Updated April 29, 2021: New entries added
You can stick 'action' before any other genre, and it'll instantly make it seem more fun.
If a friend tells you they're playing an RPG, you'll instantly think of extended quests, interminable conversations, and patience-testing battle systems. If they tell you they're playing an action-RPG, your thoughts will turn to thrilling slashy combat, a steadily growing arsenal, and rip-roaring adventure. Or, y'know, a Zelda game.
More broadly, action games tend to involve a certain kind of pacey violence, whether that be shooting, punching, or slashing. All that really matters for a game to make this list is that there's lots of kinetic stuff happening on screen at once.
A good action game will be the perfect tonic when you've had a really crappy day, and you just want to blow off some steam and mow down some goons.
Rather like love, you know an action game when you see it. Here are 25 of the suckers, all playable on your iOS device. Don't mention it.