The Best iOS Games Of 2022 According To Metacritic – GameSpot
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Mobile gaming was better than ever in 2022, as big names made even bigger moves in that space to deliver all kinds of interactive entertainment to small screens.
Mobile games are perhaps one of the most versatile and convenient works of interactive art that you’ll ever experience, and in 2022, there was no shortage of quality games to enjoy on your iPad or your iPhone. With modern iOS hardware boasting excellent specs, developers spent the year cracking out titles that took full advantage of Apple’s impressive gear and delivered titles that didn’t only look fantastic on those smaller screens, but took advantage of their unique strengths as well.
This has been a year in which mobile gaming has seen some serious effort from big players in the scene, with Netflix entering the picture and offering its subscribers access to a number of high-profile titles. With games such as Into the Breach, Spiritfarer, and Before Your Eyes on offer, Netflix has shown a serious commitment to growing its footprint in this space. Elsewhere in the mobile gaming scene, Apple Arcade has proven to be excellent value for money, more indie developers have retooled their titles to work on iOS, and cloud gaming has had some ups and downs.
While Xbox continues to make big gains with its cloud gaming efforts, 2022 also saw Google announce that its Stadia service will be shut down next year. Beyond those big stories, there was still plenty of reason to grab your phone or tablet, boot up a game, and settle in for a cozy night of digital fun. According to the numbers tallied up from GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic, the games below earned the highest numbers from outlets across the world.
Dicey Dungeons may have debuted on console and PC first, but on iOS, it feels right at home thanks to some clever tweaks that take advantage of the iPhone and iPad real estate. The wait has paid off, as this version of the game feels perfectly polished, looks wonderfully vibrant, and doesn’t skip a beat with touch controls that makes its blend of puzzles and roguelite action feel superb.
Metascore: 98 | Read our Dicey Dungeons review
Some of the best mobile games are the ones that require minimal input from its user. Poinpy nails that idea, focusing on timing instead of complex controls as you hurl your adorable protagonist onwards and upwards through a vibrant world full of fruit, frogs, and giant gaping maws.
Metascore: 87 | Read our Poinpy review
Streets of Rage 4 is nothing less than a lovingly crafted beat-’em-up that mixes rock-solid action with stunning art direction and a soundtrack that adds an extra touch of elegant violence to each blow. Managing to fuse old and new school sensibilities together, this retro comeback is easily digestible fun that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Metascore: 86 | Read our review
The beauty of Marvel Snap is that it focuses on fast and accessible card-battling fun. It’s all about snack-sized moments of fun; it feels rewarding even when you’re losing; and its simple setup makes it easy to get to grips with. If you’re looking for a deckbuilding game that you can easily have a few rounds of fun in while on a bus ride or during a lunch break, this engaging game will snap up all of your attention.
Metascore: 85 | Read our Marvel Snap review
What happens when you mix dungeon crawling with puzzles? You get Dungeons of Dreadrock, a game that looks like it was inspired by Game Boy Advance Legend of Zelda titles with its visuals. A hundred dangerous basement levels await you in this quirky descent, with each puzzle feeling like a well-designed conundrum amidst some well-executed action.
Sumire won’t grab your attention with its by-the-books gameplay, but it’s the delicate art direction, touching story, and stirring soundtrack that makes this an essential purchase for iOS. A tale of dreams and the deceased, Sumire is a short but captivating title that feels right at home on mobile devices.
For almost a decade now, Shovel Knight has been a constant delight on several platforms except mobile. That all changed this year in this thrilling prequel to the original game, as Shovel Knight Dig takes plenty of influence from Downwell to deliver a satisfyingly chunky action experience. It’s a Shovel Knight experience that has been worth the wait, encapsulating the appeal of the titular hero with fast-paced gameplay and a colorful presentation.
The idea of being able to play Apex Legends no matter where you are is a heck of an elevator pitch, and one that Respawn Entertainment pulls off with style. Bringing the core PC and console experience to mobile, Apex Legends on iOS is a polished showcase of battle royale gameplay that raises the bar for the genre on smaller screens. Constantly evolving and updating, this standalone game complements the bigger Apex Legends experience with great design, visuals, and competitive action.
Metascore: 79 | Read our Apex Legends Mobile review
Some of the most thoughtful games of recent memory have made a splash on mobile, and Hindsight from Prune developer Joel McDonald is another great example of these titles thriving on iPhone and iPad. A short narrative-driven game about the power of memories and the items they’re attached to, Hindsight manages to deliver hard-hitting emotions through its stunning design, touching story, and a soundtrack that amplifies the journey.
Large-scale warfare is usually the domain of PC gaming, but on iOS this year, one of the best strategy games of all time made its way to mobile devices in a brilliantly optimized state. Thanks to thoughtful tweaks, additions, and cunning use of touchscreen controls, Total War Medieval 2 is a dream to play on smaller screens. You’ll need to squint a bit to see all your troops smashing into the enemy, but with this port of an all-time classic, it’s a small price to pay for medieval bliss.
Cross Duel shakes up the Yu-Gi-Oh! formula in a way that feels both risky and brave, but the payoff is an exciting new direction for the dueling monsters franchise. A gacha game at heart, the four-player focus and adjusted rules create fast and furious games where match momentum can shift in an instant, making the duel dynamic more exciting than ever.
A game that tackles surreal subject matters, Desta: The Memories Between puts a relatable spin on heavy topics such as death and loss. With a strong cast that easily carries the heavy narrative, a compelling combat loop, and plenty of emotional conflict, this gem of a turn-based puzzle game from developer UsTwo is thought-provoking content that’s worth trying out.
Metascore: 73 | Read our Desta: The Memories Between review
Despite it having some incredibly blatant predatory tactics woven into its design, Disney Mirrorverse has been a big hit with people who can’t get enough of seeing classic characters from the house of mouse reimagined in interesting new forms. It’s a robust action-RPG that is easy to learn and fun to get a handle on, but its convoluted resource systems and overt efforts to squeeze some extra cash out of you does knock it several places down this list.
Metascore: 69 | Read our Disney Mirrorverse review
Match-three puzzle games can easily absorb hours of your time, but with so many titles available currently, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. That’s not the case with Puzzle Quest 3, as this lavish title features equal amounts of quick-thinking gameplay and satisfying action. Leaning hard into its fantasy design and delivering a surprisingly engaging story, the latest entry in this series shines with slick gameplay and an easily accessible design.
It may have a controversial endgame and a few questionable microtransactions, but there’s no denying that Diablo Immortal feels like a premium free-to-play game set in the deadly realm of Sanctuary. Not only a good-looking and feature-packed experience that has slowly been improving since launch, it plays superbly thanks to a delightful combat cadence that shines through each unique character class.
Metascore: 67 | Read our Diablo Immortal review
When a gacha game gets its hooks into you, it can easily become a daily ritual as you find yourself engrossed with what’s happening on your small screen. Dislyte nails that sensation from the start, thanks to its polished take on the genre and eye-catching designs that gives each character in its roster a ton of personality. If you’re a collector, love original designs, and you’re in the mood for some flashy combat, Dislyte will check all three of those boxes.