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There are over 425,000 games in Apple’s app store, so how do you know which ones are must-haves? “Angry Birds” or “Plants vs Zombies” are for kids and toll booth workers killing time on their phone. The iPad games listed below are the games that will make your boys go “oh sh*t, what is that??” and take full advantage of the larger screen and enhanced graphics of the iPad.  So if you got gifted a tablet for back to school or anticipate getting one for Christmas these are the iPad games  to get.

10) NBA Jam

EA Sports has created a great port of the 1993 arcade classic for the iPad. Compete in this high energy two-on-two basketball game with a full slate of current NBA players and unlockable Hall of Famers. The graphics are great and the touch screen controls are so responsive that you’ll be “on fire” in no time. EA tends to run sales on the holidays so you might be able to grab this one for .99 cents!

9 Starfall

Tower Defense  is one of the most popular game genres and this space-based TD from Digital Concepts is worth every penny. Try to thwart waves of flying enemies with a mix of strategy and ruthlessness. Timely upgrades of your concussion based weapons and technology (use the Neural Network to hack enemy’s navigation, trust me) mean the difference between success and death by plasma burn.

8 Asphalt 6

If you’ve got a need for speed this is the game to get. Gameloft pulled out all of the bells and whistles in Asphalt 6creating detail so textured you might forget you’re not on your XBox, so DON’T throw this controller! At $6.99 you may balk at the price, but you can get its stripped down cousin Fast Five: The Movie for 99 cents.

7 Spiderman: Total Mayhem

This is the closest you will get to actually playing a comic book. Pummel, kick and swing through a city full of mutated bad guysrelying on your Spider Senses to dodge in-coming projectiles.  Not to mention this Spidey is a lot funnier than the one in the movies.

6 Gangstar: Miami Vindication

Is this a Grand Theft Auto knock-off? Sure. But will you care five minutes into it? Nope. Whether you decide to go on the missions chasing down mobsters in search of your kidnapped little brother, or just rampage through the city in a hi-jacked ambulance, this is one of the best “pickup and play” games on the iPad.

Infinity Blade

Warning, playing this game on the train will have people looking over your shoulder going “WTF?” Infinity Blade game takes full advantage of the iPad’s dazzling HD display making it almost as fun to watch as to play. Battle your way through a legion of  medieval warriors to face the ultimate challenge in the God King.

4. Rage: Mutant Bash TV

I took a chance on this after seeing the commercial for the console version on Monday Night Football and was not disappointed. While only three levels, this “gun-on-the-run” shooterplaces you in the middle of an apocalyptic game show where you kill and dismember mutated humans. While your motion is limited, the flow is smooth as Kane in ’88 and you’ll be pocketing “Bash Bucks” with the pros.

3 Dead Space

Not that I care much about story lines when I have ten minutes to kill, but this feels as much like playing a movie as anything out there. The controls can take a second to get used to, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be slinging that plasma cutter like a champ. Put those Beats by Dre headphones on to hear the monsters sneaking up behind youin surround sound.

2. N.O.VA. 2

It may offend some to call this “Halo” for the iPad but that pretty much sums it up, and that’s a good thing! As part of the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance you have can shoot, drive and march your mech into hostile territory with no regard for your personal safety. The controls are user-friendly and the graphics are stunning. At press time it’s on sale for a buck so  go and get it now!


1 Street Fighter IV Volt

I’m a little biased here considering that I’ve been playing Street Fighter II religiously since it was on the Super NES. But the idea that I can carry it around with me fighting as any of the 26 characters including Ken, RYU, Akuma or Fei Long gives this ultimate replay value. Yes, the one-button special adds some cheese factor, but for those of us who labored for years trying to pull-off Zangief’s “Spinning Pile Driver” it’s ultimate vindication.



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10 Must-Have iPad Games  was originally published on