Year's Best iPhone Games for Core Gamers

Year's Best iPhone Games for Core Gamers

Core games typically deliver an intensely captivating gameplay experience. Though challenging and requiring concentration and practice, core games are enjoyable at every level of play. And core games usually consume a lot of time, simply due to the fact that they are so fun to play. Not everyone will enjoy core games, especially if they are just looking for a quick gaming fix like Words with Friends or Crossy Road can give you. This short list of premium titles features a range of games in a variety of different genres, so there's something here for just about every core gamer's tastes. The following aren't by any means the only core games for iOS but they are some of the best core games for iPhone.

1. Vainglory (Free)

Best Core Game of 2015

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Vainglory has stolen the hearts (and gameplay hours) of millions of core gamers. It has become an international hit sensation, and with good reason. It is one of the most engrossing, intense, and technically deep games games on iOS, with 20 to 30 minute matches, played with five5 other people in real-time. It is also one of the most highly competitive games that you can play on the mobile platform, with established professional leagues competing for thousands of dollars in cash prizes. If you search for Vainglory on YouTube you'll find endless tutorials and game footage; and if you look for it on Twitch or Mobcrush, you'll find huge lists of streamers.

If you are looking for a game you can really sink your gaming teeth into, Vainglory is definitely worth checking out. If you are looking for an eSport on mobile that you can enjoy as a spectator on YouTube or Twitch, again, Vainglory is the premier mobile eSport on the scene. And if you are already a fan of MOBA (currently the most profitable video game genre in the world) then you've probably already played this game and are sitting there nodding your head, glad to see this most excellent game getting some of the attention and props it deserves. Hands down, Vainglory is the best core iOS game of 2015.

2. Hearthstone (Free)

Hearthstone is a card game at its core, though in reality it is far removed from any traditional card game like poker or blackjack. Hearthstone pits you against opponents who play cards with various characters on them, each card possessing certain strengths and weaknesses. It's up to you to draw from your deck a card that will most effectively counter the strengths of the your opponent's card, while capitalizing on their weaknesses. Hearthstone can be played against live opponents or against the game's AI. Based on the immensely popular World of Warcraft storyline and characters, Hearthstone is a game that can be enjoyed in short bursts. But don't let the fact that it can be played in quick rounds fool you. The more you play and the more you build your deck and become familiar with how to play, the deeper, more strategic, and more competitive this game becomes. 

3. Oceanhorn ($8.99)

There is no Zelda on iOS; but that's OK, because there's Oceanhorn. This game has numerous similarities to the hit Nintendo title and promises many hours of gameplay as you explore a fantastic world of islands and oceans, solving puzzles and battling strange creatures on your quest to unravel the mystery of a missing father and a legendary sea monster. If you enjoyed Zelda, especially the 10th installment, the Wind Waker, then it's safe to say you will also love everything about Oceanhorn.


4. Asphalt 8: Airborne (Free)

If you like racing games, Asphalt 8 is one of the best iOS has to offer. Its graphics are insane and its gameplay is frenetic. In Asphalt you can hone your skills against the game's AI or go head to head in heated competition with other players in live races. Whether you play solo on your iPhone, or on the big screen with the Apple TV, Asphalt 8 will provide an endless adrenaline rush as you speed through beautifully rendered tracks in scenic locations around the world.


5. Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free)

If First Person Shooters are your game, then Modern Combat: Blackout is the one of the most amazing you'll find on the mobile platform. This game features graphics that rival anything a console or PC could offer, with the option to play a solo or multiplayer campaign and controls that work excellently on touchscreens. This latest installment in the Modern Combat franchise blurs the lines between console and mobile gaming. It's violent and it's graphic; but if you're into FPS, then that's probably exactly what you're looking for.


6. Infinity Blade III ($6.99)

Last, but not least is a game that I played incessantly for several years, through all three chapters. Infinity Blade is one of those game series that goes far beyond just a game, with its tragic hero and poignantly bittersweet storylines. In fact, it spawned two novellas, written by award-winning author Brandon Sanderson. Infinity Blade III is a gorgeously rendered game in which you hack and slash your way through a post-apocalyptic world filled with castles, magic, and all manner of beasts intent on taking your life. Infintity Blade III still ranks as one of my all-time favorite core iOS games.

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech