Best classic games we wish were on the iPad

There are so many amazing games that we've played in the last few decades that are now making their way to the iPad. Here's a list of those that haven't made it quite yet, but that we're dying to see.


Michelle Starr

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1 of 20 LucasArts

Grim Fandango

There are so many amazing games that we've played in the last few decades that are now making their way to the iPad. Here's a list of those that haven't made it quite yet, but that we're dying to see.

Of necessity, of course, we had to leave off some excellent games — so if you don't see your favourite on this list, please tell us about it in the comments below!

Please also note that this list is in no particular order of excellence.

The touch interface seems like it was perfectly designed for intuitive point-and-click mystery solving. It's to this end that it seems criminally negligent that Grim Fandango, the noir mystery set in the Aztec afterlife, has not yet had a look-in. Its beautiful art direction, immersive and moving story and compelling characters would have us snapping it up in a heartbeat.

2 of 20 Oddworld Inhabitants

Abe's Oddysee

Abe's Oddysee was a side-scrolling platformer that was simultaneously challenging and fun, as you snuck around rescuing your fellow Mudokons, dodging guards and overcoming obstacles. To be honest, the controls may be slightly too complicated for the iPad, but if there was a way to make them work, it would be amazing on the portable tablet platform.

3 of 20 Nintendo

A Link to the Past

Shigeru Miyamoto has flat-out declared that it will never, ever, not in a million years put its games on any other platform. This is kind of a shame, because it has many very much-beloved properties that could be given a new lease on life, but we do understand where Miyamoto is coming from.

That said, A Link to the Past is one of the finest top-down adventure games ever made — we don't care what anyone else says. It's still available on the Virtual Console, so you can play it on the Wii, but that's not exactly portable. And Miyamoto is talking about remaking it in 3D for the 3DS ... but we maintain that the original game would be wonderful to have on the iPad. Just sayin'.

4 of 20 Nintendo

Metroid Prime

We've seen first-person shooters on the iPad, so we know it can be done, and the upgraded processor in the new iPad could handle a 3D game from 10 years ago, we are certain. Give it some decent controls, and we'd have an absolute winner on our hands, especially if some sort of cool tilt mechanism was employed for those times when Samus goes rolling around like a cannonball. But it would have to be cool, and we think that might be hard to do.

5 of 20 BioWare

Baldur's Gate

If you're going to put an isometric Dungeons and Dragons-style RPG on the iPad, then why not go back and do it in style with one of the best-loved titles in the genre? We'd probably settle for Neverwinter Nights, too, if it came down to it. Or even the original Diablo. Although why choose? Let's have them all! All! Mwahahahaha!

6 of 20 The Creative Assembly

Rome: Total War

We used to be fairly sure that RTS games would play well on a touch interface, and, after some quality time with Starfront: Collision, we are utterly certain. Touching the screen to move your units around, gather resources and build cities and fortifications is so much more intuitive. Rome: Total War still stands up as one of the best in the genre; we'd love to see a tablet adaptation.

7 of 20 Interplay

Battle Chess

This writer is terrible at chess. But she'd lose with good cheer if it involved watching the pieces duke it out in glorious retina HD. And, as it turns out, it's not even very far away at all. Booya!

8 of 20 LucasArts

Day of the Tentacle

The comments regarding point and click for Grim Fandango hold equally true for another LucasArts title: Day of the Tentacle — the tale of a megalomaniacal tentacle, its quest for world domination and the trio of time-travelling heroes whose mission it is to save everyone.

9 of 20 DMA Design


There are a number of games that channel Lemmings on the iTunes store (Spirits, Lightopus, Turtle Trench), but the original game, with its elements of RTS task allocation and resource management, and its strange-looking, green-headed creatures, deserves its own place among the newer generation of gamers.

10 of 20 Brøderbund Software

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is a strange game. Originally created as an educational adventure, the aim is to find the villainous rogue agent Sandiego by collecting and solving cryptic clues about her location. There were a number of spinoff games, but the Facebook game release last year seems to have flopped, and we'd love to find her on our smartphones instead.

11 of 20 Blizzard

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

Where Rome: Total War is all about real-world history (sort of), Warcraft is about orcs and goblins and dragons and elves — and its popularity didn't come out of nothing. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness is an RTS that lets you see where the Warcraft behemoth comes from in a gameplay sense, but it would also be a fantastic title for newcomer lore nerds to sink their teeth into.

12 of 20 LucasArts

Star Wars: TIE Fighter

To be honest, we're not sure how well Star Wars: TIE Fighter would work on the iPad; a first-person space-flight combat simulation has potential, but the temptation to integrate gyroscope controls might be a little too great, and tablets are kind of bad at that. If that could be sorted out in a reasonable fashion, we'd be in like Flynn.

13 of 20 Konami


We would love to see a little bit of a graphics update on Castlevania, but only a cosmetic change — something like what Ubisoft did with Prince of Persia Classic (minus the sound and control issues that users are reporting). Funnily enough, Castlevania is available for iOS — in the form of a colour-block puzzle game. It's just not quite the same.

14 of 20 Level-5

Dark Cloud

So, maybe this game wasn't as popular as some of the others on this list, but we enjoyed the heck out of it all the same. It had everything fun: satisfying combat, item collection, world-building and ... fishing. OK, so, yeah, the fishing thing has always been a bit of a strange game element, but the rest was awesome. We don't know whether the iPad could handle it, but it's OK. We'll wait.

15 of 20 Black Isle Studios

Planescape Torment

Planescape Torment is one of the finest examples of writing that we've ever seen in video games. Although it starts with a trope — the amnesiac protagonist — it quickly turns into a riveting and heart-wrenching tale that nevertheless manages to be funny. The AD&D-based isometric RPG gameplay is fine, but it's the story and the characters in which you'll find the essence of this game.

16 of 20 Maxis

Sim City

City and town simulations are going great guns on the app store, such as Fantasy Town, Tiny Village and Tiny Town — so why the hell not the original and best? Yeah, it's coming to PC next year, but we want to see what an iPad could do with it.

17 of 20 Sierra Games

King's Quest

The typing-based gameplay of King's Quest: Quest for the Crown definitely would not suit a touchscreen, but the point-and-click adventuring of the latter games would be great. Upgrade the art, leave the story intact and boom! Perfect iPad material.

18 of 20 Sega

Wonder Boy

Wonder Boy was a source of endless frustration to small us, as our coin supplies dwindled and Wonder Boy continued to get smooshed flat. Really, we just want it for the catharsis.

19 of 20 Game Freak

Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow

Pokémon fans will never forget their first journey through Kanto, battling cute creatures, collecting the original 151 pocket monsters (and MissingNo) and the triumph of that first victory over Team Rocket and the Elite Four. It'll never come to iOS — but we can dream.

20 of 20 Mythos Games


The world is under attack by aliens — and it's the player's task to send out a special force around the globe to stop them. As a concept for a strategy game, it's inspired. In execution, it's tense and exciting, as you manage bases, fight battles, conduct research and gather resources. Since the upcoming game by 2K Marin has been delayed until 2013, an iPad remake would warm the cockles of our heart.

Don't forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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