Best Mac Games

Updated April 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
341 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Mac games

Last Updated April 2020

When the Apple iMac was released in 1998, it sparked a bonafide cultural phenomenon in the electronics world. The computer was sleek, simple, design-focused, and technologically progressive, so it’s no surprise the brand continues to push these philosophies with its modern products. One area of criticism, though, has always been gaming support. Macs don’t quite stack up to Windows-based gaming PCs in terms of graphical processing power, which leaves many Mac gamers feeling left out when they miss out on major releases. We’re here to tell you that’s a thing of the past. There are loads of fantastic Mac games on the market, and some of them just might surprise you.

Whether it’s a new game, a retro title, an indie release, or even an early-access project, there’s something out there for every gamer of every experience level. This is partly thanks to Apple’s introduction of powerful Intel processors, but part of it is the gaming industry’s recognition of the demand for Mac-compatible games.

Continue reading our buying guide to learn more about the variety of video games available for Macs.

Today, the majority of video games aren’t bought physically. Instead, they’re downloaded digitally through platforms like Steam, Origin, and the App Store. This is good news for Mac gamers, as the majority of modern Macs don’t come with optical disc drives.

Key considerations

Two of the most important considerations when choosing a game are genre and price, but these preferences will vary greatly depending on the person. Only you know what types of games you enjoy — but what games you can play depend on your computer’s specs and your age.

System requirements

If you want to play a game on your Mac and play it well, confirm your machine at least meets the minimum recommended specifications for that title.

The first things to look at are the processor (CPU), graphics card (GPU), and memory (RAM) specifications. Respectively, these figures dictate how well your computer can run programs, translate lines of codes into visual data, and multitask.

Meeting minimum specs means your machine may struggle to perform even on low settings, so it’s best to have a little wiggle room if possible. Outside of those elements, double-check that you have enough free space on your hard drive to store the game. Some games can take up 100GB of room or more.

Not sure what your Mac’s specifications are? Click the Apple button on the top left of your screen, press “About This Mac,” and navigate the tabs to get the information you need.

Age rating

If you’re buying games for young one or a family computer, pay close attention to the age rating. Age ratings are determined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which ranks games based on the amount of violence, language, adult themes, sexual content, and frightening moments they contain. For example, a rating of “E” means it’s okay for everyone. A rating of “AO” means the game is for adults only. This should not be confused with an “M” rating, which is for mature audiences.

DID YOU KNOW?

Buying games can get expensive quickly. Thankfully, there are frequent publisher sales around holidays, as well as platform-specific specials on Steam, Origin, and other digital storefronts.

Features

Downloadable content

Some games are released as self-contained, finished products, while others are continuously developed and added to after they’re released. This generally entails downloadable content (DLC), which is a fancy name for an expansion pack. DLC can be anything from a new level to a new campaign to a selection of cosmetic in-game items. DLC is often doled out in season pass form where the customer will buy all of the game’s DLC in one discounted package while also opting in to whatever future DLC is released within a certain time period.

Online play or single player

As time passes, more and more games exist purely in the online realm, but there are plenty of fulfilling and interesting single-player experiences too. Choose the experience that’s right for you, but keep in mind that many titles give you the choice to play locally on your machine or over the web with others.

Cross-platform play

Long-time gamers will remember the days when you were locked in to the gaming system you bought with no flexibility. Today, however, cross-platform play permits PC gamers, Mac gamers, console gamers, and even mobile gamers to play the same titles together regardless of hardware. Fortnite, for example, allows players with nearly any system to compete against one another on the battlefield. If playing with friends is a priority for you, seek out games with cross-platform compatibility. This does not encompass all online games, but it’s a feature that is becoming more common due to popular demand.

DID YOU KNOW?

Laptops aren’t typically the best choices for gaming, but modern MacBook Pros have impressive specs. For instance, the 2019 16-inch model boasts an Intel i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card.

Mac game prices

While Macs don’t typically play as many new AAA titles as PCs, the pricing range for these products is essentially the same. As always, keep in mind some titles feature recurring monthly subscriptions, in-game purchases, DLC, and the like.

Inexpensive: For about $5 to $20, expect to find indie titles, older games, and simplistic simulators. These titles may be cheap, but they’re often of stunning quality and can provide hours of entertainment. 

Mid-range: Spend $30 or so and you’ve entered the realm of fleshed-out, modern titles, including older AAA games. You may even find bundles of several similar games at this price point. 

Expensive: At $60 and above, you’ll find new games, AAA titles, special editions, and series collections. 

DID YOU KNOW?

RAM plays a huge role in your machine’s ability to run games smoothly. Some games can technically run on 4GB of RAM, but 8GB is essentially the minimum to run anything considered modern.

Tips

  • Is your game not running smoothly despite your machine reaching the recommended specs? Dial back the graphics settings for better performance, particularly when it comes to anti-aliasing, water, shadows, and reflections.
  • Mac users often leave their computers running 24/7, putting them to sleep after use rather than fully shutting them down. We recommend restarting yours every week or so to refresh the system.
  • Your Mac will likely have less RAM than a gaming PC, so free up as much as you can before logging in. Close down all non-essential apps — especially web browsers — and consider programs like CleanMyMac to periodically tidy up your machine.
  • A tidy hard drive is crucial for maximum gaming performance. Instead of letting yours fill up, delete old and redundant files, leaving about 10% of your storage space free.
  • Modern Macs typically come with ultra-responsive solid-state drives (SSDs), but this isn’t the case with older models. Thankfully, you can purchase a third-party internal SSD for a couple hundred dollars. These will reap huge rewards in terms of performance.

Other products we considered

As you’ve likely figured out by now, the availability of Mac games has skyrocketed in recent years, with dozens of quality titles spanning every possible genre. One example that just missed our list is Diablo III, a classic dungeon-crawler action game with 5 character classes, destructible environments, multiplayer modes, and 1-on-1 dueling.

On the other end of the spectrum, Borderlands 2 runs surprisingly well on Mac. The art style, humor, and writing of the Borderlands series is completely unique, with the lush planet of Pandora providing countless unique environments for you to test yourself in.

Stuck on a difficult part of your game? The internet is the best tutor you could possibly ask for. Search the web for a strategy guide, peruse YouTube for a detailed playthrough, or catch a live stream on Twitch, Mixer, or Facebook Gaming.

FAQ

Q. What else can I buy to improve my Mac gaming experience?
A.
Part of the Mac appeal is that they're simple to set up and ready to go right out of the box. If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, though, there are a few accessories that can flesh out your setup. Consider replacing the standard Apple mouse with a gaming model that has more programmable buttons and doing the same with the keyboard. The integrated Mac keyboard is sleek, but it’s not incredibly ergonomic for long gaming hours. Finally, a larger external monitor will dramatically improve your visual experience, and a quality headset will enhance your multiplayer encounters. All these accessories connect to your Mac via the USB, headphone, and HDMI ports.
 

Q. Can I turn off my Mac’s mouse acceleration?
A.
Mouse acceleration is a feature that increases your cursor’s tracking rate when the mouse is moved quickly. PC gamers often turn this off for more predictable and linear in-game movement, but on a Mac, it isn’t always as simple as ticking a box. To turn off acceleration, open your Terminal app, which is found in the Utilities folder in Applications. You can also use a keyboard shortcut by pressing Command and Space at the same time. Once Terminal is open, type the following:

defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.mouse.scaling -1

Press Enter and log out. When you log back in mouse acceleration will be gone. To restore it, enter the command again with the “-1” removed.

The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Arnold
    Arnold
    Writer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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