Mac gaming has made impressive gains in recent years thanks to the power provided by Apple’s M-series chips. Sure, developer support for Macs isn’t as robust as on the best gaming PCs and best gaming laptops, but we’re in a far better state than even two years ago. It’s difficult to completely dismiss Mac gaming nowadays, and the future seems rather bright too.
While titles like Cyberpunk 2077 or Marvel’s Spider-Man aren’t (yet) available on Macs, there are a handful of solid “AAA” games optimized for Macs you can play right now. Some of these are a few years old, while others are more recent. All of the games display what’s possible when developers specifically make their titles for macOS Sonoma and the hardware the OS runs on. And with the arrival of new M3-powered Macs like the iMac M3, MacBook Pro M3 and MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max, gaming on Macs has never been better.
Here are five games you need to play on Mac right now.
Resident Evil Village
I want to start with the game that truly made me a Mac gaming believer: Resident Evil Village. I played this game on the MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1 Max, 2021) and MacBook Pro 16-inch (M2 Max, 2023). The game not only looked great on those laptops’ Liquid Retina Displays, but it also ran like a dream at 120Hz.
Beyond the impressive graphics, Resident Evil Village is a horrifically engaging experience thanks to its moody settings and captivating storyline. And don’t worry if you didn’t play Resident Evil 7 since Village does a nice job of getting you up to speed with the narrative.
I’ve been a fan of Resident Evil since the first game launched on the original PlayStation in 1996 and can confidently say Resident Evil Village is one of the best entries yet.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Next, we have something more recent — and what’s probably going to be the game of the year: Baldur’s Gate 3. I tested this on the new MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Max and was floored by the game’s graphics and performance. The environment and characters alike came to life in vivid detail, and I was especially impressed by the vibrant colors. Getting frame rates that consistently stayed within the 100 fps range was a bonus.
Computing Editor Alex Wawro said Baldur’s Gate 3 is a love letter to Dungeons & Dragons, and I have to agree with that assessment. Not only do we get Dungeon Master-esque voiceovers when characters make decisions, but we also get honest-to-goodness (digital) dice rolls! I’ve only dabbled in Baldur’s Gate 3, but I might end up playing the whole campaign on a Mac.
Lies of P
Lies of P is another recent graphically intensive title available on Macs. Like Baldur’s Gate 3, I tested this game on the M3 Max-powered 16-inch MacBook Pro. Even on the highest graphical setting and resolution, this quirky gem ran at high framerates hovering between 80 and 130 fps. The haunting train station and the macabre robots inhabiting it were rendered in exacting detail — with a nice dash of ray tracing to make everything pop.
Lies of P shamelessly borrows its gameplay and atmosphere from Bloodborne. I don’t mind, considering how FromSoftware’s PS4-exclusive is one of my favorite “SoulsBorne” games. The fact it’s inspired by Pinocchio just makes this title all the more intriguing. This is another game I’m tempted to play exclusively on a MacBook Pro because of how good it looks and runs on Apple’s notebooks.
No Man’s Sky
Who needs Starfield on Mac when No Man’s Sky is available right now? Macs with M-series chips have no problem rendering this game’s colorful procedurally generated alien environments. Frame rates can hit the 70 fps range, which is very good for a game with so much happening in the environment. Though not as graphically demanding as the other games listed above, No Man’s Sky still impresses on a Mac.
I played No Man’s Sky when it first launched in 2016 and was disappointed by its meager amount of content. Years later, it’s now a robust title brimming with all manner of activities — including base building, driving different vehicles, multiplayer exploration and legit space battles. If you want a game to sink hours into, No Man’s Sky fits the bill.
The classic PC game Myst received a 3D remake in 2021 and has been available on Mac since that time. I got to see it during an Apple event (where I learned this remake existed) and was stunned by how great it looked on the iMac M3. I played the original title back in the ‘90s and found this version a faithful interpretation.
Myst differs from the other games on this list since it focuses on exploration and puzzle-solving instead of horror and action. If you’re looking for a relatively relaxing experience with a gorgeous-looking game, Myst is one to consider.
I want to spotlight two titles coming to Mac before the end of 2023.
The first is Resident Evil 4 Remake, which was released on consoles and PC earlier this year. I had my doubts about this remake given how I think the original GameCube/PS2 version is perfect as is. Thankfully, my worries were unjustified. This remake is just as good, or arguably better than the excellent Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes. Resident Evil 4 on Macs should be a stunner.
Secondly, we have Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding. This is one of the bleakest games I’ve played in a while. Despite that, its desolate post-apocalyptic world begs to be explored. I’ve played this on PS4 Pro and PC and can’t wait to see how it looks and runs on a MacBook Pro.
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