Best Free Mac Games
Our favourite free Mac Games are CS:GO, Starcraft 2, and Path of Exile, but there are actually a number of other free gaming titles that can be played natively on Apple computers. Below, we will briefly tell you about the most popular of those games, and then we’ll also talk about several titles that aren’t supported for Apple machines, but playing them on Mac is still perfectly possible thanks to cloud gaming, Windows emulation, and other similar workarounds.
Before we go any further, here is a list of thirty free games that you can play on Mac. We’ll talk about only a few of them, but this doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worth checking out.
|Beneath a Steel Sky||League of Legends||Fistful of Frags||Lost Ark*||War Thunder|
|Brogue||DOTA 2||Hearthstone||Destiny 2*||World of Tanks: Blitz|
|Dwarf Fortress (Original)||CS:GO||Lord of the Rings Online*||Team Fortress 2*||Stumble Guys|
|The Elder Scrolls: Legends||StarCraft 2||Pacapong||Genshin Impact*||Touchgrind|
|Eternal Card Game||Path of Exile||Doki Doki Literature Club||Warframe*||0 A.D.|
|EVE Online||Fortnite*||Crusader Kings 2||Unturned||Dota Underlords|
* These games aren’t supported for Apple computers, but you can still totally play them on a Mac through various workaround methods, such as cloud streaming, emulating Windows, or using a compatibility layer.
Best Free Games for Mac
Some of the best free Games for Mac are:
- League of Legends
- Path of Exile
- Doki Doki Literature Club!
- Starcraft 2
- DotA 2
- Genshin Impact
- Destiny 2
- Lost Ark
We also recently made a video that covers some of the games we just mentioned, along with some other interesting titles that you may not have heard about, so be sure to check it out!
League of Legends
How to play it: Natively
League of Legends is a long-established MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game developed by Riot Games, and it’s also one of the biggest e-sports at the moment. Even though it was released all the way back in 2009, the game doesn’t feel outdated because it regularly receives both big and small updates that keep it up to date with today’s gaming standards. League is a highly-competitive and dynamic game, yet, at the same time, it’s also rather accessible and easy to get into. The main learning curve here is to get to know all the different characters (champions) so that you have an idea both how to play as and against them. However, this is something that can be said about pretty much any other MOBA game. Other than that, the simplistic gameplay premise and the constant action make for an engaging experience.
League of Legends benefits from the top-tier support from Riot Games, so there are virtually no bugs or optimization issues, and since the game is also pretty lightweight, you should be able to run it on pretty much any Mac released within the past decade.
The main downside of League actually comes not from the game but from its player base. Sadly, this game is known for having one of the most hostile and unfriendly communities, with individual players often acting out mid-game, causing their entire teams to lose the current match.
Path of Exile
How to play it: Natively
Path of Exile feels like an old-school, top-down action RPG game and is often seen as a spiritual successor to Diablo 2. At the start of the game, you pick one out of six characters, go through a brief customization process, and are then allowed to begin your journey through the game’s world. Expectedly, character progression is at the forefront of Path of Exile’s gameplay. There’s an enormous amount of ways you can customize and fine-tune your character as you level them up and unlock new abilities and skills that they can learn. Furthermore, Path of Exile gives you the freedom to create your own abilities for your character and the customization freedom here is both the game’s best strength and worst weakness, because not every ability you may end up creating would be very useful and would help you in the long run. In addition to that, a large portion of your playtime would be spent reading through ability descriptions and picking the best ones for your character, which could be frustrating if you are someone who wants to get right into the action as soon as possible.
Speaking of action, the combat system in Path of Exile is reminiscent of that of Diablo 2 with its simplistic, yet satisfying hack-and-slash style. Unfortunately, after a while, this starts to get repetitive, and you’d soon realize that quick reflexes and good timing for your attacks will never have the same impact as having an optimized build for your character.
As for the game’s story, while it may initially seem like a typical run-of-the-mill good versus evil tale, after a while, the game starts throwing in different interesting twists and turns that make for an engaging experience that would keep you pushing forward even if your fingers are already tired from all the button-mashing you’d need to do to defeat the hordes of enemies coming at you.
All in all, if you like old-school RPGs or at least if you don’t mind some of the more outdated mechanics and design choices in Path of Exile and if you are a fan of role-playing games, you should definitely give this one a go.
Doki Doki Literature Club
How to play it: Natively
The next game I’ll talk about is called Doki Doki Literature Club, and it’s a dating sim. But don’t immediately scroll to the next game yet! Although the exterior of Doki Doki may make it seem like a bubbly and silly game about dating some anime girls, below its surface, something strange and creepy is happening and once you start unraveling the secrets of this game, the entire experience will become a lot more interesting, but also a lot more disturbing. The truth is that, at its core, Doki Doki Literature Club is a psychological horror game that explores mature themes such as mental health, reality vs fantasy, and the unforeseen impact that one’s actions can have on other people.
You start the game as a boy who gets invited by a female friend to join a literature club that has four other members, all of whom are girls. It’s clear that the game wants you to date each of these four girls, and the gameplay mainly consists of clicking through dialogue with them and occasionally making choices that will somewhat affect the narrative. For the first hour or so, nothing unusual happens, but then the game suddenly throws a curveball at you and that is when the real Doki Doki Literature Club begins. I really cannot give you any specific details about the story, because the story is the game, and telling you anything more about it will inevitably spoil it for you. In other words, it’s best to go blind into this game and experience it first hand. Just a fair warning – it is indeed a psychologically-disturbing game, so it might not be for everyone, especially people who are more sensitive and easily upset.
How to play it: Natively
Starcraft 2, released by Blizzard in 2010, is among the few RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games that are still popular today and have a relatively big fan base. One of the main reasons for this in the case of Starcraft 2 is its status as an e-sport, with big tournaments that are still being held each year.
If you are unfamiliar with RTS games, know that they are the predecessor of MOBAs, but rather than controlling a single character from a top-down perspective, in RTS games you control an entire army that you first need to slowly build up by gathering resources and constructing production buildings, before you attack your enemy’s base with the goal to destroy it. Starcraft 2 is likely the most challenging game on this list and new players may be overwhelmed if they directly try to play it against other humans. However, the game is worth the try even if you only play it in single-player. Starcraft 2 has three magnificent campaigns with great and emotional storytelling that will leave you wanting more. In the campaigns, you can adjust the difficulty to fit your skill level, and you can thus slowly and steadily become better at the game, while also enjoying its epic story.
How to play it:
Fortnite hardly needs any introduction – it is likely the most popular game worldwide at the moment and even though people’s opinions of it are often divided, one cannot deny that the game carries the potential for a lot of fun hours spent playing it. Fortnite is primarily known for its Battle Royale mode where individual players or groups of players are placed on a large map that periodically shrinks, forcing everyone closer to one another, thus causing them to engage in combat until only one player or small group of players is left standing. It’s a tried and true gameplay formula that, even though it has started to show its age, is still going strong thanks to Fortnite.
Like most other games on this list, Fortnite has top-tier support from its developers and new patches and updates get released very frequently to take care of balancing issues, bugs, optimization problems, and more. A couple of years ago, Fortnite had a fully-functioning macOS version, however, a dispute between Apple and Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer, has led to the drop of support for the game’s mac version. Despite this, you can still play Fortnite on your Mac with the help of the Boosteroid cloud gaming service, which features the game in its library.
How to play it: Natively
Valve’s DotA 2 is another highly popular MOBA game from the golden age of this gaming genre. While not as big as League of Legends, DotA 2 is still a very respected MOBA title that is generally seen as a more challenging and less forgiving version of its Riot Games counterpart. Matches in DotA 2 tend to take longer on average, and the overall early to mid-game pace tends to be slower and grinder. In DotA 2, it’s also more likely for a single hero to get very powerful and thus be able to steamroll over the enemy team, whereas, in League, even the most powerful of heroes in a given match would still typically struggle to take on the entire enemy team.
In the end, DotA 2 and League of Legends are very similar in many ways and since both are free to play, it all comes down to personal preference. There are, of course, a lot of differences, such as items, strategies, characters, etc. between the two games, but those are aspects that you can only learn more about by playing each game.
How to play it: Natively
CS:GO is another game by Valve, but this time it is a tactical multiplayer FPS, where the players from the two opposing teams start with nearly identical starting weapons, the same amount of in-game money, and a very similar catalog of weapons that they can purchase from as they progress through the game. Unlike the currently more popular hero-shooter gaming genre, where different characters have different abilities and characteristics, there’s no such distinction in CS:GO. Every player has the exact same amount of hit points, movement speed, and accuracy, and there are virtually no special abilities. If you are used to playing hero-shooters such as Apex Legends or Overwatch, this may seem a bit dull, but it actually results in very tense and challenging gameplay, where it’s all about one’s skill, reflexes, and tactical and strategic foresight, where balancing issues don’t affect the outcome of a match. On the surface level, CS:GO may seem like a rather simplistic game, but this deceitful exterior hides a vast expanse of nuanced tactics and little tricks that make all the difference between victory and defeat.
How to play it:
Genshin Impact is an action RPG game developed by miHoYo that gives the player control over one of four characters that the player can switch between throughout the game, even in the middle of combat sections. This allows the player to use the different unique skills of each of the characters within a single combat encounter. Each character can have their power level increased in various ways, such as by gaining experience to level up, improving the artifacts that they are carrying, and equipping better weapons and gear.
Overall, you can expect all the familiar RPG tropes to present in Genshin Impact, but note that the game has a pronounced anime aesthetic to it, so, depending on whether you are into anime and/or manga, this game may or may not appeal to you. For a highly-popular free RPG, we can also say that its story isn’t one of its strengths – while serviceable, it comes off as somewhat incohesive. On the plus side, Genshin Impact has a beautiful and colorful world that is chock-full of collectibles, puzzles, hidden chests, enemies, bosses, and more, to the point where the lack of an amazing main story stops being noticeable.
Genshin Impact is available on the Boosteroid cloud gaming service that you can use to play the game on your Mac.
How to play it:
Destiny 2 is an online-only FPS game, in which you can choose between three different character classes (Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans) and play in PvE (Player versus Environment) or PvP (Player versus Player) mode. The PvE mode involves an engaging and immersive campaign with a great story, in which players cooperate to progress through the game’s different raid missions, improve their characters, and eventually defeat the game’s final boss. What makes PvE especially satisfying in Destiny 2 is that its raids, especially the endgame ones such as Nightfall and Leviathan, are designed in such a way that only a well-coordinated team of players with a clear strategy when entering the raid could beat the encounter and emerge victorious.
PvP has several sub-modes, including Clash (a typical team deathmatch mode), Elimination (3v3 mode where each round you must eliminate the enemy team), Control, and Iron Banner (both are control point modes), and more. Overall, there’s a lot of fun to be had in both the PvE and PvP mode and a lot of improvements have been made to both areas compared to the original Destiny game. In both cases, Destiny 2’s gameplay balance leans more towards team play and is more rewarding towards teams that play as a cohesive unit rather than teams in which every player tries to carry the game on their own.
How to play it:
Lost Ark is a 2019 Korean free MMAORPG game (the “A” stands for Action) that got released for Europe North, and South America in February this year, which vastly increased its player base and its overall popularity. Even though you can’t play it natively on a macOS, you can still stream it to your Mac through the Boosteroid game streaming service.
Being a massively multiplayer role-playing game, Lost Ark shares a lot of common elements with titles such as World of Warcraft, RuneScape, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, there’s one important difference in that Lost Ark has a more dynamic, action-focused hack-and-slash combat system that sets it apart from other, more conventional games of the MMORPG genre. Whether you are fighting hostile NPCs (non-player characters) or other players, the battles in Lost Ark never fail to impress with their epic scale and over-the-top visuals. Also, the fact that the combat system is hack-and-slash means that the player has full control over their character’s movements, allowing for a more dynamic and tense experience, especially when facing off against another player in PvP or when fighting one of the game’s many bosses.
On the RPG side of things, the Lost Ark has a serviceable character progression, but bear in mind that leveling up your characters is a rather linear experience, as you’d always need to go through the same main questline to get to level 50 – the game’s maximum level. After that, improvements to one’s character are made solely through acquiring better gear, which eventually starts to become quite grind-y, which is, admittedly, a trademark of MMORPG games in general. Overall, Lost Ark is an interesting game with some impressive battles, and despite its run-of-the-mill RPG elements and character progression could still offer a lot of enjoyment to fans of the MMORPG genre.
If you want to play Lost Ark on your Mac, you can stream the game with the help of Boosteroid.
The next two games are still pretty popular and with relatively big player bases, but we had to leave something out of our top 10 list, so here are our two honorable mentions:
Team Fortress 2
How to play it:
This is yet another classic game by Valve that has survived many years after its release and has managed to remain relevant and popular today. Team Fortress 2 is one of the earlier hero-shooter games, where the player picks a character class that has unique abilities, stats, and a specific in-game role and fights as a part of one of two teams with the goal to defeat the opposing team. The game has a lot of different modes, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Control Point, Arena, and more. Even though Team Fortress 2 came out more than 14 years ago, it’s still played by hundreds of thousands of people and currently has the status of a cult classic. The game is well known for its trademark cartoony, comical visual style, and colorful cast of characters (character classes) that have kept the game relevant and fresh over the years. Another factor that has allowed the game to retain its initial popularity is its continuing support from Valve, which ensures that Team Fortress 2 has as few bugs, balancing issues, and optimization problems as possible.
Even though a lot of other newer games of the hero-shooter genre have been released in the years since Team Fortress 2 came out, the latter is still among the top titles not only in this genre but among all the multiplayer games as a whole, which is a testament to its quality, its fun value, and its refined gameplay, where every character class has their role, their strengths and their weaknesses that reward players who know how to use and exploit them.
Team Fortress 2 can be played on Mac with the help of game streaming services such as Boosteroid and GeForce Now.
How to play it:
Warframe is a 2013 RPG third-person shooter, in which the player is put into the shoes of a biomechanical battle unit referred to as Warframe, which possesses superhuman strength and agility as well as a number of unique skills and abilities such as the ability to instantaneously dash to an enemy, freeze them in place, or even temporarily transport them to an alternative plane of existence. Since the game has been around for nearly a decade, a lot of content has been added to it and what started out as a somewhat simplistic game run-and-shoot game has evolved into something larger that, at times, almost feels like a sandbox due to the amount of opportunity presented to the player. There are tons of missions and quests to complete in Warframe, as well as a wide array of weapons, skills, and warframes (the playable characters) to explore and get familiar with. The good news is that, while getting into the vast world of Warframe may be intimidating at first due to all the content that’s there, the game’s community is, for the most part, very nice, and can usually ease up the process of getting better at the game. Besides, though there’s a lot to be uncovered and explored in Warframe, the core gameplay remains the main appeal of this title, with its fast-paced combat, cool and diverse character abilities, and crisp and responsive movement make for a very engaging game that can be a lot of fun if you have the patience to learn its ins and outs when you are first starting out.
To play Warframe on your Mac even though the game isn’t supported for macOS, we recommend using GeForce Now.
- Martina Nikolova
You can use cloud gaming services to overcome such problems.
Well you can play any game that way which defeats the whole point of this list.
some of these games are not mac compatible like Lost Ark