49 iPhone games that would rock with a controller

With a slew of iPhone game controllers on the horizon alongside iOS 7, CNET's rounded down some of the top games that would just play better with a real controller.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's opening up iOS 7 like nothing before it, allowing and even encouraging the use of game controller hardware that will finally bring physical buttons to iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

This has been done before, of course, but not with Apple backing those efforts. Companies like Ion Audio and its iCade have brought hardware add-ons, though they required developers to tweak their games in order make those things work. This new option from Apple also requires that, but aims for a standardized set of controls that developers can plug into their software, and that come baked into Apple's iOS and OS X software development kits.

We've rounded up a list of 49 games for the iPhone and iPod Touch that we think would play better with physical controls. Some already have support for the iCade, and other such solutions. Many are top sellers, and plenty of fun to play with touch controls. We've also broken them down by genre, from sandbox games all the way to endless runners.

CNET's Scott Stein helped curate this list.

Sandbox/Action games

Grand Theft Auto series - $4.99 (iTunes, GameSpot)

So many onscreen buttons, arrgh! Rockstar

The 3D iterations of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series was built for PlayStation controllers. In bringing it to iOS devices, Rockstar attempted to put the controls onscreen. The results are OK for early missions, but become frustrating on the more complex ones, making physical controls a welcome addition.

Gangstar series - $6.99 (iTunes, GameSpot)

Gangstar Vegas
Gangstar Vegas Gameloft

Gangstar Vegas, the latest in Gameloft's GTA-inspired series, is full of vehicles, fighting, and space. At nine times the size of previous Gangstar titles, this game is absolutely enormous, making physical controls useful just for getting around.

Max Payne series - $2.99 (iTunes, GameSpot)


OK, another Rockstar game -- sorry about that. But Max Payne, like GTA, is heavy on the onscreen controls. Rockstar's rejiggered things a bit with nice big buttons. But the fact remains that Max Payne requires a ton of shooting with life or death situations where getting your fingers out of the way could be very useful.

Minecraft Pocket Edition - $6.99 (iTunes, GameSpot)

Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The pocket-size version of indie darling Mojang's Minecraft is a certified hit, but the controls can be tedious. There's no doubting that crafting and selecting items is much better with a touch screen, but when it comes to actually making your way around the terrain, and building things, physical controls would be quite nice. Case in point: the mobile version of the software first launched on Sony's Xperia Playbefore heading to other platforms.

Next: Platformers

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