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50 Best iPhone games to make your commute 97% better

40. Tetris

Tetris

(Image credit: Atari)

Genre: Puzzle
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Sometimes you just can't go wrong with a classic. Tetris is one of those times. This falling block puzzle game has withstood the brutal test of time that has claimed the relevancy of countless other games because, well, it's maybe perfect. Yes, in the App Store, it loses a bit of charm given the push to sell microtransactions, but at its core, the game remains one of the all-time greats, and a few ads don't derail this still remarkable, yet simple, masterpiece. 

39. New York Times Crossword

New York Times Crossword

(Image credit: The New York Times Company)

Genre: Puzzle
Price: Free with in-game purchases

Calling all coastal elites, your app is ready. Kidding! The New York Times Crossword is famously tough and rewarding and now you can access its puzzles whenever you want without needing to carry around one of those old-fashioned newspapers or whatever they were called. Download this and you'll be asking your friends and coworkers what a five-letter word for "serious" is in no time.

38. 1sland

1sland

(Image credit: nada studio)

Genre: Battle royale
Price: Free with in-game purchases

1sland is a battle royale, but like no other you've ever played. In fact, it's the first game in the genre one could reasonably called zen. Rather than a mad dash to outrun the boundary and outlast 99 or so others, 1sland is played live, every four hours, as participating players race to be the first to discover an island in their boat. In between, you'll upgrade and customize your boat, but even when an event is going on, the game's pastels and peaceful audio cues make it all feel like a lackadaisical race atop comfy couch cushions.

37. NFL Clash

NFL Clash

(Image credit: Nifty Games Inc)

Genre: Strategy
Price: Free with in-game purchases

NFL Clash is, as the name suggests, a reinvention of the popular micro-RTS that Clash Royale helped explode onto the scene years ago. There are literally dozens of viable games in this mold, but the new NFL Clash provides an interesting look at the genre staples like collecting heroes (now star athletes) and taking over territory (now the football field). If you've enjoyed Clash Royale or games like it and you're a football fan, this is a solid reinvention of that time-tested wheel.

36. Bloons TD 6

Bloons TD 6

(Image credit: Ninja Kiwi)

Genre: Tower defense
Price: $4.99 | £4.99 (with in game-purchases)

History would reveal otherwise, but some part of me attributes Bloons with starting the tower defense genre. So many sequels later, it's still one of the very best you can find on iPhones. Bloons' top-down, cartoon monkey-heavy approach to tower defense is second to none, and each sequel has been better than the last. This will likely be on our list until Bloons TD 7.

35. Nova Island

The card-based iPhone game Nova Island

(Image credit: Thirteen game)

Genre: Card
Price: free with in-game purchases

A card game with a twist. Nova Island is a 1v1 card battle. You fight for territory using your deck and collect Nova's, a valuable resource. First-person to collect 20 wins. Play cards to gain strength, deal damage and disrupt your opponent's strategy. For those who love a ranking system, there's even a competitive PvP where you can climb the leaderboard. A great pick for those who enjoy an intense non-action strategy game. 

34. Golf Odyssey

A screenshot from the iPhone game Golf Odyssey

(Image credit: Rubén Pecellin)

Genre: Golf/puzzle
Price: Free with in-game purchases

If the madness of What The Golf? Isn't your thing, Golf Odyssey offers a more tranquil golf-adjacent puzzler. Developed by just a single person, Golf Odyssey's color palette is cool and restful, like its music, and the central mechanic of lobbing golf balls over obstacles and into hole-in-ones is as tough to put away as the best App Store favorites. If ever you played the multiplayer Tanks growing up, Golf Odyssey looks and plays a bit like that, but without any explosions.

33. The Swords of Ditto

The Swords of Ditto title screen

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Genre: RPG
Price: $5.99 / £4.99

While many games are called RPGs on iOS, the term is often a loose fit, but in the case of The Swords of Ditto, it really applies. Across many questing runs, players will carve out their own legend in a fantasy world that imagines something magical and medieval, but also modern and comical. It looks and feels like a Cartoon Network series, imbued with a childlike wonder, which makes it irresistible to a certain kind of player, I'm sure, as I'm one such player. Alongside inviting combat controls and an open-ended plot that lets you explore however you see fit, this "compact RPG" packs a lot of punch in its 1.2 GB download.

32. Beatstar

Beatstar

(Image credit: Space Ape Games)

Genre: Music
Price: Free with in-game purchases

If you never really got over the disappearance of Rock Band and Guitar Hero from pop culture, Beatstar keeps your music gaming dreams alive. With the same sort of road of notes to play as expertly as you can and a library of real songs to pull from, including even from your own Apple Music library, Beatstar is basically Pocket Rock Band, complete with difficulties of varying degrees to suit all player skill levels.

31. Her Story

Her Story

(Image credit: Sam Barlow)

Genre: Adventure
Price: $3.99 | £3.99

Her Story blew up a few years ago thanks to its innovative gameplay that cast players as investigators watching interrogation tapes of a woman and trying to determine the truth of the matter. It's brilliant because it never holds your hand and really doesn't even care to resolve things for you. Once you think you've pieced it together, you signal that in-game and… that's it. Unorthodox, and likely never to be repeated, Her Story is one of the best narrative games ever seen on iPhone. 

Turn to page three for our top 30 best iPhone games...