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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Best iOS Strategy Game
This stylish cyberpunk infiltration game mixes turn-based strategy and puzzle gameplay. As leader of a small team of fugitive agents, you pit yourself against all the technological might of the world’s great megacorps, infiltrating their strongholds to make off with valuable information, tools and resources. Invisible, Inc. features procedurally generated levels as well as campaign and endless game modes. With a roster of unlockable agents, gear and hacking programs, you’ll find yourself coming back for more.
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Best iOS Sports Game
Another season, another first-rate installment of this mobile basketball game. NBA 2K17 keeps the same slick graphics, a variety of game modes, and full court gameplay as before. Expanded gameplay features include a deeper MyCareer mode with a new Off Day Simulator, as well as an expanded EuroLeague feature, alternate team uniforms, and historic players. All of this comes on top of the already excellent package of Season, MyCareer, and Blacktop mode play, making this a premium sports game well worth its asking price.
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REAL RACING 3
Best iOS Racing Game
Real Racing 3 remains in the pole position among iOS racing games. This excellent free-to-play driving sim puts you behind the wheel of a host of real-world cars as you drive around gorgeously rendered real-world racetracks. Numerous game modes — including time trials, standard races and the Time Shift multiplayer mode — keep the challenges coming as updates add new cars and racing events.
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Best iOS RPG Game
In Shadowrun: Dragonfall, high tech meets high fantasy. This cyberpunk RPG is filled with cyborg elves and magic-wielding mega corporations. Players take on the role of Shadowrunners: highly skilled freelance operatives who specialize in black ops for the world’s many mega corps, governments and other shady conspiracies. Dragonfall improves on the original game’s turn-based combat, while preserving the series’ wonderful 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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BATMAN: THE TELLTALE SERIES
Best iOS Adventure Game
Telltale Games’ approach to narrative adventure is tailor-made for Batman, where the story-based approach lends itself well to the adventures of the Dark Knight. Batman: The Telltale Series does a great job exploring the dual identity and constant tension between Batman and Bruce Wayne. The first episode of the game comes free, with subsequent episodes available as in-app purchases. With the release of episode 5: City of Light, you can now play through the story in its entirety in one go.
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SUPER MARION RUN
Best iOS Action Game
Nintendo may have taken a long time to come out with a mobile Mario game, but Super Mario Run has proven worth the wait. The app is actually three games in one — an endless runner game in which you move Mario through 24 different courses, a multiplayer mode in which you challenge others for the best score, and a world-building mode in which you decorate your own mushroom kingdom. Throw in precise controls and colorful levels, and you’ve got an endless runner game done right. Best of all, after you pay the $9.99 to unlock the complete game — you can sample the first three levels for free — you don’t have to worry about any more in-app purchases adding to Super Mario Run’s cost.
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HEARTHSTONE: HEROES OF WARCRAFT
Best iOS Card/Board Game
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a fun and free 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, you’ll fight epic duels and summon allies and minions to your side. Learning the rules is a snap and are the same regardless of what platform you play on, for those times you play outside of your iOS device. 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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JUST DANCE NOW
Best iOS Family Game
Just Dance Now is a mobile spinoff of the hit console series, bringing more than 200 songs to iOS and Android smartphones — everything from “Uptown Funk” to “Jailhouse Rock.” While the game is free to download, you’ll need to pay for most songs, but temporary passes can keep the party going for as little as $1 an hour. You can also cast it to a big screen via Google Cast or Apple AirPlay so that a big group can get in on the fun.
Why we love iOS Games
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’ve just gotten an iOS device that you’re looking to load up with games or you’re a long-time iOS owner who wants to try something new, we’ve found the top action-gaming hits, cerebral puzzlers, role-playing epics and more.