Best Mac games 2022: what you should be playing right now

A iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro playing games against a pink background
(Image credit: Future)

Our picks for best Mac games might surprise you, but only if you’re still under the impression that Macs aren’t equipped to handle games. While Apple is known for its Apple Arcade game service, we’re specifically focusing on some of the best PC games available that you can play on your Mac, whether it’s a MacBook or an iMac.

Once upon a time, it was true that even the best MacBooks and Macs weren’t considered gaming machines - especially because developers weren’t making games compatible with macOS. The release of the M1 iMacs and MacBooks, however, marked a distinct change in how capable these pieces of tech are in terms of game performance. 

Models like the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, handle tons of popular games with ease and efficiency. Macs may be known for their productivity and sleek design, but their gaming performance is nothing to scoff at. Plus, it’s easy to find tons of Mac games on digital storefronts that make downloading and playing a breeze.

Some of the best Mac games can be found alongside their Windows PC counterparts on Steam, which means Mac gaming is as easy as downloading through the storefront and jumping right in. Our top Mac game picks of 2022 also have some overlap with the best Steam games so you’ll be able to find popular, up-to-date games with ease. 

Divinity Original Sin 2 playing on a Mac

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Divinity: Original Sin 2

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Widely considered to be one of the best role-playing games of all time, Divinity: Original Sin 2 deserves a place on any Mac gamer’s computer. 

No matter your playstyle, end goals, or even ulterior motivations, Divinity adapts to your choices and lets you play the way you want to. With a detailed world, rich narrative lore, and hundreds of hours’ worth of content, it is a deep and entertaining game that deserves its accolades and is worth every penny.

A mining frigate mining an asteroid in EVE Online

(Image credit: CCP Games)

EVE Online

This nearly 20-year-old space MMO hasn't missed a step with age and now with a dedicated Mac client, it's better than ever and fully optimized for Apple's M1 chip.

Whether it's epic space battles or building an intricate manufacturing empire, this MMO has had nearly two decades to refine its formula. And with a recently redesigned new player experience, there's never been a better time to get into one of the most dynamic free-to-play MMOs on the PC gaming scene. 

A settlement in Civilization VI

(Image credit: 2K)

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

If you are a fan of strategy games, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI should be near the top of your list. The long-lived strategy series sees you build up an empire from a tiny settlement to a world-dominating power, with rivals to crush or befriend as you chart your progress. 

Should you take a scientific approach and surge ahead of your enemies technologically, or sweep them away with military might? Given the range of choices at your fingertips and the ever-changing map generation and set of opponents, no game will ever be the same.

Portal puzzle game

(Image credit: Valve)

Portal Bundle

As far as puzzle games go, Valve’s Portal has acquired near-legendary status – and with good reason. 

Portal was a ground-breaking title akin to the Great American Short Story of video games. Portal 2 takes the brain-bending mechanics of its predecessor and fleshes them out into a longer, more challenging story. 

It will have you laughing out loud and yelling in frustration by turns, but the feeling of completing a particularly tricky level is second to none. If puzzle games are your thing, then the Portal Bundle needs to be in your Mac games library.

Underwater view in Subnautica

(Image credit: Unkown Worlds Entertainment)

Subnautica

Subnautica sees you stranded on a mysterious planet – or rather, in its seemingly endless ocean – as a small fish in a very, very big pond. 

To survive, you must explore the subterranean depths and scavenge what little resources you can, but this is no easy task. Limited oxygen, unfathomable depths, and monstrous creatures make exploring an often-perilous task, but it must be done if you are to stay alive. Few games combine beauty with tension so successfully.

Disco Elysium

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

If you're a fan of the old-school isometric RPGs of yore like Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2, then Disco Elysium has your name written all over it.

A detective story at heart, Disco Elysium features one of the most distinctive art styles of any game we can remember thanks to its oil-painted scenes, deep story-telling, and full voice acting.

The recipient of multiple awards after its 2019 release, it's widely considered to be one of the best RPGs in recent memory. You can now play it in all its glory on the Mac.

Hands holding a map and compass on mountain in Firewatch

(Image credit: Campo Santo)

Firewatch

Love stunning, slow-paced games? Firewatch could be right up your alley, or forest trail. 

This picturesque puzzler is set in the Shoshone National Forest and puts you in the shoes of a fire lookout who finds himself and his supervisor embroiled in an increasingly strange mystery. 

As you explore the forest, the game takes ever darker turns as you delve to the bottom of its story. Its sun-drenched environment and narrative storytelling – conducted over walkie-talkies – make it a sumptuous experience for any Mac gamer.

Total War: Three Kingdoms battle

(Image credit: Sega)

Total War: Three Kingdoms

You could easily just swap in any of the Total War games in this slot and it would still be legit.

While Three Kingdoms is the latest Total War addition, the recent Warhammer installments in the series (as well as the forthcoming Total War: Warhammer III) are all well represented on the Mac, as are Total War favorites Rome and Rome II.

So if you're looking to dig into the Total War experience, whatever your preferred period, you can easily do it on the latest Mac.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous playing on a Mac

(Image credit: Owlcat Games)

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Making the jump from pen-and-paper, the Pathfinder RPG series was well received in 2018 with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Now, 2020's Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous follows up that success with an all-new adventure on the Mac.

If you're not very familiar with the Pathfinder universe it's not the kind of game that holds your hand until you get your bearings, but it more than makes up for that with its incredible depth of playable races and character classes.

The gameplay hasn't changed much from Kingmaker, but the game is just as gorgeous to look at – and as fun to play – thanks to the power of the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max processors on the new Mac devices. 

Hades

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

 Hades 

What else is there to say? One of the best roguelike RPGs ever is available on the Mac, and if you haven't checked out Hades, now is the time.

As Zagreus, the Son of Hades, your mission is to reach Mount Olympus by cutting a swath through the Underworld with the help of Greek mythology's biggest names. Throughout the game, Zagreus gains abilities, dies, and begins again in a Sisyphusean effort to escape the realm of the dead.

Winner of several awards like the Critics Choice Award at the Golden Joystick Awards and Best Action at 2020's Games Awards, this is one of the best titles going on the Mac right now.

Elder Scrolls Online

(Image credit: Bethesda)

 Elder Scrolls Online 

When it comes to MMORPGs, Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) sometimes flies under the radar, but that doesn't make it any less spectacular a game for that.

As the definitive online Elder Scrolls experience, whether it's PvE or PvP, ESO has an incredible depth of content for players to get lost in. 

It also definitely has to be emphasized that ESO has easily one of the best PvP experiences of any MMORPG going, even if you don't normally like PvP. 

There is nothing quite like storming a castle with 40 of your compatriots while being doused in burning oil and surviving the ordeal to contribute to the larger military effort to rule Cyrodiil for your faction.

Stellaris customization screen

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Stellaris

Stellaris is one of the best 4X strategy games ever made, so why not play it on a Mac?

Whether it's trying to form alliances with other interstellar empires or dominate the chokepoints of the hyperlane network to corner the market on a strategic resource, the strategy elements here are top-notch.

Add to that the ability to build an empire around a gestalt consciousness of insectoid devourers – who will stop at nothing until the entire galaxy is subsumed into their hivemind – and you have a strategy game with incredible depth and endless replayability. 

Just watch out for those Fallen Empires on the periphery of your domain...

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

(Image credit: Square Enix)

 Shadow of the Tomb Raider 

Just so you didn't think that all the best Mac games were strategy and RPGs, we really recommend you check out Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

In addition to being one of the best action games ever, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is absolutely gorgeous with its sprawling exotic locales and spelunking goodness.

It's the last installment of the Tomb Raider reboot but, fortunately, all the previous installments are also available, so there's no better time to dive into Lara Croft's redemptive reboot trilogy than with that brand new Mac you just got.

A tropical island under development in Tropico 6

(Image credit: Limbic Entertainment)

 Tropico 6 

When it comes to city builders, Tropico 6 is about as good as you'll find this side of Pharaoh.

As El Presidente of a totally-not-Cuba Caribbean island, it's up to you to raise your small island nation up to greatness by exporting raw materials, fending off imperial capitalists, and avoiding peasant revolutions over unpaid wages.

When in doubt, always listen to Trotsky.

darkest dungeon

(Image credit: Red Hook)

 Darkest Dungeon 

Easily one of the best Lovecraft-inspired games ever made, Darkest Dungeon is the kind of game that rewards masochism.

Be prepared to fill a graveyard with heroes. Abandon quests to save favorites. Watch your crew slowly fall apart under the stress of adventuring in a non-Euclidean nightmare. 

Then dump them in a brothel and tell them to get over it before throwing them back into the mix to seal up some cyclopean horror your ancestor unleashed unto the world in his hubris. Macs were made for this moment, don't let them tell you differently.

A man with a crossbow looks over a valley full of zombies

(Image credit: Techland)

 Dying Light 

When it comes to zombie games, there are few that rise to the level of Dying Light

The parkour-slash-melee-zombie-brawler-or-something is easily one of the best action games out there. Even after several years it looks amazing and hasn't lost a step in terms of gameplay.

If you're looking for some zombie-killing action on a Mac, this is definitely the game for you. Understandably, this game is a bit more demanding than most, so we wouldn't recommend anything less than the M1 chip for this one. 

Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley

If you love pixel art and farming simulation games, Stardew Valley should be on your radar. You can customize your character’s appearance and home with tons of different decorative items to choose from. 

You can choose to rebuild your grandfather’s farm to its previous glory, or choose a more capitalist route by partnering with the corporation that’s moved into the valley.

Though this RPG originally released in 2016, it’s had consistent updates - through December 2021 - that make it a must-play for simulation game fans. You can also play with up to 3 of your friends on co-op farms to share resources and rebuild the farm at a faster pace.

A survivor in Rust, naked and alone

(Image credit: Facepunch Studios)

Rust

Rust made its debut in December 2013 and is now in its eighth year, having had over 300 content updates and a guaranteed content patch each month. The goal in Rust is to survive despite the odds, as pretty much everything in the world wants to kill you. This survival action-RPG MMO allows for cross platform multiplayer, but most players will kill you on site.

Truthfully, Rust can be a bit of a grind and a bit frustrating, but once you get the hang of it and make allies by joining clans it becomes a truly compelling game. Note, this game is not for the faint of heart and is rated “Mature” due to blood and nudity. If you can handle that, Rust may be an excellent choice for your Mac gaming adventure.

John Loeffler
Computing Editor

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 


Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: The Last Stand: Aftermath, Cartel Tycoon

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