Illustration by Elsa Ly


Opinion: The best iPhone games from the past

Looking back on nostalgic iPhone games from our childhood.
<a href="" target="_self">Stephanie Pham</a>

Stephanie Pham

June 30, 2023

Key memories in most of our childhoods were found on the iPhone or iPad. Back when none of us had wifi or data, we would pass time with the most addicting games on our phones, ipads, or anything we could get our hands on at that age. There were many Apple games that have become great classics. Here are a few to walk down memory lane.

Flappy Bird

This simple, yet strangely addicting game had all of us glued to our screens. Flappy bird went viral in 2014, hitting the top spot on Apple’s app store. It made its debut in 2013, and from there, grew in popularity for its unique difficulty.

This game challenged users to continue playing to beat the highest score and pushed users to compete against each other and against themselves. Sadly, it was taken down by the creator himself, Dong Nguyen, in the same year that the game really took off.

“He didn’t like how people became crazed with the game and believed people were ‘overusing it’ and creating an addiction,” Nguyen said in a twitter conversation with Kotaku.

Fruit Ninja

We all lived out our stealthy ninja dreams with this game. Fruit ninja made slicing fruit fun, easy to play and a little bit challenging. This classic arcade game came out in 2010, and became a huge hit in the first few years that it was released, even hitting 300 million downloads in 2012.

With the app’s awesome sound effects, multiple modes and a collaborative option to play with friends and family, it’s no wonder it became so popular amongst people of all ages. Simply slicing fruit and trying to avoid the bombs made the users constantly want more. Fruit Ninja is one of the first games that initiated true competitiveness amongst high-score chasers

Sadly time has gotten to Fruit Ninja, and most have forgotten about this highly addictive arcade game. However, the game’s simplicity is still popular in the app store to this day.

Plants vs Zombies

“Greetings neighbor! The name’s Crazy Dave, but you can just call me Crazy Dave. Listen, I’ve got a surprise for you. But first, I’ll need you to clear your lawn. Don’t let the zombies reach your house!”

Plants vs. Zombies is a highly interactive game that revolves around… you guessed it! Plants and zombies! After coming out in 2009, it quickly became popular amongst teenagers and young children. In the same year, Plants vs Zombies became PopCap Games’ fastest selling video game and quickly sold out.

This mainstream video game has multiple game modes, unique plant weapons and diverse zombie non-player characters. The constant struggle and level building had all of us on our toes. The battle between zombies and plants continues to fight on to this day.

Angry Birds

The combination of the game’s physical gameplay, thoughtfully designed puzzles and endearing characters manages to entertain and enrage players in equal measure. Especially being a puzzle game, Angry Birds enticed players to continue playing in order to beat levels and explore new game plays.

Angry Bird first appeared on the App Store in 2009, and it grew in popularity partly for its level of difficulty.

Unfortunately, the original version of the game was removed in 2019, making it no longer compatible with the newer devices. But fear not, an updated version of the game is still available in the app store right now.

Temple Run

Last but not least, perhaps the most nostalgic iphone game of our childhood, Temple Run. When it was released to the Apple Store in 2011, it quickly grew in the following years. In the iTunes store, Temple Run reached the top 500 most downloaded apps in 2011 and soon rose to become the Store’s top free iOS app.

The player is in control of an explorer who has discovered an ancient artifact and is being pursued by creatures that resemble demonic monkeys. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be chased down by demonic monkeys?

It is an endless running game that challenges users to continue beating the highest scores. The increasing speed as you progress further along the run makes the game frustratingly harder and harder.

Unfortunately, the game started losing popularity in early 2013 due to its repetitive nature. However, if we wanted to relive our childhood, it is still available to play today on the app store.

That concludes our trip down memory lane. Make sure to revisit these truly iconic iPhone games if you’re ever bored out of your mind because these games will definitely make you lose track of time!