If you use a Mac for the vast majority of your computing needs, including gaming, you probably fall into one of two camps. The first camp is people who happen to use a Mac, while the second camp is Mac diehards. Those diehards often have fond memories of the few games that were available on Mac as well as PC, or even Mac-first or Mac-only.
You don’t have to be a Mac diehard to appreciate a great game though. That’s why we’ve put together this list of classic Mac games that are well worth playing. Even better, they’ll work on your current Mac just fine, and most of them are playable on Windows as well.
If you don’t know the Marathon series of games, surely you know its developer, Bungie, who would go on to create Halo. You’ll find similar elements in its earlier first-person shooter, Marathon, including rampant A.I. and even similar weapons. There is no reason not to try this one, as Bungie has made it available free of charge.
It’s easy to forget now, but when Myst was first released, there were self-identified hardcore gamers who were seriously angry about its existence. That said, the game’s most casual nature combined with its then-stunning graphics made it a huge hit, and it was one of the few games at the time that released on the Mac before it came to Windows PCs.
They don’t make games like Flashback anymore. This side-scrolling adventure game looks like a platformer, but doesn’t really play like one. It also has a habit of killing you, like a lot. Death comes out of nowhere, and it’s largely trial and error. Still, it’s well worth playing, just to see what had people so fascinated when it was first released in the early ’90s.
4. Quake III
It would have been insane for developer id Software to release Quake III on the Mac. What the developer did was still pretty crazy: the beta for the game was originally released for Mac only, with the Windows version coming later. This angered many PC gamers, but because of this, Quake III has a special place in the hearts of Mac gamers.
5. Pathways Into Darkness
Another early, Mac-only first-person shooter from Bungie, Pathways Into Darkness bears very little resemblance to either Halo or Marathon. Instead of the sci-fi elements in Bungie’s other first-person shooters, Pathways Into Darkness uses a mix of real-world and fantasy elements. Like Marathon, Bungie has made Pathways Into Darkness available for free.
6. Akalabeth: World of Doom
Richard Garriot is now mainly known for the Ultima series of games: deep, complex RPGs that are still rated by many as among the best RPGs of all time. Before Garriot had anything to do with those games, he developed Akalabeth: World of Doom for the Apple II. Yes, this game is so old it predates MacOS. Fortunately, it’s available for free on GOG.
7. Star Wars: TIE Fighter
It’s not just Mac gamers that Star Wars: TIE Fighter is special to. Nearly anyone who played this game has fond memories. So much so that this game has something to do with why people are so excited about the upcoming Star Wars: Squadrons.
Need More Free Mac Games?
Some of the games we’ve gathered here are free, while others are for sale. None of them are expensive though, so if you have the idea to revisit an old favorite or check one of these games out for the first time, it won’t cost you much. That said, not everyone always has funds available to new games.
If that describes you, fear not. While the Mac may not be the gaming platform of choice for most people, it’s still got some great games. Even better, many of them are free. Don’t believe it? Just take a look at our list of the best free to play games available for macOS.