Strategy is probably one of the gaming genres that has the biggest number of games with official macOS versions, so if you are a fan of strategy games and would like to try some interesting titles from that genre on your Mac, here is a list that includes some highly-popular strategy game titles that you can play natively on your Mac.
Below that list, you will also find a shorter one, that includes strategies that aren’t supported for macOS, yet can still be played on a Mac machine with the help of cloud gaming services (Boosteroid, GeForce Now, etc.).
Collectively, in this post, you will find a wide selection of the various types of strategy games, so chances are that you will eventually come across a title that will provide you with the exact type of strategy gameplay experience that you’ve been looking for.
Table of Contents
Best Strategy games for Mac in 2022
Price: $59.99 (Steam)
The Civilization games are probably the most well-known and popular 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) turn-based games, and Civilization 6 is the latest installment in this series. In it, you are in control of a civilization chosen by you and your main goal is to develop your civilization, expand its influence, and conquer the civilizations of other players. Being a turn-based game, Civilization 6 is all about long-term strategy and short-term tactically sound decisions. Here, unit control, reflexes, and multitasking are not a factor relevant to accomplishing victory. Instead, you’d need to have good foresight and a strategic mindset in order to get ahead of your opponents. There is a total of five possible ways you can achieve victory in a Civilization 6 – conquest/domination, scientific and technological superiority, cultural superiority, religious predominance, and diplomatic victory that can be achieved in several different ways.
This variety of ways you can achieve victory combined with the incredibly wide selection of different civilizations allows for many different play styles and ways you can emerge victorious. Unfortunately, but also expectedly, a game this vast, with so many different options, is bound to have some balancing issues – not strategies, civilizations, and even victory conditions are equally viable and though you can still certainly have fun with them, if you want to win at Civilization 6, you’d need to inevitably stick to the current meta.
Another downside of the game is its mediocre AI – while improvements have been made compared to earlier Civilization games, single-player games against computer-controlled opponents are still not particularly enjoyable.
Overall, Civilization 6 has some flaws, but it’s still a good turn-based strategy game that can be a lot of fun when played in multiplayer as long as you enjoy this specific gaming genre.
You can read our full review of Civilization 6 on this page.
Price: Free to Play
Starcraft 2, released in 2010 by Blizzard, is a long-standing RTS game that has managed to retain its popularity throughout the years mainly due to being a major e-sport. It is a fast-paced and intense game that requires lots of skill, a good understanding of the current meta, and high levels of control because, in it, you need to be able to simultaneously build up your base, defend it, and try to attack and destroy the base and army of your opponent with your own army. Though the game has an active multiplayer scene, newer players would usually find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of multitasking they’d need to handle in order to get a win against other human players, which could discourage them.
However, people oftentimes forget that Starcraft 2 also has an awesome campaign for each of its three factions that tells an epic story. Since you get the option to choose the campaign’s difficulty and since the early missions for each faction are designed to teach you the ins and outs of the respective faction, playing the Starcraft 2 campaign is an engaging and enjoyable way of learning the basics of the game. I, for one, have played Starcraft 2 solely for its campaign and story without even needing to move on to its multiplayer mode.
Here is our full review of Starcraft 2
Into the Breach
Price: $14.99 (Steam)
Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game that often feels like a sci-fi version of chess. At first glance, it seems like a very simplistic game – each level is played on an 8 by 8 grid, and it’s all about using the right move with the right character to emerge victorious. There’s no need for multitasking or controlling multiple units at once. Instead, it’s all about making tactically and strategically sound decisions, lest the game punishes you for your lack of foresight.
In each level of the game, you are in control of 3 commanders each of whom controls a mech suit. Your goal is to use the unique abilities of your commanders and their mech suits to destroy the enemies placed on the 8×8 board while also doing your best to mitigate collateral damage to civic buildings and structures. Despite its seemingly simplistic premise, Into the Breach is actually a very complex and challenging game, where you’d often find yourself in situations where victory seems impossible. Its procedurally generated levels mean that you cannot simply learn each level by heart and then execute the best strategy for it. Instead, you’d need to think on your feet and adapt your strategy according to the current situation which, more often than not, is not favorable.
Into the Breach is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy games that are all about thinking and strategizing, and where every action carries a lot of weight behind it, you may enjoy what Into the Breach has to offer.
Total War: Warhammer 3
Total War: Warhammer 3 is one of the most popular Total War games and, as such, has accumulated an immense amount of content throughout the years, with a ton of DLC packs and add-ons. If you’ve never played a Total War game, this type of game is known for combining two strategy game elements – a turn-based strategy with resource management and a real-time strategy where you directly control your army and use the terrain of the current battlefield to gain the upper hand while battling the enemies’ armies.
Combining those two gameplay elements leads to the creation of a strategy game that can appeal to both players who like faster-paced, action-oriented strategies where spectacle takes a front seat and to players who like to sit back, take their time to pick their next move, and slowly and methodically expand and conquer their opponents.
In the case of Total War: Warhammer 3, this game has a distinct fantasy setting, but where everything is turned up to eleven – huge armies, insanely powerful units, epic battles, over-the-top magical abilities, and more. If you are into games with fantasy settings, strategy games, and large-scale battles, Warhammer 3 is something that you will almost certainly like.
Price: $29.99 (Steam)
Frostpunk is a fascinating strategy game where the main enemy you need to deal with is nature itself. This game masterfully combines elements from more conventional city-builder games like Sim City and Cities: Skylines and elements from survival games like Don’t Starve and Ark: Survival Evolved, resulting in an engaging and oftentimes tense experience. In Frostpunk, your goal is to build up and develop a city while in the midst of an Ice Age. The cold, harsh weather conditions make this task very difficult and force you to take into consideration many different factors when deciding what to prioritize in your attempts to keep the denizens of your city alive and content. Frostpunk is a constant struggle against the elements, where you need to ceaselessly balance your resources in a fragile balance, lest the cold finds the one weak spot in your infrastructure and capitalizes on it, which could ultimately lead to the end of your entire city. Unlike a lot of city-builder games, Frostpunk is also a real-time game, meaning that you must constantly be monitoring the state of your city and its society, or else you may not notice that you’ve run dangerously low on an important resource or that you’ve missed a good opportunity to expand or fortify your city’s infrastructure. It’s a game that requires multitasking, thinking on your feet, and having good foresight. It’s also a notably difficult game, so if you are looking for a more laid-back experience, Frostpunk may come off as a bit too intense. Regardless, it’s a very good game that provides an interesting take on both the strategy and the survival gaming genres.
Endless Space 2
If you like the concept of Civilization 6 and 4X games in general but would prefer the game to have a sci-fi setting, then maybe you should check out Endless Space 2. This is a turn-based 4x strategy game in space, where you control a specific race with its unique characteristics and where your goal is to establish a strong empire that would conquer or dominate all other races. Like in Civilization 6, there are a number of different victory conditions and each of them can allow you to win a game of Endless Space 2. There is the typical conquest victory, there’s also supremacy, which involves bringing all other factions under your control, scientific victory, which is gained by researching all technologies of your race, and economic victory, which requires you to accumulate a certain amount of the game’s main resources, and there’s also the highest score victory and a Wonder victory.
Endless Space is a very well realized 4x game with interesting races, polished mechanics, tons of variety and viable playstyles, and also an adequate AI in case you don’t want to play against other human players.
The game also looks very slick and has an excellent art direction and visual representation. Each race has its own unique and recognizable look and the game itself looks very pretty.
If you are a hardcore 4X fan, you may find that Endless Space 2 may not have the same depth as other more complex games of this genre, but this could also be seen as a plus because this keeps the gameplay experience tight and prevents it from becoming boring or stale. This is also why we’d say that Endless Space 2 could be a good entry point to the 4X gaming genre for people who like sci-fi settings, yet have never before played a game of this type.
Price: $39.99 (Steam)
Continuing with the 4X strategies set in space, Stellaris, similarly to Endless Space 2, puts you in the control of an empire on the rise that strives to take over the entire galaxy. However, though at first glance the two games may seem similar, they are actually quite different and would appeal to different types of players. While Endless Space 2 is a turn-based game, Stellaris is played in real-time, which means that there aren’t rounds and the timing of your action matters a great deal. The good thing here is that there’s a pause button that you can press at any time to stop the flow of in-game time and give yourself a moment to assess the current situation and plan out your next actions.
Stellaris is also a much bigger, grand-strategy game with a sandbox feel to it. The reachable space in Stellaris is vast and exploring it takes a much bigger portion of the game compared to Endless Space 2. There are both scripted and randomly-generated events that take place and that affect your empire, and you have the freedom to realize pretty much every sci-fi empire trope you could think of. However, despite its abundance of content, the game falls somewhat flat when it comes down to its races and victory conditions. The races aren’t as imaginative and as different from one another compared to the races in Endless Space 2 and there are basically two victory conditions – total annihilation of all enemy races and 100% control of the galaxy. There aren’t any scientific, economic, or supremacy victory conditions. Also, a game of Stellaris could drag on forever – a huge number of players who’ve tried it have never actually finished a single game, where the victory screen shows up.
None of this is to say that Stellaris isn’t good, but it’s ultimately more of a sandbox game where you go about building up an empire without necessarily seeking to achieve a conclusive victory, whereas Endless Space 2 offers a more focused and streamlined experience with a clear list of viable goals to go after.
Price: $59.99 (Steam)
XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical strategy game with RPG and roguelike elements. The game puts the player in control of a squad of 4 to 6 customizable characters with diverse abilities and skills that you need to use in order to progress to procedurally-generated levels, eliminate a variety of enemies, and complete different objectives. The game is mainly played from a top-down perspective, but when certain sequences take place, the camera shifts to closer, more cinematic angles, making the experience more impactful and dramatic and also allowing the game to showcase its top-notch visuals.
One of the best things about XCOM 2 is that it forces you to put effort into and spend time with the characters you personally create and customize, which makes you attached to them, only to later put them into precarious situations where you will inevitably have to make tough choices. The tension in such situations is further amplified by the turn timers that some missions have and by the characters’ perma-death when Iron Mode is enabled. To elaborate on that last part, if you are playing the game in Iron Mode and a member of your squad eventually dies, they’re gone for good, and you cannot reload a save to bring them back. Some players may find playing the game like this to be too punishing, but I’d argue that this adds an extra dimension to the game, by making your decisions more impactful and by forcing you to never make an idle move.
Overall, XCOM 2 is a very good successor to the original XCOM game, with tons of thrills, exciting sequences, difficult choices, and formidable challenges that we can recommend to any fan of turn-based strategy games that take place in a sci-fi setting.
Best Strategy games for Mac in 2022 with Cloud Gaming
Dune: Spice Wars (GeForce Now)
Price: $29.99 (Steam)
Dune: Spice Wars is the latest attempt to provide players with a satisfying and interesting gameplay experience set in the Dune universe, and, for the most part, the game succeeds in doing exactly that. Its beautiful graphics and stylized visuals perfectly showcase the world of Dune and its competent 4X real-time strategy gameplay manages to keep the player engaged and wanting more.
For a 4X strategy game, Dune: Spice Wars may not be the most content-rich title, but the content it does offer is presented masterfully, with lots of attention to detail. You won’t find anything revolutionary here – familiar gameplay mechanics such as resource management, diplomacy, exploration, research, and army creation are all present here, and while the game may not offer a particularly unique take on the 4X strategy genre, it still provides a well-realized experience that fans of Dune and of strategy games are sure to appreciate.
You can play Dune: Spice Wars on your Mac with the help of GeForce Now.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 (Boosteroid)
Price: $59.99 (Steam)
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a construction and management simulation strategy game, where your main goal is to manage a prehistoric theme park populated with dinosaurs, just like in the Jurassic Park films. The game requires you to take into account many different factors such as budget, state of the park’s infrastructure, health and behavior of the dinosaurs, and even their genetic makeup. However, compared to other games of this genre, Jurassic World Evolution 2 actually falls short in terms of things you need to manage. For instance, the habitat requirements for most dinosaur species are rather loose and do not reflect the likely real-world needs of those species based on scientific research. Also, the only employees in the game that you need to care about are the scientists working in the park. No other staff members require any sort of management or even appear in the game. There are other similar examples of missing micromanagement features, but most players would probably not mind that too much. In fact, this lack of any overly-complex micromanagement helps make the game more accessible and friendly to newcomers to this gaming genre.
On the flip side, the game has beautiful graphics and various realistic-looking dinosaur models. One problem here, however, is that the physics engine used in the game is very clunky and can oftentimes break the immersion, though, ultimately, this shouldn’t be detrimental to the overall experience.
In conclusion, if you like dinosaurs and management and simulation strategies, you will probably like Jurassic World Evolution 2, yet know that there are better games of the same genre.
To play Jurassic World Evolution 2, you can use the Boosteroid cloud-gaming service.
Planet Zoo (GeForce Now)
Price: $44.99 (Steam)
If you like to manage a lot of stuff at once and Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a bit too vanilla for your preferences, then you may appreciate the greater depth of Planet Zoo, in which you need to manage every aspect of a public Zoo – from the habitat, health, and even mental state of each animal species to the economic state of the Zoo – its income sources, expenses, financial balance, etc., with a variety of income sources and things that require you to spend the acquired money.
Planet Zoo also features a vast selection of animals, all of which are very well-animated, with believable movement and unique behaviors. Even though at times, the AI of some animals may be a bit clunky, overall your zoo would feel like it’s populated by actual living animals that you’d grow fond of and try to take care of (often, at the cost of making bad financial decisions).
The game has several modes, including the expected story mode, a franchise mode that lets you turn your Zoo into a franchise and expand it over the globe, and there’s also a sandbox mode that provides you with unlimited money and allows you to create your dream Zoo. There’s also a multiplayer mode, where you should be able to visit other people’s zoos, yet, in order to do that, you’d first need to download a player’s zoo from the game’s workshop, or else you won’t be able allowed to explore it and look at it.
You can play Planet Zoo on Mac through the GeForce Now cloud gaming platform.