Some modern mobile games are great, but rarely are they true replacements for the classics of old. Android has a surprisingly decent number of ported retro games from console, PC, and arcade platform, and we've gathered some of the best ones that have been released over the years. These games are true to their original forms, with existing graphics (as in, they're not updated to look and play like newer games) but if you're looking for a roundup of classic games that have received a modern makeover, we've got you covered in a separate post. A lot of these games are ones you and I grew up playing, and I've hand-selected the cream of the crop. So whether you're an old gamer like me or a new gamer who would like to check out some retro classics, I've put together this roundup just for you. For convenience, I've listed all of the games by price in order to make discovery easier. So dig in and enjoy!

NetHack

NetHack is an open-source game that is probably one of the few titles out there that has been in development since its original (1987) release. It started out as an ASCII graphical roguelike, and has since had its design updated with a range of new tilesets that look a lot more appealing. This particular release on Android has 6 tilesets included with the download, plus it supports a bunch of USB control options for those of you who aren't satisfied with the default touchscreen inputs.

Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs

NetHack
NetHack
Developer: gurr
Price: Free

1942 MOBILE

1942 Mobile is an old-school top-down arcade shooter from Capcom, and while the game has been updated to support play on Android devices, the pixel-based graphics remain the same. You'll get to fly through the skies while shooting down anything that crosses your path, and the controls are solid, though there is no HID support, which means everyone is limited to the touchscreen controls. There are two modes to choose from, so no matter your skill level, you'll be able to enjoy this release.

Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / no IAPs

1942 MOBILE
1942 MOBILE
Developer: CAPCOM CO., LTD.
Price: $0.99

Ghosts'n Goblins MOBILE

Capcom has released quite a few classic games in the last few years on the Play Store. Ghost 'n Goblins Mobile is probably one of the more recognizable titles out of the bunch. It most definitely is an improvement over the earlier Mega Man ports, so you shouldn't have to worry about any framerate issues. Just keep in mind that this is a very difficult game and the touch controls may not be accurate enough for some players. Oh, and if you enjoyed this one, you will also want to check out its sequel Ghouls'n Ghosts MOBILE.

Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Ghosts'n Goblins MOBILE
Ghosts'n Goblins MOBILE
Developer: CAPCOM CO., LTD.
Price: $0.99

BLAZING STAR

SNK's Blazing Star was for its time one of the best looking 2D sidescrolling shooters for the Neo Geo gaming system. It is a direct sequel to Pulstar, which was itself a close cousin to R-Type. There are a few animated cinematics scattered throughout its gameplay, and its use of pre-rendered backgrounds allows for a very detailed game that still looks great today. So if you are looking for one of the best shoot 'em ups ever made, this is most definitely a top contender.

Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / no IAPs

BLAZING STAR
BLAZING STAR
Developer: SNK CORPORATION
Price: $0.99

Karateka Classic

Waaaay back in the day, one of my first experiences playing a video game with a friend was with Kung-Fu on the NES, and Karateka Classic reminds me of that game even though it is an Apple II title from the creator of Prince of Persia. Still, the games are very similar, and so it will be your job to fight your way through a horde of pesky guards, all so that you can save your girlfriend from the evil clutches of the warlord Akuma. So if you're looking for a classic beat 'em up, this is about as classic as it gets.

Monetization: $0.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Karateka Classic
Karateka Classic
Developer: Dotemu
Price: $0.99

R-TYPE

R-Type is probably one of the most well known 2D sidescrolling space shooters ever made. I for one played it for many years on my original '89 Gameboy thanks to a cart I scored while living in Japan. Not only is the level design fantastic, but each stage has a huge boss fight at the end that takes plenty of practice before you recognize all of its patterns. Plus there is something to be said for the versatile weapon system that allows you to attach your guns on the fly in two different directions.

Monetization: $1.99 / no ads / no IAPs

R-TYPE
R-TYPE
Developer: Dotemu
Price: $1.99

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Konami's classic Metroidvania title Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was recently released on the Play Store to everyone's surprise, especially since it's available for $2.99, which is a great deal. If you've yet to play SotN, it's a beautiful 2D platformer that offers non-linear gameplay, so exploration is definitely encouraged. The primary campaign should take about eight or nine hours to beat, so it will take much more than one sitting to work your way through this release. Of course, the reason the game is listed in today's retro roundup is that the Android version is a port of the PSP release, which was itself a port of the PS1 version. So even though there is new dialog and voice work, the pixel-based graphics have remained the same, allowing the game to retain its retro look.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Developer: KONAMI
Price: $2.99

SAMURAI SHODOWN II

Samurai Showdown II is hands-down my favorite arcade fighting game. As a kid, a friend and I would have one of our mothers drive us 40 minutes to a mall that had the game playable on a big screen monintor. This was a special treat for us as our closest mall had a horrible arcade. This is why I still to this day love playing a few rounds in Samurai Showdown II. For me, it is one of the best fighters ever made, and now you can play it on your phone with ease. The only problem I have with this port is that it doesn't support online play, which is a bit of a bummer.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

SAMURAI SHODOWN II
SAMURAI SHODOWN II
Developer: SNK CORPORATION
Price: $2.99

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath was the fourth game released in the Oddworld video game series, and unlike the first two titles, this is a third and first-person shooter. Since Stranger's Wrath was originally an Xbox game, its graphics haven't been touched for Android's port, which makes this a great release to highlight as a retro classic since it was originally released fifteen years ago. Of course, this is also a demanding game, so performance can falter, which is dependent on your device. Of course, if you own high-end hardware, then then you should be able to enjoy this quirky shooter to its full extent.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

The Bard's Tale

Not only is The Bard's Tale an old console game from 2004, it is also one of the earlier high-tier Android RPGs that dates back to 2012. So if you have never heard of this one before, you have been missing out. It's a classic 3D action RPG developed by inXile Entertainment, a studio that knows how to make a solid role-playing game. But what really makes it stand out is its snarky dialog, which certainly keeps the gameplay entertaining throughout the 14-hour campaign.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $4.99

The Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale
Price: $2.99+

METAL SLUG X

Metal Slug X exists in a weird place in the Metal Slug series. It is a remake of Metal Slug 2 that improves some issues the original had with slowdown. It is probably my favorite game in the series thanks to this extra bit of polish. Imagine if you took the 2D side-scrolling run 'n gun gameplay from Contra and added on top some of the most detailed pixel art graphics ever created, and that is what you get here. It is a sight to behold, even after 19 years. And if you would like to check out a few of the other titles in the series, they are available for Android here and here.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

METAL SLUG X
METAL SLUG X
Developer: SNK CORPORATION
Price: $2.99

Ms. PAC-MAN by Namco

Bandai Namco's Ms. PAC-MAN is so much better than the original. First of all, there is a bow on the top of the main characters head, which may be pointless, but adds a level of charm that is hard to argue against. The second major difference will be clear when you start to notice that the stages turn different colors one after another. Also, the majority of mazes have two escape tunnels, instead of only one. So while these may be only a few small tweaks, when added up the extra layer of detail, for me, places this sequel above the original.

Monetization: $2.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Double Dragon Trilogy

I would imagine most people are familiar with the Double Dragon franchise. It was the king of arcade brawlers for a time, and it also received a few solid ports on the NES. The Double Dragon Trilogy collects all three of the arcade titles (so if you were hoping for the NES ports, you are out of luck). Each of the three games stay true to their original graphics and gameplay, though the new touchscreen controls can be a little wonky. Your best bet is to play this one with a controller, which shouldn't be a problem since it supports a wide range.

Monetization: $3.49 / no ads / no IAPs

Double Dragon Trilogy
Double Dragon Trilogy
Developer: Dotemu
Price: $3.49

Simon the Sorcerer

Simon The Sorcerer was originally released in 1993, staring the titular Simon as a fish out of water tasked with discovering magic in a Narnia-style hidden world. The game's controls have been adapted to touchscreens, and work well. The game offers the original graphics, but you can also choose to play in HD, thanks to a new graphics mode for modern devices. All in all, this is a quality port that also brings a few new things to the table, and so if you enjoy classic point and click adventure games, Simon the Sorcerer is a quality choice.

Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Simon the Sorcerer
Simon the Sorcerer
Developer: MojoTouch
Price: $3.99

GAROU: MARK OF THE WOLVES

It's not often we see traditional fighters come to Android, with the exception of those from SNK, such as Garou: Mark of the Wolves. This is a lesser-known fighter from the days of Samurai Showdown, and it's a pseudo-sequel to Fatal Fury. The Android port includes support for local multiplayer over bluetooth, and external controllers are supported for proper button-mashing. So if you're looking for a classic fighting game that can eaisly hold its own against some of the bigger titles out there, you can't go wrong with this release.

Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs

GAROU: MARK OF THE WOLVES
GAROU: MARK OF THE WOLVES
Developer: SNK CORPORATION
Price: $3.99

XCOM®: Enemy Within

2K's XCOM: Enemy Within may be one of the newer "classics" listed in this roundup, but that doesn't mean it hasn't earned its place. It is probably one of the best strategy games ever made for PC, and its port for Android doesn't stray too far from that experience. You can expect to find all of the content from the original Enemy Within, with performance to match. The touchscreen controls can be a little finicky, though they are still good enough to get you through the entire game without too much hassle.

Monetization: $4.99 / contains ads / no IAPs

XCOM®: Enemy Within
XCOM®: Enemy Within
Developer: 2K, Inc.
Price: $4.99

DRAGON QUEST II

Out of all of the Dragon Quest titles on the Play Store, II is my go to install on all of my phones. The pixel-based graphics are as sharp as ever, and even though this is a game that requires a lot of grinding, I've never once felt hampered by the balance of this title. This is about as classic as you can get when it comes to JRPGs, and as a portrait game, it works wonderfully for one-handed play. While I feel the later games suffer from the portrait orientation, II is simple enough that that one-handed play is almost ideal.

Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs

DRAGON QUEST II
DRAGON QUEST II
Price: $4.99

Raiden Legacy

Raiden Legacy collects Raiden, Raiden Fighters, Raiden Fighters 2 & Raiden Fighters Jet into one title, all thanks to Dotemu, a quality port house. You can choose to play these top-down shooters in fullscreen or in their original aspect ratio, which should appeal to the hardcore and casual alike. There are also two separate difficulty modes, and video filtering is inlcuded for those that wish to recreate the experience of the arcade.

Monetization: $5.49 / no ads / no IAPs

Raiden Legacy
Raiden Legacy
Developer: Dotemu
Price: $5.49

SPACE INVADERS

Space Invaders is a game that needs no introduction. It's about as retro as it gets, and thankfully Taito has seen fit to bring the title to Android. Since this cover shooter is so simple, the touchscreen controls work phenomenally, and so you can reach the highest levels in this release without the worry of slowdown or imprecision. Sure, the asking price may be a little too high for such an old game, but at least it's a solid port, so you know you won't be wasting your money on a lazy mobile interpretation.

Monetization: $5.49 / no ads / no IAPs

SPACE INVADERS
SPACE INVADERS
Developer: TAITO Corporation
Price: $5.49

Ys Chronicles 1

It's always nice to see a classic Japanese role-playing game that didn't come from Square Enix. Ys Chronicles I is a remastered version of Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen, with new graphics, anime-style cutscenes, and full touch controls. This series of action RPG may not be considered a blockbuster outside of Japan, though it's definitely worth the price for gamers who don't enjoy turn-based battles but still want that old-school feel.

Monetization: $5.49 / no ads / no IAPs

Ys Chronicles 1
Ys Chronicles 1
Developer: Dotemu
Price: $5.49

RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic

Atari may have completely taken a dump on the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, but that doesn't mean the earlier games aren't worth playing. As a matter of fact, RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic is still heralded as the best of the bunch, and it has a mobile port available on Android. Sure, the graphics may not look that great when compared to newer games, but that just means it should run a wide range of devices, which is a good thing indeed.

Monetization: $5.99 / no ads / IAPs from $1.99 - $5.99

RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic
RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic
Developer: Atari, Inc.
Price: $5.99+

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Out of all of the Grand Theft Auto games on Android, Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the one that offers the deepest experience. For the uninitiated, this release lets you romp through a fictional Southern California as you try to make your way through a vast open-world to earn your place at the top of the food chain by any means necessary. Plus if you would like to pick up GTA III, Liberty City Stories, Vice City, or Chinatown Wars, they are also available on the Play Store.

Monetization: $6.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Bully: Anniversary Edition

Bully: Anniversary Edition is another popular title from Rockstar Games, but unlike the GTA series, this one is more focused on the story and gameplay, over an open-world sandbox that is often best when looking for a large playground to goof around in. It tells the tale of a schoolyard bully who must navigate the social hierarchy of the corrupt and crumbling prep school, Bullworth Academy.

Monetization: $6.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Bully: Anniversary Edition
Bully: Anniversary Edition
Developer: Rockstar Games
Price: $6.99

Secret of Mana

Square Enix has ported a bunch of classic '80s and '90s RPGs to the Play Store. Secret of Mana is one of those games, and it assuredly is one of the best to ever be released. Unlike many of their titles, this is an action RPG that plays similarly to the Zelda franchise. This means the touchscreen controls can be a problem if you are not used to playing action games with them. Luckily there is also support for physical gamepads, so no matter how you prefer to play there is a control option for you. And if you would like to check out the first title in this series, Adventure of Mana is also available on the Play Store.

Monetization: $7.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana
Price: $7.99

Titan Quest

DotEmu's port of Titan Quest offers a top-down action-RPG that was first released on PC back in 2006. For me, 13 years on the shelf is definitely long enough for a game to be called a retro classic. At its core, Titan Quest is a hack-and-slash game that revolves around ancient Greek mythology, and so offers a unique theme. Of course, loot is the name of the game, and so there are over 1200+ items to discover, which should keep people busy for quite a while.

Monetization: $7.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Titan Quest
Titan Quest
Developer: HandyGames
Price: $2.99

DARIUSBURST -SP-

Dariusburst -SP- was originally a little-known side-scrolling shooter series on the PlayStation Portable. The Android port features all of the bullet hell action you would expect from this kind of shooter. The graphics are very demanding, so you will want to make sure you meet the required specs. And if you don't enjoy playing shoot 'em up with touch controls, you will be glad to hear that Bluetooth controllers are supported.

Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / no IAPs

DARIUSBURST -SP-
DARIUSBURST -SP-
Developer: TAITO Corporation
Price: $9.99

Star Wars™: KOTOR

Fifteen years ago the best Star Wars-themed RPG ever made was released for the Xbox. Eleven years later Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was ported to Android by Aspyr Media. So now you can play this classic from the comfort of your phone or tablet. It plays great using the default touchscreen controls, plus it also supports external controllers for those of you who require something more tactile.

Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / no IAPs

Star Wars™: KOTOR
Star Wars™: KOTOR
Developer: Aspyr Media, Inc.
Price: $4.99

CHRONO TRIGGER (Upgrade Ver.)

Square Enix's Chrono Trigger is considered by many to be the best turn-based JRPG of the '90s, and maybe of all time. The Android port has had a bit of a checkered past, what with Square Enix leaving it completely broken for over a year. Luckily it would seem the devs have turned a new corner, as a major update was recently pushed out that improves the controls, graphics, sound, and adds in cloud saving support. Plus there are a couple of new areas to explore with the additions of the Dimensional Vortex and Lost Sanctum dungeons, which should give old players something new to try out.

Monetization: $9.99 / no ads / no IAPs

RAYSTORM

During the PS1 years, Raystorm was my favorite shoot 'em up on the platform, and it thankfully runs great on Android. Physical controller support is included, and the touchscreen controls work well enough to get through the entire release. Of course, this is only the second title in the RAY trilogy, so if you're looking for Rayforce or Raycrisis, they are also available on the Play Store, all thanks to Taito.

Monetization: $10.99 / no ads / no IAPs

RAYSTORM
RAYSTORM
Developer: TAITO Corporation
Price: $10.99

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS : WotL

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is another high-profile Square Enix release, but this one is a little different than the majority of their titles. You see, it is mainly a tactical game with a few RPG elements. It plays out like a game of chess, where you move your heroes in certain directions and use special powers that are dependent on their class and race. So think of this more as a "cult classic" when comparing it to the developer's more popular offerings. Oh, and if you would like to play another Final Fantasy port that isn't part of some offshoot series, you should check out FF VII.

Monetization: $11.99 / no ads / no IAPs

The World Ends With You

The Square Enix hits keep on coming, but I promise, this is the last one for today. The World Ends With You was originally released for the Nintendo DS handheld, and at the time its quirky action RPG gameplay offered something fresh yet familiar for the genre. There is no denying that the art design is very unique, and its fashion-based gameplay remains just as original as ever. If you have never played through this one before, make sure you add it to your must-play list because you are definitely missing out.

Monetization: $17.99 / no ads / IAPs $0.99 a piece

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The World Ends With You
The World Ends With You
Price: $17.99+

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth was released on the Play Store in 2018, and honestly the title was a welcome surprise at the time. This is one of Square's strangest RPGs since it primarily plays like a side-scrolling platformer, though you can still expect plenty of classic turn-based RPG combat as well. Like most of the premium games from Square Enix this 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. It's also worth noting that the touchscreen controls can be fiddly, but luckily physical controllers are supported, which make for a much better way to play this classic.

Monetization: $17.99 / no ads / IAPs from $3.99 - $8.99

VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH
VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH

Carmageddon

Carmageddon is a vehicular combat game that was released for PC back in 1997. This is immediately apparent once you get a good look at the graphics. But despite an art direction that has not aged well, there is still a ton of fun to be had here. Unlike most arcade racers, you get to run over pedestrians while also trying your hardest to take out your opponents. Destruction is the name of the game, and Carmageddon unflinchingly delivers on that front.

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

Carmageddon
Carmageddon
Developer: HandyGames
Price: Free+

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic

Sega's Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic was released as part of their SEGA Forever program, which for a time was how Sega went about publishing their classic games on Android free of charge. They were able to do this by stuffing a ton of ads into these games. Luckily they included a way for users to remove them. All you have to do is plunk down $1.99 for a one-time in-app purchase, and the ads will be gone.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 a piece

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Beyond Oasis Classic

Beyond Oasis Classic is another SEGA Forever release. The enjoyable action RPG gameplay hasn't changed one bit, though the touch controls will take some getting used to. Now don't get me wrong, this is still a solid port, but it was obviously originally created with physical controllers in mind. Not that I let that stop me from experiencing the wonderful story again after all these years. It's a classic after all.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 a piece

Beyond Oasis Classic
Beyond Oasis Classic
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Streets of Rage Classic

Streets of Rage Classic is just that, a classic arcade brawler from Sega. A couple of years ago, Sega was busy publishing many classic games on the Play Store, and thankfully Streets of Rage made the cut. Of course, since this was a game built around physical controls, I would recommend playing with a bluetooth controller instead of the built-in touch controls, as the game can be tough, and so precision is necessary. Luckily there is support for local co-op over wifi if you happen to get stuck on a boss. Interested parties can play for free, thanks to the title's ad support, and if you happen to find these ads are annoying, you can remove them through a single in-app purchase.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 a piece

Streets of Rage Classic
Streets of Rage Classic
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Gunstar Heroes Classic

Gunstar Heroes Classic is another classic in the SEGA Forever group on the Play Store. If you have yet to play Gunstar Heroes, you are definitely in for a treat. It is hands-down one of the best run-and-gun platforming shooters in existence, and this port stays true to its excellent gameplay. Luckily bluetooth controllers are supported out of the box because the touchscreen controls don't do the game justice. Quick movements and fast shooting are very much necessary to make it through this one. Of course, if you're having a tough time, it's good to know that cross-platform multiplayer is supported over local wifi if you're looking for a game you can play locally with a buddy.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 a piece

Gunstar Heroes Classic
Gunstar Heroes Classic
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Crazy Taxi Classic

Crazy Taxi Classic is another Sega port re-released under the SEGA Forever program. It is a taxi racing game that tasks the player with delivering passengers under a specific time limit, which usually results in you crazily driving around the city. It has a kicking soundtrack, and the timed arcade mode is perfect for when you only have a few minutes to spare but feel like taking a quick spin.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.99 a piece

Crazy Taxi Classic
Crazy Taxi Classic
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Phantasy Star Classics

Phantasy Star Classics was originally released as Phantasy Star II under the Sega Forever moniker, but the game was eventually updated to add in the third and fourth iteration in the series. This means you can play all three titles in the RPG series for free with ad support, and you can even remove the ads for each game through individual in-app purchases. Like many of Sega's ports, the touchscreen controls are a little rough, but luckily there is bluetooth controller support for those that really want to dig in.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $1.99 - $4.99

Phantasy Star Classics
Phantasy Star Classics
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

Shining Force Classics

Shining Force Classics is another SEGA Forever release, and much like the Phantasy Star collection, this is a title that collects Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, and Shining Force II. The original title is a first-person dungeon crawler, and the other two titles are strategy RPGs. Like most Sega Forever releases, you can pay to remove the advertisements in each game, which definitely makes for a much better experience. The touchscreen controls work well since these are all turn-based games, so you won't have to worry about awkward touchscreen controls, though bluetooth controllers are supported if you prefer something more tactile.

Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $1.99 - $4.99

Shining Force Classics
Shining Force Classics
Developer: SEGA
Price: Free+

And that is the end of the list. Obviously, these are not the only retro ports currently available on Android, they just happen to be some of the more notable classics. If there are any games that you would have liked to have seen in this list, please go ahead and mention them in the comments below. This way everybody can get in on the fun.