Top 25 best looking games for iPhone and iPad (iOS)
25 stunners to fill your collection - here are the best graphics iOS games
Looks aren't everything, goes the platitude. When it comes to video games, there's a certain type of purist who will go even further and claim that looks mean nothing - gameplay is everything.
It's as if a core part of this inherently visual medium is mere surface fluff, only useful for enticing casuals and half-wits. Rubbish, we say.
A game's graphics are how it invites you into its world, tells you a story, and sells its gameplay mechanics. It is true, however, that those graphics don't have to be opulent. The appropriate effects can be achieved with a handful of pixels.
Which raises the next question: what are 'good graphics'? It's not something we can answer in a brief intro, but hopefully, the following list will go some way to explaining.
Best graphics iOS gamesThe best looking games on iPhone and iPad are a varied bunch. We've got epic 3D adventures, hand-drawn oddities, abstract puzzlers, and loads more besides. All they share in common is that when we play them, our eyes feel as happy as our thumbs.
Have we missed any other gorgeous gaming specimens? Let us know what would you favourite in the comments section below.Original list by Jon Mundy, updated by Pocket Gamer Staff.
GRID Autosport isn't just a console-like racer. It's a fully-fledged console racer, complete with cream-of-the-crop visuals. You might think you know what a great-looking racing game looks like for your mobile, but if you haven't tried GRID Autosport, then you clearly know nothing (Jon Snow)!
Although you'll need a beast of a device to run it, it is one of the best graphics games for iPhone out there.
The Room: Old Sins
All four of The Room titles are among the most handsome titles on mobile. For puzzle enthusiasts, there's nothing quite like it. It cleverly combines some of the best graphics games for iOS with intriguing mechanics, making it a winner in my book.
No other series takes such delight in intricate clockwork mechanisms or renders materials in such a realistically tactile fashion. You should definitely give it a shot, especially if you have an iPad - seeing all the small details on a slightly bigger screen makes all the difference. Read The Room: Old Sins review if you're not convinced yet.
When we think about games, we often think about something that is action-packed, wildly challenging, and competitive. However, there are some titles that fall on the exact opposite side of the spectrum, and for all the good reasons. My Oasis is such an experience, with its anxiety-relieving atmosphere and beautiful graphics beautifully interlaced.
A title like this deserves all the kudos, even more so if you manage to collect all the critters!
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9 is a racer that you're probably all too familiar with - at least with the name. It's been around for a good while, and with each title, the series only seems to improve (although I might not like 7 as much...). In this last title, the graphic team has outdone itself.
This is a stonker of an arcade racer, with all of the visual fidelity and OTT pyrotechnics those two works imply, and if you have a chance to play it on the bigger screen of an iPad, I strongly suggest you do so. And if you're ever looking for some tips, we've got a massive collection of Asphalt 9 guides to help you out!
Did you know we also have an Asphalt 9: Legends review?
The Unfinished Swan
Nowadays, many titles seem to have oddly similar graphic styles. All, except for The Unfinished Swan. In this almost monochrome world, where features seem to bleed into each other, a calm and relaxing adventure awaits.
The Unfinished Swan's sparse art style feels remarkably brave, as you literally fill out the details of your blank world by shooting black paint around. The gameplay is nothing like you've experienced before (I'm 99% sure of that), and believe it or not - the key to its success stands in its simplicity.
A glorious open-world RPG that seriously evokes the sprawling fantastic grandeur of Nintendo's Breath of the Wild. It's a tribute act alright, but one that hits many of the right notes - at least aesthetically. Just read our Genshin Impact review. With millions of players worldwide, it seems like I'm not the only one who believes so.
Receiving constant updates and new features, it's never too late to start playing Genshin Impact. The experience alone will be more than you will expect at the start. We have an tier list for Genshin Impact, ranking every character from the best to the worst ones. It's been updated with each new patch, so you'll always know what's a current meta.
Some walking simulators tend to get boring after a while, but if you are familiar with Firewatch, then you know the answer hides in the details. NUTS is one such beautiful walking simulator, but with a strikingly bold art style and delightfully tactile puzzles. It might not have such a compelling story, but the beautiful graphics of this iOS game are enough to make you say "WOW!" the moment you step foot into NUTS.
Frost is a beautiful minimalist puzzler that bathes your eyes in glowing, flowing particle effects. The way its illuminated dots dance around the screen and react to your touch is quite enchanting. I have to admit, you can even (try to) play it with your cat - they might not solve the puzzles, but it'll be a blast, guaranteed!
We even have a Frost review, so if you are curious how this beautiful-looking iOS masterpiece feels while playing, make sure to check it out.
Tales of the Mirror
Tales of the Mirror is a visual novel that takes inspiration from beautiful ancient Chinese artwork. The player is tasked to solve the mysterious murder that occurred in the village while paying close attention to his funds. To do that, the player must form bonds with the characters and offer them the right gifts.
It's an absolutely stunningly-looking iOS game that only gets better and better with each extra minute of gameplay. You can read more about it in our Tales of the Mirror review - it's a title that's absolutely worth playing, at least once.
Inside is stunning in every way, and that includes its beautifully shady art style and fluid animation. With more awards than we can name here, Inside is a must-play, especially for platformer enthusiasts. Its gameplay is not only stylish, but also challenging - some puzzles are more devious than others, and its narrative only adds to this.
If there's a more stylish platformer on mobile, we haven't seen it. You need to give it a shot, especially if you loved LIMBO. You can read our Inside review before though - it'll tell you everything you need to know, and if that won't help, then our Inside tips and tricks surely will.
Manifold Garden is a true assault to the senses - a first-person puzzler filled with impossible futuristic architecture that treats gravity as an optional setting. The graphics, while simple at first glance, will leave you searching for answers to questions you didn't even know you had. There is no other title similar to Manifold Garden, so if a unique experience is what you seek - look no further. You've found it.
A superb 2D platformer that looks and plays as beautifully as the full-fat console title Rayman Legends - probably because it has some of the same talents behind it. Unruly Heroes is one of the titles that will smile upon you the second you step foot into that world.
In fact, it's both beautiful and has a great narrative - you can read more about that in our Unruly Heroes review though. All in all, if you love platformers and haven't given this one a try yet, you need to do so ASAP. It's probably one of the best of its kind.
A narrative adventure with a truly distinctive art style, with every scene appearing to have been sketched in with a pencil, as if you were flicking through the main character's notepad. This visual style ties directly in with how it plays, as well as simply looking gorgeous, easily being one of the best graphics iOS games.
Tip: I strongly suggest playing If Found... in one go, although it might take 2-3 hours. It'll be a wholesome experience that you'll probably fall back on whenever you want to relax and just dive into something different. You should read more about our experience playing it in our If Found... review!
Monument Valley 2
A game doesn't have to be a lavish 3D extravaganza to gain our appreciation. Take Monument Valley 2 - an ostensibly simple isometric puzzler with an astonishing mind-bending art style. It might not be as "mind-bending" as Manifold Garden, but it falls into a similar category. If puzzles are your cup of tea, chances are you'll find Monument Valley 2 a delightful treat.
Did you read our Monument Valley 2 review yet? If you haven't, go and do that right now. It's one of the few 10/10 games in our books, and for good reason.
Nothing else quite looked like The Witness when it made its debut on console and PC a few years ago, and nothing quite looks like it on iOS either. Thekla has created a beautifully strange and diverse island to explore, where every view is a potential wallpaper.
Solve the (stunning) puzzles, regain your memory, and why not - even take a couple of screenshots in the process. There will be nothing short of amazing when it comes to the sceneries, just as we mentioned in The Witness review we wrote some time ago.
This puzzling masterpiece has a unique aesthetic that's fit to be hung on your wall, with a comic book frame-shifting mechanic that ensures screengrab-worthy moments around every corner.
What might look like an antique, hand-drawn creation, is in fact a story. A story told by ingenious puzzles and -unfortunately- a way too short playstyle. Just like If Found... it's best played in one go. It'll be about 2 hours if you don't get overly stuck at some stages!
You can read more details about this stunning puzzler in our Gorogoa review.
Assemble With Care
You wouldn't think that a title all about fixing everyday gadgets would be so visually opulent. But then, Assemble with Care was made by the team behind Monument Valley, so it kind of figures. Every aspect of the Assemble With Care seems to be well-taken care of, and the colour palette is, simply put, spot on.
There is nothing quite as relaxing and satisfying as this one. If it's the best graphics game for iOS that you are after, this gem will fit your crown nicely.
Meteorfall: Krumit's Tale
What's often overlooked with Slothwerks's Meterofall titles is how stunning they are to look at, perhaps because their Adventure Time-esque style seems so breezy and casual. But boy does this masterful card battler look the part, with exquisite art direction and animation.
Every detail seems to be in place, and your best shot is to play it on an iPad - the bigger the screen, the better. Meteorfall: Krumit's Tale is easily one of the best-looking iOS games, even though it doesn't fall into the "realistic" or 3D graphics category. As for the gameplay, it's just challenging enough to keep you hooked for hours - just like we stated in our Meteorfall: Krumit's Tale review.
Black Desert Mobile
Black Desert can rightfully be considered the most beautiful MMORPG on PC. And its main advantages migrated to the mobile version, including an incredibly advanced character editor that allows you to create both fabulous beauties and fantastic freaks.
The designers of Black Desert Mobile relied on realism, but this, of course, applies mainly to Mediterranean-style locations and some non-player characters: merchants and peasants look very authentic.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Nothing less than the king of MOBAs, right here on your phone. Wild Rift smartly streamlines the competitive top-down warring formula, but it doesn't compromise with its gorgeously fluid graphics.
Just because Wild Rift is so beautiful, it doesn't mean it's lacking essence - on the contrary. It's so good we have created individual champion guides for every single character, as well as an up-to-date tier list.
Sky: Children of the Light
Journey creator Thatgamecompany made its first mobile-focused game in Sky: Children of the Light. The result is a suitably dreamy multiplayer experience, that leaves us wanting for even more - and more we have, just head over to our Sky: Children of the Light review!
With graphics that feel easy on the eye and gameplay that is wildly enjoyable, yet doesn't overpower the essence of what is Sky: Children of the Light. And that is, returning the fallen Stars to their constellations. Absolutely stunning! Once you get started, you can also take a look at some useful beginner tips to help you out.
CSR Racing 2
That's right, we've got another shiny-looking racer on the list! CSR Racing 2 is the name, and it's not your typical racer. Unlike the previously mentioned titles, in CSR Racing 2, the style arguably IS the substance. If you haven't tried CSR Racing before, then you can read our CSR Racing 2 review to get a better idea of what to expect. Otherwise, you can just check some of our best cars in CSR Racing 2.
You don't need to worry about steering your car, which means that developer NaturalMotion can zoom in and show you the real-life hardware in glorious, shiny detail - down to the nitty-gritty. Why not drive and enjoy the scenery? You don't often get to, especially in such games.
Banner Saga 2
To name a title that has won many people's hearts (mine included), we have Benner Saga 2. There are more than enough reasons that you should try it for its playstyle, but one detail that's often overlooked is the graphics. In our Banner Saga 2 review we mentioned all that and a few more important gameplay details, so head over there and take a look if you're curious about this strategic masterpiece.
Banner Saga and its sequel feel quite unlike any other RPG or strategy game out there, and a large part of that is down to the art style. This solemn tale of Norse mythology appears to have been drawn by the most talented animators of the 1970s. It's absolutely beautiful, one of the best-looking iOS games!
Limbo is a beautiful and endlessly dark puzzle platformer. This is a creepy game but surprisingly addictive at the same time. The gameplay is quite good, and the atmosphere and art style are incredible. The game looks like a fantastic arthouse movie.
The developers were able to maintain a balance in the gameplay, so there are almost no puzzles on which you can get completely stuck, but many of them are complicated enough.
Limbo is completely black and white. The graphics are pretty simple but, at the same time, extremely great and fit well, as well as underline the atmosphere of the game.
Shadowgun Legends is a first-person corridor shooter that has many different missions. And the missions in it are constantly surprising with their variety of game situations: you may need to either pass just a linear level, fight off the advancing waves of mobs with infantrymen, defend an object, fight bosses, or simply leave the location as fast as possible. The game also offers multiplayer.
In 2019, Shadowgun Legends received the Google Play Awards as the most beautiful game.
These are all of the best graphics games for iOS that we could fit into the small list of 25 titles. There are tons of titles out there that couldn't make it to the list, but you can add them in the comments below for the rest of the curious players!