The 30 Best iOS Games for iPhone and iPad

You could literally spend the rest of your life trying out games for your iPhone and iPad without ever hitting on a good one. There are that many games on the App Store, and yes, that many of them are bad. We know that the time you waste playing games is precious and don’t want you to throw away another second on some sub-par iOS game that is boring, irritating, buggy, or just terrible. Hence we have created our list of the 30 best iOS games for any Apple addict on the go.

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

Hip to Be Square: Featuring a cast of oddly human geometric shapes, Thomas Was Alone is a puzzling platformer that works with any skill level. Sometimes challenging but never throw-your-iPad frustrating, you’ll find a Flatland-style humanity along with intuitive gameplay that’s fun for hours. Even if you hate the game, Danny Wallace of Assassin’s Creed fame handles the voice-over narration, and you can’t go wrong with that. [Purchase]

The Room

The Room

Think Inside the Box: No, these iOS games are not based on the film from lunatic Tommy Wiseau. While you won’t be throwing spoons, you will be engaging in hours of puzzle gameplay à la Myst. A delight to play on any touchscreen, you’ll manipulate boxes and objects in an attempt to solve a mystery. With striking graphics and steampunk imagery, these are as fun to watch as to play. [Purchase: The Room 1 | The Room 2]

Tiny Wings

Tiny Wings

Escape the Night: A simple concept, Tiny Wings has you controlling a flightless bird in a tactile rhythm and timing game wherein you attempt to outrun the starry sky. Using a series of undulating hills for speed and bursts of flight it’s easy to play this for a few minutes or lose a couple of hours. [Purchase]

Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack

Brain Drain: Challenge your friends or random opponents around the world to see who knows the most useless facts. With six categories to choose from, including sports, science, entertainment, geography, history, and arts you try to be the first to get crowns in each. It also has a challenge mode where you take on several competitors in a knowledge lightning round. [Purchase]

World of Goo

World of Goo

Wet Mechanics: Unleash your inner engineer as you build numerous structures out of a series of sentient blobs of goo in order to reach the goal of each level. There’s no enemies except the strange physics of the game which can have you constructing odd and unwholesome structures out of sludge in order to meet the demands of each challenge. [Purchase]

Minecraft- Pocket Edition

Minecraft: Pocket Edition

8-Bit Hero: This is a simple idea: It’s Minecraft for your mobile device. Any fan of the world-building, zombie-fighting, pixelated masterpiece-making will enjoy this stripped down version while away from their console or PC. It has all the parts of the original in bite-sized pieces with the creative mode being the true standout as LEGO for your iPad or iPhone. [Purchase]

Limbo

Limbo

Wayward Son: Limbo doesn’t give you much information. You’re a shadowy boy living in a shadowy world. Despite the lack of back-story, you’ll quickly get immersed in this platform puzzler full of horrifying creatures and odd physics that offers challenges that are truly satisfying to overcome. To our surprise, the touchscreen controls work great and never pull you out of the strange tale. [Purchase]

Five Nights at Freddys

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Childhood Monsters: Yet another game in the tired genre of new security guard trapped in a kids pizza parlor with homicidal, animatronic robots. Doling out energy from the security room, you have to use a combination of lights, security cameras, and doors to prevent the cheerful, malevolent robots from killing you in this strange take on survival horror. As in life: Beware The Rock-afire Explosion band. [Purchase]

Walking Dead- The Game

Walking Dead: The Game

Brains: If you’ve never picked up a Telltale game, this is the place to start. Based in the world of Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead you take the role of Lee Everett, an escaped convict looking to survive in the world of the peckish damned. You’ll solve environmental puzzles as you explore this world where every decision changes the outcome, deciding who lives and who’s zombie chow. [Purchase]

Plague Inc

Plague Inc.

Go Viral: Finally you can live out your fantasies of being a worldwide pandemic. Beginning as a cute little bacteria or viral strain, your goal is to create a disease that can wipe out all life on Earth. Evolve your disease over time as you move from country to country wreaking havoc and causing illness. Earn points for outbreaks and change your symptoms to contaminate the most anti-vaxxers possible. [Purchase]

Ghost Trick- Phantom Detective

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

The Haunter Becomes the Haunted: You’re Sissel, a murder victim with no memory forced to solve your own death along with Lynne, your idiotic mortal accomplice in this puzzle adventure game. You’ll possess items to interact with the world in sometimes strange, sometimes obvious ways as you hunt for clues and try to keep Lynne alive in this branching interactive story. [Purchase]

Cut The Rope

Cut the Rope

Cordless: This is a seemingly simple puzzle game. Slash through ropes to release candy in order to feed a monster. While it begins easily enough, you’ll soon be in a battle with gravity and the brilliant physics of the game to find the right sequence of ropes to slash at the right time to keep your literal green monster fed. [Purchase: Cut The Rope 1 | Cut The Rope 2]

Plants vs Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies

Green Thumb: An unusual take on tower defense, you’re tasked with protecting your home against an array of specially powered zombies using only the oddly violent plants in your gardener’s arsenal. Beginning with childishly easy assaults, you’ll soon need to balance resources, strategy, and quick thinking to end the undead menace. [Purchase: Plants vs Zombies 1 | Plants vs Zombies 2]

Device 6

Device 6

Book ‘Em: Technically a text adventure, this is also an interactive puzzle game with a rich, engrossing tale that will have you swapping between reading the exceptional prose and jotting down notes from it so that you can glean tidbits of information needed to solve the myriad puzzles throughout. A gateway drug for readers who hate games or gamers who hate reading. [Purchase]

Ridiculous Fishing

Ridiculous Fishing

Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous: This perfectly recaptures the joy of peaceful days on the lake, trying to catch the big one, drag it to the surface along with its many compatriots, and then blasting them to bits with pistols, shotguns, and rocket launchers. Reliant more on tapping and dexterity than any thought, Ridiculous Fishing is nonetheless hours of weird, trigger-happy angling fun. [Purchase]

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans

ClanCraft: At its core, Clash of Clans is a freemium RTS (Real-Time Strategy) that requires using resources to create buildings and units for both attack and defense. It’s easy to lose yourself in the pile, but Clash of Clans distinguishes itself in allowing you to undertake missions against NPCs or wars against other players in a fun, engaging, brawling world that requires patience and cunning, or a fat wallet. [Purchase]

Infinity Blade II

Infinity Blade II

Hack and Slash: The first iteration of Infinity Blade was fine, but this is downright stunning. Combat has been improved to make every violent encounter a tapping pleasure. The narrative is engaging and raises the stakes, and the graphics are some of the cleanest and most impressive ever put to a mobile device. Sets the bar for action/adventure mobile games, and sets it high. [Purchase]

Threes

Threes!

Triple Tetris: Breathe easy, there is almost no math involved at all in Threes! What you are doing is trying to shift cards together to make three or multiples of three and keep the board from filling up. The deceptive simplicity and idiot-proof gameplay are revealed as clever ruses as speed increases and the need for foresight and swift action separates the winners from the losers. [Purchase]

Angry Birds

Angry Birds

Death to the Pigs: Probably the single most well-known mobile game on any platform, the multiple versions of Angry Birds are still addictive and fun. The simple act of flinging birds to destroy structures while using their powers requires skill, dexterity, and strategy to be effective. Whether you go classic, friends, or the Star Wars version, this should already be on your iPhone or iPad. [Purchase]

Wheres My Water

Where’s My Water?

Physics Puzzler: There’s almost as many physics games as there are tower defense games, but Where’s My Water? stands head and shoulders above the crowd. The animation is superb and the physics are engaging, requiring real thought and a solid plan to get the water where it needs to go. [Purchase]

Hitman Go

Hitman Go

Board Assassin: Again take on the role of follicly-challenged killer 47 as he attempts to slaughter his way across a GO! board. Using a combination of friendly, bloodless, board-game tactics and the essence of the Hitman franchise, this is exceptionally fun, and ideal for those times when you can’t be garroting machine-gun nuns on your console or PC. Better on an iPad than iPhone. [Purchase]

Canabalt

Canabalt

Risky Run: In a pitfall-esque world, you control a character that looks like he belongs on a Commodore 64 as he races across rooftops, dodging obstacles of all kinds as his speed steadily increases. With randomly generated worlds that you can’t memorize, you’ll need to be lighting fast to keep up with your hero’s ever quickening race to the finish. [Purchase]

Hero Academy

Hero Academy

Battle Chess: A turn-based strategy game, this is chess for the Internet generation. Two players face off with their selection of races and they must use every advantage to defeat their opponent. With balanced races, a rewind feature that lets you plan ahead without executing your turn, and a single-point based usage system, this takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. [Purchase]

Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon

Geometry Attack: You are a tiny cursor drifting around the edge of a hexagon. Lines are coming to destroy you. You have no chance to survive, make your time! The minimalist, high-speed, challenging world of Super Hexagon is simple to pick up, but soon you’ll be dodging lines for hours on end as you attempt to do nothing but survive 60 seconds against the neverending onslaught. [Purchase]

Bastion

Bastion

Shoot to Kill: You’re the kid. You awaken in a collapsing and corrupted world that requires you to shoot, slash, and smash your way through increasingly difficult levels in his 3/4 overview role-playing shooter. Just as good as it was on the Xbox 360 when first released, you’ll soon be sucked in to Bastion’s world with help from the golden-voice of the narrator (Logan Cunningham). [Purchase]

Year Walk

Year Walk

Love, Hopelessly: The bleak world of Year Walk has you wandering through a dismal wasteland on a quest to find your one true love. The unique mechanics make playing this on an iPad or iPhone feel very special while the desolate landscape and overall hopelessness of the game will test your emotions as well as your mind. [Purchase]

Temple Run

Temple Run

Raiders of the Lost Ark Temple: One of the few games that seems easier on the iPhone than the iPad, this 3D runner is usually only fun for minutes at a time as you try to jump, slide, and weave away from the spirits chasing you. However, you’ll spend those minutes over and over, day after day trying to escape with the idol as you acquire power-ups and upgrades to pimp your panicked pedestrian. [Purchase]

Kingdom Rush Origins

Kingdom Rush Origins

Lucky Number 3: The third in the Kingdom Rush trilogy, this is far and away the best of the franchise. It’s tower defense with a hero system à la Warcraft III. Couple that with your nuke capability, versatile and varied towers, and lots of upgrades, this is probably the zenith of tower defense games. Accept no imitations. [Purchase]

Fruit Ninja

Fruit Ninja

Go Ninja, Go: Forget complicated puzzles, strategy, or really anything other than making a few million streaks on your iOS device of choice. This is plain hack and slash fun that is engaging for hours as you show those swine on the Board of Nutrition what you think of their 4-6 servings of fruit a day. Challenge friends, go for the high score, or just get Zen as you split up a whole produce aisle. [Purchase]

Chaos Rings II

Chaos Rings II

Get in Character: One of the finest true RPG’s on the iPhone and iPad, this is a gorgeous game that uses mechanics both new and old to create a role-playing experience that will introduce new gamers to the genre and keep FFI fans more than happy. Using a Solo/Pair combat system, a charge gauge, and intense special abilities, this is a massive adventure packed onto a tiny screen. [Purchase]

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