Friday, 19 July 2024
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5 best Apple Arcade games to play right now

Apple Arcade offers 200+ games for one monthly fee, with titles coming without ads or in-app purchases. We've chosen our favourites available on the service right now for you to enjoy.

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If you’re a gamer with an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV box, Apple Arcade is a no-brainer. The subscription service costs just £4.99 per month in the UK, $4.99 in the US and gives you unrestricted access to more than 200 games playable across all Apple devices.

They can be downloaded and played with no ads or in-app purchases to worry about. You get the whole game with no hidden extras, including enhanced versions of several app classics.

You can even get Apple Arcade membership on a number of bundle plans, such as an Apple One subscription, which also includes Apple Music, Apple TV+ and 50GB of iCloud storage for £16.95 / $16.95 per month.

And the best bit is that you can play a game on one device, then pick up the same save game on another. It’s a great deal.

Apple TV 4K (64GB)

The Apple TV box offers pretty much every streaming service you can think of, plus Apple Arcade games to play – many by using a connected Bluetooth controller – and all in 4K. There’s Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support too, so it’s a powerful movie machine, that’s for sure.

But what games should you play? Well, we have a too many favourites to list here, but here’s five you should start off with… they truly are that great.

Football Manager 2023 Touch

Considering how successful the Football Manager series has been over the years, including when it was known as Championship Manager, Sports Interactive’s decision to ally with Apple for the return of FM Touch is significant. It shows just how much developers respect the Arcade business model.

The latest version of the game also represents a big breakthrough for mobile management. There are so many enhancements that it’s the finest “stripped back” version of the game yet. Not only that, iPhone owners get the 3D match engine for the first time, plus a redesigned menu system that makes it more intuitive. Prepare to lose what little time you have.

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!

Developed by the studio behind Pokémon and adapted from a Nintendo 3DS classic, Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! is a highly addictive cross between a horse racing simulator and the card game solitaire.

You have to match cards in a fast-paced puzzle game in order to give your horse a boost during the race. Then, between meets you can add power-ups and even breed your own future champions – all with a fun and quirky story bubbling away in the background.

Ridiculous Fishing Ex

Enhanced from the app version released a few years ago, Ridiculous Fishing Ex has a few extras – including redesigned graphics with a chunkier feel.

It’s still the great game though, whereby you have to send your lure as deep down each level as you can, catching as many different breeds of fish as it comes back up. There’s also a shoot-em-up element as you gain your rewards by blasting your catch from the sky. It’s ridiculous for sure, but a heck of a lot of fun.

Slay the Spire+

Slay the Spire has been around a while for multiple platforms, including mobile in a paid form, but this plus edition gives you everything you need to play the card-based RPG.

The premise is relatively simple, you take control of a hero who aims to beat the denizens of each room on the way to facing the final boss at the top of the tower. This is done through turn-based combat using attack and defence cards. You’ll also unlock new cards along the way, while adding extra hero types that you can use in later runs. And, there’s a multiplayer elements where you get to beat the score in a daily challenge mode. This game is made for Apple Arcade.

What The Car?

The studio behind the amazing What The Golf? – which was a launch game for Apple Arcade – is back with another crazy action-puzzler, What The Car? This time you are in control of a, you guessed it, car but with a difference – in some levels it may have sprouted legs, in others springs that make it leap high.

There’s a stack of fun levels dotted around that are generally quite short, making this the ideal game for a commute. It’s also got a great sense of humour that will genuinely make you laugh at times. It’s definitely one of our favourite games on Apple Arcade at the moment.

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Rik Henderson
Rik Henderson
Rik is a professional journalist with more than 35 years experience across online, magazines and television broadcasting. As well as the creator of GamesLifer, he is the News Editor of, while his previous work includes stints as editor and group editor on several monthlies and weeklies covering video games and technology. He has also been a series producer on daily and weekly TV shows, and has presented and guested on multiple TV series too, including GamesMaster, Games World, Game Over, Virtual World of Sport, Live TV, Greatest Christmas TV Ads, and The Apprentice.