The idea that Macs can’t do gaming is an outdated one. Sure, you can’t crack open one of Apple’s computers and slot a Nvidia GTX 980 inside, but today’s iMacs and MacBooks fare much better than they used to thanks to improvements in Intel’s integrated graphics solutions and AMD’s increasingly powerful mobile GPUs.
Heck, you could even say that casual gaming is more accessible on the Mac thanks to the wide variety of titles available in the App Store. And, though it’s nowhere near as eclectic as its Windows equivalent, Steam’s library on OS X is growing every day.
Whether you’re looking to build up your skills in Guild Wars 2, drive people to insanity by imprisoning them in The Sims 4 or embark on an epic fantasy adventure in Pillars of Eternity, there’s more than enough out there to satisfy your casual gaming thirst on the Mac.
Once you’re done, check out the best PC games
Originally launched in 1999, the influence of real-time strategy classic Homeworld runs deep in the DNA of today’s fantasy RTS games. Homeworld went beyond the genre’s traditionally flat battlefields by allowing you to position your fleet of spaceships anywhere in a 3D map of space. The extra freedom requires a whole new level of tactical nous, which you’ll need if you want to get through its 30-hour campaign without tearing your hair out.
When you’re not overseeing ship formations and tactics, you’ll be monitoring fuel levels, harvesting resources and fighting against gravitational pull to keep your squad together.
2. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Even a decade later, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic may be one of the best Star Wars game of all time, thanks to a choose-your-own-path approach that lets you customize a character, make moral choices along the way, and explore the galaxy’s ample depth as you desire. It looks and feels a little dated at this point, but it remains the most thorough franchise realization yet.
3. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
A truly beloved adventure games classic, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition brings the 1990 entry to the Mac App Store with a fresh coat of paint, thanks to enhanced visuals and full voiceover work. You can always switch to the old graphics at any point, and however you play, it’s really the rich humor and smart puzzles that make this an enduring favorite.
Set in a mysterious and monochromatic world, Limbo sends you off into the shadowy 2D space without explanation or prompt, tasking you with guiding a young boy through a series of environmental puzzles. Also one of our best indie games, Limbo is a gripping puzzle/platform adventure that mesmerizes plenty within just a few hours’ span, and the one-of-a-kind presentation really makes it memorable.
Braid takes many of its cues from classic platform adventures like Super Mario Bros, but Nintendo’s portly plumber never mined the kind of emotional territory that reveals itself over the course of this puzzle-tinged affair. Gorgeous hand-painted visuals and contemplative storytelling help frame the action, which uses a time-manipulating effect to shake up the platform approach.
6. Doom 3
Itching for a bit of big-budget ultra-violence? Doom 3 is the culmination of id Software’s legendary first-person shooter franchise, sending you running through dark corridors filled with all sorts of horrifying beasts. Several years after its release, it’s no longer the flashiest shooter around, but it still delivers an effective burst of horror at a pretty fantastic price.
7. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
An off-beat but gripping pixel adventure, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP finds you exploring a stunningly imagined fantasy world while you solve puzzles, take in the quirky dialogue, and even engage in occasional boss battles. It’s difficult to understand in moments, but that actually adds to its odd charm, making for one seriously memorable quest.