The Best iPhone and iPad Games of 2011

  • Comments: ↓ 10 user comments
  • Publish Date: December 20, 2011

Updated 12/21: The addition of a late review bumped Where's My Water down from #5 to #8.

The 25 best-reviewed iPhone games of the year

Below, we rank the best-reviewed iOS games released during 2011. All of the games below are playable on all Apple portable devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad) unless otherwise noted. Only those games with a minimum of 5 reviews were considered for inclusion.

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1. World of Goo 96
Puzzle, 2D Boy, $2.99

"It's a massive game set in a glorious looking world of intrigue and fun."

Games Master UK More reviews...

Metacritic's iOS Game of the Year!
The acclaimed Wii puzzle game known for its quirky plot, innovative gameplay, and all-around artistry finally came to the iPhone this spring after a previous iPad port last year.

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2. Sonic CD 95
Platformer, Sega, $1.99

"All told, Sonic CD was a masterpiece long before it appeared on the App Store. This wonderful mobile version only helps solidify its standing as one of the greatest video games of all time."

Modojo More reviews...

Originally released for the Sega CD in 1993, this platformer starring Sonic the Hedgehog returned this year as a mobile game, thanks to the hard work of an independent game developer (Christian Whitehead) who showed Sega that it could be done.

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3. Anomaly Warzone Earth 94
Action/Strategy, Chillingo Ltd, $1.99

"The game looks fantastic and the touch controls are quicker and more precise than its PC counterpart's mouse. Its glorious mix of tactics and action is both instantly accessible and deceptively deep. An anomaly indeed."

GamePro More reviews...

This highly rated and fast-paced PC-turned-iOS game inverts the normal tower defense formula by giving you control of the attackers, not the defenders.

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4. King of Dragon Pass 92
RPG, A Sharp, $7.99

"For a fantasy-addicted player King of the Dragon Pass is the perfect game. It has no magnificent graphics or epic sound design, but with brilliant storytelling it can drag you into an extraordinary world."

Everyeye.it More reviews...

It's expensive, and it doesn't feature a lot of fast-paced battles or animated graphics. But this role-playing title offers deep, interactive storytelling that is highly replayable, requiring thought and decision making rather than mere button pushing.

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5. Pudding Panic 91
Action/Puzzle, kunst-stoff GmbH, $1.99

"Pudding Panic seems to have created a genre that has never been seen before on the App Store. Whilst being an action packed cartoon thriller, it is also a relaxing puzzler that doesn't demand too much from the gamer."

AppGamer More reviews...

A jiggly pudding (yes, that's what we said) must evade spooky creatures in a haunted house in this humorous puzzler also known as The Great Jitters: Pudding Panic.

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6. Amazing Breaker 91
Puzzle, Dekovir, $0.99

"Most Angry Birds fans will love Amazing Breaker, especially those who want a greater challenge."

AppSafari More reviews...

Combine physics-based puzzle gameplay familiar to dozens of casual gamers with the ability to smash things to bits and you get this challenging and addictive title.

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7. EDGE Extended 91
Puzzle/Platform, Mobigame, $0.99

"A brilliant second outing in the Edge series, brimming with good ideas, and polished to a remarkable sheen."

Pocket Gamer UK More reviews...

Fans of the original Edge (and newcomers, too) can enjoy 44 brand-new levels in which you must once again maneuver your cube through a series of mazes.

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8. Where's My Water? 90
Puzzle, Disney, $0.99

"One of those rare gems that manages to get everything right. It's clever and goofy and charming. On top of that, the game is surprisingly addictive. Anyone who enjoys physics puzzle titles would be out of their mind to miss picking this up."

Gamezebo More reviews...

The creators of JellyCar return with a physics-based puzzler about subterranean alligators who turn out to be a lot more adorable than urban legends would have you believe.

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9. First Touch Soccer 90
Sports, Exient IP Limited, $4.99

"A very ambitious soccer game with lots of content and great gameplay."

Level7.nu More reviews...

The year's best-reviewed iOS soccer title features stunning graphics, challenging gameplay, and a ton of content.

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10. Jetpack Joyride 90
Action, Halfbrick Studios, FREE

"This is one of my favorite iOS games in recent memory, and one of the best endless games on the App Store. I cannot stress how highly I recommend this game, and I will keep playing it long after this review is finished."

148Apps More reviews...

The creators of Fruit Ninja offer endless, randomized gameplay in this arcade-style action title that's currently free to download.

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11. iBlast Moki 2 90
Puzzle, Godzilab, $2.99

"iBlast Moki 2 is a perfect mix between physics-based puzzles and social games, and another application of the Little Big Planet concept: Play, Create and Share."

Multiplayer.it More reviews...

While not quite as highly rated as the first iBlast Moki, this sequel is still drawing plenty of praise for its new batch of visually appealing, physics-based puzzles.

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12. Bug Heroes 89
Action-Adventure, Foursaken Media, FREE

"Think before you write off Bug Heroes as yet another twin-stick shooter. Its creativity and replay value make it both unique and worth your hard-earned dollars."

Slide to Play More reviews...

A free-to-download dual-stick shooter, Bug Heroes adds RPG and castle defense elements and puts you in the middle of a tiny insect war.

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13. Infinity Blade II 89
Action-RPG, Chair Entertainment, $6.99

"Infinity Blade II is easily the new benchmark for iOS gaming; a visual masterpiece, and a huge step forward content wise compared to the first chapter. The gameplay is still the same, so don't bother if you didn't like it last year."

Multiplayer.it More reviews...

This continuation of the popular Infinity Blade RPG series was one of the year's most-anticipated iOS games, and it didn't disappoint reviewers, though some users have complained of technical problems.

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14. Shadow Era 89
RPG, Kyle Poole, FREE

"A classic card battle game with great design and a game play that is extremely well suited for online battles. It's always exciting to buy new card packs and there's a lot of cards."

Level7.nu More reviews...

This free-to-download collectible trading card battle game (think Magic) comes with a free starter deck, though you'll likely find yourself buying additional cards.

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15. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing 89
Racing, Sega, $0.99

"It's an outstanding experience regardless of which control scheme (tilt, virtual slider) you use. Kudos to Sega for releasing such an excellent port that instantly became the best kart racer on the App Store."

Modojo More reviews...

A kart-racing game (ported from last year's console version) featuring classic Sega characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Eggman.

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16. Snuggle Truck 89
Action, Owlchemy Labs, FREE

"The truck controls well, the physics respond well, and the level design has that right mix of snappiness and intrigue."

TouchArcade More reviews...

Load up your truck with furry animals and get them to the zoo on time in this cute side-scrolling, physics-based action game that's a far cry from its origins as the notorious Smuggle Truck.

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17. Crimson: Steam Pirates 88
Strategy, Bungie, $0.99

"Crimson: Steam Pirates is like a good book and a game of chess rolled into one Must Have download."

Slide to Play More reviews...

This turn-based strategy title set in the 19th century is co-developed by Halo creators Bungie.

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18. DrawRace 2 88
Racing/Puzzle, Chillingo, $2.99

"This sequel has taken a simple game and turned it into something that matches the best the App Store has to offer. It may be a racing game that doesn't have any actual driving, but it beats a lot of other traditional racers hands down."

AppGamer More reviews...

This sequel to 2009's DrawRace once again plays like Flight Control for cars (you must draw your racer's path with your finger) but swaps the original's cartoony look for a more serious approach with improved 3D graphics.

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19. Blueprint 3D 88
Puzzle, FDG Entertainment, $0.99

"Offering tons of puzzles, simple touch controls, and a cerebral challenge, Blueprint 3D is puzzling personified."

AppSmile More reviews...

This addictive casual 3D puzzler offers over 240 quick but clever puzzles.

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20. Dead Space 88
Action-Adventure, Electronic Arts, $0.99

"Dead Space is the best action game I've ever played on an iOS device. It's the first time I've felt like a mobile version of a game has had as much developer love put into it as it's console counterpart."

TouchGen More reviews...

Originally released for consoles in 2008, EA's acclaimed survival horror game made the move to iOS early this year with a new storyline exclusive to mobile devices.

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21. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation 88
First-Person Shooter, Gameloft, $6.99

"A huge, intense, and polished shooter. Modern Combat 3 is the best FPS on mobile devices, especially if you're a multiplayer-minded gamer."

IGN More reviews...

Looking for a Modern Warfare-like first-person shooter experience on your iOS device? This is your best bet, especially for multiplayer.

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22. Spy Mouse 87
Action/Puzzle, Electronic Arts, $0.99

"Mixing sound puzzling mechanics with a dose of stealth gameplay in a very pretty package, SPY Mouse took us by surprise with its engaging reward system and clever design."

AppSmile More reviews...

A casual line-drawing game like Flight Control (though with a mouse, cheese, and cats instead of planes), Spy Mouse comes from new EA acquisition Firemint.

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23. Monsters Ate My Condo 87
Action/Puzzle, Adult Swim, $0.99

"Adult Swim and Pik Pok take a decent puzzle action game and dress it up with a crazy premise, bombastic visuals, and a catchy and entertaining soundtrack. A must play."

AppSpy More reviews...

Adult Swim's best game to date offers entertaining action-puzzle gameplay centering on a quartet of hungry but adorable monsters.

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24. Groove Coaster 87
Rhythm/Action, Taito, $0.99

"Nearly perfect. The music is great. The visuals are great. The rhythm action itself feels tight and perfectly matches each tune. Best of all, this is an experience that would be very hard to replicate on a traditional platform – this is a game built from the ground-up for iPhone, and it shows."

IGN More reviews...

Stay on a winding path by keeping time to the beat in this one-handed rhythm game.

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25. FIFA Soccer 12 by EA Sports 87
Sports, Electronic Arts, $0.99

"Authenticity was always FIFA's strong hand. Now that the gameplay is world class too, this is the most realistic footy sim available, by a mile."

Tap! More reviews...

The annual EA Sports licensed soccer sim returns with its best installment yet for iOS, thanks to improved controls and a new manager mode.

Bonus: The best iPad games

While iPad owners can play most of the 25 games above, those titles weren't designed to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen. That's not true for these next 10 games, which are 2011's best-reviewed HD games designed specifically for the iPad.

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1. iBlast Moki 2 HD 93
Puzzle, Godzilab, $4.99

"Everything a sequel should be."

Pocket Gamer UK More reviews...

While not quite as highly rated as the first iBlast Moki, this sequel is still drawing plenty of praise for its new batch of visually appealing, physics-based puzzles.

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2. Contre Jour HD 93
Puzzle, Chillingo, $2.99

"Contre Jour HD is a crowning achievement, an app that earned every one of its five stars. Smart, attractive and fun, it's one of the best reasons to own an iPhone or iPad."

Modojo More reviews...

Another physics puzzler, Contre Jour attempts to set itself apart from the Cut the Rope crowd with gorgeous art design (think World of Goo).

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3. Real Racing 2 HD 92
Racing, Firemint, $0.99

"Real Racing 2 is by far the most accomplished mobile racing game out there right now."

Eurogamer More reviews...

This 3D racing game puts you behind the wheel of your choice of 30 licensed cars, with various racing modes in over a dozen locations.

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4. Ticket to Ride 91
Board Game/Strategy, Days of Wonder, $6.99

"Taken as a whole, Ticket to Ride represents one of the very best (if not THE best) translations of a board game to the iPad. Every element works and works well, and the game is seriously engaging and addictive."

148Apps More reviews...

The award-winning railway board game from Days of Wonder comes to the iPad, where it proves to be a natural fit. Three extensions are also available for purchase separately.

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5. Casey's Contraptions HD 89
Puzzle, Snappy Touch, $2.99

"A true gem, and it is one of the few games that I as a parent can play with my kids and enjoy it with them. Multiple solutions, 70 challenging levels, great graphics and unparalleled online sharing functionality makes Casey's Contraptions a must buy for the iPad."

TouchGen More reviews...

Create increasingly complex, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions with household objects in this physics-based puzzler.

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6. Sid Meier's Pirates! 88
Action-Adventure, 2K Games, $4.99

"Absolutely stunning. This stands as one of my all-time favorite games for the iPad, considering the fact that there's so much to do and so little time."

No DPad More reviews...

The 20-year-old adventure title gets a facelift for its latest incarnation as an iPad game.

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7. War Pinball HD 88
Pinball, OOO Gameprom, $2.99

"While all of Gameprom's pinball games are very good, War Pinball is definitely the cream of the crop. If you're already of fan of their previous work, this latest game is an easy purchase decision as it contains 3 fun new tables that make great use of their movie licenses."

TouchArcade More reviews...

Gameprom's latest pinball title features three separate machines, each based on a different war movie (including Platoon and Missing in Action).

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8. Ant Raid 88
Action/Strategy, Prank Ltd., $2.99

"A quirky and fun take on real-time strategy games, with lots of character and creative elements."

Slide to Play More reviews...

A tower defense-style action-strategy game with personality, Ant Raid asks you to protect your colony from virus-infested mutants.

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9. Machinarium 88 iPad 2 ONLY
Adventure, Amanita Design, $4.99

"Machinarium is a must-play for point-and-click fans. It hearkens back to the early days of the genre with a brutal level of difficulty that will keep you puzzled for hours."

IGN More reviews...

This point-and-click adventure with stunning visuals is an inventive, award-winning (and hard!) indie game from the Czech Republic.

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10. Monster Burner 85
Action/Puzzle, Ubisoft, $0.99

"A blast. Literally. The gameplay is fun and challenging, the graphics and sound are totally charming, and the overall experience is utterly addictive. Pick this one up – you won't be sorry you did."

Gamezebo More reviews...

This arcade-style puzzler for the iPad is a hybrid of game styles designed to appeal to gamers of all ages.

What do you think?

What were your favorite iOS games of the past year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (10)

  • miss2000  

    I like Dragon Tear better. Here it is https://itunes.apple.com/app/dragon-tear/id589367593?ls=1&mt=8

    It's my favorite so far

  • johnysmithy  

    Agent Stick.... i like this fck game

  • Aljosa676  

    What about some augmented reality games and gesture games - i am discovering loads fun playing those type of games. Currently I am completely addicted to EYE JUMPER
    https://itunes.apple.com/si/app/eye-jumper/id566603845?mt=8

  • zxpektro  

    You have not seen a masterpiece: Perfect Penalty 2012

  • joeywow  

    Recently,there are a new game has been published.The amazing spider man.I am eager for playing this amazing game.So I searched a website that selling iTunes gift card code cheap by email.$20 gift card only costs me $11.And the recharging times is unlimit,thus you guys are assess to recharge as many times as you love. By the way,I am addited to the spider man real game effect.Pls feel free to contact me if you need further information.Email:ljoeylover@gmail.com

  • peteriPhone  

    Wheres my water is pretty cool. I like games also with cool music and sounds. I think Bubble Billy is great too. It should be also on this list. http://itunes.apple.com/id/app/bubble-billy/id525471584?mt=8

  • IMss  

    You may also like Bubble Annihilator HD:
    http://agilescreensavers.com/index.php?page=ig_iNvasion

  • sridevi  

    HexRoto is a good additive entertaining game to sharpen ones smart thinking power.

  • tamas  

    Another amazing pipe game: PipeLand

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pipeland/id490424216

  • Justsomeguy  

    http://appsctrl.blogspot.com/
    I just started a blog on iphone games, mostly just reviews and my opinion on them, take a few min to check it out and give me some opinions on which game to review next.

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