Mobile gaming is now the most popular form of video gaming. This isn’t just because there are now more people who have smartphones than have a console or PC, but also because there’s a growing range of quality titles available for smartphones. Many of these give console and PC games a strong run for their money, and many provide an experience that can’t be replicated on a more traditional gaming device. That’s why we’ve rounded up the 15 best free iPhone games. These are iPhone games that are free to download and that can largely be played without having to shell out for in-app purchases.
We hope you enjoy them. Happy playing!
Super Cat Tales 2
The iPhone is actually quite spoiled for good 2D platformers, and Super Cat Tales 2 is one of the best — and that’s even before you find out it’s free. It features a group of cats trying to save the world from evil tin soldiers, and it’s your job to guide these cats across over 100 levels. The core gameplay is comfortingly familiar: You run, jump over obstacles and enemies, and collect gold coins. However, Super Cat Tales gains extra depth from a range of hidden secrets, villages to explore, and new cats to unlock. It’s basically a reimagining of Super Mario World in cat form.
Disc Drivin’ 2
Disc Drivin’ 2 is a free iPhone driving game with a difference. It may look like some kind of updated Wipeout or F-Zero clone, but it’s in fact a turn-based racing game. That’s right, you take turns with online friends and competitors to see who can be the first to navigate their disc around 20 tracks. You have two swipes per turn to guide your disc, with your task made more challenging by the presence of traps, holes, and obstacles on each track. It’s a refreshingly novel take on the familiar racing genre, and it makes for some very exciting and enjoyable gaming. The game is free to play, although you can pay for upgrades.
Pigeon Wings Strike
You may have heard of endless runner games, but Pigeons Wings Strike is an endless flyer. It’s also one of the best free iPhone games you could hope to download. The game plays at breakneck speed, as you control — wait for it — a pigeon in a biplane (don’t ask why). As with other 2D scrolling shoot-em-ups, you navigate your avian avatar through a range of twisting environments, avoiding unexpected obstacles and bullet hells, while shooting down evil minions and drones. It’s simple yet adrenaline-packed stuff, with the intuitive tilt controls sweetening the deal.
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds is one of the most iconic smartphone games around, having proven popular enough to give birth to its own film. Picking up where it left off, sequel Angry Birds 2 gives you another addictive dose of slinging birds at pig towers, all in a bid to save as many eggs as possible. This premise may sound simple enough, but the game proves deviously subtle and complex. Also, compared to the first Angry Birds, Angry Birds 2 lets you pick the bird you use, comes with more action-packed multi-stage levels, and rewards players with coins to spend on a range of hats and accessories. It’s completely free to play, although there are some cosmetic extras you buy as in-app purchases.
Do you fancy a round of golf? At the time of writing, few people are able to go to their nearest golf course. However, Golf Blitz might be the next best thing, even if it doesn’t even pretend to be a realistic simulation of the sport. Basically, this free iPhone game is a multiplayer golf racing game. You can team up or compete with friends online, vying to be the first person to put their ball in the hole. Played from a side-on, two-dimensional perspective, Golf Blitz’s courses are multi-leveled and full of obstacles, providing a fun challenge to anyone who thinks golf is boring. A range of power-ups makes the game even more exciting, while you can also earn XP to level up your golfer.
Baseball Boy! is another iPhone game that sounds almost ridiculously simple in theory, but proves surprisingly rewarding in practice. Basically, the aim of the game is to hit a baseball as far as possible out of your front yard. Yes, I know, you can probably do that at home, but Baseball Boy! encourages you to absolutely smash the baseball as far into your neighborhood as possible. The game rewards you for hits with money (virtual money, of course), which you can then spend to upgrade your player’s stats and your baseball, which in turn enables you to hit even farther into town. It sounds absurd, but there’s something strangely zen about patiently blasting a baseball repeatedly into the air, and gradually building up your player’s prowess. The game is completely free to play, although there is an option to pay to remove the frequent ads.
Sky: Children of the Light
From the developers of Journey and Flower, Sky: Children of the Light is one of the more beautiful and awe-inspiring free iPhone games out there. You play as a Child of the Light, tasked with traveling through the Kingdom of Sky to return fallen stars to their constellations. Compared to the similarly styled (yet single-player) Journey, Sky is an online multiplayer game, allowing you to team up with other players. Together, you solve puzzles, surmount obstacles, and retrieve lost stars, and while this may not sound that mesmerizing, the whole game is designed in such a way that it really does feel like a unique experience. It’s free to play, and while you can pay for new outfits and wing upgrades, you can still finish the game without spending anything.
Retro Highway looks more like an old NES or Master System title than an iPhone game, and that’s kind of where the charm of this old-school racing game lies. As with classics such as Sega’s Super Hang-On and Outrun, the idea of Retro Highway is to race at fiendishly mad speeds through traffic, avoiding other vehicles while collecting coins. If you’re skillful and dedicated enough to collect enough, you can use them to purchase new bikes and upgrades, while there are also a wide range of different locations to drive through, all of which heighten the nostalgia fix the game provides (sun-beaten canyon anyone?). Again, the game is free to play, but you can avoid the need to earn masses of coins to purchase new bikes by buying them with actual dollars instead.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends takes hi-octane racing to the next level, thanks to a streamlined, arcade-y control system. The iPhone game takes care of steering and braking itself, while you’re responsible for timing jumps, drifts, and nitro boosts (you do have the option to control steering and braking manually though). In other words, you’re encouraged to drive as crazily and recklessly as possible, while the game gives you a choice of more than 60 cars (such as Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis) and over 80 tracks in varied locations. It’s a huge dollop of fun, and one of the best iPhone driving games available right now. That said, while the game is free to download and play, the upgrades do cost money.
Clash Royale is one of the iPhone’s best battle arena games. Technically, it’s a strategy game, but it can be played in quick, hugely fun bursts. The idea of the game is to knock down your opponent’s King tower, while they try to do the same to yours. Your tower is protected by a couple of smaller guard posts, while you draw cards in order to unleash attacks and spells on your opponent. What makes the game more complex and strategic is that certain cards perform better in certain areas, so you need to use them wisely. You can also earn new cards and items as you play, extending the game’s lifespan and depth. Again, Clash Royale is free to download and play, although some items can be obtained through in-app purchases.
An excellent free iPhone word game, Draw It challenges you to draw as many words as possible within a given time limit. It’s as simple as that, yet the challenge of drawing words — many of which become more abstract as the game progresses — is enough to give the game plenty of staying power. On top of this, performing well allows you to can earn coins, which you can then spend on new packs of words to draw. You can play Draw It for free, but removing ads costs money, as does the monthly VIP Membership, which entitles you to additional word packs and free coins.
Call of Duty: Mobile
You might think that having an iPhone condemns you to play two-dimensional video games all day long, but you’d be wrong. You can now play console-quality free iPhone games, thanks in no small part to blockbuster titles like Call of Duty: Mobile. As the name suggests, it’s a mobile version of the beloved and best-selling Call of Duty franchise, albeit with a focus on multiplayer battle royales. Essentially, you play team-against-team in a wide variety of maps, many of which are taken from previous installments in the franchise (such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare). While purists might be put off by the idea of playing a first-person shooter with a touchscreen, the controls work remarkably well, making Call of Duty: Mobile another game that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. It’s free to play, although there are in-app purchases that can be made, such as for guns and skins.
Hotel Empire Tycoon
A so-called “idle game,” Hotel Empire Tycoon is surprisingly captivating for an iPhone game that asks you to sit back as your hotels make money and expand. Of course, you don’t actually do nothing, since as time passes you can make a variety of adjustments to your hotel to make it more successful, such as adding extra furniture and facilities, as well as managing members of staff. It therefore starts off as a casual way to live out your entrepreneurial fantasies, but becomes more involved and engaging as the game progresses. It’s free to play, although you can choose to pay to stop the ads.
The Battle of Polytopia
The Battle of Polytopia is a turn-based civilization strategy game. So far, so ordinary, but it manages to set itself apart from the crowd by offering a more quick-fire and colorful alternative to more serious strategy titles. It has two main modes of play, with Perfection Mode giving you only 30 turns in which to defeat your opponents and with Domination Mode having no turn limit. Basically, each game starts with you choosing a tribe, which you then have to build up into a larger civilization. You do this by making careful use of scarce resources to construct buildings and the like while defending yourself against opponents. It’s a simple concept, yet Battle of Polytopia pulls it off by making things more urgent and action-packed than other games in its genre.
Candy Crush Saga
It may have been out for a while now, but Candy Crush Saga really is one of the best free iPhone games available. Even today, its simple premise — matching three or more ‘candies’ in a row — allows for an impressive degree of challenge and variety. Finding the quickest way of completing levels always provides a rush, while later stages will test even the most experienced of players. The game also includes a range of different game modes, such as Collect the Ingredients and Clear the Jelly, where you have to remove the jelly from a level by clearing the candies on which the jelly is smeared. It has a remarkable amount of depth for a free-to-play game, although premium content can be unlocked for a price.