Best 1980s and 1990s Retro Games for iPhone and iPad

If you're looking for a way to play amazing classic gaming titles, look no further than your iPhone or iPad. With plenty of classics popping up on the App Store for your enjoyment, you can carry around some of the greatest games from gaming history around in your pocket! Here are some of my favorite retro games for the iPhone and iPad.

Final Fantasy

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The classic 1987 Nintendo title developed by Square Enix (called Square at the time) changed the RPG genre forever, and you can relive all the nostalgia right on your iPhone or iPad.

Final Fantasy will instantly throw you back to being a kid again, as you guide the Warriors of Light on their quest to restore the crystals to their former glory.

Experience the original Final Fantasy like never before, with updated graphics and new sprites for all six character classes.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Recently re-released as part of the SEGA Forever series, Sonic The Hedgehog brings everything you love about the chili-dog eating, fast-running blue hedgehog to your pocket!

Collect all the rings you can, find the secret bonus levels, and free the animals from Dr. Robotnik as you journey through the original six zones. The graphics, the music, and the sound effects are all super nostalgia-inducing and the gameplay is exactly how you remember it from 1991 when the game was first released.

Sonic The Hedgehog is MFi controller compatible, and I would suggest using one if you have the option. It makes Sonic far easier to control.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic

RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic allows you to relive all those theme parks you used to design when you were a kid. Build the ultimate theme park, complete with games, concessions, rides, and of course, roller coasters! You'll need to continuously improve your park to keep your guests happy and racking up the profits.

Atari: Greatest Hits

If you're looking for a ton of classic games all in one place, Atari: Greatest Hits has a massive catalog of Atari games available all within one app!

Get your hands on Missile Command, Pong, Centipede, and a lot more! The classic sound effects are perfect for inducing a nostalgia-based gaming coma, and the gameplay is exactly how you remember it at your local arcade.

You can download the app for free, but you'll only receive Missile Command; all the other games are available for in-app purchase.

Chrono Trigger

Another classic RPG from Square Enix, Chrono Trigger is widely viewed as one of the best RPG titles of all time, and now you can have it at your fingertips!

Experience the incredible time traveling story that sees Crono, Marle, Frog, Magus, and other companions save the very fabric of our reality from the evil Lavos.

Not only will you get the full 1995 original game, but you'll also have access to the Dimensional Vortex and Lost Sanctum areas, which were released for the Nintendo 3DS version.

Ghosts and Goblins

CAPCOM's infamous arcade platformer Ghosts and Goblins has made its way to your 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 includes Dark Souls. Do you have what it takes to lead Sir Arthur through the land and rescue his beloved Prin-Prin?

What's your favorite?

Do you have a favorite retro game for iPhone and iPad? Let us know in the comments below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

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.