The process: Earlier in the year we asked you, our readers, to rank nine different games per category in order of preference (or how interested you are in a game, if you haven’t played it before). We have taken those rankings, averaged them up, and the resulting list below are the top four games – three runners up and the winner.
Though some traditionalists continue to hold out, more and more people are realising just how good the iPad and iPhone is for a host of games. Sure platformers and FPSers are often still patchy, but RPGs and strategy games, as you’ll see below, offer some killer quality gameplay at a cheap price.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic: This was clearly the year for Bioware RPGs on the iPad. Baldur’s Gate (see below) is great, but Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is arguably even better. This here is a game that was Bioware at its absolute finest, building a sci-fi space opera before Mass Effect was even dreamed up. And now it’s sitting there on the iPad for playing anywhere, any time.
Baldur’s Gate: Baldur’s Gate is a very old game now. But when it was released onto the iPad for the first time this year (and with some slight enhancements as the “Enhanced Edition”) it was an essential acquisition. Here was a chance to have one of the very finest RPGs ever made sitting on a device that was easy to throw in the bag an pull out to make long plane flights or train trips that much more comfortable. Who can say no to that?
Frozen Synapse: Of all the tactical strategy games we’ve played over the years, Frozen Synapse is the one that took us most by surprise when we first got into it. Taking control of three or four soldiers who go down with a single bullet leads to some incredibly tense and exciting “last bullet” wins. The fact that battles were over so quickly also meant the “one more turn” pull was irresistible.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown: For so many reasons this port of the PC and console strategy game by 2K Games was an important one. It was priced at a premium cost by iOS standards and many looked to it to prove that premium iOS games could sell well, and it was a full console game and so was to prove how far iOS gaming had come. It succeeded. XCOM on the iPad is incredible, and was a commercial success for 2K Games.