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Best Arcade Games for iPhone and iPad

Arcade games can make you feel like a kid again, and take you back to an era where the graphics didn't matter, and you filled your pockets with quarters trying to beat your favorite game.

Your iPhone and iPad have more processing power than an old arcade game did in the 80s or 90s, meaning plenty of companies have transferred over classic games to the mobile platform allowing you to play some truly memorable games in video game history.

Whether you're looking for an old classic or a newer title inspired by arcade games of old, here's my favorite arcade games for the iPhone and iPad.

PAC-MAN

Yes, the yellow circle- shaped hero PAC-MAN is available on mobile, and he's still hungry for those delicious pellets.

The objective is the same as it always was, you'll need to move PAC-MAN around the screen by swiping in the direction you want to go and eat all the pellets in the level. Of course, you'll need to be on the lookout for ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde as they will try to stop you.

You can play through the classic 256 stage PAC-MAN game, or even choose from a bunch of fun and wacky new levels never played before. Plus, PAC-MAN is brought to you by BANDAI NAMCO, which are the original developers of the very first PAC-MAN game.

Ghosts and Goblins

CAPCOM's infamous arcade platformer Ghosts and Goblins has made its way to you iPhone and iPad, and it's just as amazing as you remember. Relive the insanely frustrating difficulty of Ghosts and Goblins, with the original graphics intact, as you journey through zombie-filled graveyards, ghoul inhabited castles, and other spooky terrains.

The is known as one of the hardest games ever created — yes, that include Dark Souls. Do you have what it takes to lead Sir Arthur through the land and rescue his beloved Prin- Prin?

1942 Mobile

Another classic arcade game from the great people at CAPCOM, 1942 Mobile brings the iconic top-down shooter to your phone.

Play Classic Mode to get the original quarter hogging experience that the 1984 arcade machine brought to you as a child, or you can play Casual Mode where the difficulty level is a little more manageable.

Collect power-ups as you shoot down enemy planes, but be careful not to get shot down yourself, as you'll need to weave your way through the hectic airspace.

How many enemy planes can you shoot down before you run out of lives?

Breakout Boost

Atari's Breakout was the Pong-inspired video game that was co-created by the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak. Breakout Boost carries the torch of the original game but adds some cool new features.

The goal is still the same; you need to remove all the blocks by bouncing a ball of the floating platform at the bottom, without letting the ball fall below the platform. As you break the blocks, you'll be rewarded with power-ups to help you clear the blocks even faster.

In Breakout Boost, you'll notice a few new power-ups as well as a speed control to give you

Zen Pinball

Zen Pinball is the perfect way to bring the classic arcade experience of Pinball to your phone!

Tap on the screen to activate your flippers, swipe the screen to nudge the machine, and do your best to rack up as many points as possible.

You can download the game for free and play the 'Sorcerer's Lair' table as much as you want; however, Zen Pinball does allow you to purchase a ton of great themed tables such as Skyrim, Marvel's Avengers, Portal, and much more.

Injustice 2

DC comics fans and fans of the first Injustice arcade fighting game need to check out Injustice 2!

With incredible graphics, a fresh storyline, and responsive controls, Injustice 2 is a great addition to your gaming library.

Fight as your favorite DC Comics characters and fight your way to the top of the leaderboards, and level up your favorite fighters to create the ultimate fighting machine.

Galaxian 1979 Classic HD

Despite its name, Galaxian 1979 Classic HD is not a direct port of the classic Galaxian arcade game; however, it's pretty dang close and just as awesome.

The funky colored spaceship you control is responsible for saving the galaxy from alien invaders. Collect power-ups to upgrade your weapons and avoid enemy fire in the retro-inspired top-down shooter.

What else should be on this list?

Do you have an arcade game that you just love to play on your iPhone or iPad? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter

Luke Filipowicz
Luke Filipowicz

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

5 Comments
  • You included Zen Pinball which is good, but you left out the FAR superior Pinball Arcade!
  • What about Space Invaders, Centipede and Asteroids?
  • Donkey Kong and Canyon Climber from the Atari 800 days.
  • Galaga and Battlezone :)
  • Now I don't often play arcade games. I play io games with my iPhone and iPad instead. I cannot put them down, flaap io is on the top list. Have you ever heard about it? I find it like a new version of FlapMMO. Can you play and rank with me?