Apple’s Mac computers or laptops may not seem like the first choice for a gamer, but that mindset is ever-so-slightly outdated. These days, owners of a MacBook or another Mac-based computer are able to indulge in their favorite games whenever they want.
The stereotype that Macs are no good for gaming started many years ago and it hasn’t quite been put back where it belongs — in the fiction section. Modern Macs can handle all of the latest titles on ultra settings, so you don’t have to feel limited in your choice of games. In fact, the sky’s the limit — and maybe the depth of your wallet.
Fortunately, some games are completely free, and those too can be played on your Mac. What about the games that you need to pay for? With so many Mac games to choose from, it may be difficult to pick just a couple that you know you’ll want to play. This is where it gets tricky, but don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Below, we’re going to take a close look at some of the most popular and some of the best games for Mac.
What Are The Best Free Games For Mac?
While gaming on your Mac, you don’t have to spend your savings on games if you don’t want to. There are plenty of free-to-play titles that will still keep you occupied for days while not requiring you to pay anything to start playing them. Here are some of the best games for Mac that are free.
Type: Action, FPS, F2P, Survival, Battle Royale, Sandbox
Release Date: 2017
Do we even need to introduce Fortnite? Just in case you haven’t tried it out yet, we feel obliged to get you up to speed. Considering that it’s all the rage right now, we recommend that you download it immediately.
Fortnite is a game that is filled with amazing, slightly cartoon-like graphics. You can play it online with friends and other people. It’s a cooperative first-person shooter that introduces many new aspects to the tried-and-tested formula.
You can choose between three game modes: Save the World, Battle Royale, and Creative. Save the World requires you to fight off zombies and build fortifications. Battle Royale, the most popular one, throws you into an arena with up to 100 others and you have to fight until you’re the last person standing. Creative gives you the freedom to create worlds and battle arenas.
Fortnite is quite the phenomenon and it’s free for you to play. Check it out and don’t miss out on the action!
Type: FPS, Shooter, Competitive, Action, Military
Release Date: 2012
It’s difficult to compile a list of the best games for Mac or any other platform without mentioning CS:GO. Even eight years since its initial launch and nearly two decades since the inception of the Counter-Strike series, this game remains one of the most-watched games on Twitch.
This is a first-person shooter that allows you to play either by yourself or with your friends in a co-op mode against the enemy team. You’re automatically matched against enemies of similar experience. As CS:GO features a fully developed ranking system, you don’t have to worry about playing against pros when you’re just starting out.
The objective of the game is to be thrown right into the middle of combat. Depending on which team you end up in, you will have to cooperate with your buddies to both destroy the enemies and complete objectives that vary map to map.
Type: Card Game, Fantasy, Competitive, F2P
Release Date: 2014
Hearthstone is Blizzard’s response to Magic: The Gathering. Even six years after launch, you’ll find that it’s still as engaging as ever and has a very active community.
In Hearthstone, you can play through several game modes, either against others or against the AI. Your aim is to collect as many cards as possible, build the best deck out there, and progress through Hearthstone’s ranking system.
As you choose from between some very familiar faces (all of the heroes are characters from Warcraft III or World of Warcraft), you get to try out different classes. Every class has its own dedicated abilities and class-specific cards. There are also cards that can be used by every player.
You can keep playing this game for free, but it does have a bit of a pay-to-win aspect. You can buy the cards with in-game money or with real currency. However, many players get quite far & do well without spending a penny.
Type: F2P, World War II, Simulation, Vehicular, Multiplayer
Release Date: 2013
War Thunder is a so-called MMO — massively multiplayer online game. This means that you take part in a game that involves people from all over the world.
This is a game that costs nothing to play, so you can start without buying it. The catch? There are in-game purchases, also referred to as microtransactions, that you may want to buy to give yourself an edge or to simply enjoy the game a bit more.
Set in a military setting, War Thunder is dedicated to armored vehicles such as tanks, aviation craft, and naval craft. It’s set in the times of World War II and the Cold War. Depending on the vehicle that you play, you may contribute by defending your team or chasing down one of your opponents.
War Thunder offers days of engaging gameplay that challenges you to strategize and keeps you glued to your Mac for hours on end.
Type: F2P, Hero Shooter, First-Person Shooter, Multiplayer, Action, Humor
Release Date: 2007
We know that the release date may be a big no-no to some people, but hear us out. Team Fortress 2 is a game that continues to be amazing & enjoyed by thousands despite being thirteen years old.
TF2 is filled with humor and is, in a way, an inspiration behind titles such as Fortnite. It features amazing, cartoon-ish graphics and a cast of unforgettable heroes that you can play. You’re able to choose between nine different classes, all of which have their own unique abilities.
You will be placed in one of the teams, RED or BLU, and thrown into a map where you will fight the opposing team while completing various combat-based objectives. You can do that while enjoying many different game modes. Whether you’re into casual playing or being one of the best gamers ever, you will do well in TF2.
Team Fortress 2 is, most of all, lots and lots of fun. It can offer quick, snappy gameplay that still keeps you entertained for days.
Type: F2P, MMORPG, Fantasy, Adventure, Open World
Release Date: 2012
The Lord of the Rings saga doesn’t require much in the way of introduction. You’ve definitely at least heard of Tolkien’s legendary books and the Oscar-worthy movies that followed. One of the most-loved games set in the LotR universe is this one — the MMORPG version of Lord of the Rings.
The graphics may look a little dated, but they still manage to provide some strikingly breathtaking visuals that teleport you right into Middle-earth. You’ll love that you can play many different characters. Choose from amongst races such as humans, elves, orcs, dwarves, trolls, and more.
You’re also able to visit the zones we’ve seen in the movies, such as Lothlorien or the Mines of Moria. The world is wonderfully open and laid out for you and your friends to explore in this massively multiplayer online game.
You can level up your character, join others in skirmishes and raids, work on your professions, and even play as a servant of Sauron! There’s no end to the possibilities in LotR Online, which is why we recommend it as one of the best games for Mac that are free-to-play.
What Are The Best Games For Mac in 2020?
If you’d asked this question ten years ago, the answers may have been somewhat limited. These days, the selection of the best Mac games is almost the same as the ones that are available on Windows or Linux. This means that you can truly pick and choose from amongst the best Mac games.
To save you time, we’ve picked out a couple of the best games for Mac. Check them out below!
Type: Adventure, Indie, Simulation
Release Date: 2016
Don’t Starve Together is a fairly new title that has recently developed quite the following! This isn’t actually the first Mac game in the series. It’s a sequel to the highly popular wilderness survival game Don’t Starve that was released back in 2013. With its highly immersive gameplay, it is sometimes referred to as the best game for Mac right now. Even if it’s not THE best, it’s definitely one of the best Mac games, so you should definitely check it out.
You follow a scientist who goes by the name of Wilson. You find yourself in a dark, terrifying world, in which you must survive for as long as possible. Your job, as the player, is to keep Wilson alive. You have to keep him healthy, fed, and sane as you deal with supernatural enemies that plague the world the game is set in.
You’re thrown right into the heat of battle and expected to manage on your own. That’s part of the genre this game belongs to, as survival games tend to cut back on the tutorials and let you learn by doing.
Type: Strategy, History, Adventure, Simulation
Release Date: 2016
Some games are just so breathtaking that they stay with you forever. Civilization is a series of games that, for many people, manages to do just that. This is a favorite Mac game for hundreds of thousands of players all around the globe. What makes it so special?
Your goal in Civ VI is, as the name itself suggests, to create and develop a civilization. You will start from scratch with a village, set somewhere a long time ago, usually thousands of years. You will then see your civilization progress through many millennia.
You will aim to dominate the world by being the greatest of civilizations. This can be judged on things such as military domination, cultural influence, land owned, or technological superiority.
This latest installment in the series has it all: a gorgeous soundtrack, beautiful graphics, and engaging gameplay. It’s a real time sink, but in the best possible way.
Type: MMORPG, Fantasy, Open-World, Action
Release Date: 2004
You’ve almost certainly heard of World of Warcraft. WoW is the parent of all MMORPGs and one of the best Blizzard Entertainment games. Blizzard is the company behind the Battle.net platform. If you haven’t gotten addicted to it yet, this is a great time to try it on your Mac.
You can choose between one of the two factions in WoW: the Horde and the Alliance. The opposite faction becomes your enemy, but PvP doesn’t have to be the focus of your game. You can level up your character, learn professions, join raids, and more.
WoW allows you to play with many other players at once, sometimes over 40 at a time. It comes in two versions: World of Warcraft and World of Warcraft Classic. Classic is the exact same version of the game from 15 years ago, while the main game continues to receive regular updates.
WoW is free to try out, but you have to buy it if you want to progress past level 20. You also have to pay a monthly subscription. However, most players receive a lot of bang for their buck, because this is a game you can play for hours without even realizing it.
Type: Puzzle, Co-op, 3D Platformer, Humor, Sci-fi, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2011
Portal 2, much like Civilization, is a game that doesn’t really require an introduction. While it’s no longer new, it still remains one of the most played Apple Mac games on Steam and it continues to draw in more players.
This game can be played by yourself or with a friend through the well-designed co-op option. It features a rich story that is, by now, a classic: filled with humor, twists and turns, and iconic characters. Most of all, Portal’s gameplay has the potential to keep you entertained for hours on end as you solve the various puzzles & keep on playing for a long time.
This game sends you on a journey through a sci-fi world filled with puzzles. You progress through the story by placing portals to get around. This sounds simple on the surface but is really quite challenging in the later stages of the game.
Portal is an experience that we recommend to each and every gamer, as it is definitely one of the best Mac games of all time.
Type: RPG, Open World, Turn-Based, Co-op, Strategy, Fantasy
Release Date: 2017
Larian Studios, the developers behind Divinity: Original Sin 2, have truly outdone themselves with this fantastic new sequel to their (also wildly successful) Divinity: Original Sin. We won’t be exaggerating if we say that this is a must-play for every single fan of roleplaying games.
Divinity, in the true spirit of RPGs, gives you the room to choose what type of character you want to play. You can take your pick from between several pre-made characters, each one with differing backstories, stats, and abilities. Alternatively, you can create your own hero based on what you like the most and choose its race, gender, stats, and origin story at the beginning of the game.
You’re not alone on your journey through Divinity 2. You can recruit up to three companions along the way, which you can then switch to whenever you’re in combat. This is done in a turn-based manner.
The game is set in a fantasy world and takes place hundreds of years after the original Divinity. Your job is to defeat evil forces as you progress through the beautifully crafted world, leveling up your characters and engaging in complex combat.
Type: Farming Simulator, RPG, Life Simulator, Indie, Wholesome, RPG, Co-op
Release Date: 2016
Developed in its entirety over four years by Concerned Ape, this game is truly one of a kind. It’s a labor of love, and you can really tell. For a low price, you get a game that you’re bound to like & keep playing even when it’s time to go to bed.
In Stardew Valley, you start the game as a disgruntled corporate worker who decides to move to the country when you inherit your grandfather’s farm. The farm, when you arrive, is in a bad state and doesn’t bring you any profit.
As you progress through the game, you will grow all kinds of crops, make the big bucks, improve your home, build huge barns for your farm animals, and also aid the local community center with a series of quests. You will also enjoy the rich storyline as you befriend the locals, find love, and even start a family.
Stardew Valley is an open-ended game that you can play for days on end. It’s a relaxing, highly engaging gaming experience that we truly recommend to each and every player.
Frequently Asked Questions
In our review of the best games for Mac, we want to be as comprehensive as needed to guide you on your quest for new games. Let’s go through some of the questions you may have.
Why Mac is bad for gaming?
Many people claim that Apple Macs are bad for gaming. In some ways, they are not exactly wrong. It’s true that your Mac may not be able to deliver the same kind of performance as a top-notch gaming PC or gaming laptop would. So what exactly is the problem with Apple Mac for gaming?
It all comes down to the fact that Macs are not, in fact, gaming computers. Apple doesn’t market them that way either. They have a different set of specs and are more suited for work, browsing the internet, school work, watching movies, and other similar tasks. However, modern Apple Macs can handle most games very well even despite their technical limitations.
Another reason why many people prefer to buy a gaming PC is that Macs have a very limited upgradeability. You won’t be able to upgrade your Mac much, whereas a gaming desktop has components that can be swapped in and out whenever you like.
The bottom line is: Macs are not designed for gaming, but they still make a viable gaming station if you prefer OSX over Windows or Linux.
What Steam games work on Mac?
Not every title that you’ve played on Windows will be available on OSX. However, more and more devs move with the times and port their games to OSX over time. Even if not all games are available on Macs from launch, they do eventually make their way onto Apple’s signature operating system.
Fortunately, Steam is a very easy-to-use platform that makes it simple for you to filter out games that do not support MacOSX. Simply head to the Steam Store and look for games available for macOS.
In case you don’t have time to browse through thousands of games to find the one you like, I suggest you check out our review of the best Steam multiplayer games.
Are Steam games really free?
As you’ve seen in our review of the best games for Mac, some Steam games are actually free-to-play. For most of these titles, there’s no hidden catch that forces you to later pay for the game once you’ve tried it out. You can usually play these titles indefinitely without payments. How do they make any money, you might ask? The answer is simple enough: through microtransactions.
Microtransactions are a blanket term used to describe all in-game real-life money purchases. This is common in games such as CS:GO and Fortnite. These games are free-to-play, but you can get yourself new skins, characters, weapons, and more if you pay for it.
Some games only offer microtransactions that have cosmetic benefits, such as a cooler looking character or a fun vehicle model. Other games, referred to in gaming communities as Pay-to-Win, sell items or characters that give you a real advantage over others. In these games, you may find yourself falling behind if you don’t invest even just a little bit of money.
If you own a Mac, you know full-well how versatile it is. Macs are loved for their reliability, user-friendly interface, and multi-platform connectivity such as access to the App Store.
Back in the day, Macs were really not suited for gaming, but as technology advances, Apple puts more emphasis on the components they pick for their Mac computers. Thanks to this, Macs keep up well. Now, gamers all over the world can enjoy their favorite titles without needing to invest thousands of dollars into a gaming PC.
Don’t let anything hold you back — check out some of the best games for Macs and delve into a whole world of fun!