If you’re a gamer, there is no better phone to buy than the iPhone. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have brought big screens to iOS, but it’s the success of the App Store that makes the iPhone such a great platform for gaming. With about a million apps available, the gaming options on iPhone are nearly limitless. But finding the best ones isn’t always easy.
In the sea of games for the iPhone, some are worth your 99 cents (or download time) and others are not. We’ve taken on the burden of sorting through the endless titles to bring you some of our favorite iPhone games for everyone from the intense console gamer to the casual word puzzle enthusiast.
Updated 4-17-2015 by Brandon Widder: Added “True Skate,” “Battleheart Legacy,” “SkiFree,” and seven other titles.
This colorful, Afro-Caribbean world never fails to draw you in as you work your way through puzzles chronicling the life of gas station attendant Bwana as he attempts to uncover the secret history of his father.
A terrific, touch-controlled platform game, Limbo is a stunning saga of a boy who wanders through a haunting industrial jungle. There’s no explanation, no dialogue, and no shortage of horrendous surprises.
In the all-robot city filled with unsettling electronic sounds, Machinarium follows protagonist Josef as he solves a slew of challenging puzzles to save his robo-girlfriend from a slew of humorous villains.
This retro, turn-based RPG pays tribute to old-school days of D&D. It’s an imaginative mix of pixel art and geeky humor, with solid RPG mechanics and an oddball sense of charm that relies on your imagination.
TrueSkate‘stouch-based physics, though frustrating, render it the most authentic skate sim around. You can grind rails and pop varial kickflips, while unlocking challenges and chasing the leaderboards.
Forget the allegations for a moment, Michael Vick’s title lets you feel what it’s like to play quarterback in a fast-paced, 4-on-4 football sim. Assemble a team of free agents, build a playbook, and juke away.
The only goal of this Microsoft classic is to traverse an endless slope avoiding obstacles — that’s it. The abominable snowman remains the biggest pain, though, even if you manage to catch enough air to topple him.
Table Tennis Touch is a near perfect ping pong clone. The 3D title is easy to pick up and play, difficult to master, and adorned with both an ambitious career mode and bevy of casual mini games to match.
As the name might imply, Flow Free has you connecting matching colors with a pipe to make a “flow” that covers the entirety of the board. It may seem simple at first glance, but 100 levels later, it’s anything but.
The aim is to swipe combining matching number tiles and building the biggest number that you can manage. It may be aesthetically and tactically simple, but it’s also instantly addictive. Who needs 2048?
An empire-building game with a reliance on matching, Puzzle Craft lets you farm, mine, collect taxes, and hire workers as you build a populace. It’s also far better than Farmville, with perks in the long run.
Bugs aside, Zynga’s subtle puzzler is as addicting as it complicated to read. You drop numbered balls into or on a line that will create a total number of balls equal to the number on the dropped ball. Got that?
This is a game of deduction. The goal of the title is to fill in specific squares in order recreate photos, with each row and column indicating the number of square you need to fill. Expect to spend 30 minutes a piece.
Blek is minimalist and beautiful, with no instructions whatsoever. You guide a slinking squiggle around obstacles in order hit colored targets and complete the level. Precision is of the utmost importance.
Playing as a marshmallow, you throw bits of fruit at creeping pieces of jelly, popping identical lumps once they absorb the appropriate fruit. Helpful power-ups and rewards only add to the frantic fun.
This text-based game is full of mysteries and unsolved puzzles, so get your thumbs ready to collect firewood and figure out what all of this means. Oh, and don’t forget to keep that fire roaring through the night.
With plenty of skills and loot to collect, there’s far more to the crumbling world of Bastion than meets the isometric camera. Riveting narration, detailed environments, and leveling represent only one aspect.
Ever imagine life as a goat? This game is the epitome of goat-ness, encouraging you to enjoy the title’s trademark glitches while you wreak havoc on the town with a taste for mayhem and a headbutt maneuver.
In this relax-em-up, you play as a mountain, waiting for snow to fall and watching items passively gather on your slopes as seasons pass. There’s no plotline or controls, though, just a subtle expression of nature.
The lengthy Battleheart Legacy may lack the party system of its predecessor, but the real-time combat and flexible leveling system are superb. There’s just enough challenge and customization, too, with humor to boot.
Lay traps, summon demons, and generally give brave adventurers a hard time as they attempt to progress through your dungeon. Just be prepared to spend hours grinding to make it to the second area of the game.
The replay value of Souls lies in the procedural-generated environments. The innate randomness adds to the head-t0-head battles and innovate controls, regardless of which of six, distinct players you opt for.
A former flash favorite, King’s League is perfectly suited for mobile devices, allowing you to control a vast array of more than 40 unique classes (i.e. lancers) as you level up your facilities and scour dense dungeons.
The old school Space Expedition nails that remote feeling of isolation. Think a quest-riddled Metroid, but on the shorter side, with the ability to operate heavy machinery and a penchant for puzzle design.
The second installment of the tongue-in-cheek Robot Unicorn Attack sports more than just updated visuals. New challenges and customization add depth to the endless runner, one set to Erasure’s “Always.”
Reveling in Rayman’s eccentric humor and fantastic level design, the latest installment in the franchise boasts familiarity and a score of unlockables — not to mention plenty of Lums and sausages for the taking.
As a brainy homage to 8-bit gaming, this title cleverly sees you shifting between multiple playfields as Max, a kid with a jetpack and a penchant for hidden water sprites. Power-ups don’t come as easy.
The Impossible Test is hard, annoying, and incredibly addictive. It offers more than 83 questions with hundreds of steps, along with two game modes, ample medals, and more hidden secrets than you’d like.
FNAF 3 takes place 30 years after the events of its predecessor. Its the same kind of gameplay — requiring you to check cameras and shut doors — but the sole, decaying antagonist make it far more frightening.
Build up your settlement, plan your defenses, raise an army, and guide your tribe to victory against nasty goblins or other clan leaders. It’s a good combination of slow planning and quick, chaotic battles.
The name says it all. Equipped with 999 lives and no pause button, you must run through a series of levels lined with spikes, dragons, lava pits, other obstacles as you dash toward the finish. Again, no pause.
The turn-based tactics of Hoplite are simple enough. You need to clear the 16th floor of a procedurally-generated tower, using a healthy combination of skills, upgrades, and patience against four types of foe.
This is not your standard puzzle game. Sure, you do build a base and defend against invaders, but the game’s minimalist artwork and tense combat scenarios give it a simplistic spin not offered elsewhere.
Super Squawk Software’s hit title takes you back to a time when you were still afraid of the dark. Your purpose is to help save Timmy from the things that go bump in the night with toy blasters, glue battles, etc.