12 best Mac games: top OS X titles to satisfy your gaming itch


Introduction

best mac games

Update: At number 12, we’ve added an open-world sandbox game that may have driven past your radar.

The idea that Macs can’t do gaming is an outdated one. Sure, you can’t crack open one of Apple’s computers and slot a Nvidia GTX 980 inside, but today’s iMacs and MacBooks fare much better than they used to thanks to improvements in Intel’s integrated graphics solutions and AMD’s increasingly powerful mobile GPUs.

Heck, you could even say that casual gaming is more accessible on the Mac thanks to the wide variety of titles available in the App Store. And, though it’s nowhere near as eclectic as its Windows equivalent, Steam’s library on OS X is growing every day.

Click on to discover the best Mac games available on the Mac App store and elsewhere.

Gabe Carey also contributed to this article

  • Once you’re done, check out the best PC games

1. XCOM 2

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

If turn-based strategy is your thing, XCOM 2 is one of the best in its class. Improving upon its predecessor, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 bears the same ostensibly hopeless setting and makes things only more oppressive by randomizing systems like weapon mods, soldier stat boosts, special ammo, and more in an attempt to throw you off. By trying anything to keep you from survival, XCOM 2 is among the most domineering games on the App Store, and it’s all the better as a result.

2. Undertale

best mac games

How to get it: Steam

As you can probably tell by the graphics, Undertale is an ode to old-school role-playing games akin the earlier Final Fantasy games on the SNES. Heavy on humor and light on system requirements, it’s a perfect fit for OS X whether you’re on a MacBook or a Mac Pro. If you like cleverly designed boss battles and despise linearity, Undertale is dressed to impress.

Don’t let the pixel art style fool you – Undertale is a modern game in every respect save forits visuals. In fact, its rendition of the classic “New Game Plus” mode, which faces you against the consequences of your actions in the previous go-around.

3. Homeworld Remastered

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Originally launched in 1999, the influence of real-time strategy classic Homeworld runs deep in the DNA of today’s fantasy RTS games. Homeworld went beyond the genre’s traditionally flat battlefields by allowing you to position your fleet of spaceships anywhere in a 3D map of space. The extra freedom requires a whole new level of tactical nous, which you’ll need if you want to get through its 30-hour campaign without tearing your hair out. When you’re not overseeing ship formations and tactics, you’ll be monitoring fuel levels, harvesting resources and fighting against gravitational pull to keep your squad together.

4. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Even a decade later, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic may be one of the best Star Wars game of all time, thanks to a choose-your-own-path approach that lets you customize a character, make moral choices along the way, and explore the galaxy’s ample depth as you desire. It looks and feels a little dated at this point, but it remains the most thorough franchise realization yet.

5. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

A truly beloved adventure games classic, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition brings the 1990 entry to the Mac App Store with a fresh coat of paint, thanks to enhanced visuals and full voiceover work. You can always switch to the old graphics at any point, and however you play, it’s really the rich humor and smart puzzles that make this an enduring favorite.

6. Limbo

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Set in a mysterious and monochromatic world, Limbo sends you off into the shadowy 2D space without explanation or prompt, tasking you with guiding a young boy through a series of environmental puzzles. Also one of our best indie games, Limbo is a gripping puzzle/platform adventure that mesmerizes plenty within just a few hours’ span, and the one-of-a-kind presentation really makes it memorable.

7. Alien: Isolation – The Collection

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

If you like survival horror games or movies then you’re in luck because Alien: Isolation combines the best of both worlds. By taking the beloved setting and characters of the classic Alien movie franchise, we’re greeted with a delightfully terrifying experience reliant on stealth and jump scares to tell its story.

In fact, Creative Assembly paid so much respect to the Alien movies that Isolation almost makes up for the disaster that was Aliens: Colonial Marines.

8. Braid

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Braid takes many of its cues from classic platform adventures like Super Mario Bros, but Nintendo’s portly plumber never mined the kind of emotional territory that reveals itself over the course of this puzzle-tinged affair. Gorgeous hand-painted visuals and contemplative storytelling help frame the action, which uses a time-manipulating effect to shake up the platform approach.

9. Doom 3

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Itching for a bit of big-budget ultra-violence? Doom 3 is the culmination of id Software’s legendary first-person shooter franchise, sending you running through dark corridors filled with all sorts of horrifying beasts. Several years after its release, it’s no longer the flashiest shooter around, but it still delivers an effective burst of horror at a pretty fantastic price.

10. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

An off-beat but gripping pixel adventure, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP finds you exploring a stunningly imagined fantasy world while you solve puzzles, take in the quirky dialogue, and even engage in occasional boss battles. It’s difficult to understand in moments, but that actually adds to its odd charm, making for one seriously memorable quest.

11. Cities: Skylines

best mac games

How to get it: Steam

The best city builder is now available on Mac. Developed by the team behind transport management sim Cities in Motion, Cities: Skylines sees you take care of everything from building infrastructure to macro and micro management, land planning, traffic routes and collecting garbage. A stunning-looking game, Skylines makes creating a bustling metropolis great fun from start to finish.

12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

best mac games

How to get it: App Store

Though it might be a stretch to expect Grand Theft Auto V on macOS any time soon, the next best thing is available directly through the app store. Originally released back in 2012, Sleeping Dogs launched to critical success because of its Batman Arkham-like combat and innovative leveling system unusually implemented in an open-world game. Unlike similar sandbox games like GTA and Watch Dogs, Sleeping Dogs exhibits a unique settings outside of those inspired by today’s United States. As a result, it manages to feel fresh despite the obvious parallels.

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