Christmas is almost here, so that means it's time to round up the best Android games of 2018 into one comprehensive list. So whether you unwrap a new Android phone, tablet or Chromebook this Christmas season, AP has you covered. Every game in this list has been painstakingly hand-picked by yours truly, and they're all arranged by price for easy navigation. You'll even find an honorable mention list at the bottom of the page that covers a few more titles because there were just too many awesome games published on the Play Store in the last year. So without further ado, here are the best Android games released in 2018!

Best Android games of 2018

Pocket City

Pocket City is everything a city-based simulation lover would want on Android. Not only is it offered at an upfront price, but there is also a limited free version for those that would like to test it out without spending any money. Oh, and you can play offline. Honestly, it checks off a lot of boxes for a mobile game, and on top of that, it's incredibly entertaining. All of you SimCity fans out there seriously need to check out Pocket City as soon as possible.

Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Pocket City
Pocket City
Developer: Codebrew Games
Price: $2.99

Project Highrise

Kalypso Media's Project Highrise has been labeled by many as the spiritual successor to SimTower, and rightfully so. Just like its inspiration, this is a deep and rewarding skyscraper building simulator. The Android release is a port of the well-reviewed PC title, and it doesn't cut any corners. This means you get the full PC experience, all from the comfort of your favorite Android device. Just keep in mind that it is best played on a tablet or Chromebook thanks to its heavy use of text and buttons that are difficult to deal with on smaller screens.

Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $2.99

Project Highrise
Project Highrise
Price: $3.99+

Motorsport Manager Mobile 3

Motorsport Manager Mobile 3 is another high profile simulation game, and it looks like it's shaping up to be one of the best management titles released this year. Not only does it build upon all of the wonderful changes from MMM 2, but it also brings along a few tweaks of its own, such as GT and endurance races, a new location, dynamic AI team movement, and an energy recovery system with hybrid and power modes. If you are a big management simulation fan, you'll definitely want to pick this up.

Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / IAPs from $2.49 - $11.99

Motorsport Manager Mobile 3
Motorsport Manager Mobile 3
Developer: Playsport Games
Price: $3.99+

Animal Super Squad

Out of all of the titles released this year, I have to say one of my top favorites is Animal Super Squad. It plays like a mashup of some of the best side-scrolling platformers out there with a dash of Trials and the kart sections of Donkey Kong Country. The entire premise is exceptionally outlandish. You will spend a lot of your time driving a toilet kart, but if potty humor isn't your thing, assuredly the solid gameplay, HID controller support, and a premium price point is.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Animal Super Squad
Animal Super Squad
Price: $4.99

The Room: Old Sins

Fireproof Games' The Room: Old Sins was released on iOS a few months before Android, but thankfully the wait was well worth it as this is probably one of the best escape room game released on Android in the last year. The gameplay should be familiar to anyone who has played an entry in the series before. You're going to be tasked with solving plenty of puzzles by following obscure clues and manipulating bizarre 3D contraptions as you try to uncover the mysteries of the game's world. The creepy atmosphere, detailed graphics, and spot-on touchscreen controls guarantee a polished experience well worth the asking price.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

The Room: Old Sins
The Room: Old Sins
Developer: Fireproof Games
Price: $4.99

Game Dev Tycoon

Game Dev Tycoon has been around for a good while on PC and iOS, but Android had only received its port just this year. Now that we get to join in on the fun you can expect to find the same business simulation gameplay, all wrapped up in an enhanced UI that makes for a perfect touchscreen experience. And best of all, the game has retained its premium price point, so you won't have to worry about any intrusive advertisements or in-app purchases.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Game Dev Tycoon
Game Dev Tycoon
Developer: Greenheart Games
Price: $4.99

Candleman

CMGE Group Limited's puzzle-platformer Candleman contains a wonderfully adorable story about a candle that only has a little wick left to burn. It also includes some fantastic gameplay that offers just enough challenge to justify a substantial amount of replayability. So if you love puzzle-platformers, don't hesitate to pick up this gorgeous release.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Candleman:find yourself
Candleman:find yourself

Teslagrad

Teslagrad is a fantastic indie puzzle-platformer with hand-drawn art, a unique steampunk-inspired story, and enjoyable gameplay. The touch controls work well, and there's also physical controller support, should you need it. The gameplay resembles that of a Metroidvania, so expect to pick up plenty of new skills as you progress through the game's gorgeous environments.

Monetization: $6.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Teslagrad
Teslagrad
Developer: Playdigious
Price: $4.99

Layton: Curious Village in HD

Layton: Curious Village in HD is a remastered release of the original Professor Layton and the Curious Village from the Nintendo DS. The graphics have been upgraded to support HD devices, and plenty of tweaks have been made to the UI and controls to suit touchscreen devices better. The puzzle-based gameplay is just as great as ever, and since this is actually the first entry in the series, it makes for a perfect starting point.

Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Layton: Curious Village in HD
Layton: Curious Village in HD

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is the latest release from Beamdog, and it's a quality port of the classic RPG. What's crazy is that the developer has managed to support existing PC mods out of the box, which opens this title up to a heck of a lot of replayability thanks to the many years of mods that are already available. So if you're looking for an old-school RPG that can take over every second of your life, this is it.

Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / IAPs from $2.99 - $4.99

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth isn't a game I ever expected to see released on the Play Store, but its listing is definitely a welcome surprise. This is actually one of Square's strangest RPGs. It mainly plays as a side-scrolling platformer, though you can expect plenty of classic turn-based RPG combat as well. Like most of the games from this publisher Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is an expensive release, and yes there are also a few in-app purchases included. Luckily they are only useful for optional cheats, so you can easily ignore them.

Monetization: $11.99 / no ads / IAPs from $3.99 - $8.99

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH
VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is a port of a console and PC release. It's a farming simulator with a dose of life sim mixed in. You can choose to play as a boy or girl, and as you farm to earn money to improve your village, you can also chat up the many town residents in search of a significant other. The graphics are a little plain, and the gameplay is somewhat simplified when compared to similar competitors, such as Story of Seasons or Stardew Valley. But since neither of those titles is available on Android, Harvest Moon: Light of Hope makes a great substitute.

Monetization: $14.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope
Developer: Natsume Inc
Price: $14.99

Monster Hunter Stories

Monster Hunter Stories is a port of the Nintendo 3DS monster-collection RPG. It serves as an offshoot title in the Monster Hunter franchise, and the gameplay is a little different than what you would typically expect. Instead of hunting down terrifying monsters, you're tasked with hunting monster eggs. These eggs can be hatched, and then you can use the monsters that come out of them as your companions in battle. Think Monster Hunter mixed with Pokémon, and you get the picture. Monster Hunter Stories is a premium release, and there's even a free demo available for everyone that would like to test it out before spending any money.

Monetization: $19.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Monster Hunter Stories
Monster Hunter Stories
Developer: CAPCOM CO., LTD.
Price: $19.99

Dig In: An Excavator Game

Dig In: An Excavator Game is a breath of fresh air in the mobile gaming world. Oddly enough you get to play the part of a heavy equipment operator, and it's your job to complete monumental construction jobs with finesse and skill. There are thirteen levels to explore that consist of four different construction environments. There are even a few bonus levels that will let you bowl with the equipment, or even try your hand at dropping a ball into a basketball hoop with a large front loader.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs

Dig In: An Excavator Game
Dig In: An Excavator Game
Developer: Simcoach Games
Price: Free

Grand Mountain Adventure - Public Preview

Hands down Grand Mountain Adventure is my favorite skiing game released this year. Racing down the side of a mountain has never been more enjoyable, and this title isn't even finished yet. The release serves as a demo of sorts. You can play through the first two mountains, but that's sadly where the fun ends. Eventually, there will be more courses to race down, and more events to compete in, so make sure to keep an eye on Grand Mountain Adventure's development during Q1 2019, as that's when the full version is expected to land.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs

Grand Mountain Adventure
Grand Mountain Adventure
Developer: Toppluva AB
Price: Free+

PIXEL PUZZLE COLLECTION

Picross is a Nintendo-licensed Nonogram game that's been around since 1995, and Konami has cloned the familiar number-based puzzle gameplay with the release of Pixel Puzzle Collection. Instead of solving puzzles that contain pictures of familiar Nintendo characters, you'll get to solve puzzles that are made up of images of your favorite Konomi characters.

Monetization: free / contains ads / no IAPs

PIXEL PUZZLE COLLECTION
PIXEL PUZZLE COLLECTION
Developer: KONAMI
Price: Free

DERE EVIL EXE

DERE EVIL EXE is a twisted platformer that shirks the standard trends of the genre. This means you will want to avoid collecting coins, just as you will want to avoid pouncing on enemies. You can also expect a few horror aspects to be mixed in, which adds an element of surprise to the gameplay since you'll never quite know what is coming next as you make your way through the odd pixelated world.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $0.99 a peice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9EZaiyZWXc

Flipflop Solitaire

Flipflop Solitaire is the latest game from Zach Gage, the creator of Ridiculous Fishing and Really Bad Chess. It combines a few different solitaire game mechanics into one cohesive experience, and it actually works really well. You can choose to play with one suit, which is the easiest mode, and then if you feel like more of a challenge, you can play with up to five suits, though you'll have to unlock the full game for the entire range of gameplay modes.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $2.99 a piece

Flipflop Solitaire
Flipflop Solitaire
Price: Free+

Eden Obscura

Q-Games PixelJunk series has had a good bit of success on consoles, so it's no surprise to see the company releasing some of its more popular titles on mobile. Eden Obscura takes everything you loved about the original Pixel Junk Eden and tweaks the gameplay enough to ensure that it plays just as great on a touchscreen as it did with a controller.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $4.49

Eden Obscura
Eden Obscura
Developer: Q-Games Ltd.
Price: Free+

Read Only Memories: Type-M

Read Only Memories: Type-M is a mobile port of the original PC game 2064: Read Only Memories. The gameplay and story are exactly the same, though a few changes have been made to the controls and UI in order to make the title more palatable on a touchscreen device. At its core, it is a tech-noir-themed point and click adventure game that includes plenty of puzzles that need solving, and the story isn't half bad either.

Monetization: free/ no ads / IAPs $5.99 a piece (single IAP unlocks the full game)

Read Only Memories: Type-M
Read Only Memories: Type-M
Developer: MidBoss
Price: Free+

Life is Strange

Life is Strange is a very popular narrative-driven adventure game for PC and console that was finally released on Android this year. It's a demanding game that will require a device with high specs, but if you have the equipment to run it, you should definitely check it out. The transition to touchscreen-based mobile play has hardly hampered its controls, and even if you find that you don't enjoy them, you can always plug in an HID compatible controller since they are fully supported.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $8.99

Life is Strange
Life is Strange
Developer: SQUARE ENIX LTD
Price: Free+

FINAL FANTASY XV POCKET EDITION

It feels like it has been ages since we have received a premium Final Fantasy game on Android, but luckily Square Enix has us covered for 2018. Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a premium RPG created out of the PC and console title Final Fantasy XV. It may be a little more streamlined than its predecessor, but these changes actually lend themselves well to playing on mobile. This title is literally a pocket-sized version of the Final Fantasy XV, and it has been executed excellently and is well worth the asking price.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $9.99

Alto's Odyssey

I think at this point most people should be familiar with Alto's Odyssey. It was out for ages on iOS before it finally made its way to Android this summer. Still, that doesn't mean it should be missed. The casual auto-running gameplay is just as great as the original Alto's Adventure, and the new landscapes and weather effects add an excellent level of polish that just can't be beaten. The new addition of a free play mode is also very welcome since it provides a lot of replayability.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $9.99

Alto's Odyssey
Alto's Odyssey
Price: Free+

Hello Neighbor

Hello Neighbor is a PC and console game that has made its way to Android. It plays like a stealthy horror adventure game, something like Alien: Isolation, but with a friendlier theme. Your job is to sneak into your neighbor's house however you can, but you'll have to watch out as this neighbor is controlled by a wickedly smart AI that will deviate just enough to keep you on your toes as you try to uncover the dirty secret hidden in his basement.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs $14.99 a piece (single full game unlock)

Hello Neighbor
Hello Neighbor
Developer: tinyBuild
Price: Free+

ARK: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved isn't something I ever thought would come to mobile, and yet it's a full-featured title currently available on the Play Store. Amazingly it plays well if you happen to own the required hardware to run it. You can expect to find a few lag spikes here and there, but overall this is an excellent port, especially when you consider that the PC and console versions are still very poorly optimized. The survival and crafting gameplay is just as great as ever, and the inclusion of physical controller support is a welcome sight indeed.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $39.99

ARK: Survival Evolved
ARK: Survival Evolved
Developer: Studio Wildcard
Price: Free+

Vampire's Fall: Origins

Early Morning Studio may not be a developer many of you have heard of, but that doesn't mean the studio doesn't make some awesome mobile games. Vampire's Fall: Origins is the sequel/prequel to the multiplayer RPG Vampire's Fall, and let me just say, it's much improved over the original. The art is now more in line with what you would expect out of a gritty CRPG, and the turn-based combat feels welcoming while remaining challenging. If you are a fan of classic computer RPGs, then playing through Vampire's Fall: Origins should make you feel right at home.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $50.00

Dragalia Lost

Dragalia Lost is the latest mobile game from Nintendo, and it's an action RPG with a heavy emphasis on gacha mechanics. It contains some of the best music found in any Android release, and the gameplay isn't that bad either. Journeying from one level to the next while defeating groups of enemies, to then take on a giant boss fight, is a formula many gacha fans should be familiar with. Once you beat the boss, you can move on to the next level to take on slightly strong foes. So while this formula plays like many other gacha game already available on the Play Store, it definitely exudes the polish of a Nintendo release and is well worth a look.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $79.99

Dragalia Lost
Dragalia Lost
Price: Free+

PUBG Mobile

Love it or hate it, PUBG Mobile is a powerhouse in the battle royale scene. Tencent has done an excellent job when it comes to performance, and frequent updates mean there's always some sort of new feature to explore, such as the recently added Vikendi map. So if there's one thing you can count on, it's that you'll never run out of fresh new content to explore in this arena shooter.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $99.99

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PUBG MOBILE
PUBG MOBILE
Developer: Tencent Games
Price: Free+

MapleStory M

MapleStory M is a new mobile MMORPG for Android that closely resembles the PC version, but it also contains a few tweaks that make it more friendly for mobile play. Fan favorite cities such as Henesys, Perion, Kerning City, and Elinia are included, and you'll be able to play as your favorite class, such as a Dark Knight, Bow Master, Night Lord, Bishop, or Corsair. It's MapleStory on Android folks, so if you enjoyed the original, you're going to want to check this out.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $99.99

MapleStory M - Open World MMORPG
MapleStory M - Open World MMORPG

Old School RuneScape

Last but not least I have Old School RuneScape, another MMORPG from the past that has made its way to Android. It existed in beta for a good bit of the year, and ever since it was officially released at the tail end of October, everyone has the ability to jump in thanks to a new free-to-play section. This free content is slightly limited, but it makes for an excellent opportunity to try the classic MMORPG gameplay before you decide if you'd like to spend your money on a monthly subscription.

Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $6.99 - $99.99

Old School RuneScape
Old School RuneScape
Price: Free+

Honorable mentions

And that is the end of the list. I hope everyone was able to find a few games they can enjoy through the holidays, and if you'd like to check out last year's list, you can find it over here. Also, please feel free to mention all of your favorite games of the year in the comments below, even if they weren't named in this roundup. This way everyone can join in on the fun and maybe even discover a few more games worth playing!