The 9 Best Shoot 'em Ups for Android

These Intense Games Will Test Your Skills

The shoot 'em up genre is full of fantastic games: it's hard to narrow down a list of the best to just a handful. Read on for a list of some especially fun and exciting "shmups."

01
of 09

Sky Force 2014

Sky Force Anniversary
Infinite Dreams

Developer Infinity Dreams returned to their 2004 shmup that predates the modern App Store era of gaming with this 3D reboot. It's a great shmup that delivers gorgeous visuals and a slower pace of play than many entries on this list, with objectives that force you to play well. If you have an Android TV device, I recommend playing Sky Force Anniversary – the game is virtually the same between the two platforms, but the TV version allows you to just buy the game outright instead of the separate IAPs it offers.

02
of 09

Danmaku Unlimited 2

Danmaku Unlimited 2
Doragon Entertainment

One of the finest examples of Japanese-style bullet hell shmups, Bullet hell is described as a kind of game where you have to dodge massive hordes of bullets, though you have a small area of vulnerability for your ship. That's about the only thing you have going for you. Massive numbers of enemies, gigantic lasers, and all the bullets you can possibly imagine await you in this shmup. Oh, and the production values in this game are second-to-none in the genre. 

03
of 09

Super Crossfighter

Super Crossfighter
Radiangames

This shmup lets you flip between two different sides of the screen to fight, allowing you to get the jump on enemies and hit their specific weak points. Meanwhile, you have to ration your upgrade points wisely in order to dominate your enemies. With controller support to boot, this game is an amazing must-have.

04
of 09

Raiden Legacy

Raiden Legacy
DotEmu

 This collection of classic shoot 'em ups from SNK are perfect examples of the kinds of games that inspire modern games to this day. This one features controller support, and five different coin-guzzlers that will test your shmup skills to their limits.

05
of 09

Glorkian Warrior

Glorkian Warrior
Pixeljam Games

Comics artist James Kochalka teamed up with Potatoman Seeks the Troof developers Pixeljam Games to make this fun Galaga-esque shoot 'em up that has you running around and taking out enemy patterns. One of the key differences is that the game has you playing as  character that can run and jump, which comes in to play with enemies that will attack you on the ground.

06
of 09

Plasma Sky

This glowy shmup stands out a lot thanks to its variety. You have all sorts of types of levels to play through, with different formations, bosses, and whatnot to try and fight through. You never quite know what's coming next, and it's quite the fun little game.

07
of 09

OpenTyrian

Tyrian is a game that was well, well ahead of its time. In an age where shoot 'em ups were coin munchers, it featured a story with branching paths, ships with upgrades, and just plain great action. This was in the early 1990s, well before these features became seen in modern games. Tyrian holds up quite well to this day, and OpenTyrian brings this classic to mobile in great form, as a port of the now free and open source game.

08
of 09

Shooty Skies

Shooty Skies
Mighty Games

Two-thirds of the team that made Crossy Road partner up with a couple other Australian developers to make this fun shmup that's actually aimed at a casual audience. That's not to say that it isn't challenging, but that everything about the game is designed to get even people who aren't well-versed in the genre to have fun with this.

09
of 09

Sine Mora

Sine Mora
Digital Reality

This side-scrolling shmup, originally released back on console and PC, makes its way to Android with full controller support. You'll be manipulating time, and delivering huge weapon payloads to giant bosses and hordes of enemies. The production values are second to none thanks in large part to the game's genesis on consoles, but it's still a great fit for mobile.