The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are fantastic devices with new graphic capabilities thanks to the A8X chip and Metal engine support in iOS 8. If you're itching to get the most out of your new device, here are some of the very best games you'll find in the App Store which will look great on the big screen. Of course, this isn't the end-all be-all list. Be sure to read up on our many, many iPad game round-ups to get acquainted with what's out there.
If you're good to go, get cozy with your iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 and crack open the App Store.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne is our favorite racing game on mobile. It skips all pretensions of realism and provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings. Players can work their way through the career mode, unlock new rides, upgrade the ones they have, or take the competition online in staggered or live multiplayer. The usual race modes are there, plus a new Infected game type where players have to tag other racers before succumbing to an explosive virus.
An additional season has been included exclusively for Metal devices which has three times more opponents than usual. Insanity! The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 8 an adrenaline trip you won't soon forget.
Modern Combat 5 is the best first-person shooter available on mobile. Run, gun, chew through single-player challenges and campaign missions, level up and expand four classes, and unlock weapon attachments. There's a new Squad system so you can team up with buddies for limited-time multiplayer events. It's great to get a game that goes back to traditional pricing without in-app purchases, and if you think so too, it's worth picking this up on principle alone.
The Metal secret sauce has added denser explosions and RPG rocket trails, impact particles, richer environments and weather effects, and improved heat haze and god rays. In short, Modern Combat 5 is a very pretty ode to explosions and carnage.
Real Racing 3 is bound to keep gearheads entertained. It brings brand-name cars to real-world tracks - hence the name. Real Racing 3 features both live multiplayer and an interesting asynchronous multiplayer system whereby lap times are recorded from your friends, and you race against a bot that's driving at that time. Of course you can bump them out and affect their track time, though there's always a single-player career worth playing through too. Over time, players get new cars, hire crew, upgrade various parts, and apply new paint jobs with their winnings.
Real Racing 3 remains one of the best-looking racing games available on iOS, with or without Metal optimization.
Beach Buggy Racing is an upgrade on the hugely popular Beach Buggy Blitz, and has bumped up the graphics in several departments. You're now riding much faster with more competitors, power-ups, and big, winding stages. Instead of driving endlessly, you know have set courses you're trying to earn three stars on. Over time, you upgrade your ride with currency won from matches or in-app purchases. An energy bar limits how much you can play at once, so make sure to make every run count.
Beach Buggy Racing is a great update on what was already a graphically impressive title.
Infinity Blade 3 follows closely in the footsteps of its predecessors: players face off against imposing opponents in one-on-one duels in a lush fantasy world. Swipes, taps, and gestures translate to slashes, thrusts, dodges, blocks, and supernatural abilities. As players meander from encounter to encounter, they uncover more and more of an evolving storyline that spans back into the previous games. Infinity Blade 3 introduces a female heroine called Isa who is light on her feet and extremely deadly. Classic RPG-style progression allows players to focus on the statistics they're most interested in and unlock new abilities as they go.
Even though it hasn't been explicitly updated to make use of Metal, and the last update indicated that we wouldn't see much more new content, Infinity Blade 3 remains a shining example of what iOS is capable of.
Your favorite games for the iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3?
Those are the best games for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 that we've been able to dig up, but what are you enjoying on your shiny new device? Spotted anything else in the App Store with noticeable improvements thanks to Metal?