iPhone gaming is great. It’s cheap, there’s a whole lot of it and if you’re willing to search a bit, there’s some truly amazing stuff out there to play. If you don’t have the time to sift through pages and pages of dross on the App Store, just take a few cues from our best iPhone games round-up.
In this second part of our list of the top 100 iPhone games ever, we’ll cover a pair of retro-style shooters, a World of Warcraft wannabe and a game that’s caused us more stress over the past three years than almost any other. But we still love it.
Don’t forget to check out the other parts as well –
100 Best iPhone games 100-81
100 Best iPhone games 80-61
100 Best iPhone games 60-41
100 Best iPhone games 40-21
100 Best iPhone games 20-1
80. I Dig It Expeditions
By InMotion Software
Released November 2009
Plugging into human nature’s tendency towards greed, I Dig It Expeditions put you in charge of a drill-equipped mining craft, ready to burrow through the earth in search of treasure. The more gold and gems you find, the more you can upgrade your craft, enabling it to dig deeper and carry more. This is the sequel to the original I Dig It, and trumps its predecessor with levels in the sea and on ice caps. This is a game you can easily lose hours to.
Released February 2009
One of Chillingo’s early successes and the poster child for the twin-stick craze of 2009, iDracula rocketed to the top of the chart at release thanks to its cheap 59p price. Oh, and because it’s great fun too. You’re a vampire hunter who has to take on wave after wave of enemies that keep on getting tougher. Death is inevitable, it’s how long you last that counts. Every now and then you earn upgrades too, increasing your range, health or giving you other neat bonuses. Quick-blast gaming at its best.
78. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
By Square Enix
Released August 2011
Long-awaited by Final Fantasy fans, Tactics: War of the Lions caused a bit of a stir at release because it’s more expensive than almost any other iPhone game. Play it seriously though and you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. It’s a port of the PSP title of the same name, itself a spruced-up re-release of the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics. Given it’s asking for more than a tenner for the title, Square Enix could have given this iPhone version more renovations, but the game under the surface is top-notch.
77. Bike or Die 2
Released November 2008
Trial biking games are known for being tricky – the best rely on complex physics systems that have to be treated, and manipulated, carefully. Bike or Die 2 is beyond tricky. At times it’s downright evil. You control a chap riding a standard push bike, and have to navigate over a variety of drops, ledges and climbs, over an equally-great variety of surfaces. Look away if you want an easy ride, but if you have patience and dexterity, Bike or Die 2 is a great package, and lets you compete with other players online. It includes more than 2500 levels.
76. Order & Chaos Online
Released April 2011
Fans of online gaming have pawed after World of Warcraft on an iPhone since the App Store took off. Gameloft’s Order & Chaos Online doesn’t make that dream come true, but it’s the next best thing. Indebted to Blizzard’s ludicrously successful MMORPG on several fronts, including gameplay and visuals, it’s a pay-monthly online roleplaying game with a colourful fantasy theme. Our first assumption was that it would be a mess, but it’s actually remarkably fun – not to mention a stunning proof of concept. It’s far from the first massively multiplayer iPhone game, but this takes it to a new level.
75. Tap Tap Revolution Series
Released December 2010
Although it doesn’t have the grip on the App Store it used to, the Tap Tap Revenge series is still the iPhone’s most important rhythm game series. Playing much like a touchscreen version of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, you tap on notes as they fly towards you from the top of the screen (well, the screen’s “horizon” anyway). Plenty of branded edition of the game are available – including packs from Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon and Nine Inch Nails – but you can also just play bundled tracks for free.
Released April 2009
Uniwar is a tile-based strategy/war game that stood out because of its excellent multiplayer potential. Its action is turn-based, which makes it perfect for mobile gaming on-the-go. There’s also a single-player campaign mode if you’d rather play by yourself. Fans of the excellent Advance Wars Nintendo DS series (sadly still yet to make it to iOS) should consider it a must-download title.
73. The Sims 3
Released June 2009
The infamous “life substitute” The Sims came to iPhone relatively early, and while it didn’t have the same dangerously-engrossing characteristics of its PC cousin, it was still darned fun. EA slimmed-down the game’s blueprint a little to fit it into the iPhone’s teensy bod, while keeping the basics of getting your sim a job, relationship and a natty set of threads. Since 2009, several standalone “expansion packs” have also been released, including The Sims 3 Ambitions and The Sims 3 World Adventures.
72. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12
Released March 2011
It may not be as cool to like EA as a niche indie developer, but you have to hand it to the publisher – it knows how to polish a game until it shines like chrome. The latest edition of its Golf franchise, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, isn’t a huge departure from its predecessors, but it hones the already-great formula with improved visuals and mechanics. In sport games like this, EA’s iPhone games get perilously close to its full-price handheld and console counterparts.
By Matt Rix
Released June 2010
In Trainyard, you have to construct train lines between different nodes to make sure the correct trains end up at the correct stops. It’s a brain-teasing puzzler that shot to the number one chart slot in many countries’ App Stores – and all without any flashy graphics or big marketing campaigns. Its success relied on the word of mouth effect that only truly great games can really benefit from. It features 100 puzzles – that’s less than a penny for each one.