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The 25 best shooting games on iPhone and iPad

Shoot for the stars
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: iPhone, iPad
Updated October 10, 2017: New entries added

Shooting things may be justifiably frowned upon in civilised society, but it's undeniable fun when the targets are virtual.

Blasting everything that moves is one of the biggest guilty pleasures of the videogame format, and there are so many different ways to do it. There are first person shooters, third person shooters, bullet hell shmups, twin-stick shooters, and tank simulators.

All of these varied forms and more are represented on iOS. Narrowing it down to just 25 - which can seem like a generous selection with some other genres - was a task in itself.

We'll give it our best shot, though.

#1 Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Product: Geometry Wars 3: DimensionsFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: Lucid GamesGenres: Arcade, Shooter

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
One of those timeless iOS games that fully deserves the title 'console-standard,' this classic twin-stick shooter is a true technical masterpiece.

#2 Neon Shadow

Product: Neon ShadowFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Tasty Poison GamesPublisher: Crescent Moon GamesGenres: 3D, Action, Shooter

Neon Shadow
While the first person shooter genre has gotten increasingly complex over the years, Neon Shadow returns to a time when it was all about frenetic action. Arguably the best FPS on mobile.

#3 Halo: Spartan Strike

Product: Halo: Spartan StrikeFormats: iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows 8, SteamPublisher: 343 IndustriesGenres: Action, Shooter

Halo: Spartan Strike
Spartan Strike is the second and best of two games based in the Halo universe. How do you make Halo work on mobile? Why, you make a tight twin-stick shooter out of its core components.

#4 Blazing Star

Product: Blazing StarFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: SNK PlaymorePublisher: SNK PlaymoreGenres: Arcade, Retro, Shooter

Blazing Star
This classic SNK Playmore shoot-'em-up plays wonderfully on iPhone, bringing a taste of the late-'90s arcade to your pocket.

#4 Steredenn

Product: SteredennFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Pixelnest StudioGenres: Arcade, Shooter

Steredenn might look like an old skool bullet hell shmup, but it's so much more than that. Roguelike elements and a highly customisable weapon system make this far more interesting than your average blaster.

#5 Guns of Boom

Product: Guns of BoomFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Game Insight

Guns of Boom
If you want to shoot other players, there's no better mobile game right now than Guns of Boom. It simplifies the FPS format just enough without compromising on strategy or depth.

#6 Shogun: Rise of the Renegade

Product: Shogun: Rise of the RenegadeFormats: Android, Bada, DSi, iPhone, Mobile, Windows Mobile, iPadDeveloper: int13 Genres: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Shogun: Rise of the Renegade
You'd swear blind this 2D shooter was made by a Japanese arcade specialist like Cave, but it's actually a loving tribute to such games. And a very accomplished one at that.

#6 Atomine

Product: AtomineFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Broken Arms Games Pty Ltd

If you like twin-stick shooters, they don't come any more stylish than Atomine, with its glitchy cyberpunk graphics and slick arcade gameplay.

#7 Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Product: Space Invaders Infinity GeneFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: TaitoGenres: Retro, Shooter

Space Invaders Infinity Gene
One of the early shmup stars of the App Store, the best thing we can say for Space Invaders Infinity Gene is that it still looks and plays fresh seven years on from its release.

#8 Trigger Fist

Product: Trigger FistFormats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Lake EffectPublisher: Lake EffectGenres: 3D, Multiplayer, Shooter

Trigger Fist
Online shooters needn't be so po-faced or fiddly, as Trigger Fist goes to show. By limiting the aiming to the horizontal plane and keeping the action simple (and silly), it really works on mobile.

#9 Space Marshals 2

Product: Space Marshals 2Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Pixelbite GamesGenres: Action

Space Marshals 2
Space Marshals is far more considered and varied game than some of the games on this list. But at its core is a brilliantly weighty drag-and-aim shooting system that lifts combat to another level.

#10 DeathSmiles

Product: DeathSmilesFormats: Android, iPhoneDeveloper: CavePublisher: CaveGenres: Arcade, Shooter

Cave is one of the masters of the 2D shoot-'em-up, and DeathSmiles is one of its finest examples on iOS. The action comes from all angles, yet DeathSmiles is also surprisingly accessible.

#10 The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (iOS)

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (iOS)
A port of one of the most beloved indie games of recent years, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a twin-stick shooter that's so packed full of randomised elements that no two runs are the same.

#11 Random Heroes 3

Product: Random Heroes 3Formats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Ravenous GamesGenres: Arcade, Platform, Shooter

Random Heroes 3
Few developers can do virtual control systems as well as Ravenous Games. Random Heroes 3 benefits from this more than most, producing one of the tightest platform-shooters on the platform.

#11 The Bug Butcher

Product: The Bug ButcherFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamPublisher: Awfully Nice StudiosGenres: Shooter

The Bug Butcher
Essentially Space Invaders updated for the mobile generation, The Bug Butcher has you dodging left and right while blasting the enemies that fly overhead - all with a delightful cartoony art style.

#12 Downwell

Product: DownwellFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, SteamDeveloper: MoppinGenres: Action, Platform

In Downwell, your guns are located in your character's boots as you embark on an endless drop. This means that as well as taking out baddies, it acts as a means of locomotion. Genius!

#13 Operation Dracula

Product: Operation DraculaFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Crescent Moon GamesGenres: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Operation Dracula
A really-quite-brilliant hardcore 2D shooter that evokes the memory of classic arcade machines, with pacy gameplay and chunky graphics. Operation Dracula most certainly does not suck.

#13 Neon Chrome

Product: Neon ChromeFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad, PS Vita, SwitchPublisher: 10tonsGenres: Action, Shooter

Neon Chrome
Neon Chrome feels like a proper, fully fleshed out console shooter right here in the palm of your hands. It's a twin-stick shooter with a moody story, heaps of weapons, formidable bosses and a rollicking sci-fi story.

#16 Bullet Hell Monday

Product: Bullet Hell MondayFormats: iPhone, iPadPublisher: Masayuki ItoGenres: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Bullet Hell Monday
Bullet Hello Monday takes the more frenetic end of the shmup scale and throws all the colours of the rainbow at it. It's ludicrously OTT.

#18 Max Ammo

Product: Max AmmoFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Mantis ShrimpGenres: Casual, Shooter

Max Ammo
This third-person shooter works really well on mobile, thanks to a tight tap-to-shoot, swipe-to-move control system and chunky, zoomed-out graphics.

#19 World of Tanks Blitz

Product: World of Tanks BlitzFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: WargamingGenres: Action, Strategy

World of Tanks Blitz
A popular online shooter that places you in the turret of a tank, World of Tanks Blitz is a much more tactical affair than your average COD wannabe.

#22 KeroBlaster

Product: KeroBlasterFormats: iPhoneDeveloper: Studio PixelPublisher: NatsumeGenres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Retro

KeroBlaster looks like a fairly basic retro platform-shooter, but it's actually very distinctive indeed. We're surprised more developers haven't copied its novel semi-automatic combat system.

#23 Midnight Star

Product: Midnight StarFormats: iPhone, iPadDeveloper: Industrial ToysGenres: Action, Shooter

Midnight Star
A smart, thoughtfully crafted rethinking of how the first person shooter should work on mobile, mixing on-rails action with swipe-based movement. Get this one instead of the inferior sequel.

#24 Aka to Blue

Product: Aka to BlueFormats: iPhone, iPadGenres: Shooter

Aka to Blue
Aka to Blue feels like a Cave shmup, even though it isn't. It's classic vertical bullet hell stuff, but with a moreish coin-hoovering scoring system.

#25 Glitchskier

Product: GlitchskierFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Shelly AlonGenres: Action, Shooter

A shooter that's retro in the truest sense, with beautifully stark BBC Micro graphics and a brutal difficulty level.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 10 October 2017
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