprising amount of strategy in discovering what moves different matches perform for which character, and then deploying them at the right time, countering the enemy attack patterns and deploying a character’s specific action when it has the most impact. 

So how does this free game make its money? Well, although it’s possible to play through the game’s story missions with the characters you get for free, unlocking extra characters (and costumes) is done through a ‘gacha’ or random reward system. So you spend your in-game earnings and get a randomly selected character…which may not be the one you were hoping for.

If you have your heart set on a particular hero, or are the type that really needs to collect them all, that’s when you’ll feel the temptation to spend. By and large though, the IAP scheme is relatively restrained and won’t make you hurt for not coughing up cash. 

  • App version: 1.1.2
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Darkness Rises

Beautiful but shallow hack-and-slash

Playing Darkness Rises really made me think about what constitutes an RPG exactly. One of the top role-playing games on the Play Store as soon as it came out, Darkness Rises has a medieval fantasy setting, stats, levels, character customization…but to my mind, little in the way of roleplaying. You don’t make real decisions in the story and the levels are basically linear tracks punctuated by mobs of enemies. The upside? It’s really, really good-looking.

The main selling point of Darkness Rises is the character customization ‘beauty’ settings, which give you fine-point control over your characters with sliders for specific details including brow height, cheekbones, wait and hips, limb length, and so on to create your perfect avatar. On top of that, throw endless variations of extravagant armor, weapons and accessories into the mix, so you’ll always find new ways to make your heroes even prettier or more badass.

There are four archetypal classes, to choose from: warrior, sorceress, assassin and barbarian, and the game encourages you to have all four on the go. The classes play differently enough and also have different looks (and are gender-locked) . Be warned…only your first character can have their ‘beauty’ customized for free (and only once)…after the first time, it costs in-game resources.

The actual missions and adventures consist of beating up wave after wave of baddies with plenty of special moves and abilities at your disposal including slo-mo finishing moves. Again, the focus is on looking cool and flashy.  At times you can control large monsters such as fire-breathing wyverns and trolls and rampage through hordes of enemies with them.

All in all, Darkness Rises serves up plenty of cool-looking fantasy set-piece battles, but fans of story and (non-cosmetic) choices will want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, this fantasy eye-candy is free-to-play, but there are a ton of in-game resources (and corresponding IAPs). If you don’t want to pay cash. Even the coolest-looking battles can start to look stale as you grind them over and over again for gold and xp.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.2.0
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: Free, in-app purchases 

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – DC

The best cyberpunk RPG for Android

We loved Shadowrun Returns for Android, and the next game in the series, Dragonfall, is a slick cyberpunk classic, set in a fantastic version of AndroidPIT’s home base, Berlin (the DC stands for ‘Directors Cut’ not the US capital). In a world where fantasy races like orcs, elves, and trolls co-exist with humanity in a world of high-tech and magic, Shadowrun: Dragonfall combines a compelling storyline with a complex but rewarding turn-based combat system.

Visually lush and richly detailed, it’s a sumptuous feast for the eyes and boasts of epic battles with over 100 fighters on the field of battle, or defending a fortress.

There’s a strong social element where able to join clans and fight alongside your buddies against your rivals. RPG class and race character options are pretty traditional – be a human warrior, elven mystic, etc, but there are higher level options that unlock additional professions. Annoyingly, the different races are currently gender-locked. You can’t be a female human, or a male elf, for example. Still, all the character models are rendered beautifully in the Unreal engine, provided that the art style is to your taste.

Currently Netmarble are still celebrating their launch to new markets with various rewards for logging in and so there’s a chance to get in early to this MMO and rise to power in this seriously pretty fantasy world before the first players start to dominate. If you’re going to fight to the top though, be prepared to grind—a lot—or shell out for those ubiquitous in-app purchases. The game is aware of this, and has an auto-quest mode for repetitive tasks.

  • App version: 1.00.06
  • App compatibility: Android 4.4  and up
  • Price: In-app purchases

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

The best Star Wars RPG for Android

Affectionately known as KOTOR, this classic title isn’t just the best Star Wars RPG on Android, but in my humble opinion, the best mobile Star Wars game of any genre, hands down. The storyline, set millennia before Star Wars: A New Hope, has your hero embroiled in a galactic conflict (like some kind of war…in the stars?) between the republic and evil Sith empire.

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