Best games for Chrome OS: Alto’s Odyssey, Destiny 2, and more
Chrome OS isn’t exactly known as a gaming platform. Most people associate Chromebooks with low-cost machines that work great as a dedicated browser or school laptop. However, there are several options to enjoy fun games on your Chromebook or Chromebox. Most modern Chromebooks support Android apps, which also means Android games. Google has a number of simple games in the Chrome Store, ideal for passing the time on a break at work. Stadia is also available to play on your Chromebook, with several AAA titles to choose from.
If you feel overwhelmed navigating all of these options, we’ve got you covered. In this article we run down the best Chrome OS games in each category—Android apps, Chrome Store apps, and Stadia games.
There are a few important things to keep in mind while navigating this post. First, not all Android apps are optimized for Chrome OS. This means your favorite game might technically open on a Chromebook, but could be a terrible playing experience. Many of the games on this list also require a touchscreen Chromebook to play them properly — these are explicitly indicated as such in each section. Finally, note we chose a few games from each genre to compile this list. There are certainly numerous other deserving games, but we’ve curated a variety of games so everyone finds something they enjoy.
Android games (Play Store)
The single largest source for games on Chrome OS is the Google Play Store. If you own a newer Chromebook, you should be able to run Android apps right out of the box. Many older Chromebooks also received an update to enable Android app support.
One of the advantages to playing Android games on Chrome OS is familiarity. You already play games on your phone, so why not bring those over to your laptop? It’s important to remember some Android games are specifically optimized to run on the larger screen of your Chromebook. These games typically make for the best experience on Chrome OS. In addition, some games require a touchscreen for the full experience while others may have keyboard support. The Play Store has something for everyone, with millions of options to choose from.
Here are our 5 favorite Android games for your Chromebook.
Alto’s Odyssey is a serene action game that’s perfect for a Chromebook. This game is optimized for Chromebooks, so you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery with gorgeous full-screen visuals. The simplicity of the tap-to-play interface makes this the perfect game to play for a few minutes or a few hours. Easy to learn, difficult to master.
At the heart of the Alto series is an elegant one-touch trick system. Chain together combos, and complete 180 goals — all with intuitive controls. Overall, this is one of the best games on a Chromebook or Android phone to be honest. You need a touchscreen Chromebook for Alto’s Odyssey — there’s no keyboard interface available.
Play online or over local WiFi with 4-15 players as you attempt to prep your spaceship for departure, but beware as one will be an impostor bent on killing everyone! Crewmates can win by completing all tasks or discovering and voting the impostor off the ship. The Impostor can use sabotage to cause chaos, making for easier kills and better alibis.
This game is most fun if you play with a small group of friends. Among Us is also optimized for Chromebooks, giving you an enjoyable full screen experience. You should be aware this game will download additional game assets after you install the app — this is normal.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt is a well-known brand in the mobile racing genre. Immerse yourself in one of the most hyper-realistic arcade car racing games, with meticulously detailed rebel racing real cars, cool HDR techniques, and stunning visual and particle effects that turn every race into a real blockbuster race movie. Get the most of this car street racer game with the online multiplayer mode.
This game is a very large download (over 2GB) so make sure your Chromebook has plenty of available storage before heading to the Play Store. The developer did an excellent job of optimizing controls in Asphalt 9 for Chromebooks in particular. It’s hard to find a complicated Android game with better overall controls on a Chromebook. You’ll need a fairly high-end Chromebook to play this game without any stuttering — a core i5 or i7 would be ideal.
Create a brighter future…underground! Select from a variety of modern-day rooms to turn an excavation beneath 2,000 feet of bedrock into the very picture of Vault Life. Get to know your Dwellers and lead them to happiness. Find their ideal jobs and watch them flourish. Provide them with outfits, weapons, and training to improve their abilities.
This simulation game is one of the best free games you can find and will appeal to those that love The Sims franchise. It’s a pretty addictive game, so the in-app purchases can become a problem if you’re really into that vault-life!
If you’re from the Old School, you’ll feel the ‘90s nostalgia while you play this classic arcade sports game on Google Play. Featuring the voice of Tim Kitzrow (the original NBA JAM play-by-play announcer), you’ll hear all the classic catchphrases plus a few new ones. In addition to the nostalgic music and lingo, you get new players from the modern era. You can now play as Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and more.
Make sure you have a touchscreen Chromebook for this one as the keyboard doesn’t do anything here. This JAM is all about “boomshakalaka” – and beyond!
Chrome games (Chrome Store)
The Chrome Web Store is another place you can find games for your Chromebook. In fact, you can play these games on any device running a Chrome browser. This means you can technically play all of the games in this section on a Mac or Windows PC as well. Most of the games on the Chrome Web Store are simple games designed to pass the time while you work. While these games aren’t as involved as most of our Android selections, they still provide a fun way to take a break throughout the day.
If you need a quick moment of zen between tasks at work, BattleTabs is worth a look. This is a game to play with your friends or coworkers on your schedule. Simple multiplayer turn-based battles with viking ships in your browser’s new tab to play with other players. Connect with all your friends, and queue up multiple matches to play a few seconds at a time in-between your studying or work!
If the new tab mode bothers you, there’s also an option to turn this off and use the browser button to begin a session.
Meow,The Cat Pet
Meet your new virtual friend, Meow the Cat Pet. This game is about a pet named Meow, a lovely cat that will keep you company while you’re using your Google Chrome browser. The sweet cat will walk on your screen, talk to you, and wait for you to feed, play and pet him. He’ll also remind you to drink, blink, and correct your posture. You can also add your own reminders.
If you need a break from work, or if you’re just bored, you can join the playground. The playground is a play room with games, and a multiplayer chat room with other Meows from all over the world.
Play Tic-Tac-Toe (a.k.a Noughts and Crosses, Three in a Row, Tres en Raya) in single player mode against an AI player or in two player mode against your friends and family. You’ll be sure to enjoy the attractively colored boards and fun Mario sounds. The developer, tCubed, is well-known for putting fun twists on classic games and this game is no exception.
[FNF] Friday Night Funkin’ Games
Friday Night Funkin’ or how all the players knows them — FNF — is an open source rhythmical game where you need to press arrows in order to dance and battle different antagonists. The game was created by a group of users in a Newground competition called Ludum Dare 47. After the competition ended, the game became one of the most popular indie games with thousands of fans. The open-source nature of this game allows for users to create different mods, keeping it fun and fresh.
Boxel Rebound is also available on the Play Store, but it feels more at home as a Chrome extension. Master your jumping skills to conquer the most intense levels ever made! Create and share your own designs by using the built-in game editor. This game gets incredibly challenging as you get to the higher levels, so it’s unlikely you’ll run out of fun in your browser.
Perhaps the best gaming experience on a Chromebook is using Stadia. Stadia is Google’s cloud-based gaming platform that lets you play your favorite hit video games across screens instantly. You can play games on a Chromecast Ultra at home, your Chromebook on the go, or even on most newer Android phones. As it’s a cloud-based service, you can play Stadia games even on Chromebooks with low-end specs. To access Stadia, simply visit stadia.google.com in your Chrome browser.
For the best overall experience, it’s worth picking up a Stadia controller from Google for a more enjoyable experience. If you like using Stadia on your Chromebook, consider signing up for Stadia Pro (free trial available) to get access to new free games each month plus discounts on several AAA titles.
Download the Stadia mobile app below to get started playing all of these games on Stadia using a controller.
You are a Guardian, defender of the Last City of humanity in a solar system under siege by infamous villains. Look to the stars and stand against the darkness. Dive into the world of Destiny 2 to explore the mysteries of the solar system and experience responsive first-person shooter combat.
This game is an excellent option to test out Stadia as it’s completely free to play and showcases what the platform is capable of.
Cthulhu Saves Christmas
One of the more interesting JRPG’s out there, Cthulhu Saves Christmas combines a fairly unlikely cast of characters. Cthulhu joins Santa Claus’ daughter and some other helpers to try and rescue Christmas. The master of insanity, Cthulhu, has lost his powers and the only way he can get them back is by rescuing Santa Claus from the League of Christmas Evil. Join Cthulhu, the Snow Maiden, Baba Yaga-chan, and Belsnickel as they build R’lyehtionships, fight the League of Christmas Evil, and catch the Christmas spirit.
If you enjoy unique storylines, this game is one to check out. If you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, this game is free to add to your collection.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
One of the newer games to join the Stadia lineup, Bloodstained became available in early July 2021. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a gothic horror action side-scrolling RPG set in 18th century England. A paranormal force has summoned a demon-infested castle, revealing crystal shards infused with tremendous magical power.
Play as Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist’s curse which slowly crystallizes her body. To save humanity, and herself in the process, Miriam must fight through the castle and defeat the summoner, Gebel. Collect, craft and unlock a vast array of weapons, equipment and loot to defeat the countless minions and bosses of hell that await.
Octopath Traveler originally appeared back in 2018, with the Square Enix developed, classically-styled 2D JRPG proving to be a huge hit, selling over two million copies on Nintendo’s Switch console. Featuring the overlapping stories of eight different characters, it’s largely regarded as a modern classic of the genre, which made it a great choice for the Stadia lineup.
The Stadia version of the game also boasts improved 60fps at 4K settings, a huge improvement over the available configuration on the Switch when it initially launched.
The objective of Thumper is to guide a beetle-like creature along a single or multi-track through a series of unnerving worlds. The player must press a button to hit lit “notes” on the track in time with the background music, while also bracing against obstacles, turning against curved walls, jumping over spikes, and defeating enemies. The game is played in a third-person point of view with an extremely fast scrolling speed.
Each level is broken up into segments. After each segment, the player is given a score and a rating showing how well they did. The beetle can sustain one hit (a missed turn or crashing into an obstacle), and at certain places it can regain its shield if it’s lost. However, taking a second hit without its wing-shield in place will destroy it, and the level starts over at the last checkpoint. The player can repeat the segment as many times as is necessary to beat the level. This game is one of the cheaper options on Stadia for paid games, with a price tag of just $19.99.
Those are our favorite games to play on Chrome OS. You have a lot of options when it comes to gaming on your Chromebook. The OS often gets a bad wrap for lack of gaming support, but there are plenty of fun titles you can play right now. If you’re looking for a high-end Chromebook to play demanding games like Asphalt 9, check out our lists for the best HP Chromebooks and best Acer Chromebooks.
Now we’ve shared our picks, let us know what you’re playing on your Chromebook in the comments below.