Top 100 Greatest iPad And iPhone Games
It’s no secret that Apple’s iPhone has changed the way we play games. Instantly accessible, and with ridiculous amounts of choice, the AppStore is only limited by the developers who create games for it.
And yet while we love the App Store, the sheer wealth of apps that are available on it make it increasingly harder to find the best games. Sure you can look at the highest rating categories, but they change so often that you’re always going to miss great games.
It’s also worth noting that there is a wealth of fantastic titles available that go largely unnoticed because they lack the pull of big publishers, or aren’t connected to huge franchises.
Sure, you might discover them because they occasionally appear on a forum, but they largely go unnoticed through no fault of their own because they are up against so much stiff competition.
Consider this brief guide then as a way of readdressing the balance somewhat. Yes you’ll no doubt spot some games here that you’re already aware of; hell, you might even own some of them.
You know them because they deserve their recognition, but we’re betting that the games you don’t know here will easily outweigh the ones you do.
So grab your iPhone, find yourself a solid Wi-Fispot and prepare to download some of the games that we just can’t get enough of. We’re pretty confident you’re going to end up feeling the same way.
Some games define what the iPhone is all about. Here are a few of the best.
If ever you needed an example of a true iPhone success story, it’s the excellent Angry Birds. Everything about it has been carefully orchestrated to turn it into one of the iPhone’s most essential games.
For starters it’s hellishly addictive, offering a ‘just one more go’ approach that other titles just can’t compete with. Then there are the wonderfully precise controls that perfectly play to the iPhone’s strength, the sensible price point and the stylish visuals.
Best of all, though, are the massive updates that constantly ensure that the game remains fresh and exciting to play. Angry Birds is the app that all other developers are be trying to beat. It really is that good.
Yes, there are undoubtedly better tower-defence games available, but this is one of the first and it introduced gamers to a brand-new genre.
Not so much a game, as an actual experience. Constant support from its developer has made this amazingly popular.
Again, its sequel has managed to eclipse it, but this was a revolution on release and showed off the accelerometer perfectly. A true iPhone classic.
Cut the Rope
While this isn’t the first physics-based puzzle game, it sets an impossibly high standard that all similar apps now have to try to beat. Good luck with that.
Tap Tap Revenge
Guitar Hero and Rock Band have better presentation, but Tap Tap Revenge set the standard for rhythm-action games.
There are now better examples, but this run-’em-up still delivers thanks to excellent visuals and awesome sound.
Draw Race was a unique take on the racing game that saw you directing your car by drawing its route with your finger. Even now it remains equal.
Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor
With its superb visuals and smart controls, Spider revealed a new way of playing adventure games on iPhone.
PopCap Games is brilliant at reinventing well-known games and genres. This match-three puzzler is one of the best currently out there.
Fancy testing your grey matter instead of your reflexes? Then join us as we reveal five of the best puzzle games that are currently available on iPhone.
Slicing shapes sounds simple, but these devious puzzles are anything but.
PopCap delivers a great variation on the traditional word search game.
Wonderfully cerebral numbers game that looks basic but is insanely addictive.
This app boasts hundreds of puzzles such as crosswords and word searches.
Line Up 2
Tap matching colours to make them disappear. Simple but scarily playable.
Sometimes you just want to give your brain a good workout. These games are perfect for your needs.
Rebirth Of Fortune
Fans of Final Fantasy Tactics will be in seventh heaven as this clone does a fantastic job of capturing all the elements of the hit turn-based strategy game.
Sid Meier’s popular console game has an excellent iPad port. Ignore the iPhone version, as the iPad’s larger screen makes this a dream to play.
Battle for Wesnoth
Another turn-based strategy game that has received a lot of updates from its developer. It’s a bit complicated but has masses of depth.
Superb turn-based strategy game that is constantly evolving due to developer support. It also boasts great online play for up to eight players.
The popular German board game gets a faithful port to the iPad. While the computer AI is extremely devious, this works best with other players.
Sometimes a game comes along that’s so different to the norm you just don’t know what to do with it. Here are three of our favourite oddities.
As crazy as it sounds, this ridiculously addictive blaster has you shooting pink bears that will vomit out rainbows when they die. It’s insanely bizarre but also a hell of a lot of fun to play.
This physics-based platformer has you guiding a ragdoll-type creature around the screen with your thumbs. It’s rather fiddly and strange, but is utterly compelling at the same time.
Robot Unicorn Attack
Starting off life as a flash game, this remarkably crazy effort features unicorns, rainbows, vividly pink backdrops and the magic of Erasure’s Always. Truly ridiculous but strangely enjoyable.
Protect your picnic feast from a never-ending supply of parachuting birds with the help of a catapult and a bright orange monster. Nutty.
More and more console games are getting ported to iPhone and iPad but are they any good?
While we’re perfectly confident that EA could have created a first-person version of its cult next-gen game, this is easily the next best thing. Taking control of runner Faith, you have to guide her through a selection of fiendishly designed levels, always ensuring that you keep her momentum at its maximum.
Simple taps and swipes allow Faith to pull off a variety of moves and it’s all married to some truly sensational visuals that perfectly capture the spirit of the original console game.
Originally an iPad launch game and now on iPhone, it’s somewhat telling of Mirror’s Edge’s quality that nothing else comes close for sheer addictiveness.
Assassin’s Creed II
It’s far more linear than its open-world bigger brother, as you would
probably expect, but this still feels like the original game thanks
to some very impressive visuals and precise controls.
Splinter Cell: Conviction
While a high-definition version of this game does exist, the positions of the controls make this edition of Splinter Cell: Conviction far more suitable for play on the iPhone. A great game.
Call Of Duty: Zombies
Call Of Duty: Zombies takes a massive hit graphically, but it’s amazing how well this port replicates the controls and feel of the original. This is a great addition to the superb COD franchise.
Need For Speed: Shift
Unsurprisingly, it has less options than the console versions, but Need For Speed: Shift’s amazing visuals and slick, responsive controls make the iPhone version a pleasing alternative to Electronic Arts’ brilliant console racer.
Test your reactions with these fun shooting games. You’ll need a good eye and quick movements if you want to be the best.
Test your reactions with this fun gallery game. The controls are extremely responsive and precise, while it includes both a score attack and time trial mode.
Wild West Guns
Despite getting on in age, Gameloft’s excellent Wild West shooter remains an enduring time-waster thanks to its great visuals, precise controls and large number of gameplay modes.
Metal Gear Solid Touch
Aside from its barmy plot, this is very different to traditional Metal Gear games. It’s still great, though, thanks to challenging gameplay and its pinch controls.
Time Crisis 2nd Strike
Visually this is absolutely stunning, but the occasionally unresponsive controls and the way your finger can obscure certain enemies make it rather annoying at times.
3D Pro Shooting
Tilt the iPad to aim in this surprisingly enjoyable skeet shooter variant. Smart visuals, tight controls and a variety of gameplay modes make this a winner.
Sometimes a game is so simple, or so flawlessly designed that you just can’t put it down. Here are the games that we’ve wasted our lives on.
Paper Toss requires you to do nothing more than flick a rolled-up piece of paper into a nearby bin. It sounds ridiculously simple in concept, requiring you to do little more than flick your finger in the direction that you want your ball to travel.
The catch here, though, is that a fan is in place, which will blow your shots off course if you’re not careful. With the wind direction changing for each shot you need a steady eye and good reflexes in order to accumulate as many accurate shots as possible. Once you pick it up it becomes impossible to put down.
Game Dev Story
This might seem like a strange choice at first. After all it’s nothing more than a strategy game that has you managing a team of game devs. And yet once you start designing your games you’ll find that you lose all sense of time.
Eating, working and even sleeping seem unimportant when you’re trying to create a million-selling game and even when you’re not playing Game Dev Story you’ll be dreaming up new game concepts to ensure that your team’s next project will be a winner. So addictive it should come with a government health warning.
Geometry Wars Touch
Shoot-’em-ups, by their very nature, are addictive to play, but when it comes to score- attack madness on iPhone, nothing comes close to Geometry Wars Touch. While the precise controls and stylish retro graphics are fine, it’s the number of game modes – seven – that ensures you’ll constantly return to it.
The different modes range from time attacks to surviving as long as you can without firing and each and every one of them is hellishly addictive. Add in Facebook support and online leaderboards and it’s quite possible that you’ll never find time for another shooter again.
Flight Control has been a phenomenal success on iPhone and it’s not hard to see why. Several runways are situated on screen and you simply guide planes to their correct landing strip. Initially things start off slowly, a little too slowly in fact, with jets and helicopters lazily drifting on screen.
Before long, though, things get hectic, and you’re soon juggling an insane number of planes. The genius of Firemint’s game, though, is that you’re convinced you’ll do better once you do eventually crash and you’ll simply start a new game. Again and again and again.
Sometimes a game comes along that’s so simple you just can’t put it down. Sneezies is one such game. Each level consists of a number of Sneezies trapped in bubbles. Tap them and they’ll sneeze, hopefully catching a nearby Sneezy and triggering off a chain reaction.
It’s a wonderfully addictive title that constantly pulls you back for one more go because you’re convinced that you’ll nail a screen and be able to clear every last one of the cute critters. OpenFeint support also ensures you’ll constantly be playing in order to stay on top of the leaderboards.
We investigate the games that give you the best and worst bang for your buck.
An endlessly playable racer. Impressively, a new track is
generated each time you play.
Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes
This game can last forever as it generates new characters from
your iPod’s music files.
This is an insanely addictive game, somehow, that has you breeding different things of frogs.
Spider-Man: Total Mayhem
There are plenty of levels, moves and unlockables here to justify the
hefty £3.99/$6.99 price tag.
Dull and costly shooter. Not worth the cash.
It may be free, but you pay real money for additional poorly emulated games.
Discover if the classic arcade and computer games you used to play as a child retain their magic on the iPhone and iPad.
Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars: Director’s Cut HD
Improves on the original by offering brand-new sections of the adventure that let you play as journalist Nico. A must-have.
Forget Pac-Man, this is the retro game you should own. It remains immense fun to play and has a range of different controls that work perfectly.
The Splatterhouse controls are a little stodgy in places, but this gory brawler is still great fun to play. It still looks superb and features an all- new Rush mode.
The Secret Of Monkey Island Special Edition
Monkey Island works exceptionally well on the iPhone. It also benefits from slick new visuals and an excellent audio track.
ZX Spectrum Elite Collection
On the one hand this app offers access to 12 classic Spectrum games that are perfectly emulated. It’s only let down by occasionally questionable controls.
The shoot-’em-up is one of gaming’s most-enduring genres, but also one that’s been sadly in decline for several years. Japanese developer Cave has breathed new life into the shooter though, thanks to amazingly precise controls that make playing with a joystick feel like pushing around a trolley with a missing wheel. Well worth a go, this proves that the genre still has something to offer.
Gather friends and family around your iPad and participate in.
Gameloft’s port of the popular card game is great fun. Ideally suited for multiple players, it is fast and frantic fun that never gets boring.
What happens when you turn Pong into a four-player game and add amazing physics and power-ups? You get the best fun it’s possible to have on the iPad, that’s what.
A truly superb adaptation of the hit family board game by Electronic Arts. The fact that you can use your iPhone as a tile rack is a really nice touch.
Best described as a space- age version of Risk, this is a truly superb multiplayer game that features a variety of game modes and stable play.
Sometimes you want to justify your purchase. Other times you just want to shut your friends up. These great apps will do just thatShow-off
Sometimes you want to justify your purchase. Other times you just want to shut your friends up. These great apps will do just that.
Infinity Blade has been causing ripples through the mobile gaming world for some time now. With a simple interface that has you slicing across the screen to execute sword slashes and pressing buttons to dodge, some of the sword fights you undertake will be immense. It looks bloody amazing too.
Plants Vs Zombies HD
Plants Vs Zombies HD proves just how good touch controls are in the right hands.
Zen Bound 2
Now and then a game comes out that shows off both the iPhone’s visuals and its innovative control system. Zen Bound’s superb sequel is one such game. It started off on PC, but soon made the hand-held switchover, with the tactile experience it now offers making it perfect for Apple’s machine.
There are plenty of first-person shooters on iPhone now, but nothing comes close to the sheer magnificence that is Rage HD.
A great, solid flying game to begin with, but when you factor in the way in which you can use your iPad as a main screen (or plug it into a TV) and your iPhone or iPod touch as a separate controller, then in Chopper 2 you have something impressively innovative that oozes wonder. The cheap price of the app is an added bonus.
Chaos Rings HD
Square Enix is no stranger to the RPG genre, so it’s no surprise to learn that one of its first entries is still without equal. With top-quality graphics, gameplay and an engrossing storyline, this perhaps more than any other game best showcases the iPhone.
Sports fans are well catered for, too, with some excellent versions of the world’s best games.
Real Tennis 2009 HD
A slick interface and well oiled mechanics means you won’t be disappointing a nation with this app.
You’d expect the current champions of football games to find their port to iPad is just as successful.
Madden NFL 11 HD
Much like FIFA 11, it’ll take a lot to knock EA from its perch as sports game master.
Real Golf 2011
Perhaps not as ‘real’ as its title suggests, but still damn close to it.
Easier than learning to ice skate and just as fun. Though you won’t get to watch a fight break out.
If you’re a fan of the likes of The Sims or Theme Hospital, the following games shouldn’t be missed.
Let’s Create! Pottery
Truly excellent app that turns your iPad into a virtual potter’s wheel. Once you’ve made your creations you can auction them off for virtual money. Compelling stuff.
Breed rare fish in this strangely addictive and relaxing game from LDW Software. Yes, you are doing little more than running a virtual shop, but it remains oddly compelling all the same.
The Sims 3
It’s a cut-down version of the popular PC game, but you’ll still be surprised by just how good this is. Imitating life has never been so fun.
An excellent app that perfectly simulates the frantic game of pinball. There are four tables on offer and each is laden with features.
Wonderful adaptation of the popular sport that features realistic fishes, solid touch controls and the abilities to send your best catches to your mates.
Like in-your-face action and games with over-the-top effects? Then take a look at the following games and be sure to download them.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Rockstar’s popular crime game hits the iPhone in fine style. There’s a great story here and plenty of variety in its action-packed gameplay. A real treat.
Space Invaders Infinity Gene
Sensational arcade blaster that dramatically improves on the 1977 original. The constantly evolving gameplay and stylistic visuals will keep pulling you back for one more go.
Impressive port of the hit PlayStation game that still plays brilliantly well on iPhone. Varied gameplay and excellent chases make this one a keeper.
Alive 4-Ever Returns
This top-down twin-stick shooter features lots of weapons, the ability to level up your characters and hundreds and hundreds of zombies to kill. Great fun.
Gangstar: West Coast Hustle
This is an impressive 3D clone of Grand Theft Auto. It certainly chugs a bit frame rate-wise, but it remains a technical achievement that’s full of action.
The creation of social networking sites, such as Facebook, have led to a host of cool community games that are now on iPhone. Here are our favourites.
Epic Pet Wars
This worryingly addictive game is pretty much Facebook’s answer to PokeÌmon. First you’ll need to choose a pet, then train him up and take on opponents and earn even better skills.
Fans of the ridiculously addictive Facebook game will be pleased to learn that it’s now available on iPhone. It plays exactly the same as the original. A perfectly enjoyable game.
The popular Facebook game comes to iPhone and is almost identical. There are costs involved, but only if you’re desperate to be the best gangster in town.
While there are options to buy additional chips with real money, it’s rarely needed. Plays a great game of poker and offers solid Facebook integration.
Charming little game where you build the ultimate fish tank. The best tanks will cost real money, but it’s easy to build one in your own time.
Do you feel a need for speed? Then download these excellent racing games and burn rubber on the coolest gaming device around.
With its realistic physics, super handling and stunning visuals, it should come as no surprise to learn that Firemint’s Real Racing remains without equal. First class.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Insanely addictive racer that marries high octane thrills and spills with
stunning visuals and a fun multiplayer mode that lets you go head-to-head with a friend.
Rally Master Pro 3D
No other rally game on iPhone can compare with this impressive beast.
The slick graphics amaze, but it’s the precise controls that make this a winner.
GT Racing: Motor Academy
Playing like a cross between Gran Turismo and an arcade racer, this is a slick beast that sports lush visuals and great use of the accelerometer.
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
Not everyone loves serious racers, so be sure to give this zany racer a try. Well-balanced weapons and cartoony visuals make this a winner.
What do kids think about iPhone games? We spoke to two sisters and found out why they like playing on Apple’s portable devices.
Carnival Games offer an experience just like being at the fair, with plenty of prizes and unlocks to find.
Disney Fairies Fly
This app lets your kids take control of many of the Disney fairies, and they won’t get enough of it.
Alice In Wonderland: An Adventure Beyond The Mirror
With excellent graphics and variety with each of the different characters, Alice In Wonderland will invigorate your childrens minds.
Dora Saves The Crystal Kingdom: Rainbow Ride
It’s simple and easy to play, which makes it great for an Dora-fan in the household.
Just like the board game, which is great for a bit of family fun or even for teaching your kids new words.
Best of the rest
Worms 2 Armageddon
It took a while for Team 17 to sort out the controls, but the iPhone now has a great version of the popular strategy game.
As its name suggests Minigore is gory, very gory. This twin-stick shooter is also a lot of fun to play with a nice range of meaty weapons.
I Dig It HD
An excellent clone of Mr Driller that has you digging deep into the ground in order to retrieve precious goods that can be exchanged for better digging equipment.
An utterly absorbing game that has you trying to fit orbs into smaller ones. Great use of multi-touch controls make this great fun to play.
Geo Defence Swarm
If you think you can handle panic then download this superb tower-defense game and feel yourself turn into a gibbering wreck as the hordes grow in size.
Flick Kick Football
Insanely fun game where you must flick a ball to score goals. The longer you play the more players try to block your way to goal. Fantastic fun.