The Best iOS Games: 35 Picks for 2019

Since hundreds of apps are submitted to the App Store each and every day, finding the right game can feel like a nightmare. Now, before you PC gamers say anything, gaming on mobile can actually be a pretty fun experience. As iPhones are fairly compact—at least compared to a quality gaming tablet—gaming on-the-go never felt so good. What's more, Apple devices are now more powerful than ever and therefore gaming is much more enjoyable. The thing is, choosing from the million+ apps can be a daunting task—and honestly, some apps aren't worth your time or money. Luckily, we’ve done all of the hard work for you by creating this list. So, whether you have an iPhone, an iPad or the classic iPod touch, here are some of the best iOS games for 2019. 

The Best iOS Adventure Games

1. Fortnite

  • Release Date: 26 September 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 11.0 or later)
  • Size: 147.1 MB
  • Price: Free
fortnite

There’s no denying that Fortnite is one of the most popular video games of all time. But when Fortnite mobile was released back in 2017, everyone went crazy. Fans could finally play their favourite battle-royale game on-the-go, without needing to cart around their high-end gaming laptop. Instead, players had the game at the palm of their hands. While you will require an internet connection in order to jump online, Fortnite mobile still allows you to compete against 100 other players for the winning title. So, will you be the next champion? Or will you take the L?

2. Garena Free Fire

  • Release Date: 4 March 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 977.1 MB
  • Price: Free
garena free fire

Much like Fortnite, Garena Free Fire is a fun, free mobile survival shooter game. Rather than facing 100 players, you will have a mere 10-minutes to seek survival and battle it out against the 49 other players. But don't worry, you don't have to go in alone. By creating a squad of up to 4 players, your chances of survival will inevitably increase. What's more, you can chat with your friends with in-game voice chat, which in turn, will lead you to victory. Ultimately, like every other battle-royale game, your main goal is to survive on the island.

3. Minecraft

  • Release Date: 16 August 2011 (Minecraft Pocket Edition)
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 285.1 MB
  • Price: $6.99
minecraft

We all know that Minecraft is a massively popular game suitable for the whole family. But when Minecraft pocket edition was released on the App Store back in 2011, fans went crazy—at least I did. As you travel around the real world, you have the ability to explore and create your own virtual 3D world in a variety of different game modes. Why not jump into creative mode where you have access to unlimited resources? How about survival mode where you have to collect resources for yourself? Whatever game mode you choose, the sky really is the limit. 

4. Roblox

  • Release Date: 11 December 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 165.8 MB
  • Price: Free
roblox

Roblox is an enormous MMO game with millions of different game modes to choose from. In fact, much like the App Store, the library of games created by the community is constantly growing. So you really can't get bored of Roblox for mobile. What’s more, millions of people play the game every single month, so the Roblox community is absolutely insane. You can even create your own avatar, chat with friends and go on an epic role-playing adventure. So regardless of whether you own an iPhone, iPad or even an iPod touch, you escape reality for a while in Roblox. 

5. MARVEL Contest of Champions

  • Release Date: 10 December 2014
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 206.4 MB
  • Price: Free
MARVEL Contest of Champions

MARVEL Contest of Champions is an accessible iOS fighting game suitable for Marvel lovers across the globe. As you take control of Marvel characters using the convenient touch controls, you have the option to team up with your pals to build a strong Alliance. As you play the game, you'll notice how fantastic the graphics look—despite this being a mobile game. If you prefer a chill game and you want to play solo, you can also journey through the storyline and explore a whole host of interesting quests alone.

6. Walking Dead: The Game

  • Release Date: 24 April 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 6.0 or later)
  • Size: 384.5 MB
  • Price: Free
Walking Dead The Game

Based on the original comic book series, Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Game is a brilliant episodic adventure series fit for zombie lovers. Thanks to moral choice gameplay, you get to decide how each episode ends—so tread carefully. As you'll be forced into making difficult decisions, it's an apocalyptic game that really gets you thinking. Spanning over five episodes, plus a special episode known as ‘400 Days’, exploration and decision-making is necessary for survival. 

7. The Simpsons: Tapped Out

  • Release Date: 29 February 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 7.0 or later)
  • Size: 81.4 MB
  • Price: Free
The Simpsons Tapped Out

The Simpsons is one of the longest-running cartoon series going. So when I heard they had a mobile game, I was stoked. If you're into games that don't require much thought, you'll love The Simpsons: Tapped Out. You essentially have to send your characters off to do jobs and tasks around the world in order to earn money and experience. The money that you earn can then be used to buy characters and other cool stuff for your town, such as decorations and buildings. While you do require a network connection to play the game, it isn't a very demanding app—unless, of course, an update is needed.

8. Board Kings™

  • Release Date: 8 March 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 186.9 MB
  • Price: Free
Board Kings

Board Kings is an adorable, free-to-play strategic mobile board game for iOS. Like most board games, you start off with an empty space, but as time goes by, you can quickly build up your custom board. As you collect cash, you have the option to buy new properties that can be upgraded in the future. Now, although Board Kings is very similar to Monopoly, it's a colorful alternative to the classic board game. If you do decide to install the game, you must note that players can invade your home base, slowing down any progress you have made. Albeit, you can do the same to other players, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that aspect of the game.

9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • Release Date: 12 December 2013
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 2.1 GB
  • Price: $6.99
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

If you're a fan of the GTA franchise, you'll know that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is arguably one of the best games in the series. Nine years after the PS1 title, Rockstar Games released the open-world game on mobile for a mere $6.99. Even if you haven't upgraded your phone in a while, don't worry—you'll still be able to control CJ on the iPhone 4s. Albeit, if you own a modern iPhone, you’ll be able to enjoy the remastered, high-resolution graphics on a larger screen. 

The Best iOS Action Games

1. Jetpack Joyride

  • Release Date: 1 September 2011
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 152.7 MB
  • Price: Free
Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride is a classic iOS game that I remember playing as a child. Eight years later, it remains as one of the best action games on the App Store. It's one of those apps where you tell yourself: "Just one more turn!" Of course, one does not simply have just one more go. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, your goal in Jetpack Joyride is to escape from a lab after stealing a specialized jetpack. Thanks to the jetpack, you have the option to either run or fly through the game as you dodge rockets and other objects. It's a fairly simplistic game, yet you just can't help but play it over and over again.

2. Angry Birds 2

  • Release Date: 30 July 2015
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 686.9 MB
  • Price: Free
angry birds 2

If you've ever played the first Angry Birds game, you'll know just how addictive it can be. Back in 2015, Angry Birds 2 was released and I simply couldn't wait to relive the original iOS title. Even though you still have to slingshot cartoon birds at flimsy forts, Angry Birds 2 features some fun new levels and fresh new challenges for all types of gamers. Saying that, after you've spent your five lives, you must either wait 30 minutes for each life to regenerate, watch an ad, or pay to refill a life—which can get a little tiring after a while. If you dislike this feature, there's nothing stopping you from installing the original Angry Birds game.

3. Brawl Stars

  • Release Date: 15 June 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 235 MB
  • Price: Free
brawl stars

Brawl Stars is a brilliant iOS action game with a tonne of different game modes for you to try out. Since there are so many game modes, it's hard to place Brawl Stars into a specific genre. To describe the game, we'd say it’s a mix of Battle Royale and MOBA. The first event you're introduced to is a team game in which you must collect 10 gems and hold them for 15 seconds without dying. It sounds fairly simple, but gems can pop out of the box. Of course, there's also the battle royale mode that you can play with your friends—but rather than facing 99 other players, there are only 10. Since there aren’t as many enemies as there are in Fortnite, Brawl Stars isn’t as hectic as other battle royale titles. Still, it’s a fun cartoon-style game that you’ll inevitably play for hours on end.

4. Subway Surfers

  • Release Date: 24 May 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 226.2 MB
  • Price: Free
subway surfers

Like most of the games on our list, Subway Surfers is one of those “one more go” titles. Although it came out seven years ago, it sits at #9 in the Apple Store Action genre. To describe the game, it's essentially an infinite runner with simple controls used to dodge items and collect coins and power ups. You can then use these coins to purchase Subway Surfers and other sweet cosmetic items. As the graphics are bright and playful, it's definitely a child-friendly game that you can throw at any crying child. Just, for the love of God, keep them away from microtransactions.

The Best iOS Puzzle Games

1. Candy Crush Saga

  • Release Date: April 12, 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 255.7 MB
  • Price: Free
candy crush saga

Candy Crush Saga is one of the most addictive puzzle games on the App Store. Your main goal is to combine colorful candy in a way that enables you to complete certain tasks. The most common combo, for example, consists of combining three matching candies in order to make them disappear. Seems simple enough, right? Well, it isn't. In fact, Candy Crush Saga can become very frustrating, but will you put the game down and quit? Nope! You will inevitably keep going until you've finished the level.

2. Candy Crush Soda Saga

  • Release Date: 20 October 2014
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 201.3 MB
  • Price: Free
candy crush soda saga

Although Candy Crush Soda Saga is essentially the same as Candy Crush Saga, it’s always nice to have a variety of different games to play. This iOS puzzle game involves combining multiple pieces of candy in order to complete objectives. Once you combine the candy, BOOM—a blast will occur through large areas. As this game features a tonne of candy combos and hundreds of different levels, there's no reason to overlook Candy Crush Soda Saga.

3. Tetris

  • Release Date: 12 September 12 2006 (iPod) 
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 107 MB
  • Price: Free
tetris

If you've never played Tetris, where have you been? Released in 1984, Tetris is one of the greatest video games of all time. If you live under a rock, Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle game in which you have to continually stack tetrominoes in order to clear a line. It sounds manageable, but as time goes by, things start to speed up. Which in turn, will cause you to panic and eventually lose. But trust me when I say you will be stuck playing this game for hours on end.

The Best iOS Trivia Games

1. HQ - Trivia & Words

  • Release Date: 26 August 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV (iOS 11.0 or later)
  • Size: 109.6 MB
  • Price: Free
HQ - Trivia & Words

Fancy testing your knowledge? How about a real cash prize? Then HQ - Trivia & Words might just be for you. It's an excellent iOS trivia game that really gets you thinking. Since HQ - Trivia & Words is played live, you have to compete alongside thousands of other players around the country. In this version, you can win by doing two things: solving word puzzles or answering trivia questions. When I put it like that, it sounds very straightforward—but when you're under a strict time limit, you really feel under pressure. 

2. Trivia Crack 2

  • Release Date: 25 October 2018
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 410.9 MB
  • Price: Free
trivia crack 2

Prefer something a little less competitive? Trivia Crack 2 is an extremely addictive iOS trivia game found in the App Store. Even though the second version in the series is very similar to the original title, it's still extremely addictive. Like most games, you can either choose to play against a friend or a random human. When in-game, there are six different categories that make up a wheel. Whatever the wheel lands on determines the type of question you will have to answer, such as Science and Entertainment. Thanks to the different categories, there are plenty of questions to answer and therefore you must put on your thinking cap for this one. 

The Best iOS Sports Games

1. 8 Ball Pool

  • Release Date: October 2010
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 146.5 MB
  • Price: Free
8 ball pool

8 Ball Pool is another addictive game that will probably make you rage. As the title suggests, it’s essentially a mobile pool game that you can play against friends or strangers. Even if you're terrible at pool in real life, you’ll be happy to know that the app is extremely easy to comprehend, even for casual players. The game consists of multiple different levels which you must pay to play using in-game currency. If you win a game, you'll win twice the amount you paid to get in. There are also some other game modes such as 9 ball where you must hit the balls from the lowest to the highest number. But don’t take too long—each player gets a mere 30 seconds to make a shot. Take any longer and you'll have to pass on the cue to your opponent.

2. True Skate

  • Release Date: 18 October 2016
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 143.2 MB
  • Price: £1.99
true skate

If you didn't have a Tech Deck in school, what were you playing at? There was no better way to waste breaktime than to practice doing an ollie using your fingers and a plastic board. But why not use your fingers to control an on-screen skateboard? Well, with True Skate, you can do just that. True skate is a realistic skating game where you take control of a virtual skateboard. You can travel to real skate spots to practice your tricks on rails and stairs right before taking on challenges. It's no Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but it's still a great skateboarding game for iOS.

3. NBA 2K19

  • Release Date: 11 September 2018 (worldwide release)
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 3 GB
  • Price: $7.99
nba 2k19

If you're on a budget and you can't afford NBA 2K19 on console, worry not as the mobile version costs a mere $7.99. Despite the fact that this is a mobile app, the graphics are outstanding, while the game itself is a very accurate representation of the console counterpart. Like the console version, there are four main categories: MyCAREER, Play Now, Story Mode and The Association. When it comes to gameplay, everything feels very smooth to control, which is why it deserves a place on our list. 

The Best iOS Racing Games

CSR Racing 2

  • Release Date: 29 June 2016
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 3.1 GB
  • Price: Free
csr racing 2

Are you a fan of the racing series Forza? What about Gran Turismo? Then chances are you'll love this iOS racing game. CSR Racing 2 is a mobile racer with a bunch of different races to compete in. When it comes to activities, they almost seem endless. And with over 200 officially licensed cars to collect and customize, the fun really doesn't stop. If, like me, you're pretty competitive, you'll most likely enjoy the single-player Crew Battles set in picturesque environments.

The Best iOS Card Games

1. Hearthstone

  • Release Date: 11 March 2014
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 1.6 GB
  • Price: Free
hearthstone

Hearthstone is a fascinating trading card game that will most certainly appeal to Magic: The Gathering and Gwent fans. I mean, this game is absolutely stunning. From the moment you jump into the game you're greeted by stunning cards with beautiful interactions. Although it's a fast-paced game in which you throw spells at your opponents and summon minions, don't worry if you're unfamiliar with this strategy title. There are plenty of tutorials that will help you to understand Hearthstone.

2. Miracle Merchant

  • Release Date: 2 August 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 179.5 MB
  • Price: $1.99
miracle merchant

From the second you click on Miracle Merchant in the App Store, you just know it's going to be a fascinating card game—and it truly is. The art style is extremely colorful, something that drew me in like the color yellow in The Simpsons. But once you installed and open the app, things just continue to get better. In Miracle Merchant you play the role of an apprentice of a master alchemist. Every single game is unique, which in turn, forces you to constantly test your skills. 

3. Exploding Kittens

  • Release Date: July 2015
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 244.3 MB
  • Price: $1.99
exploding kittens

As morbid as it sounds, Exploding Kittens is a very addictive iOS card game. As it's one of the most-backed Kickstarter ever, it’s clear that people wanted to play this game as soon as possible. Since its release, Exploding Kittens has climbed its way to the top and sits at second place in the App Store Card game genre. Once you open the app, you have the option to play with 2 to 5 friends face-to-face, or if you're feeling really antisocial, you can play online with strangers. As the creators put it, it's essentially a 'kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette'—a perfect description for this cartoon kitty card game. 

The Best iOS Strategy Games

1. PUBG MOBILE

  • Release Date: 9 February 2018
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 2.4 GB
  • Price: Free
pubg mobile

If you've heard of Fortnite, chances are you've heard of PUBG. Generally speaking, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds helped pioneer the hectic battle royale genre. It went from an obscure mod to a mainstream game fast, and since it's so popular, you know they just had to release it on mobile. PUBG Mobile is an excellent game that runs extremely well owing to increased power and the larger screen sizes iPhones have to offer. What's more, there are millions of active daily users, so you know the mobile version is just as good as the PC version.

2. Clash of Clans

  • Release Date: 2 August 2012
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 161.2 MB
  • Price: Free
clash of clans

Even if you aren't into mobile gaming, you've most likely heard of Clash of Clans. It's a very fun game in which you must build a village and populate it. You then have to use these troops to attack and raid others in the PvP or the single player campaign. But once you raid another player's villages and steal their loot, watch out—they will come for your kingdom, too. Since players can also destroy your village, your goal is to protect your buildings using walls, cannons and even bombs, so choose where to place your units wisely.

3. Clash Royale

  • Release Date: 2 March 2016
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 7.0 or later)
  • Size: 143.1 MB
  • Price: Free
clash royale

Clash Royale is another game brought to you by the creators of the successful mobile game, Clash of Clans. If you've ever played Clash of Clans, you'll most likely recognize some characters as you enter Clash Royale. This game by Supercell is essentially what you'd get if a collectible card game and a MOBA had a child—and a pretty good looking one at that. Your main goal? To destroy all three of your opponents' towers using only 8 cards.

4. Pokémon GO

  • Release Date: 6 July 2016
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 10.0 or later)
  • Size: 282 MB
  • Price: Free
pokemon go

Back in the summer of 2016, it seemed as though everyone was out playing Pokémon GO. Actually, it seemed like the only reason people went outside that summer. Your main goal? To catch them all. Unlike the original game, Pokémon GO is an AR (augmented reality) mobile game developed by Niantic. Thanks to the power of technology, once you stumble upon a Pokémon, it appears as though it's there right in front of your eyes. Just, pay attention to the real world if you decide to install this game.

5. Plants vs. Zombies™ 2

  • Release Date: 15 August 2013 (iOS)
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 119.8 MB
  • Price: Free
plants vs zombies 2

Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a challenging, animated strategy game where zombies go up against, well, plants. It sounds crazy, I know—but trust me, it’s extremely fun. If you've played the first game in the series, you'll know the basics of the game: grow plants to defend zombies from attacking your brain. With a variety of new themes, you really can't get bored of this colorful, Plants vs. Zombies game. Plus, the satisfaction you feel when you complete a level is like no other, so we just had included it to our list.

The Best iOS Simulation Games

1. The Sims FreePlay

  • Release Date: 15 December 2011 
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 1.1 GB
  • Price: Free
the sims freeplay

We can probably all agree that The Sims is one of, if not the, best life simulation franchises to exist. The Sims FreePlay, in particular, enables you to play The Sims on mobile while you travel or simply lay in bed. With this Sims iOS game, you can create your dream home, live a perfect life, and visit your friends' town. It's honestly one of the most addictive games available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that we highly recommend you install. 

2. Homescapes

  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 212.6 MB
  • Price: Free
homescapes

Homescapes is one of those games you've probably seen advertised more than enough times. But sometimes, ads make you give in—and that's exactly what happened with me and Homescapes. It's a fairly simple game with two types of gameplay: a "match three" puzzle game and a "home improvement" game mode. Every time you successfully complete a challenge, you will earn a star. Stars can then be used to purchase new items for your home, or to improve the existing items in your old home. Your main goal is to essentially make the house look as good as possible.

3. Gardenscapes

  • Release Date: January 2010
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 9.0 or later)
  • Size: 293.3 MB
  • Price: Free
gardenscapes

Considering we have included Homescape to our list, we simply couldn’t leave out Gardenscape. If you prefer to be at one with nature, Gardenscape is a go-to iOS simulation game that you must install right now. Instead of a home, Gardenscape fittingly allows you to restore and redecorate your dream garden. In order to complete garden tasks, you'll need to spend the stars you earn. Even though this game is very similar to Homescapes, there are a variety of new challenges and board designs used to keep things fresh.

4. Design Home

  • Release Date: 15 November 2016
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 228.3 MB
  • Price: Free
design home

Are you a creative individual looking to take on design challenges? Then Design Home might just be the perfect game for you. In this iOS simulation, you take on the role of a designer who will be presented with a range of design briefs. Even though the game tends to choose where all of the furniture goes inside the room, you get to pick the style of the furniture. You can pay for said furniture using in-game diamonds, or if you really want that one fancy sofa made from pixels, you'll probably splash the cash on diamonds.

The Best iOS Role-Playing Games

Episodes - Choose Your Story

  • Release Date: 18 December 2013
  • Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (iOS 8.0 or later)
  • Size: 144.5 MB
  • Price: Free
Episodes - Choose Your Story

Even if you’ve never played Episodes: Choose Your Story, there’s a high chance you’ve seen it advertised. As strange as some of the ads are owing to the weird dialogue, it’s admittedly pretty addictive. It's basically a storytelling game where you create your own characters, as well as their stories. It's a very simple game that you can easily jump into without prior experience, which is most likely the reason why it's so successful. Either that, or the fact that there are some pretty inappropriate scenes. 

Conclusion

Since there are millions of iOS games to choose from, selecting the right one for you can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, our list contains some of the best iOS games on the market right now—old and new. We covered some of the most amazing word game apps in the other article.

If you prefer Android over iOS for mobile gaming, then boy do we have a treat for you. The thing is, before you start gaming on mobile, you’re going to need the absolute best Android phone on the market. This way, you’ll be able to make the most out of your mobile gaming experience.