The best iPhone games of 2018

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

If you’re a gamer, there is no better phone to buy than the iPhone. Both the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus brought bigger screens to iOS, but it’s the success of the App Store that makes the iPhone such a great platform for gaming. With more than a million apps, the gaming options on the iPhone are nearly limitless. But finding the best iPhone games isn’t always easy.

Not every game in Apple’s massive library is worth a $1 — or your time, for that matter. Lucky for you, we’ve taken on the burden of sorting through the sea of titles to bring you some of our best iPhone games, whether you’re looking for a casual puzzler or something a bit more biblical. For more ideas, check out the best Android games, because most of them are available for the iPhone as well, and if you want to switch off that screen, the best board games could offer a welcome alternative.

HQ

HQ is a live trivia game where you have the chance to win cash prizes, but only if you make it through all 12 rounds. The show airs every day at 9 p.m. ET with additional shows on weekdays at 3 p.m. ET.

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iTunes

Trivia Crack

With Trivia Crack, you can play your friends, random opponents, or even yourself. By spinning the wheel, you’ll land on a category such as entertainment, sports, geography, and more. Once you collect all of the different icons, you win the game.

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iTunes

Sporcle

Sporcle provides you with a variety of different brain teasers to solve across a wide range of topics like television, geography, and sports. There are also new quizzes and challenges added every day.

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iTunes

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

best iphone games ios grand theft auto

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on iOS has been remastered and enhanced specifically for mobile. With over 70 hours of gameplay, this Grand Theft Auto installment takes you back to the hood as you follow the life of Carl Johnson who has returned home in an effort to salvage what he left behind.

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iTunes

Heads Up

Heads up! is a different type of trivia game than you might be used to. With a wide range of celebrities, animals, accents, and more you have to guess the word that’s on the card by placing the phone up to your forehead — so you can’t see it — and interpreting your friend’s clues.

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iTunes

Dragon Hills 2 ($3)

In Dragon Hills 2, you get to fight against the zombie apocalypse on a mechanical dragon. Discover lands filled with dragons, giants, zombies, and more, while sliding down hills and destroying everything in your path.

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iTunes

Alto’s Odyssey ($5)

As a sequel to Alto’s Adventure, Alto’s Odyssey transports Alto from the snowy mountains to the majestic desert. Whether it’s sandboarding past snapping vines, rushing water inside the temple zone, or windy tornadoes, this infinite runner provides you with an endless backdrop of stunning visual content.

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iTunes

Limbo ($4)

best iPhone games: limbo

A terrific, touch-controlled platform game, Limbo is a stunning saga of a boy who wanders through a haunting industrial jungle. There’s no explanation, no dialogue, and no shortage of horrendous surprises. It’s the kind of game that stumps you for hours until something clicks and you suddenly realize how simple the answer was.

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iTunes

Ocmo ($5)

Ocmo is a game that’s a bit on the darker side — you’re tasked with killing ragdoll rabbits as you control Ocmo through different environments. As you advance throughout the game, the obstacles become more difficult as you try to navigate Ocmo towards the rabbits without killing Ocmo yourself. With 80 levels and over ten hours of gameplay, you’ll have plenty of time getting to know the little creature and how to successfully complete each level.

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iTunes

Vikings: an Archer’s Journey ($3)

best iPhone games: Vikings: an archer's journey

In Vikings: an Archer’s Journey you control the character Nott, a Valkyrie who has been sent to the Underworld by the Viking gods. You must use your keen archery skills to conquer the enemies you encounter along the way.

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iTunes

Fortnite

If you can’t get enough of Fortnite on your computer or gaming console, you can also download it on your iPhone. While you do need an internet connection, Fortnite on mobile lets you compete in a 100-player games as you attempt to claim the title of last one standing.

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iTunes

Old Man’s Journey ($5)

old man's journey

Like To the Moon, Old Man’s Journey is a game that sets out to tell a very specific story about life and the choices we make (or don’t). You follow the titular Old Man as he travels across the country, aiding him along the way by altering the hills and landscapes in front of him, and interacting with the objects and people he meets. Gorgeous locations, brought to life with hand-drawn art and animations, will ensure your attention never diverts from the story being told. It’s short, simple, and may be a welcome change of pace from other games that have debuted this year.

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iTunes

Frost ($5)

Frost is a visually stunning puzzle game filled with vibrant colors and powerful background music. Within each level, you’re presented with an orb of a specific color along with a swarm of other colors. Depending on what color the orb is, your job is to guide the same color within the swarm towards the orb. Since the game isn’t specific about what you’re supposed to do, part of the challenge is figuring out the concept as you advance from level to level.

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iTunes

hocus. ($1)

Based on the drawings of graphic artist — M.C. Escher — hocus features 100 mind-bending levels to solve. Each puzzle is made up of minimalist 3D shapes in the form of cubes or lines. As an added bonus, there’s also relaxing music and sounds playing in the background.

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iTunes

Poly Bridge ($5)

best iPhone games: poly bridge

There’s something satisfying about coming up with a design for a bridge, building it, then sending a car to the other side without your bridge comically collapsing. Of course, it’s also just as entertaining to see how ridiculous your crashes can be, and how absurd your bridge designs can get. Fortunately, Poly Bridge lets you accomplish all of these things, and you can compare your bridges and achievements to other players around the world, because surely someone made something better (or worse) than you.

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iTunes

Fallout Shelter

best iphone games fallout shelter

With Fallout Shelter, you’re in control of protecting others from the dangers of the “Wasteland” following a nuclear explosion. It’s up to you to control and build the perfect vault to keep your Dwellers happy and the community running smoothly.

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iTunes

NBA 2K18 ($8)

best iphone games nba 2k18

Another year, another NBA 2K game. With NBA 2k18, there’s expanded gameplay controls, such as more rebounding capabilities and the option to sprint on defense. There’s also a multi-season mode with the ability to control a franchise and its future, as well as new music, fresh interactions, and more.

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iTunes

Monument Valley 2 ($5)

best iPhone games: monument valley 2

The sequel to 2014’s Monument Valley, Monument Valley 2 puts players in control of Ro, as she guides her child through overwhelmingly beautiful, yet impossible architectural structures that continue to be inspired by the likes of M.C. Escher. You don’t need to play the first game to enjoy its successor, which is sure to captivate, amaze, and leave you puzzled for hours. Read our Monument Valley 2 review to learn more.

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iTunes

Minecraft ($7)

best iphone games minecraft

With Minecraft, you can get those creative juices flowing by digging and building things. You’re also in control of the game with the ability to create your own 3D world through exploration in a variety of different gameplay modes.

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iTunes

The Witness ($10)

The Witness is a single-player game with over 500 puzzles has stunning graphics and immersive sound effects. The plot begins with waking up alone on a deserted island and having no recollection of how you got there. To find your way back home, you have to discover clues and solve all the different puzzles.

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iTunes

Prune ($2)

The plot behind Prune is as soothing as the graphics. By swiping your finger, you get to grow your own tree under the sunlight and care for it as it grows over time. You’ll get to trim branches and watch flowers bloom, while also protecting it from poison. As you excel throughout the game, you’ll be exposed to pollination and be able to grow more trees as well. As the levels become more intense, as do the trees which start to grow to a much larger size as their branches begin to twist and intertwine.

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iTunes

Florence ($3)

From the lead designer of Monument Valley, Florence tells the story of a young woman who falls in love for the first time. Through a series of different puzzles, you get to experience the ride alongside stunning visuals.

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iTunes

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Long before Harry Potter received his letter to Hogwarts, class was already in session at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. In this game, you get to see what Hogwarts was like before Harry ever set foot on campus by exploring never-before-seen rooms, investigating early mysteries, and more.

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iTunes

The Sims Mobile

The Sims Mobile is a portable take on the classic game, but with more of a millennial spin to it. You get to create your Sim with more customization options than ever — including different style options, distinguishing features, and personality traits. As for your Sim’s personal life, they will experience finding a job, decorating a home, attending parties, and of course, falling in love.

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iTunes

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition 

With Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, the 15th Final Fantasy is now available on your smartphone. With vivid graphics and easy controls, you get to play through all 10 chapters from the comfort of your mobile device.

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iTunes

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run

Nintendo’s first official release for iOS sees the mustachioed marvel in a new role — namely, flying through levels at maximum velocity. The free version is a bit lacking, but a one-time investment of $10 unlocks the whole Mushroom Kingdom for your speed-running pleasure.

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iTunes

Sonic Runners Adventure

If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, Sonic the Hedgehog is back for more adventures. This time around, you’re on a mission to save Sonic’s universe as you explore four iconic locations, unlock new characters, and more.

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iTunes

Reigns: Her Majesty ($3)

Reigns: Her Majesty is the sequel to last year’s Reigns. But with this version, you have to make important decisions as queen — ones that could alter your dynasty or your reputation on the throne. By swiping left and right through a deck of cards, you’re asked to make decisions by a variety of different characters when it comes to raising taxes or even abolishing alcohol. Be careful though, some of your choices could lead the queen to death.

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iTunes

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Heroes of Skyrim (Free)

There’s no shortage of fantasy collectible card games thanks to the likes of Hearthstone, Gwent, and now, The Elder Scrolls: Legends. If you’re at all familiar with Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls series, specifically Skyrim, you’ll recognize many of the dragons and characters that populated the world. The game offers hours upon hours of things to do, be it the solo story mode, playing against friends and strangers in ranked play, drafting a deck, or creating your own to find unique card combinations. Whether collectible card games are your forte, or you’re new to the concept, The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Heroes of Skyrim will make you feel right at home.

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iTunes

Clash of Clans

best iPhone games: clash of clans

Build up your settlement, plan your defenses, raise an army, and guide your tribe to victory against nasty goblins or other clan leaders. It’s a good combination of slow planning and quick, chaotic battles. Unfortunately, the pay-to-win structure is irksome.

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iTunes