30 best iPad games

Trying to figure out which iPad games to buy with your hard-earned dough? Here's a look at our current top 30 favorites.

Papers, Please: Atmospheric, odd, absorbing. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Wondering which games to buy? Well, we've taken our best shot at putting together a list of top titles that we feel meet the criteria for a good iPad game. There have been a ton of good ones lately, and we've updated our list to include some notable newcomers.

And just what does make a good iPad game? We debated it for a while and narrowed it down to these five factors:

  • It's gotta be fun (obviously).
  • Ergonomics. (Are the gameplay and control scheme well-suited to the iPad?)
  • Uniqueness. (Though many iPad games play well as upconverted, higher-resolution versions of their iPhone predecessors, we respect new, iPad-exclusive games.)
  • Value. (Some of the best iPad games currently carry high price tags, but we also tried to include titles we thought were simply a good deal.)
  • Showoff quotient. (Extra points if the game flat-out looks good.)

With that in mind, here are our current favorites, displayed in alphabetical order. Feel free to sound off with your own picks (or criticize our choices). With new games coming out almost daily, we update this list frequently and take your suggestions to heart.

For more game picks, check out the 15 best free iPad games.

Click on any image to start the slideshow.

Editors' note: This post was originally published in April 2010, and was last updated December 22, 2014, with six new games.

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.

Scott Stein

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends. See full bio


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