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App Store Awards 2021 – Apple ranks the best apps and games

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Apple recently revealed its award winners for best music and podcasts of the year, but arguably even more important is its selections for the best of the App Store. Well, wait no longer! Fifteen app developers have been announced as winners of this year’s App Store Awards, and there are some fantastic apps on the list.

Apple’s global editorial team says they were looking for apps that deliver “exceptional quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact.” No big deal, then.

The choices didn’t have to be new apps, either, so long as they are continuing to iterate and improve. Several of the winners are apps we’ve been recommending for years here, so it’s nice to see them recognized this week.

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Apps of the Year

Toca Life World (as featured in our child’s play roundup) won the coveted iPhone App of the Year award. The kids’ app that encourages exploration and expression has been around for a decade but just keeps getting better. Its, expansive, diverse, creative world sets the bar for educational children’s fare.

On iPad, the App of the Year prize went to, video editor LumaFusion – a feature-packed but easy-to-understand app that really shows what’s possible to achieve without a conventional computer in sight. It’s equally proficient for quick edits for social media as it is for pro-level movie making.


Slick note-taking app Craft was the Mac pick – we also raved about the iPhone and iPad version when it launched earlier this year. Sports streaming app DAZN was chosen as the best Apple TV app, while our long-time forecasting favorite Carrot Weather earned an award for its exemplary Apple Watch app.

Games of the Year

This year’s winners in gaming were high-budget affairs with showy graphics. Not much room for independent developers here, sadly – but admittedly the following picks are all very impressive in their own right.

The iPhone and iPad Game of the Year awards went to League of Legends: Wild Rift and Marvel Future Revolution respectively. Both games take existing franchises and convert them into experiences that play great in a mobile/tablet format, and both games are free to play (with optional IAP) if you want to check them out.

Marvel Future Revolution

Elsewhere, Apple honored the latest remake of puzzle classic Myst as the best Mac game, and strategic sci-fi western Space Marshals 3 as the best on Apple TV. Lastly, Fantasian was deemed the best game to play on Apple Arcade this year – for good reason. It’s an epic RPG set against a backdrop of handmade dioramic backgrounds, from the mind behind Final Fantasy.

Trends of the Year

It’s not just about the best apps, though. Several more were deemed noteworthy for the ways they shaped our lives and brought us together these past months.

To that end, Apple also gave awards to social deduction game Among Us, easy-to-use design tool Canva, women’s social support network Peanut, stigma-busting dating app Bumble, and Black-owned restaurant directory EatOkra.