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Best iPhone and iPad games of 2013

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December 19, 2013

Gizmag breaks down some of the biggest and best iPhone and iPad games of 2013

Gizmag breaks down some of the biggest and best iPhone and iPad games of 2013

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iOS gaming has come a long way. Just a few years ago the best you could hope for was a virtual pool simulator or Doodle Jump. But 2013 was an amazing year for iPhone and iPad games, with ports of top-notch console titles joining creative originals from indie developers. Join Gizmag, as we break down some of the top iPhone and iPad games of 2013.

Rayman Fiesta Run

Rayman Fiesta Run builds on the wacky momentum from last year's Rayman Jungle Run

The sequel to last year's excellent Rayman Jungle Run, Fiesta Run adds a food theme and even better level design. In the bloated world of endless runners, these two Rayman titles stand above the fray.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
US$2.99 (also offers in-app purchases)

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

The 1990s Sega Genesis classic Castle of Illusion also got an iOS port this year

A remasted port of the 1990 Sega Genesis classic, Castle of Illusion is a fun throwback to the days when platformers ruled the world. It might also be the closest you'll get to a classic Mario game on iOS.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$9.99 (no in-app purchases)

The Room 2

The Room 2 provides more of the same 'manipulating physical objects to solve puzzles' game...

Mobile games tend to work best when developers look for the advantages of touch screens, rather than just trying to approximate physical controls. The Room 2 follows its predecessor as a shining example of that, as you manipulate (virtual) physical objects to peel back layers of this mysterious puzzle.

App Store (iPad only)
$4.99 (no in-app purchases)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

One of Rockstar's classics, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, is now available on iOS

This year Rockstar completed its iOS ports of the Grand Theft Auto III trilogy, releasing the fan favorite GTA: San Andreas to mobile devices. It's the closest a video game gets to putting you in a 1990s-era gangsta rap video, with a scope far beyond that of the other two PS2-era GTA games.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$6.99 (no in-app purchases)

Oceanhorn

Oceanhorn is a Zelda tribute that does its muse justice

Nintendo isn't likely to bring any Zelda games to iOS anytime soon, so FDG Entertainment took matters into its own hands. Much more than a Zelda knockoff, Oceanhorn is a loving tribute to Nintendo's franchise that stands on its own feet as one of the best mobile games of the year.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$8.99 (no in-app purchases)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

One of the best Star Wars games ever made, Knights of the Old Republic, was ported to iPho...

What many consider to be the best Star Wars game ever made, KOTOR saw its first port to mobile devices this year, and it still holds up well ten years later.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$4.99 (no in-app purchases)

Deus Ex: The Fall

Deus Ex: The Fall isn't quite console-quality, but it does bring many of the franchise's s...

It may not be quite on par with its PC and console predecessor, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but this mobile-only title manages to cram the series' cyberpunk setting and stealth/combat gameplay onto your iOS device.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
currently on sale for $0.99 (also offers in-app purchases)

Papa Sangre II

Papa Sangre II is an atmospheric puzzler that's sparse on visuals, focusing instead on aud...

One of the most unique titles released this year, Papa Sangre II is an audio-based experience, narrated by Sean Bean. If there was ever a game to be played with headphones, this is it.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$4.99 (no in-app purchases)

Clumsy Ninja

Clumsy Ninja brings rag doll physics and a rewarding progression system to iPhones and iPa...

The award for "Longest Delayed Game of the Year" goes to Clumsy Ninja. Originally previewed at the iPhone 5 event in September 2012, it's a physics-based Tamagotchi-style game. Only here your virtual pet is a ninja who can barely walk without tripping over his two left feet. That is, until you train him with the help of trampolines, watermelons, and basketball hoops.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
free (also offers in-app purchases)

Infinity Blade III

We could do without the bloated storyline and unnecessary features, but Infinity Blade III...

It may be trying a little too hard to expand the series' Mike Tyson's Punchout inspired gameplay into a AAA franchise, but the core experience of the third Infinity Blade title is still a ton of slash-and-dodge fun.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$2.99 (also offers in-app purchases)

Device 6

Device 6 is a puzzler with a unique written word-based approach

Giving Papa Sangre a run for the title of "most unique game of the year," Device 6 is a creative puzzler based on the written word.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$3.99 (no in-app purchases)

The Walking Dead: Season 2 (Episode 1)

Clementine is back for The Walking Dead: Season Two

Season One of Telltale's The Walking Dead won Gizmag's 2012 Game of the Year award, and episode one of its sequel gives you more harrowing decisions (which will affect your outcomes later in the game), as you now take on the role of young Clementine. You can expect more episodes that continue the story throughout 2014.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$4.99 (future episodes will be available as in-app purchases)

The Wolf Among Us (Episode 1)

The Wolf Among Us is Telltale's take on the Fables comic series

Telltale's other big release of 2013 puts you in the shoes of Bigby Wolf, aka the Big Bad Wolf. Based on the Fables series of comic books, it puts a dark spin on familiar fairy tale characters, and also includes The Walking Dead-style decisions that can change plot details.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$4.99 (future episodes available as in-app purchases)

Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of Redemption

Ridiculous Fishing lives up to its name, as you blast your big catch with a shotgun

One of the most fun arcade-style games of the year, Ridiculous Fishing lives up to its name. Drop your line, hook a fish (and a million other creepy-crawlies), then reel it up to the surface and blow its brains out. Ridiculous, indeed ... and an absolute blast.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$2.99 (no in-app purchases)

Angry Birds Star Wars 2

Those furious feathered fowl are back with their second Angry Birds Star Wars title

Rovio's Angry Birds may be growing a bit long in the tooth, but the core gameplay that made the series so much fun is still alive and kicking in the latest Star Wars-themed version. Here you play as bird and swine versions of characters from the prequel trilogy.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
free (also offers in-app purchases)

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Plants vs. Zombies 2 may be built around microtransactions, but it still features the same...

We thought it lost a lot of the original's charm in the name of milking players for microtransactions, but Plants vs. Zombies 2 still gives you more of the original's winning tower defense gameplay formula.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
free (also offers in-app purchases)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Xcom: Enemy Unknown survives the jump from consoles to mobile

XCOM: Enemy Unknown was on our list of 2012's best console/PC games, and this year it made its way to iOS. The alien invasion strategy game survives the transition with touch controls that are right at home on the iPad.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$19.99 (no in-app purchases)

Limbo

Limbo is a clever and mysterious puzzler/platformer that features some gruesome deaths

This mysterious (and often gruesome) puzzler/platformer also made the jump from consoles this year. While dying in most games means failure, in Limbo it's a deliberate part of the trial-and-error puzzle-solving process.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$4.99 (no in-app purchases)

Cut the Rope 2

More wacky puzzle-solving with Om Nom, in Zeptolabs' Cut the Rope 2

If you (or your child) liked the original Cut the Rope, then the sequel takes that same core puzzle gameplay, and expands it with new furry creatures joining the party.

App Store (iPhone/iPad universal)
$0.99 (also offers in-app purchases)

Any other great 2013 iOS games that we missed? Let everyone know in the comments.

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
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2 Comments

Nice selection. I will definitely check a number of these out.

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
19th December, 2013 @ 12:27 pm PST

Now days My favorites iOS games are:

1- PuzzleR - A Combination of Puzzle, Word and Trivia Game

2- Clumsy Ninja

3- Strata

4- He Likes's Darkness

5- PUK

Jessica Magert
20th December, 2013 @ 11:41 am PST
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