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Best Mac Games to Play

Macs may not be built for computer games, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play on them (even if many would say otherwise). The GPU limitations of the Intel Mac era came to an end with the introduction of the highly efficient Apple Silicon chips that easily run graphically demanding tasks, including games.

On the software side, while the number of native macOS titles is still quite low, the list of best Mac games here will show you that you aren’t limited. Some developers seem to have warmed up to the idea of expanding toward the Mac market, so we are hopeful more Windows games will be ported to macOS. 

The release of Apple Games Porting Toolkit helped too, opening possibilities for Mac gaming, while platforms like GeForce Now and Boosteroid give you as much freedom as you can need. The GPT integration in the Crossover Mac app further enhances our hunch that we are at a turning point. 

We believe that with the availability of new technologies, you will see for the better a complete change in our lists of best games to play on Mac.

With all that said, there are a ton of options out there for Mac users in terms of games, including some Mac games free of charge. On this page, we’ll give you the best examples of both worlds, listed by genre and category with our recommendations. Most Mac games on Steam you will see on the list are native ports. 

But aside from Steam and the Mac App Store, there are very few places you can download Mac games anyway. Currently I can only think of the Epic Games Mac section in their launcher, but annoyingly that isn’t exactly free to browse. The launcher requires an Epic Games login to do so, as of writing.

So, let’s dive straight into the list of top games to play on your Mac!

Racing Games

Racing games are dynamic and often feature highly-realistic graphics that require powerful GPUs so not many such games have been ported to Mac in the past. Yet modern Apple Silicon machines have no issue meeting their steep requirements and thanks to various workarounds, you can have fun with many racing game titles on your Mac.

Best Native: SnowRunner

Not exactly a racing game in the strictest sense of the word, SnowRunner is a great title that puts you behind the wheel of cargo trucks and maintenance vehicles. It tasks you with traversing rough terrain to reach your goal destination. 

Unlike more conventional driving games, you need to plan carefully, manage your vehicles, and equip them for the challenges ahead. SnowRunner isn’t the most fast-paced game, but it offers a uniquely relaxing experience, perfect for methodical players, who don’t like to rush things. Think of it as a racing equivalent to Death Stranding’s gameplay.

Ways to play: available on Steam

Best Non-native: Assetto Corsa Competizione

The 2019 Assetto Corsa Competizione is still seen as one of the best racing simulation games, with its highly realistic gameplay and significant attention to detail. It immerses the player in the high-octane action of motor racing, providing an experience with licensed cars, teams, and circuits, plucked out of real life. 

A dynamic weather system affects race conditions in real time, complete with a day/night cycle. To win in this game, your skill in driving will not be enough on its own. You must also apply strategy for every race to maximize your chances. Due to this level of realism, the game tends to be rather challenging. On the flip side, if you seek an authentic car racing simulation, this is just the game for you.

Ways to play: CrossOver, GPTK/Whisky, Boosteroid, GFN

Other leading titles from the genre include:

  • Forza Horizon 4: Open-world racing across changing seasons in Great Britain.
  • Gran Turismo Sport: Realistic racing simulator with a focus on online competition.
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Fun, character-based racing with vibrant courses.
  • Dirt Rally: A thrilling and authentic rally simulation game that challenges players with its realistic physics, diverse weather conditions, and demanding race tracks across the world.
  • Drift Boss: A browser game that’ll have you spending your coffee brake drifting on a grid with winding corners, else you fall off the track. Highly addicting.

Role Playing Games for Mac

Gaming is all about losing yourself in a world different from your own, where you can immerse yourself in exciting fantastical adventures, so it makes sense that RPG titles are so popular. Assume the role of a wandering wizard, step into the shoes of a righteous knight, or explore a mysterious futuristic world as a private investigator – you can do all that and more in the games from this category!

Best Native: Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is hands-down the best CRPG (isometric top-down viewpoint) at the moment and the fact we are able to play it natively on Mac is truly a blessing. The game perfects the turn-based combat system that has its roots in the classical Dungeons and Dragons tabletop game. It somehow manages to produce beautiful graphics without being too hardware-demanding, through an inspired art style that perfectly complements the genre. 

But BG3 is mostly known for the scope of its story and the incredible reactivity it produces in its world. It manages to take into consideration almost anything the player can do in it both in branching dialogues and through sheer gameplay mechanics, and gives you unmatched malleability. 

In our opinion, Baldur’s Gate 3 is the ultimate RPG experience, and if you have any love for fantasy and gaming, you need to check this one out!

Ways to play: Available for macOS on Steam

Best Non-Native: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Continuing the theme,Тhe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is another RPG title that all fans of the fantasy genre need to play. The gameplay loop is made of an intricate real-time combat system, where you will need to utilize spells, potions, bombs, and your trusty swords – one silver, one steel. The aim is to defeat a wide array of enemies. 

But it’s not all hectic action and monster-slaying in Тhe Witcher 3. The game’s masterful storytelling and detailed worldbuilding are the deepest in the action open-world segment. Thanks to its great attention to detail and deep storytelling, the game is still a gold standard for a fully-fledged world that is equal parts fantastical and believable, even 110 years after it first launched

Ways to play: CrossOver; GPTK/Whisky; Boosteroid, GFN

Other Good RPG Games:

  • Crusader Kings III: An intricate grand strategy game that invites players to forge a medieval dynasty with complex interplay of politics, warfare, and personal relationships in a historically rich simulation.
  • GTA San Andreas: An expansive, open-world action-adventure game that immerses players in the turbulent, fictional state of San Andreas. There, they navigate a life of crime, exploration, and personal quests in the early 1990s.
  • Pillars of Eternity: The game offers a blend of traditional RPG elements with a rich narrative and complex character development.

Strategy Games for Mac

Shooting and slashing at your enemies is fine, but some of us prefer to observe the battlefield from a bird’s view and keep things under control without getting our hands too dirty. If you are the analytical and thoughtful type who likes to plan before they act, the you’ll appreciate the wide selection of strategy titles that we’ve prepared for you in this category.

Best Native: StarCraft II

Starcraft 2 is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) classic and a respected E-sport going strong for over thirteen years. Players control one of three in-game races – Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg. The goal of each multiplayer game is to gather resources to build up your base, and train a powerful army to defeat your opponents. 

Starcraft 2 requires tactical planning to counter enemy unit compositions, and the skill to micromanage a large number of individual units. This is one highly challenging but also incredibly engaging strategy game.

Ways to Play: Available through Battle.net

Best Non-Native: Age of Empires 4

Age of Empires 4 brings back the feel of older AoE games. Yet, it updates the looks and gameplay to cater to modern audiences that won’t quite like the quirkiness of 90s’ strategies. 

Age of Empires 4 focuses mainly on the medieval era, starting from the Dark Ages and continuing to the Renaissance period. To old players, it may seem like this is just a modernized version of AoE2. In fact, the gameplay is changed, while new campaigns and the modern looks allow the title to forge its own identity. 

Whether you are a veteran of the series or simply someone who likes strategy games, this title is absolutely worth checking out!

Ways to play: Boosteroid, GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming

Other Good Strategy Games:

  • Civilization VI: A turn-based strategy game where you lead a civilization through the ages.
  • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS: Combines empire building and tactical combat in ancient China.
  • XCOM 2: A tactical, turn-based strategy game that challenges players to fight back against an alien invasion.

Horror Games for Mac

What is life without the spice of an occasional jumpscare that sends your heart into overdrive or the existential dread triggered by knowing that no matter what you do, the shadow behind the corner will eventually get you? If these sensations give you the chills but also excite you, we’ve got some deliciously-spooky titles in this category.

Best Game: Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a survival horror game where action and combat sequences take a back seat in favor of psychological terror. When you start the game, you are in a dark, foreboding castle, with no memory of how or why you got there. To navigate the castle, you must solve various puzzles while avoiding monstrous entities that lurk in the shadows. 

The game features an interesting sanity mechanic, where remaining in the dark for too long or being exposed to the monsters will affect your character’s mind and perception. This both makes the game more difficult, while also ramping up the feelings of terror and dread. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an example of what happens when immersive storytelling, great atmosphere, and nail-biting gameplay come together in a single piece of gaming art.

Ways to Play: Available on macOS, offering a deeply immersive horror experience.

Best Non-native: Resident Evil 2 Remake

Resident Evil 2 (Remake) brings us back to the infamous Raccoon City, at the epicenter of the deadly T-Virus pandemic that turns people into mindless zombies. It’s nice to see a classic reimagined with today’s visual sophistication, and the gameplay is modernized in a way that both veteran RE players and newcomers can enjoy. 

Like other RE games, you spend your time puzzle-solving, exploring, and managing resources, while occasionally mixing it up in zombie-disposal sequences. The action is on point here, but so are pretty much all other elements of the game. The only exception is the somewhat restrictive inventory management system.

Ways to play: Xbox Cloud Gaming

Other Good Horror Games:

  • Outlast: A first-person horror game with a chilling atmosphere, set in a derelict asylum. The game emphasizes stealth and exploration over combat.
  • Lethal Company: A co-op horror about scavenging at abandoned moons to sell scrap to the Company.
  • Layers of Fear: A psychological horror game that explores the mind of a disturbed painter.
  • SOMA: A first-person survival horror game with an incredible atmosphere and extremely deep and thought-provoking narrative.

Fantasy Games for Mac

Dragons, elves, and goblins, castles and swords and daring quests – if any of those words trigger your dopamine receptors, then you gotta check the games in this section. Experience vast worlds of fantasy and magic, face their many challenges, and play a major role in their histories with the titles that you’ll find here. 

Best Native: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings combines a fantastical setting with a dark and serious tone. It’s one of the coolest fantasy adventure games of the 2010s. This is partly because it was such a big step-up from the first Witcher game, and because it delivers two branching storylines stemming from an early-game decision. 

The choices you make in The Witcher 2 have actual consequences that affect the narrative and even the ending. The result is a beautifully realized combination of action-packed gameplay, an impactful story, and an immersive mood – everything you could ever want from a fantasy game. 

A potential downside is the steep learning curve of the game, called “the Eastern European learning curve” by the Polish developers. Anyway, we are sure that most of you will be eager to power through it in order to enjoy this great gaming title.

Ways to Play: Available for macOS through Steam.

Best Non-Native: Dark Souls III

Dark Souls I is certainly not for everyone, but for those who enjoy tags like “challenging”, “unforgiving”, “dark” and “mysterious”, it’s the check-list of dreams came true. 

In Dark Souls, you play as an unnamed undead warrior, and you set out on a long and arduous journey of self-discovery that will ultimately also decide the fate of the world. This world is filled with well-hidden secrets and intricate messages that you can explore or choose to ignore as you progress through the game. 

Be prepared for long battles, a frustrating difficulty, and endless resets until you tough it out. That is until the next boss reminds you just how much more you need to learn.

Ways to play: Boosteroid; CrossOver; GPTK/Whisky

Other Good Fantasy Games:

  • Diablo III: A fast-paced action RPG that offers an epic quest through the demon-infested world of Sanctuary. In it, players battle to save humanity with vast loot, diverse classes, and cooperative multiplayer gameplay.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: A role-playing game that combines deep storytelling with strategic combat.
  • Warcraft III: Reforged: A remastered version of the classic real-time strategy game set in a rich fantasy universe.
  • Shadowrun Returns: A title that merges fantasy and cyberpunk in a tactical RPG setting.

Hidden Object Games for Mac

Gaming isn’t always about being at the edge of your seat, with adrenaline running through your veins. Sometimes, you just want to sit back and play a relaxing yet stimulating title to help you unwind after a stressful day at work. The Hidden Objects game genre is perfect for this and there are thousands of such games natively available for Mac, the best of which have been included here.

Best Game: I’m on Observation Duty 6

This unique title combines your run-of-the-mill hidden object gameplay with eeriness and some psychological horror thrown-in. The result is something with an edge – both unnerving and engaging. 

In I’m on Observation Duty 6, your job is to monitor surveillance cameras, look for any unusual anomalies, and report them. Simple enough? Maybe not so much, once multiple anomalies begin occurring simultaneously, with each one creepier than the last. 

It’s a fun game spiced up by its spooky atmosphere and the lurking chance of getting jump-scared by a ghostly entity.

Ways to Play: Available for macOS on Steam.

Best Non-native: The Room

There’s a boatload of Hidden Object and Puzzle games that basically seem the same for an action grunt like myself. But few of them find the right mix of complexity, intuitiveness, and polish. The Room not only does it well but adds a palpable atmosphere to the mix. 

At its core, this is a puzzle game about exploring the secret mechanisms of various boxes and looking for hidden switches, keys, and the like. As you progress through each box, you start to peel away its layers, until you arrive at its central secret, then move on to the next box. 

The game never feels too difficult or unfair, but it is monotonous, or stable in difficulty and progression, if you prefer to call it that. And even if it sometimes feels like something is unintuitive, it’s only because you haven’t yet learned to think outside the box (pun totally intended). Overall, it’s a great relaxing hidden object game with an incredible atmosphere.

Ways to play: Boosteroid; CrossOver; GPTK/Whisky

Other Good Hidden Object Games:

The Witness: A game celebrated for its complex puzzles integrated into the world itself and the way it encourages exploration and discovery without any explicit instructions.

Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride: A title by Artifex Mundi that offers captivating stories, beautiful visuals, and challenging puzzles.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek: A detective story with a mix of puzzles, hidden objects, and a gripping storyline.

Shooting Games for Mac

There’s just something incredibly therapeutic about shooting full of lead the body of a nameless NPC or someone’s virtual avatar, so it’s no wonder that shooter games are and have always been one of the most popular gaming genres. In this category, you’ll find the best shooters playable on Mac both natively and through workarounds, so you too can join in the fun of shooting bad guys in the face.

Best Game: Metro: Exodus

Metro Exodus is the third installment in the Metro series, but it’s by far the biggest and most ambitious one, going from complete linearity to a semi-open world design. It’s gorgeous and best experienced on Apple Silicon machines, putting it on a shortlist of the best Mac M1 games out there. 

In it, you continue the story of Artyom, as he and his comrades leave the dark tunnels of Moscow and embark on a dangerous journey to find a new home (hence the Exodus). Highlights of the game are the incredible atmosphere and semi-open world areas that somehow manage to remain fresh until the end. The gameplay offers a well-balanced combination of crafting, resource management, and combat. 

The game manages a rare feat in immersing you – and I mean really immersing you, not just how journalists sometimes use the word – in a mutated world where you don’t know what you’ll find. That spark keeps the game going until the end.

Ways to Play: Available for macOS 10.15 or later Mac versions on Steam.

Best Non-native: Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is a shooter game set in a vast sci-fi world where the whole of humanity is hanging by a thread. You can experience the narrative on your own in single-player mode, or together with a couple of buddies in the game’s multiplayer co-op mode. 

The co-op mode is where Destiny 2 truly shines. This is because most of the important levels in the game are designed to be completed by multiple players working as a team. Those PvE (player versus player) battles are the highlight of Destiny 2, and for this reason, we strongly recommend the game if you have a couple of friends willing to join you.

Ways to play: Boosteroid; GFN

Other Good Shooting Games:

  • BioShock Remastered: A shooter game that offers an amazing story and combat experience in the underwater city of Rapture.
  • Borderlands 3: A first-person shooter title developed by Gearbox’s Texas and Quebec studios. The game is popular for its humor, vast open worlds, and endless loot.
  • Apex Legends: The Apex Legends Mac experience is that of a fast-paced, squad-based battle royale shooter set in the Titanfall universe. There, teams of Legends with unique abilities fight to become the last squad standing.
  • Prodeus: A modern take on the classic FPS genre with high-quality graphics and gameplay​​​​.

Simulation Games for Mac

While gaming is often about experiencing unrealistic scenarios that can’t happen in the real world, it can also be about real situations that you are realistically not likely to experience. Simulation games like the ones we’ll talk about in this category are not for everyone, but for the right type of player, they can be the epitome of fun and enjoyment.

Best Native: Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a 2D farming simulation game with pixel graphics. This doesn’t sound exciting even reading it, but the game is more than it seems, as any player would tell you. 

You start as the owner of a run-down farm with the goal to restore it and rebuild it. You do so by cultivating new crops, managing your livestock, crafting new equipment, building new structures, and forming relationships with the non-player characters (NPCs) who can help you. 

But the thing that makes Stardew Valley worth playing is the sheer satisfaction of seeing your modest farm gradually turn into a thriving homestead. If we were to point out one downside, it might be the lack of direction at the start of the game, since there’s no concrete end-goal, you just keep going until you get bored.

Ways to Play: Compatible with macOS 10.10 or later, and it’s not demanding on system resources.

Best Non-native: Microsoft Flight Simulator

If you’ve ever wondered what it is to be an airplane pilot, this is the answer for you. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the ultimate aircraft simulator that finds a balance between realism and entertainment. Accurate physics and high attention to detail shine through in both its planes and the world around (or rather beneath) them. 

The gameplay, on the other hand, is accessible enough that casual gamers can easily pick up the game’s controls too. If you are an aviation enthusiast, you will appreciate the accurate and realistic depictions of the planes and the way they behave during flights.

Ways to play: Xbox Cloud Gaming

Other Good Simulation Games:

  • The Sims 4 Mac: A life simulation game where you create and control people.
  • Jurassic World Evolution 2: An immersive simulation game that empowers players to build and manage their own dinosaur-filled theme park, blending complex management strategies with the awe-inspiring allure of prehistoric creatures.
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2: A title by SCS Software that offers a realistic truck driving experience across Europe​​.

Adventure Games for Mac

Ready to go on an adventure from the comfort of your home and through the screen of your Mac? If you want to explore vast expanses of land, thick forests, or steep mountains while completing quests and uncovering the mysterious stories of the people you meet along the way, then you have to check the games we’ve prepared for you here.

Best Game: Firewatch

Firewatch is an odd pick for an adventure game, but we stand by it since it manages to be deep, clever, emotional, funny, and mysterious all at the same time. Except funny, maybe that’s not the right word. 

Gameplay-wise, Firewatch is what you’d call a walking simulator – you play as a fire lookout, and all you do is traverse and talk on a walkie-talkie to a female colleague. You have different possible responses, and they are very well crafted, but that’s about it in terms of agency. 

What makes this unconventional adventure game stand out is mostly the thought-provoking dialogue, the incredible soundtrack, the mystery, and the relationship that forms between your character and his colleague.

Ways to Play: Available for macOS on Steam.

Ways to play: Available for macOS on Steam

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Really, all the Assassin’s Creed games can be included here, but the one we picked for our list is Valhalla. As the title suggests, the game takes place during the Viking era and is set in a large open world. 

From a gameplay perspective, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla offers a mix of RPG, stealth, and third-person action, resulting in a well-balanced game with lots of content. Despite this, there are some potential downsides, like the game’s slow start and uninspired side missions that tend to detract from the central plot, rather than complement it. 

Basically, if you’ve played other Ubisoft games, you know what I’m talking about. But, if you like Vikings, Norse mythology, and playing as a badass assassin, definitely check this one out.

Ways to play: Xbox Cloud Gaming; GFN

Other Good Adventure Games:

  • Life is Strange: Offers an episodic narrative with impactful player choices.
  • The Long Dark: A survival game set in the Canadian wilderness with a strong emphasis on exploration.
  • Tales from the Borderlands: A narrative-driven adventure in the Borderlands universe​​.
  • Batman Arkham City: An immersive action-adventure game that combines stealth, exploration, and combat within an expansive open-world setting. It allows players to experience the intensity and complexity of being the Dark Knight in Gotham’s maximum security “prison.”

War Games for Mac

Lock and load because it’s time to go to war in the digital trenches of on of the titles included in this category. Whether you want to control an entire squad of soldiers from a bird’s eye view, be the commander of a heavily-armored tank, or get stuck in the thick of it, shooting down enemies from a first-person perspective, you’ll find this and more in the games we’ve prepared for you here.

Best Native: Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 is a prime example of how strategy games can also have plenty of high-stakes and nail-biting action. CoH 2 abandons the traditional base-building elements present in most other RTS titles, instead focusing on the combat aspect. 

You control a squad of units from a top-down perspective and you must micromanage their positions, attacks, and special abilities while taking on enemy forces. Terrain plays a huge role in Company of Heroes 2, with its destructible cover and variance between high and low ground. 

To ensure the success of your units you have to use a blend of strategy, tactics, and quick thinking. So if you are into war strategy games, but are tired of the resource-gathering-base-building grind, give this one a try. You won’t regret it.

Best non-native: Hell Let Loose

Hell Let Loose is a multiplayer FPS game set during the Second World War. Groan. At first it looks like a typical war FPS, but it stands above peers with some unique gameplay elements. It’s got highly realistic ballistics up its sleeve, a command structure within each team of players, and a unique resources mechanic that adds a welcome strategic dimension to a tactics-centric gameplay. To be fair: these complex mechanics and the focus on realism make the game challenging. But, to be fair again: they are also the aspects that make it a refreshing entry in a largely stale gaming genre.

Ways to Play: Boosteroid; GFN; Xbox Cloud Gaming

Other Good War Games:

  • Hearts of Iron IV: A grand strategy game set during WWII, focusing on global warfare.
  • Men of War: Assault Squad 2: Offers real-time tactics with a detailed focus on WWII battles.
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War: A puzzle-adventure game that tells the story of several characters during WWI​​.

Survival Games for Mac

Ever had the urge to go alone into the forest and see how long you’re gonna last, Bear Grills-style? We’ve been there too, but since we still need to go to work on the next day, we opt for the next best thing, which is the survival game titles that you can find in this category.

Best Game: Rust Video Game

Rust is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) survival game with emphasis on player communication and interaction. This is where the second M in MMO comes in. 

The world is harsh and unforgiving and your only hope of long-term survival is often in your ability to make friends and form alliances. That obviously doesn’t mean you won’t need to master the craft of resource-gathering, base-building, and food-hunting. But, you are in for a bad surprise if you hope to survive as a lone wolf. Because the hostile environment of the game is nothing in comparison to other players who just want to ruin your day. 

And inexplicably this is where Rust’s charm lies – it’s a survival game as much as it is a social one. So if you are eager to test not only your ability to survive the elements, but also society, Rust is a title you should try.

Ways to Play: Available for macOS on Steam.

Best Non-native: Valheim

Valheim is a survival and sandbox game set in a large procedurally generated world, inspired by Norse mythology. When starting the game, Odin himself tasks you with restoring order by slaying ancient beasts and other enemies that tarnish the land. 

You start in a relatively safe area of the map, eventually progressing to explore the more dangerous parts of it and fighting the enemies there. The standard survival gameplay loop of Valheim is well executed (crafting, resource-gathering), but the atmosphere and the low-polygon art style are what really gets the imagination going with this one. 

The lighting is masterful in the sense that it gives you just enough for your mind to fill the rest. This creates a very specific and mysterious look to the environments and it makes you feel you are in an actual Norse myth.

Ways to Play: Boosteroid, GFN, Xbox Cloud Gaming; CrossOver; GPTK/Whisky

Other Good Survival Games:

  • The Forest: A survival horror game set on a forested peninsula where players must survive cannibalistic mutants.
  • Don’t Starve: Offers a challenging wilderness survival experience with a unique art style.
  • Subnautica: An underwater adventure game focused on exploration and survival​​.
  • Minecraft: A revolutionary sandbox game that empowers players to build, explore, and survive in a blocky, procedurally generated 3D world with infinite possibilities.

Cluster 2.26 – Survival Games for Mac – ChatGPT + Research

Tower Defense Games for Mac

In pretty much any tower defense you build towers along a road and let the towers automatically shoot down incoming waves of enemies. Sounds simple and even basic, but trust us, the titles that you’ll find here have the potential to be some of the most addictive games you’ve ever played. They lure you in with their simplicity and then compel you to stay with their expansive tech trees, towers and enemy variety, and the sheer amount of dopamine delivered to your bloodstream with each fallen enemy at the foot of your towers.

Best Game: Bloons TD 6

Bloons TD 6 is about monkeys building guard towers that shoot down waves of balloons (Bloons!), before they reach the other side of the map, as is normal for the tower defense genre. 

I understand just how silly this sentence sounds, yet the fact is that it describes one of the most fun and engaging Tower Defense games ever. Bloons TD doesn’t do anything particularly unique compared to other Tower Defense titles. But where Bloons TD shines is just how well-executed the core elements are

There are tons of upgrades, special abilities, and even hero units you can train, which opens up a myriad of strategies and ways to tackle a given level. At the same time, the levels are well-balanced for each difficulty, providing plenty of fair challenges to newbies and veterans alike. Variety and polish are the name of the game here, so if you are looking for the ultimate Tower Defense experience, you may want to check out Bloons TD 6.

Ways to Play: Available on various macOS versions, ideal for casual gaming with light system requirements.

Best non-native: GemCraft – Chasing Shadows (Game of the Year Edition)

In GemCraft – Chasing Shadows the thrilling world of magic meets the monotony of tower defense and it turns out this combination is a success. You’ll craft gems with all the zest of an accountant at tax season and then plonk them into towers or traps. 

Your mission is to fend off waves of monsters who have as much variety as a pack of identical twins. The game dares to blend strategy with obsessive gem-combining and thus ensures you’re glued to your screen because you’ll be trying to remember if it’s more strategic to combine your gems or just throw them at the screen in frustration. It’s about as addictive as popping bubble wrap and just as noisy with all the clicking.

Ways to play: CrossOver; GPTK+Whisky 

Other Good Tower Defense Games:

  • Kingdom Rush: A critically acclaimed tower defense game known for its strategic gameplay.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening: Offers a visually appealing and strategically deep tower defense experience.
  • Plants vs. Zombies (GOTY Edition): Your towers are plants and zombies are coming to eat your brainz!

Puzzle Games for Mac

If you are ready to challenge the analytical part of your brain and test your ability to solve complex problems with solutions that will make you go “Aaaaaah!”, then you’ll find some great titles in here. Puzzle games aren’t as adrenaline-fueled as most other genres, but for the right type of gamer, they can be just as satisfying, if not more.

Best Native: The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle apparently has some principles and decides that if you want to play Puzzle Games, you want to work your brain out. A lot.

This is a first-person game from the viewpoint of a conscious robot tasked with completing puzzle challenges which get more elaborate over time. At some point, you’ll get stuck. That’s part of the process. This is frustrating for a lot of people, if you believe Reddit. But you’ll also be peeling away layers of the story, which is a puzzle in its own right. 

We won’t go into spoilers but know this – even without the gameplay, the deep philosophical and existential questions posed by the game’s narrative are enough to make the Talos Principle a title worth exploring.

Ways to play: available on Steam

Best Game: Portal 2

Portal 2 is a timeless classic in the Puzzle genre because of its clever approach to the gameplay and meme-worthy humor

You assume the role of Chel, who finds herself in a dilapidated teleportation tech facility. Soon enough, you acquire a special gun that lets you open portals between different areas. From then on, you need to use it to navigate through puzzles, while sometimes dodging traps. 

You can certainly say that the game was ahead of its time as some of the ideas it spearheaded became very influential down the line. Fair note, though: the story and lore are top-notch, but you may need to play the original Portal first to get a better grasp of them. 

Ways to Play: Portal 2 has a Mac version, but since this is a 32-bit game, it won’t run on newer macOS versions, since they don’t support 32-bit apps. You can still play Portal 2 on Mac using CrossOver, Parallels, Boosteroid, GeForce Now, and Bootcamp.

Ways to play: Boosteroid; GFN

Other Notable Puzzle Games for Mac:

  • The Witness: A beautiful, open-world puzzle game with hundreds of puzzles.
  • Baba Is You: A unique puzzle game where you change the rules through which you play.
  • Limbo: A dark, atmospheric platformer with brain-teasing puzzles.
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: A gripping action-adventure game that plunges Lara Croft into a deadly jungle adventure. There, she must use her wits, stealth, and survival skills to prevent a Mayan apocalypse and embrace her destiny as the Tomb Raider.

City Building Games for Mac

There’s a type of calm satisfaction in seeing the steady growth of a small settlement into a thriving megalopolis, especially when you are the one who’s responsible. City-building games may not appeal to gamers who like shooting or driving fast cars, but if you have the mindset of creativity and patience and you love to see the slow and steady improvements of your work, we bet you’ll enjoy some of the titles we’ve put in here. 

Best Game: Cities Skylines

Cities: Skylines is a city-building game about managing urban landscapes, ranging in anything  between road networks to residential zones. 

You start with a blank map on which to paint the foundations of your dream megapolis. But this is where the limiting factors come into play: budgets and appliances all need to be accounted for. 

Cities: Skylines lets you find in the most entertaining way possible whether you can be a better administrator than your local mayor. The most important part of the game, however, is its community, which constantly puts out new mods and custom content. 

Ways to Play: Available for macOS on Steam.

Best non-native: Anno 1800

Anno 1800 takes you to the 19th century, during the initial industrial revolution. You are the leader of a colony and your task is to navigate the complexities of anything that might get in the way of your settlement prospering.

This usually involves exploring the land and industrializing any resources you come across, while back in the colony, you’ll have to do a ton of urban planning and base management. There’s also a layer of diplomacy with other in-world settlements, with options ranging from bribes to outright sabotage and fighting. 

I have to underscore this: there are a lot of options in this game and you may get intimidated by the learning curve. But at the same time, the game is just accessible enough to prove the old adage “easy to play, hard to master”. We’re sure you’ll appreciate the scope of this one.

Ways to play: Boosteroid; GFN; CrossOver

Other Notable City Building Games for Mac:

  • SimCity: The classic city simulation game with multiple iterations.
  • Banished: A city-building strategy game where you control a group of exiled travelers.
  • Tropico 6: A humorous city builder where you play as a dictator on a Caribbean island.

Best non-native: Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life Alyx was released 4 years ago, yet it still remains one of the best VR titles to this day. While most other VR games tend to have unpolished controls and/or gimmicky gameplay, Half-Life: Alyx provides a cinematic experience with meticulously crafted level design, combat sections, and story. 

Speaking of story, this is the major standout factor that elevates the game above other VR titles. As a rule of thumb VR titles are still a new frontier and the genre prioritizes three-dimensionality over story

But, without spoiling anything, in this one you’ll be pulled towards the mystery at the center of the plot. A mystery that’s sure to re-ignite the desire of fans of the series for a sequel when you reveal it.

Ways to play: Bootcamp (Intel Macs only)