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The best Mac games 2021: top games you can play on your MacBook

best Mac games
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A few years ago, you might not have thought twice about the best Mac games on the market. But a lot can change in just a matter of years. The Apple ecosystem is home to a lot more games these days partially thanks to the addition of Apple Arcade, which adds a bunch more games to dive into. Additionally, more and more developers are making their games available to Mac users.

While the best Macs were already more than powerful enough, the performance boost from the new M1 chip really makes playing the best Mac games a joy. If you grab one of these new machines, whether it’s the desktop replacement Mac Mini (M1, 2020), the powerful Macbook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020), or the svelte Macbook Air (M1, 2020), you’ll have more than enough horsepower under the hood to tackle any games available on macOS.

To help you find that next adventure to go on, we’ve collected our top picks for the best Mac games here. Read on to see which game you’ll dive into next.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

1. Divinity: Original Sin 2

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.

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

2. Stardew Valley

Unlike many of the best Mac games today, Stardew Valley was not made by a large studio. 

Instead, it was a labor of love for one man, which makes it even more extraordinary. You play as an exhausted city dweller escaping a hectic urban life to start a farm in the countryside. 

Over time, you meet the inhabitants of your new town, learn to grow crops, and gain new friends and relationships. There are adventures to be had and countless things to discover, all wrapped up in a gorgeous pixel art world. It is relaxing, wholesome, and has so much to offer.

(Image credit: 2K)

3. 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 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.

(Image credit: Dontnod/Square Enix)

4. Life is Strange

Since releasing in 2015, Life is Strange has gone on to spawn a prequel, a spin-off, and a sequel, but nothing beats the original for sheer gaming enjoyment. 

You follow Max, an adolescent who discovers she can rewind time and alter the future. As the story unfolds, you must choose how to use this power, with potentially unforeseen consequences. 

It is an emotional adventure told through first-rate gameplay mechanics and clever storytelling, and should not be missed.

(Image credit: Valve)

5. Portal 2

As far as puzzle games go, Valve’s Portal 2 has acquired near-legendary status – and with good reason. 

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, Portal 2 needs to be in your Mac games library.

(Image credit: Unkown Worlds Entertainment)

6. 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 deepness 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.

This War of Mine

(Image credit: 11 Bit Studios)

7. This War of Mine

War games often cast you as a grizzled vet mowing down countless faceless enemies in a quest for conquest. 

This War of Mine could not be further from that world. Instead, you are tasked with simply surviving a devastating war in which you have no power, no stake and little hope for the future. 

You must help a small group of civilians evade snipers, scavenge supplies, and simply live for as long as possible until a ceasefire is called. It is by no means an easy game but is a profound experience that will leave a deep and lasting impact.

(Image credit: Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc.)

8. The Witness

The Witness is a puzzle game par excellence. Set on a beautiful island that is practically bursting with head-scratching puzzles, The Witness encourages you to solve its tasks through trial and error and moments of inspiration, and it is these epiphanies that make the game great, providing bursts of joy after many frustrating failures. 

There is no handholding here, but the game’s insistence on learning from your past successes and stumbles means no puzzle is ever insurmountable.

(Image credit: Campo Santo)

9. Firewatch

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

(Image credit: Studio MDHR)

10. Cuphead

There is no doubt about it: Cuphead is one of the most graphically arresting games out there. Inspired by classic cartoons from the 1930s, it is a gorgeous platformer that looks like no other. 

But it is not just a pretty face: this game is hard. Enemies are varied and challenging, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you will die countless times trying to defeat them. Keep at it, though, and you will be rewarded with one of the most engaging, original games in years.