The arrival of Apple Silicon has refreshed Apple’s computer lineup in ways few thought possible. Better battery life and more power are great, but the best Mac games can really push the new hardware to its limit. Whether you’re looking to create a digital family and keep them happy, build a city in your own image, conquer the world, or get sucked into a meaty RPG, there’s a surprising number of excellent games available on Mac.
We say “surprising” because Macs have long lagged behind Windows for gaming. The last time we produced this list, space sim Elite Dangerous was on here — a game that removed its Mac version to avoid being constrained. Still, with Apple showing Resident Evil: Village at its recent hardware event, it’s clear the potential for gaming is possible, and there are plenty to play right now.
Though some folks might have you believe that Macs (both desktops and laptops) aren’t meant for gaming, there are actually a ton of impressive titles to choose from.
Note: Make sure you double-check the system requirements for each game before you make a purchase.
Supergiant Games continues its winning streak with arguably the developer’s best game so far, Hades.
This dungeon crawler sees players step into the sandals of Hades’ son Zagreus in an attempt to break free of the underworld. Rather than something like Diablo, though, here runs are randomized — you’ll earn currency and bonuses for your next run, but each time you die you return to the start.
The best part of Hades is building overpowered character builds using the randomly generated boons and tools at your disposal, and it plays great on Mac.
With Apple Arcade, you get access to a huge plethora of exclusive titles available for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, and it starts at just $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. There’s no shortage of the best games on Apple Arcade.
Apple Arcade is also included in all levels of Apple One bundles, so you can even save some money if you use other Apple services like Apple Music, iCloud storage, and Apple TV+. You can also share your Apple Arcade subscription with up to six other people through Family Sharing for no additional cost.
The Sims 4
The iconic franchise’s latest entry has been out since 2014, but thanks to a nearly endless number of expansion packs it feels just as fresh in 2022. A sandbox for users to create characters and homes and live out their digital lives, The Sims 4’s base game is just as solid as it’s ever been — and just as all-consuming.
A word of warning, though — the Sims 4 on Steam doesn’t support macOS. You’ll need to use EA’s own Origin store.
Grim Fandango: Remastered
If you played Broken Age on your iPad and want a more difficult challenge in the same vein, try this excellent re-release of a Double Fine favorite. The notoriously tricky puzzles may throw you for a loop, but it’s worth strong-arming your way through them (perhaps with the help of a Googled hint or two) for the sake of the storytelling and atmosphere.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV’s history is gaming legend, rising from the ashes of its original incarnation to become (for our money) the best MMORPG you’ll find on any platform.
While there’s a lot to learn (as is a tradition in the genre), whether you’re playing through its epic story alone or teaming up with friends, FFXIV just keeps on giving. It’s a love letter to gaming royalty, pulling in elements from many Final Fantasy games before it.
There’s a free trial, too, so you can try before you buy up to level 60. The Steam version doesn’t support macOS, though, so you’ll need to download it from Square.
SimCity may have been snuffed out by its 2012 reboot, but City Skylines lets you build your own city in your image just as well.
While there are plenty of additional content packs available for purchase, the base game is the best city-builder around, letting you manage infrastructure and expansion in an attempt to keep your citizens happy.
Whether you’re zoning new districts, zooming in to watch the traffic, or funding healthcare, there’s an awful lot to do and it’s always entertaining.
Football Manager 2022
Football (or soccer) is one of the most dramatic sports in the world, and no game captures that better than the Football Manager franchise.
The series has long been a mainstay of armchair tacticians (or should that be Mac-ticians?), but this year’s entry goes even further with a new custom dashboard and improved match engine that ensures games come to life on Apple hardware.
Between last-minute winners, deadline day signings, or putting your players through their paces in training, Football Manager has never been better.
Two Point Campus
The most recent addition to this list, Two Point Campus takes the formula of its predecessor Two Point Hospital, and applies it, as you may have guessed, to college life.
While things start simply, it’s not long before you’re building a magic school akin to Hogwarts, or helping your students overcome their local rivals at the (sadly) fictitious sport of Cheeseball.
It’s silly, but there’s plenty of depth and a great sense of humor throughout.
Endless Space 2
There is no shortage of spacefaring epics in gaming right now, but few are as grandiose as Endless Space 2.
The game channels another favorite on this list, Civilization, with “just one more turn” becoming a huge space battle, the chance to colonize a new planet, or new tech options to help build your galactic empire.
There are story tidbits strewn throughout, as well as the chance to make your own, and it all runs great on Mac.
This iconic franchise has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of decades, and Civilization VI is the culmination of everything developer Firaxis has learned.
Beginning in ancient times, it’s up to you to lead your nation through ever-advanced time periods while ensuring the happiness of your civilians, the strength of your military, and the development of your technology.
As with prior Civilization titles, it brings almost endless gameplay possibilities, letting players “win” via diplomatic means or by going to war. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time playing.
League of Legends
One of gaming’s most popular titles, League of Legends runs great on Mac — particularly with Apple Silicon via Rosetta.
With over 150 Champions to choose from, LoL is as competitive as they come but worth spending the time to master. Players work across a map, slaying minions and monsters to level up before taking on their opponents in fast-paced battles, and the tactical options range in the thousands.
If you’ve enjoyed Netflix’s Arcane, then here’s where it all started.
Total War: Warhammer III
Total War: Warhammer III takes the basics of Total War (deep combat with thousands of troops, tactical negotiations and sprawling worlds) and fuses them with the Warhammer franchise in a way that’s better than the prior two games.
With multiple playable races, each with their own interesting twists, a new Siege mechanic, and a lengthy campaign aimed at newcomers, there’s never been a better time to command Orcs, dragons, and sorcerers.
A recent update even added the option to bring the maps, races, and factions from the first two games into the third, making it a huge sandbox to play with.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Getting past the first few stages in Crypt of the Necrodancer is no easy feat, but the pulsing rhythms of this musical dungeon crawler will wash away any frustrations and lure you into giving it another go. Hop to and fro in time with the beat as you evade monsters and unlock new areas; you can even upload your own songs into the game if you don’t like the in-game soundtrack.
Pillars of Eternity
Much like Divinity: Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity is an RPG reminiscent of early 90s gaming; it has an isometric view, medieval magic, and lots of quests and narrative offshoots. However, Pillars has received more accolades for its narrative and its darker atmosphere; it does not include any multiplayer or cooperative elements, so if you want to go it alone and enjoy a more serious storyline, give Pillars a look.
Firewatch, at its core, is a mystery game set in the Wyoming wilderness. You play as Henry, a man who decided to give the simpler life a try by joining a fire lookout team. Set in 1989, you watch for smoke during a sweltering, dry summer, aided via radio by your supervisor, Delilah. However, something draws you out of your tower and into the woods, where you must explore the unknown wild, making choices that could make or break your relationship with Delilah.
This is a gorgeous game with a beautifully crafted open world, true-to-life characters, and a story that changes depending on the choices you make throughout your story. Cissy Jones, from the first season of The Walking Dead, plays Delilah, and Henry is portrayed by Rich Sommer of Mad Men fame.
If you’re looking for more than just a game — an experience — then Firewatch should be at the top of your to-play list. What starts as a simple game of watching for forest fires becomes a strange, twisty-turny, mystery-filled rabbit hole with new discoveries at every turn. It’s like a book you just can’t put down, which is why it’s one of the best Mac games.
Set 20 years after XCOM: Enemy Unknown (opens in new tab), XCOM 2 continues the turn-based tactics franchise in style, with much of the same gameplay that you love from the first one.
You’ll once again play as the Commander, who was in alien stasis following Earth’s surrender to the aliens until the beginning of the game. Once rescued by Central Officer Bradford, you’ll resurrect XCOM and go to town reclaiming Earth from the aliens, one turn at a time.
If you love a good turn-based tactics game and you also love games like Halo or Mass Effect or even the first XCOM game for Mac, definitely check this one out.
Life is Strange
Life is Strange is an episodic mystery game of sorts that has you playing as Max Caulfield, a photography student who randomly discovers that she can rewind time (saving her best friend’s life). The pair end up investigating the disappearance of a fellow student, while Max struggles with the realization that altering the past can have consequences in the future.
Essentially, you go through the entire game, making choices, and the choices you make can screw things up for you down the road or make life much easier (think Until Dawn). With well-crafted characters and a moving story, Life is Strange is for the folks who like a cinematic experience fraught with emotion (á la Heavy Rain). It’s highly acclaimed, making it one of the best Mac games, so it’s definitely one that you want to check out for yourself.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
This game may be a little old (like first-generation Xbox old), but it’s a classic, and the fact that it’s on the Mac is just fantastic. It’s 4,000 years before the Galactic Empire, and the Sith are just wiping out Jedi left, right, and central. So, of course, you’re the last hope of the Jedi, and you have to lead your brothers and sisters in arms in a last stand of sorts against the ultimate evil.
The cool part is you actually get to ultimately choose which side you want to be on, opting to conquer or save your fellow Jedi, using Force powers and sweet lightsaber moves all the way through. You get to customize your character, and they change as the game goes on, depending on the choices you make and your style of play (kinda like the Fable series).
If you love an action-packed romp around the cosmos and, of course, Star Wars, then definitely download this right now. Keep in mind that it is an older game, but if you grew up with it like I did, this will be a nostalgia-filled journey.
In Limbo, you play as a nameless boy who’s unsure of what happened to his sister, so you enter Limbo looking for her, A.K.A., the “edge of hell.” As the boy, you must journey through Limbo, as you encounter only a few other human characters who either attack you, run away, or are dead. You have to puzzle and platform your way to the end, and I’ll be honest: It’s rather unsettling.
Like, really unsettling.
There isn’t much for a soundtrack, aside from nature sounds and physical sounds of running, jumping, hits, and such. If you’re like a dark, creepy game with a very open ending that’s been hotly debated, then definitely check out Limbo. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever played, and the lack of a real narrative really gives it its atmosphere. (Watch out for that damn spider… BLECH.)
Darkest Dungeon is a very involved roguelike dungeon crawl with fantastic art and an exciting twist on the genre, centering on the stress of adventuring. If your characters’ stress levels get too high, you’re gonna have a bad time.
You’ll fight wave after wave of all sorts of ghouls in turn-based combat, simply trying to keep your party alive and calm. This game isn’t just about defeating monsters, but about defeating your party’s personal demons as well. You’ll have to chill out at taverns to keep everyone’s stress in check, camp to deliver pep talks, and save the characters you love from all-too meaningful permadeath.
Fans of Lovecraft will adore Darkest Dungeon for its great horror and awesome, hand-drawn art style that gives everything a gritty, visceral feel. If you like scary-ass RPGs, then check it out.
It doesn’t matter which platform you’re playing on; Portal 2 is hands-down one of the greatest video games of all time and definitely one of the best Mac games ever. It builds on the fun and weirdness of Portal from the Orange Box and throws you into a more fascinating story, with puzzles that never really feel like puzzles since you’re out of the testing chambers just trying to escape.
You once again play as Chell (the voiceless captive with the sweet boots and “stubborn will to live”) who is once again trying to escape the Facility, which she totally ruined years earlier. Wheatley, a personality core voiced by Stephen Merchant, revives Chell to escape the Facility with him, but all is not as it seems.
This game is incredibly atmospheric, often creepy and weird, as well as gut-bustingly hilarious. You’ll learn about the history of the ruined Facility, mainly from GLaDOS (in an unusual form) and voice recordings from Aperture Science founder Cave Johnson, voiced by the legend J.K. Simmons (the funniest part of the game).
Portal 2 also has a sweet multiplayer mode where you play as testing robots Peabody and Atlas, working with a partner to frustratingly solve testing chambers (you might lose friends over some of the more difficult levels).
If you’re at all into physics puzzles and hilarious, quirky games, then Portal 2 is not to be missed. Heck, even if you don’t like puzzle games, play it. You’ll be a better person for it. You can even download the stellar soundtrack for free.
Undertale is for those of you who are just sick and tired of having to murder innocent, repulsive monsters. If you’ve ever thought, “Why can’t I just talk to the monster instead?” then you should play Undertale.
In this indie RPG, you play as a child who has fallen into the Underground, which is a large, isolated region beneath the Earth’s surface, separated by a magical barrier. Along the way, you’ll meet monsters and have to face them in mini bullet hell combat, where you can choose to spare them instead of killing them. The choices you make affect the outcome of the game, including the story, dialogue, and the characters you meet, as you try and make your way back to the surface.
Undertale was released to excellent critical praise, garnering Game of the Year nods from multiple gaming publications. If you love a good top-down RPG, with fantasy elements and the ability to be a pacifist, then Undertale is excellent for feeling the feels or kicking some serious hiney.
Originally released in 1993, Myst was recently revamped for the Mac, so that you can explore the open world of Myst Island and its Ages in a gloriously rebuilt environment. The world is completely interactive, and you’ll have to discover and solve puzzles to find books containing access to all of the Ages.
The ending of the game changes depending on the choices you make, and you’ll be torn between helping one of two brothers or their father, with your own fate entirely unknown until it’s too late. Myst is an absolute classic, and the graphics update puts a modern spin on it, bringing the Myst you grew up with into the 21st Century.
If you love a classic puzzle game, a story filled with intrigue and twists, and open-world exploration games, then totally check out Myst.
Diablo III Eternal Collection
If you’re looking for a great dungeon crawler game that’s packed full of loot to find, then Diablo 3 should be right up your alley. The Eternal Collection has all of the DLC since the game’s release, including the additional character classes: Crusader and Necromancer.
You can enjoy Diablo 3 through the primary story campaign, or you can do the Adventure mode, which is a fast-paced mode that’s about leveling up your character quickly to the end-game content. As you’re slaying demons and other mischievous creatures, you’ll gain experience for levels, and there will be a ton of loot to find. The loot will help you tear through enemies easier, and you can customize your character with skills that suit your play style best.
While you can play Diablo 3 solo, it’s best played with some friends, and the difficulty scales with the number of players in a game. There is also Seasonal play, where you start fresh each season and compete with others all over the world to see who can climb the leaderboards for the fastest Rift runs.
I’ve put hundreds of hours into Diablo 3 across multiple platforms, and it’s one of my favorite dungeon crawler games. It’s hands-down one of the best Mac games you can get.
What the Golf?
One of the most fun and wacky games out there is What the Golf? This is a golf game for people who hate golf. The levels are filled with ridiculous and outrageous obstacles that are guaranteed to give you a good laugh when you hit them with a golf ball. And yeah, there is a level with a bunch of vehicles, which may or may not explode once your golf ball hits them. What the Golf? also has some fun physics involved too, so make sure to give it a shot!
Divinity: Original Sin 2
While its isometric perspective may give the impression of a Diablo-esque ARPG, Divinity Original Sin 2 is actually closer to a tabletop RPG than you may expect.
There’s a deep story, sure, but the real draw here is in the choice-based gameplay that extends to every facet of gameplay. Everything has a repercussion; speak to an NPC with one character and you’ll be able to open up certain dialog options, while another may have a different response. Approach them with your undead skeleton, though, and they’ll flee in terror (unless you wear a bucket on your head).
That extends to combat, too, with challenging encounters that require players to think about positioning and the environment around them. Master it, though, and you’ll be electrifying water to fry enemies, or destroying explosive barrels to spread fire.
Pick your favorite
There are so many wonderful games to play on Mac, but the ones we’ve listed here are the best of the best. Regardless of what kind of games you like to play there’s something for everyone.
The engaging rogue-like adventure, Hades, became a hit when it released thanks to the playful banter and new dialogue that appears after each attempt to flee the underworld. Getting surprised by new Olympic powers on your way out adds a fun change as well.
If city-building games are more your style then you’ll want to check out City Skyline. Spend hours creating the perfect world and do your best to keep all of your citizens happy.
Lastly, if you’re more into intensive gaming experiences that you can really sink your teeth into then you’ll love Total War: Warhammer III. There’s a large world to interact with as you explore new places, meet different races, and fight in turn-based combat.
Updated August 2022: Added several additional games to the list.