Mobile gaming has come a long way in the last decade. What once was considered casual gaming on small smartphone screens has now evolved into fully immersive AAA gaming experiences rivaling console and PC games.
The latest iPhones, especially the iPhone 15 Pro series, now pack enough computing power to run visually stunning and graphics-intensive games smoothly.
Game developers are also optimizing AAA titles specifically for the iPhone’s hardware and iOS ecosystem.
Best AAA Games for iPhone 2024
In this guide, we will introduce you to fifteen AAA iOS games launching in 2024 that you should look forward to playing on your iPhone.
From thrilling horror games like Resident Evil to expansive open worlds in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Remastered, here are the top AAA gaming titles coming to iPhones next year.
Top 5 iPhone AAA Games to Play in 2024
#1: Resident Evil Village
The Resident Evil franchise hardly needs an introduction for horror fans. Known for its Hollywood-grade cinematics, nerve-wracking jump scares, and intense zombie shooting action, Resident Evil has topped sales charts across console and PC platforms.
Capcom is bringing its latest survival horror blockbuster, Resident Evil Village, to the iPhone and iPad next year. The game continues the story of Ethan Winters from Resident Evil 7.
This time around, you find yourself trapped in a remote snowy village filled with mutated creatures and other biological nightmares courtesy of the mysterious Mother Miranda.
Resident Evil Village represents the most visually impressive and content-rich Resident Evil port ever on mobile. Built using Capcom’s custom RE Engine, the game looks practically indistinguishable from the PC and console versions. The graphics engine also enables complex lighting effects, realistic facial animations, and extremely detailed texture work.
While the visual splendor takes center stage, Resident Evil Village doesn’t skimp on white-knuckled action either. You will battle lycan wolfmen, vampiric aristocrats, and 9-foot-tall killer dolls while uncovering the dark secrets of the village. Players must also manage limited ammo and crafting resources wisely to survive against the onslaught of bio-organic weapons.
Resident Evil Village is shaping up to be a visual powerhouse AAA title for the iPhone 15 Pro and M1 iPad models.
If you want to experience the most ambitious Resident Evil game available on mobile yet, keep an eye out for special preorder deals before Village launches next year.
- Genre: Survival horror
- Visuals: Photorealistic graphics powered by the RE Engine
- Gameplay: Action-packed zombie combat balanced with puzzle-solving and resource management
- Compatibility: iPhone 15 Pro series, M1 iPads and later
- Storage: 16 GB
- Rating: 4/5
#2: Alien: Isolation The Iconic Sci-Fi Survival Horror Classic on iPhone
Launched way back in 2014, Alien: Isolation quickly gained critical acclaim for expertly translating the original 1979 Alien film’s visceral horror into video game form. Developed by seasoned studio Creative Assembly, Isolation focused on an atmospheric cat-and-mouse experience rather than run-and-gun action.
Players step into the spacesuit of Amanda Ripley who ventures into the decaying Sevastopol space station to recover clues about her mother Ellen Ripley’s disappearance. She soon discovers the station overrun by a single, utterly lethal Xenomorph stalking the corridors. With sparse resources and only a motion tracker for defense, simply evading the alien long enough to escape becomes a nerve-wracking challenge.
The iOS port faithfully recreates the visual brilliance and dread of the console and PC game. Powered by the Metal graphics API, the environments and lighting effects look remarkable on an iPhone screen. The alien AI is as unpredictable as ever, keeping players on high alert. The port also bundles all DLC content adding dozens of hours worth of gameplay.
While the controls have been adapted for touch, a gamepad is highly recommended for the most comfortable experience. The title works on all iPhones and iPads running at least iOS 14.8. Survival horror fans who haven’t yet played this essential masterpiece can pick it up for $14.99 from the App Store when it launches for mobile in 2024.
- Genre: Survival horror
- Visual fidelity: Runs on Metal graphics API with detailed environments
- Length: 15+ hour terrifying campaign
- Compatibility: iOS 14.8 and newer
- Size: 2 GB (11 GB storage required)
- Rating: 4.8/5
#3: GRID Autosport – Console-Quality Racing Simulator
Boasting over 100 cars and tracks spanning different motorsports disciplines, GRID Autosport by Codemasters distills the pure racing essence of the fan-favorite TOCA Race Driver series into one ambitious iOS package.
Beneath the glossy visuals and thundering engine audio lies an extremely comprehensive racing experience. The career mode and individual disciplines serve rookies and veterans alike. Touring cars allow you to rub paint trading overtakes on narrow circuits. The aggressive open-wheel categories see vehicles darting mere inches from each other at 300 kph. Or you can just chill out drifting expensive supercars.
While the simulation handling leans towards realism, some accessibility concessions broaden appeal for mobile gamers. You can fine-tune driving aids and tweak complexity to match your skill. Multiplayer expands longevity otherwise lacking in earlier GRID mobile ports. The game runs smoothly on six-year-old iPhones all the way up to the latest iPhone 15 Pro thanks to extensive graphics options.
At its discounted price, GRID Autosport possibly offers the deepest console-grade racing on iOS. Both casual and hardcore racing fans have plenty to enjoy across its many circuits spanning America, Europe, and Asia.
- Genre: Racing sim + arcade hybrid
- Content: 100+ cars and circuits
- Modes: Career, multiplayer, custom races
- Compatibility: iPhone 6S and newer
- Size: 6 GB minimum storage
- Rating: 4.5/5
#4: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas The Definitive Open World Crime Saga
First launched in 2004 on the PlayStation 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas largely defined the blueprint of modern open-world games. It expanded on Vice City’s formula by crafting an utterly breathtaking fictional take on early 90s West Coast American hip-hop culture and gang violence.
Set in the sprawling state of San Andreas, players assume the role of Carl “CJ” Johnson returns home only to get swept up in a dangerous web of crime and corruption. San Andreas pioneered the concept of an interactive sandbox world simulating aspects of real life.
CJ can freely roam cities and rural countryside in vehicles or on foot, interact with NPCs in non-linear ways, customize his clothing, get tattoos, eat to maintain health, invest in assets, and much more.
The iOS port retains the signature open-world freedom enhanced by smoother frame rates and improved visuals compared to the PS2 original.
Refined touch or gamepad controls both work great. Having an entire GTA epic right on your iPhone is liberating and well worth the download if you’ve never experienced San Andreas before.
- Genre: Action-adventure sandbox
- Game World: Fully explorable San Andreas map
- Visuals: Enhanced high-res graphics
- Gameplay: 100+ hours of content and customization
- Compatibility: iPhone 6S and newer
- Rating: 4.7/5
#5: Construction Simulator® 3 The Ultimate iOS Construction sandbox
The Construction Simulator games have captured the rewarding joy of operating heavy construction machinery for over a decade. Construction Simulator® 3 represents the most feature-rich installment tailor-made for iOS devices. It finally brings the fan-favorite construction simulator formula to small screens with beautifully rendered vehicles and expansive environments.
In the game, you gradually grow and manage your own fledgling construction company. Starting with simpler contracts, you have access to 16 meticulously modeled construction vehicles from famous brands like Liebherr, Caterpillar, and Palfinger. Maneuvering their realistic physics while finishing jobs smoothly takes some practice even with the assisted controls.
The sprawling open-world landscape encompasses varied topography from scenic farmland to a detailed urban downtown city center ripe for real estate development. As your company’s value increases, you can purchase more properties, upgrade your machinery fleet, and hire more drivers.
While gameplay depth falls slightly short of its PC counterparts, Construction Simulator 3 remains the most ambitious construction sandbox developed specifically for iOS. Bulldozer aficionados will find plenty to dig into when it deploys next year.
- Genre: Construction simulation
- Content: 70+ construction contracts
- World: Freely explorable urban European landscape
- Gameplay: Realistic vehicle handling with a cockpit view
- Compatibility: All iOS devices
- Rating: 4/5
Why iPhones Can Run AAA Games Smoothly Now?
Console and PC gamers often scoff whenever mobile gaming gets brought up. And not without reason in the past. The gulf in quality between an Xbox blockbuster and a casual smartphone puzzle remained vast despite rapid leaps in mobile processing power.
However, the introduction of the iPhone 15 Pro series closes this gap more than ever before. Let’s analyze how recent hardware improvements finally enable AAA gaming experiences on an iPhone.
M1-Class Chip Since 2020, Apple has transitioned their in-house silicon away from Intel and Qualcomm SOCs to custom-designed Apple Silicon chips based on the Arm instruction set.
Fabricated on the cutting-edge 4nm transistor process, the latest A17 Bionic inside iPhone 15 Pro models now delivers processing and graphics performance nearing entry-level laptops.
For context, the 6-core CPU breezes through over 4 trillion operations per second. That’s nearly 40% faster than the previous A16 in iPhone 14 Pros.
More importantly for gaming, the 5-core GPU powers through advanced graphical effects and geometry without breaking a sweat.
Benchmarks put the A17 Bionic as almost twice as fast as leading Android SOCs. This matters for sustaining visually impressive AAA gaming.
High Refresh Rate Promotion Display
Cranking up frame rates makes games look incredibly smooth, responsive, and realistic. Whereas iPhone displays have been locked to 60 Hz refresh rates for the longest time, the latest Pro series doubles that to 120 Hz.
The faster refresh can keep up with AAA games targeting 60+ FPS for a seamless experience.
The kicker? Apple further adds ‘Dynamic Refresh Rate’ technology when playing games.
This automatically switches the display between 10Hz to 120Hz matching the game’s frame rate. The variable refresh eliminates screen tearing while saving battery life if the game engine temporarily drops below 60 FPS.
Enhanced Cameras and Sensors
AAA gaming involves more than just processing muscle. Apple leverages the iPhone’s array of cameras and motion sensors to enable console-quality gameplay mechanics.
For example, Resident Evil Village uses LiDAR capabilities present only in iPhone 15 Pro models for better spatial awareness and scene depth.
This dramatically improves positional audio and lighting effects by mapping the environment more accurately.
The latest generation camera module assists San Andreas gameplay by tracking subtle face movements for realistic facial animations.
Motion gestures detected by the sensor hub enable intuitive gestures for camera control. Hardware and software work together to unlock next-gen mobile gameplay.
Ultra-Low Latency Connectivity
Even with all that power under the hood, the iPhone experience still depends greatly on latency-sensitive factors like responsive controls and multiplayer gameplay.
iOS 16 builds new enhancements directly into the software stack to realize AAA gaming’s full potential.
Optimized networking code and driver improvements bring wired-grade Wi-Fi latency in the range of 10-30ms for Pro models.
That nears the latency of Xbox Cloud Gaming that streams over the Internet. Coupled with the 120Hz display, AAA games now feel snappier.
The revamped Core Animation rendering pipeline introduces 16ms touch sampling for instant on-screen response to swipes and taps.
These changes allow shooters and racing games to feel far more console-like even on a mobile form factor.
Thanks to recent hardware and software efforts, iPhone gaming stands closer than ever to consoles and gaming PCs.
The selections of AAA games covered in this piece represent only the beginning of a mobile gaming renaissance on iOS.