Best games to play on your new Android tablet this Christmas

Got a new Android tablet for Christmas? Here are the best games to play

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 playing Android game
(Image credit: Samsung)

It's that time of year again! Christmas is here and with the holiday season come bountiful gifts, both given and received, as we collectively get warm and cosy by the fire. And for many, that will mean opening one of the best Android tablets on the market today.

And that's exciting as a brand new Android tablet sitting under the tree opens you up to a world of apps, games, media content, and possibilities.

To help you get the most out of your new device, we've compiled a list of the 10 best games for Android tablets, including some well-known, others less so. All of them are excellent games for all skill levels that should run like silk.

Whether you got the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus or the Google Pixel Slate, as long as it's not an iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad Pro you're in the right place to find the very best games going.

We've tried to look far and wide, not just relying on the AAA titles you'll be familiar with, while striking a balance to find the cream of the crop no matter who the developer is. On top of this, we've also tried to offer a diverse selection – or as diverse as it can be with only ten games.

So, let's jump into T3's best Android tablet games list.

1. Alto’s Odyssey

Alto’s Odyssey Android tablet game

(Image credit: Noodlecake Studios)

We're kicking things off with a beauty: Alto’s Odyssey from veteran developers Noodlecake Studios, which has received pretty much universal acclaim (including from Apple and Bafta). 

The game is an endless "sandboarder", with the character scrolling past endless beautiful desert landscapes. The switch to the hotter climate is fitting, as Alto's first game, Alto's Adventure, was a snowboarder. 

The gameplay is incredibly smooth, while becoming quite challenging at later levels, and the visuals are just stunning. We can't fault a thing.

Download Alto's Odyssey

2. Minecraft 

Minecraft Android tablet game

(Image credit: Microsoft )

You may have heard of this one... 

The hit game, now owned by Microsoft, has exploded all over the world, capturing the imagination of creative teens and adults alike. The possibilities are pretty much endless and that's what makes Minecraft the game that it is. 

Your Android tablet will have plenty of power and screen real estate to show Minecraft in its full blocky glory. There's also multiplayer with up to four friends on Xbox Live. 

What better way to spend your lazy Christmas afternoons.

Download Minecraft

3. Final Fantasy VII 

Final Fantasy VII Android tablet game

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Sticking with the AAA titles for a moment, T3's next recommendation into the best Android games hall of fame is a doozy: Final Fantasy VII, a well-done port of the now-legendary game series.

In VII, you are up against the Shinra Electric Power Company  and, well, the rest is up to you. There's fighting, excellent dialogue, and plenty of action to go around. It's basically the same as the PC and console versions, except on your tablet. 

One thing to note: Final Fantasy VII takes up a lot of space and needs a lot of oomph, so make sure your tablet is capable. According to Square Enix, you'll need 4GB free storage just to start with.

Download Final Fantasy VII

4. Sky: Children of Light

Sky Children of Light Android tablet game

(Image credit: That Game Company)

Back to something a little more calming: the beautiful MMORPG that is Sky: Children of Light, which sees players travel across seven stunning realms to discover hidden secrets, save spirits, and find ancient treasures. 

The premise is pretty simple: the stars have fallen and darkness has risen, creating a new home in the sky. You must awaken, Children of the Light, and return the universe to its rightful star-lit wonder.  

Simultaneously relaxing and intense, we absolutely love the visuals and gameplay, with the added bonus that you can play alongside friends, family, and strangers.

Download Sky: Children of Light

5. GRIS

GRIS Android tablet game

(Image credit: DevolverDigital )

The developers behind GRIS describe the game as a "serene and evocative experience, free of danger, frustration or death" and, well, that's pretty spot-on. It's an absolutely sensationally beautiful game and we can't recommend it enough.

You play as Gris, a hopeful young girl who is lost. Her sorrowful journey manifests through her flowing dress as you transverse beautiful landscape after beautiful landscape. Seriously, this game looks amazing.

As the game progresses, Gris begins the find herself, opening up new avenues to explore. We won't spoil too much about the game but suffice to say, you need it.

Download GRIS

6. Limbo 

Limbo Android tablet game

(Image credit: Playdead )

An award-winning indie adventure game, we're enraptured by Limbo. Set almost entirely in a black and white world, the game is full of dark, misty, haunting spaces that make for a really interesting overall experience.

Pretty much everyone who plays the game absolutely loves it, with more five-star reviews than is worth counting. Each new level is beautifully unique and well-designed, making advancing through the game especially exciting.

Along the way, you'll encounter puzzles, monsters, and much, much more. A fantastic way to spend a few hours.

Limbo is also available as part of Google's Play Pass subscription.

Download Limbo

7. Football Manager 2021 Touch 

Football Manager Touch 2021 Android tablet game

(Image credit: SEGA)

If you got hooked on Euro 2020 then we have the game for you: Football Manager 2021 Touch. 

The name kinda gives away the premise but the difficulty comes from the sheer complexity of managing a football team. Like its bigger PC and console siblings, 2021 Touch has it all: 117 leagues from 52 footballing nations, thousands of players, and what feels like millions of decisions to be made.

Make sure to be smart with transfers and delegate boring tasks, but beyond that Football Manager invites you to play how you want. Just don't be put off by early losses – it happens to the best of us. 

The perfect way to spend Christmas afternoon and then every afternoon after that ahead of the World Cup 2022.

Download Football Manager 2021 Touch

8. Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery

Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery Android tablet game

(Image credit: Noodlecake Studios)

Another release from Noodlecake Studios (the first being Alto's Odyssey), Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery – henceforth known as S&S – has earned equally as amazing reviews and we think the extremely nice visuals will pop on your new tablet. 

Clues as to what the S&S gameplay provides are in the name: you transverse new worlds accompanied by your faithful sword (for fighting) and sworcery (to solve mysteries). The combination of the two makes gameplay dynamic and interesting and we definitely didn't get bored during this game. 

Are you up to the task of helping a wandering warrior monk? We think so.

Download Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery

9. Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition 

Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition Android tablet game

(Image credit: Raw Fury)

We haven't featured that many 2D platformers on the list but that changes with Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition, an excellent high-intensity game that will suck you in with frustratingly different levels. 

The design of the world, called Salt, is pleasingly old school, full of mystical creatures and infinite spaces to explore. You can jump from the walls, floor, ceiling, and pretty much anywhere to complete the mission. 

And the Trails of Fear edition adds three areas to explore, plus new bosses, powers, mechanics, music, and even a secret ending. A steal! 

Dandara is also available as part of Google's Play Pass subscription.

Download Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition

10. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Android tablet game

(Image credit: Chucklefish Limited)

We thought we'd finish on a lighter note: Stardew Valley, the amazing RPG that has taken the world by storm, bringing ConcernedApe's game to mobile. 

Feeling cooped up in the city? Stardew takes you well into the countryside with over 50 hours of game playing seeing you tend to your farm, including tending to fields, breeding animals, customising your farmhouse, starting a family, fishing, and so, so much more. 

Stardew deserves all of the extensive praise that its got (and believe us, there is a lot) and we can see many, many happy hours being lost to getting your farm on top. 

Stardew Valley is also available as part of Google's Play Pass subscription.

Download Stardew Valley

Max Slater-Robins

Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout T3.com, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.