Best Apple TV games 2022

Apple TV and controller
(Image credit: iMore / Future)

Apple TV isn't just for watching iTunes or Netflix anymore! There are a ton of great games that you can play alone or with family and friends. Some even work with a Bluetooth gamepad for that real console feel! If you have an Apple Arcade subscription, you will be able to get more than 200 games on your TV free with your membership. But which Apple TV games are the very best? Here are our favorites!

Note: Some games actually require an MFi-certified controller, so be sure to read the game requirements before purchase. I'll note them below as well.

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Crossy Road

Yes, Crossy Road is available for iPhone and iPad, but it's a lot more fun on the big screen! The graphics are simplistic but absolutely gorgeous and the gameplay on the Siri remote is surprisingly great. You can also play in multiplayer mode, using an iPhone or iPad as the second controller! Multiplayer is hilariously fun because you're basically just trying to screw the other person over and leave them in the dust.

You can also unlock all sorts of fun characters, like robots, barnyard animals, and more — all in the pursuit of getting as far as possible without getting nailed by a tractor-trailer. Yeah, it's Frogger, but it's Frogger reimagined for today.

Rayman Adventures

The craziest part of Rayman Adventures is that it's free. Sure, there are in-app purchases to help you progress more quickly, but if you don't want to pay, you don't have to. And there are over 1,000 adventures to be had in this charming and ridiculously fun platformer. (You can also disable in-app purchases so the little ones don't rack up your credit card.)

You play as Rayman, of course, making your way through countless levels, defeating enemies and collecting Incrediballs, while facing fearsome boss battles along the way.

If you love a good platformer with some gorgeous visuals, then don't think twice and just download Rayman Adventures. Come on. It's free, but there are some interesting in-app purchases.

You don't need a game controller for this one, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier to play.

Dungeon Hunter 5

Dungeon Hunter is gorgeous. Play in solo RPG campaign mode and hunt down monsters through 69 missions, or play in co-op mode with up to three other players, and hack and slash your way through dungeon after dungeon. You can even hire friends as Allies to help you out. You also have to play defense, creating trap rooms and building stronger defenders so no one takes your precious gold.

There are hundreds of character customizations, so if you're into RPGs at all, this should definitely be on your Apple TV. Especially since it's… wait for it… Free!

There are daily and weekly events, so gameplay never gets stale and you're always trying for different goals instead of just slicin' and dicin'.

AG Drive

Like racing games? Remember F-Zero? Of course, you do. If you like F-Zero, you'll love the very similar AG Drive. In this Apple Editor's Choice app, you race futuristic anti-gravity vehicles around beautiful cityscapes on tracks made of steel beams. It's very atmospheric, and if you're into science fiction, you'll be rather enthralled.

You only have to buy it once and you can play on all of your devices (though your progress isn't synced from Apple TV to iPhone or iPad, or vice versa).

There are a bunch of different race modes so things don't get stale. But there's no multiplayer mode, so you'll have to take turns on the Apple TV. Still, it's totally worth it.

Alto's Adventure

Alto's Adventure is an incredible game. So much more than an endless runner, you play as Alto, snowboarding down slopes, catching llamas, collecting coins, and doing tricks. And it's stunning. Like stunning, stunning. The soundtrack is lovely and though everything is do-or-die, you don't really feel that pressure like you do with Temple Run or even Super Mario Run.

Time passes as you go, and the landscape changes, as you snowboard through mountain villages at sunset, grinding bunting lines and rooftops. This is the most relaxing time you'll ever spend playing an endless runner, and you won't even be that choked when you inevitably land on your head trying to do a backflip.

SongPop Party

SongPop Party lets you play with up to five other people using the iOS remote app, making this the perfect party or family game. All you have to do is swipe to answer questions about music. The faster you are, the more points you get. It's free to play, though you can make in-app purchases to speed up the unlocking process if you so desire.

There are a bunch of genres to choose from, so there's something for everyone, and there's a cast of cute characters to choose from.

Note: Some songs do have explicit lyrics and there is no way to turn this off, so beware when you're playing with little ones. The game is rated 12+ on the App Store.

SketchParty TV

Love Pictionary? Boom, SketchParty TV is for you. This is another great party game where you draw clues on your iPhone or iPad and your teammates have to guess for points. You can have up to eight people, per team playing, so this app is especially ideal for big parties.

You'll need an AirPlay-capable device that can mirror to your Apple TV in order to play.

Oceanhorn

Take one look at the game, the main character's moves, the storyline, and you'll be all "yup, Zelda clone". But that's not a bad thing; in fact, it's quite the opposite.

In Oceanhorn, you must grow from boy to man, searching for your father with only his old notebook and a mysterious necklace to guide you. You'll sail the Uncharted Seas, solving puzzles, battling monsters, learning magic, and collecting treasure, while you play to unlock the secrets of Arcadia and the sea monster, Oceanhorn.

You don't have to use a game controller to play this on one Apple TV, but it definitely makes the whole experience more enjoyable. So much so that my colleague, Luke, even included it in his roundup of the best Apple TV games to play with controllers.

If you like adventurous fun, presented in gorgeous fashion, and gameplay just like Zelda, then check out Oceanhorn. It's an Apple TV must-have.

Lumino City

Lumino City might just be the coolest mobile game ever. The premise is relatively simple; your grandfather, the caretaker of Lumino City has been kidnapped, and it's up to you, as Lumi, to explore the city and figure out the mechanisms that make it work, collecting items and bringing them back to where they complete a circuit or mechanism.

The real treat here is the scenery, which is all handmade from cardboard, paper, miniature lights, and motors. The handmade stuff was then scanned and digitized to be animated in the game, and it is freakin' B-E-A-Utiful. The soundtrack is fascinating as well since it stops and starts and sort of pulses in and out, making for a unique gaming experience that really turns the whole platformer/adventure/puzzle game on its head.

There are tons of different kinds of puzzles, so things never get stale and keep you thinking at every turn. It's overall a very relaxing game, and if you enjoy Little Big Planet at all, then definitely check it out.

Regardless of anything, totally check out Lumino City. It'd be a travesty if you didn't.

Horizon Chase - Arcade Racing

Remember those classic arcade racing games from yesteryear? Horizon Chase - World Tour does a great job of recreating that sense of nostalgia with a modernized 16-bit low-poly look and feel.

In Horizon Chase, you'll be racing against other AI opponents in beautiful and rich locations from all over the world. These courses are fairly true-to-life, so you'll see familiar locations and landscapes, as well as some new places that you may have yet to see in real life, but they exist. You can race in 21 different cars that are all upgradeable, and there are 10 cups spread out in 40 cities, with a total of 92 tracks to race on. While it's free to download Horizon Chase, it's basically a demo with five free tracks — if you like it, you can pay to unlock the rest of the game.

Horizon Chase - World Tour is one of my favorite racing games, and it's definitely a must on your Apple TV. It supports seven different input methods, including MFi Gamepad support.

Lichtspeer

Lichtspeer is a unique and quirky fast-paced game about lightspear throwing in ancient Germanic future. Yes, you read that correctly.

This distinctive title brings back some 80's nostalgia and is quite brutal, stylish, and psychedelic. You're in a land that is full of Penguin Vikings, Wurst Zombies, Hipster Ice Giants, and many more clever enemies, and your goal is to survive. How do you accomplish this? With lightspears and some good aim. In Lichtspeer, you'll have access to 10 upgradeable Lichtpowers to help you get through over 60 challenging levels, and there are six tough bosses to face too. While you may think that throwing spears is easy, you're going to need to put your skills to the test in this frantic game.

INSIDE

If you enjoyed LIMBO, then you'll love Playdead's INSIDE. This game builds upon what made LIMBO great and ends up creating something even greater.

INSIDE is a beautiful 2D puzzle platformer that is immersive, captivating, and downright fun. The puzzles can be quite tricky and devious, but that only means it's so much more rewarding once you solve them and make progress. The game is also full of dark humor and "WTF" moments as you unravel the engaging story.

Shadowmatic

Are you the type of person to look at the clouds and try to decipher what shape the cloud is? If so, then Shadowmatic is a puzzle game that is meant for you.

Shadowmatic is a puzzle game where you have abstract objects that must be rotated around in a spotlight until they begin to form recognizable silhouettes in the shadows. Your clues are the environment that each stage has, as the shadow silhouette will form something that is related to the overall theme. There are over 10 different rooms and themes, and it's quite relaxing to play. There is also more DLC content if you finish the main game.

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Love modern racing games with fancy cars and insane speeds? Then Asphalt 8: Airborne is a must.

While speed is the name of the game (not literally), it's not the only exciting and fun thing about Asphalt 8. You'll also need to focus on some stunts and big jumps and airtime to get ahead in the races with your favorite cars. In Asphalt 8, you'll be able to take your pick from Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, Mercedes, Audi, Ford, Chevrolet, and more. No matter what kind of car you're into, you'll find it in Asphalt 8. The game has over 50 tracks, multiplayer action, limited-time special events, and more. There's a ton of single-player content if multiplayer isn't your thing, and considering that the game is free to start with, there's a lot to do.

The Oregon Trail

One of the best games on Apple Arcade is The Oregon Trail. This title is an upgraded version of an old classic. The Oregon Trail puts players in 1848, where they and their party are trying to survive a journey from Missouri to Oregon by covered wagon. Brave the nature and disease of the time and areas and try to help your settlers there alive.

Those familiar with the game may notice a serious upgrade in visual appearance. As far as the story goes, you may also find that there's more cultural respect for indigenous people. But when it comes to the basic mechanics, it remains unchanged, winning its way into our nostalgic hearts.

Cozy Grove

In this laid back life sim, you are a Spirit Scout who has travelled to an island full of spirits. The ghosts are friendly and adorable, and they need your help. They will give you tasks to complete and as you do you will learn more about their lives, the island, and earn cute decorations to personalize your island with. Although the concept may sound a little spooky, the game definitely has more cute vibes than spooky. 

This is definitely a good title for someone who wants a way to just relax and pass some time. There's no combat and you can do your daily tasks in about 30 minutes. To play you will need to have an Apple Arcade membership.

Simon's Cat - Story Time

The Simon's Cat animated series has been brought to Apple Arcade in puzzle game form, and it's so cute. It's a simple match-three puzzle game that lets you choose renovation items to put in the garden as you complete levels. The best part is since it's through Apple Arcade, you aren't stuck watching a bunch of ads for powerups or more lives. Your play is unlimited.

Press play in more than one way!

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We love the versatility the Apple TV offers. These games are a great way to take a break from shows and movies and use your Apple TV for some other entertainment. Plus we enjoy seeing these on a big screen. Don't forget to make sure to check and see if the games you'd enjoy need a controller or not.  

For fans of more classic titles, get some Frogger vibes going with Crossy Road. Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid getting hit by the tractor. This is super easy to play with the Siri remote and classic fun.

Get the whole family involved with SketchParty TV! As long as you have an iPhone or iPad to mirror to the TV, you can test your creative skills and see if your team can guess what you've drawn. Or, as long as you're aware of the lyrics in the songs you choose, SongPop Party is another good family game time pick.

Finally, gaming isn't limited to consoles or PC anymore with Rayman Adventures on Apple TV. It's your usual platformer and best of all, it's free! These are just a few of our choices that highlight the variety that gives a little something for everyone.

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Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.

With contributions from