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The Best Apple Arcade Games for 2021

Over the past decade, mobile devices became gaming platforms on par with dedicated consoles. Modern phones and tablets pack enough power to deliver beautiful, complex gaming experiences, and not simply the causal fare that’s dominated the space. Though, there’s nothing wrong with casual gaming!

Unfortunately, the mobile gaming market has slowly devolved to the point where now only exploitative, free-to-play (F2P) games that extract your cash via psychological traps and microtransactions can thrive. Maybe it’s because audiences don’t want to pay money upfront. Maybe publishers realize this model lets them earn more profit with less work. Whatever the reason, we’re now at the sad point where you can spend more money on the mediocre Mario Kart Tour than the proper (portable!) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

That’s why, as someone who believes in mobile gaming’s potential, Apple Arcade‘s launch was so exciting. For $5 per month, Apple gives you access to a fast-growing library of premium games to enjoy on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV with a real controller connected. None of these games compromise their design with garbage F2P mechanics, and that’s so refreshing to see in this space. It harkens back to mobile gaming’s promising and exciting early days. For the same price, Apple Arcade arguably offers more exclusive high-quality original content to gamers than Apple TV+ offers to movie and TV fans. That streaming video service’s best show, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, happens to be about video games, anyway.

Here are the Apple Arcade titles worth playing right now. Note that while you won’t find these games on other mobile devices, or available for purchase on the App Store outside of Apple Arcade, some are available on other dedicated gaming consoles and PC stores. Still, Apple Arcade is the only place you can play them all in one convenient, affordable bundle.

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