These are the best games on Apple Arcade


All The Best Games
These are all the best games on Apple Arcade.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

It’s hard to know where to start on Apple Arcade because the service offers so many titles. But we scoured the catalog and found all the best Apple Arcade games so you can get right to the good stuff.

Check out our latest video or keep reading below to see the best Apple Arcade games. And if you like what you see, you can pick up a subscription here.

Best Apple Arcade games

Unfortunately, many mobile games are hardly games at all. They come stuffed with invasive ads, dark patterns that nudge you to spend money, and push notifications that keep drawing you back in. Apple Arcade flips the business model to a low-cost subscription. It costs just $6.99 per month (and is included in every tier of the Apple One subscription bundles.) Plus, you can get a free one-month trial. And you can grab a free three-month subscription when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac.

Every game on the service is totally free to play — and many are totally fun. Here’s our guide to the very best Apple Arcade games.

Cityscapes: Sim Builder

Cityscapes: Sim Builder
You must factor in the environment in Cityscapes: Sim Builder.
Screenshot: Playstack

If you miss playing SimCity 2000 (and you’re upset that Cities: Skylines II isn’t getting a port to the Mac) your consolation prize is Cityscapes: Sim Builder.

In this classic city-building game, you must balance the needs of your citizens as you develop housing, transportation, utilities and public services — all while staying within your budget.

It’s not really as challenging as the classics in the genre. There’s a lot of simple clicking to upgrade things in turn, and the tutorial levels are somewhat railroaded. However, it definitely scratches the city-building itch.

Don’t worry if you don’t own a giant screen to play it on. The Cityscapes interface scales down nicely to an iPhone just as well as it plays on a Mac or iPad.

Download from: App Store

Cooking Mama: Cuisine!

Master the kitchen with 'Cooking Mama: Cuisine!' on Apple Arcade
Match ingredients to recipes and start cooking in Cooking Mama: Cuisine!
Screenshot: Office Create/Apple Arcade

In this cooking simulator, you pick an ingredient and a tool to get started. But to prepare the dish in Cooking Mama: Cuisine!, you’ll need to act fast. Seasoning with salt and pepper, flipping a pan to cook meat on each side, rolling out dough, cutting onions — each comes with its own game mechanics that you need to learn and use in a matter of seconds.

What are you even cooking? You won’t know until the very end, when you’re presented with the results of your fine work.

Bonus: This extremely fast-paced game can legitimately teach you how to cook. (Read more: Have fun in the kitchen with Cooking Mama: Cuisine! on Apple Arcade.)

Download from: App Store


Gorgeous minimalist popcorn-themed graphics in this Minesweeper-style game.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

This is, as the name may imply, a minimalistic, popcorn-themed reimagining of the classic Minesweeper game. Cornsweeper’s story mode comes with premade levels, a store full of upgrades that add new game mechanics and, best of all, a Hall of Grain. The popcorn-based humor remains a constant throughout the game.

Download from: App Store

JellyCar Worlds

Squishy physics makes 'JellyCar Worlds' like no other driving game
A new, modern JellyCar game on Apple Arcade!
Screenshot: Walaber/Apple TV+

In this game, you drive a car up and around a world of puzzles, blocks, ramps, moving balls and more.

Except everything is a little squishy. Your car can squeeze through a bunch of tight spaces you wouldn’t expect. Sometimes, you need to speed over a bridge before it buckles beneath you.

Two people can play JellyCar Worlds at once with local multiplayer using a connected controller — and you can even design your own car. (Read more: 7 squishy reasons you should play JellyCar Worlds.)

Download from: App Store

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sayonara Wild Hearts
Piloting a motorcycle though a city is just part of Sayonara Wild Hearts.
Screenshot: Annapurna

This rhythm game takes a neon cyberpunk style and runs with it. Sayonara Wild Hearts’ custom soundtrack is amazing. Plus, the story is really weird and surreal. And, just when you think you know what you’re in for, a completely different level shakes things up.

Don’t let the game’s simple controls fool you into thinking Sayonara Wild Hearts is easy or boring. It is described in the App Store as “a dreamy arcade game about riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords and breaking hearts at 200 mph.” (Read Cult of Mac’s review: Sayonara Wild Hearts is Apple Arcade’s wildest ride.)

Download from: App Store

Shovel Knight Dig

Shovel Knight Dig is now on Apple Arcade
The shovel is mightier than the sword!
Photo: Yacht Club Games/Apple Arcade

This is a classic 2D platformer game with fittingly retro graphics to match the old-school genre. You play as a knight wielding a shovel as you dig your way through cavernous levels. At the end of this perilous journey full of pixelated monsters, you will get back your stolen loot.

Shovel Knight Dig is a game you’ll really want to play with a controller, or at least a keyboard. Need one? Check our list of best iPhone game controllers. (Read more: Delve into adventure in Shovel Knight Dig on Apple Arcade.)

Download from: App Store

Squiggle Drop

Squiggle Drop
Draw a shape with your finger and see if it solves the puzzle.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Squiggle Drop is a one-of-a-kind puzzle game where you have to draw a single shape with your finger and release it to solve the puzzle.

Can you draw a shape that simultaneously pops three different bubbles? Or turns a screw to just the right angle? Or pushes an anchor out of a boat? Or flips a pancake?

This game makes you feel like an incredible mastermind and a terrible artist all at once.

Download from: App Store

The Pinball Wizard

The Pinball Wizard
The Pinball Wizard is a really fun, unique game.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Do you want to play a magical, dungeon-crawling, monster-murdering game, or do you want to play pinball? Finally, you no longer need to choose, thanks to The Pinball Wizard.

This game is incredibly creative and fun. Like any old Atari game, it’s easy to learn, but difficult to master. I keep coming back to this one.

Download from: App Store

What the Car?

What The Car
This isn’t a typical racing game.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Made by the same developers behind What the Golf?, this game is an incredibly silly parody of racing games. Every level hits you with a different and completely wacky game mechanic.

What the Car? will keep you on your toes — just like the car you play, which inexplicably runs around on legs.

On a Mac, it’s best played with a controller.

Download from: App Store


Make a web of words with ‘Wurdweb’ on Apple Arcade
Wurdweb takes one aspect of a crossword puzzle and goes to town with it.
Photo: Aran & Adriaan

wurdweb is a twist on crossword puzzles, where instead of guessing the word, you’re building the puzzle.

In the daily puzzle, you lay out as many words as you can, earning points for longer words and for how many words you can fit on the board. In other challenges, you need to build a web that touches the end square.

It’s also a bit like Scrabble, except there’s no pressure to come up with the words yourself. Hit certain tiles on the board and you get extra points or extra words added to your list.

Download from: App Store

Classic games on Apple Arcade

You may have heard of these games before. Apple commissioned the developers of these vintage App Store games to remake them for Apple Arcade. Apple calls them App Store Greats, and they all come with their original in-app purchases removed. They’re totally free to play. So maybe it’s no wonder they rank as some of the best Apple Arcade games around.

Asphalt 8: Airborne+

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Playing in the Vienna course in the Donkervoort D8.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

This racing game will take you in real cars, both ordinary and crazy, all around the world on a bunch of tracks inspired by real locations.

The Apple Arcade version of Asphalt 8: Airborne+ strips out all the in-app purchases and currency, so there’s no pay-to-win — you unlock new vehicles, tracks and levels by racing. It’s balanced really well, in my opinion, demanding you learn new tricks to earn more stars to unlock new classes at a regular pace.

It’s a great game to play when you’re playing a podcast or listening to music. (Read our review: Asphalt 8: Airborne is ridiculously fun, once you figure out how to make it go.)

Download from: App Store

Bridge Constructor+

‘Bridge Constructor+‘ on Apple Arcade
Are you smart enough for Bridge Constructor+?
Image: Headup

This puzzle game puts you in charge as civil engineer, building bridges that can withstand the heaviest vehicles on a tightly constrained budget.

You have an idea in your head, only to discover you don’t have the budget for it at all. You come up with something else that looks good, but it immediately collapses before any traffic arrives. You get some trucks going across and there’s nail-biting tension as to whether it’ll make it across or not.

And when you finally get it right, you’ll immediately want to do the next one.

Download from: App Store

Ridiculous Fishing EX

‘Ridiculous Fishing EX’ offers way more explosions than you might expect
Go on a gills and glory quest in Ridiculous Fishing EX.

In this classic fishing simulator, you throw your line and tilt your phone to try and make it go as deep as possible. Then you try to hook as many weird fish as possible on your way back up. Finally, you throw all the fish in the air and try to shoot them with your gun. Exactly how I remember all those long Sundays with my dad.

Ridiculous Fishing EX is a remake of the 2013 original, with beautiful new 3D graphics, new levels and game modes, and an in-game fish-based parody of TikTok.

Download from: App Store
The popular web game is now ad-free on Apple Arcade.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac is a simple live online game where you play as a snake eating bits to grow bigger. But there are other snakes as well, competing with you! If you crash into them, you’re out.

It’s like Shark! Shark! for the Intellivision except you play live with other people. It’s just as addictive. And, with the Apple Arcade version, you get no ads and free restore points.

Download from: App Store

Sign up for Apple Arcade

To download one (or all) of these games, click here to sign up for an Apple Arcade subscription.


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