The top ten iPhone app console games of 2009

Dec 21, 2009

Late December is not only a time for celebration, but also a time for reflection. The game genre continues to thrive on the iPhone, and 2009 saw quite a few iPhone app versions of console games released on the device. That means it’s time for something you will see plenty of this time of year, a Top […]

Late December is not only a time for celebration, but also a time for reflection. The game genre continues to thrive on the iPhone, and 2009 saw quite a few iPhone app versions of console games released on the device.

That means it’s time for something you will see plenty of this time of year, a Top 10 list. This year’s list is littered with sports legends, action adventures and old-school classics, and regardless of their ranking, all 10 games have one thing in common – you need them on your iPhone.

10: NBA Live by EA Sports

This basketball franchise cracks the top 10 not only because it’s the first iPhone game with real NBA teams and full rosters, but because it’s the devices first full basketball game.

The iPhone app version of NBA Live ($4.99) has a more arcade feel to it than the console version, but features such as a full season mode are included. It’s far from a perfect basketball game, but as first releases go it’s a nice start.

9: James Cameron’s Avatar

The most recently released of the games on this list, James Cameron’s Avatar ($9.99) appears here because of its in-depth story mode that fans of the film will love.

The iPhone app is actually a prequel to the movie, set 20 years before and based around the very first avatar’s adventures on the distant moon of Pandora. It has 15 levels and great graphics, so even those who know nothing of the film would be wise to give it a shot.

8: Resident Evil 4

Like many games mentioned here, this is a stripped-down version of the console game. But don’t let that description fool you, Resident Evil 4 ($6.99) iPhone game app is still one of the top first-person shooters.

In this incarnation of the Resident Evil series, you are a U.S. agent given the goal of finding the president’s kidnapped daughter. Good graphics and iPhone unique controls, such as shaking the device to reload your weapon, highlight what is an all-around really good game.

7: Dragon’s Lair

The 1980’s arcade-hit Dragon’s Lair has been remade for a number of different consoles, and the game finally came to the iPhone earlier this month. Those familiar with the game will not be shocked by this game’s objective – Dirk the Daring must rescue Princess Daphne from the fire-breathing dragon Singe.

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Dragon’s Lair ($4.99)  ranks this high because visually it is absolutely stunning. Its animations are breathtakingly crisp and colorful, making this app a must-own even if you’re not familiar with the series.

6. Madden NFL 10 by EA Sports

One of the summer’s most anticipated iPhone apps has given fans of the series yet another reason to rejoice, as last week EA Sports finally updated the Madden NFL 10 iPhone app ($5.99) with the long-advertised multi-player mode. Users can now play head-to-head games via a Bluetooth connection.

Like many other games on this list, Madden’s biggest goal is providing a product that resembles the console version. You won’t be throwing away your Xbox 360 copy of the game, but you can’t complain about a football simulator on your phone that offers real players, 200-plus plays and controls that are unique to the device.

5. Sonic the Hedgehog

A throwback to the Sega Genesis days, Sonic seems to be regaining his rightful place among the top video game hero’s. The Sonic the Hedgehog iPhone app ($5.99) takes you through seven classic zones as you attempt to stop the evil Dr. Eggman.

Nostalgia aside, Sonic is a great game that fills a gap in the iTunes App Store that will likely never be filled by Mario. It also gives hope that will we see more Genesis classics come to the iPhone, though for the time being this one will definitely suffice.

4. Assassin’s Creed – Altair’s Chronicles

Altair’s Chronicles ($4.99) is heavily based on the Nintendo DS release of the same name, a game that was widely viewed as mediocre at best. That shouldn’t taint your view of this iPhone app, though, as it is easily one of the better action games on the device.

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Assassin’s Creed sports a wealth of weapons and attacks as you make your way through the Middle East in search of an ancient artifact that will save the world. The game lives up to the lofty standards of the Assassin’s Creed name, and more importantly, it’s all kinds of fun.

3. Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies

Speaking of lofty standards, few games are as hot right now as the Call of Duty series. And though World at War: Zombies ($9.99) isn’t the lengthiest of games, it’s still as good as it gets for first-person shooters.

COD provides three different control schemes and a somewhat unique goal: instead of killing all the zombies and surviving a mission, you simply try to stay alive for as long as possible. Fans of the zombie mini-game in the console version will feel right at home in this game.

2. FIFA 10 by EA Sports

I may be letting my biases show here, but no other sports game held my attention this year as long as FIFA 10 ($6.99) . Sure, the computer AI isn’t top notch, but that’s overshadowed by really nice graphics and a well though-out control set-up.

FIFA has real players from more than 500 teams across 30 leagues and a ridiculously addictive ‘Be A Pro’ mode. Maybe all that talk of next year’s World Cup is getting to me, but FIFA sits at the head of this year’s sports game class.

1. Need For Speed: Undercover

Need For Speed: Undercover ($4.99) iPhone game app takes the top spot for two reasons. One, the games controls make use of the accelerometer, so it’s one of the few games on this list in which you won’t be thinking about other versions of the game.

Two, there are a ton of really good racing apps out there, and Undercover simply blows them away. It includes 20 cars, eight race modes and three cities in what can only be described as the best overall game experience available on the iPhone.

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David Lister

David Lister is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is a former editor and writer at the and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. 

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