Top 10 best retro games for iPhone and iPad (2013)

Looking backwards

Top 10 best retro games for iPhone and iPad (2013)

Standing upright next to my large HD TV is a brand-new 250GB Xbox 360. On the nightstand next to my bed is an iPhone 5, a 9.7-inch iPad, and a shiny PS Vita.

In spite of already owning some of the best gaming machines that money can buy, though, I often have an overwhelming urge to fire up eBay and spend my upcoming child's nappy money on a SNES and a whole horde of retro games.

I'm not going to do that, mind. I don't fancy sleeping with one eye open in fear of my partner's retribution.

Thankfully, then, the App Store is now jam-packed with classic titles from the days of the Atari 2600, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more.

Here are ten of my faves.

Alien Breed
By Team17 - buy on iPhone and iPad

This shooter is a lighthearted tribute to James Cameron's excellent Aliens film, which terrified moviegoers when it was released almost three decades ago.

This enhanced edition of Alien Breed features six classic levels taken from the game's original Amiga release, plus a further 16 stages.

You can choose to play with Alien Breed's original graphics and controls or with shiny new visuals.

Activision Anthology
By Activision - download free on iPhone and iPad

Activision Anthology isn't a retro game. It's actually a compilation app starring Activision's entire Atari 2600 line-up (complete with original cartridge and box art).

This free app comes with a complimentary copy of action title Kaboom!, and offers you the chance to grab packs of other classic games through in-app purchases.

There are a total of 45 retro games to collect, including Pitfall!, River Raid, Stampede, and Demon Attack.

Prince of Persia Classic
By Ubisoft - buy on iPhone

Prince of Persia Classic doesn't look retro by any stretch of the imagination. That's because it's actually an enhanced remake of Jordan Mechner's 1989 Apple II title.

The most obvious difference between Prince of Persia's original release (for those of you who are familiar with it) and this one is the game's protagonist.

Yup, that's the Prince from 2003's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time right there.

By Namco - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad

You all know the drill here.

In Pac-Man, you hungrily gobble up scattered pellets and other tasty treats, and avoid four ghosts that pursue you through each maze-like stage.

This iOS edition of Pac-Man features three unique control schemes - one of which enables you to move your on-screen protagonist via tilts of your device.

Atari's Greatest Hits
By Atari - download free on iPhone and iPad

Like the Activision Anthology, Atari's Greatest Hits is a compilation app that features over 100 classic Atari 2600 titles and arcade games.

Want a copy of Missile Command for free? Okay, it's yours.

You can also download and play the likes of Asteroids, Centipede, and Pong via in-app purchases.

Several apps in this collection utilise Bluetooth for head-to-head multiplayer.

Final Fantasy
By Square Enix - buy on iPhone

Back in 1987, the original Final Fantasy was released for Nintendo's NES. Since then, it's been ported to over ten other platforms, including iOS.

Naturally, those aren't NES graphics in the cropped screenshot above. That's because this iPhone version of Final Fantasy is actually a port of the PSP remake.

Still with me? Good.

By Konami - buy on iPhone and iPad

In this retro arcade title, you take on the role of either Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler.

Your aim, then, is to beat down waves of enemies en route to giving the evil Magneto a good slap or three in the chops.

If you fancy, you can team up with three friends over wi-fi and really show the Master of Magnetism who's boss.

Doom Classic
By id Software - buy on iPhone and iPad

You're a battle-hardened space marine stationed on Mars.

You're all that stands between an invasion of earth by the armies of Hell.

So, your job is to grab a BFG and wipe out baddies across 36 stages and four chapters (Knee-Deep in the Dead, Shores of Hell, Inferno, and Thy Flesh Consumed).

Good luck, soldier.

Sonic The Hedgehog
By Sega - buy on iPhone

When it comes to iconic platforming heroes, only Nintendo's chubby plumber is perhaps more famous than Sega's Blue Blur.

In this Genesis title (like in most Sonic games), you sprint through a variety of colourful stages, collecting golden rings and crushing enemies along the way.

Your overall aim, though, is to kick Dr Robotnik's backside.

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
By LucasArts - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad

If, like I, you're a huge fan of point-and-click adventures, you'll be more than familiar with this excellent humour-filled title.

In it, you step into the shoes of a lacklustre pirate wannabe called Guybrush Threepwood, as he spectacularly fails to become the world's most infamous swashbuckler.

Swipe your device's screen with two fingers to instantly switch between classic and revamped visuals.

Anthony Usher
Anthony Usher
Anthony is a Liverpool, UK-based writer who fell in love with gaming while playing Super Mario World on his SNES back in the early '90s. When he isn't busy grooming his beard, you can find him replaying Resident Evil or Final Fantasy VII for the umpteenth time. Aside from gaming, Anthony likes hiking, MMA, and pretending he’s a Viking.