Five great games that push the iPad 3's Retina display

All work and no play make Jason a sad boy. Here are five games that I'm thoroughly enjoying on the iPad 3's new Retina display
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

There are a lot of reasons to love the iPad 3, but the most compelling -- by far -- is the screen. The Retina panel in Apple's third-generation table is nothing short of amazing and you really have to see it to appreciate it. Specs, pictures and Internet video simply can't capture all of its pixels, and they don't do it justice.

To take full advantage of the iPad 3's new retina screen you need apps that push its 3 million plus pixels to the limit. Here are a couple of games that I recommend if you want to see the full potential of the iPad 3:

Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy ($4.99, App Store)

This flight simulator from Bandai Namco is simply mind-blowing on the iPad 3. The graphics, playability and utter realism are a thing to behold. The aircraft, sky, clouds and terrain are wonderfully realistic and, more importantly, the game is easy to pick up and just play. It features several tutorials to get you up-to-speed quickly and it's simply to touch Play > Dogfight to jump right into the action. In my first night of flight training I actually had to exit to home screen after a few too many barrel rolls and high-speed loops made me feel a little queasy.

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation ($0.99, App Store)

This insanely visceral first person shooter features an apocalyptic battle for the freedom of the United States that's been updated for the Retina-capable iPad 3. New high resolution graphics make MC3 one of the best FPSs on a mobile device. Engage in a solo campaign or join up to 12 players in 6 exclusive maps and 7 different modes. I'm not normally an FPS-guy but for $1 it's hard to beat (it's normally $6.99). One downside is that MC3 isn't yet optimized for the 1080p Apple TV and sometimes displays in a quarter of the TV when playing in AirPlay mode.

Real Racing 2 HD ($6.99, App Store)

This driving sim keeps getting better and better. Like flight simulators, driving sims are a natural fit for the iPad's accelerometer controls. Hold the iPad like a steering wheel to steer and tilt it forward to accelerate and backward to brake. RR2 features 30 licensed cars, 15 stunning locations and over 10 hours of races. It's so enjoyable that I could play it for hours. The March 15 update features full 2048 x 1536 Retina support with 4x anti-aliasing and it's absolutely killer on the the big screen with AirPlay.

Infinity Blade II ($6.99, App Store)

While I'm positively salivating to play the third 'Blade installment (Dungeons) which is optimized for the iPad 3, Epic Games will only say that it's "coming soon." In the mean time, IB2 has been updated for the Retina display in the iPad 3 and is worth the $7 just for the stunning environments and beautifully rendered exotic locations. This sword-fighing masterpiece features multiple classes of weapons, armor and spells and an intuitive pick-up and play interface that makes it the reference mobile game for the iOS platform.

Flight Control Rocket ($0.99, App Store)

There's more than one space-themed game available for the iPad. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the original Flight Control on the iPad with my daughter that I had high expectations for the sequel. This update to Firemint's popular path-drawing game features an updated sci-fi theme with 15 spacecraft with unique abilities and characteristics. My only nit is that Flight Control Rocket is really a freemium game that EA's charging $1 for. If they're going to bloat it with coin spam it should be free. I would prefer to pay $3 of $4 to end the incessant pitching to purchase more coins. I hope that EA doesn't ruin Firemint's Real Racing 3 in the same manner.

What are your favorite iPad games?

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