The top 10 best iPhone games

ByDuncan Heaney

What are the best games to play on Apple’s smartphone? Check out our list of favourites, which includes irritable birds, witty pirates, heavily-armed fishermen and more...

An iPhone provides a world of entertainment you can keep your pocket. You can use it to watch movies, listen to music, read books and more.

You can even use it to make calls, but where's the fun in that?

If there's one thing iPhone users have embraced, its games. The App Store is packed with thousands of things to play, from quick little time-wasters, to complex life-eating extravaganzas.

With so much on offer, it can hard to know what to play - after all, not everything's going to be good. With that in mind, and in no particular order, we at have picked out our 10 favourite games on the platform.

Angry Birds

Price: 69p, also available on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is a phenomenon. What was once a simple game about catapulting fowl-tempered squawkers at limbless pigs has spawned lunchboxes, board games, cartoon series - even theme parks.

Yet despite all this success, they're still a grumpy bunch of flockers. That's good for us because it remains a fun and addictive game. There are quite a few Angry Birds games on the App Store now, including Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars.

For us though, it's hard to knock the original from its perch. Developer Rovio's been releasing free updates containing new levels for the game for years now, so for sheer volume of content, Angry Birds is hard to beat.

Also consider: Crush the Castle

Jetpack Joyride

Price: Free, also available on Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows 8, PlayStation Network

Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride is pretty much what the title implies - you guide a character with a jetpack through an obstacle course to see how far you can get. The game falls firmly into the 'endless runner' genre - you keep moving forward until you hit something painful. Actually, if you think about it, it's almost a metaphor for life.

However, Jetpack Joyride mixes things up by introducing optional missions that either add challenges or mix up the gameplay to keep things fresh. Completing enough missions gives you in-game cash with which you can buy new equipment, which makes it easier to complete new missions. It's a perfectly-designed deliciously vicious circle capable of keeping you playing for hours.

Also consider: Vector, Temple Run, Canabalt, Punch Quest, Sonic Dash

Plants vs Zombies

Price: 69p, also available on Android, BlackBerry 10

Plants vs Zombies

Zombies are shambling towards a house, and it's up to the flora to teach that undead fauna a lesson. That's the premise behind Plants vs Zombies - one of the most popular strategy games on iOS to date.

It all starts deceptively simply, but soon flowers into a game that demands a surprising amount of thought - from the plants you pick to how you manage your resources. Once it gets its roots into you, you won't want to put it down, and with its breezy cartoon visuals, cheery music and sense of humour it photosynthesises pure charm.

Also consider: Star Defense, Crystal Defender: Vanguard Storm

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

Price: £1.99, also available on Android

Monkey Island 2

A true classic, Monkey Island II first came out in 1991. In 2010 it was re-released with a fresh coat of paint, newly recorded dialogue, designer commentary and more. It may be close to two decades old, but what's really shocking is how well it's aged.

That's because it's based around hilarious dialogue and well-designed puzzles - two things that tend to stand the test of time well. The game sees hapless pirate Guybrush Threepwood searching for the lost treasure of Big Whoop, while trying to stay out of the clutches of his nemesis, LeChuck.

If you like action and instant gratification, this isn't one for you, but if you value games that make you think and laugh we can't recommend the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood highly enough.

Also consider: The Secret of Monkey Island, Broken Sword: Director's Cut, Walking Dead Episodes 1-5, Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episodes 1-5

Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of Redemption

Price: 69p

Ridiculous Fishing

Another game that does what it says on the tin. In Ridiculous Fishing, you go fishing. In a ridiculous way.

Gameplay is simple - cast off, and your lure sinks towards the bottom of the ocean. On the way down, you have to avoid fish, but when your character starts reeling in, you have to touch as many as you can on the way up. When you reach the surface, the sealife is thrown into the air, and you have to blast as many as you can before they return to the watery depths.

It's instantly accessible, easy to play and provides players with a steady stream of rewards that keep you coming back for more. All said, it's just ridiculously fun.

Also consider: Doodle Jump, Sonic Jump


Price: £2.99 (iPhone 4S or higher only)


When Bastion was first released for Xbox 360 in 2011, it was one of the most critically-acclaimed games of that year. Now available on iPhone, it's easy to see why it got so much praise.

Controlled from an isometric viewpoint, players control a nameless character, exploring floating ruins and battling fantastic creatures to save a ruined world. While you play, a narrator describes almost every move you make. It sounds odd, but it's effective at creating a storybook atmosphere and telling a surprisingly compelling tale.

A fantastic soundtrack and beautiful hand-painted-art -style graphics round off one of the most memorable games of recent times.

Also consider: Final Fantasy IV, Zenonia

Cut the Rope

Price: 69p, also available on Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian

Cut The Rope

In this physics-based puzzle game players are charged with dropping a brightly coloured sweet into the mouth of a little green alien ... monster... thing. Video games are weird.

The game itself is very simple - you simply have to cut a series of ropes in the right place to swing the sweet into the right position. Doing that, however, is not always as easy as it sounds - particularly if you want to collect the three optional stars from each stage.

With tons of levels, crisp graphics and controls simple enough for anyone to pick up in seconds, Cut the Rope is as sweet an experience as the candy you're callously force feeding to monsters.

Also consider: World of Goo, Cut The Rope Experiments

Words with Friends

Price: Free with adverts/£1.99, also available on Android, Windows Phone

Words With Friends

Interesting fact: the 50 billionth app downloaded from the App Store was a word game. Not this one, but it does show that lots of us love a good ol' linguistic challenge.

Words With Friends is another riff on Scrabble - players compete against each other, placing letters on a board to try to create the best-scoring word possible. It's multiplayer only, but what makes Words With Friends stand out is just how easy it is to find someone to play against - you can either search for a friend by username, connect via Facebook or just find a stranger to play a game with. Games can play out in an hour or last for days - it's entirely up to the players.

Also consider: Scrabble, Lexulous

Infinity Blade II

Price: £4.99

Infinity Blade II

With the ... let's call it 'premium' price of an iPhone, it's only natural that you'd want something that showcases its graphical capabilities.

Enter Infinity Blade II. This fantasy fighting game offers some of the best visuals on iOS. It's not a bad game either, as players explore a castle on a set path, battling the twisted inhabitants along the way. It's likely that you'll fail, but that's OK - the game is based on the concept of death and rebirth. Each time you die, you revive with little penalty, meaning your character continually gets stronger, and gets further through the castle with each attempt.

It's a game that rewards precision over reckless finger-waggling, and although there's a bit of a learning curve, and the fantasy aesthetic will likely be a turn-off for some, Infinity Blade represents solid entertainment and a real treat for the eyes.

Also consider: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Avengers Initiative

Where's My Water?

Price: 69p, also available on Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Where's My Water?

This fluid-based puzzler from Disney made quite a splash when it landed on the App Store, thanks to its colourful characters and expertly designed levels.

Swampy the crocodile (or is he an alligator?) wants a wash, but he has no water - that's right, it's yet another iPhone game with an overly descriptive title.  It's up the player to dig out paths in the earth, and use various environmental tools to direct water towards Swampy's shower.

Where's My Water is incredibly easy to pick up and play, and has loads of levels to keep things flowing and your interest afloat.

Also consider: Where's My Perry?


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