Apple Arcade is a subscription-based gaming service that offers over 180 exclusive games for all age groups. With the recent addition of 30 new games, the service got the needed boost to become an attractive option for mobile gamers.
However, the expansion also makes it challenging to figure out the best games on Apple Arcade that make it worthwhile. So, I did a little digging to find some real treasures. Keep reading to know my picks for the top new games, along with genre-wise recommendations.
Tip: In case you’re wondering, the Apple Arcade subscription starts at just $5 per month, which is a real steal for the variety of premium games you get. Moreover, If you’ve just picked up a new Apple device, you can get three months free!
1. Star Trek: Legends
Every Trekkie will love hanging out with the large cast of characters from the franchise that this game brings together. Your task is to step into the role of your favorite heroes and villains and control the mystical Nexus and the fate of the universe.
I love the epic storyline that’s peppered with lots of Star Trek jokes and references.
As for gameplay, you have a small team of characters to lead into turn-based combat missions made up of combat segments, short cutscenes, and moments when you have to make quick decisions about what to do next.
Each character – or legend – has its skills, abilities, and weapons critical for the missions’ success, so choose carefully!
The beautiful 3D worlds and animations are commendable and provide a console-like experience. Moreover, you can also speed up animations during combat to get through faster.
Play it for: an immersive Star Trek experience that will keep you entertained.
2. NBA 2K21 Arcade Edition
This is a notable new Apple Arcade game that offers brilliant gameplay resolution, thanks to an all-new graphics engine. You can enjoy basketball on your Apple device like never before with top NBA stars like Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, and Zion Williamson.
Choose from five-on-five quick matches – the Blacktop park mode for pick-up games, online multiplayer, and my favorite, the career mode. This lets you create a player and live out a virtual NBA experience replete with sporting highs and lows. Pretty immersive!
Further, this game is available in 13 languages, and you can also use your Xbox or PS DualShock controller to play.
So what are you waiting for? This is the place to be to shoot virtual hoops and enjoy basketball in a whole new way.
Play it for: The best graphics on a mobile game and wholesome sporting fun.
3. The Oregon Trail
This one’s a classic that dates back to 1971. The all-new Apple Arcade version updates the visuals and actively improves the representation of Native American people in the story.
I love how now, for the first time in the game’s history, you can play the Native American characters and better understand their stories and culture.
Fellow history buffs will be delighted to know that the game has been created in collaboration with Native American scholars to help lend a more nuanced and respectful representation of indigenous groups to this historic release.
That’s pretty unheard of in other video games I’ve sampled and makes this one worth checking out.
As for gameplay, you have to build your travel party and embark on 12 playable journeys filled with hard choices, mysterious dangers, and unexpected situations. From blizzards to sickness, exhaustion, snakebites, and more, do you have what it takes to beat the odds and survive?
I love the level of variety this game offers, with hundreds of events where each choice you make affects your party and future events. It tests your strategy skills while keeping you immersed in role-playing – the best of both worlds!
Moreover, it retains the charm of the original game while adding fresh new elements.
Play it for: An interesting story and captivating strategic challenges
4. Sudoku Simple
I have loved sudoku since before it was possible to play it on mobile. I enjoy how it challenges the mind and keeps you hooked. This game is a godsend to Apple Arcade because it offers a simple way to learn and master this ancient puzzle.
I thoroughly enjoy how it leverages the power of color to train your brain to understand the puzzle logic. Start off easy and gradually increase the difficulty level until you master it.
This is remarkable because sudoku is traditionally black and white, which can strain the eyes. Although there are other colored sudoku games, they don’t match this one’s beautiful simplicity and effectiveness.
Moreover, instead of directly attempting the full-fledged 9×9 puzzle, you can start with smaller ones to ease into it. Once you get into its groove, it’s quite an addictive game and good for your brain!
Play it for: an easy way to learn and master Sudoku and keep your mind challenged.
This award-winning game is one of the most exciting additions to Apple Arcade. I have long been addicted to its beautiful fairy-tale-like world that’s laden with traps and obstacles to navigate through.
Whether it’s the characters, creatures, or vegetation, the attention to detail is commendable and engaging.
Moreover, it sets a precedent in the world of side-scrollers with innovative physics-based gameplay accentuated by fantastic sound and graphics. This makes for a highly immersive audiovisual experience that you’re sure to love.
Explore over a hundred unique levels in single-player mode or play against friends in the “versus” and “cooperative” modes. As the names suggest, versus is all about battling it out with your friends, while “cooperative” is about working together to overcome the obstacles.
The intuitive one-touch controls are a breeze to use, and it also supports controllers. Lastly, thanks to iCloud, your progress syncs across all your linked iOS devices.
Play it for: an unforgettable audio-visual gaming experience high on action and adventure.
6. LEGO® Brawls: The funny brawler
This lighthearted action game is a fun way to brawl around. It allows you to design your heroic mini figure with distinct fighting capabilities. Explore new power-ups through bricks and portray exceptional teamwork to control levels. It’s a must-have for all the LEGO fans out there.
I loved making my way through the eight different arenas, collecting more minifigs and power-ups along the way. It’s got some pretty awesome graphics that will keep you enthralled. Try it out and test if you have what it takes to emerge as the ultimate brawler!
Play it for: Fun graphics and action sequences
7. Hot lava: Be wise and quick
Do you remember playing hot lava as a child? I used to love pretending that the floor is covered in lava and trying to navigate over it. Well, this is the digital version of that game that’s worth it for the nostalgia.
Your task is to run, jump, climb, and surf across challenging environments flooded with hot lava. Explore alone or with friends as you use your ingenuity and dexterity. But don’t forget to dodge the toxic waste, lava, crushers, and bottomless pits waiting to entrap you!
Play it for: A trip down memory lane as you relive this childhood game
8. Survival Z
I always have a blast fighting the zombies in this crazy, fun game. You have to make your way through the game rescuing survivors and exterminating the zombie menace. There are different types of zombies, and you can bust them with obstacles and traps to increase your chances of survival.
The best part is that no two runs are the same, which keeps things exciting and fresh no matter how many times you play. There are over 15 playable characters and 50 levels to explore. Along the way, you can collect new equipment to power-up your character.
Play it for: Ridiculous zombie-bashing fun!
9. Crossy road castle: The giant angry eagle
It’s time for some endless runner action with this colorful and addictive game. You have to keep climbing the infinitely spinning tower. Besides connecting and playing with friends, you have the option to play alone and even offline.
Further, this game is regularly updated with new towers and quests, so the journey never ends. Every run is different and will keep you engaged till you reach the oversized angry eagle at the end. No, I couldn’t find the reason behind its anger!
Play it for: Endless fun with friends or solo
10. Oceanhorn 2: Young and fierce
Get ready to begin your journey to an endless RPG boulevard. Dipped and soaked in brand new content, quests, items, and enhancements, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the game. As a young knight, you’ll have to pass through impossible challenges and defeat the dark army of Warlock Mesmeroth.
I am spellbound by the incredible graphics and slick look of this game. It offers dozens of side quests, clever puzzles, mysterious dungeons, and much more. All in all, it’s a perfect escape from the real world and adventure through 20+ hours of gameplay.
Play it for: Beautiful graphics, enchanting story, and console-quality experience
11. SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit
Immerse yourself in the crazy Spongebob world and explore iconic locations like Bikini Bottom, Glove World, and Chum Bucket. While you’re there, you get to jump on trampolines, avoid the stinging jellyfish, and zoom down zip lines in your epic adventure.
Get ready to dive in and solve puzzles to free your friends by defeating the baddies. The list includes everything from plankton to powerful jellyfish king. Don’t forget to use the bosses’ weapon against them and save the day.
Play it for: Fun graphics and an easy-breezy experience
Here’s one of the best Apple Arcade games that I could play endlessly. I find it quite relaxing and unique. The goal is to flow through different levels, and the controls are super simple, requiring just one touch.
The beautiful hand-crafted levels stand out from others and function as a stress ball for your brain. There are over 180 levels to keep you occupied, and new ones are consistently added. Further, there are 5 themes and 40 characters to unlock.
Play it for: A unique zen-like gaming experience that helps you relax
13. Cozy Grove
Live out a fictional life in this entrancing game where you can camp out on a haunted, ever-changing island. You take on the role of a Spirit Scout and wander the island’s forests each day to discover new secrets and appease the local ghosts.
Your mission is to restore joy and color back to Cozy Grove. I especially appreciated the hand-drawn landscapes that add to the charm of this game. Further, there are dozens of memorable characters and spirits to find and befriend. Each spirit has a unique, extensive story that keeps things interesting.
Play it for: A long-lasting adventure through a captivating universe
14. Patterned: Pass through the puzzles
If you love jigsaw puzzles, you’ve got to check out this game that’s inspired by them but adds a unique twist to it. Each pattern starts as a sketch, and you have to use the varied visual cues to reassemble its scrambled pieces.
It’s magical how each pattern comes alive as you proceed, gradually adding color and structure. And when the final piece is placed, the pattern fills the screen in full color. You can also download the final piece on your iOS device and use it as a wallpaper.
Play it for: A meditative puzzle experience and beautiful imagery
Lumen is a beautiful puzzle that stands apart from the crowd with its unique mechanics. You’ve got to use lights, lenses, and mirrors to solve problems and recreate amusing stories of Olivia McLumen, a great inventor who lived in Scotland over a hundred years ago.
She has saved her inventions in cinematic frames for you to restore in the glimmering universe of this enjoyable Apple Arcade game. I love it for the easy gameplay that’s well suited for both short and long sessions on any Apple device with cross-functionality game saves.
Play it for: An engaging experience with unique mechanics.
16. Grindstone: Slash your way through victory
The sword slashing puzzle battle game is developed by the creators of the award-winning game Superbrothers. The storyline takes you to grindstone mountain, which is overrun by brutal creeps.
You have to slay your way through the unfaithful peak and attain the ultimate warrior’s glory. It requires sharp puzzle skills to pass the hurdles and a sharper blade assisting you. With over 200 levels, the game’s fit for those above 12 years of age.
Play it for: An engaging experience with unique mechanics.
17. Spire Blast puzzle
It’s both fun and stress-relieving to destroy the mysterious towers that have risen all over the kingdom in this physics-based matching puzzle that will test your speed and observation skills.
There are countless challenges to keep you hooked, along with captivating colorful kingdoms to explore. I adored the cute dragons that act as your companions in creating mayhem.
Play it for: Fast-paced matching puzzle fun
Here’s an Apple Arcade game for all the fans of the Final Fantasy franchise. This one’s an exciting RPG set against a spectacular backdrop made from over 150 handmade dioramas. It’s a fantastic blend of 3D characters and physical environments.
You take on the role of the protagonist, Leo, who awakens after a massive explosion in a strange land with only one memory left. Set out on mystical journeys to reclaim your memories, following a captivating story written by industry legend Hironobu Sakaguchi, complimented by a soundtrack composed by the celebrated Nobuo Uematsu of the original game.
Play it for: An epic storyline, music, and realistic simulation
19. Mini Motorways: Be the problem solver
At least once, while being stuck in traffic, you would have thought of clearing it by yourself. This game allows you to do just that. It’s all about drawing the roads and building an intricate network to create a bustling metropolis.
Your aim is to keep the traffic flowing and carefully plan upgrades to adapt to the changing demands as your city grows. I love the soothing soundtrack that accompanies the innovative gameplay.
Play it for: A unique kind of challenge that’s relatable and fun
20. Outlanders: Town builder simulation
Check out this charming simulation game in which you have to lead a group of people to build a town. The challenge is that everyone has different motivations, such as survival or the drive to build spectacular structures. It’s your job to guide them all towards the end goal.
I like this game because each level has a unique set of challenges to overcome, along with a gripping story that keeps you charmed and attentive throughout. You can also personalize your town in a variety of ways.
Play it for: Engaging audio-visual style gameplay with an alluring atmospheric touch