IPHONE Top List
25 stunners to fill your collection
Anyone who says that graphics don’t mean anything is talking nonsense. Video games are a visual art, so how they look is a core part of their appeal.
What exactly makes a good-looking game is quite another matter, however. Do we go for lavish 3D spectacles or abstract, otherworldly 2D experiences?
A bit of both, we reckon. The following 25 games are very in style, but they’re all among the prettiest, most technically audacious games on the App Store.
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#1 GRID Autosport
GRID Autosport isn’t just a console-like racer. It’s a fully fledged console racer, complete with cream of the crop visuals. You’ll need a beast of an iOS device to run it, but by goodness is it pretty
#2 The Room: Old Sins
All four The Room games are among the handsomest games on mobile. No other series takes such delight in intricate clockwork mechanisms, or renders materials in such a realistically tactile fashion.
#3 Infinity Blade III
We dare say that Chair has made more trips to Apple’s HQ than any other game developer, so often have its Infinity Blade games been used to show off the graphical might of the latest iPhone. Each game remains a stunningly console-quality hack-and-slasher.
Developer Eden Games has been responsible for classic console racers like V-Rally and Test Drive Unlimited, and this technical pedigree shows in Gear.Club. The racing action is pin-sharp, and you can take a detailed tour around each and every car in the game.
Oceanhorn attracted a lot of attention at launch for its clear debt to Nintendo’s Zelda series, but what shouldn’t be forgotten is how darned gorgeous its fairytale graphics are.
Madfinger has always made the kind of games you boot up to test your new phone. Unkilled is the latest, and thus the most technically advanced example. It’s also an entertainingly hectic zombie-themed FPS.
#7 Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade
Apple used this game in the launch of the iPhone 6S. Partly that was down to the phone’s fancy 3D Touch display, but it was also chosen because of its super-detailed, super-busy (if slightly grimdark) graphics.
#8 Frost (Kunabi)
Frost is a beautiful minimalist puzzler that bathes your eyes in glowing, flowing particle effects. The way its illuminated dots dance around the screen and react to your touch is quite enchanting.
#9 Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
Square Enix has done an amazing thing with Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. It’s taken its latest triple A console RPG, kept all the bombastic cutscenes, and rebuilt the visuals in a chunky chibi-style. The result is a technically brilliant mobile adventure.
#10 Monument Valley 2
A game doesn’t have to be a lavish 3D extravaganza to gain our appreciation. Take Monument Valley 2 – an ostensibly simple isometric puzzler with an astonishing mind-bending art style.
#11 Rayman Fiesta Run
Rayman games have always felt like you’re playing a high-grade (if slightly twisted) Disney animated feature, and Rayman Fiesta Run is one of the most colourful and just plain joyful examples yet.
#12 The Witness
Nothing else quite looked like The Witness when it made its debut on console and PC a few years ago, and nothing quite looks like it on iOS either. Thekla has created a beautifully strange and diverse island to explore, where every view is a potential wallpaper.
#13 Badland 2
Badland wasn’t the first game to employ a moody 2D silhouette art style, but its sequel puts it to better use than most. The way in which these black foregrounds are contrasted with a detailed and colourful background is particularly effective.
#14 Pavilion: Touch Edition
Like Monument Valley, Pavilion: Touch Edition is an isometric puzzler that earns its place through the strength of its art direction. Here that means a highly intricate and delicate dream-like world.
#15 Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Geometry Wars 3’s twin-stick blasting and wireframe battlefields might appear simple, but the sheer number of crazy lighting and distortion effects being thrown around is mightily impressive. It also looks just like the PS4 version.
#16 CSR Racing 2
In CSR Racing 2, the style arguably IS the substance. You don’t need to worry about steering your car, which means that developer NaturalMotion can zoom in and show you the real-life hardware in glorious, shiny detail.
#17 Galaxy on Fire 3 – Manticore
The third GoF game has proved divisive among series fans. What isn’t open to question is how this epic freemium space blaster looks. That is, sodding brilliant.
#18 Eisenhorn: Xenos
Developers associated with the Warhammer 40,000 brand tend to make beautiful games. Here’s another one – a full on third-person action adventure that looks like it belongs on your home console.
#19 Banner Saga 2
Banner Saga and its sequel feel quite unlike any other RPG or strategy game out there, and a large part of that is down to the art style. This solemn tale of Norse mythology appears to have been drawn by the most talented animators of the 1970s. It’s beautiful.
Severed is a gloriously surreal first-person RPG with a startlingly fresh art style. It retains the Vita original’s visual allure, but with a touch-based control system that’s actually better suited to mobile.
#21 AG Drive
This is the closest thing mobile gamers have ever had to their own version of WipeOut. Not only is it a thrilling futuristic racer, but it looks a million dollars too.
#22 Splice: Tree of Life
Splice’s visuals are so sharp, weird, and tightly integrated with the UI that it almost feels like a grown-up’s toy rather than a game. Who knew that manipulating strings of molecules could be so graphically impressive?
#23 Oz: Broken Kingdom
Oz: Broken Kingdom isn’t the best game on this list. Far from it. But having been used by Apple to show off the iPhone 7’s powerful A10 CPU and HDR display, it’s up there with the most technically impressive.
#24 Marvel Contest of Champions
Kabam’s popular casual beat-’em-up is a remarkable-looking game. It’s not just that so many Marvel superheroes have been rendered in such loving detail, but that they move with such purpose and fluidity.
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