10 Best Retro iPhone Games

Hard to believe it’s been over a decade since the very first magical-but-clunky iPhone launched. Who would have known then that a telephone would transform our society? There’s a drastic difference between how we interact now versus pre-iPhone. Introverts never again have to feel awkward at parties for not talking to anyone. Extroverts can build entire careers from one-minute videos on social media apps. It’s not all doom and tragedy, though. Remember the very first iPhone games to come out? Suddenly there was a way to waste time while also getting hits of dopamine. Here are the ten best retro iPhone games. 

Image by FunkyFocus from Pixabay

Tap Tap Revolution

Like Dance Dance Revolution but without all the jumping and dancing. A few dozen Tap Tap games are still available in the iPhone store if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to waste an hour. 

Doodle Jump

Everyone with a first-gen iPhone played Doodle Jump, where you tilted your phone to get the Doodle to jump between platforms and dodge baddies. 



You built contraptions to guide drops of water from the top of the screen into dedicated tanks. It’s not the stupidest game on the list, and you can still find apps with worse graphics today.

Cube Runner

You were a triangle in a square world. The goal was simple, to avoid hitting any of the blocks as they spilled over the infinite horizon by tilting your phone. It was super-addictive, despite the basic gameplay. 

Jelly Car

Despite the simplistic graphics, Jelly Car had some fun features that made it one of the most engaging games for the early iPhone. You had to use both touch and tilt controls to drive a little jelly car through 12 obstacle-filled levels. 

Fruit Ninja

The classic game is still available in the app store, and it 100% holds up. Any early iPhone adopter lost a few weeks of their life swiping at fruit with a virtual sword.

Photo by Tron Le on Unsplash

Lightsaber Unleashed

The most downloaded free app in 2008 let you create a Jedi character and customize your lightsaber, including the hilt and the blade color. Then you’d swing your phone around to generate the trademark bug-zapper noise. And that was it. There was no game, nothing else interactive. 

Bubble Wrap

It’s a virtual sheet of bubble wrap you pop by touching the screen. At least it’s environmentally conscientious?


Part of what was so mesmerizing about the iPhone was the highly tuned sensors that knew which way you were tilting the device. Your only control in Labyrinth was tilting the phone to navigate a virtual ball bearing around obstacles to reach the end of the maze. It was infuriating and addictive.

Angry Birds

There’s no accounting for the popularity of Angry Birds. It was a free app game that transcended being an app and grew to include two movies, an animated TV show, and countless merch.