Hi there, and welcome to our ever-increasing list of the very best games for iPhone. We're going to be updating this regularly with new content, so make sure you check back often, because you're not going to want to miss out on even one of the games we're including here. Trust me, they're that good.
You can click the links below to download the games from the App Store, and find out more about them. And if you've got some games you think should be included, feel free to chuck them into the comments section. Hopefully we can get a good bit of debate going!
Blocky Roads - download for iPhone
It might not be the most original game on the list, but there's a real thrill to everything that Blocky Roads has to offer. It mashes together the Trials games with a more mobile sensibility to great effect. It's fun, it's fast, and it's the sort of game you might accidentally find yourself missing an important meeting for.
Hiversaires - download for iPhone
Language is the cornerstone of most point and click adventures, but Hiversaires throws all of that out of the window. It's a game set in a world where there isn't a written language, and so you're trying to figure out what you need to do in a space that doesn't make that much sense. It's about learning, adapting, and using your gray matter. And it's damn impressive.
Ridiculous Fishing - download for iPhone
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a silly fishing sim that uses far more guns than the average trip to the seaside. Catch fish, toss them in the air, and then shoot them to death. It's a simple idea, but it's presented with such charm and wonder it's almost impossible not to get wrapped up in this lovely slice of nonsense.
Joe Danger - download for iPhone
Before No Man's Sky, there was Joe Danger. They're about as far apart as two games can get. Essentially this is a platformer, but you're on a bike. There's a lot more to it than that though, and there are a huge number of stunts to pull off as you try and make Joe the premier daredevil in the digital world.
Stone Age: The Board Game - download for iPhone
A massive, intricate, and intoxicating board game. This is the sort of game it takes hours of practice to get good at. But then, that's sort of the point. If you like your board game adaptations all about placing workers and thinking a few moves ahead, then this is one game you should be picking up as soon as you have the time and the cash.
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing - download for iPhone
There aren't that many decent kart racers on the App Store, but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest of them. Not only is it dripping with Sega's classy polish, it's also incredible fun. It works brilliantly on mobile, and if you're looking for some ludicrous racing action you really can't go wrong getting this, even if it does have a painfully unwieldy name. The sequel isn't bad either.
Card City Nights - download for iPhone
It looks simple to start off with, but this mix of a card game and a simple RPG is actually one of the deepest single player deck builders that you're ever going to find. It eases you in, but when it needs to be it's deadly sharp. And you can't really ask for anything more than that.
Lyne - download for iPhone
While there are plenty of minimalistic puzzlers on the App Store, there's such a brightness to Lyne that it's almost impossible not to like it. As the title suggests, it's all about scribbling lines, but the lines have to connect to shapes. From those humble beginnings the game spreads out into something rather special.
Blackbar - download for iPhone
Censorship, totalitarianism, and the urge to communicate freely. Blackbar has never been as important and topical as it is right now. While the gameplay might be as simple as filling in some blanks, the story the game weaves is one that you need to experience. It really is that good. Just go and get it.
Ending - download for iPhone
What happens when you take a dungeon-crawling roguelike and strip it back to its barest bones? Ending is what happens. It might look like something designed on a ZX Spectrum, but it's a thoroughly modern game that's going to have you delving into its black and white depths over and over again.
RGB Express - download for iPhone
There are loads of brilliant puzzle games on the App Store, but this one is a little bit special. It's all about making deliveries, taking the right colored boxes in the right colored trucks to the right coloured destinations. There's some really brilliant ideas here, and while it starts off simply, you'll find it gets wonderfully complex the deeper you get.
Motorsport Manager - download for iPhone
Really deep sims sometimes seem like they're lacking on mobile, but Motorsport Manager is one of the ones that gets it right. You're in control of a racing team, and you need to work your way up to the top. Almost everything behind the scenes is under your remit, from hiring drivers, to upgrading your workspaces. And it's a huge amount of fun.
80 Days - download for iPhone
Gamebooks have had a massive resurgence on mobile, and 80 Days represents the pinnacle of them. It's a game that sees you trying to travel around the world in the titular amount of time. But there's so much more to it than that, from steampunk robots to ship-board romances. The writing is brilliant, and you're going to be enthralled from the first word.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite - download for iPhone
This is one of the finest multiplayer experiences that's available for mobile. Team up with your friends, then head out into a rich and varied world to take down giant monsters. And I do mean giant. Honestly, some of them are enormous. Right now you'll need to be running iOS 10.2 for it to work though.
World of Tanks Blitz - download for iPhone
Another multiplayer game, this time with a far more tanky taste to it. It's a free to play shooter with team-based deathmatches, and the more you play the better your tanks are going to get. It's reasonably deep, but the crunching battles and the booming cannons are going to keep you playing for hours on end.
Punch Club - download for iPhone
Punch Club is a game about training up a boxer. But it's also about making it through life. You've got to eat, you've got to go to work, and you need to save enough time to strengthen up your muscles too. It's dripping with references and humor, but it's also one of the best sims available on the App Store.
Crashlands - download for iPhone
One of the most brilliant survival games ever released, and it came out on mobile first. After crashing onto a strange planet, you need to work to keep alive. There's crafting, killing, and plenty of exploration too. It's a remarkable achievement, and if you've not played it before you should grab it as soon as possible.
Super Stickman Golf 3 - download for iPhone
Golf is a bit boring, right? But this is ridiculous golf. It mixes together platforming, challenges, and a whole lot more. It's silly in the finest ways, and it gets the level of difficulty just about spot on. There's multiplayer too. Really, this is everything you want from a golf game, so long as you don't want too much, y'know, golf.
Six! - download for iPhone
There are lots of little games on the App Store. The sort of thing that you play in brief snatches to pass a little bit of time. And this one ranks among the best of them. It's all about keeping a hexagon on the top of a tower. It's challenging, but it's cheery enough that you're never going to want to smash your phone to pieces.
PinOut! - download for iPhone
What happens when you take pinball and shake it up, pull it out of its arcade framework, and stick it into a form that works better for mobile. The end result is a brilliant experience that's going to appeal not just to lovers of pinball, but to anyone with a penchant for chasing scores and flipping balls.
Tiny Bubbles - download for iPhone
It might not have been out for very long, but Tiny Bubbles has definitely earned its place on this list. It's a game that takes the fundamental parts of the match-stuff puzzle genre, then shakes them around until they pop. The end result is something that manages to be familiar and fresh at the same time.
Starman: Tale of Light - download for iPhone
This is a game about architecture and space, a game about light and shade. It's got a unique look that makes every scene fizz and pop, and the slightly esoteric nature of the adventure means it offers enough of a challenge to keep most people entertained. Definitely one to pick up if you're looking for something a little different.
Campfire Cooking - download for iPhone
A game about cooking things on sticks over an open fire has no right to be as entertaining as this. It's really a puzzler that focuses on ensuring that the food you're cooking gets evenly toasted in the roaring flames. There are some ingenious ideas here, and if you like your games to be a mix of sedate pace and head-scratching then it's definitely worth picking up.
Final Fantasy IX - download for iPhone
There have been many arguments over the years about which PS1-era FF game is the best. I can put those all to bed right now by saying that it's this one. After the hefty melodrama of 7 and 8, FF9 takes things in a more relaxed direction. Sure the world is still in peril, but the unwitting heroes here are more like actual characters than angsty teenage pin-ups.
Pang Adventures - download for iPhone
Anyone who played Pang in the heyday of the arcades is going to have a soft spot for its bubble-popping whimsy. And this updated version of the game kicks it right into modernity while still capturing the simple joy that made the original so entertaining. It's retro, it's fresh, and it's chock full of lovely bubbles.
Alto's Adventure - download for iPhone
You wouldn't think that a side-scrolling game about snowboarding would be one of the most compulsive games on the App Store, and yet here we are. Not only is Alto's Adventure brilliant, it's a stunning looking game full of sunsets, storms, and more. And you're chasing llamas in it. Grind, slide, and leap your way down a mountain, and do it all with a smile on your face.
Warhammer Quest 2 - download for iPhone
One of the seminal Games Workshop licenses on the App Store. Warhammer Quest 2 sees you building up a team of adventurers and then descending into the dankest corners of the Warhammer universe to complete missions, fight monsters, and grab loot. It's deeply tactical, it looks amazing, and it'll have you playing for hours.
Atomine - download for iPhone
Sure, it's a game that feels like it was designed to capture most of the buzzwords around indie gaming, but Atomine is still an incredible amount of fun. You're wandering through electronic landscapes shooting everything that moves. It's tough, it looks great, and while it tries to tick a lot of boxes, it just about manages it.
Golf Zero - download for iPhone
What would happen if you crossed a super-tough, minimalist platformer with the sport of golf? Golf Zero is what would happen. You're trying to get your ball across a series of super fiendish levels filled with spikes, drops, and all manner of other hazards. It might sound a little bit crazy, and that's because it is. But sometimes you need some craziness in your life.
Deus Ex GO - download for iPhone
Square Enix's GO games always manage to capture the feel of the games that inspire them, and Deus Ex GO is no different. It's the sneaky, sci-fi subterfuge that we all know and love, but squished down into a tense board-ish game of cat and mouse. Plus it comes complete with the neon yellow streaks that make the newer iterations of the series so visually arresting.
Pavilion: Touch Edition - download for iPhone
A wonderful puzzle game that sees you controlling not the protagonist, but the world around them. You're clearing paths, moving objects, pushing switches, and so much more than that. It's a brilliant idea, and when it clicks it clicks in some really smart ways. There's nothing else like it on the App Store, and you'd do well to pick it up as soon as possible.
Neverending Nightmares - download for iPhone
A game that deals with a variety of mental illnesses. It's a psychological horror game, and it manages to capture the terror of living a life that's controlled by the impulses in your brain. It's scary, it looks incredible, and there's a depth to it that few other horror games manage to deal in.
Euclidean Lands - download for iPhone
A really smart mix between a Go-style game and the slightly ethereal puzzling of the likes of Monument Valley. The levels shift as you twist them, opening up new paths that allow you to exploit weaknesses in your enemies. There's a wonderful art style here, and a giant chunk of content to sink your face into.
Tavern Guardians - download for iPhone
Yup, there's a match-stuff RPG puzzler on the list. But it's a really, really, really good one. There are hordes of monsters for you to take on, and none of the free to play trapping that so often plagues the genre. It's smart, it's got a load of really good ideas, and even if you've tried other games like it and not enjoyed them, you might find something to like here.
Super Cat Tales - download for iPhone
If there's one thing that's guaranteed to make any game better, it's the addition of cats. This is a super slick platformer that stars a whole host of cute as hell kitties. The game isn't just great because cats though, it's great because it's actually great. The cats just make it even better.
Pathfinder Duels - download for iPhone
A delightfully polished deck builder based in the Pathfinder universe. It shares some of the same ideas as Hearthstone, but it also layers its own concepts on pretty thickly too. There's a pace to the game that makes it perfect for mobile as well, and while the matches might be short, you can easily lose hours of your time to this one.
Kalimba - download for iPhone
This one's a platformer with a really intriguing twist. You're controlling two different characters, and need to keep them both safe to the end of the challenging levels. It looks ace, it plays brilliantly, and this version is just as good as the console ones that came out before it. Oh, and the name is a lot of fun to say.
Steredenn - download for iPhone
A shooter set in the depths of space. But it's not boring space, it's a gorgeous pixel space that's chock full of enemies for you to shoot into pieces. The game is super fast, blisteringly fast really, and there's so much destruction to get your teeth into that it's almost impossible to get bored of all the explosions and madness.
Glitch Fixers - The Powerpuff Girls - download for iPhone
It's weird that there's a Powerpuff Girls game on this list, but if you've played it, then you're going to understand. Rather than tapping buttons to control the cartoon superheroines, here you're planning out each of your moves before they happen. It's partially a coding game, but there's action and fun to be had here in spades as well.
Vulture Island - download for iPhone
A platformer that, instead of being broken into tiny chunks, gives you a huge world that you're free to explore. Of course you're going to need to unlock new moves to get to certain places. And all of that exploring is going to show you an incredible amount of new and exciting things. Don't let the old school graphics fool you, this one is super fresh.
The Talos Principle - download for iPhone
Two big first person puzzle games came out around the same time at the end of last year. In some ways, The Talos Principle might be the best of them. It's smart, it's brilliantly well put together, and it plays around with the parts of the game that actually make, well, a game. It might not be the definitive version, but it's pretty damn close.
Taekwondo Game Global Tournament - download for iPhone
There's a simple joy to kicking people in the face, especially when those people are digital and you're not going to go to jail for doing it. Taekwondo Game understands that, and while it doesn't have the aerial acrobatics of the likes of Tekken, it doesn't need them. Here every punch and kick matters, and that makes for an incredibly exciting experience.
Proun+ - download for iPhone
Sure there are loads of auto-runners on the App Store, but none of them are as elegant, stylish, and downright cool as Proun+. It's a game that leads you by the hand through the history of modern art. If modern art was a tube, and you were a ball, and there were lots of other ball-people on the same trip. That might sound a bit out-there, but you need to check this one out all the same.
Twisty Hollow - download for iPhone
Match-stuff puzzlers are ten-a-penny, but when you find one that does something a little different, it's likely to catch your attention. And this one doesn't just do a few things differently, it does a lot of things differently. So much so that even if you don't like match-stuff puzzlers, you really should go and grab this one right this second.
Obslashin' - download for iPhone
A hacky-slashy game of slick violence. There's a real rhythm to this one, and while it might not have the depth of some AAA titles, it doesn't need it. Nothing clunks, everything slices, and if you're looking for a distraction that's going to stick in your mind for a good while, then you should definitely pick it up.
Morphite - download for iPhone
A huge game that's about exploring the cosmos. It's a bit like No Man's Sky, but far more focused. There's a narrative driving everything along, as well as plants to catalogue and giant monsters to try and not get murdered by. It's a breathtaking experience, and worth every penny you might spend on it.
Causality - download for iPhone
A game that's all about messing around with time. You need to help a bunch of astronauts making their way around an alien planet. Change time and you'll change the outcome of certain events, letting them get past previously impassable obstacles. This is a wonderful, smart puzzler that would be at home on anyone's iPhone.
Steamworld Heist - download for iPhone
A side-on strategy game that sees you breaking into spaceships and trying to steal the loot contained within. There's some brilliant little ideas here, and they all come together to create something pretty special. Plus, the game looks absolutely brilliant. If you haven't played it yet, please rectify that immediately.
Klocki - download for iPhone
Move abstract levels around in order to connect a series of lines. It's a simple idea, but there's so much going on here that calling it simple actually feels a bit churlish. If you like your puzzlers lovely looking, and with the sort of calming atmosphere that doesn't rush you into making decisions, this is going to be perfect for you.
Gear.Club - download for iPhone
There are loads of racing games on the App Store, but this one stands amongst the best. It's fast, it's tense, and it looks absolutely stunning. If you didn't enjoy the bump and grind of Real Racing 3, then this one might go some way to soothing that burn. Cars, corners, and everything you'd expect from a AAA console game, but in the palm of your hand.
Downwell - download for iPhone
A game about falling down a well. But it's fine, because you're falling down the well in style, and you've got guns strapped to your boots. Super simple graphics hide a razor-sharp vertical roguelike that's fun and frustrating in equal measures. But it's the sort of frustration that pushes you to get better and try harder, and that's the sort we love.
Shooty Skies - download for iPhone
Where Crossy Road made Frogger cool again, Shooty Skies tries to do the same for the arcade blaster. It's not a subtle game by any means, but it still manages to be oodles of ridiculous fun. It's very much a high-score-chaser, but it does it so well it's almost impossible to complain. It looks ace too.
The Executive - download for iPhone
If you thought a game about a high-flying executive would be boring, think again. I mean, a normal one probably would be, but this one involves kicking the living crap out of werewolves, zombies, and a whole host of other monsters. Throw in some QTE platforming sections and you've got one of the finest, and oddest, brawlers on the App Store.
Operation Dracula - download for iPhone
Another shooter, but this time it's got a little more (I'm so sorry for this) bite. It's a super challenging mix of bullet hell ideas with the sort of graphical style that's going to sear itself onto your retinas for months to come. You're not going to mind too much though, because those charred retinas are going to love every second of the game.
This War of Mine - download for iPhone
A heartfelt, harrowing examination of what it means to live in war time. You're not a soldier here, just an ordinary person trying to find the food and warmth you need to stay alive. Bleak in places, and shocking in others, this is the sort of game that you really need to play. If only because it gives a glimpse into a world you'll hopefully never understand.
Telepaint - download for iPhone
A puzzle platformer that sees you carrying buckets of paint around. It's all about making portals, mixing colors together, and generally having a lovely old time. There's a real challenge here, if that's the sort of thing you're into, and more than enough content to ensure that you're going to lose hours of your life to the game.
Twofold Inc - download for iPhone
A simple but alluring game of colored tiles and adorable robots. It takes the basic ideas of the match-stuff puzzlers, then throws them around to come up with something that's striking, innovative, and an incredible amount of fun. It might not reinvent the wheel, but it does push it backwards down a hill.
A Good Snowman is Hard to Build - download for iPhone
If you think building snowmen is easy, then this is the game that's going to set your wayward thinking straight. It's a charming game about rolling snow around a series of gardens. Plus you can sit on benches and take a moment to revel in your creations. Thoughtful, slow-paced, and worth every penny you spend on it.
Templar Battleforce - download for iPhone
An in-depth game of tactics and strategy that sees you leading heavily armored space knights into battle against ravening alien hordes. Sure, it's not the most original idea in the world, but the whole thing is done brilliantly. If you fancy yourself a futuristic squad commander, you should grab this one right this second.
Five Card Quest - download for iPhone
Love RPGs but don't have the time to smash your whole face into a massive one? Well this mix of a roguelike and a card game is going to be right up your street. It's got some impressively original ideas, it looks amazing, and thanks to the randomly generated levels it's pretty much infinitely replayable.
Fearless Fantasy - download for iPhone
A really interesting mix of a turn-based RPG and a gesture-based smartphone game. Battle monsters, but boost your attacks with taps and swipes. It's fun in all the right ways, but there's a great depth here that means you're going to get sucked into the intelligent play for hours on end.
Skiing Yeti Mountain - download for iPhone
A game that really has no rights to be as compulsive as it is. You're literally just sliding down the titular hill, meeting a cast of increasingly weird characters as you do. The controls are remarkably simple, but there's such love poured into the game that it's almost impossible not to get swept up in its avalanche of arcade twee.
Devious Dungeon 2 - download for iPhone
A retro-tastic platformer set in a pixel-art fantasy kingdom. Leap and slash your way through a whole glut of levels, killing monsters and getting stronger as you do. It's not the most original game in the world, but there's a level of panache here that other games in the genre just can't hope to match. It's slick, and it's an awful lot of fun.
Silly Sausage in Meatland - download for iPhone
It's a game about a dog that can sniff its own butt. More than that you get an achievement for doing it. More than that it's a brilliant riff on the snake genre that chucks in a whole bunch of puzzling and platforming elements to great effect. If you've never played a Nitrome game before, I'd recommend you start with this one.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - download for iPhone
Sure it's a port, but it's an absolutely brilliant port of an absolutely brilliant game. There's a sort of rub-your-belly-tap-your-head vibe here as you need to control both of the titular brothers. Plus the game is gorgeous, it's set in an enchanting world, and its move to mobile hasn't lost anything in the translation.
An Alien With a Magnet: Adventure Saga Story - download for iPhone
A clever platformer that thinks outside the box. Rather than jumping along a horizontal plane, here you're leaping around on spinning planets. The game is chock full with bright ideas, and if you're looking for some leaping with a difference you owe it to yourself to pick this one up post haste.
Device 6 - download for iPhone
Simogo's games are some of the best on the App Store, and this strange and unsettling text adventure is no different. Even calling it a text adventure feels like diminishing it. It plays around with how you use your phone, weaves its story in a myriad of different ways, and will have you hooked from the first word to the last.
Boson X - download for iPhone
There are plenty of over the shoulder auto-runners on the App Store, but not all of them deal with quantum physics and fundamental particles. Boson X does though. It's a psychedelic, often didfficult, but always rewarding experience, and it'll have you stuck in its loop of leaps and darts for a good few hours.
Xcom: Enemy Within - download for iPhone
If you're looking for an example of just how far mobile gaming has come in the last few years, look no further than this. It's a port of one of the best strategy games on console and PC, and while it might not look quite as stunning, it's still a breathtaking achievement. And it works brilliantly on touch screen too.
Kid Tripp - download for iPhone
A super tough platformer that plays out in tiny bite-sized chunks. You're leaping through a series of obstacles, and you need to time each tap to perfection. Learning the beat of the challenges is key to success, and there's a real sense of achievement when you manage to get to the end of a particularly challenging section.
Threes! - download for iPhone
Put simply, this is one of the best puzzle games that money can buy. It's intelligent, difficult to master, and features some of the best presentation you're ever likely to see on the App Store. It might have been overshadowed by the far inferior 2048 and an army of clones, but you really should do yourself a favour and play the original right this second.
Shadow Blade - download for iPhone
A super sharp platformer that sees you playing as a ninja. You control the action with taps and swipes, and there's a real feeling of freedom and excitement here. There are loads of levels to work your way through, an interesting art style, and a good deal more panache than you usually find in App Store platformers.
Ridge Racer Slipstream - download for iPhone
It might not be the full Ridge Racer experience, but there's still something ridiculously fun about this driving game. It looks gorgeous, the controls are slick, and there's a beautiful arcade heart to the game that shines through. Silly in all the right ways, it'll have you shouting Riiiiiidge Raaaaacer at the top of your voice on the bus to work.
Neon Shadow - download for iPhone
There are plenty of FPS games on the App Store, but none of them manage to capture the genre quite so well as Neon Shadow. It simplifies things, but without taking away the heart of the experience. Blast your way through a chunky single player campaign, or face off against your friends in multiplayer. This one's got it all.
Shivah - download for iPhone
A point-and-click adventure in the classic style. You're playing a Rabbi in New York who comes into some money. There's plenty more to the game than that though, and the deeper you get into it, the darker the mystery becomes. With three endings to find, a cast of intriguing characters to meet, and a haunting soundtrack over the top of everything, this is the sort of game you're going to fall in love with.
Angry Birds Star Wars - download for iPhone
It's strange that a tie-in game has made it onto the list, but there are plenty of people out there who think that Angry Birds Star Wars is Rovio's avian-flinging series at its very best. It throws a whole bunch of great ideas into the mix, keeps things fresh with a huge cast of characters, and has plenty of nods, winks, and downright shout outs to the Star Wars saga. If you only download one Angry Birds game, make it this one.
Punch Quest - download for iPhone
Autorunners are pretty old hat nowadays, but Punch Quest remains one of the best examples of the genre. Not only is it super quick, super twitchy, and super good looking, it's the sort of high-score chasing game that's going to lock you down for hours on end. Seriously, the Steel Media offices once shut down for an entire day while we tried to beat each other's scores.
True Skate - download for iPhone
A lot of people wax lyrical about the Skate series of games on console being the finest example of digital skateboarding. They are, of course, wrong. True Skate is a brilliant mix of dexterity and swagger. It sees you pulling off tricks with your fingers, poking and swiping the screen to perform flips, spins, and all manner of other impressive feats. It's tough to get the hang of, but once you do you'll be in boarding heaven.
Rayman Jungle Run - download for iPhone
Before Super Mario Run, there was Rayman Jungle Run. And, quite frankly, it's a better game. Starring everyone's favorite slightly confusing platforming hero, the game sees you pelting through a series of tricky, stunning-looking levels. It's hard in all the right ways, and completists are going to spend days trying to finish everything that it has to offer.
Bastion - download for iPhone
Sure it's a port, but what a port. Bastion is one of the best action RPGs of the past few years, and it's every bit as good on mobile as it was on less portable devices. Featuring a beautiful, water color art-style, an inspiring and engaging story, and way more besides, it shows that mobile games don't all have to be mindless, brief affairs.
Waking Mars - download for iPhone
There aren't very many games that see you bringing a planet back to life, but that's exactly what Waking Mars offers. You're an astronaut navigating the Martian landscape. It's up to you to collect the flora and fauna, combine it into new species, and bring it back to life. A massive game, with loads to do, that still manages to be intimate and entertaining.
Beat Sneak Bandit - download for iPhone
Simogo might be better known for spooky, atmospheric adventures like Year Walk and Device-6, but this game shows that they're more than capable of creating sweet and engaging rhythm action games as well. After all the clocks in the world are stolen, it's up to you to get them all back. And once you start, it's really rather difficult to stop.
Reckless Racing 2 - download for iPhone
When I was growing up me and my brother were addicted to an Amiga racing game called Skidmarks. Reckless Racing 2 feels like that, but reimagined for devices that can handle more than a few colors on-screen at once. It's fast, it's fun, and it's the perfect antidote to the more po-faced and sober racers that seem to dominate the genre nowadays.
SpellTower - download for iPhone
A cunning mix of a word game and Tetris. You need to clear a grid of letters by stringing them together to make words. But if the letters get to the top of the screen, it's game over. There are a whole bunch of modes here, a gorgeous art-style, and a zen-like fun that underpins everything that the game has to offer.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective - download for iPhone
It's hard to think of many other games that start with the main character dying, but that's exactly what Ghost Trick does. From there you need to solve a series of crimes, saving the people involved so they don't meet a sticky end. Part puzzler, part adventure, all unique, Ghost Trick is the sort of game that you're going to lose hours of your life to. And you'll do it with a huge smile on your face.
Framed - download for iPhone
It's easy to see why Framed won so many accolades, scooping up game of the year nominations from the likes of Time and Hideo Kojima. It's a super smart game of shifting comic panels. Moving the panel changes the outcome of the action. Part puzzler, part narrative adventures, it's one of the most intelligent and entertaining experiences on the App Store.
Beat Street - download for iPhone
A beat-'em-up that you can play with one hand? What's not to love about that? Throw in some super slick graphics, and a retro feel that arcade fans are going to absolutely adore, and you're left with a game that manages to be modern and familiar at the same time. If that's not enough of an achievement, then it's also ridiculous amounts of fun.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved - download for iPhone
I still remember losing hours to Geometry Wars 2, and while this might be an expensive treat on mobile, it's definitely worth it. Slick controls, plenty of explosions, and some really smart dimension hopping ideas make this one of the finest shooters you can get on the App Store. Oh, and it looks amazing too.
Implosion: Never Lose Hope - download for iPhone
Another slightly costly game, but it's well worth the asking price. A shiny, highly polished hack and slash adventure that features enormous robots and plenty of anime-ridiculousness. Implosion doesn't really have any right to be as good as it is. But it's really, really good. Action games for iPhone really don't come much better than this.
Heavenstrike Rivals - download for iPhone
While Square Enix might be best known for porting its classic RPGs to mobile, sometimes it releases a gem of its own too. This one's a gorgeous looking card game. You build up a deck of monsters and then duel it out in turn-based battles. There's a good chunk of RPG greatness here, and it's accessible enough that anyone can pick it up and play.
Samorost 3 - download for iPhone
A gorgeous point and click adventure that showcases just how good Amanita Design is at this sort of thing. There's no dialogue, but the story told here is still better than most games on the App Store. You're a space gnome with a magical musical instrument who's searching for the meaning of existence. Because of course you are.
Eisenhorn: Xenos - download for iPhone
This one sees you stomping through the grim dark future of the Warhammer 40K universe. It plays a bit like the Arkham Asylum series of games, with fights, shooting, and third-person puzzle solving. Sometimes you're going to have to remind yourself you're playing on a mobile, that's how good this one looks.
Circa Infinity - download for iPhone
A platformer with a pretty big difference. You're leaping around the a series of concentric circles, trying to avoid weird monsters. It's brilliantly bonkers, and plays around with the fundamentals of the genre in the best possible way. And on top of all that it offers up a stiff challenge that you can really get your teeth into.
Lost in Harmony - download for iPhone
What happens when you mix an auto-runner with a rhythm action game? Well, something like Lost in Harmony. The game tells a sad story of loss, set against the backdrop of an anime-style future. Skate through a series of levels avoiding obstacles in time to some really incredible tunes. A great mix of ideas that's well worth checking out.
Grayout - download for iPhone
The idea behind Grayout is a simple one - what happens when we lose our ability to communicate? It sees a patient gradually losing more and more words as post traumatic aphasia sets in. At times uplifting, horrifying, and astounding, Grayout isn't like anything else you've played. For that fact alone you should pick it up.
The Witness - download for iPhone
It might have taken a long time to make its way to the App Store, but Jonathan Blow's esoteric puzzling masterpiece was well worth the wait. Dumped on a strange island, you're left to your own devices to figure out how you got there and what's going on. It's a brilliant, sometimes confusing, but always interesting first-person head-scratching experience.
Guns of Boom - download for iPhone
Shooters might not be the first genre you think of when you're thinking about mobile games, but Guns of Boom should be the top of your list if you're looking for fantastic multiplayer action. Taking its cues from the likes of Team Fortress 2, the game sees you and a gang of other blasters trying to take down the other team before they do the same to you.
Redungeon - download for iPhone
What happens when you mix an endless runner with a roguelike? Redungeon is what happens, and quite frankly it's brilliant. Storm through super tough, twitchy levels, casting spells, and trying to avoid the hounds of hell. Each run gives you gold to spend on new characters and upgrades. Addictive in all the right ways, Redungeon epitomises everything that Nitrome is good at.
Legend of the Skyfish - download for iPhone
While other games might give you massive weapons to play with, Legend of the Skyfish gives you a fishing rod. And it lets you make friends with a whale. It's sort of like what would happen if the entire development team behind the original Zelda games had a real thing for popping out and catching some trout. But it's much better than that makes it sound.
Warbits - download for iPhone
A gorgeous, Advanced Wars-style strategy game that manages to blend accessibility and style into one effortlessly cool package. Lead super cute tanks and other war machines into battle, and try and make sure that it's your side that comes out on top. Not only do you get a campaign mode, there's brilliant turn-based multiplayer here too. Just get it, thank me later.
Prune - download for iPhone
A brilliant, sometimes heartbreaking game about cutting down a tree. I know, that doesn't sound that interesting, but this is one of the best puzzlers that the App Store has to offer. It's thought provoking, it looks wonderful, and as its story branches out, you start to realise the consequences of your actions.
Wayward Souls - download for iPhone
Quite frankly the best roguelike action RPG that the App Store has to offer. It's not just one of the best games for iOS, it's one of the best games, period. Tough, gorgeous, and endlessly rewarding, this procedurally-generated dungeon crawler should be one of the first games you play if you're new to mobile gaming.
Gorogoa - download for iPhone
A narrative puzzler that's all about following a story. You do that by shifting layers around, opening up scenes that you wouldn't be able to access before. It takes some ideas from the likes of Framed, but then builds on them beautifully. It's haunting, smart, and utterly addictive.
Real Racing 2 – download for iPhone
For many people, this is the pinnacle of the Real Racing series. It looks good, even now, and its premium price point makes it more attractive to some than its sequel. Either way, the racing here verges on the breath taking. There are few better rides to take on the App Store.
The Bug Butcher - download for iPhone
A shooter that does pretty much exactly what you want from a game with a name like that. You're a cartoony space marine, and you need to kill as many alien bugs as you can. It's fast-paced, it looks great, and if you've got an MFi controller you should definitely put this one at the top of your list.