The 9 Best Role-Playing Games for Android

Save the kingdom (or galaxy) with these classics

If you have an Android phone or tablet, there are worlds of adventure to explore no matter where you are. The Android platform has a ton of great video games to offer, including old-school role-playing classics and great new RPG titles. Here's a list of the best.

01
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Best for Sci-Fi Fans: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
What We Like
  • Excellent writing.

  • Memorable characters.

  • The Star Wars universe.

What We Don't Like
  • Dated visuals.

  • Clunky controls.

  • Small text size, especially on smartphone screens.

A long time ago in that galaxy far, far away, an epic story about Jedi, Sith, rogue pilots, and memorable droids played out. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a port of the classic BioWare RPG. Will you be a heroic Jedi for the Light, or will you succumb to the Dark Side of the Force? It all depends on the choices you make.

Travel to different worlds, recruit a bunch of interesting characters for your team, and develop your skills the way you see fit. The original game is a role-playing classic, and the Android port is great.

02
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Best Fantasy RPG: Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI
What We Like
  • One of the best entries in the long-running series.

  • Great story and soundtrack.

  • Includes content from the 2006 remake.

  • Play all the main characters as the game's protagonist.

What We Don't Like
  • High price for mobile.

  • Game crashing bugs.

The Final Fantasy series is one of the most famous and beloved RPG series in the world, and Final Fantasy VI is among the best of the bunch. With a huge cast of compelling characters and a fantastic story, it's an adventure that's not to be missed.

Don't forget to play with the volume on so you don't miss some of the greatest video game music ever scored.

03
of 09

Best for Character Development: Chaos Rings III

Chaos Rings 3
What We Like
  • Deep character development system.

  • Intriguing story.

  • Excellent soundtrack.

What We Don't Like
  • Shift in tone from previous games can be jarring.

  • Expensive for a mobile title.

  • Lacks support for higher resolution displays.

It's hard to get any bigger or better than Chaos Rings III. It has everything you expect from a full Square Enix RPG, including a deep character development system, a story with plenty of twists and turns, lush graphics, and an excellent soundtrack.

This game really piles on the extras, too, so there's still plenty to do even after you've beaten the main story. Some might find the shift in tone from the previous games a little jarring, but Chaos Rings III certainly didn't lose anything in terms of quality.

04
of 09

Best for Dungeons & Dragons Fans: Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Baldur's Gate 2
What We Like
  • Excellent top-down, turn-based gameplay.

  • There's an option to resize the text.

  • Classic Dungeons & Dragons ruleset.

What We Don't Like
  • Story isn't quite as good as the first game.

  • Paid DLC on top of the $9.99 asking price.

An improved port of one of the best PC RPGs ever made, and one of the best Dungeons & Dragons RPGs, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition is right at home on Android. Continuing the story of the first game, you start off imprisoned by a new enemy and have to fight your way out with your companions' help. From there, it's another non-linear grand adventure in the Forgotten Realms setting, with classic Dungeons & Dragons rules and motifs. The plot in this one isn't quite as good as the one in the first game, but the excellent gameplay more than makes up for it. 

05
of 09

Best for Japanese RPG Fans: Dragon Quest V

Character concept art from Dragon Quest V

Square Enix

 

What We Like
  • No microtransactions.

  • Controls optimized for mobile.

  • Addictive monster catching mechanic.

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive for a mobile port.

  • In-game text available in English only.

Dragon Quest V is quite traditional in its gameplay, but its story is a breath of fresh air. You follow the life of the main character from birth to adulthood. There are almost as many tragedies as there are triumphs, and the whole game plays around with the notions of heroism and what exactly that word means. Throw in a fun monster-catching mechanic that predates Pokemon, and you've got a journey no one should miss.

Plus, thanks to the game using a vertical alignment rather than a horizontal one, you can easily sneak in some game time on the sly. 

06
of 09

Best Strategy RPG: Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics
What We Like
  • Morally complex plot.

  • Turn-based gameplay perfect for mobile.

  • Improved loading times and ability to skip cutscenes.

What We Don't Like
  • Steep learning curve.

  • Brutal difficulty.

  • Some might experience loading issues.

One of the finest strategy RPGs ever made, Square Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics is even better on touch screens than its original form. Whether you're into RPGs for their stories or gameplay systems, there's a lot to like in this game.

Between the deep, morally-complex plot, the challenging scenario design, and the flexible job system, Final Fantasy Tactics offers dozens of hours of strategic pleasure. That's not even mentioning the cool secrets, which include the ability to recruit a certain famous spiky-haired protagonist from another famous Final Fantasy game.

07
of 09

Best for Fans of Norse Mythology: The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga
What We Like
  • Story steeped in Norse mythology.

  • Story decisions have real consequences.

  • Challenging tactical battles.

What We Don't Like
  • No voice acting.

  • No manual saves.

  • Occasional rough edges.

While The Banner Saga uses a fantasy setting, it has a slightly darker tone than most other fantasy RPGs. This is another strategy RPG with a superb story and gameplay more than capable of backing it up.

The Banner Saga is the first part of a trilogy following the Norse legends of Ragnarok, but on its own, there's still plenty of enjoyment here. The tactical battles are challenging and fun to figure out, and you even get to make some choices about the direction the plot moves in. 

08
of 09

For Gamers Who Like Lots of Depth: Heroes of Steel

Heroes of Steel
What We Like
  • Large amount of gameplay for the price.

  • Constant updates.

  • Hundreds of dungeons.

What We Don't Like
  • Learning curve.

  • Stale environments.

  • Drags in between battles.

This sprawling RPG from the Trese Brothers might be a little rougher in terms of presentation, but it compensates for it in sheer quantity. Heroes of Steel is a tactical turn-based RPG where you lead four unique characters through post-apocalyptic medieval dungeons, combating fearsome enemies who threaten humanity's last settlements. You can decide how to develop each character's strategy, ultimately resulting in a powerful team of heroes.

With hundreds of dungeons, multiple characters each with their unique skills, tons of treasure, and hordes of bad guys to kill, Heroes of Steel will keep you busy for a long time. Better still, the Trese Brothers are still frequently adding more content to it.

09
of 09

Best for Zelda Fans: Oceanhorn

Screenshot of the action-RPG Oceanhorn

FDG Entertainment

What We Like
  • Colorful visuals.

  • Zelda-esque gameplay and puzzles.

  • Free trial.

What We Don't Like
  • Uninspired story.

  • Lackluster voice acting.

  • A little too easy in parts.

Oceanhorn is a competent The Legend of Zelda clone that combines puzzles with action-RPG combat and mechanics. You play a young hero who finds a letter from his father, an old notebook, and a mysterious necklace. It all leads to the islands of Uncharted Seas, which is filled with puzzles, secrets, and plenty of monsters. While the plot isn't original, it's a bright and colorful game offering around 15 hours of narrative-driven adventure. Since it comes with a free trial, it's worth checking out.