The 18 Best Games for iPhone: Timeless Game Classics for Apple Smartphone

The iPhone is considered the death bringer of handheld game consoles. 

No wonder, such a smartphone is the perfect fun machine for the pastime on the go and has already produced one or the other classic. 

Are you ready for a good dose of nostalgia?


On the iPhone, the games work particularly well, which are easy to understand and entertain well over and over again without the need for great explanations. This includes above all skill tests and of course the many small brain games. The latter category includes the Threes!, which is available for 6.99 euros.

On a 4x4 playing field, it is necessary to push cards together horizontally and vertically in such a way that their numerical values double. Only identical cards may be pushed into each other.

In this way, they increase the score and also free up valuable space on the pitch. If all 16 fields are occupied, it is called "Game Over!". Easy to learn, but difficult to master in the hunt for the next high score!


Crossy Road: Greetings from Frogger!

In the early 1980s, the Hatz was perfected after the next high score. The patent recipe behind many arcade classics was that the game principle had to be simple and had to be explained in just one sentence – as with Frogger. The task assigned to the players: Steer a frog safely over a busy road.

A simple, indestructible game idea that was taken up in 2014 by the Australian development team Hipster Whale: Even in this colorful new edition of Frogger, it is important to steer your own character as far as possible over roads and other dangerous obstacles in order to achieve a new high score and thus leave a new target mark for your friends.

Alternative game figures, which can be earned by collecting coins or purchased as an in-app purchase, provide variety. Anyone who has subscribed to Apple Arcade has been happy about the sequel "Crossy Road Castle" since 2020, which is based on early Super Mario games instead of Frogger and is also a lot of fun.


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Fruit Ninja: Cut fruit, avoid bombs

The touch screen is the central element of every iPhone. However, many of the first games for the Apple smartphone made the big mistake of relying on traditional control methods. But it quickly became clear that the reproduction of a gamepad on the screen, for example, could hardly replace the original.

It was games like Fruit Ninja that profitably embraced the peculiarities of the touch-sensitive screen: Here, the finger becomes a razor-sharp blade with which fruits of the same size ninja art thrown into virtual space can be divided. Anyone who texturizes several fruits into just one stroke will receive bonus points.

As soon as a bomb is hit, however, it is called "Game Over". Various game variants and constant updates make Fruit Ninja a "must have" in 2021. It's just a pity that there are many in-app purchases lurking in the new app version – in the past, however, the game was a one-time purchase.


Angry Birds 2: Angry birds instead of plumbers and hedgehogs

Nintendo has the turtle hater Mario, Sega the lightning-fast hedgehog Sonic – and the iPhone a horde of angry birds. For a long time, no other iPhone game was more popular than Angry Birds, the fun fight of the always angry flutter men against the nasty, grunting pigs has produced several successors – even the Angry Birds have made it to the cinema.

The gameplay is catchy and quickly explained: A twin turns birds into deadly projectiles to hunt down the pigs hidden in the levels. The laws of physics apply. Cleverly placed shots can bring down entire buildings to bury the pigs deadly under rubble.

Thanks to the special abilities of the different birds and increasingly complex levels, Angry Birds is varied enough to be a lot of fun even years after its first release. In short: Angry Birds is a real classic!


Alto's Adventure & Alto's Odyssey: Llama Hunting on the Snowboard

What the game consoles their "Tony Hawks Skater" is the iPhone "Alto's Adventure". The game principle is very simple: By typing movements on the display, you guide the snowboarder Alto on an odyssey across different landscapes full of hills, forests, and abandoned ruins.

The task is to collect dislocated llamas along the way and jump over gorges, and snowboard over ropes. The game is incredibly relaxing, which is also due to the simple but beautiful light and weather effects, the landscapes, and last but not least the llamas – nothing beats llamas! The successor "Alto's Odyssey" offers a little more playful claim.


Cut the Rope: Addicted to sweets

Om Nom is addicted to sweets. To satisfy the never-ending hunger of the little green monster, you have to constantly feed it with sweets. But they are attached to ropes out of his reach.

In order to put the confectionery in the mouth of Om Nom, the ropes must be cut in the correct order. What sounds like a simple task becomes a tricky challenge in the further course of the game not only through time limits: Ropes can be stretched and moved, barbed wire, on the other hand, causes the sweets to burst when in contact and wrapped in soap bubbles, sweets have to be moved partly against gravity.

Over the years, the game has been expanded by numerous more levels and a whole series of sequels have been released: Cut the Rope is a real perennial favorite!


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Doodle Jump: Flying high!

Doodle Jump was one of the first big app store hits. The extremely simple gameplay certainly contributed to this. By simply tilting the iPhone in the desired jumping direction, it is important to let a small green being jumped higher and higher over an endless series of platforms.

This is easy to learn, but difficult to master, because steps that have disappeared from view dissolve immediately, the collision with nasty opponents or a jump of the "Doodler" into the void means certain death. Various power-ups, such as a propeller hat or a trampoline, grant advantages and bring variety to the endless game and to the hunt for the next top score.

Meanwhile, Doodle Jump also offers a multiplayer mode in which two Doodlers are allowed to compete.


Monument Valley I and Monument Valley II

The surrealist works of the artist M. C. Escher play with the limits of our visual perception and our mind: objects and buildings that at first seem completely natural turn out to be completely contradictory at second glance.

This form of art is raised to the game principle for around 5 euros each in Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2. Each of the levels consists of cleverly designed constructs in which the character must find the exit. For this purpose, it is necessary to manipulate the architecture of the levels by touching, rotating, and shifting in order to open up new paths unexpectedly. In Monument Valley, play meets art!

Vally 1

Vally 2

Tiny Wings: The surprise hit "Made in Germany"

Truly original games are rarely found in the App Store, and new genres are in short supply. One of the rare exceptions is the surprise hit Tiny Wings from 2011, which can be considered the "great-grandfather" of games like Altos Adventures. In Tiny Wings, you slip into the plumage of a small bird who wants to flutter as far as possible over hilly islands.

For this purpose, the bird is allowed to dive at the hand of a finger in order to use the hills of the colorful island landscapes as ramps and thus get as much momentum as possible. The faster you fly, the further you progress and collect correspondingly more points.

Only with the right timing can you reach the next of the increasingly challenging islands in terms of terrain. The goal of the game is to cross as many islands as possible before the time limit has expired.


Super Hexagon: The Ultimate Challenge

If you want to test your hand/eye coordination, Super Hexagon is the ultimate challenge. In simple graphics, the character represented by a small triangle must be guided through a labyrinth of geometric patterns and oddities. To do this, rotate the labyrinth with or counterclockwise with the finger pointer.

That would be hard enough even if you could set the pace of the game yourself. But with Super Hexagon you start right away in the difficulty level "Hard" at nerve-wracking high speed. The goal: to stay alive as long as possible.

And that's not so easy, because in the event of a collision, it's immediately "Game Over". If you don't despair at the first level, you can try your hand at even meaner game levels. The madness of the game is accompanied by a driving chiptune soundtrack by the Irish Niamh Houston aka Chipzel.


Reigns: Tinder for Monarchs

Reigns cross the swipe-based operation of dating apps like Tinder with a text adventure. In no less a role than that of a king, decisions have to be made by the controller on an ongoing basis. Decisions of urgency, decide on the well-being of one's own empire but above all serve the preservation of one's own rule.

Advice and requests are presented by a number of different characters – usually, a swipe to the right corresponds to an agreement, and a swipe to the left corresponds to a rejection of an input to the king. Every decision counts, it is necessary to keep four parameters that maintain domination (opinion of the church, people, and military as well as the account balance) at a minimum level.

If one of the values drops to 0, it is called "Game Over" in order to prevail in the next game perhaps longer. Meanwhile, Reigns is also available in a variant for all fans of "Game of Thrones".


Pou: The iPhone Tamagotchi

The Tamagotchi is simply not dead. With Pou, the virtual pet experienced a fully digital new edition. Players must pay close attention to the diverse needs of a small alien who is outwardly similar to an excretory product, which is also reminiscent of the name. Pou's hobbies are eating and playing.

So he often has to be fed and entertained by means of numerous mini-games. However, the games are almost all levelless pastimes: reaction tests, match-three games, and a doodle jump derivative. In addition to the amusement of the alien, the mini-games serve to earn gold, for which the player may buy goods and consumables.

To actually speak of a game with Puo would be wrong, instead, the description of unlovingly cobbled together the meaningless waste of time seems more appropriate. Nevertheless, Pou is one of the classics among iPhone apps.


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ARD Quiz: The megahit in German-speaking countries

ARD Quiz is the classic among the German-language quiz games for the iPhone. Here you not only train your own general education but also play against each other in competition.

In alternating rounds, you answer questions from various categories one after the other. The official app combines several quizzes and shows shows from the public service program. From "Who knows something like that?" to "Asked – Hunted" to the legendary "Quiz Duel Olympus", the application offers numerous opportunities to guess.


Journey & Flower: Artistically stunning

The development team of ThatGameCompany has repeatedly distinguished itself through captivating adventures in recent years. Two special pearls from the portfolio are Journey and Flower. The latter is one of the first titles for the PlayStation 3, which is now also playable on the iPhone. The aim of the game is to make all the flowers bloom.

While Flower delights with colorful meadows, Journey manages to bring a sandy world to life and fill it with adventures. Discover secrets and play together with others. The breathtaking journey is supported by an epic soundtrack that was even nominated for a Grammy.

Both titles cost 5.49 euros each and are still worth every cent today.

Download Journey

Download Flower

The Witness: Puzzled Island

Demanding games are exactly your thing? Then "The Witness" might be right for you. You wake up alone on an island full of puzzles. You can take this literally. All over the small island, there are boards scattered that seek your attention. Each puzzle solved brings you a little closer to the truth as new paths open up that were previously blocked to you. In addition, take your time and explore the environment that often puts your intelligence to the test.

Will you manage to escape from the island? For 10.99 euros you get a clever masterpiece that challenges your mind and surprises you repeatedly.


Tetris: The absolute classic

Since the 1980s, Tetris has been one of the most popular titles. for almost any game console and consumer electronics. With Tetris Effect, the block puzzler even makes it into virtual reality. On the iPhone, however, you can also daddle the classic in a familiar manner and lose yourself in it for hours. Learn techniques and break your own records. Or compete against players from all over the world – privately or in battle royale mode with up to 99 other enthusiasts.


Among Us!: The co-op spectacle with a lot of enthusiasm

Nothing is as it seems. This is the motto of the surprise hit "Among Us!". With up to ten players, you can get your spaceship ready for launch. Sounds simple? Of course, it is not. A person takes on the role of the mole and sabotages the endeavor as unnoticed as possible by secretly killing the crew one after the other. To do this, you create chaos and confusion, while you should not act too conspicuously. The others can win if they can get the spaceship ready to go or throw the mole out of the team.

However, the free-to-play title is financed with advertising, which can be removed for 2.29 euros.


Hitman GO: Strategy with tact

You know the Hitman series for consoles and PC. The iPhone has also received a spin-off that offers a very special experience. Instead of sneaking up, dressing up and exploring generous areas, you proceed step by step.

On the game grid, you always move one field forward. Your opponents too. Therefore, the direct way is not always the best. Time your actions correctly and become Agent 47.


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