Apple’s App Store Editorial team has released their picks for the best games and apps in 2023.

This year, nearly 40 apps and games are nominated across ten categories, including the big ones like iPhone/iPad/Mac App of the Year and iPhone/iPad/Mac App of the Year. Shoutout to some Aussies being nominated this year, like Witch Beam for Unpacking.

Firstly, let’s go over the game nominations this year. 

Apple Arcade Game of the Year Finalists

  • Cityscapes, for inspiring players with a sustainable and purposeful twist.
  • Hello Kitty Island Adventure, for taking players on a grand adventure with adorable creatures.
  • stitch., for bringing the meditative art of embroidery to more users.

iPhone Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPhone Game of the Year category invited players to new adventures with lush graphics on iPhone:

  • Afterplace, for creating a retro role-playing game with intuitive controls.
  • Honkai: Star Rail, for building a space fantasy adventure with cinematic animation.
  • Vampire Survivors, for inspiring a new rogue-like action genre.

iPad Game of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPad Game of the Year category enchanted gamers with visual storytelling, intuitive controls and absurd obstacles:

  • Eggy Party, for crafting whimsical and joyful experiences for users.
  • Lost in Play, for delivering charming visuals and gameplay for all ages.
  • Pocket City 2, for inviting players to build from their imagination.

Mac Game of the Year Finalists

  • ELEX II, for transporting players to a dynamic Science Fantasy world.
  • Lies of P, for delivering smooth gameplay with an alternative twist on a classic tale.
  • Return to Monkey Island, for building on its iconic point-and-click adventure.


“We are excited about the achievements of these App Store Award finalists who are helping users around the world to explore their interests in drawing, design, video editing, education, music, time management, working out, hiking, playing games, and so much more,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “These finalists are all incredibly talented and have put enormous effort into creating these great apps and games. We are inspired by their accomplishments and look forward to announcing the winners of the App Store Awards later this month.”

Here are the rest of the finalists for this year.

iPhone App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPhone App of the Year category helped users discover more ways to explore and learn new skills:

  • AllTrails, for helping the world find their way outside. 
  • Duolingo, for bringing learning to the masses. 
  • Flighty, for keeping travellers on time and stress-free at the airport.

iPad App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the iPad App of the Year category helped users tap into their creativity through multiple mediums:

  • Concepts, for creating innovative drawing tools and dynamic colour palettes.
  • DaVinci Resolve, for creating a more portable video editing experience.
  • Prêt-à-Makeup, for bringing makeup designs to life for all beauty enthusiasts.

Mac App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Mac App of the Year category inspired focus and creativity for users:

  • Linearity Curve, for crafting innovative design tools for pros and aspiring designers.
  • Photomator, for making the photo editing workflow faster and simpler.
  • Portal, for immersing users in beautiful landscapes and spatial audio.

Apple TV App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Apple TV App of the Year category brought stunning experiences to the biggest screen in the home:

  • Bugsnax, for capturing mystery and charm through its gameplay.
  • FitOn, for offering a range of workout experiences with popular trainers and celebrities.
  • MUBI, for bringing quality cinema to users’ homes.

Apple Watch App of the Year Finalists

Finalists in the Apple Watch App of the Year category made it even easier to get all the information users need right from their wrist:

  • Planny, for intelligently helping users stay on top of tasks.
  • SmartGym, for creating smart and targeted workouts at any skill level.
  • Tide Guide, for offering water enthusiasts real-time marine conditions.

Cultural Impact Finalists

Through powerful missions, finalists in the Cultural Impact category fostered new ways to connect and celebrate the world’s diversity and wonder.

  • balance, for making menopause support more inclusive and accessible to all.
  • Copilot, for simplifying personal finance. 
  • Endling, for inspiring players to focus on environmental impact. 
  • Finding Hannah, for connecting women across generations through gameplay. 
  • How to Say Goodbye, for helping users process difficult emotions. 
  • Pok Pok, for helping kids learn, explore and experiment in a digital playroom. 
  • Proloquo, for supporting communication without speech.
  • Rebel Girls, for turning bedtime stories into a discovery of heroic women throughout time. 
  • Too Good To Go, for helping to reduce food waste at restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets.
  • Unpacking, for crafting soul-soothing puzzles.