Best iPad Games 2023

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Updated January 24, 2023

Finding the best iPad games in 2018 and 2019 can be a difficult endeavor, particularly because many of them are originally created for the iPhone and then simply scaled up for the iPad’s screen. Things are expected to change as the best iPads improve everyday.

In other words, many iPad games aren’t that great because most aren’t developed specifically for the iPad.

With that in mind, we learned which video games are specifically built for Apple’s tablets. We scoured the app store for the top games and tested each of these games for true iPad compatibility.

And after countless hours, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 iPad games below. They are built with quality/expertise, don’t experience many dropped frames, have great visuals, and most of all offer addictive gameplay.

Whether you’re a fan of RPGs, puzzles or strategy games, there’s something here for everybody.  And if you’re an iPhone owner, don’t forget to check out our most addicting iPhone games or our list of best iPhone games.

Table of Contents:

Best iPad Games Compared

NamePriceIn-App PurchaseRatingGenreView in App Store
Crossy RoadFreeYes4.5stars-newPlatformerView in iTunes
Don’t Starve$4.99No4stars-newSurvivalView in App Store
Myst$4.99No4stars-newAdventure/PuzzleView in App Store
HearthstoneFreeYes3.5stars-2105Card GameView in App Store
Monument Valley$3.99Yes4.5stars-newPuzzleView in App Store
Minecraft$6.99Yes4.5stars-newAdventureView in App Store
Terraria$4.99No4.5stars-newAdventureView in App Store
World of Goo$4.99No4.5stars-newPuzzleView in App Store
VaingloryFreeYes4.5stars-newMOBAView in App Store
LEGO Star WarsFreeYes4stars-newAction AdventureView in App Store
Bastion$4.99Nofive-starsRPGView in App Store
XCOM: Enemy Within$9.99No4stars-newStrategyView in App Store
Clash of ClansFreeYes4.5stars-newStrategyView in App Store
GodusFreeYes4.5stars-newStrategyView in App Store
Angry Birds 2FreeYes4.5stars-newPuzzleView in App Store

What to Look for In A Solid iPad Game

  1. Performance: One of the downsides to playing games on the iPhone is that, in some cases, the hardware can’t handle it.  As a result the device will get too hot, sometimes overheat, and even shut down. The iPad, however, is much better than the iPhone when it comes to handling gaming.  Nevertheless, you still need to be on the look out for games that put performance first. Generally, a good way to detect if a game performs well, is if frames aren’t dropping and if your device isn’t overheating or getting too hot. You may also want to check out the best apple iPad air features to determine whether your new iPad can handle all these games.
  2. Quality: While quality, in many cases, is severely subjective, a more objective way would be to research games before purchasing, is to quickly scan the App Store’s user reviews. This gives you a real-world idea of what the game is like and how it plays. Alternatively, many games have a demo or “light” companion that you can download before committing to the purchase.
  3. Depth: When getting a new iPad game, you’ll mainly want to look for games that have hours upon hours of gameplay available. In the reviews listed below, we’ve tried to highlight those.

Most Important Features of a Good iPad Game

  1. Graphics
    • It’s not all about aesthetics, though that’s important.
      • For instance, you’ll want to avoid games that drop frames or experiencing clipping.
      • Keep in mind that the iPad has more horsepower than an iPhone, and as a result, it can handle heftier graphics. So what’s ok on iPhone may be great on the iPad. This is why you should check out some of the best iPad Air features, in case you chose to upgrade from the iPad mini, given that the display is two times sharper.
  2. Multiplayer
    • A great aspect to iPad games is the ability to play online with friends.
      • This is one of the great things abut XCOM: Enemy Within. It has great multiplayer functionality, and has plenty of features that keep player-versus-player combat interesting.
      • Games that have multiplayer are usually worth playing longer.
  3. Story
    • Everyone loves a good story
      • And that’s why RPG games are such a big hit.
      • In addition to having a lot of content available, a good iPad game also consists of, in many cases, a good story.

Our Top Picks

#1 Pick  XCOM: Enemy Within

Best iPad Games XCOM: Enemy Within
Players will form a squad in XCOM: Enemy Within, and take the fight to alien forces that threaten to invade.

If you do any iPad gaming at all, XCOM: Enemy Within is one of those titles that you have to have on your tablet. It’s a slow-paced tactic/strategy game full of unique enemies and engaging side missions. Players will get to create their own squad and equip their operatives with special abilities, weapons, and armor, all while enjoying an engaging storyline in this sci-fi universe. The game also takes replayability and engagement to the next level by offering multiplayer abilities, which allow players to face off against each other in turn-by-turn combat. We feel this is one of the best iPad strategy games on the market. And for a tablet upgrade, you may want to take a look at some of the best features of the Apple iPad Air 2, which has several significant updates to the original Air.

Download XCOM: Enemy Within

#2 Pick  Vainglory

Best iPad Games Vainglory
In this hit MOBA, Vainglory will show players just how great visuals can be on mobile.

If you’re familiar with popular titles like League of Legends or DOTA 2, Vainglory is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) for mobile that might be right up your alley. It’s certainly not as competitive as its PC ancestors, but still offers the standard MOBA gameplay–troops that travel down each lane, a myriad of heroes to choose from, and unique spells and abilities. Players might find Vainglory among one of the most appealing MOBA games for iPad, as it employs the Metal API, which is used to make Vainglory one of the most beautiful games users will come across.

Download Vainglory

#3 Pick Myst

Best iPad Games Myst
The adventure/puzzle hit title Myst is back, but this time, controls have been adapted to the iPad.

For many users, Myst will be recognized as a blast from the past. And yes, it’s available on the iPad. Myst may just be one of the best iPad adventure games on the App Store right now, as players will have to search for pages in a book that will unveil the mystery of the islands. The port/remake for the iPad is reminiscent of the original version, and for those that are looking for something fresh, there’s even a sequel to the game called Riven, which essentially continues the story of Myst.

Download Myst

4. Hearthstone

Best iPad Games Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a fan-favorite, as its the first digital collectible card game from Blizzard that takes on the theme of its hit Warcraft series. Players will go face-to-face with each other, battling out with cards they’ve collected from fighting the computer and purchasing decks from the online marketplace. As players continue to fight each other in epic card battles, they will progress through the levels until they reach what is essentially a “grandmaster” league, a ladder where all of the great and professional Hearthstone players get to compete and potentially get recognized for real-life tournaments.

Download Hearthstone

5. Monument Valley

Best iPad Games Monument Valley

Monument Valley is another gem for the iPad. Players will take on the role of Ida and progress through complex and geometric puzzles. It’s different from the traditional puzzle games, as levels are incredibly difficult, particularly because of the unique geometric design. Eventually, players will receive a secondary companion that adds another level of complexity to these puzzles. The game is, unfortunately, very short, but there’s plenty of downloadable content with extra missions that progress the story of Ida and her totem-like companion.

Download Monument Valley

6. Minecraft Pocket Edition

Best iPad Games Minecraft Pocket Edition

Minecraft has been a renowned game among players all over the world. Selling millions upon millions of licenses, it was only logical to bring a mobile version to iOS, and on the iPad, the game doesn’t disappoint. Players will take on their own character as they explore the world around them, searching for ores and different materials to build up not only their weapons and armor but shelter as well. In Minecraft, the only limit is a player’s creativity. You’ll be able to build expansive kingdoms, recreations of your favorite fantasy locations, and even a replica of the Star Trek Enterprise.

Download Minecraft Pocket Edition

7. Terraria

Best iPad Games Terraria

In the sandbox-adventure game Terraria, players are thrown into a randomly generated world where they’re set on a quest to battle hell-like monsters. Of course, players will first start out finding shelter and upgrading their defenses before they can take on these bosses alone. The game even features an insanely good crafting system for building all sorts of things, whether it be furniture for your home, armor, weapons, and other items. Have you found you can’t fight a boss alone? Players will be able to invite their friends into their own world to tag team some of Terraria’s toughest enemies.

Download Terraria

8. World of Goo

Best iPad Games World of Goo
In World of Goo, players take advantage of slime balls to achieve their goal.

World of Goo has won many awards for its genius, showing just how loved this title is. Players will use slimy globs of goo to build bridges, cannons, and other structures in order to complete unique environmental puzzles. World of Goo gets more difficult as puzzles go on, but players are awarded with unique types of goo that possess their own abilities in order to take on these missions. We feel this is one of the best iPad puzzle games on the market, so check it out.

Download World of Goo

9. Don’t Starve

Best iPad Games Don't Starve Pocket Edition

Players take on one of a variety of characters in Don’t Starve and pit themselves against the elements to see how long they can survive. The game is a lot of fun, as people will have to navigate the elements without dying of starvation, going insane, or being overtaken by the approaching midnight hours where creatures roam the night searching for new prey. Players can gather resources to build camps, defenses, gardens, and more to help them survive. However, it takes a hearty amount of skill, as every day that passes by gets much more difficult. Not to even the mention that the winter months bring a whole new element of gameplay and survival.

Download Don’t Starve

10. LEGO Star Wars

Best iPad Games LEGO Star Wars
LEGO Star Wars might be one of the best mobile ports to date, all while catching players up on the timeline of Star Wars

With the upcoming new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, getting ready to hit theaters, some might be interested in catching up on their Star Wars history through the LEGO Star Wars Complete Saga for iOS. The game is most certainly designed for the iPad, as Players will explore Star Wars landmarks with over 120 iconic characters. The story spans all six films, and for the LEGO fan, it’ll quickly get you up to speed before the new movie hits theaters.

Download LEGO Star Wars

11. Bastion

Best iPad Games Bastion
Players take on the role of “the Kid” in Bastion, progressing through the world as a beautiful narrative unfolds.

Bastion has been heralded as one of the best games from an independent developer of all time, and the iPad version isn’t any different. It’s an action role-playing game where players will take on the roll as “the Kid.” The Kid will have to traverse his way through the fantasy world, encountering all sorts of dangerous enemies. Players will level their character as they progress, but probably one of the best elements of Bastion is its storytelling ability. The storyline is laid out by an excellent narrator that truly captures players’ attention. It’s a captivating story that players will enjoy every minute of.

Download Bastion

12. Crossy Road

Best iPhone Games Crossy Road
Crossy Road aims to remind players of Frogger, only in a more unique and modern way.

Crossy Road has been a hit on the iOS App Store since 2014, and continues to receive a lot of love. The aspect of Crossy Road is nothing new. In fact, it’s a clone of the popular arcade game Frogger, only with updates visuals and an arsenal of different types of animals to play as (in place of the traditional frog). Aside from updated visuals and more intense gameplay, one of Crossy Road’s strongest aspects is its social features, encouraging players to a friendly competition of besting each other on the scoreboards.

Download Crossy Road

13. Clash of Clans

Best iPhone Games Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans is an enjoyable strategy game set in a fantasy world, available for iOS and Android

Clash of Clans is a much-loved strategy title with hundreds of thousands of players across multiple platforms. Players can work on building and upgrading their very own settlements and eventually turn them into full-fledged fortresses. Elements of strategy will need to be employed, as players will need to carefully place defenses along their walls in order to defend their settlement from invading forces. Users will also have the option of joining a clan, where they can recruit friends to help them defend their fortress or take the fight to other clans in what are known as Clan Wars.

Download Clash of Clans

14. Godus

Best iPad Games Godus

Godus is another fan-favorite, developed by the legend himself, Peter Molyneux. In Godus, players take on the role of God, working to acquire and keep followers as the player continues to build and advance his or her kingdom. Players later in the game will also need to make sure their followers are always happy, otherwise they’ll lose them to join an enemy tribe known as the Astari people. Keeping followers isn’t the only aspect of the game, though. Those who play Godus will get to craft the world to their liking by using real-time map editing tools.

Download Godus

15. Angry Birds 2

Best iPad Games Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2 is the first true sequel to the original Angry Birds game.

Last up is Angry Birds 2, what developer Rovio is calling the true sequel to the original Angry Birds game. Angry Birds 2 plays the same as almost every other Angry Birds game available, but this time around Rovio added some unique gameplay aspects, making the game much more difficult. Players now get to choose which bird they’ll launch at their enemies next, and if they choose the wrong one, things may not go as well as expected. Finally, various bosses are now in Angry Birds 2, requiring players to employ some serious “slingshot” strategy in order to progress.

Download Angry Birds 2

Which iPad Game is Right For You

It goes without saying, there are a lot of games here, and it’s difficult to pick just one, which is why we have many ipad game reviews. However, I encourage you to give some of the more notable best iPad games of all time a try, such as XCOM: Enemy Within and Vainglory.

These games have not only received some high praises and positive reviews from the iOS community, but are built with quality. Both developers, from my experience with these two games, have committed to making quality their top priority, designing the titles around addictive, long-lasting gameplay, and unparalleled visuals.

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