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50 Best iPhone games to make your commute 97% better

best iphone games - donut county
(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Determining the best games to play on iOS is a tall task when you consider the platform has hundreds of thousands of games on it. We can't claim to have played them all - not yet anyway - but we're getting there. Each month we pick the 50 best games we've found on platforms like iPhone and iPad and list them here for your perusal. Covering all genres, a vast price range, and including mobile-first as well as console classics, here are our picks for the best iOS games. 

50. Mini DayZ 2

Mini DayZ 2

(Image credit: Bohemia Interactive)

Genre: Survival
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Admittedly, I had no idea DayZ had gone mobile like this, but this new sequel to what is essentially a de-make of the hardcore zombie open-world game is a lot of fun. With so much of the core DayZ experience remaining intact for this mobile spinoff, it really does feel like you're viewing the game through a time machine back to 1991 or so. It's a proposition I didn't know I was waiting for, but it manages to overcome my usual disinterest in pixelated games with smart adaptations of the classic DayZ mechanics, which for me tends to be mostly dying.

49. Donut County

Genre: Puzzle / Adventure
Price: $4.99 / £4.99

In Donut County, you play a hole that eats everything in its way. Though it may sound eerily like my experience in the pandemic, it's actually cuter than that. With a cartoonish style and fun critters like raccoons and the wrong-place-wrong-time goose in the image above, it's a short but oddly charming game that doesn't overstay its welcome. See for yourself how being the absence of anything can be a really fun thing. The only downside is now I want donuts.  

48. Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Genre: Fighter
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Though Super Smash Bros. isn't on mobile devices, Brawlhalla is the next best thing. Ubisoft agreed so much that it bought the game and now serves as its distributor. Brawlhalla is full of its own mash-ups too, like The Walking Dead's Rick and Michonne, and even Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, among many more. If you love the genre, Brawlhalla is a solid look at an alternate take from Nintendo's genre-leader.

47. Fallout Shelter

Genre: Builder
Price: Free

When Fallout Shelter was introduced, it was ridiculed by some potential players who didn't see the point. But who's laughing now? With regular updates and a compelling strategy/simulation gameplay loop, Fallout Shelter has proven to be, against all odds, perhaps the best-reviewed Fallout game of the last several years.  

46. Rolling Sky 2

Rolling Sky 2

(Image credit: Cheetah Games)

Genre: Auto-runner
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Auto-runners are a dime a dozen on the App Store, so one really has to stand out to earn a spot here. Rolling Sky 2 does just that. This musically-charged auto-runner is brilliantly scored with orchestral music covering different genres and performed by real musicians for this game. There's nothing pre-canned about any of it, and across several different mood piece-type stories, you'll see (and especially hear) it all.

45. Telling Lies

Telling Lies

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Genre: Adventure
Price: $6.99 | £6.99

Sam Barlow's live-action games have been huge hits on mobile, partly because of how they smartly use the format to tell stories, but also just because they're great games on their own, as evidenced by how they've succeeded on other platforms too. Still, if playing a cool game that will get your coworkers or fellow train or bus riders looking over your shoulder is worth anything, few turn heads quite like Telling Lies.

44. The Room: Old Sins

Genre: Puzzle
Price: $4.99 / £4.99

Escape rooms are another of those genres that never seem to be in short supply, but the simply titled series The Room has long been the best of them. Old Sins is arguably the best in the series, though if you're new to them, you can start anywhere and feel at home with these ingenious puzzles.

43. Clusterduck

Genre: Simulation
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Clusterduck is a difficult game to explain, but I'll try: you breed increasingly weird ducks while strategically mating them to enable the rarest breeds. Think of it almost like very subversive Pokemon, but it takes place all in one area and there's no battling system. You just want to fill out your Pokedex (Pokedux?) with all the rarest waterfowl. Gotta quack 'em all, right?

42. Microsoft Solitaire Collection

Microsoft Solitaire Collection

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Genre: Card
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Once upon a time, Solitaire came pre-installed on some electronic devices. Somewhere, it probably still does. If it's not already on your iPhone, it still deserves to be. As one of the most low-maintenance games of all-time, this collection of Solitaire and its spinoffs provide the solo mode relaxation you may seek when your brain is too fried from the work week or even just other busier, louder games.

41. Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic

Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic

(Image credit: Atari)

Genre: Simulation
Price: $5.99 | £5.99

This might be controversial. There are several Roller Coaster Tycoon games on mobile, and they each have their fans, but for our money, the best is still the old one. Sure, visually, it doesn't hold a cotton candy - er, candle - to the newer ones, but we think it holds up even without the nostalgia factor. And if you do have that, prepare to remember just how fun it is to turn up the speed too much on your roller coaster and watch those patrons take flight.

Turn to page two for our top 40 best iPhone games...