I’m often asked for iPhone game recommendations, so I’ve decided to post my list of the ten best games available for the platform. The plan is to post a list every few weeks, so please click the “top ten lists” label below to make sure you’re looking at the latest version if you’ve come to this post through a search engine. This list is in alphabetical order and consists of my own personal choice of games, based purely on how much I enjoy them.

33rd Division

A line-drawing game in the tradition of Flight Control and Harbor Master, but with a stealthy twist. Your job is direct soldiers to safe spots on the map, but without them being seen by the enemies. You can’t just draw a path, but must adjust it as the enemies patrol and lie down to stay out of sight. It’s tough, rewarding and incredibly exciting, distilling the essence of stealth into a fast-paced arcade rush.

Angry Birds

An immediate classic, Angry Birds arrived on the iPhone with little fanfare, but captivated everyone who tried it. It wasn’t just that people were losing sleep trying to get through all the levels – it’s that they then lost more sleep trying to get the full three-star rating for each one. A simple game where you launch birds at fortifications, the consistent physics and excellent level design lifted this above similar games. The only real problem is that after many hours spent trying to fully complete the game, it still leaves you wanting more. Much, much more.


Superb conversion of the web-based Flash game, Canabalt is a pure rush, controlled simply by tapping the screen when you want to jump. It’s wonderfully presented, perfectly simple and hugely addictive, with the randomly-generated levels meaning you can never be sure quite what’s ahead.

Doom Classic

Arguably the best game ever made, Doom has never really translated well to handheld consoles due to control difficulties. The iPhone version, however, controls beautifully and makes this the third-best version of this classic game (after the PC and Xbox 360 versions). The level design, weapons and enemies are still as wonderful as ever. If you’ve ever loved Doom, this is the version to carry around in your pocket. If you’ve never played, now’s the time to start.

iDrop Dead: Flower Edition

A physics-based puzzler where your job is to inflict as much damage as possible to cute cartoon characters. Tear their limbs off, expose their skulls and blow them up. This is a game, though, not an animated joke and the level goals are well-judged and careful consideration and well-timed flicking is needed to get them all. Forget Ragdoll Blaster and Max Injury, iDrop Dead is the pinnacle of the ragdoll genre and the Flower Edition contains the most content and is well worth paying for over the free versions.


There are a lot twin-stick shooters on the App Store, but Minigore is the best. It may not have the RPG-like aspects of Alive-4-ever or the maze-like levels of Against The Fire, but it surpasses all other examples of the genre in pure frantic shooting fun. It’s fast, furious, relentless and tuned to perfection.


Fantastic game that tests your aim and your brain. The mechanics are hard to explain, but obvious when you play. It’s a brutally hard game, but never unfair. Like many great games, you may develop a love-hate relationship with it – but you’ll keep going back.

Ridge Racer Accelerated

At launch this was a rough gem, plagued by slowdown and frame rate problems. A patch was issued quickly, though, and on the 3GS at least, performance is now nearly perfect. It doesn’t have the content of the PSP version of the game, nor the polish, but the glorious tilt-based steering makes it worth owning alongside other versions. No other racer on the iPhone comes close to the sheer terror the game can generate as you struggle to control your car round the twisting hills of the classic Ridge Racer courses. The price you see on iTunes doesn’t include the whole game – you need to set aside another three quid or so for the downloadable content – but it’s worth it.


The sound-bite description is Mario Galaxy in 2D, but with its cute visuals and small, but increasingly challenging, levels Soosiz soon leaves its inspiration behind and proves itself to be its own master. It controls perfectly, features a surprising amount of variety and has a enough levels to keep you going for a long, long time. It’s a joyous, bouncy experience, reminiscent of the best 16-bit platformers while being completely modern.


Sometimes you need to kick back and feed your brain, not your reactions, and there are a number of grid-based number puzzles for such occasions. There’s Sudoku, obviously, and KenKen, but the best of them is Str8ts. It’s impossible to say why, but Str8ts is simply the most satisfying puzzle game there is. It’s always logical and if you’re stuck, it’s only ever because you’ve missed something. The ratio between baffled staring and eureka moments is just right and when things flow, it’s glorious.