Top 25 action games on iPhone and iPad

1

Steredenn

Publisher: Pixelnest Studio

Genre: Arcade, Shooter


Steredenn might look like an old skool bullet hell shmup, but it’s so much more than that. Roguelike elements and a highly customisable weapon system make this far more interesting than your average blaster.

2

Downwell

Developer: Moppin

Genre: Action, Platform

Downwell

In Downwell, your guns are located in your character’s boots as you embark on an endless drop. This means that as well as taking out baddies, it acts as a means of locomotion. Genius!

3

Guns of Boom

Guns of Boom

If you want to shoot other players, there’s no better mobile game right now than Guns of Boom. It simplifies the FPS format just enough without compromising on strategy or depth.

4

Black Paradox

Black Paradox

Don’t let the retro graphics and 2D shmup mechanics fool you – Black Paradox is a decidedly modern experience, complete with roguelike elements and stacks of weapon types.

5

Atomine

Publisher: Broken Arms Games Pty Ltd

Atomine

If you like twin-stick shooters, they don’t come any more stylish than Atomine, with its glitchy cyberpunk graphics and slick arcade gameplay.

6

Immortal Rogue

Immortal Rogue

A truly awesome roguelike hack and slasher that you can play single handed, but that doesn’t lack in strategy or depth. This is an action game with brains as well as brawn.

7

BackFire

BackFire

A fascinating twist on the arcade shooter that celebrates the noble rearguard action, as you seek to evade your opponents whilst simultaneously blasting away at them.

8

Blazing Star

Developer: SNK Playmore

Publisher: SNK Playmore

Genre: Arcade, Retro, Shooter

Blazing Star

This classic SNK Playmore shoot-’em-up plays wonderfully on iPhone, bringing a taste of the late-’90s arcade to your pocket.

9

Pigeon Wings Strike

Publisher: Ignacio Schiefelbein

Genre: Endless running

Pigeon Wings Strike

Pigeon Wings Strike is an endless runner with shmup and racing elements liberally woven through. It’s a pure shot of action, straight to the eyeballs.

10

Trigger Heroes

Publisher: Lucky Kat Studios

Trigger Heroes

A brilliantly streamlined take on the twin-stick shooter which has you focusing on your movement rather than aiming. Roguelike elements help keep things feeling fresh.

11

Hot Guns

Hot Guns

A deeply challenging platform-shooter with a glorious twist – when you’re carrying a weapon, your jumping skills are massively compromised.

12

Tesla vs Lovecraft

Developer: 10tons

Publisher: 10tons

Genre: Shooter

Tesla vs Lovecraft

This twin-stick shooter packs an appealingly flamboyant steampunk style, satisfyingly squelchy gunplay, and relentless action. It’s a bit of a winner.

13

Hero Hunters

Hero Hunters

This handsome third person cover shooter is gleefully chaotic, with a compelling team system and online PvP.

14

Space Pioneer

Space Pioneer

An inventive top-down shooter that takes the onus off of aiming in favour of adventuring and light RPG mechanics – all wrapped up in an adorable sci-fi art style.

15

Earth Atlantis

Earth Atlantis

A free-roaming shooter that styles itself after a classic Game Boy game, Earth Atlantis feels quite unlike anything else on this list.

16

Neon Shadow

Developer: Tasty Poison Games

Publisher: Crescent Moon Games

Genre: 3D, Action, Shooter

Neon Shadow

While the first person shooter genre has gotten increasingly complex over the years, Neon Shadow returns to a time when it was all about frenetic action. Arguably the best FPS on mobile.

17

Kick Ass Commandos

Genre: Arcade, Retro, Shooter

Kick Ass Commandos

A gleefully violent top-down shooter with satisfying action and a distinct ’80s action movie aesthetic. The tone is a little wobbly, but it’s consistently fun.

18

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (iOS)

Publisher: Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

A port of one of the most beloved indie games of recent years, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a twin-stick shooter that’s so packed full of randomised elements that no two runs are the same.

19

Super Hydorah

Super Hydorah

Here’s a shooter for all the R-Type fans out there. It expertly emulates those classic side-scrolling shmups, but adds a sprinkling of fresh ideas.

20

The Bug Butcher

Publisher: Awfully Nice Studios

Genre: Shooter

The Bug Butcher

Essentially Space Invaders updated for the mobile generation, The Bug Butcher has you dodging left and right while blasting the enemies that fly overhead – all with a delightful cartoony art style.

21

Operation Dracula

Publisher: Crescent Moon Games

Genre: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Operation Dracula

A really-quite-brilliant hardcore 2D shooter that evokes the memory of classic arcade machines, with pacy gameplay and chunky graphics. Operation Dracula most certainly does not suck.

22

Neon Chrome

Publisher: 10tons

Genre: Action, Shooter

Neon Chrome

Neon Chrome feels like a proper, fully fleshed out console shooter right here in the palm of your hands. It’s a twin-stick shooter with a moody story, heaps of weapons, formidable bosses and a rollicking sci-fi story.

23

Bullet Hell Monday

Publisher: Masayuki Ito

Genre: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Bullet Hell Monday

Bullet Hello Monday takes the more frenetic end of the shmup scale and throws all the colours of the rainbow at it. It’s ludicrously OTT.

24

Missile Dancer

Genre: Arcade, Hardcore, Shooter

Missile Dancer

This clever twist on the bullet hell shooter gives you automated targeting, but places the range finder perilously close to your craft, forcing you to duck and dive even more than usual.

25

KeroBlaster

Developer: Studio Pixel

Publisher: Natsume

Genre: Action, Adventure, Platform, Retro

KeroBlaster

KeroBlaster looks like a fairly basic retro platform-shooter, but it’s actually very distinctive indeed. We’re surprised more developers haven’t copied its novel semi-automatic combat system.

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