Apple reveals the most popular iPhone games and apps of 2023, is your favorite on the list?

Apex Legends Mobile on an iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has today revealed the most popular apps and games on iPhone and iPad around the world in 2023, just a week after it unveiled the winners of its 2023 App Store Awards. 

Apple has announced the top free and paid iPhone and iPad apps, as well as the most popular titles on its Apple Arcade gaming service in the U.S. The best Apple Arcade games have ensured people stick around. 

The best apps on iPhone and beyond!

Top Free iPhone Apps

  • Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire
  • CapCut - Video Editor
  • Max: Stream HBO, TV, & Movies
  • Threads, an Instagram app
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Google
  • YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  • WhatsApp Messenger
  • Gmail - Email by Google

Top Paid iPhone Apps

  • Shadowrocket
  • HotSchedules
  • Procreate Pocket
  • The Wonder Weeks
  • 75 Hard
  • AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch
  • Goblin Tools
  • TonalEnergy Tuner & Metronome
  • SkyView
  • AnkiMobile Flashcards

Top Free iPhone Games 

  • MONOPOLY GO!
  • Roblox
  • Royal Match
  • Subway Surfers
  • Gardenscapes
  • Call of Duty: Mobile
  • Block Blast!
  • Makeover Studio: Makeup Games
  • Parking Jam 3D
  • Survivor!.io

Top Paid iPhone Games

  • Minecraft
  • Heads Up!
  • Geometry Dash
  • Bloons TD 6
  • MONOPOLY
  • Papa’s Freezeria To Go!
  • Plague Inc.
  • Red’s First Flight
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Top Free iPad Apps

  • Max: Stream HBO, TV, & Movies
  • YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream
  • Netflix
  • Google Chrome
  • Disney+
  • Goodnotes 6
  • TikTok
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Temu: Shop Like a Billionaire
  • Peacock TV: Stream TV & Movies

Top Paid iPad Apps

  • Procreate
  • Shadowrocket
  • Nomad Sculpt
  • forScore
  • Toca Life: Hospital
  • Bluebeam Revu for iPad
  • Teach Your Monster to Read
  • AnkiMobile Flashcards
  • Endless Paper
  • ToonSquid

Top Free iPad Games

  • Roblox
  • Magic Tiles 3: Piano Game
  • Subway Surfers
  • Royal Match
  • Among Us!
  • Duet Cats: Cute Cat Games
  • Stumble Guys
  • MONOPOLY GO!
  • Bridge Race
  • Gardenscapes

Top Paid iPad Games

  • Minecraft
  • Geometry Dash
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Stardew Valley
  • MONOPOLY
  • Five Nights at Freddy’s
  • Red’s First Flight
  • Poppy Playtime Chapter 1
  • Plague Inc.
  • Garten of Banban 2

Top Apple Arcade Games

  • NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition
  • Cooking Mama: Cuisine!
  • Bloons TD 6+
  • Angry Birds Reloaded
  • Sneaky Sasquatch
  • Warped Kart Racers
  • Hello Kitty Island Adventure
  • Snake.io+
  • Fruit Ninja Classic+
  • Solitaire by MobilityWare+

The charts are a big win for Minecraft, which scored the top paid game on both iPhone and iPad, and Apple will be buoyed that NBA 2K23 Arcade Edition is a hit on Apple Arcade. However, we don't have any figures about how popular that service is, or how it stacks up in numbers to the other games on the platform. One figure Apple did share is that its App Store has more than 650 million weekly visitors. 

One surprising entry, Instagram threads beat out TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and WhatsApp on iPhone. However, it's important to remember that, Threads aside, these are well-established popular apps, whereas Threads was only released this year, which explains why it has been downloaded more times than its rivals despite being less popular. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9