Google Play’s Best of 2021: check out the list of best apps and games in 2021

Following its end-of-year traditions, Google has announced the “Google Play’s Best of 2021” list, highlighting the best apps and games for the year 2021. The names of the winners are here and just like last year’s list, Google Play’s Best of 2021 has several categories, including Best App, Best Game, Best Indie Games, Best Hidden Gems, Best app for Personal Growth, and a whole bunch of other genres as well. 

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2021 is finally coming to end, paving the way for the year 2022. The year 2021 saw many different and innovative apps that changed lives, aided work-from-home routines, helped gamers achieve new milestones, and much more. Google Play’s Best of 2021 list is region-centric and may or may not include apps popular in different countries. For the Indian list, you can check out some of the best apps and games from Google Play’s Best of 2021.

What is Google Play’s Best of 2021?

Google Play’s Best of

Every year, Google acknowledges Android applications and games that made a significant impact on the masses. These can include games, news apps, entertainment apps, video streaming apps, and more. To encourage creators, Google organizes Google Play’s Best of to represent these apps in front of millions of Android users. Last year’s list included some of the most underrated names in the Android ecosystem with Sleep stories for calm sleep – Meditate with Wysa, taking the crown for the Best Android App of 2020. Likewise, the year 2021 has a lot of applications and video games with Bitclass crowned as the ‘Best App’ of the year in India. 

Google Play’s Best App of the year award

The best app of the year is a significant award because there are over 1.85 million applications on Google Play Store, and selecting a single one is arduous. However, Google has selected the winner and the award for the best app of the year goes to BitClass. It is one of the kind live learning platforms to learn and grow in a 2-way interactive classroom. 

Let’s take a look at all the other categories and check if your favourite app has won a spot in Google Play’s Best of 2021 list. 

Google Play’s Users’ Choice App award

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that brought people together was technology. Especially the video conference apps that allowed multiple users to interact with each other. Clubhouse by Alpha Exploration Co won the Google Play’s Users’ Choice App award for 2021. The application is touted to be an audio-based social media platform, where users can join voice-based chat rooms and discuss topics of their liking. From fashion, comics, documentaries, news, and more, Clubhouse offers a real-time conversation with real people from around the world. 

Best apps for fun

  • Clubhouse: The Social Audio App: Clubhouse is a social interaction app where participants chat through an audio-based system. 
  • FrontRow: Learn Singing, Music, Rap, Comedy & more: FrontRow is an online education platform for passionate people who want to learn music, music, singing, and production through video lectures. 
  • Hotstep: It is an online platform where fitness enthusiasts come together. Hotstep allows users to share their experiences and share live sessions with others. 

Best hidden gems

  • Jumping Minds – Talk & Feel Better!: Jumping Minds is a social app that allows users to chat 1-1 with people. It is a friendly community for anonymous chatting. 
  • FWD Learn Leadership, Product, Marketing Skills: This app allows you to learn and upgrade your skills with its extensive guides on product management, copywriting, growth marketing skills to soft skills like time management and more.
  • Moonbeam | Podcast Discovery: This app allows you to find relevant podcasts in your preferred niche. It also allows you to save, share, and get inspired by your favourite podcasters.

Best everyday essentials apps

  • Guardians from Truecaller: This is a must-have app for people who like going over new places, travelling outside, or walking down to home at night. With Guardians from Truecaller, you can be safe and sound wherever you are in the world.
  • SARVA – Yoga & Meditation: Yoga & Meditation: SARVA is a modern-day yoga app that allows you to meditate and learn about healthier lifestyles.
  • Sortizy – Recipes, Meal Planner, and Grocery Lists: This app allows you to plan your meals, add grocery lists, manage kitchens, and pretty much everything you need from a cooking app.

Best apps for Personal Growth

Best apps for good

  • Being: your mental health friend: This is another app that aims at mental health issues. ‘Being’ is a self-therapy app for people struggling with anxiety, loneliness, and other mental health issues.
  • Evergreen Club – Health, Fitness, Fun & Learning: This app aims at physical and mental health among senior adults. Evergreen Club is a community of people which allows users to interact with like-minded people.
  • Speechify – text to speech tts: Speechify is a text to speech converter which allows you to convert any written text into an audio overlay. Users can create audio stories, narrations, and a bunch of other audio products using Speechify.

Best apps for wear

  • Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax: Calm is sleep and meditation which offers stress reduction, sleep-guided meditation, and more. With multiple breathing programs and relaxing music, you can rest peacefully after a busy day.
  • MyFitnessPal – Calorie Counter: This app is for health enthusiasts and people who love reading about food, calories, and health. It also features a free calorie counter that tracks health and fitness in one.
  • Sleep Cycle: Sleep Tracker: As the name already suggests, this app helps in tracking your sleep cycles and also features a smart alarm clock to help you wake up in the morning,

Best apps for tablets

  • Canva: Design, Photo & Video: Canva is a photo editing app that allows you to create stunning industry-ready images. The best part is it’s free and offers pre-made templates to create beautiful posters/banners for free.
  • Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw: This app allows you to think, plan and create sketches from your imagination. From creating images to doodling, Concepts allows users to create meaningful art right from their tablets and smartphones.
  • Houzz – Home Design & Remodel: This application helps design interiors of houses, buildings, remodelling structures, and everything related to architecture. Get the best ideas for your home and design your home like you always wanted to.

Google Play’s Best Game of the year award

The award for the Best Game of the year goes to Battlegrounds Mobile India or is often appreciated as BGMI. Battlegrounds Mobile India was released on July 2nd, 2021, and it is one of the few mobile games to get over 50 million in less than a year. After the PUBG: Mobile ban, BGMI paved the way for battle royale games and is considered one of the best games ever created for Indian audiences.

Google Play’s Users’ Choice Game award

Users’ Choice Game award holds special value because it represents the collective mindsets of gamers in India. This year, the award has been bagged by the Garena Free Fire Max, which is an upgraded version of the Garena Free Fire. It offers the same battle royale game with a new sleek look and extended graphics. Garena Free Fire MAX has over 50 million downloads on Google Play Store, and it is arguably one of the most played battle royale video games in the world.

Best competitive games

  • Battlegrounds Mobile India: Battlegrounds Mobile India is a battle royale game. 100 players test their battle skills in single, duo, and squad modes against other players.
  • MARVEL Future Revolution: It is a role-playing marvel game that allows players to play as the characters from the 2021 Marvel Studios’ “Eternals.”
  • Pokémon UNITE: Face off other players in a 5-on-5 team battle mode and test your Pokémon knowledge against other players. Prevent other teams from scoring and winning matches.
  • Summoners War: Lost Centuria: Dive into the world of real-time strategy RPG and summon your favourite monsters to fight against your opponents. Go on a quest and participate in loots in your nearby villages.
  • Suspects: Mystery Mansion: A one-of-a-kind game where you have to solve murders while nine other players accompany you on your quests. Find out who the killer is and continue your investigation in this 2D action video game.

Best game changers

  • JanKenUP!: Play rock, paper, and scissors in a new style and unlock new characters while fighting in a never-ending elevator. 
  • NieR Re[in]carnation: The next-gen RPG from the NieR series shares the story of a place known as age and how it will unfold the story of a young girl who explores this new world of dreams. 
  • Tears of Themis: This game features the classic simulation stories where mysteries linger throughout the chapters and test your judgment about good and evil.
  • Unmaze – a myth of shadow & light:  Unmaze is a visual novel where players play as Ariadne and learn the truth about Theseus. This game requires interactions, learning, knowledge of Greek mythology,’s and a whole lot of other psychological elements.

Best pick up and play games

  • Cats in Time – Relaxing Puzzle Game: Cats in Time is a puzzle game where players have to find some missing cats. Players can time travel through ancient Egypt, all the way to the streets of late 20’s, and find clues for puzzles. 
  • Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!: Run, jump, and spin to avoid obstacles. Keep calm and defeat the henchmen of Doctor Neo Cortex while running at full speeds inside mountains and cities.
  • Dadish 2: Dive into the world of Dadish and accompany the protagonist of the story who happens to be a dad as well as a radish. Set off the adventure into space and help Radish reunite with his kids. 
  • Disney POP TOWN: Another puzzle-style game from Disney. This is the second season of the Disney POP TOWN and features a ton of new items and new gaming modes. 
  • Switchcraft: Magical Match 3: Dive into the world of Switchcraft. A puzzle-style video game featuring a witch Academy and a town full of mysteries.

Best indie games

  • Bird Alone: Share your worries and life experience with your virtual pet parrot. Become the best friend to your pet parrot and talk with it about anything to ease your mind. 
  • DeLight: The Journey Home: Explore a pitch dark world and follow the story of a girl blinded in the war. Find resources, meet survivors and help her survive this perilous journey.
  • Huntdown: Spread chaos on the street, fight criminals with all your might, and clean the street from violence and anarchy.
  • My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge: Follow the story of Pedro and help him get revenge for his family. Enter the world of violence and redemption with your friend Pedro.
  • Ronin: The Last Samurai: Dive into the world of samurai and play as the most eminent figure in the samurai world and defeat your enemies using your sword skills.

Best games for tablets

  • Chicken Police – Paint it RED!: Follow Sonny Featherland and Marty MacChicken on their detective journey as the Chicken Police. The duo comes back from retirement, and it is up to you to find the culprit of a new police case.
  • My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge: Enter the world of revenge and help your friend Pedro to redeem his life. Find culprits who killed his family and help him get revenge in this existing action game. 
  • Overboard!:
  • The Procession to Calvary: Join the adventure of pirates and conspire with cardinals to loot wealth from your enemies. The Procession to Calvary is a Pythonesque adventure game highlighting the period of Renaissance paintings and wars.

This year’s Google list of best apps and games shows an inclination towards skill learning, creativity, and fun when it comes to games and apps. Let us know in the comment box below if your favourite app or game is in the list.

Ashish Khaitan

Ashish Khaitan is a Delhi University graduate with 2+ years of experience in tech writing. He has written troubleshooting guides for hardware and software products, and has previously worked for publications like AnimeIndia and OTAKUSMART. Ashish covers deals, gaming and features on Pricebaba. He enjoys reading comics and is a big fan of Japanese anime.