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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Eight types of iPhone games that would rock with a controller

Sandbox games

Platform games

Racing games

Sports games

Endless-running games

Shooters

Fighting games

Arcade games

Apple's upcoming iOS 7 update adds support for external controllers, something that's been done by third-party companies for a while, but without widespread adoption.

The fact that Apple is now on board means more developers are expected to add support for physical controls in their touch-screen games, which is good news for gaming enthusiasts. Pulling from a CNET Reviews list of 49 individual games that would benefit from controls, we've narrowed things down to 8 styles of games, and provided examples of each.

You can read the CNET Reviews list of games right here.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

From console ports like the Grand Theft Auto series, all the way to indie hits like Minecraft (pictured above), games that typically use two analog sticks could benefit big time. In Minecraft's case, the mobile version of the software first launched on Sony's Xperia Play before heading to other platforms.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

There's no Mario Bros. on iOS (at least not officially) but there are numerous games that follow in its footsteps. That includes Paper Monsters and Swordigo (pictured above), as well as classics like Sonic the Hedgehog. Physical controls would come in handy not just for side-to-side movement, but for critical jumps, of which there are many. That's especially true in the wickedly difficult League of Evil series, which begs for physical controls.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

How much do racing-game enthusiasts enjoy physical controls? Just look at the market for racing wheel accessories. Of course what made these games so accessible in the first place is that players can simply use their device like a steering wheel. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to have physical controls for acceleration, braking and -- of course -- steering.

Some good games to get such controls would be the Real Racing series (pictured above), Sega's Crazy Taxi, and side scrolling racer Bike Baron to name just a few.

Caption by / Photo by Jason Parker/CNET

Sports games are a case study for the usefulness of the analog control stick. Still, that's something touch screens emulate quite well. When it comes to buttons, however, touch screens leave something to be desired.

The iPhone is chock full of sports games, from the NBA 2K series (pictured above) to FIFA to arcade classic NBA Jam.

Caption by / Photo by 2K Games

The endless-runner genre is defined by dead simple one-touch controls, making it work well with touch screens -- though games like Temple Run 2 show the genre evolving in complexity, especially when it comes to controls, which involve tilt and touch. Others games of this ilk include Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride (pictured above), and early endless-running hit Canabalt.

Caption by / Photo by Halfbrick

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard of Call of Duty. While the series has done gangbusters on game consoles, there hasn't been quite the same shooters-related phenomenon on touch-screen phones. Nonetheless, games like Gameloft's N.O.V.A. (pictured above) and the Modern Combat series, along with third-person shooter Shadowgun have proved that these types of games can work with just touch controls. But they certainly could be better (and maybe a tad easier) with proper hardware controls.

Caption by / Photo by Jason Parker/CNET

Anyone who's serious about fighting games knows controls are everything. You memorize the moves and time your combos just right to stay alive. Some game makers have actually had to change how the game plays (including difficulty) to work with touch screens. Games like Namco's Soulcaliber and Capcom's Street Fighter, as well as Sega's beat 'em up classic Streets of Rage would all arguably play better with D-pad and some buttons.

Caption by / Photo by Capcom

Last, but certainly not least, on this list are arcade games. The 1980s classics that are a part of compendium releases like Namco's Arcade (pictured above), Atari's Greatest Hits, and the myriad Pac-Man games. Hardware like ION's iCade already works with some of these, and has shown how good this approach can be for some titles.

Caption by / Photo by Namco
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