In the second part of our look back at the best games that have come out over the last 12 months, it’s time to take a deep dive into the Google Play Store. And there have been some real gems landing on Android devices in 2021. 

Alongside some ports and repackagings, we’ve got some great original games, too. And if you’re a fan of MOBAs, this has been an excellent year for gaming on the go. There have been some awesome puzzlers too. 

You can click on the names of the games below to download them from the Play Store, and if you’ve got your own suggestions of awesome games from 2021, make sure you let us know in the comments.

Rocket League: Sideswipe

A beautiful, chaotic distillation of everything that makes Rocket League so great. It manages to squish down the frantic, weirdly balletic smashy-crashy play into bite-sized, mobile-sized nuggets. This is mobile multiplayer done with skill and aplomb. 

League of Legends: Wild Rift

Sure, it came out in certain places at the end of last year, but it didn’t see a worldwide release until 2021, so we’re counting it. This is, hands down, the best MOBA you can play on your phone. Deep, rewarding, always challenging and rarely anything other than a massive amount of fun. 

Bomb Club

A super smart, super charming puzzler that sees you blowing things up in all manner of hilarious and head-scratching ways. If you only pick up one new game from this list, then we reckon it should be this one. 

Northgard

Battle to survive on a mysterious new continent filled with hazards, enemies and terrible, terrible weather. This is a strategic masterpiece with enough fresh, exciting ideas that it’s hard not to fall in love with it.

Overboard

A murder mystery where the mystery revolves around how you get away with murder. This is a smart choose-your-own-adventure with an exciting cast of characters and all manner of ways to hide your nefarious crime. It might be short, but there’s always a reason to play again.

My Friend Pedro

A super-fast, swipey-blasty action platformer with tricky time limits and a heart of gold. You might finish all the levels quickly, but perfecting them all is going to take you ages. You’d be hard pressed to find more arcade fun elsewhere.

Baba Is You

This one is a deeply smart puzzler that sees you rearranging the rules of each level as you go. Can’t get to the exit? Change what the exit is, then. Every level is packed full of innovation and bright ideas, and there are more eureka moments than you can shake a bath at.

Slay the Spire

One of, if not the best deck-building roguelikes out there. Battle against monsters, collect new cards and powers, die, then do it all again. This is the sort of game that you’re going to lose hours and hours and hours of your life too. And then some more hours. 

Tesla Force

A breathless, top-down shooter featuring demonic hordes, ridiculous weaponry and a story about science run amok. There’s some super slick violence here, and the short levels mean you can jump in and out for a slice of chaos on the bus. 

Pokemon Unite

Pick a Pokemon and then duke it out in streamlined MOBA battles. It might not quite have the depth of League of Legends, but there’s an accessibility here that makes the game shine all the brighter. 

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