Best iPhone games: sports

The best iPhone apps are often the games. It's probably the largest category in the App Store and they're the one's that seem to come and go on our handsets more frequently than any others, as in turn each is downloaded, mastered and discarded. The bottom line is that you're going to need a lot of them, which is why we at Pocket-lint have compiled a list of what we think are the very best iPhone games known to humanity.

Naturally, that list is absolutely enormous, so today is the turn of the best iPhone sports games. If you love a bit of finger football or timing your taps with a spot of golf, then this list is the one for you.

Speedball 2: Evolution

Anyone of a certain age will remember 1990's Speedball 2 and Brutal Deluxe fondly. It took the original violent future sports idea from the first game, slapped on a none-too-complicated management element and an extensive career mode, bundled in a load of power ups and ways to earn extra points, and delivered them all like a good hard kick in the nether regions. It was, and still is, considered the Bitmap Brothers' finest game, and now it is here for the iPhone.



Unlike many rehashes of old titles, it doesn't change its core gameplay too much, rather adding new elements to make it easier to play without a joystick. You can either tilt or use the on-screen D-pad as you smash your way through the opposition. There's local multiplayer modes (through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) to add a little fun. Read more

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Backbreaker 2: Vengeance

You don't actually need to know anything about American Football to be able to play Backbreaker, and that's quite some barrier eradicated for anyone looking to play this top iPhone sports games. What works really nicely is that the game doesn't represent a true NFL simulation match but is instead all about either running with the ball on your way to a touchdown or, this time, in Vengeance Mode, stopping someone instead.

You can spin and jump your opponent's tackles, showboat and there are also some on-field obstacles to avoid as well. Throw in some top iOS graphics and officially licensed NFL details and you've got a game that's quite simply a highly enjoyable bargain for the small outlay that it requires.

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 4/5

 

Flick Home Run

It's Flick Home Run's simplicity that is its brilliance. Taking inspiration from other flick-based and massively successful iOS titles, Infinity Pocket has managed to cram hours worth of gameplay into what is essentially a one directional game. A game that requires no more control than a simple flick of the finger. Sure, it's a baseball title but you won't see any pitchers, batters, fielders, diamonds or pretzels here. Heck, you won't even see a bat. What you will see, hurtling towards your side of the screen is any one of 12 random types of ball, each with their own unique movement, speed and trajectory.

It's your job to hit the - disguised until the last second - ball high into the sky. And hopefully over the bleachers and far into the car-park and neighbouring town. Essentially, you get points for how far you can hit it but there are bonuses to collect along the way, such as hitting the parked cars, or collecting floating stars between buildings. Addictively brilliant - although the multi-player aspect is a bit naff. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 4/5

 

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

We won't lie to you. It's going to wind you up something chronic that you're not playing Tony Hawk's on the Nintendo SP because of that lack of physical d-pad but, if you can accept that fact, then it is a game that you'll love on the iPhone too. For those that have never played Tony Hawk's before, the deal is that you are Tony or any other of his top skating buddies and it's your job to master all sorts of complicated tricks.

You grind, grab, jump and manual link as many as you can in each skating area until you've crossed them all off and unlocked the next park to ride around. What really suits the iPhone well is that each round of gameplay only lasts 2 minutes and that's just right for those snackable bus-riding, waiting room-type moments.

iTunes: Link

Price: £1.49

Rating: 4/5

 

FIFA 12

The iOS FIFA 12 app offers unique features that aren't even possible with an Xbox 360 or PS3. For starters, there's a touch screen. You don't get that with an Xbox 360 or PS3. And there's now a career mode, albeit a cut down called "Manager Mode". It allows you to take control of any team in one of 22 different leagues around the globe, buy and sell players, set the tactics you want and generally, well, manage. There's promotion and relegation, and cups, European and domestic, are included, as are board expectations. And there's an in-game email system for alerts. It's basic but a great addition to iOS. 

The graphic engine has also been given a lick of paint while instant replays have been introduced, giving much more of a televisual feel to the game.The only strange aspect to this year's addition is that rather than adopt the new commentary team for the console versions - Martin Tyler and Alan Smith - you still get Clive Tyldsley and Andy Townsend. Of course, if you go back as far as us, you'd be grateful that a footy game that costs a mere £3.99 for the iPhone, £5.99 for the iPad version has commentary at all. Even without, FIFA 12 would still offer an incredible game of football. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £3.99

Rating: 5/5

 

NBA Jam

If Speedball 2 isn't enough of a trip down arcade alley for you, then NBA Jam should do the trick. In a kind of Mortal Kombat cardboard cut-out style, this game adds genuine NBA player detail to a highly entertaining, semi-serious piece of two-on-two basketball action with the aim of the game not quite so much to score more points than the other team but  to do it in better style.

As ever, it's a little harder to control on an iPhone than it was with a proper joystick but as soon as the commentator's start kicking in with "he's heating up" and "he's on fire" and the minute you bag your first killer dunk, you'll be giggling like the teenager you were.

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12

Unlike the current console version, the mobile division of EA has decided to ditch the US Masters themeology (although the colour scheme is utilised) and instead offers up an experience which feels very much like former Tiger Woods games of yore. Naturally, you can create your own golfer to play with, and take them through an entire PGA Season. Multiplayer is supported, with head-to-head play over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and you can even play on separate Apple devices - for example, one of you on an iPhone, the other on an iPad.

Certainly, this new version of the classic is feature-packed, on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, but its biggest facet is the gameplay, and that hasn't really changed much from old. A touchscreen swing-ometer handles the business end, and you can draw or fade shots with different directional flicks of your finger. In short, it is the best driving game on the market. You can have that golfing pun for free. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 5/5

 

Homerun Battle 3D

For us, Homerun Battle 3D is basically the complete game. The app has a seriously large player base and for very good reason. It’s excellent. The pitch (pun intended) is a baseball game where you’re the slugger at the plate and you’ve got 10 strikes to score as many points as possible. Tilt your device to aim the wing of the bat, tap the screen to swing. All very simple stuff. What makes this game such a winner is the wonderful detail.

We’d normally recommend the lite version of the game to check that you like it but there’s really no need to bother. Just jump right in and get playing. It’ll be the best app money you’ve spent for quite some time. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 5/5

 

Flick Soccer

The premise of Flick Soccer is to use your finger to strike the ball into the net from a variety of distances, and with various obstacles in the way. The skill level is spot on with, what feels like, highly responsive ball mechanics. Curving the ball is no problem at all, and there's even after touch if you want a real banana. The game modes mentioned include Quickshot mode, Endurance, Challenge, Crossbar mode and Smash It - all of which bring something a little bit different to the table, or rather pitch, and accessible even when time is short; Endurance probably takes the most time if you want a decent score.

The developer, Full Fat, has done a grand job with Flick Soccer and needless to say it features full Game Center leaderboards and achievements. So if you want a quality pick-up-and-play title, flick no further. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 4/5

 

Puttluck

Using the gyroscopic abilities of the iPhone 4 (or iPod touch 4G), Puttluck is a tactile game that emulates the ultimate (and, in our opinion, hardest) discipline in golf: putting. It offers up a nine-hole course with increasingly more difficult putts to conquer and there are two difficulty levels to complete. The gameplay is very Wii-esque. First up, you're presented with a common 3D-like viewpoint of the ball and the pin, with slope indicated through an onscreen icon. Also, a grid can be overlain to show up any further undulations.

Then, when the iPhone is physically pointed downloads, the view changes to above the ball, and you can see your putter stemming from the bottom of the screen. It is in this form that you can then take a shot, by first pressing your thumb on the screen and then physically sweeping your phone as you would a club. It's much easier to perform than it sounds, although to actually putt within a set par on each hole will require plenty of practice. Not only is Puttluck a lot of fun, it may even help with your game. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 4/5

 

Championship Manager 1980s Legends

We were big fans of Beautiful Games Studio's previous reworking of its iPhone football management franchise, where it placed the action firmly in the 1970s. However, setting the sequel a decade later makes it instantly more familiar to our generation, and while the game engine is nigh-on identical, CM 1980s Legends is a far better game for it. You can choose to start in either 1980, 1983 or 1986, and each of those will present different challenges and, clearly, different player databases.

If you play in 1980, you also have to remember that the three points for a win rule didn't come into the English game until 1981 (and not until 1994, 1995 for Scotland, Italy and Spain), so it'll be harder to win the league outright. Oh, and there are other archaic rules to remember too, such as only two substitutes per team. It certainly all adds up to a fascinating experience, and much more engrossing than many similar games before it. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £1.99

Rating: 5/5

 

Flick Kick Football

There is one football app that, regardless of whether you follow the beautiful game, you'll be glued to like it's Match of the Day and you don't know the result. The premise is simple. You've got to score as many goals as possible to carry on playing. Shooting at certain areas classed as the Skill Zone earns you lives or more time, do well and you'll be on to a cracking score. Crack under pressure and you'll be starting back from scratch.

Sounds easy doesn't it. That is until you put moving goalies and players in the way. Then you've got the varying distances to cope with and the ability to curve the ball like you're David Beckham. Ten minutes in and like Paper Toss you'll find yourself addicted. With smart graphics, some great nail-biting camera replays and gameplay that you'll enjoy and be infuriated by, this app is a winner. GOOOOOOAALLLLLLLLLLLLL. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 4/5

 

Super KO Boxing 2

Super KO Boxing 2 is very much from the Mike Tyson Punchout school of boxing games with a dollop of Street Fighter thrown in for good measure. You are the KO Kid and end up spending 99 per cent of the game with your back to the camera throwing right and left leads and jabs to the face or stomach of your caricature enemy.



Your other thumb is all about the movement - float like a butterfly, sting like a roaming data bill, and all that - and if you combine the two controls with the right timing, you'll also discover you can pull out some hook shots as well - vital for taking down more stubborn opponents. Throw in a few super KO punches and you've a boxing game that’ll keep you entertained for many a bus journey. Read more

iTunes: Link

Price: 69p

Rating: 3.5/5

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