The best games for iPad, free iPad games, and top paid-for titles, all in one neat little list. Here's T3's top iPad games to pack onto your Apple tablet...
Both the Apple iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 are powerful pieces of metal and glass. They are great for browsing the web, checking your emails, reading a fine tablet magazine like T3 (ahem) and even getting a bit of work done. But, for many of us they are becoming the mobile gaming device of choice. Outpacing dedicated handheld consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony's PS Vita.
Since the arrival of Apple's genre defining slate five years ago (yes, it's been that long) the titles available have grown steadily more impressive. Now, you can pick up a Bluetooth controller and sit back with a game that is just as good as some console releases a few years ago, it's pretty incredible.
Whether you're looking for a Call of Duty like shooter, or something from an indie developer, the iPad has a game for you. The App Store is literally brimming with great games for iPhone and iPad. The question is, how do you spot the time-filler amongst the tidal wave of money-wasters? Well we've done the hard work for you rounding up some of T3's personal favourites to bring you all the must-have iPad gaming titles.
Sid Meier’s Starships
Some people get sniffy about ‘proper’ games on iPads. But Sid Meier’s Starships starships proves it can work, and that you don’t need to spend hours in a darkened room to enjoy it.
Like a space-bound version of Sid Meier’s classic Civilization, Starships sees you reach out into the stars. You command a fleet of ships and build relationships with planets, grow your army and kick the backside of alien space armies.
There’s as much strategy as action involved, though, with a careful balancing act involved. Start doing favours for one colony to enlarge your coffers and you could well end up ticking off the one next door who hates their guts. You jump from system to system, expanding your forces and taking on the enemy, using belts of asteroids our in deep, dark space as your cover.
It’s pretty epic. So how does it work on the smallish iPad screen? Well, while full games of Sid Meier’s Starships can stretch on four hours, it’s all cut up into quick turns that don’t even take as long as your daily grind on something like Clash of Clans.
Some of the PC crowd complained that Sid Meier’s Starships was a bit too streamline for their hardcore expectations: it’s available on Windows and Mac OS X too. However, we iPad owners get to benefit, because it feels just-about perfect on a tablet.
This is the sort of game that can suck up as much time over months as one of those casual titled jam-packed with on-app purchases, but with no chance of spending a small fortune on it. This is one of the few iPad games that charges a fair whack at the outset, £10.99, but doesn’t try to squeeze any more out of you after that.
£10.99 | Download Sid Meier’s Starships
Attack the Light: Steven Universe
Not heard of Steven Universe? It’s a Cartoon Network show from one of the main people behind Adventure Time. And if you don’t know Adventure Time, you need to school-up at YouTube, stat.
Attack the Light: Steven Universe is the first game of this 2013 TV show. And it’s one of the best iPad TV tie-ins to date. A Japanese-style RPG, you trawl through dungeons scattered with enemies that you take on in turn-based battles inspired by Nintendo classic Paper Mario.
Bear with us, because when we explain a bit more about the story it’ll sound like nonsense unless you are a Steven Universe fan. Steven is friends with a bunch of supernatural characters called the Crystal Gems, and it’s up to them to save the seven lights who have escaped from the powerful Light Prism artifact.
It may sound like nonsense, but it’s really just the basis for your usual adventure romp. And you don’t need to be a fan of Steven Universe to understand or enjoy the game itself.
It’s dripping with humour and charm, and unlike to many other TV tie-ins it does real justice to the show. It hasn’t just been trotted out in the developers’ lunch breaks.
Call us wimps, but we also like that it’s not desperately hard. It’s a RPG with no grind required. You still get the thrill of levelling-up your characters, without having to trudge through endless enemies to get a bit of gratification.
There’s light puzzling and light adventuring, letting the visuals and voice work, which are just like the TV show, work their charms. You’ll get a handful of hours of run out of Attack the Light: Steven Universe, and it’s nice to have a game that has an ending for once.
With no in-app purchases there’s no need to keep you playing for months with the same old content and mechanics. It’s a surprise smash, especially for the Steven Universe fans out there.
A new take on the Asphalt series, with a more endless runner vibe, but still jammed packed with usual flair and massive amount of tricks. Set in 80’s California, the game looks great, with bright colours and cartoony graphics, while the gameplay itself is fast paced and fun, with plenty of stuff to do. As with all Asphalt games we still have an issue with the sheer amount of IAP options available.
Free | Download Asphalt Overdrive here
A beautiful looking game developed right here in the UK. ALONE.. is a survival adventure set in space. It utilises endless running gameplay, so your score racks up as dodge rockets, comets, asteroids and we can tell you it’s ridiculously addictive.
£1.49 | Download ALONE… here
Far from a mobile version of the console classic, this is the full Bioshock game, condensed down and fully playable on your iPad. Impressive, eh? All the levels are included, as have the weapons and the upgrade system is here in full force. The on-screen controls are one of the games downfalls, so we advise picking up a Bluetooth controller, like the Steel Series Stratus, if you want to get the most out of it.
£7.49 | Download Bioshock here
Doodle Jump DC
Doodle Jump has partnered with DC Comics to bring some of its greatest superheroes and villains into the cartoon, endless jumper universe. In this first episode you take control of the caped crusader and battle again The Joker, Mr. Freeze and others.
Free | Download Doodle Jump DC here
Star Wars Galactic Defense
Another Star Wars spin on the classic tower defense game, with over 100 different environments to explore. You’ll command a load of iconic characters from the George Lucas created universe, from Luke Skywalker and Yoda and even choose which path you want to go down - the dark or light side.
Free (with IAP) | Download Star Wars Galactic Defense
If you like scrabble then Word Forward may be for you. Instead of gaining as many points as possible, you're tasked with finding words to lower your starting score - with the perfect game ending in zero. It may sound easy to find words in a grid of letters, but careful planning is required to ensure you don't leave any tiles stranded. There are a variety of special titles to aid you in your quest for a size zero score, but again they should be carefully considered. Your scrabble brain will be called upon time and again here.
Free | Download
Remember Tic-Tac-Toe (a.k.a noughts and crosses)? Well forget everything you know about the game, because Ten turns the simple box filling game up to eleven in what is a real workout for the old grey matter. Instead of playing one game of Tic-Tac-Toe, you play nine mini games at once - and those grids make up one larger game. Hence the name "Ten". It's difficult to get the hang of it, but once you've got it go and challenge your friends - they'll be just as confused as you were to start with.
Free | Download
Everybody's favourite blue hedgehog is back in this addictively fast paced game. Think Temple Run on steroids and that gives you a pretty good idea of the sort of experience you're in for. There are gold rings to collect, enemies to dodge, other characters to unlock and a whole host of upgrades to purchase - so plenty to keep you occupied for quite some time.
Free | Download
A beautiful game which encourages you to smash the place up. What's not to love? Smash Hit flies you through 3D environments armed with a set of steel balls to demolish various targets with. The simple controls of tapping where you want a ball to be fired means you'll be able to pick up Smash Hit instantly, although it takes a while to master.
Free | Download
Surreal. That's probably the best way to describe Pretentious. A simple game at heart, you're tasked with reuniting the blue square on one side of the screen with the pink square on the other with just left, right and jump controls at your fingertips. Add in the sad music to the 8-bit graphics and you'll be hypnotised into a glum trance as you try and rekindle the love between blue and green.
Free | Download
If you want the ultimate football game on your iPad then the stalwart which is the FIFA franchise should be your first port of call. Unlike previous iterations, FIFA 14 is free to download - although you'll need to splash some cash in-app to unlock things such as career mode. Don't let the in-app sell out put you off, FIFA 14 is well worth the money, and the game is far easier to play on the bigger screen of a tablet.
Free (in-app purchase required) | Download
God of Light
God of Light is a beautifully simple game where you need to direct a beam of light to an end source using a series of reflective mirrors. It all sounds very easy and for the first few levels you'll start to question where the challenge is here, but it doesn't take long to start complicating things. Before long you'll be better at angles than a mathematician as you work every millimetre to your advantage.
£1.49 | Download
Who doesn't love a good tower defence game? Kingdom Rush is one of the best around, offering a comprehensive selection of attacking towers and upgrades plus a varied array of enemies. Your strategic might will be truly put to the test. A slick interface and intuitive controls makes Kingdom Rush easy to pick up, but devilishly difficult to put down. Time to clear your schedule, this could take a while...
£0.69 | Download
Cut the Rope 2
Om Nom is back and he's got five new friends in the sequel to the smash hit Cut the Rope. There are 120 brand new levels for you to play through, and you can guarantee that every ounce of cunning in your body will be put to the test as you try to feed Om Nom his candy. Graphics have also been given a boost over the original and game play is slicker making Cut the Rope 2 an excellent package all round.
£0.69 | Download
Those pesky monkeys! They've only gone and stolen all your treasure from your ship, but it's okay, with you keen eye and steady hand you can fight your way through the jungle and wrestle back all your loot. The graphics are pleasing on the eye and the controls are simple to pick up, but as you progress things become more complicated, obstacles increase in numbers and difficulty and you'll be planning the use of your power ups very carefully for maximum effect.
Free | Download
Bug Heroes 2
Teeeeeeeeen-hut, soldiers! It's time to launch yourself into the shrunken battle grounds of Bug Heroes 2. This wonderfully crafted 3D game lets you nurture 25 different heroes, oh which you can have two of to play with at any one time. Finding the perfect duo for your missions is vital, as you'll be utilising their unique strengths to help you succeed.
£0.69 | Download
What's cooler than driving some of the hottest supercars in the world? Driving them sideways of course! ACR Drift lets you do exactly that, encouraging you to throw one of over 50 exotic cars around the various international locations with a simple swipe of your finger. The controls really are that simple, a swipe left, a swipe right - but to pull off the perfect drift takes practice, timing and a lot of skill. Will you be able to master it?
Free | Download
Clash of Clans
If you enjoyed the likes of Age of Empires and Empire Earth on the PC back in the day then you'll enjoy dabbling in Clash of Clans. Build up your base, recruit an army, join a clan and attack others. There is a wide range of upgrades, troops and buildings to choose from and while there are wait times for building it's not so slow as to force you into an in-app purchase - although the option is there if you want it.
Free | Download
Remember those tiny finger skateboards which took the playgrounds of Britain by storm a few years back? Well they're back, in digital form, thanks to True Skate. Ollie to your heart's content around the well modelled 3D skate park which boasts all the props and obstacles you need to pull off the sickest tricks. Controls are intuitive and even youngsters will be able to pick True Skate a pull of slides, grinds and flips with ease.
£1.49 | Download
Oceanhorn really shows how far mobile gaming has come as it packs a fully featured RPG with excellent visuals, a strong storyline and deep gameplay all into an app you can play on the train home. Master swords & magic and explore around the open world, all with intuitive controls that fit the touchscreen perfectly.
£5.99 | Download Oceanhorn
We were massive fans of the rebooted Tomb Raider when it was released earlier this year on consoles, but nothing quite matches up to the original. Whip out those dual pistols once again and take Lara Croft on an adventure through constantly varying locations and environments, meeting a whole load of memorable characters along way. 69p for a whole heap of nostalgia is a bargain.
69p | Download Tomb Raider 1
Lego Star Wars
We had the prequels, but now finally we have the entre Star Wars saga converted majestically into Lego. Travel through all six films, playing with a load of different characters and reliving some memorable highlights. You’ll get the first part free, though to continue you will have to spend some cash. It looks great and plays fluidly, what more could a Star Wars fan want?
Playing as a ‘naked hero’ may sound a little odd, and well, it is, but that’s what this game is all about. Travelling on his trusty bike, our chilly main character must use all his skills to navigate the tricky frozen post-apocalyptic wasteland and, hopefully, find love. From crumbling cities to fairgrounds, the environments are spot on and the gameplay is smooth and addictive.
Plants vs Zombies 2
The zombies are back! In this sequel to the mobile gaming behemoth that has spawned an army of devoted followers. Protect your garden from attack with the help of a variety of power-ups and of, course, a green-house worthy selection of cheery plants. It’s easy to begin with, but soon it becomes surprisingly tricky, especially as the zombies come in thick and fast. As with the original, its look fantastic, especially on the iPad.
The latest entry in the ever growing Stickman series focuses on the beautiful game itself; yep that’s right, football. Completely arcade styled, it’s a blast to play and within minutes you’ll be utterly hooked – finding time especially to fit in a game. Choose from 32 teams to play as, with three different difficulty levels and even play a full season. Bored of the pitch? Hit the streets for a backyard kick about.
69p | Stickman Soccer
Assassin's Creed Pirates
Coming hot on the heels on its console brother, Pirates focuses on those eye-patch sporting, parrot loving sea dwellers. Taking the fantastic naval battles from Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag and building a complete game around them is a masterstroke. The gameplay is devilishly difficult to master, yet fun, fast and addictive. An RPG element consisting of building up your ship will keep you playing for a long time.
Football Manager Handheld
Once you start a game of FM, it’s not surprising for the next few days to blur into a mix of tactics, transfers, board meeting and countless press conferences. Playing on an iPad is also a much more rewarding experience than on a phone, the bigger screen gives you more room and it just feels more natural. FM 2014 is purely addictive, yet superbly deep for a mobile game. Back of the net!
Angry Birds Go
A fresh take on the Angry Birds phenomenon, this time putting those pesky birds toe to toe with the Mario Kart franchise. The world is beautifully represented, for the first time in the series, in 3D and the looks great on the iPad Air’s 9.7-inch Retina display. Everything plays well until you hit the ‘in-app purchase wall’ and you’re forced to either wait or cough up cash. Still, it’s a great game and clever new direction.
Free |Download Angry Birds Go
The Wolf Among Us
From the people behind the fantastic ‘The Walking Dead’, comes an episodic story where every decision you make can effect the events outcome. Released sporadically until summer 2014, the brutal story is immersive and, like any good TV show, keeps your coming back for more.
£2.99 | Download The Wolf Among Us
The Room Two
The sequel to Apple’s Game of the Year 2012 is a wonderfully realised, thrilling puzzler that keeps you coming back for more. It’s challenging, especially when you start to progress, yet the game plays intuitively and looks fantastic thanks to detailed 3D environments. An atmospheric soundtrack tops things off, while iCloud and Game Center support is the icing on the cake.
£2.99 | Download The Room Two
GTA: San Andreas
Completely remastered, with high-res graphics built just for mobile and three different ways of control, GTA: San Andreas roars onto the App Store like the gaming juggernaut it deserves to be. Replay Carl Johnson’s epic story, attempt the host of side missions or just drive around, listening to the radio.
Walking Dead: The Game
One of 2012's Games of the Year, The Walking Dead is a point and tap adventure, loosely based upon the graphic novels of the same name. In a world that is crumbling under the weight of a zombie apocalypse, you play Lee - a convicted criminal who takes Clementine - a young orphaned girl - under his wing. Brilliant writing and voice acting make this genuinely unmissable, and the evolving relationship between Lee and Clementine is one of the great video game journeys.
Price: Free | Download Walking Dead: The Game iPad app
Deus Ex: The Fall
If you have a thing for computer hacking, robotic arms and sneaking around office blocks in long leather jackets, well.. join the club. The Fall comes directly from the same people who made 2011's "great-apart-from-the-rubbish-bosses" Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and they've done a fantastic job. The virtual sticks work well, you can tap to target enemies and all in all, this is as fluid a shooter as you'll find on iPad.
Price: £4.99 | Download Deus Ex: The Fall iPad app
Temple Run 2
The follow up to the phenomenally successful Temple Run ticks all the right 'if it ain't broke' boxes. Now you have mines, forests and cliffs to navigate, some of which are littered with zipline and mine cart sections. You probably don't have time to stop and look, but trust us - it looks lovely this time round too.
Price: Free | Download Temple Run 2 iPad app
Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes
Batman, Robin, Superman, Green Lantern and 80 more Lego comic book chums join forces for a humourous romp through the DC Universe. You'll need at least 1.3GB of space for the install, but for good reason - there's hours and hours of gameplay here, and all with that vintage Lego humour.
Price: £2.99 | Download Lego Batman: DC Super Heroes iPad app
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Knights of the Old Republic is still one of the best Star Wars games - and indeed, RPGs - ever made, despite being set some 400 years before any of the stuff from the films happened. It looks amazing and crucially pays homage to the iconic Star Wars characters to keep superfans happy, delivering and engaging story and brilliant RPG and action gameplay through-out.
Price: £6.99 | Download Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic iPad app
One of the most original games of the last decade, Mirror's Edge combines striking visuals and challenging gameplay to make something that's incredibly hard to put down. Get lost in a free-runners dream, and don’t look down.
Price: £0.69 | Download Mirror's Edge iPad app
Real Racing 3
With realtime reflections, shadows and graphics that wouldn’t look out of place on a home console, Real Racing 3 is stunning proof of the real power of the latest iPad. It also features “Time-shift multiplayer”, which means you can challenge a friend one day, and then race their ghost the next.
Price: Free | Download Real Racing 3 iPad app
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land
Set during the First World War, you mut guide a group of soldiers through the mustard gas-drenched trenches, led by a mysterious American chemist and occult boffin Professor Brightmeer.Based on the old-school role-playing game, itself inspired by king of understated horror HP Lovecraft’s cult novels, this dark iOS tale of madness is no Angry Birds – it’s a truly immense, turnbased strategy sim for your Apple tablet.
Price: £2.99 | Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land iPad app
Contre Jour HD
Think Cut the Rope but with stellar looks, Contre Jour (translated to against daylight) caught T3's eye when it was first shown off at E3 and we've been playing it ever since. Controlling a slinky creature called Petit, you can manipulate elements of the environment to achieve your goal all with one of the most gorgeous soundtracks playing in the background.
Price: £1.99 I Download Contre Jour HD iPad app now
Forget Words with Friends, there is a new social game phenomenon in town and it wants you to flaunt your artistic talents. The Pictionary-esque title gives you the words which you then need to draw and hope your friends can work them out just from your scribbles. Take your challenges to Facebook and Twitter and beware, you will get hooked...
Price: £1.49 | Download Draw Something iPad app
The sumptuous PC/Mac indie adventure goes portable, full of puzzles, gorgeous artwork and bitesize, commute-happy challenges. Operating a little robot called Jeff who is out to save his robotic girlfriend, the game is packed with puzzles and brain teasers to keep you occupied with an original soundtrack that makes it one of the most gorgeous looking games on the App Store.
Price: £2.99 | Download Machinarium iPad app
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
S: S&S EP sees a young Iranian nomad girl traveling through dark, tortured, David Lynch-esque surroundings. The latest update for iPad takes full advantage of the larger display to better experience the mind reading, mushroom munching, moon-phased madness. Expect beautiful, haunting landscapes and a fantastic soundtrack.
Price: £1.49 | Download Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery iPad app
N.O.V.A. 3 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
The first person shooter is back for its third installment packing a new graphics engine that makes it look as slick as ever. Our hero Kal Wadin is tasked with recovering a stolen artifact and there's hordes of aliens to plough through before you can get your hands on it. It's like a space age Call of Duty for your iPad.
Price: £4.99 I Download N.O.V.A. 3 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance iPad app
Plants vs. Zombies HD
It's been a great year for developers Popcap, having been bought up by gaming giants EA and this addictive tower defense game probably helped EA get on board. It's all about protecting your home from a zombie infestation with only a series of plants as a means of keeping the undead at bay. It's got a cartoonish charm, and is guaranteed to keep you busy for some time.
Price: £4.99 | Download Plants vs. Zombies HD iPad app
The Sims FreePlay
It's one of the most successful PC franchises of the last decade, and yes, it’s all for free! In this version, you create 16 Sims, and do pretty much exactly what you’d do in any other Sims game: live their lives. Whether it’s finding a new job, buying that new hot-tub, or trying to land a date with the next-door neighbour, The Sims FreePlay has it covered.
Price: Free | Download The Sims FreePlay iPad app
Where’s My Water?
Disney’s physics-based puzzle app sees you having to deliver water to Swampy the Alligator’s shower, deep below the city. With over 200 levels to work your way through, and offering various different challenges along the way, this game proves is well worh the £0.69 it will cost you to grab it from the App Store.
Price: £0.69 | Download Where's My Water iPad app
Words with Friends HD
As if playing Draw Something wasn’t enough, Words with Friends brings Scrabble to the iPad, so you and your friends can fight it out to prove which of you best knows the Oxford English Dictionary. The large screen not only makes everything that little bit easier to do, but also enables strangers to look over your shoulder and point out that glaringly obvious word you’re missing. Some of us need all the help we can get.
Price: £1.99 | Download Words with Friends HD iPad app
Grand Theft Auto 3
Rockstar’s classic and controversial third instalment of the GTA series has been brought to the iPad to celebrate its 10th anniversary, providing you with the chance to wreak havoc over Liberty City all over again. The switch from console to iPad hasn’t diminished the gameplay or humour from the original, which means GTA 3 remains a hugely fun game for the iPad.
Price: £2.99 | Download Grand Theft Auto 3 iPad app
Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation
Possibly the closest thing you can get to Call of Duty on the iPad, Gameloft’s Modern Combat 3 sees you fighting a multi-national terrorist alliance across 13 single player levels, set all over the world, from Alaska to the Middle East. The first-person shooter also offers multiplayer action for up to 12 players.
Price: £4.99 | Download Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation iPad app
Angry Birds Space HD
The latest edition of Rovio’s Angry Birds series sees you and your army of furious birds leave gravity behind in pursuit of those pesky green pigs. Hitting a record 20 million downloads in the first week of its launch in March, there doesn’t seem to be any chance of Angry Birds relinquishing its position as the number one game for tablet and smartphone users.
Price: £1.99 | Download Angry Birds Space HD iPad app
Dead Space on the console has a reputation for being one of the most terrifying games ever made, and fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how easily scared you are), the petrifying ambience of the title has been recreated successfully for iPad. Shooting your way past hideous aliens, it’s the eerie atmosphere that places this game a step above other titles as long as you are wearing your headphones that is...
Price: £2.99 | Download Dead Space iPad app
Infinity Blade II
The sequel to what was something of a blockbuster title for the iPad, Infinity Blade II provides a few improvements on its predecessor whilst maintaining the familiar swipe and slash feel as well as the almost console-like graphics. New battle moves are available to the hero, and new upgrades to weapons and armour can be obtained along the way.
Price: £4.99 | Download Infinity Blade II iPad app
Max Payne Mobile
Rockstar are certainly making a habit of revamping their past glories for release on tablet and smartphone, and fresh on the heels of GTA 3 comes the iPad version of Max Payne – again in celebration of the action hero’s 10th anniversary. Optimised for the Apple devices, Max Payne Mobile never strays too far from the gritty, fast-paced action that made the original so popular.
Price: £1.99 | Download Max Payne Mobile iPad app
Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
This flight simulator makes the most of the high resolution screen surroundings of the new iPad, allowing for stunning visuals throughout. The gameplay is relatively straightforward, and once you’ve completed the tutorial, you’ll be ready to jump straight into a dogfight up in the skies. There is also the option of online play, as well as access to new planes through the completion of various objectives.
Price: £2.99 | Download Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy iPad app
Street Fighter X Tekken
There were fears, but this would-be button masher feels perfectly at home in it’s new touch screen housing. It’s fluid, it’s fast and it may well be the best looking mobile fighter to date. Although it only has a small roster, the game’s online matches will provide endless hours of gameplay to compensate.
Price: £1.99 | Availability: Download street Fighter X Tekken iPhone app
Asphalt 7: Heat
Gameloft's latest road racer continues the evolution of the franchise in spectacular style, adding over 60 cars from genuine manufacturers like Aston Martin and Lamborghini, online multiplayer for up to 6 players and bleeding-edge graphics that give even the likes of Real Racing 3 a run for its money.
Price: £0.69 | Availability: Download Asphalt 7: Heat iPhone app
Nothing showcases the iPad’s power better than BitMonster’s gorgeous and richly textured, non-violent adventure ‘Lili’. Our botanist and ‘veggie magician’ teen travels across the island of Geos, collecting flowers to defend herself against the cursed spritis that inhabit this beautiful environment. Laden with mini-games and progressively challenging.
Price: £2.99 | Download Lili iPad app
Released on the PlayStation Network back in 2010 and then on Xbox Live Arcade, daredevil Joe Danger brings his stunt biking antics to the iPhone with over 50 levels to play through and 30 new characters to unlock all optimised specifically for touch screen control.
Price: £1.99 | Download Joe Danger iPhone app
Minecraft - Pocket Edition
The PC and XBLA smash is perhaps one of the more logical ports to a smartphone or tablet and has since been optimised for the next generation iPad so you can immerse yourself in Minecraft's open worlds. If you've never played before, just remember how happy you were when you first played with Lego.
Price: £4.99 | Download Minecraft – Pocket Edition iPad app
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Driving games are a dime a dozen on the App Store but thanks to Real Racing creators Firemonkeys, Most Wanted is a visually slick racer that boasts great controls and a more map based Fairhaven over the open world environment used in the console version. Nonetheless, there's 35 cars to unlock and you can raise that Wanted level for some time before you feel the need to delve into the murky world of in-app purchases.
Price: £2.99 | Download Need for Speed Most Wanted iPad app
Football Manager Handheld 2013
The relationship-ending management sim is back adding more playable leagues, a more intuitive way to compare players, improved media interaction and the ability to promote through the ranks if the board is being tight with the budget.
Price: £6.99 | Download Football Manager Handheld 2013 iPad app
Into the Dead
Making zombie-dodging as frantic and tense as it should be, this endless running action serves up great visuals as you fight your way to safety with a host of control systems to escape the clutches of the undead. There's additional weapons to earn and in-app purchases to unlock more modes to keep the atmospheric action going.
Price: Free | Download Into the Dead iPad app
If you like mobile gaming with serious 8-bit styling, this side-scrolling gem comprises of frantically running through levels upper-cutting and jabbing your way through hordes of enemies and defeating bosses with plenty of content to unlock on the way. Disappointingly, it’s now gone from free to a paid-for title, but it’s a small price to pay to punch the hell out of stuff.
Price: £0.69 | Download Punch Quest iPad app
For those who have little time for cut-scenes and complex narratives, this straight-laced shooter is one of the best of its kind on the App Store and looks the part too. Controlling a robot soldier to take on hordes of droids to find out the truth about his human owner, Epoch runs on the Unreal graphics engine which ensures it's a visual feast on the eyes and takes full advantage of the iPhone's processor power..
Price: £1.99 | Download Epoch iPad app
Possibly one of the most unique games to land onto the App Store, Crow is an adventure game that mixes RPG elements and on the rails battling all set against stunning looking backdrop. Playing as the main character 'crow', you task is to seek out and destroy spiritual guardians. If you don’t fancy a fight though, you can happily soar around the sky and soak up the beautiful scenery instead.
Price: £1.99 | Download Crow iPad app
If the phrases, 'He's on fire!' or 'Kaboom' strike a chord, you'll have been happy to see the arcade/console B-ball classic arrive on the App Store this year. There's multiplayer action over Wi-Fi, the option to take the likes of 90s NBA duo Stockton and Malone all the way to the championships, plus the all important array of outlandish slam dunking moves.
Price: £0.69 | Download NBA Jam iPad app
Fight Night Champion
Test your slogging skills with great touchscreen controls that make it easy enough to put together a flurry of combinations. The likes of Ali, Bernard Hopkins, and Manny Pacquiao all feature and with multiplayer action over Wi-Fi, it is going to take some beating to top this boxing iPhone great.
Price: £0.69 |Download Fight Night Champion iPad app
Batman Arkham City Lockdown
Rocksteady has done wonders with the console version, and this one-on-one battler is not too shabby either. It's got an Infinity Blade feel about it, as you take on Gotham City’s most villainous, and powered by the Unreal engine is no slouch in the graphics department.
Price: £0.69 |Download Batman Arkham City Lockdown iPad app
Geometry Wars Touch
Around on the App Store for some time, the no nonsense recreation of the Bizarre Creations’ Xbox 360 Arcade title has the kind of fiddly controls that you'll soon get to grips with plus an iPhone exclusive ‘Titans’ mode to keep you going back for more.
Price: £0.69 | Download Geometry Wars Touch iPad app
GTA Chinatown Wars
Before GTA III, this Nintendo DS port was the route to getting your dose of carnage. Hustling your way around the huge open world of Liberty, the gangworld adventure implements the touchscreen controls perfectly making it a sure-fire hit and a sign of what is possible on the Apple smartphone.
Price: £6.99 |Link: Download GTA Chinatown Wars iPad app
Super Monkey Ball 2
Sega’s Super Monkey Ball, originally developed for the Nintendo GameCube back in the early noughties, was one of the first games available at the launch of the Apple iPhone 3G back in the summer of 2008. It very quickly became far and away one of our favourite and most-played handheld games of that year.
Price: £0.69 |Download Super Monkey Ball 2 iPad app
Shooting/bashing/slicing various bad guys is all well and good (and it really is good), but it is the delivery of the story that makes Bastion so special. Frequently as you play, you will feel as though this is the sort of game that belongs in an art gallery. The stunning visuals, context-sensitive dynamic narrative and attention to detail all help to immerse you totally in this fairytale. If 2008 had Braid, and 2010 had Limbo, 2011 is proud to have Bastion.
Price: £2.99 | Download Bastion iPad app
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
To celebrate 10 years of Love Fist, Tommy Vercetti and Steve Scott the aging porn director, the 80s inspired installment of GTA sees Tommy Vercetti take on the Miami underworld with remastered graphics and in-game treats made just for the mobile version of the game.
Price: £2.99 | Download Grand Theft Auto: Vice City iPad app
Beautiful and haunting in equal measure, Limbo was one of 2010's unmissable games and has been welcomed with open arms to iOS. Navigate a series of puzzles and fatal traps as you traverse the forests and crumbling cities of Limbo, in a search for your missing sister. Looks absolutely stunning on Retina displays.
Price: £2.99 | Download Limbo iPad app
A bit of classic princess-fetching courtesy of Rovio. Sneak your way through six cutesy, medieval levels, and use your brain to outsmart enemies and puzzles along the way. Genuinely funny, and one of the most charming games to hit iOS in a long time.
Price: £1.99 | Download Tiny Thief iPad app