As NVIDIA proclaims in every piece of marketing, the Shield Android TV box is "the streamer for gamers." It also happens to be the best TV streaming box for playing games developed for Android TV from the Google Play Store. Want to start playing? Here are some games to try.
Note: The NVIDIA Shield TV (2019) is not quite as gamer-ready as its predecessors and the Shield TV Pro (2019). NVIDIA went with a 32-bit version of Android TV and also downgraded the RAM on its tube-shaped streaming dongle to just 2GB. This has affected the base model's compatibility with some 64-bit games from the Play Store including several on this list (Borderlands, Metal Gear Solid 2, Half-Life 2, The Witness, and Portal). Meanwhile, the NVIDIA Shield TV Pro (2019) is still fully compatible to play all games developed for the Shield lineup.
An epic zombie-filled road trip
Death Road To Canada
Death Road to Canada is one of those games that offers a unique gaming experience every time you play and is full of unexpected surprises. It's a survival game where your goal is to outrun a zombie apocalypse by driving to Canada. Featuring randomly generated locations, characters, and events, it's a game that's chock-full of surprises that will keep you coming back for more.
Explore alien planets
Morphite is sort of a mix between No Man's Sky and something like Metroid Prime, wherein there's a whole universe of procedurally generated planets to explore like the former alongside a full-fledged campaign mode with missions that require space combat, puzzle-solving, and platforming. While it played pretty well on a smartphone, it really reaches new heights playing it on a big TV screen with a controller in your hand.
Hide in a box
Metal Gear Solid 2 HD
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is arguably the best game in Hideo Kojima's legendary series and you can relive it all in the HD remastered version for the NVIDIA Shield. Step into the role of Solid Snake as he sneaks through a heavily-defended tanker to gather intel on a new Metal Gear weapon in development, and then play as Raiden, a rookie Spec Ops agent who's on a mission to infiltrate an evil corporation's compound to save the President… and the world!
Traffic is a mother trucker
ClusterTruck is a frantic physics-based first-person platformer where your goal is to leap between semi-trucks that are just barrelling down roads and getting blown up by falling rocks, laser beams, and all other sorts of crazy obstacles. You want to go as fast as possible, but if you touch the ground you lose. This is a great game to take turns playing with friends, as it's basically like playing "the floor is lava" with super-human jumping powers.
High concept puzzle game
If you consider yourself a hardcore puzzle gamer, you owe it to yourself to check out The Witness, one of the most beautifully crafted and challenging puzzle games ever conceived. At first glance, this appears to be a rather standard puzzle adventure game, where you wander around a mysterious island solving grid puzzles all the livelong day, things become quite layered as you start to unravel the true nature of the island and just how deep the puzzle theme extends
Epic loot shooter
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The Borderlands franchise is a gloriously unique first-person shooter, mixing genre elements from action, RPG, and FPS into an addictive experience that's topped off with the beautiful cel-shaded graphics and a storyline featuring razor-sharp wit. The Pre-Sequel was originally released in 2014 for the major consoles and fits in story-wise between the first and second Borderland games. As such, it largely uses the game mechanics from Borderlands 2, while adding in some new weapons and elements. The game also supports co-op play, although sadly, no split-screen co-op is available at this time.
Wacky couch multiplayer fun
Ultimate Chicken Horse
Ultimate Chicken Horse is a unique party platformer that'll have you and your friends gather around the TV like it was 1998 again. Equal parts strategic and stupid, this game is great fun to get a few friends together and have at it (if you've got the right number of Shield controllers to accommodate the crew — third-party Bluetooth controller support is lacking). The goal is to build a level with enough traps to sabotage your opponents while leaving a clean route for yourself to make it through the level and reach the goal. Everything is packaged in a fun, cartoony art style, with a host of farm animals as your disposal as playable characters.
Construct bridges…with Portals!
Bridge Constructor Portal
Bridge Constructor is a great physics-based puzzle game in its own right, but the Portal spin-off takes the concept and adds in all the wacky elements from Aperture Laboratories. Through 60 test chambers, your goal is to get the test vehicles to the end of the course any way you can using portals, along with propulsion and repulsion gels while avoiding deadly lasers, pits of acid, and sentient turrets. It's an outstanding cross-over title that provides a challenge that will delight fans of Bridge Constructor and Portal alike.
Not your grandma's Metal Gear
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Right off the hop, for those wondering this game is nothing like the stealth action found in Metal Gear Solid, the crown jewel of the Metal Gear franchise. Instead, this is a slick-looking hack-and-slash action spin-off title starring Raiden, whom fans will remember best from the aforementioned Metal Gear Solid 2. he story revolves around conflicts between rival Private Military Companies, with some corporations actively looking to court chaos to keep the war economy chugging along. We won't dive too much into the plot specifics, but just want to reiterate that this is nothing like the gameplay found in Metal Gear Solid games.
As we wait for the sequel…
Half-Life 2 is a masterpiece of a game. It's the sequel to 1998's groundbreaking first-person shooter Half-Life. If you own an NVIDIA Shield and have never played Half-Life 2, you owe it to yourself to check this game out. You don't have to have played the first one, but if you need a bit of the backstory: You play as Gordon Freeman, a quiet scientist who previously worked for Black Mesa Research Facility and accidentally opened a portal to another dimension. Half-Life 2 picks up with Freeman being awoken from stasis, learning that the world has fallen under the control of the Combine, an inter-dimensional empire that has implemented a brutal worldwide police state to control the human race.
Step aside, Mr. Hawk
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka
Fans of the classic Tony Hawk Pro Skater games from back in the day who lament the storied franchise's current state should check out Skateboard Party 3. It's a throwback game to those classic skateboarding games we loved from the late 90s and early 00s before things went awry. The game physics and controls feel very familiar and you're given a couple of game modes to choose from. In Career mode, you get four minutes to explore the eight different locations and rack up a huge score, collect P-A-R-T-Y scattered around as floating letters, and find other hidden items. Things are unlocked by spending experience points, which you collect by completing challenges and landing tricks.
Another classic from Valve
When you're making a list of best games, and Portal is one of the options to include, you know it's going to be in there. It is one of the most fun and inventive games of all time. If you've never played Portal before, I'm actually jealous because it means you get to experience this outstanding game fresh for the first time. This game is celebrated justly for its brilliantly subtle storyline, mind-bending puzzles, and one of the most celebrated video game villains of recent times. It's been ported beautifully over to the NVIDIA Shield TV via the Google Play Store.
There's even more on GeForce Now
Beyond the offerings from the Google Play Store, NVIDIA offers its own GeForce Now service which lets you stream a whole bunch of great PC games from the cloud, including the insanely popular Fortnite. You'll find many games available to play for free, while other AAA titles are available for purchase.
Load up your Google Play account
Google Play Gift Card
Pay to play
Getting a play gift card is the safest way to load up your Google account with credit to use towards buying premium games without overspending.