NVIDIA’s line of SHIELD products is a great example of what Android can do when put in the right hands—SHIELD Tablet is still one of the best Android tablets around, and SHIELD Android TV is the top Android TV box you can buy.
Both products are incredibly powerful and versatile, but we all know at its core NVIDIA is a gaming company—not necessarily a company that makes games, but a company that is passionate about giving users the best experience from the games they play.
As a result, all the SHIELD devices were designed with gaming in mind. In fact, the original concept for SHIELD was what we now know as the SHIELD Portable—an Android-powered portable gaming console. The idea has since evolved and Portable is a bit long in the tooth, but the Tablet and Android TV units are still among the best in their respective classes for performance and gaming.
Because these are built with the idea that they can be used for more than simple pick up and play games, NVIDIA has invested a lot of time and dollars into releasing high-quality, console-quality games whose Android versions are available exclusively on SHIELD devices (though they may be available on other consoles, like Xbox, PlayStation, or PC). Here are some of the best titles that you’ll find on Google Play.
Note: All of these games require a controller to play.
Action is one of the most popular genres out there, but when it comes to Android games, there aren’t a lot of really good ones to choose from. So NVIDIA brought some of the best console games to SHIELD, including:
- Metal Gear Solid 2 HD ($14.99 – TV Only): Easily one of the best games to come out of the PlayStation 2 era, this game is a classic. And its SHIELD port plays perfectly.
- Metal Gear Rising Revengeance ($14.99 – TV Only): Another great title from the Metal Gear series, this one is super fast-paced with a lot going on all the time. It’s still pretty mind-blowing that this is on a mobile platform.
- Resident Evil 5 ($9.99 – TV Only): A PlayStation 3-era title released in 2009, this game plays incredibly well on SHIELD. Plus, who doesn’t love re-living all that Resident Evil horror action? Great game, especially for a ten spot.
- Tomb Raider ($14.99 – TV Only): This rebooted origin story for Lara Croft was originally released in 2013, and it’s one of the best games from the series. Its SHIELD port plays fluidly and looks fantastic. Fantastic.
- Borderlands 2 ($14.99 – TV and Tablet): Who doesn’t love Borderlands? People who haven’t played it, that’s who. But if you have a SHIELD TV or Tablet, this is on you have to pick up.
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel ($14.99 – TV and Tablet): The thing I said earlier about Borderlands? It applies here too.
I’ll admit, first person games aren’t generally my thing, but I get the appeal. If you’re a first-person kind of…um, person, then here are some games for you.
- Portal ($9.99 – TV, Tablet, and Portable): This iconic first-person puzzle game was so ahead of its time—in fact, this was one of the the launch games for SHIELD Portable. It really says something about the game that this was one of the first things NVIDIA ported to the SHIELD platform. Such an incredible game.
- Half-Life 2 ($9.99 – TV, Tablet, and Portable): I can’t confirm nor deny the existence of Half-Life 3 in any capacity, but I can tell you to play Half-Life 2 on SHIELD. It’s a classic.
- Half-Life 2, Episode 1 ($7.99 – TV and Tablet) : When you’re finished with Half-Life 2, you can play this one. It’s no Half-Life 3, but it’s the best you’re going to get.
- Half-Life 2, Episode 2 (7.99 – TV and Tablet): One more to add to the Half-Life list. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving…but still leaves you wanting Half-Life 3. Go figure.
Platformer, Puzzle, and Top-Down
This is admittedly a bit of a jumbled category, but it just makes sense because there’s one of each type of game. We have:
- Trine 2: Complete Story ($4.95 – TV and Tablet): This was the launch game for SHIELD Tablet and actually came pre-installed on the initial units. It’s a beautiful and immersive platformer than runs exceptionally well on SHIELD. Plus, for $5, there’s no reason not to have it.
- Contrast ($9.99 – TV and Tablet): This is easily one of the more unique games on the list. This puzzle/platformer allows you to move freely in between the 3D “real” world and a 2D shadow world to navigate through different challenges. It’s a fascinating play.
- Hotline Miami ($9.99 – TV and Tablet): If fast-paced insane action is what you’re after, Hotline Miami is your answer. This game is crazy.
There are a lot of games available for the SHIELD platform, and this is by no means a definitive list. It’s just a few of my suggestions on the best games that you can play right now—each of these titles are, at least in my opinion, worth the cost. But if you don’t mind waiting for good deals, NVIDIA occasionally drops the price for holidays and other sales. Keep an eye out if you’re into that sort of thing.