Got an iPhone 5? Get these games first

Ben Silverman
Plugged In

If you're among the millions who pre-ordered an iPhone 5 or braved the elements (and friendly ridicule) to stand in line to get one in person, what are you planning on doing with it?

Tons of stuff, we'd reckon, but almost certainly you'll want to test out that fancy 4-inch Retina screen and speedy A6 processor by checking out some new games for your new toy. Sadly, EA's Real Racing 3 -- the one game Apple chose to show off the device's gaming potential during their iPhone 5 press conference -- won't be out of the shop until later this year. Try these eight showstoppers instead.

Wild Blood
Gameloft, $6.99

King Arthur's court gets a mobile makeover in this gorgeous hack 'n slash action romp. You play as a demon-slicing version of Sir Lancelot out to stop your mad king from unleashing hell. You know, just like the books! Except  the books weren't powered by the Unreal Engine 3, which helps make Wild Blood one of the most graphically rich games ever to grace an iOS device. Better yet, it's already been fully-optimized for the new screen on your iPhone 5, so get hacking.

BitMonster, $4.99

This offbeat mix of adventure and role-playing is getting lots of buzz this week, and for good reason -- it's really cool. You'll help botany student Lili explore a strange island, leveling up her abilities in order to perform better in the game's curious 'non-combat' flower-picking sequences. Also optimized for the iPhone 5 (it works on some older devices as well), the game's delightful delivery and imaginative design make it an easy buy for both adults and kids.

The Walking Dead
Telltale Games, $4.99 per episode

We've already gushed plenty about Telltale's riveting take on The Walking Dead, but if somehow you've still not checked it, it's time to get some brains and grab the iOS version. It's a five-part episodic journey through a world devastated by a zombie outbreak, but carves its own path through the hit franchise with new characters and innovative storytelling. Only the first two episodes are currently available for iPhone users, but they pack more emotional punch than just about any game you'll play on a mobile device.

Fieldrunners 2
Subatomic, $2.99

It's not the most technically complex game you can own for your iPhone, but it's undoubtedly one of the best. The long-awaited sequel to the game that turned tower-defense gameplay into an iOS staple, Fieldrunners 2 is chock full of towers to build, money to earn, and runners to defeat. Fantastic cartoonish visuals keep the action fast and frantic even when zoomed in, though we don't recommend doing too much of that -- it's a fair share harder than the original.

Zynga, $2.99

Yes, it's from social game kingpin Zynga, but no, it's not a farm game. Or a city builder. Or a ripoff of a farm game or a city builder. It's Horn, an original third-person action adventure that drops you into the boots of a blacksmith's apprentice out to -- you guessed it -- save the world. Bursting with charm and packing console-quality graphics thanks to the Unreal Engine 3, Horn is something of a poor man's The Legend of Zelda. For only three bucks, it's a steal of an iPhone 5 showpiece.

Real Racing 2
Firemint, $0.99

Had EA actually launched Real Racing 3 alongside the iPhone 5, there would be no need to grab this version. But for a mere 99 cents, you won't find a better simulation substitute while you wait for the next game. It's a stunner, boasting spot-on physics and intricately detailed, high-octane beasts, including formidable rides like the Shelby GT-500 and the blazingly fast McLaren MP4-12C.

N.O.V.A. 3
Gameloft, $6.99

Gameloft might not be the most trailblazing mobile game creator in the world, but you can't argue with their dedication to bringing console-quality games to iOS devices. The N.O.V.A. series is their take on Halo, though the latest version feels a lot like EA's hit shooter Crysis, too. It also feels -- and plays -- like the best first-person shooter on iOS, pushing graphical boundaries while adding rare iOS features like multiplayer voice chat. It's too fancy to run well on older iOS devices, but it's a great match for your iPhone 5.

Infinity Blade II
Chair Entertainment, $2.99

There's a good chance you've already spent plenty of quality time with this action-packed graphical powerhouse, but it's still a top choice for showing off new hardware. It's also enjoyed lots of cool updates since its launch, including massive 'ClashMob' events and two new expansion packs. Consider this a baseline test for the improved performance of the iPhone 5.

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