Macs have been regarded as not particularly well-suited for gaming for the longest time and while there are indeed lots of reasons for people to think that, it is also true that there are tons of awesome games (both new and old) that you can play on a Mac machine and have lots of fun while doing so.
In this next list that we have prepared for you, we have included 10 free gaming titles that you can play on your Mac right now! All of the games listed below are indeed free/free-to-play and the only payments you may end up making while playing those games are for micro-transactions that are not essential to how well you do in the game. We really don’t like pay-to-win games disguised as free-to-play ones, so we have made sure to keep such titles away from our lists.
Top 10 free games for Mac in 2021
With all that out of the way, let us now show you our picks for the top 10 free mac games in 2021. We have made sure to provide relevant links for each game from where you can download the title and start playing.
Eve online is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in space that lets you create a character by choosing their race (there are four races in EVE Online) and skills. Since this is a game set in space, you’d, of course, have to pick and customize a spaceship that you will use to traverse the vast game world. Needless to say, your ship will be one of the things you’d focus on the most – you can upgrade it and add new equipment to it to improve its many characteristics. Of course, if you have enough funds, you can outright replace your ship with a better one.
A major part of the game is its economy – you will spend a large portion of your playtime exploring the world and finding new and better trading options that will allow you to build up a fortune and, in turn, improve your equipment. Combat is also a major part of the game, but it isn’t always wise to engage in fights especially if you are new to the game and lack the necessary equipment to hold your own in battle. EVE Online, as a whole, has a rather steep learning curve that isn’t helped by the vastness of the game as a whole but once you start getting used to it, you could truly appreciate the qualities of the game and enjoy your time spent playing it.
EVE Online has been around for a very long time, and it has a loyal fanbase of players that keep this otherwise old game going strong. However, although it has had a Mac version available for some time now, that version used to be quite buggy and unpopular with players. Recent updates seem to have changed that to an extent by doing away with many of the Mac version bugs and making it 64-bit.
One thing we must make clear here is that, even though this game was first released almost 20 years ago, it certainly doesn’t look like it. Over the years, EVE Online has gone through many changes, and it’s gameplay and graphics are currently on par with today’s standards. This, however, also means that the system requirements for running the game are also pretty high, so you must make sure that your Mac meets them before you try playing it.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is yet another older game that is still very popular today and has a huge player base and lots of loyal fans. Developed by Valve, a company known for making timeless classics, Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer FPS shooter that puts you in the shoes of one out of nine possible character classes that you can choose from, each with its unique set of abilities and skills. The variety of characters to pick from and the different game modes make for a very diverse and engaging experience that you won’t find in more conventional shooters such as CS:GO for example.
Due to its variety, Team Fortress 2 may be a bit tricky to get into at first as you will have to learn the specifics and roles of each separate character class before you could effectively play with that class. Once you get the hang of it, however, you are sure to have tons of fun for many hours on end.
DotA 2 is the successor to the original Warcraft 3 game mod known as DotA (Defense of the Ancients) and it is one of the most popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games of all time. It was first released back in 2013 by Valve and has attracted a huge player base over the years. While not quite as popular as League of Legends (more on that below), DotA 2 is still a major title in the gaming industry, and its simplistic, yet engaging premise makes it a very fun and addictive game.
For those of you unfamiliar with the MOBA genre, it is a type of multiplayer games that put you in control of a single character (usually from a top-down perspective) who has their unique abilities with your goal being to affect the tide of battle between two armies so that you and your allies win. Usually, there would be four more player-controlled characters on your team, and you’d be fighting against an opposing team of five. MOBA games like DotA 2 combine elements of the RPG, RTS, and MMORPG game genres.
Fistful of Frags
Fistful of Frags was initially conceived as a western-inspired mod for the Half-Life 2 Source Engine but has gone on to become a standalone game with its own unique mechanics and gameplay. Currently, Fistful of Frags is a multiplayer FPS set in the Wild West where you fight your opponents using older weapons like the ones you’d expect to see in a Western movie.
The game offers a variety of game mods, including the Deathmatch type of mode (Shootout), objective-based mods that require teamwork to complete the maps objective (Cooperative mode), a Battle Royale-style mode, as well as other variations of the mods we already mentioned. What’s interesting about Fistful of Frags is that you could have up to 4 teams fighting one another on a single map which is something that’s typically not seen in most other FPS games where you could only have two opposing teams.
Obviously, Fistful of Frags isn’t the most unique game – there are many other similar shooters out there but its Wild West setting, its fun and dynamic gameplay, and its non-demanding yet still relevant Source engine make it a fun experience that anybody who enjoys the FPS genre as a whole could enjoy. If you are looking for a fun game that won’t put too much strain on the hardware of your Mac, a Fistful of Frags may be something you should try out.
Dwarf Fortress is a rather unique game of the rather niche roguelike game genre. At its core, it is a single-player construction and management simulation game where the main goal of the player is to create a successful colony/fortress and defend it from the various environmental threats and invading enemy forces. The game is extremely detailed and complex, and you could spend months learning its many in-game mechanics and features.
If you are unfamiliar with the roguelike game genre, Dwarf Fortress may seem like a very inaccessible game that is not welcoming to new players. The roguelike genre itself is more often than not like this. The game doesn’t use conventional graphics and instead heavily relies on text to convey what’s happening during your playtime. If you are not used to this, you may find it very difficult if not impossible to progress through the game.
Because of this, Dwarf Fortress is definitely not a game that you can play casually from time to time without first investing a significant amount of time and effort to learn the basics of the game. It is definitely not for everyone, and you need to have lots of patience and willingness to learn how to play it before you can enjoy it. Once you get the hang of it and get over the unusual graphics, UI, and gameplay mechanics of the game, playing Dwarf Fortress could become a very addictive and immersive experience for players who enjoy this type of game.
One other thing to mention about Dwarf Fortress is that it was created and has been maintained through the many years since its release (the game was released in 2006) by only two people. Not only that but the game has always been free and the only financial support for its creators has been solely through donations.
Hearthstone is a card-collection game developed by Blizzard where two players face off against one another in a game of cards. Each player starts with a deck of 30 cards and a selected hero who has a unique power that can affect the game in different ways. The goal is to eventually destroy the enemy hero by summoning minions and using different abilities to damage them.
Players have the freedom to customize their decks and add new and more powerful cards. New cards can be purchased using an in-game value (gold) that is earned through winning matches and completing quests. You can also buy new cards with real-life money through the method of micro-transactions.
The cards in Hearthstone are based on relics, characters, and abilities from the Warcraft games so if you are familiar with the latter and like card games in general, chances are that you’d at least be interested in trying Hearthstone. At first, it may not seem like a big deal – after all, it’s just a card game – however, after you play a couple of matches, Hearthstone can get quite addictive and a lot of this comes from its deceiving simplicity.
Spelunky is a 2D platformer game with roguelike elements that puts you in the shoes of a cave explorer who descends deep into the dungeons and caves of the world in search of treasure. What sets apart Spelunky from other 2D platformer games is its roguelike element – the fact that the majority of the caves and dungeons you are navigating through and the items and item locations inside them are randomly generated.
This helps keep the game fresh and gives it an incredible replay value. Every playthrough of the game is bound to be unique so that it never gets overly familiar or repetitive. On its surface, Spelunky may seem like a rather simplistic game, but it doesn’t take long to realize that the depth of the caves that you explore is only matched by the depth of its gameplay.
The game has a single-player, a multiplayer, and a co-op mode so that once you get bored with playing by yourself, you can always get some friends to help you explore the caves of Spelunky in the co-op mode or compete against other players in the online multiplayer mode of the game.
League of Legends
League of Legends is yet another MOBA game that we’d like to add to our list of free games for Mac. Like DotA 2, it lets you pick a character with unique abilities and puts you in a team with four other players with your goal being to destroy the base and army of the other team.
The game is super immersive and addictive and in spite of its simplistic premise can keep you engaged for hours on end. One of the most fun aspects of the game is exploring the many characters that the game has to offer – a whopping number of 153 different champions with their unique abilities, skills, appearances, and personalities. This variety in characters to choose from alone makes for a very diverse experience that keeps the gameplay fresh even after spending hundreds of hours playing the game.
If we compare League of Legends to DotA 2, the former is a bit more accessible and easier to get into than DotA 2 as it has more forgiving mechanics so that even when you make mistakes in the game you aren’t punished as harshly for them. A perfect example of that is what happens when your character gets killed in either game. In DotA 2, having your character get killed will not only make you wait until the character respawns (gets revived) but it also makes you lose some of your in-game money as a penalty for allowing your character to get killed.
In League of Legends, on the other hand, the only penalty is that you’d have to wait for the character to respawn, but you don’t lose money for allowing them to get killed. In the end, it is up to each player’s individual preferences to decide which of the two games would be a better fit.
Fortnite is an online action game that combines survival, battle-royale, and sandbox elements. The game is separated into three distinct modes: In Fortnite: Save the World the players must work together to build a base and fend off hordes of zombie-like NPCs. In Fortnite: Battle Royale, the players are spawned on a huge map that slowly shrinks and the goal is to fight the other players until you are the last man standing. The third mode is Fortnite Creative and in it the players can freely shape the world of the game, creating new maps and battle arenas.
Fortnite is undoubtedly one of the most popular games at the moment and though there are different opinions about how good it really is, there can be no doubt that it is currently something of a gaming phenomenon with a huge player base and incredible popularity worldwide. I believe that it offers enough variety in game modes and player skill levels to provide both casual and competitive players with a fun and engaging experience.
Orion: The Eternal Punishment
Orion: The Eternal Punishment is a single-player first-person shooter with an old-school vibe and graphics much like Dusk (another old-school FPS that we have included in our other list of Mac games LINK).
This is the newest game on this list – it was released just yesterday, and it is yet to be seen just how good it really is. Obviously, since it is designed as an old-school shooter, the game has a certain type of aesthetic to it that may not be for everyone. If you are a person who prefers games with modern-looking graphics that come as close to reality as possible, this may not be the game for you. However, if you are a sucker for old-school FPS action, you may enjoy the charm of Orion.
The game’s art direction is definitely in the right place so even though the graphics look aged (as they are intended to), the game still manages to look pretty and immersive. However, I am still not sure how I feel about the character models in the game as they seem a bit wonky and unpolished which may not be entirely due to the aesthetic of the old-school graphics. On the plus side, the soundtrack is quite good and helps build up a cool atmosphere.
Overall, this is definitely a game that needs some polishing, but with some improvement patches, it may end up being a quite charming gameplay experience that evokes the same vibes as older games like Unreal and Quake.