Apple: 'Super Mario Run' Top Free Game of 2017, But Not Game of the Year

Three of Apple's four 2017 trends touch on gaming

Super Mario Run was the most popular free game on iPhone and iPad in 2017, Apple announced this morning, but the Nintendo title didn't win the company's game of the year. That honor went to Splitter Critters, a puzzle game that the editorial team at Apple described as "pure magic."

"Everything about Spliter Critters radiates imagination and care," according to the post in the App Store.

Along with naming its Game of the Year and App of the Year (Calm), Apple Editorial folks also detailed what they call the four big trends of the year, several of which are tied to gaming.

The top trend, according to Apple is augmented reality. Under a section entitled "A less virtual reality," the team noted that AR has recently come to millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world and that it has the "potential to fundamentally change the world around ..." The team also writes that with the introduction of AR, gaming will never be the same.

Gaming is a much more significant part of the team's second trend pick: competition in real time. This trend is all about competitive gaming online through your iPhone or iPad. While the team calls out both Clash Royale and Hearthstone as leaders in this space, they also noted that the "sheer number of new multiplayer experiences makes it our definitive 2017 trend."

The third trend is about apps that help with meditation, mental health and stress reduction. And the final trend is about the reinvention of reading, which also includes things like choose your own adventure-style games.

Along with naming editorial picks for apps, games and trends, Apple also released it's lists of most popular free and paid games on both iPhone and iPad for 2017:

Top Free iPhone Games
1. Super Mario Run
2. 8 Ball Pool™
3. Snake VS Block
4. Ballz
5. Word Cookies!
6. Subway Surfers
7. Episode!
8. Rolling Sky
9. Block! Hexa Puzzle
11. Solitaire·
12. Bowmasters - Multiplayer Game
13. Color Switch
14. Piano Tiles 2™(Don't Tap The White Tile 2)
15. Choices: Stories You Play
16. Roll the Ball® - slide puzzle
17. Clash Royale
19. Word Connect
20. Candy Crush Saga

Top Paid iPhone Games
1. Heads Up!
2. Minecraft
3. Bloons TD 5
4. Plague Inc.
6. Geometry Dash
7. Monument Valley 2
8. The Game of Life
9. The Escapists
10. Assassin's Creed Identity
11. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
12. True Skate
13. RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic
14. Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
15. Papa's Freezeria To Go!
16. Five Nights at Freddy's
17. Hitman Sniper
18. Terraria
19. Reigns
20. Tiny Wings

Top Free iPad Games
1. Super Mario Run
3. Rolling Sky
4. Word Cookies!
5. Bowmasters - Multiplayer Game
6. Subway Surfers
9. Piano Tiles 2™(Don't Tap The White Tile 2)
10. 8 Ball Pool™
11. Block! Hexa Puzzle
12. Clash Royale
13. Roll the Ball® - slide puzzle
14. Color Switch
15. Minecraft: Story Mode
16. Cooking Fever
17. Hill Climb Racing 2
18. Minion Rush
19. Episode!
20. Snake VS Block

Top Paid iPad Games
1. Minecraft
2. Geometry Dash
3. Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location
4. Bloons TD 5 HD
5. The Escapists
6. Terraria
7. Five Nights at Freddy's
8. Goat Simulator
9. Monument Valley 2
10. Heads Up!
11. The Game of Life
12. Scribblenauts Unlimited
13. Five Nights at Freddy's 2
14. Goat Simulator PAYDAY
15. Octodad: Dadliest Catch
16. Goat Simulator Waste of Space
17. Plague Inc.
18. LEGO® Jurassic World™
19. Assassin's Creed Identity
20. SpongeBob Moves In