Apple’s iOS is fertile ground for a wide variety of great mobile games across every genre. Armed with strong graphics and responsive touch screens, the iPhone and iPad are solid gaming machines. Check out our roundup of some of the best games available on iOS across multiple categories. Whether you’re looking for the latest action-gaming hit, a cerebral puzzler or a story-driven role-playing epic, there’s sure to be something here for you.
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Best iOS Trivia Game
There’s a reason everyone’s talking about Trivia Crack. It is THE hyper-addictive game that challenges your brain, as well as the brains of your friends. It combines cute, cartoon designs with a wide variety of question types. Go up against Facebook friends or random opponents, and spin the wheel to answer questions based on sports, science, history, geography, art or entertainment. You must master each category to win the game.
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FTL: Faster Than Light
Best iOS Strategy Game
You’ve been waiting for the FTL: Faster Than Light game to come to iPad, and now it’s here. The title brings its brutally challenging space adventures to legions of gamers. You must outfight and escape a vast rebel armada as you protect the Federation’s last hope for victory, as captain of a Federation starship. Along the way, you’ll navigate uncharted space, unravel strange mysteries, and fight off pirates and slavers, while trying not to run out of fuel or oxygen. The numerous ships unlock, and the randomly generated galaxy ensures no two games are the same.
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Best iOS Sports Game
The app version of NBA 2K15 delivers great basketball gameplay to iPhones and iPads. Slick graphics and fast-paced action add to the latest updated Career and Quick Play modes, which are joined by new Season and Blacktop modes. Almost the entire console NBA 2K15 experience fits inside this mobile package.
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Real Racing 3
Best iOS Racing Game
Newly available for free, Real Racing 3 provides a fantastic driving experience that will make you wish for the open road. You can get behind the wheel of a wide variety of realistic-looking cars and speed them across beautifully rendered racetracks. Numerous game modes mean the fun never stops, as you complete time trials, standard races and the unique Time Shift multiplayer mode. Plus, you’ll continuously enjoy new content such as new cars and racing events.
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Best iOS RPG
In Shadowrun: Dragonfall, high tech meets high fantasy. It’s a cyberpunk-themed RPG that’s filled with cyborg elves and magic-wielding mega-corporations. You play the role of Shadowrunners, highly skilled freelance operatives who specialize in black ops. The world’s many mega-corps, governments and other shady conspiracies give you assignments. Improvements to the original game’s turn-based combat and fixes to the save-game system make this our top pick because it still manages to preserve the series’ wonderful fantasy cyberpunk ambiance.
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Best iOS Casino or Dice Game
Play Texas hold ’em poker with your friends or random players worldwide from the comfort of your touch-screen device with Zynga Poker. The app offers casual games of hold ’em, or competitive tournament variants such as Shootouts or Sit-n-Go. The free chips delivered to your account daily, with extra chips available for real money, will keep you coming back day after day.
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Best iOS Puzzle Game
Even if it weren’t so beautiful and set to such lovely music, you would still find yourself dreaming about Monument Valley. The designs of the puzzles draw inspiration from optical illusions and M.C. Escher prints. As princess Ida makes her way through a series of surreal monuments and structures, you must navigate hidden passages and manipulate mechanisms that may require you to rotate the map to make sense of each puzzle.
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Walking Dead: The Game Season Two
Best iOS Adventure Game
The follow-up to the award-winning and critically acclaimed series by Telltale Games picks up where the first season left off. In The Walking Dead Season Two, you play Clementine, an 11-year-old girl who has lived through the zombie apocalypse for well over a year when the new season begins. Instead of stumping players with difficult puzzles, The Walking Dead places an emphasis on character interaction and the emotional burden of decisions made. Players who have completed the first season are rewarded Mass Effect-style, as choices made in Season One (free) carry over to the new game.
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Infinity Blade III
Best iOS Action Game
The Infinity Blade series outdid itself with its third iteration and action-packed conclusion. As the fierce Siris or stealthy Isa, you take on the nefarious Worker of Secrets. The battle scenes are filled with frenetic swipe-and-tap combat that has proven a hallmark of all three editions. You’ll soon be crafting your own weapons, armor and potions in the new exploration hub, when you’re not storming into a fight. Spoiler alert: The last expansion, Kingdom Come, reveals more secrets and answers, and pits players against one very pissed-off dragon.
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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Best iOS Card or Board Game
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a fun, free and fair digital collectible card game that you won’t be able to stop playing. Playing as one of the great heroes (or villains) of the Warcraft universe — such as Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore or Gul’dan — you’ll fight epic duels and summon allies and minions to your side. The simple, easy-to-learn rules work cross-platform among PC, iPad and Android players. You can earn gold that can be spent on booster packs. Plus, in the Arena mode you can play in a special, “sealed draft” format that rewards canny deck building and smart play.
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Best iOS Family Game
Heads Up is sort of like charades, and it’s the most fun you’ll have at a party all year. The app challenges players to guess as many words as possible from a themed deck of cards based on their friends’ clues. You’ll quickly get over the awkwardness of holding your phone up to your forehead, where the screen displays the word to be guessed, because you’ll be laughing too hard. Deck themes include celebrities, movies and animals. You can even create your own custom decks with an in-app purchase of $0.99 per deck.
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