Top 10 Endless Runners for Android

Never-ending fun and high scores are about in these endless runners

Games that can be played for a minute or hours and hours are some of our favorite games on mobile. Getting a high score or beating a friend for a better score? Those are some of the most satisfying experiences. And these games provide some of the best you can get. We tried to be careful with these – games that have auto-running but aren't necessarily high-score focused runners aren't listed here, and games that skew closer to the Flappy Bird or Crossy Road style of gameplay are excluded and considered for inclusion on other great lists.

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Temple Run 2

Colin Kaepernick in Temple Run 2
Imangi Studios

The endless runner that launched a million more endless runners. While the original still holds up well, the sequel added some useful new tricks, and a fun cast of characters, including some interesting celebrities. Usain Bolt is the perfect kind of character for a runner, no? The principles of this game – shifting between lanes, collecting coins for upgrades, gems to revive, and more, laid the foundation down for countless other games to use for their own.

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Canabalt game screenshot
Finji Studios

If you wanted to trace mobile gaming back to where the endless runner genre became popular, Canabalt is the obvious genesis point. Being adapted from Flash to mobile, and featuring the music of Danny Baranowsky (who went on to do the soundtracks for Super Meat Boy, Crypt of the Necrodancer, and more), this was the first big endless runner. The initial jump out of the glass window remains one of the iconic moments in mobile gaming history. The game has been updated with new modes since then to throw some new tweaks into the experience, such as a mode that's focused on the aforementioned window-jumping.

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ALONE phone game
Laser Dog Games

Before Laser Dog Games went on to make the fantastic Hopiko, they turned out this fantastic high-speed space flying runner. You have to dodge debris and the deadly environment coming at you at ludicrous speed. Loose flying objects won't do much damage to you thanks to your shield, but crashing into the top or bottom of the world certainly will. The five different modes provide plenty of different challenges, and you have a lot to tackle in one fell swoop.

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Alto's Adventure

Alto's Adventure phone game

While Ski Safari probably defined this genre of endless runner where you pull off backflips as you go, Alto's Adventure perfected it. One method was by adding a stylish artistic flair to the game that makes it look crisp and stylish in a post-Monument Valley mobile gaming world. The other is that the wingsuit you unlock really changes things up, giving you a new flying dimension to tackle as you go through this gorgeous world. The game went free-to-play on Android, which is not unexpected but is still a good fit for the currency collecting you do in the game.

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Touchdown Hero

Touchdown Hero phone game
Cherrypick Games

Cherrypick Games combines American football with endless runners, requiring you to skillfully dodge incoming tacklers as you try to reach each successive endzone. It's interesting how the whole equation works because there is a football aspect to it where you have to stay away from the out of bounds lines and juke out defenders. It's a fun mix that also gets replicated in the zombie-fied game, Must Deliver, from the same developer.

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Spider-Man Unlimited

Spider-Ham in Spider-Man Unlimited

Gameloft took on the lane-based endless runner in this game in a crazy way. It would have been easy to make a simple endless runner that featured some cursory Spider-Man references, but no; Gameloft went all out in pleasing Spider-Man fans with this game. All sorts of Spider-Mans from the comic's history are present here, including but not limited to Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales' Spider-Man, and Spider-Ham. Yes, Spider-Ham, the spider that was bitten by a radioactive pig and became a super-hero can be played as in this game. If that doesn't convince you to play this endless runner, nothing will.

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Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride screenshot

Many millennials might recall the Flash game where you had to click to make a helicopter ascend to fly through caves. Halfbrick took inspiration from that game for Jetpack Joyride, starring recurring protagonist Barry Steakfries from Age of Zombies. They threw in wacky new obstacles, special vehicles to ride in, and plenty of crazy customizations to unlock for the copious coins you collect. The core gameplay is timeless, Halfbrick just managed to expand on it for a timeless game.

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Subway Surfers

Subway Surfers mobile game

Kiloo's pioneered the lane-based runner with this game, simplifying Temple Run's setup of switching between lanes by tilting down to just swiping to switch between three different lanes. The game's colorful graphics and appealing premise had just enough to it to make it a standout game that plenty of other titles have copied from in order to be a success themselves. It just had that magic touch, that spark of luck that helped it become a standout mobile game.

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Time Surfer

Time Surfer mobile game

Sadly, Andreas Illiger's Tiny Wings never made it to Android, but plenty of games inspired by it have hit Android. One of the best and most notable is Kumobius' Time Surfer. You ride the waves, tapping to land on the downslopes and releasing to launch up high. But the big twist here is that you can reverse time to a certain degree, to save you from your impending doom or to fix your timing that might save you in the long run. There's a ton of characters and pets that can affect your gameplay to unlock as well.

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Robot Unicorn Attack 2

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 mobile game
Adult Swim Games

Adult Swim's take on the endless runner is particularly absurd because of its premise, riffing on Lisa Frank designs that ruled folders in the 1990s combined with the cheese of Erasure's "Always" to set the mood. But the game wouldn't stick around if it wasn't fun to play, and this unicorn-dashing endless runner stands out thanks in part to its ​three-attempts structure encouraging you to try and get better versus rewarding you for one particularly lucky run. But the wacky customizations and alternate music tracks (including the glorious power metal of Blind Guardian) help make this a fun experience, too. 

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