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Being a Mac gamer isn’t easy. Sure, you get a few of the big hits, but plenty of games that could theoretically run on macOS never come to the platform. If you ask about good games for your MacBook, you’ll run into at least one person telling you to just buy a PC.
This is even tougher for free-to-play games. While PC gamers are spoiled for choice when it comes to free-to-play games, your pickings are much more slim on the Mac. The good news is that doesn’t mean there aren’t great free-to-play games available for the Mac, as you’ll see in this article.
One quick note: Not all of these are 64-bit, so they won’t all run on macOS Catalina or later.
Things won’t always be this way, but Fortnite is currently one of the biggest games in the world. For Epic Games to leave out Mac users as a potential customer just doesn’t make sense, so yes, you can play Fortnite on your Mac. The only downside is that the system requirements are high, so you’ll probably struggle to play on your laptop.
2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike has been around in various forms for decades now, almost as long as online gaming has been a thing for normal people. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (also known as CS:GO) is the latest version of the game. It’s still largely the same round-based game it has always been, but this latest version has some nice quality-of-life features.
3. League of Legends
If you’ve even ever heard the term “eSports,” you probably at least know that League of Legends exists. What’s hard to believe is that for a short time, League of Legends not only had a price tag, but actually shipped in boxes you could buy at the store. While we’re exiting the heyday of the MOBA, you’ll still find tons of people playing League of Legends.
4. Dota Underlords
Were you screaming about Dota while reading the previous entry on this list? The answer is that I decided to save it for Dota Underlords. Part strategy and part “set it up and watch it fall” auto-battle, this game is strangely addictive. Even better, the system requirements aren’t all that high, so no matter what Mac you’re running, you can probably play it.
5. Crusader Kings 2
If dense, puzzling grand strategy is your cup of tea, you won’t find much better than Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings series. The fact that Crusader Kings 2 went free-to-play is just icing on the cake. Yes, you’ll need to pay to unlock expansions, but there is plenty there in the core game.
6. Eternal Card Game
Eternal Card Game might look an awful lot like Hearthstone, but underneath it plays different. Somewhat of a combination of Blizzard’s insanely popular card game and Magic: The Gathering, the Steam reviews for Eternal Card Game frequently mention how generous the game is about giving you new cards. That’s a rare thing for a free-to-play game.
7. Lord of the Rings Online
It’s strange to think that Lord of the Rings Online first launched back in 2007. That’s not quite World of Warcraft old, but it still makes you think. The game has seen multiple developers and publishers over the years, but for this MMORPG to still be going strong, they’ve got to be doing something right.
Do you wish there was a version of Super Smash Bros. you could play on your Mac? Brawlhalla is the next best thing. This platform fighter might lack the recognizable characters, but it’s got all the gameplay depth and complexity to keep you coming back to it.
9. Guild Wars 2
If you prefer your MMOs to play more like Diablo than Everquest, take a look at Guild Wars 2. While it’s not as hyper-instanced as the original game, it’s still quite a different experience than you’ll find in other MMORPGs. While you need to pay for the expansions, the core game is free.
10. Shadowverse CCG
Do you want Hearthstone, except you’re kind of sick of Hearthstone? Do you like anime? Because that’s pretty much what Shadowverse CCG has to offer. One bonus: Steam reviews mention this isn’t nearly as pay-to-win as similar card games.
Looking for More Free Games?
If you just game on the Mac occasionally or also have a PC, we’ve still got your back. Take a look at our list of free-to-play PVP multiplayer games for PC.