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Top 25 best auto-runner games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)

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Top 25 best auto-runner games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)

Endlessly running towards something

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Updated November 22, 2021: Added a few links


There was a time when you couldn't move for autorunners on the App Store. These compact arcade action games distilled the essence of the platformer and racing game genres, and stirred in an endless high score-chasing mechanic.

While the market is no longer saturated with auto-runners these days, they still get released quite frequently. Aside from maybe the match-three puzzler, we'd say that the autorunner is the most enduringly popular genre in all of smartphone gaming.

Why is that? The genre's suitability for mobile play is one huge factor. Often only taking a few minutes and a single screen input (albeit tapped multiple times) to play a round, a good autorunner offers the perfect between-stops gaming experience.

And also, there's a fair amount of room for free-styling on top of this basic template. There are 3D autorunners, 2D autorunners, racing autorunners, roguelike autorunners, shooter autorunners, RPG autorunners - the list goes on.

Hopefully we've reflected some of this diversity in the following list.

You might be wondering why we no longer refer to this as the 'endless runner' genre, as we often used to. The reason for that is simple: some of these games have a definite end, and don't merely require you to keep going until you drop.

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1
Super Mario Run

Publisher: Nintendo
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Platform
Find out more about Super Mario Run
Super Mario Run

You may not have directional control over Mario in Super Mario Run, but the range of jumps at your disposal makes for a game of surprising depth.

2
Alto's Odyssey

Publisher: Snowman
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Alto's Odyssey
Alto's Odyssey

Alto's Odyssey is a truly beautiful endless skier that has you leaping and flipping down a vast mountain. Auto-runners don't come any more polished or satisfying than this.

3
Badland 2

Publisher: Frogmind Games
Available on: iOS
Genre: Casual
Find out more about Badland 2
Badland 2

Badland and its superior sequel helped put the tap-to-fly mechanic on the mobile map. Few other auto-runners can match the silhouetted majesty of their fantasy worlds.

4
Rayman Mini

Available on: iOS + Apple Arcade
Genre: Platform
Find out more about Rayman Mini
Rayman Mini

Rayman's mobile outings nailed the whole auto runner template years ago with their stunning graphics and imaginative worlds. Rayman Mini brings that formula to Apple Arcade, and it's sharper than ever.

5
Chameleon Run

Publisher: Noodlecake Games
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Platform
Find out more about Chameleon Run
Chameleon Run

Chameleon Run combines slick 2D auto-runner gameplay with chunky 3D graphics, resulting in a truly tactile experience.

6
ALONE

Publisher: Laser Dog
Available on: iOS + Android + Ouya
Genre: Action, Arcade
Find out more about ALONE
ALONE

Alone is a super-stylish endless flier that sees your doomed space shuttle crashing through a crumbling cave system. It's pretty brutal.

7
Punch Quest

Developer: RocketCat Games
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Fighting
Find out more about Punch Quest
Punch Quest

The auto-runner can be applied to any genre, and in Punch Quest that means the scrolling beat-'em-up. What a wonderful combination it is.

8
Boson X

Publisher: Mu and Heyo
Available on: iOS + Android + Steam
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Boson X
Boson X

A brilliant, twitchy arcade masterpiece that takes the 3D endless runner to new heights.

9
EarthNight

Developer: Cleaversoft
Available on: iOS + Apple Arcade
Genre: Action, Endless running, Platform
Find out more about EarthNight
EarthNight

Perhaps Apple Arcade's most notable contribution to the auto-runner genre (sorry Rayman Mini), EarthNight brings a stunning dragon-filled world, varied levels, and surprisingly varied gameplay.

10
Pigeon Wings Strike

Publisher: Ignacio Schiefelbein
Available on: iOS
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Pigeon Wings Strike
Pigeon Wings Strike

A super-fast-paced endless flier that stirs in chunks of racing game and shmup goodness. The result is one of the freshest auto-runners in recent years.

11
Wave Redux

Available on: iOS
Genre: Puzzle
Find out more about Wave Redux
Wave Redux

A complete rejig of the masochistic Wave Wave, with a similarly angular approach to the auto-runner, but a more relaxed vibe. Thank goodness.

12
Pac-Man 256

Developer: Hipster Whale
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Arcade, Endless running
Find out more about Pac-Man 256
Pac-Man 256

A game that ingeniously takes the familiar maze-running premise of Pac-Man and applies it to a modern endless runner framework.

13
Jetpack Joyride

Available on: iOS + Android + Facebook and social + PSP + PS Vita
Genre: Action, Arcade, Endless running
Jetpack Joyride (previously Machine Gun Jetpack)

One of the undisputed endless runner classics from the early days of the App Store, Jetpack Joyride is still going strong thanks to its tactile and surprisingly varied gameplay.

14
Super Glitch Dash

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Super Glitch Dash
Super Glitch Dash

An extremely slick and challenging first person runner with a sharp sci-fi setting. If you want to feel like you're really running through a futuristic dystopia, this is your game.

15
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Action
Find out more about Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!

Crash Bandicoot pretty much formed the template for Temple Run and every 3D autorunner since. So this bright, bouncy autorunner from King makes perfect sense.

16
Ava Airborne

Publisher: Laser Dog
Available on: iOS
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Ava Airborne
Ava Airborne

A free-spirited auto-flier that's simply packed with content. It's almost impossible to grow bored of Ava Airborne.

17
Into the Dead 2

Publisher: PikPok
Available on: iOS + Android
Find out more about Into the Dead 2
Into the Dead 2

Into The Dead 2 pulls the auto-runner genre kicking and screaming into first person, as you run for your life through fields of the undead. Eek!

18
Ninja Chowdown

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Ninja Chowdown
Ninja Chowdown

A gloriously fast and fluid update of the autorunner genre, Ninja Chowdown sees your chubby warrior hopping and skipping through detailed 2D levels, hoovering up donuts and chucking shuriken.

19
Summer Catchers

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Platform
Find out more about Summer Catchers
Summer Catchers

Think the auto-runner genre is fresh out of ideas? Summer Catchers says hi, with its added deck-building elements and bouncy car-platformer gameplay.

20
Super Impossible Road

Available on: iOS + Apple Arcade
Genre: Action, Racing
Find out more about Super Impossible Road
Super Impossible Road

Is Super Impossible Road's title suggesting that it's super-impossible, or both super and impossible? Both are accurate, as you try and fail to keep your ball on a cruelly twisting road.

21
Tiny Wings

Developer: Andreas Illiger
Publisher: Andreas Illiger
Available on: iOS
Genre: Casual, Platform
Find out more about Tiny Wings
Tiny Wings

We're not 100 percent sure that Tiny Wings is an auto-runner - you need to hold the screen to pick up downhill momentum after all - but it's been so influential that it seems wrong not to include it.

22
Double Pug Switch

Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Casual, Platform
Find out more about Double Pug Switch
Double Pug Switch

An auto-runner that sees you taking control of an adorable dimension-hopping pug. Or rather, two, as you switch between them according to the colour of the obstacle.

23
Monster Dash

Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Platform
Find out more about Monster Dash
Monster Dash

Monster Dash dates back to the early days of the App Store, but it received an unexpected "bigger, badder" revamp in mid-2020. It still plays great, but it now looks a little sharper.

24
FOTONICA

Developer: Santa Ragione
Available on: iOS + Android + Steam
Genre: Endless running, Platform
Find out more about FOTONICA
FOTONICA

This starkly minimalist first person auto-runner has you dashing and bounding through wireframe landscapes. It's stomach-lurchingly immersive.

25
Rest in Pieces

Publisher: Itatake
Available on: iOS + Android
Genre: Endless running
Find out more about Rest in Pieces
Rest in Pieces

A refreshingly odd 3D auto-runner that ladles on the schlock-horror factor. But it's the fresh swing-based control system that really marks Rest in Pieces out.

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