The 25 best iPhone games to play right now

Better free up some space

Mobile gaming has come a long way since the days of playing Snake on a phone the size of a brick. Now there are iOS games with visuals that rival the graphics on some console games and million dollar sellers made by single-person development teams. Mobile games earned a rep for being ultra-casual experiences bogged down by sleazy microtransactions, but the landscape has changed dramatically, now offering a wide selection of sophisticated titles. There are some fantastic mobile games out there and developers are just getting started experimenting with even more inventive and intriguing ideas. The tricky part is finding them.

The App Store is so overstuffed with games that it can be next to impossible to find something that suits your taste. Were letting you bypass the drudge work of discovery and get on with expanding your mobile gaming horizons by setting you up with 25 of the best games currently on the App Store. And no, Candy Crush isn't one of them.

25. Wayward Souls

Secret of Mana, Diablo, and Dark Souls are all action RPGs, but they could hardly feel more different. That's why it's extra impressive that Wayward Souls, which blends the pixelated art style and charge-up driven combat of Secret of Mana, the randomized dungeons of Diablo, and the dark tone and difficult combat of Dark Souls, puts it all together so well. If you've played Mage Gauntlet, Wayward Souls is its bigger, meaner cousin, and will have you cursing at your iPhone for all the right reasons.

Download Wayward Souls from iTunes now  

24. Ridiculous Fishing

There are lots of ridiculous things about Ridiculous Fishing, but the first you'll likely notice is that you actually want to avoid all the fish. You'll use gyroscopic controls to evade increasingly exotic sea creatures as your hook sinks lower and lower, but once you run out of line or hit something the process is reversed, and you try to hook as many fish as possible on the way back up. From there you naturally whip your haul out of the ocean and gun them down in mid-air for big cash rewards, which you can then spend on new fishing gear. Also it has its own Twitter for seagulls and sailors. Ridiculous.

Download Ridiculous Fishing from iTunes now 

23. The World Ends With You

The World Ends With You was tailor-made for the DS, as its combat makes specific and constant use of the system's dual screen set-up. When making the transition to the single screens of iOS devices, Square Enix completely overhauled the battle system, transforming its gameplay into something completely different yet equally as entertaining. The twisting, suspenseful story makes the transition over fully intact, and all of the visuals and music have gotten the HD treatment. While some may pine for the purity of the original DS experience, the iOS version of The World Ends With You is an equally valid way to experience this modern classic.

Download The World Ends with You from iTunes now 

22. Hitman GO

When you think of a Hitman game, the first thing that comes to your mind probably isnt a board game using inanimate action figures. In Hitman GO, you have the kinds of goals youd expect from a Hitman game, but instead of using weapons and disguises to eliminate your targets, you have to carefully navigate enemy patterns and traps as you make your way to your goal. It may not be what you expect, but once you dive in, Hitman GO is surprisingly entertaining.

Download Hitman Go from iTunes now 

21. Spaceteam

"Increase Artificial Grill to 3." "Set Coarse Twine to 2." "Engage Flashsupport." Such instructions are typical of Spaceteam, an interstellar adventure where you and a group of friends try to pilot a spaceship as it slowly - inevitably - falls apart. On each screen are a series of knobs and switches with silly names. Instructions flash at the top, like the ones shown above, but they don't correlate to your instruments. They for someone else's. This means each player is constantly shouting nonsensical technobabble at the group in the hopes that someone will finally engage the freaking Flashsupport.

Download Spaceteam from iTunes now 

20. Knightmare Tower

Saving the princess is tough business, especially when the only way to reach said princess is to launch yourself via rocket toward the top of a tower while being chased by an encroaching pool of lava. Luckily, you're also being harassed by a bunch of monsters, which you can spring off of to keep your momentum going. They also drop coins, which you can collect and spend to upgrade your launch speed, weapons, armor, and more. You launch, get a little higher, die, upgrade, and repeat. Suddenly, you discover you've been playing Knightmare Tower for two straight hours, and you're pretty OK with that.

Download Knightmare Tower from iTunes now 

19. Plants vs. Zombies

The zombie apocalypse is happening. What's your best defense against the undead horde? Plants, apparently. Your garden has taken it upon itself to fight off the army of zombies shambling toward your doorstep, and you'll have to strategically organize your long range Peashooters, lane-blocking Wall-nuts, and sunshine-spewing Sunflowers if you want to succeed. As you progress, you'll get access to more powerful plants like Melon-pults and Gatling Peas to knock out armored football zombies, Zombie Yetis, and eventually, the dreaded Dr. Zomboss. With its charming characters and gameplay that will easily steal away the hours, Plants vs Zombies is one of those mobile games that everyone needs to play.

Download Plants vs Zombies from iTunes now 

18. Republique

Most attempts to bring the console experience to mobile devices feel half-baked, usually thanks to a less-than-adequate virtual control pad. That's what makes Republique such a breath of fresh air, combining the unique interface provided by touch devices with the production values of a big-budget console title. As an unnamed security camera operator, you've been contacted by Hope, a prisoner of a despotic nation-state ripped from the pages of 1984, and you have to switch from camera to camera, tapping the screen to guide Hope past guards, uncovering the mystery behind her capture. With fantastic voice acting and an impressive pedigree behind it, Republique is some of the best evidence for iOS as a legitimate gaming platform.

Download Republique from iTunes now 

17. Crossy Road

Crossy Road in two words: Endless Frogger. But that's not the only reason why it's one of the best games on iOS right now. Crossy Road takes the Frogger formula and throws a whole bunch of silly at it. Avoid cars as a cliche frog or chicken, or hop across logs as Frankenstein's monster or a wizard, and the environment will completely transform based on the character you pick. The best part? It's a free-to-play game, but it's not a jerk about it, letting you unlock virtually all of its characters over time simply by playing, and never shoving ads in your face (unless you want to earn a few extra coins by checking one out).

Download Crossy Road from iTunes now