For years now, the performance of iPhones has run circles around
high-end Android phones. Combine that with great battery efficiency
and a huge catalog of fantastic games (including some Apple Arcade exclusives), and the iPhone may
just be the best mobile gaming platform around.
Honestly, every iPhone made in the last few years will have no
trouble running even the most demanding mobile games. But if you're
serious enough about phone gaming to make it a priority in your
buying decision, you don't want good enough, you want the best.
Updated 11/22/21: With the iPhone 13 series
on the market and price drops on earlier models, we have updated
Best iPhone for
gaming: iPhone 13 Pro Max
Why? First, there's the issue of battery life. High-end gaming
is a big drain on your phone's battery, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the longest battery life
of any iPhone we've ever tested. If you play location-based games
(like Pokemon Go), you want to play without having to carry around
a battery pack.
Second, screen size matters. Games with on-screen virtual sticks
and buttons are easier to control when the screen is bigger. Small
text in RPGs and the like is easier to read. Streaming games from
your Xbox or Playstation? You're definitely going to want a bigger
Finally, let's not forget about 5G. Playing internet-connected games on the go,
away from Wi-Fi, can be tenuous on 4G connections, but at least a
little better on 5G. And of course, 5G drains your battery more
quickly, so yet another reason to go with the big phone.
If you just can't stand really really big phones, or if gaming
is a secondary concern, there's nothing wrong with the iPhone 13 Pro or even the regular iPhone 13. But serious gaming enthusiasts will
probably be happiest spending the extra money for the big Max
Pros: Top performance, huge display, longest
battery life ever
Cons: Really big, really expensive