Great Android smartphones for gaming

Great Android smartphones for gaming
With an assortment of different brands, models, and operating systems on the market, choosing the perfect smartphone can truly be a challenge. While some devices excel in the camera department, and others boast impressive office tools, very few shine in the arena of gaming. Beautiful graphics, fast processing speeds, and broad game selections are key requirements for any individual interested in turning their mobile phone into a portable game station.

You may have heard that Android phones are not ideal as gaming platforms compared to iOS devices, but the discussion isn't so black and white. While iPhones are sometimes privy to exclusive releases and early access, Android boasts a growing collection of apps, many of which are free. Not to mention, Android games aficionados can access “homebrew games” that aren't offered through the official store without jailbreaking your phone. Emulators allow videogame enthusiasts to play ported versions of classic titles on their smartphones with ease. Everything from Atari 2600, NES and N64 just to name a few, are feasible gaming options on most Android devices.

Take a look below at a collection of Android phones that are ideal for serious gaming.

Taylor Stein
writes for Big Fish Games and is an Android games aficionado, sushi lover, and overall nerd. After founding a gaming-related site of her own,, she went on to intern at G4TV, and is now a freelance videogame writer whose work can be found on Destructoid, G4, 1UP, Bitmob and more.



1. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I know the galaxy nexus is approaching its second birthday, but its just as good as the S3 for gaming if not better cos of a lack of samsung bloatware slowing everything down. For that matter, any nexus device is awesome for gaming because of a lack of bloatware.

5. nobelset

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

I changed my rom from the stock version to cyanogenmod 10.1 and the stock Android version is no different in terms of responsiveness, I find touch wiz even better than it. For gaming, there is absolutely no difference. But I still like stock, makes you look cool xD

12. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

No difference? The S3 wins big time. Larger and better screen, faster processor and a GPU a league ahead of the old SGX in the GNex

16. nobelset

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

I think I didn't make my comment clear, I'm talking about the s3

2. ankitp

Posts: 138; Member since: Feb 19, 2013

now added htc one & gs4 in the list

37. jsdechavez

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Gaming is just fancy on a phone with no real gaming keys, no matter the raw power. XPERIA play is king in this department.

3. Suraj3337

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

And s4 and htc one will add up in a few days.

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

What about the Optimus G Pro?

6. nobelset

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Good point! Even phone arena has forgotten about it being in the top android phones this year.

7. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Nokia 3310 with snack

8. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

i bought a One x just for this purpose

27. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Don't forget play station mobile which is currently exclusive in some Sony and HTC devices

9. k1ng617

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Galaxy Note 2!

14. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Exactly! Note 2 + gameklip + ps3 controller = unbeatable

25. jellmoo

Posts: 2588; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

A nice idea, but the article is about smartphones and not tablets.

29. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012


10. CaptainXperia

Posts: 15; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

what's even better is u can enjoy gaming on the xpera z even in a bathtub withiout the fear of any water damage... lol.. still all 3 are good...

15. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

yeah because guys play games on their smartphones while they take bubble baths everyday.

11. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I'm yet to encounter a game that has issues on my Galaxy S3, and I've played all the heaviest titles. Yet the Google Play is full of comments about bad game optimization, freezes, lags and stutters from owners of Nexus 7, HTC One x etc.

13. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

Note 2 and soon to be Note 3

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

3 phones. What a mighty collection that is.

24. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

As opposed to how many iPhones? Not to mention that this list leaves out several really strong devices, including the Droid DNA and Nexus 4.

32. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Right! I don't know why they only put three on the list ether because, there are lost more. Thanks for pointing that out.

18. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

One more reason to buy Sony xperia z!

19. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i agree with the Xperia Z, even about it being the first choice but i don't agree with the SIII and the One X. both of their GPU's are inferior to the Adreno 320 used in the Droid DNA, the Optimus G and the Nexus 4.

20. Xtrifer

Posts: 5; Member since: May 14, 2011

What About Optims G pro, Optimus G and Lg Optimus 4x with Tegra 3, I play hardcore with those

21. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

the Optimus G uses the S4 Pro, not the Tegra III...

35. Xtrifer

Posts: 5; Member since: May 14, 2011

I meant the 4x bro, i now both G's sport Snapdragon (S4 and 600)

36. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

you said the Optimus G Pro, Optimus G and Optimus 4X................

22. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

No Droid DNA? It's pretty powerful and has a screen matching any of the ones already up there.

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