You are on a boring train ride (or bus, or plane) and have already flipped through the onboard magazine for the eighth time? Then we have a solution for you! In our list you will find the best free and paid offline games for 2022.
Here is a list of offline games that we highly recommend. The list comprises a cross-section of different genres. As always, this is a subjective list and we look forward to your feedback and ideas for more offline games. We’ve added three more games on this list in the latest update (as of January 2022).
Most free-to-play games do offer a certain graphical quality while many of them have features limited to online use since that’s a big part of how they make money (by showing online ads, encouraging competition with better-equipped players, and so on). Generally speaking, premium paid games tend to see a greater degree of offline play, although there are still offline games available for free. We’ve picked out the best of the bunch for you to enjoy!
Countless weapons, armor, and hours have been spent in Archero by now. The action game won the 2019 award for the most innovative game on the Google Play Store. You control one of a total of 20 unlockable heroes and must defeat countless hordes of monsters. To do this, you travel to different game worlds, which in turn are divided into up to 50 rooms. The appeal of the game is also simple – the more you play, the better you get at the game and the more game worlds and items you can unlock.
What looks easy is not so easy at all. Shooting is automatic, but all kinds of attacks from the enemies will fly at your ears, which you should dodge skillfully. Especially in boss fights this can be more difficult than it seems. As you roam the worlds, you will gain certain abilities by collecting experience points, which will allow you to defeat even the strongest enemies. It’s important to make sure you choose the right abilities. For example, the “Piercing Shot” is best paired with a “Multiple Shot”.
In addition, the mobile game is regularly updated and always has exciting events. The ads are also kept in check, so you won’t be slain by ads after each playthrough. The game is perfect for in-between, the levels don’t take too long and your progress is saved automatically. So if you like a lot of action, you will surely be happy with this game. Here’s a tip: The sound is, unfortunately, a big drawback, so better turn it off.
Back in 2006, Titan Quest came out for the PC. Back then, you couldn’t even imagine how powerful our smartphones would be nowadays (not to mention that the first iPhone came out a year later). Titan Quest takes you into the world of mythology and the realm of the Titans, who are trying to take control of the Earth. The action role-playing game offers not only nostalgic graphics, as known from games like Sacred or Diablo II, but also a good level system and an interesting game world.
If you feel like giving the Titans a run for their money and like to dive into other worlds, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for in Titan Quest. The port to mobile has also worked out well, even if the controls seem a bit imprecise at times. The game also promises over 60 hours of gameplay, and if that’s not enough, you can jump straight into the Legendary Edition, where you can find additional DLC.
- 4.0 stars on Google Play / 4.4 stars on Apple App Store.
- Price: $7.99 (Android) / $6.99 (iOS).
- In-App Purchases: Yes.
- Download: Google Play Store, Apple App Store.
The fact that a game like Plague Inc. boomed at the start of the Corona pandemic is admittedly somewhat morbid. However, the game’s innovative concept makes it a really good way to pass the time. In the standard version, you must terrorize the world’s population like a virus while they try to find a cure. You have mutations for your disease at your disposal, but you shouldn’t advance them too fast, otherwise, it’s game over. So the strategy game is all about developing the disease wisely without getting too hectic.
The game offers different difficulty levels, which you can unlock after successfully completing a level. You can also unlock gene mutations to boost your disease from the start, which is incredibly important, especially at higher levels. Meanwhile, there’s also “The Cure.” Here, you take the part of researching cures and must fight an unknown disease. The gameplay doesn’t change though. So if you fancy a strategy game where you don’t control hordes of armies, Plague Inc. is sure to be fun!
- 4,6 stars at Google Play / 4,7 stars at Apple App Store.
- Price: Free, ads (Android) / $0.99 (iOS).
- In-app purchases: Yes.
- Download: Google Play Store, Apple App Store.
Life on your own farm can be very comforting – at least virtually. Stardew Valley was already considered one of the best indie games of all time when it was officially released on PC in 2016. While games like “Hay Day” or “Farmville” focus on an active community, you have your little farm in Stardew Valley all to yourself. Whether you take care of animals, cultivate fields, or go shopping in town is entirely up to you.
Especially lovers of games like “Harvest Moon” or “Animal Crossing” will get their money’s worth with this mobile game. By the way, “Stardew Valley” is also an RPG. This means you can interact with the NPC’s to build up a relationship with them. This will surely help you throughout the game. The developer also offers constant performance and content updates, allowing you to spend countless hours on your farm. I’m moving to the country now.
We have already recommended this chilling game to you in a different article because of its beautiful graphics. It works well with the amazing sound and wonderfully relaxed gameplay where you will be able to kill time on Alto’s Odyssey when offline.
It is the perfect title for moments when you will remain offline for a longer period of time, such as when you are on a flight. There is no point in getting all worked up then since this game relaxes you and keeps you captivated even during a long session, where you will feel as though time flew by (ba-dum-tsh!) quickly. Alto’s Odyssey offers all of the above, which is why we highly recommend this endless running title to you.
- 4.5 stars on Google Play / 4.3 stars on the Apple App Store.
- Price: Free, in-game ads (Android) / $4.99 (iOS).
- In-App purchases: Yes (Android) / No (iOS).
Grid is a racing game that comes across as highly recommended. This title offers nail-biting races with plenty of cars, tracks, and modes to choose from. Along the way, you will also be able to unlock plenty of items, providing long term motivation that should help you last the distance (heh heh heh). This is one of the rare racing games that offer just about everything right from the very beginning!
Forking out less than $10 for this title is well worth every penny, as it has everything you need to be happy offline. You don’t have to wait until you are given more turns to continue playing or purchase additional turns with money, and neither do you have to fork out more money to buy additional tracks, gaming modes, or cars. Once you have handed over $9.99 for it, you have total peace of mind to hit the digital asphalt offline.
Are you a born city planner? In Mini Metro for both Android and iOS platforms, you are tasked with equipping the largest and most diverse cities worldwide with a functioning mass transit system. The fun factor is there from the very beginning, where you switch and move on a 2D map while checking out the underbelly of each city.
The game relies on symbols to show you which passengers need to be transported to their respective destinations. It’s up to you to connect the stations. Each week (time moves differently in the game and does not correspond to real-world time), you will receive new locomotives, lines, tunnels, bridges, or wagons for you to continue developing the city’s transportation system.
Here is an important tip: Always keep an eye on the most important metro stations. If a station is overcrowded, the game ends. The goal of the game is to prevent overcrowding at stations when playing, which will obviously affect your high score in return.
In normal mode, Mini Metro is always playable offline. In “Daily” mode, there’s also an online variant where you can compete with players worldwide.
Bricks Breaker Puzzle
Bricks Breaker Puzzle for iOS and Android is all about breaking things, albeit in a harmless manner though. You shoot a ball by tapping the screen. With it, you have to hit the bricks and break them. The item’s durability is displayed as a number, if it drops to 0, it will break, with the caveat that it must not fall onto the ground. Okay, probably everybody knows the game’s mechanics that stems from the classic Alleyway, right?
Bricks Breaker Puzzle also offers a multiplayer mode where you can compare your stats. This feature is only available when you are online.
The Room: Old Sins – An offline game for puzzle fans
The fourth game in The Room series for Android and iOS is great, and once again the developers have hit the sweet spot. The Room: Old Sins takes you to the attic of an old house, where you have to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a married couple. All clues lead to a dollhouse, but there’s far more to it than meets the naked eye.
The Room: Old Sin scores well with its atmospheric graphics and unique puzzles that are never impossible to solve. This is the perfect puzzler for those who are on a longer commute and would like to enjoy their offline mode by walking through The Room’s universe. The third part introduced the possibility of discovering additional endings at the end of the first run-through, and by extension, this game has also seen the fourth installment.
Its three predecessors also come across as highly recommended and can be purchased at an even cheaper price.
Mekorama: Monument Valley for robot friends
If you’ve ever played Monument Valley, you’ll also find pure joy in Mekorama for both Android and iOS. In this offline game, you control a small nameless robot by navigating it through carefully crafted 3D worlds. Using the “tap-to-move” mechanism, you indicate the direction in which the little robot should wander.
The difficulty of this game lies in the towers on which the robot moves – these are 3D towers. In higher levels, you will have to turn a lot and consider both elevators and tunnels along the way to ensure your little robot arrives at its destination safely. To make matters more challenging, the robot can also fall off – in which case you’ll have to start the level all over again.
The nice thing about Mekorama is that you not only have 50 levels to indulge in, but you can also create your own levels. Self-created worlds can then be shared with your friends around the world via QR code. But even the existing 50 levels are challenging enough for most. If you have VR glasses, you can even play Mekorama as a VR version, but this version will set you back by $3.99.
Street Fighter IV Champion Edition: Bring your battles offline
One of my criticisms of Street Fighter IV, when it was first released for Android, was that it required an Internet connection to play. Thankfully, Capcom has since lifted that restriction, allowing you to continue your brawls when you are offline.
Of course, you won’t be able to compete against other human players, but even against the AI, it’s the best offline fighting game for Android and iOS. In the free version, you basically have a demo with Ryu and a few other characters.
For $4.99, you unlock Chun-Li, Guile, and all of the other classic fighters from the arcade, plus some new faces. The touchscreen controls for smartphones are decent enough, but there’s also the option to enable a special button for special moves just to make things a little easier.
- 3.5 stars on Google Play / 4.6 stars on the Apple App Store.
- Price: Free demo (Android), $4.99 (iOS).
- In-App Purchases: Yes (Android) / No (iOS).
Implosion: Never Lose Hope: Captivating Sci-Fi Game
This fantastic action game from Rayark is a slick sci-fi slash-n-shoot-em-up in which you control a mech tasked with saving humanity from a mutant plague. The first six levels of the game are free, with a one-time in-app purchase that lets you activate the remainder of the game. This includes a large campaign, side missions, and challenges that will keep you busy for hours on end.
Featuring snappy controls and sometimes violent animations, in addition to a variety of enemies and challenging boss fights, Implosion captivated me. The levels were designed for short play sessions (5-10 minutes), but there are a variety of special modes that add replay value.
- 3.8 stars on Google Play / 4.2 stars on the Apple App Store.
- Price: Free (Android) / $1.99 (iOS).
- In-app purchases: Yes Android) / No (iOS).
Badland: Offline game for action fans
This game is certainly not one of the newest games available, but it is still one of the favorite games among the NextPit editorial team. Badland on both Android and iOS is an incredibly good-looking action-adventure sidescroller that impressed us with its loving yet gloomy atmosphere.
In the game, you happen to be some species of bird and have to steer your character through a forest. Numerous dangers and traps are there to slow down your journey. Badland scrolls on and on, and when your bird reaches the left edge, you will restart from the last checkpoint.
In total there are more than 80 levels to complete, but only the first 40 are free to play. The other levels can be purchased via an in-app purchase. Conveniently, there is a multiplayer mode in which you can explore a total of 21 levels on one device with up to four other players.
- 4.5 stars on Google Play / 4.4 stars on the Apple App Store.
- Price: Free, in-game ads (Android) / $0.99 (iOS).
- In-app purchases: Yes (Android) / No (iOS).
Limbo: Lonely through the desolation
Limbo is a platformer on both Android and iOS platforms, where you control a young boy who wanders around a lonely and monochrome world, searching for his lost sister. The game is a classic indie title that has been painstakingly ported over to the Android platform (smartphones and tablets), with its humble beginnings on iOS.
Limbo’s world is sad, creepy, and incredibly intriguing, and you’ll quickly get sucked into the story. Total gaming time with this can be rather short, but definitely worth the entry price to support a tiny indie studio. Here is a little tip to help get you started: beware of spiders!
Riptide GP: Renegade: Offline game for (jet ski) racers
Riptide GP Renegade is a jet ski racing game for Android and iOS platforms that will keep you entertained for a long time: In a somewhat post-apocalyptic environment, you whiz through water courses that are not only peppered with many obstacles, but your opponents are also not shy to make short work of you.
To be faster, you can switch on your turbo. Since turbo will not last forever, you can recharge it by performing stunts during the race. The more complex the trick, the more turbo energy you receive. Controlling the jet ski and performing tricks are shown in a tutorial, which also serves as an introduction to the story.
In addition to the impressive graphics, the gameplay is also incredibly challenging: This is because you are not on solid ground, but are racing across water that requires plenty of intuition to keep the jet ski under control. Challenging tracks, great graphics, and is even playable offline: What more could you want?
Why do we actually need offline games?
There are situations when our smartphones are offline. For instance, we deliberately go offline because we want to escape the stress of social media, WhatsApp messages, news, or even work emails. The keyword here is digital detox. However, it is not uncommon to encounter situations where we are offline not by choice.
Getting onto a train in the metro or subway system is one situation where it is all too common for our LTE connectivity (let alone 5G networks) to drop or when we want to avoid bill shock when we return from our holidays abroad.
If you want to be able to use your smartphone without a data connection under such circumstances, it makes perfect sense for apps that function offline. This becomes even more important the longer you have to go without an Internet connection.
This article will include recommendations of games that work perfectly fine offline. Bear in mind that it does not mean these titles will never access the internet. Some do have cloud features such as Google Play or require you to download new levels on demand.
By the way, if you use Google Play Games or Apple’s Game Center and are keen on retaining your in-game achievements, you can play these titles offline without any hesitation as the next time you are connected to the Internet, these achievements will be automatically updated accordingly.
Hot tip: Launch the game once with an internet connection so that it can load all of the necessary data and information. If you’re on an airplane, you’ll need to remember to do this before takeoff. If you’re not connected to the internet, you can also launch the game, albeit without having the latest game data available.
As I mentioned, these recommendations are subjective and does not make a complete list. There are many other games for iOS and Android that can be played offline without the need to go online, including games that Apple offers as part of its Apple Arcade subscription. If you know of any games that you think should be on this list of offline games, let us know in the comments.
As this post is constantly updated (last updated: January 2022), the comments below might seem to be out of context. However, for the sake of completeness and fairness to our commenters, we’ll still leave them there.