How we all scoffed when people suggested the iPhone would one day be a leading platform for gaming. Had they not seen how rubbish mobile phone games were? Had they not noticed the iPhone was entirely bereft of tactile controls? The fools!
Only things didn’t quite turn out as expected. Enterprising developers flipped everything on its head — shortcomings regarding tactile controls became benefits in terms of using new touch and tilt capabilities. Games became increasingly immersive as you interacted directly with content, and were forced to try new things through no longer being able to rely on the presence of a D-pad and buttons.
Today’s market is mired somewhat in freemium grindy hell, but gems still abound. Our list includes the very best premium and free titles the iPhone and iPad have to offer, handily grouped into sections, starting with racers, ending with arcade games, and taking in everything else you can imagine on the way.
Need For Speed Most Wanted
Fortunately, Most Wanted’s gameplay isn’t nearly as grey as the tracks that you find yourself zooming along for street-racer glory. Fairhaven would be better named Greyandverydrabville, but the arcade racing you get up to is of the gloriously breezy kind found in the likes of Sega’s OutRun 2.
You find yourself hurling your car recklessly off of clifftops (having, naturally, crashed through an advertising hoarding first), drifting around bends, or smashing up the Fuzz, if they’re stupid enough to get in the way of your race-winning ambitions while partaking in high-octane thrills.
BEST RACING GAME FOR IPHONE AND IPAD: GRID AUTOSPORT
You hear the term ‘console quality’ quite a lot with mobile games, but GRID Autosport actually is the Codemasters AAA hit shoved into your iPhone or iPad.
This means you get 100 cars, 100 circuits, and a ton of options to adjust how everything works. If you’re a beginner, keep all the driving aids on and tootle around in a Touring Car, until you get to grips with everything. A veteran? Go for the toughest difficulty and get your cockiness handed to you by losing control and driving your shiny race car into a wall.
With tons of depth, great visuals, and decent controls, there’s nothing else quite like this on iOS.
Beaming in from the future, AG Drive is more or less Wipeout for your iOS device. It looks superb, gleaming metal tracks flinging you about like the most furious of rollercoasters, while a gorgeous sunset or fierce electrical zap threatens to distract your attention for a fraction of a second too long.
The game totally nails the sense of speed that sets futuristic racers apart from those based around cars on tarmac, and the controls don’t let you down as you hover and speed your way to glory.
Download AG Drive (₹250)
RECKLESS RACING 3
The original Reckless Racing was an amusingly ramshackle affair, with rickety trucks and cars screeching around car parks and scrapyards. The sequel added depth but also too much polish, losing the series’ sense of character.
This third entry gets the balance right, enabling you to power-slide through a wide range of settings, including an airport, a charming European hilltop village and, worryingly, an abandoned and very clearly leaking nuclear plant.
The physics is a bit light, and the AI a touch aggressive, but this is as fun a top-down racer as you’ll find on mobile. It also clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously, adding a ‘gymkhana’ mode where you rack up points for ‘precision stunt driving’ in a beat-up old truck.
Download Reckless Racing 3 (₹190)