As reported by Android Authority,
Chrome OS isn’t the most popular gaming platform. It competes with PC, console, and mobile gaming devices like Android, iOS, and Switch. It’s a tough market but Chrome OS found a way. Google put the Google Play Store on Chromebooks and now those devices have access to tons and tons of games. Let’s take a look at the best Chromebook games from the Google Play Store.
Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
For this purposes of this list, we tried to only include games with good keyboard support since not all Chromebooks have a touch screen and not all people own a controller. Luckily, you have plenty of options. Google Play has a Chromebook section for some easy picks.
We also recommend checking out the Chromebook Perks page here to redeem free stuff in some other games. You can even score a free game from there sometimes. Of course, most controller-enabled games work on Chromecast as well if you have one. We have a list of the best games with controller support here if you want even more options.
Finally, we intentionally omitted Minecraft from the list. It actually works perfectly fine if you sideload the latest version (unless your Chromebook is old or low spec), but Microsoft doesn’t let you download it from the Play Store without an Office 365 Education account for some stupid reason. Finally, you can install Steam on Chromebooks, but it’s only worth doing if your Chromebook has top end specs.
Price: Free to play
Asphalt 8 is one of the most popular racing games on the Play Store. It’s also the last Asphalt game with true hardware controller support. It also works quite well on Chromebooks. The game has 290 officially licensed vehicles, 75 tracks, offline and online play, single and multiplayer modes, and tons of stuff to do. It still gets regular updates from Gameloft as well. The micro-transactions are a little heavier than we would like. However, it’s a great racer otherwise. It’s definitely one of the better online games for Chromebook as well.
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor Portal is a puzzle game. It blends Bridge Constructor elements with Portal elements for a unique experience. Players basically build a bridge to get from one end of the level to the other without failing. The game contains 60 levels, entertaining dialog, and various obstacles. There are also Google Play Games achievements as well has hardware controller support if you want to hook up a controller. Plus, the game is $4.99 with no in-app purchases or ads. It’s also free on Google Play Pass if you use it.
Dead Cells was actually free via Chromebook perks a while back so we know this one works well on the platform. It’s a roguelike metroidvania style game. That means it’s a platformer where the entire game world is interconnected. Plus, the game has perma-death so be careful when you play. The game also features nonlinear progression, super fun 2D combat, and boss fights. It’s a few versions behind the PC version but that only makes it harder. It’s definitely one fo the best games for Chromebook.
Doom & Destiny Advanced
Doom & Destiny Advanced is a JRPG title similar to old Final Fantasy games in the 1990’s. You gather a party, take down the main bad guys, explore dungeons, walk around the world map, and buy stuff in towns. That’s just the basic game play loop and there are other things to do. The game boasts 20 characters, tons of gear, over 1,000 locations, online battles, and more. The endgame gets a little difficult but otherwise this is about as good as JRPGs get for Chromebooks right now.
Doom and Doom II
Price: $4.99 each
Doom and Doom II are probably your best bet for premium FPS games on Chromebook for now. The games are faithful ports of the originals and also include some extra content. For instance, Doom II includes 20 additional levels from the base version. Believe it or not, the keyboard support is actually quite good and you can game with the keyboard and trackpad or mouse if you have one. The games also run for $4.99 each and it should run smoothly on most Chromebooks.
Game Dev Tycoon
Game Dev Tycoon is a popular recommendation for Chromebook games. It’s a simulation game where players build a whole game studio from scratch. You start in a bedroom with a computer and build the business out from there. It features simple controls, a fair amount of depth, and an optional pirate mode. The pirate mode makes you deal with people stealing your games and cutting into your profits. The game runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases. It’s also free via Google Play Pass. This one is easily one of the best games for Chromebook.
Price: Free / $2.99
PinOut is an infinite runner arcade game mixed with a pinball game. It’s actually pretty simple. Players use two pinball flappers to shoot the ball through the game. As the ball makes it through a checkpoint, a new set of flappers appear to keep the ball rolling, so to speak. Chromebook players use the left and right shift keys to control the flappers. It’s an entertaining game. We highly recommend the premium version since it enables continues. The free version only has the infinite runner mode where you start over if you fail. Mars: Mars (Google Play link) also works with keyboards and has similar controls (a left and right booster). You can play that one if you want something a bit slower. It’s certainly one of the fun Chromebook games for kids as well.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Riptide GP: Renegade is a criminally underrated racing game. Players race jet skis instead of cars in this one and the wave mechanics add a bit of nuance to the racing part of it. You start as a disgraced racer trying to make a comeback. There are various vehicles to unlock and upgrade, a split-screen multiplayer mode, online multiplayer, and a good career mode. The keyboard arrows help you direct the jet ski and you don’t actually need a touch screen for any of it. It’s also free on Google Play Pass if you use it.
Price: Free to play
Unlike Minecraft, Roblox actually works pretty well on Chromebooks. The game’s creative modes let you play a wide variety of game types. There are FPS games, adventure games, hack and slash, multiplayer, and tons of other options. It’s honestly one of the most varied games on any platform. It works quite well with Chromebook keyboards so you shouldn’t need your touch pad for much. It’s definitely one of the best free games for Chromebook.
Rollercoaster Tycoon is a classic PC game. It launched on Google Play a few years ago and it works pretty well with most Chromebooks. There are no keyboard controls but the game relies heavily on menu clicking rather than keyboard stuff so it’s fine either way. The game had some issues with zooming a few years ago, but pinch to zoom on the trackpad should work for all modern Chromebooks. The game contains Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2. There are also some DLC packs you can buy for even more content.
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Rusted Warfare is a traditional real-time strategy game. It boasts both online and offline play, simple RTS mechanics, and over 40 units to build and attack with. It comes with native keyboard and mouse support out of the box so your Chromebook should play wonderfully with it. The graphics won’t win any awards, but this is honestly one of the better RTS games in the Play Store whether it’s a phone or a laptop. The $1.99 price tag is also dirt cheap for how much content you get.
SimplePlanes is an aviation simulator. Players can build their own planes, fly them around, and just enjoy the act of building and flying planes. The game also includes real-time damage for things like over-stressing the plane or hitting stuff. There is also a sandbox mode, various challenges to complete, and various customization tools. It doesn’t have the best graphics, but the game play mechanics are solid. It requires both the mouse and touch pad so there is a bit of a learning curve but it’s not a big deal. Also, the game is free via Google Play Pass if you have it.
Price: $2.99 with in-app purchases
Slawaway Camp is a horror-puzzle game with tons of gore. It’s not really that scary but the horror genre basically means it’s not kid-friendly and this one is not kid friendly. The game contains 140 levels, various obstacles to overcome, and even a metal soundtrack to keep things interesting. The game works almost entirely with just a keyboard and it’s fairly entertaining overall.
Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, and CD
Price: Free / $1.99 each
The SEGA Forever series isn’t the most popular set of games on the Play Store, but there are some good things for Chromebook players. Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and Sonic CD Classic all function with basically just the keyboard. You use the arrow keys to move Sonic and the J button to jump. Since those are the only two controls, you’re ready to go. All three games are free via Google Play Pass. You also may want to try other SEGA Forever games since many of them boast controller support and may include keyboard support as well. They’re all free to download with the premium version coming from an in-app purchase.
Stardew Valley is arguably the best farming simulator on the Play Store. It also works quite well with Chromebooks. The game is single-tap so most of your navigation is done with a mouse. Still, there are some keyboard shortcuts to make life a little easier in the game. You start with a rundown farm and must build it back up. There are also little mini-games and a nearby village where you can help people. It’s a premium game with no in-app purchases. You can also play it free via Google Play Pass. This is one of the great mobile games and definitely one of the best games for Chromebook too.
Bonus: Google Stadia
Price: Free / Varies / $9.99 per month
Google Stadia works perfectly on Chromebooks. In fact, that’s how Google intends to introduce AAA games to the platform. You buy the controller and pay for the optional subscription. From there, simply buy the games you like and play them. Everything takes place in the cloud so you only need the app installed on your machine and a really good, solid Internet connection. The app is available via Google Play and here is a list of Stadia games available right now. You can also learn more about Stadia here.
Bonus: Most single tap touch games
Price: Free / Varies
Here’s the thing, Android games on Chromebooks open in a windowed emulator. You still have full access to your mouse and keyboard while you play. Most games don’t support the keyboard, but the mouse is universally available. The mouse works like a finger. Thus, games like Clash of Clans, the Telltale Games franchise, Gorogoa, Super Mario Run, most gacha RPGs, and most card dueling games like Hearthstone are easily playable on Chromebooks despite not having official support. I even tested Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and it worked fine once I turned the graphic settings down. You can play basically any Android game that you could otherwise play with a single finger as long as the single finger controls aren’t too ridiculous. The only caveat here is not every Chromebook can run every game without crashing so there’s a lot of trial and error.
Price: Free / Varies
Emulators are an easy recommendation for games to play on Chromebook. Most of them let you custom map a game controller. You can simply use your keyboard instead. There are emulators for SEGA Genesis, SNES, NES, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, GameCube, and several others. You have to procure your own game ROMs, but otherwise this is a good way to play a ton of classics very easily. Here is our list of the best emulators in the Play Store to help you find the good ones. This is also a great source of offline games for Chromebook.
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If we missed any great Chromebook games, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.