The best Apple Arcade games to download and play first

Apple Arcade is an excellent service for those who love gaming on their phone but hate the tedious micro transactions and ads. Apple Arcade feels like a godsend when you just want to get into a game with no noise. With some exclusive games that can’t be found on the regular app store, the Arcade feels like a completely different realm, producing some of the most incredible award-winning games at our fingertips. We’re listing our best Apple Arcade games right here.

Plus, check out our pick of the best iPhone games and the best relaxing mobile games for more suggestions.

25. Galaga Wars

Galaga Wars now on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Genre: Action

Another arcade classic has made its way to our phones. Shoot your way through an onslaught of enemies in a spaceship to save the galaxy from space invaders in Galage Wars. There are different ships available with unique abilities giving you other strategic options for each battle. 

24. Warped Kart Racers 

Warped Kart Racers

(Image credit: Electric Square)

Genre: Racer

Ever wanted to play Mario Kart with your favourite adult cartoon families? Well, now you can. Warped Kart Racers brings the chaos of Family Guy, American Dad and King of the Hill to an exciting kart racer. Play as your favourite characters from these huge series, and unlock more through daily challenges. There are 16 Maps from iconic locations from each series and fan favourite episodes. This game is crazy, brutal, and fun, especially with the multiplayer feature. 

23. Oceanhorn 2

Oceanhorn 2 on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Cornfox & Brothers)

Genre: Adventure

Oceanhorn 2 is a prequel to the first game available for purchase on the iPhone app store. Making huge updates from its predecessor with updated graphics and gameplay, Oceanhorn 2 is a must-play adventure game. With original content, items and quests digging you deeper into the world of Gaia, and adding more lore and mystery to this vast land. With the primary campaign lasting 20 hours and many side quests and boss fights, this game will keep you occupied for a good while. 

22. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls 

Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Konami)

Genre: Action

The classic gothic fantasy game has finally arrived for the perfect on-the-go adventure. With its immersive story and nostalgic music, Konami has managed to pack the best aspects of Castlevania into this game. With 60 levels and a ton of content, this game will keep you entertained. There are great graphics and loads of legendary characters to unlock, making this worth your while.  

21. Disney Melee Mania

Disney Melee Mania on Apple Arcade for iPhone and iPad

(Image credit: Mighty Bear Games)

Genre: Action

Ever wanted to see your favorite Disney characters duke it out, well now you can. Disney Melee Mania puts Disney and Pixar fan-favorite characters into a 3v3 arena to see who reigns supreme. You can unlock in-game cosmetics and reward points as you play. Great fun for all ages and great to play with friends with its multiplayer option too.

20. The Pathless

The Pathless

(Image credit: Giant Squid)

Genre: Adventure

Hone your archery skills in this mystic adventure into a vast forest. Travel to a mysterious island to dispel curses with your insane archery skills and your eagle companion as you execute fantastic trick shots with this game’s very comprehensive archery system. The open-world game allows you to explore all areas of the mysterious island, searching for clues to help you unearth the dark secrets of this island. 

19. NBA 2K22

NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: 2K)

Genre: Sports

Sports sims on mobile can be an up and down affair, but NBA 2K22 is perhaps the best of them all. On the court, it plays so much like the console game that, with a controller in hand, you’d not miss a beat moving from one to the other. Off the court, MyTeam fans may miss this MTX-heavy mode, as it’s not allowed in Apple Arcade, but with a light story mode and Franchise options, it’s still a genuine NBA 2K22 experience built for old and new fans to appreciate. 

18. Pocket Build+

A pioneer-esque little town in PocketBuild+

(Image credit: MOONBEAR)

Genre: Sim

Ever wanted to create your little world? Well, now you can, on your phone. Pocket Build+ does not limit what you can build in this game, whether it’s a cosy farm, a huge castle, or an entire island built to your heart’s content. This game resembles Minecraft with its blocky 3D graphics, so if you’re a big fan of that art style or building sims generally, this game is definitely up your street. 

17. Alto’s Adventure Remastered

Snowboarding through a forest in Alto's Adventure - Remastered

(Image credit: Snowman)

Genre: Action

Snowboard endlessly in this incredible critically acclaimed runner that’s just been remastered exclusively for Apple Arcade. Journey across stunning alpine snowy hills, through ancient villages and woodlands in a quest to find the spirit of the mountain. This remaster improves the game’s graphics and the physics-based gameplay, giving players a much smoother experience. 

16. Solitaire by MobilityWare+ 

Solitaire by MobilityWare on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: MobilityWare)

Genre: Puzzle

 Solitaire is probably my favorite card game, well, that and blackjack, but solitaire is great fun and has always been for me. This game has been a staple on my iPhone since I first got one, and the Apple Arcade version is amazing. Test your speed to see if you can finish a deck in record time, collect trophies and crowns by solving daily challenges, and Winning Deals: games where it is guaranteed to have at least one winning solution.  

15. Skate City

Skate City, a skateboarding game on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Snowman)

Genre: Action

Skate the streets of the most incredible cities from your phone. From LA to Barcelona, skate and perfect ticks and moves at your own pace. With incredible graphics and accessible controls, this game provides a fun experience for those who know nothing about skateboarding and those who’ve been on a board for years. You can upgrade your skills, get creative with your board designs and even customize your character. 

14. Thumper Pocket Edition  

Thumper: Pocket Edition on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Drool)

Genre: Puzzle

What do you get when you combine a rhythm game with a violent action game, you get Thumper. You play as a space beetle traveling through the deep voids of space to confront the gigantic maniacal head at the end. This game will have you glued to the screen as you wait for each encounter to hit the button at the perfect moment. The visuals are incredible, and the music keeps you in the zone! 

13. Lego Star Wars Castaway

Lego Star Wars: Castaways is now one of our best Apple Arcade games

(Image credit: Gameloft)

Genre: Adventure

Ever wondered what a Lego you looks like? Well now you can with the character customization you get with Lego Star Wars Castaway. Travel to a new planet, with other castaways with puzzles to solve, islands to explore, and race micro fighters. The controls are simple and easy, ideal for any age. There’s even a social hub that allows you to communicate with friends with Lego emotes. 

12. Asphalt 8: Airborne+

Asphalt 8: Airborne+ on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Gameloft)

Genre: Action

The ultimate racing game at your fingertips. Initially, a free to play game on the app store, Asphalt 8: Airborne + gives you more, without any in-app purchases. Choose from a range of vehicles, win races, collect items and upgrade your car. In races, you can collect speed boosts, knock your opponents off the lane and do crazy spins, avoiding any obstacle in your way. This game is great fun, and with no in-app purchases, you can play this version at ease. 

11. Wylde Flowers

Farming sim Wylde Flowers on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Studio Dryrock)

Genre: Sim

A cozy life farm sim with a twist. Everyone loves a simulation game, they are addictive and kind of therapeutic, but Wylde Flowers adds a touch of magic that helps you tend to your farm, making these mundane activities more fun. Additionally, this game adds another layer of mystery as you learn stories of the island and the characters that live there. 

10. Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis

Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis

(Image credit: Viacom International)

Genre: Puzzle

Angry Birds was the first real breakout hit of the smartphone gaming era, and more than a decade after its debut, the original has been remastered and slightly updated for a new audience. After just a few minutes, it’s clear why this game was such a titan in its day, and if recent spinoffs with their ads and MTX have steered you away, take comfort in this much more welcoming total package. This one still holds up mightily, and if you were too young to catch it years ago, don’t miss it any longer.

9. Cosy Grove

cosy grove

(Image credit: QAD)

Genre: Sim

If you love a good sim game, this one is worth checking out. Explore the beautifully drawn landscapes by camping in the ever-changing environment. You play as a spirit scout, helping spirits in need. As the environment around you changes, you find hidden secrets unraveling the land’s mysteries. Your domain starts colorless, but as you progress with crafting and helping spirits in need, you can bring life into the ground. 

8. Hot Lava

A character wearing safety goggles in Hot Lava

(Image credit: Klei Entertainment)

Genre: Action

If you ever played the floor is lava as a kid, you’re going to enjoy this. Jump through obstacles to avoid the lava in different environments, including a living room. The first-person action game puts you into nostalgic environments filled with molten lava, like schools, jungle gyms, and playgrounds. With the multiplayer mode, you hop on with old friends and relive some childhood games. 

7. Monument Valley 2+

A pastel colored tower in Monument Valley 2

(Image credit: ustwo games)

Genre: Puzzle

The sequel to Apple’sApple’s Game of the Year in 2014, Monument Valley, takes you on a journey, manipulating the architecture and environment to guide a mother and their child through an impossible world. This game is filled with puzzles and illusionary pathways to keep you occupied for many hours. 

6. Gibbon: Beyond the Trees

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees on Apple Arcade

(Image credit: Broken Rules)

Genre: Adventure

A beautiful adventure with an important message. A lot of games touch on important themes, but Gibbon: Beyond the Trees does it perfectly.  You follow a family of gibbons navigating their way through a dangerous world as they try to find a new home. The game is visually stunning with hand-painted visuals and dynamic gameplay, swinging through the jungle that is being destroyed due to environmental changes. 

5. Sonic Dash+

Sonic running in Sonic Dash+

(Image credit: SEGA)

Genre: Runner

If you love the original 2D Sonic game, you’re going to love this endless runner. Run and race past obstacles and enemies in the classic Sonic racecourses we all know and love with loops and barriers, collecting golden rings along the way. Race sonics biggest rivals to defeat them and unlock your band of favorite hedgehogs along the way.

4. Shadow Blade+

(Image credit: Chance Agency)

Genre: Adventure

A fast-paced action 2D platformer guaranteed to keep you glued to your phone. The story follows Kuro on his quest to become the Shadow Blade, but to do this he must seek the teachings of the last ninja master. Fight your way through enemies and traps or take the stealthy route, to bypass each challenging level. 

3. Detonation Racing

An explosive race in Detonation Racing

(Image credit: Electric Square)

Genre: Racing

Racing games can be intense when they are your average game; however, with Detonation Racing, things escalate quickly. So you’re in the middle of a race, and a nuclear power submarine is heading straight towards you. These explosions break the race track and reveal a more treacherous route if you are willing to go down that path to win.

2. Rayman Mini

Rayman running across the screen in Rayman Mini

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Genre: Puzzle / Runner

Being shrunk down to the size of an ant poses a lot of difficulty and fun, and that’s what you get with this game. To undo this spell, you will need to enlist the help of your natural surroundings, from leaves, mushrooms, plants, and even insects. This platform runner has a lot of fun with 48 levels giving you different environments, from spider nests and tree vines. 

1. Sayonara Wild Hearts

(Image credit: Simogo)

Genre: Action

Simogo made a name for itself as one of the most ambitious and inventive mobile developers, thanks to its work on titles like Year Walk, Device 6, and SPL-T. Unsurprisingly, the studio is back and better than ever; Sayonara Wild Hearts is an interactive music video, a vibrant cacophony of high-octane races and dance-battle action. It’s overtly stylish in its design and subtly stunning in its execution of a drama – of breaking your heart at a 100mph. This is a game that is, frankly, out of this world. Sayonara is the sort of game that you’ll be able to get through across both ends of your commute, but come back to replay day-after-day. The self-described “pop album video game” isn’t just the best Apple Arcade game. It’s one of the best games of the year. Period. 

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