Hundreds of thousands of apps are available on the App Store, making finding the best strategy games for iPhone screens and gameplay challenging. Among these thoughtful, stimulating games, you’ll find in-depth progression systems, strenuous opposition, resource management, tactics and smarts from the player. After reviewing the top-grossing and most critically acclaimed options across multiple strategy subgenres, we’ve identified ten can’t-miss downloads guaranteed to put your strategic skills to the test.

1. Clash Royale – Creators of Clash of Clans

Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a real-time multiplayer battle game where players collect cards featuring characters from Clash of Clans. Match up against opponents worldwide, build your battle deck strategically, and knock down enemy towers in fast-paced duels. With over 100 cards to upgrade and seasonal events like challenges and tournaments, Clash Royale offers nonstop competitive action and progression.

Progression is gated somewhat by chests that take time to open, but quick donations and token trades within your clan help accelerate card accumulation. Although matches are short, the progression system and meta revolves around commitment over months.

Pros
  • Addictive, quick matches
  • Tons of cards and combos to master
  • Great crossover appeal for Clash fans
  • Competitive gameplay
  • Real time strategy games
Cons
  • Aggressive monetization via microtransactions
  • Losing streaks are frustrating
  • Progression systems favor grinding or spending

2. Plants vs. Zombies 2 – Collect garden guardians!

Plants vs. Zombies 2

In this award-winning action-strategy game, defend your brain against hilarious zombies with an army of powerful plants, each with offensive or defensive capabilities. Journey through dozens of worlds and hundreds of levels, unlock new abilities, take on intense endless zones and mini-games, and squash seasonal zombies along the way.

The game features lawn and pool levels with different terrain types that affect gameplay. Players can purchase plant food power-ups for offensive boosts and extra perks like bonus coins or double plant experience. Daily rewards, quests, and Piñata Parties provide solid progression for committed players.

Pros
  • Hundreds of levels with variety
  • Charming art style and humor
  • Accessible tower defense gameplay
  • New content and events added regularly
Cons
  • Very repetitive gameplay
  • Requires grind or purchases to progress
  • Not much challenge for experienced players

3. Rise of Kingdoms – Top Civilization Strategy Game

Rise of Kingdoms

As a lone clan, guide an entire civilization to greatness in this mobile strategy game. Explore a vast realm shrouded in fog where resources, threats, and enemy kingdoms await. Direct troops and allies in real-time battles, take control of strategic passes, investigate lost temples and caves, and level up legendary commanders like Julius Caesar and Sun Tzu to lead your armies.

The world map is based on real world geography like mountain ranges and continents. Negotiating alliances and non-aggression pacts is key politics. Officers in your clan can assign roles and coordinate group battle tactics.

Pros
  • Huge world with endless goals
  • Innovative RTS-style battles
  • RPG commander system
  • Alliance cooperation system
Cons
  • Paywalls for rapid expansion
  • Time commitment needed
  • History buffs may dislike inaccuracies

4. Whiteout Survival – Build & Survive in Winter

Whiteout Survival

In the post-apocalyptic world of Whiteout Survival, you lead survivors after a new ice age has destroyed civilization. Manage jobs like hunter and cook, distribute resources, conquer territory, and research technology all while battling the elements and other groups. Build alliances for protection and compete against other players worldwide in this free mobile strategy game.

Managing population happiness via facilities, healthcare, and entertainment must be balanced with resource production. Alliance membership bestows benefits and coordination for the end-game goal of establishing dominance over the icy setting.

Pros
  • Innovative glacial apocalypse setting
  • Satisfying resource management
  • PvP and alliance gameplay
  • Base building and technology trees
Cons
  • Aggressive monetization
  • Can feel repetitive
  • Not friendly to casual players

5. Warcraft Rumble – Build your Army of Minis

Warcraft Rumble

Take charge of an army of minis featuring beloved Warcraft characters and lead them through fighting battles in familiar locations. Defeat PvE bosses and compete in head-to-head PvP matches by deploying the right troops for the job and using their special abilities effectively.

With quick session times and easy controls, Warcraft Rumble brings approachable real-time strategy brawls to mobile. Progression involves upgrading abilities on each mini individually. With matches under two minutes, Warcraft Rumble delivers RTS action in bite-sized sessions.

Pros
  • Accessible and casual RTS
  • Great fan service for Warcraft players
  • Short sessions for mobile
  • Hot seat local multiplayer
Cons
  • Shallow meta and progression
  • Performance issues
  • Small unit roster

6. League of Legends: Wild Rift

League of Legends

This 5v5 multiplayer online battle arena adapts the hit PC game League of Legends for mobile devices. Featuring a roster of over 80 champions, familiar items and abilities, and shorter 15-20 minute matches, Wild Rift captures the competitive team-based play of its namesake.

Climb ranked tiers, customize champions’ looks and abilities, and go for pentakill glory. Camera control and skillshots have been adapted for touchscreen interfaces. Matches rely heavily on communication, map awareness of objectives like Dragons and Baron.

Pros
  • Skill-based 5v5 strategic play
  • Massive roster of unique champions
  • Competitive rank system
Cons
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Unlocks take some grinding
  • Longer match times

7. Age of Origins: Tower Defense

Age of Origins

As one of only a few strategy MMORPGs, Age of Origins packs tons of content. Build armies to fight zombies and reclaim civilization in a post-apocalypse setting. Rescue survivors, reconstruct cities, research technologies – all while negotiating or battling other real player alliances for control of the Capital.

Manage your heroes and territories directly in this 3D world. Alliances can designate officers with roles like diplomat, sentry, or quartermaster. PVP modes include alliance showdowns and championship brackets for top players. The world map expands and evolves over months of play.

Pros
  • In-depth base building and battles
  • Great setting for zombie fans
  • Massive MMORPG world and community
  • Hero collection and upgrades
Cons
  • Dated graphics and interfaces
  • Slow onboarding process
  • Complex UI

8. Airport Simulator – Build your own airport city

Airport Simulator

Airport Simulator brings a robust tycoon management experience to mobile. Build an entire functional airport from the ground up, managing every aspect from infrastructure construction to shopping options. Negotiate deals with partner airlines, juggle flight schedules and passenger traffic, and ensure both travelers’ and partners’ satisfaction levels stay high by providing quality services.

The game features a campaign mode that presents various airport management challenges. Players can participate in design competitions within the community. With patience, the airport city can evolve into a global transit hub over weeks of strategic play.

Pros
  • Freedom to build your dream airport
  • Challenging logistics management
  • Gorgeous aircraft models
  • Creative building options
Cons
  • Overwhelming amount of micromanagement
  • Confusing UI and UX
  • Bland visuals besides planes

9. Rush Royale: Tower Defense TD

Rush Royale

This innovative twist on tower defense battles revolves around collecting and merging various unit cards to defend your castle. Figure out synergies within and across faction types to counter enemies in PvP and PvE modes. Heroes add further dimensions via their powerful abilities. Join clans for cooperation opportunities and participate in monthly events to keep the castle defense fresh.

A skill tree for each card enables further strategy customization. Matches quickly become intense Meta mastery and deck experimentation distinguish top players. Cross-clan tournaments unlock special rewards during seasonal events.

Pros
  • Innovative merge mechanic
  • Multiple engaging gameplay modes
  • Frequent new events
  • Card upgrade system
Cons
  • Unbalanced and buggy
  • Party mode matching issues
  • Randomness affects strategy

10. Train Station 2 – Build Railroads in US & Europe

Train Station 2

Transport goods across a sprawling rail network by dispatching a fleet of famous real-world trains in this relaxing simulator. Meet the requests of various contractors to keep your trains productive and profitable. Expand your stations to access more raw materials, while collecting new locomotives to upgrade.

Manage rail logistics solo or join events to collaborate with other railway enthusiasts. Advanced players optimize efficient rail yard layouts and streamlined trade routes. While easy to pick up, dedicated players can spend months expanding their transportation empire.

Pros
  • Zen railway construction and management
  • Hundreds of faithfully modeled trains
  • Engaging collection progression
  • Local leaderboards
Cons
  • Lack of locomotive variety
  • Events rely on group participation
  • Repetitive contract system

Conclusion

The iPhone features one of the most versatile libraries of premium strategy titles available on mobile devices. Fast, polished performances allow smooth control for tower defense battles, building intricate railroads, or amassing entire armies for war campaigns.

Tactically lead civilizations, airlines, plants and even airport infrastructure to victory. With many of the titles offering deep social gaming interactions via competitive and cooperative online play, you may find yourself pivoting from formidable strangers to steadfast allies. Download one or all of these rich strategy adventures for endless gameplay that makes every move count.

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