Role-playing games are so wide in variety that it's hard to pick only a handful to feature, but when it comes to finding a game that you can sink an abundance of time into, RPGs are second to none! I tend to look for three main components when it comes to excellent RPGs: great storytelling, complex gameplay, and solid character progression; here are my favorite RPGs for iPhone and iPad!
- Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
- Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions
- Dungeon Hunter 5
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Infinity Blade II
- Fire Emblem Heroes
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
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Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery is an adventure RPG game with a spooky story and a unique, rather intoxicating soundtrack.
It's hard to go into too much detail without spoiling the experience, but here's what I can tell you: Its 140-character story snippets are easy to toss on Twitter for co-op play. You can ask for help and lead your friends into the mystery of the Megatome and the Trigon Trifecta.
The pixel art and stick figure sprites work well to add to the atmosphere the game creates, because everything is supposed to be unclear.
- $3.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions
From legendary developers Square Enix comes this iOS port of the classic PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics: War of Lions. Full disclosure, I am absolutely in love with this game. I played the original countless times, and the iPad version is a perfect copy.
Everything to love about Final Fantasy Tactics is included: The wonderful story full of drama and plot twists, the robust job system with dozens of unique characters, and the classic graphics are all mixed together to make this perfect blend of nostalgia and entertainment come to life.
When I rave about how good of a port this game is, I mean it. There were no sacrifices in bringing this classic console game to your fingertips. In fact, the touch controls are incredibly intuitive and make me wonder how I ever played this game with a gamepad tethered to a TV.
If you loved the original game, then this is an absolute must-have, and, admittedly, it feels a little nicer on the iPad's larger screen.
- $13.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Dungeon Hunter 5
If you're ready to sit down for a few hours with a solid fantasy, Dungeon Hunter 5 provides an in-depth storyline built for the smaller mobile screen. Players run around a medieval town, killing undead creatures, looting treasure chests, and searching for the perfect armor. If you prefer to go into battle with friends, you can play with up to three additional gamers in co-op mode.
- Free - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Although Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is ancient in video game years, this 2003 PC game hit the App Store in 2013 and still continues to be an insanely popular title.
It's not hard to see why this game is so well-liked. You can create your own Jedi or Sith and lead them through a story that takes place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Between the numerous Force abilities and deep character customization, it's easy to see why this Star Wars game remains a fan favorite.
Pro tip: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has highly active online communities on sites like Reddit, which is a great place to go for tips and tricks.
- $9.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Oceanhorn is the closest thing to a real Zelda game you'll probably ever get on your iPhone and iPad. When you're playing it with an MFi-certified game controller, it's easy to forget you're even playing a mobile game!
With colorful graphics, a fun combat style, and challenging puzzles, this adventure RPG feels like a console title. Plus, It's got a pretty lengthy story, meaning it will keep you entertained for hours on end.
- $8.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Slayin is a very simple rogue-like RPG that is perfect for quick gaming on the fly. Players armor up to fight hordes of monsters, collecting loot as they fall to their death. The longer you go, the harder it gets to avoid injury. Because it is a rogue-like, you don't get to continue your game, even though you've earned all of that money and upgraded all of that gear. It's called permadeath, and it's a real stinker.
- $0.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Infinity Blade II
Recommending a game that came out almost six years ago may seem a little weird, but trust me when I say Infinity Blade II is still relevant. It holds a solid 5-star rating on the App Store, and the graphics (although older) have aged incredibly well.
This RPG does a great job of offering a robust and huge world to explore, with an equally deep combat system that makes the game an interesting challenge as you try to master it.
It layers on different elements of gameplay as you progress, keeping the experience fresh. Fair warning, the game will take up some space (it's 1.34GB).
- $6.99 - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes is a stellar game through and through. Whether you're a fan of the long-running Fire Emblem series or a complete newcomer, Nintendo has beautifully designed a game that keeps both groups happy. While game progression has all the hallmarks of a typical freemium game, you won't need to shell out any money to enjoy 98% of what the game has to offer, which is a lot more than I can say for other free-to-play games.
Fire Emblem Heroes is visually amazing. All the cutscenes and dialogue show all the characters in their full anime glory and no detail is left out. The brightly colored suits of armor, the impossibly saturated hues of hair, and the insane eye-to-face ratio of each character is present in abundance.
Read my full review of Fire Emblem Heroes to see even more reasons why I love the game!
- Free - Download Now (opens in new tab)
Which RPGs are your favorite?
I know this list couldn't possibly cover all the fantastic RPGs on the App Store, and that's why I want to hear from you! Tell me about your favorite RPGs for iPhone and iPad by leaving a comment down below or hitting me up on Twitter.
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.
Oceanhorn has challenging puzzles? Seriously? 🤦♂️