The best Mac games to play right now

an image of Total War: Warhammer 3 running on a MacBook Air M2
(Image credit: Future)

A few years ago selecting the best Mac games would have been somewhat of a short list with a healthy amount of caveats. But over time, Apple has grown out its operating system to better support games, from fully fledged titles available on Steam and the App Store, to offering Apple Arcade games on Macs. 

Thanks to Apple's own in-house design M-series chips, Macs are also more capable than ever at running games, provided they've got macOS compatibility or are native to macOS. 

So with that in mind, read on for our pics of the best Mac games you can play today.

How can I play the best Mac games?

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You can buy native and ported Mac games through the App Store. But macOS also supports Steam, with has a selection of games that can run on Macs. The same is true of the GOG, EA and clients. 

There is a pretty major caveat for Mac owners, however. Ever since the release of macOS Catalina, modern Macs can no longer run 32-bit games, which is why we sadly left classics such as Portal and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis off the list. There are workarounds, as are there for playing Windows-only games on Mac. But for the purposes of this list, we included only games that you can download and play without any knowledge of Parallels, Bootcamp or similar programs.

Wherever you choose to purchase the best Mac games, make sure that the game is Mac-compatible (check for a little Apple symbol), and will work with the version of macOS your computer is running. The system requirements section on a store page will usually provide this information.

What are the best Mac games?

1. Disco Elysium

Best Mac games: disco elysium the final cut

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Disco Elysium might look like a throwback to isometric classic RPGs of the past, but in reality, it's one of the most original games we've ever played. While the trope of amnesia is leaned upon, this murder-mystery detective noir game is utterly stunning thanks to its smart dialogue system, which sees your character act upon the advice of a myriad of inner voices - just be mindful that advice can be truly terrible. 

One voice, for example, centers around logic, while another represents the lizard-brain-like human reaction to danger or revulsion. Rather than beat up enemies with swords and sorcery, Disco Elysium relies on dialogue as its 'combat' and that makes for a more engaging experience than you might first expect. A great art style bypasses the need for heavy graphics, meaning you'll easily run Disco Elysium on the likes of the MacBook Air M2. And you really should as it's an essential Mac game. 

2. Baldur's Gate 3 

An image taken from Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian)

After more than six years in development and a lengthy Early Access period, Baldur's Gate 3 has arrived. And to say it was worth the wait would be something of an understatement. It's not only one of the best Mac games of 2023, but it's making a case to be one of the strongest Mac games of all time. Don't believe us? Just take a look at its nearly flawless review scores

Based on Dungeons and Dragons (the 5th Edition rules to be precise), Baldur's Gate 3 is a deeply immersive role-playing game where your choices matter and you're given the freedom to carve out your own path through its dozens upon dozens of quests. In fact, our computing editor has found the turn-based combat and eccentric characters so engrossing that he's had to resist calling in sick just to play it some more — that's the hallmark of a game worthy of a high spot on this list.  

3. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Best Mac games: Civilization vi

(Image credit: 2K)

If you’re looking for a game to sink hundreds of hours into, you can’t beat Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. The latest entry in the long-running 4X strategy series launched in 2016, with the developers at Firaxis supplying a steady stream of content and updates through 2021. In addition to the core game, which has you battling it out with other historical leaders for world domination, there are also expansion packs and DLC, which added dark ages, climate change, the undead and even a battle royale mode.

Civ VI is so satisfying and addictive that you might find yourself saying, “Just one more turn” over and over again. Think about it: Where else can you drop a nuke on Gandhi while defending against French spies and fending off zombies with a giant death robot?

4. Hades

Hades review

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Hades isn't just one of the best Mac games of recent years, it's one of the best games, period. This roguelike combines a compelling gameplay loop with a strong visual style and engrossing procedural storytelling that helps to make every run feel worthwhile, even the ones where you flame out and die super early on. 

Speaking of death, you will experience it a lot in Hades. But the game does a remarkable job of never becoming frustrating. Every defeat instead spurs you to try again, and beating the final boss is just the start of your adventure through the hall of Greek mythology. Developer Supergiant Games created something genuinely special with Hades, and we cannot wait for the sequel to arrive later this year.  

5. The Sims 4

Best Mac games: The Sims 4

(Image credit: EA)

The Sims 4 is the latest instalment in the iconic PC-first franchise. There have been numerous console ports over the years but it's a game that will always play best on a keyboard and mouse, making Mac among the best ways to enjoy this life-sim game. 

At release in 2014, The Sims 4struggled with both longtime players and reviewers unhappy with the experience. But a decade is more than enough time to fix up a game, and  developers at EA and Maxis have provided regular updates with countless quality-of-life improvements. 

They’ve also added a lot of content from previous games that was missing at launch, such as the hot tub and the toddler life cycle. It took a while, but The Sims 4 finally feels like a worthy successor, and a game that can recommend to all players. 

Although EA has finally made its games library (including TS4 and its many expansions and DLC) available on Steam, you’ll have to use Origin if you want to play this game on Mac.

6. Stardew Valley

A screenshot of Stardew Valley

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

Inspired by the Story of the Seasons series (formerly Harvest Moon), Stardew Valley is almost single-handedly responsible for the influx of "cozy" life simulation games that have swept the gaming release calendar over the last five years and counting.

Stardraw Valley isn't a grand RPG adventure or an adrenaline-pumping shooter, instead, you play a character who has inherited their grandfather's dilapidated farm in the titular location of Stardew Valley, and it's your job to get the farm back in tip-top shape. Alongside running your farm by growing crops and raising livestock, you can also befriend the local townsfolk, form romantic relationships and lots more. 

One of the most impressive things about Stardew Valley is how much developer ConcernedApe — which is a screen name for one man, Eric Barone — has added over the years. Stardew Valley started as a game with small ambitions, and while it's retained its quaint roots, it's now remarkably content-rich.  Stardew Valley is video game comfort food.

7. Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster screenshot

(Image credit: Frontier)

Developed by the same team behind the Roller Coaster Tycoon series, Planet Coaster is one of the most impressive management sim games ever made. It gives you near total creative freedom to build the theme park of your dreams, letting you design intricate thrill rides that will delight your guests. You can also build more than just roller coaster with a versatile building tool letting you construct detailed scenery. 

Planet Coaster is also the complete package with a wealth of modes to pick from. There's the classic sandbox mode if you just want to build a park with no restrictions, but goal-orientated players are also catered to with a full career mode that tasks you with turning around the fortunes of various ailing parks. There's also a challenge mode that acts as hybrid between sandbox and career mode. You straight with a blank canvas but have a limited budget so must build up your park very carefully. 

If you have a creative streak, or just love theme parks, then Planet Coaster is a game that will consume your free time for the foreseeable future. And, unlike a day at Disney World, you get to skip the lines. 

8. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Best Mac games: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Previously considered a measuring stick for gaming performance, 2018's Shadow of the Tomb Raider is no longer the most demanding game around. In fact, it's now playable on all manner of machines. But that's no bad thing, as more people having access to this phenomenal trilogy closer is very much a positive in our books. 

Taking place in Central America and Mexico, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, mixes realistic action with a good dose of fun, all wrapped around a story that sees Lara Croft work to prevent a series of cataclysms, as well as the machinations of paramilitary organization Trinity. At the same time, Croft confronts her own role in solving and preserving the world's secrets. If you want to get a taste for the full story, have a hunt for the whole trilogy on Apple's App Store for macOS. 

9. Final Fantasy XIV

Best Mac games: Final Fantasy XIV

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XIV has one of the most fascinating development journies in all of gaming. Its initial version was so poorly received, that Square Enix felt the need to burn the whole house down and start again. The game was relaunched several years later in 2013 as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This second attempt enjoyed a much better reception, and FFXIV 2.0 was warmly embraced by the RPG fans. 

Over the last decade, FFXIV has become an award-winning behemoth and continues to be one of the most popular MMOs around. This sprawling game checks all the boxes for those looking to disappear into an online adventure. Taking place in the expansive Final Fantasy universe that put the publisher on the map, it did what was once considered impossible: knocked World of Warcraft off its throne as the most-played RPG. And with new expansions still releasing regularly, this is a massive game that is only getting bigger. But fear not, the onboarding for new players is excellent. 

10. The Flame in the Flood

Best Mac games: The Flame in the Flood

(Image credit: The Molasses Flood)

In a world decimated by a post-apocalyptic flood, a young girl named Scout and her loyal doggo must traverse a lengthy waterway in order to find something resembling hope for the future. If this description feels vague, that’s on purpose. Part of the joy of The Flame in the Flood is discovering new things as you go along. The roguelike nature of this indie darling from The Molasses Flood means that starting over is part of the process, but it only makes reaching the end all the more satisfying.

Exploration, crafting, scavenging and resource management are all part of the process, and keeping Scout alive is no easy task. It’s a grueling-but-delightful journey, and it’s got a killer soundtrack, to boot.

11. Diablo III

Best Mac games: Diablo III

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Blizzard Entertainment has long been a Mac-friendly developer and publisher (and hopefully its recent acquisition by Windows-maker Microsoft won’t change that!). As such, it came as no surprise when the long-awaited Diablo III launched day-and-date on OS X and Windows in 2012. Nearly a decade later, the hack-and-slash gameplay is still a ton of fun, especially when played cooperatively with a friend or two. Fire up your Mac and turn on voice chat, and you’ve got a great Friday night ahead, running and looting your way through the dungeons of Sanctuary.

12. Oxenfree

Best Mac games: oxenfree

(Image credit: Night School Studio)

Oxenfree is many things: a coming-of-age story, a mystery, a graphic adventure and a weird-as-all-get-out game in general. The indie title from Night School Studio follows a group of teenagers on an overnight island campout, which should alert you to the fact that things are about to go terribly wrong. There are paranormal forces at work on this island, and protagonist Alex needs to uncover its confusing landscape if she wants to have any hope of surviving until morning and making it back to solid land.

13. Celeste

Best Mac games: Celeste

(Image credit: Matt Makes Games Inc.)

Like Stardew Valley, platformer Celeste is the recipient of a Take This Dr. Mark Award for its thoughtful portrayal of mental health issues. Unlike Stardew, however, Celeste could hardly be described as chill or Zen. It’s a brutally challenging platformer, in which many of the obstacles represent mountain-climbing heroine Madeline’s internal struggles. Those who struggle with anxiety and self-doubt will find Madeline’s journey relatable, and the game handles those serious issues with care. And even though you’ll die — a lot — the next chapter never feels impossibly out of reach.

14. Unpacking

Best Mac games: Unpacking

(Image credit: Witch Bean)

Uber-challenging games aren’t for everyone, so if “Zen” and “chill” are more your speed, you should absolutely take a look at Unpacking, one of the best games of 2021. Unpacking is exactly what it sounds like: You’ll unpack boxes in a series of homes, organizing their contents in cabinets, shelves and closets. With every article of clothing, every poster and every stuffed animal you unpack, you’ll learn more about the person whose contents you’re unpacking, even if you never see them.

Unpacking is a phenomenal achievement in video game storytelling, and shows that there are still new ways to unravel a narrative. We’ll forgive you if you overlooked this gem when it came out last November, but don’t sleep on it any longer.

15. Lies of P

Lies of P screenshot

(Image credit: Neowiz Games)

In the continued absence of a Bloodborne port on either Mac or Windows, Lies of P is pretty much the next best thing. This Soulslike is heavily inspired by the works of From Software and is loosely based on The Adventures of Pinocchio. But you won’t find any singing crickets in this dark fantasy take on the beloved novel. Instead, you’ll explore the gothic city of Krat and face its many nightmarish inhabitants.  

Much like its clear inspirations, Lies of P is a very challenging game, and some of its fearsome bosses may test the limits of your gaming abilities. However, overcoming the game’s numerous difficult obstacles provides a deep sense of satisfaction. Plus, the visual design is excellent throughout, and the weapon customization system allows you to craft a character that is finely tuned to your preferred playstyle. We may never get to play Bloodborne on a keyboard and mouse, but Lies of P is a worthy substitute. 

16. Gone Home

Best Mac games: Gone Home

(Image credit: The Fullbright Company)

It’s 1995. It’s late at night, and you’ve just returned from your trip abroad to find your family home empty. Instead of watching My So-Called Life or playing Super Nintendo, you realize that your sister is gone, and your parents are nowhere to be found, either. This first-person exploration game manages to be creepy as heck, despite not having any combat, and with every dark room and secret compartment you explore, you’ll find more pieces of the puzzle.

It’s best to go in knowing as little about Gone Home as possible, and the whole thing takes only about two or three hours to complete. The story, however, will stick with you a whole lot longer.

17. Cuphead

Best Mac games: Cuphead

(Image credit: Studio MDHR)

With visuals inspired by the golden age of American animation, Cuphead is easily one of the most stylish games of the last five years. But just because it’s cartoony doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, Cuphead’s hectic run-and-gun gameplay and epic boss battles have earned it a reputation for being quite difficult in the near half-decade since its original release. With the long-awaited expansion pack The Delicious Last Course dropping later this year, now is the perfect time to catch up — provided you’re looking for a challenge.

18. Cities: Skylines

Best Mac games: Cities Skylines

(Image credit: Colossal Order Ltd.)

In the beginning, there was SimCity. Since 2015, however, a different city-building sim has reigned supreme, and that’s Paradox Interactive’s Cities: Skylines. In the process of building up blank plots of land into thriving metropolises, you’ll have to manage budgets, electricity, plumbing, public transportation, housing availability and more. Keeping your citizens happy is key, of course. No one is moving in or opening a business in a place with terrible traffic management or totalitarian taxes.

There are many robust systems at work in Cities: Skylines. The game can feel overwhelming at first, but when it clicks, you’re hooked. Plus, with around a dozen expansion packs available, you’re not likely to run out of things to do anytime soon.

19. Her Story

Best Mac games: Her Story

(Image credit: Sam Barlow)

Created by developer Sam Barlow, who was previously best known for his work on the Silent Hill series, Her Story is an outstanding achievement in interactive storytelling. Using full motion video clips and a search engine-esque interface, the player must piece together testimony and resources in order to learn the truth behind a difficult mystery. The gameplay is unconventional, but it works. You’ll have to pay close attention to each interview clip if you want to learn the whole story, and that’s all we can really say without spoiling anything.

20. Papers, Please

Best Mac games: Papers, Please

(Image credit: Lucas Pope)

What if you needed to escape your country to save your family’s lives, but you didn’t have the legal means to do so? Papers, Please is a harrowing look at the realities of immigration, with the fictional dystopian nation of Arstotzka standing in for the hostile border environments found all over the world.

As an immigration officer, you’ll need to carefully examine passports and identification papers of people hoping to cross Arstotzka’s border, with failure resulting in grave consequences. However, these decisions aren’t always black-and-white, so you may have to weigh your fear of getting in trouble with the needs of your fellow citizens. It’s a good reminder that what’s legal isn’t always what’s right, and sometimes, breaking the law is the ethical thing to do.

21. Limbo

Best Mac games: Limbo

(Image credit: Playdead)

Limbo makes impressive use of a grayscale color theme to create its expansive environments, but that’s not the only reason this platformer is so haunting. Much of Limbo’s story is open to interpretation, but loss is one of its major themes: both losing those you love, and finding yourself in unknown, dangerous territory.

Now over a decade old, this indie hit remains a sterling example of how minimalism can serve video game design. Not everything has to be over-the-top and explosive. Likewise, not every plot point needs an in-depth explanation. If nothing else, Limbo will make you think, and leave you grasping to understand its hidden meaning.

22. Gris

Best Mac games: Gris

(Image credit: Devolver)

The first thing you’ll notice about Gris is that it’s absolutely gorgeous. Over the course of this thoughtful indie game published by Devolver Digital, you’ll slowly bring vibrant hues back to the watercolor-style environments that serve as Gris’ backdrop. The more you play, the more you’ll realize that the game's beauty runs more than skin deep. Each puzzle solved is an opportunity to learn more about the title character, and these revelations are at turns heartbreaking and inspiring. Apple even named it the top Mac game of the year for 2019, calling it “a soul-stirring work of digital art.”

23. Donut County

Best Mac games: Donut County

(Image credit: Annapurna Games)

In the colorful, quirky Donut County, you play as a hole. Yes, you read that right: You are a hole, creating chaos and swallowing homes, vehicles, livestock and the animal inhabitants of a town that’s been taken over by raccoons. You know what? We don’t think any further information is necessary.

25. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 remake screenshot

(Image credit: Capcom)

Last year’s acclaimed Resident Evil 4 is now available on Mac (and even more impressive, it’s playable on iPhone 15 Pro as well). Part remake, part reimaging, Resident Evil 4 brings one of the most influential games of all time into the modern era, and it remains as wonderfully thrilling all these years later. Plus, the stunning graphical overhaul has made it one of the spookiest games you can play on Mac.

You play as Leon Kennedy, a former cop who travels to a mysterious village to recuse the President’s daughter who’s gone missing. Once you arrive on location, you quickly find that the villagers have turned feral and there’s something more sinister afoot. If you want to survive this nightmare experience, you’ll need to carefully use your limited resources and make sure every single bullet counts. As you unravel the secrets of the village, you’ll also meet a memorable cast of villains, and a few familiar faces from past Resident Evil games.

With contributions from
  • Johnny Gojob
    Wow, that's pretty grim. I have a better experience playing games on linux, didn't realise Macs had it so bad.
  • Yearn
    Johnny Gojob said:
    Wow, that's pretty grim. I have a better experience playing games on linux, didn't realise Macs had it so bad.
    I think it's grim that you don’t realize why Macs are objectively better for security and content creation reasons.