The 30 Best Mac Games of 2017

Here at Mac Gamer HQ, we spend a lot of time talking about how great the gaming situation is on the Mac.

But this year, oh boy, it could go down as the best year for Mac gaming since OS X was released. Really.

The release of MacOS 10.12.4 in April seems to have provided the Metal upgrade developers needed to finish some of the top ports. Within weeks of its release, we saw F1 2016, Total War: Warhammer and Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy released, and that promises more exciting releases for the next several months.

GameNameGenreRequirementsPC MetascorePrice
Mafia 3 MacMafia 3Mafia 3Action🔥 High62Check Price
Total War Warhammer MacTotal War: WarhammerTotal War: WarhammerStrategy⚠️️ Medium86Check Price
F1 2016 MacF1 2016F1 2016Racing⚠️️ Medium86Check Price
Obduction MacObductionObductionAdventure⚠️️ Medium76Check Price
Torment Tides of Numenera MacTorment: Tides of NumeneraTorment: Tides of NumeneraRole-Playing✅ Low81Check Price
The Witness MacThe WitnessThe WitnessPuzzle⚠️️ Medium87Check Price
Guardians of the Galaxy MacGuardians of the GalaxyGuardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale SeriesAdventure✅ Low70Check Price
Day of Infamy MacDay of InfamyDay of InfamyShooter⚠️️ Medium77Check Price
Yooka Laylee MacYooka-LayleeYooka-LayleePlatformer⚠️️ Medium73Check Price
OwlboyOwlboyPlatformer✅ Low88Check Price
Hollow Knight MacHollow KnightHollow KnightAdventure✅ Low86Check Price
Night in the Woods MacNight in the WoodsNight in the WoodsAdventure✅ Low88Check Price
Strafe MacStrafeStrafeShooter✅ Low66Check Price
In all honesty, the list of games released in the first four-plus months of the year would make a pretty good year-end list; add in the titles we know or strongly suspect are coming during the rest of the year and our list of Best Mac Games 2017 gets truly impressive.

 

The Best games for Mac of 2017: Released

The following roundup of the Best Games for Mac 2017 Edition encompasses AAA titles from top developers and amazing indie titles that rival those top games in appearance, playability and just plain fun. These are the ones already out.
Mafia 3Link

Released just in time for this post, Mafia 3 takes you back to New Orleans, 1968. You’re a soldier just back from Vietnam and as you prepare to escape your criminal past, your surrogate crime family is betrayed and wiped out. You must get your revenge by building a new “family” and battling the Italian crime family & corrupt officials with guns, fists and fast cars.

This open-world game is about giving you the freedom to explore the city at will and tackle quests in different ways. You can go in guns blazing or use stealth to go unnoticed by your enemies.

While winning praise for its story and soundtrack, there have been some complaints about repetitive missions and hit and miss graphics. Hopefully the extra time Aspyr took porting this game will ensure a beautiful and bug-free experience. Also of note, this is Aspyr’s first Metal release; we expect we’ll see more from them this year.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Mafia 3 is a very demanding game. It requires a powerful new Mac with a 2GB AMD graphics card.

Mafia 3 Mac Release Date: May 11, 2017.
Total War: WarhammerLink

After a delay that caused a certain amount of concern amongst Mac gamers, Total War: Warhammer is finally here. In the end, the delay was probably for a very good reason: Metal support, again.

Total War: Warhammer is the first Total War game not set in a historical period. That said, it’s still a Total War game, with both turn-based strategy and real-time battle modes. Just this time with a heavy mix of fantasy, including gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and more. So if you’re a fan of the Total War franchise (I personally own three … so far), the Warhammer universe, or fantasy games, this game is for you.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Because of its use of Metal, Total War: Warhammer requires a relatively recent Mac with a pretty powerful graphics card.

Total War: Warhammer Mac Release Date: April 18, 2017.
F1 2016Link

Do you like surprises? At Mac Gamer HQ we sure like this kind of surprise. Feral Interactive dropped F1 2016 on us with nary a warning, and we couldn’t be happier to have this franchise back on the Mac for the first time in four years.

One of the best rated and most realistic racing games out there, F1 2016 includes the complete 2016 racing season, and in addition to crazy realistic racing and graphics, the game allows you to simulate your team as well, working with your agent, engineers, and all the rest to become a true F1 champion.

Realistic cars, tracks, and racers from the 2016 racing season make this the closest thing to actually racing your own F1 car, and multiplayer rounds things out, allowing you to test your skills against other players.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Another Metal user, F1 2016 likewise requires a fairly powerful graphics card with at least 2GB RAM.

F1 2016 Mac Release Date: April 6, 2017.
ObductionLink

If you’re as old as I am you remember how groundbreaking it was when Myst came out. Sure it may have been made in HyperCard, but it had 3D generated scenes, QuickTime and an amazing puzzle-based story. It was groundbreaking and essentially created a new genre of video games.

Well, Cyan, the team behind Myst, is still around, and their latest game builds on everything they’ve done before, and continues to push the envelope. Taking place in a mysterious world, Obduction continues their tradition of beautiful scenes, great stories, engaging characters and challenging but fun puzzles. Originally released for VR systems but later ported to the Mac, Obduction is everything good about the puzzle-adventure genre that Myst pioneered.

The game was a huge Kickstarter success too, raising over $1.3 million, and proving that Myst fans couldn’t wait for a new adventure.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Obduction requires a Mac that supports Metal and MacOS 10.12.4 (Sierra).

Obduction Mac Release Date: March 30, 2017.
Dawn of War 3

Did we tell you this was going to be a great year? Yes, yes we did. And we had to stop the presses (if we still used presses) for this one, as it was just released by Feral Interactive. The newest Warhammer game is now available on Mac, since yesterday, June 8, less than two months after its Windows release.

The latest in the famous series of real-time strategy games, in Dawn of War 3 you play as the heavy-hitting Space Marines, the savage Orks, and the technologically-sophisticated Eldar, in huge battles where you control whole armies and special elite squads. The game includes a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode that will be cross-platform with Linux players.

Can Your Mac Run It?

System requirements are not as demanding as I expected but Metal is required.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 Mac Release Date: June 8, 2017.
Torment: Tides of NumeneraLink

Another Kickstarter-funded game promising a return to old-style role-playing, Torment: Tides of Numenera is the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, if not technically a sequel. Like the previous title, Tides of Numenera focuses on story and meaningful decisions and interactions with the world to drive the story forward in unique ways.

While the game was more than two years late, it was a simultaneous release for Windows, Mac, Linux and consoles. Though some fans of the original find Tides of Numenera lacking in various ways (story, combat, length), most people think it is a worthy successor and a rare RPG where you can finish the game with little or no combat.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Tides of Numenera should run well on any Mac from the last several years.

Torment: Tides of Numenera Mac Release Date: February 28, 2017.
The WitnessLink

The Witness is another new puzzler for Mac where you find yourself alone on an island and you must solve puzzles to figure out the story. Created by the developer of Braid and a spiritual successor to Myst, The Witness is a Mac App Store Editor’s Choice which has been praised for its beauty and difficult but solvable puzzles (and lasers!), while some have been frustrated by the emphasis on 2D line puzzles and the minimal story.

Coming to the Mac over a year after its release on Windows, The Witness is another in the growing list of games requiring Metal, though otherwise, its system requirements are modest.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Requirements are modest and The Witness will run on any Mac that supports Metal.

The Witness Mac Release Date: March 8, 2017.

Guardians of the GalaxyLink

From Back to the Future to Game of Thrones and many places in between, it seems there is nothing Telltale Games can’t make an episodic, story-based series out of, and make it well. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Telltale Series is the latest and greatest, even though only Episode 1 is available so far.

Staying true to the Telltale system of story-based gaming, Guardians of the Galaxy perhaps has less decision-making and more story watching than some; if you haven’t played one of these games, at times they feel more like watching a show than playing a game, except you can truly guide the story in different directions by making dialogue choices and engage in some combat.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Guardian of the Galaxy requires Metal and macOS Sierra and a dedicated graphics card is recommended.

Guardians of the Galaxy Mac Release Date: April 24, 2017.
Day of InfamyLink

Looking for a World War II shooter with a focus on team play and tactics? No, I’m not talking about the original Call of Duty, though Day of Infamy has been compared favorably to the original in that series. With an emphasis on close quarters battles and a variety of maps, objectives and player classes to choose from, Day of Infamy is the follow up to the popular Insurgency, this time set in the Western Front of WWII.

Rather than just shoot everything that moves, Day of Infamy requires you to work with your teammates and use proper strategy and tactics to survive and succeed. Choosing the Officer class and connecting with a Radioman adds another level of realism, allowing you to call in support units, supply drops and more. The modest system requirements will appeal to those hanging on to their older Macs.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Any Mac from the last several years should do fine.

Day of Infamy Mac Release Date: March 23, 2017.
Yooka-LayleeLink

Another Kickstarter-funded throwback game, Yooka-Laylee is a 3D open world platformer from some of the creative talents behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games.

Featuring the buddy duo of Yooka and Laylee, the game recreates the fun of those old platformers with large worlds, a variety of abilities, and gameplay-expanding collectibles. A beautiful game designed to appeal to fans of those classic platformers from the 90s, Yooka-Laylee also features a great soundtrack, cooperative play and local multiplayer, and modest system requirements.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Any fairly recent Mac should do it, although a controller is highly recommended.

Yooka-Laylee Mac Release Date: April 11, 2017.
OwlboyLink

One of a growing number of games paying homage to the classic 8/16 bit games of yore, Owlboy is an indie action-platformer featuring colorful graphics that feel modern, and familiar yet unique gameplay. The game looks and sounds great and features more of a story than you might expect from a 2D action platformer.

Nine years in the making, the game succeeds not just on nostalgia, but also on the amount, variety, and difficulty of gameplay, especially against the bosses. The game also distinguishes itself by your character’s dependence on allies to actually kill enemies (you can stun them) and the variety and individuality of both allies and enemies.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Just about any Mac should do it.

Owlboy Mac Release Date: January 27, 2017.
Hitman

The latest in the popular franchise (stop me if you’ve heard all this before) was ported by Feral Interactive. With the Linux version out for months, Hitman was waiting on Metal too. Luckily, the wait is now over as Feral just released the game on June 20.

A stealth action game, you succeed as an assassin by careful planning and execution (pun intended) of your missions set in gorgeous locations around the world. Having played and reviewed the previous title in the series that made it to Mac, Hitman: Absolution, I can vouch that this should be one of the top Mac games of the year when it’s released.

Hitman’s missions were released as separate episodes, but with all them now available, we expect The Complete First Season will come to Mac.

Hitman Mac Release Date: June 20, 2017.

Hollow KnightLink

Owlboy notwithstanding, Hollow Knight is one of the prettiest games you’ll play this or any year. Using traditional hand-drawn 2D art and animation, Hollow Knight pays homage to the Metroidvania side-scrolling classics you love while providing plenty of modern touches.

Choose your own way through the vast underground insect world of Hallownest, meet quirky friends and powerful enemies, find powerups, everything you’d expect in a side-scrolling action adventure title. But the depth of story, character development, and interesting allies and enemies may surprise you. Add in a great soundtrack (and did I mention this game is gorgeous?) and you’ve got one of the hottest indie titles of 2017.

Can Your Mac Run It?

A decent Mac will be needed.

Hollow Knight Mac Release Date: April 11, 2017.
Night in the WoodsLink

Another Kickstarter-funded indie game, Night in the Woods is a story-based adventure game featuring anthropomorphic animals; you play as the cat Mae, returning home after dropping out of college and discovering that things are not as they seem, or as they were, in her hometown.

While you could call it a side-scrolling adventure game, that would give a somewhat wrong impression, as the focus is on story and characters much more than traditional side-scrolling action. You have plenty of opportunities to interact with other characters and there certainly is gameplay involved as you try to solve the mystery at the heart of the story. Beautifully drawn and written, Night in the Woods is one of the best indie titles of 2017.

Can Your Mac Run It?

With modest system requirements, most Macs from the last several years should be fine.

Night in the Woods Mac Release Date: February 28, 2017.
StrafeLink

Looking for an ultraviolent 1990s retro first-person shooter? Well, I just happen to have one for you here. Drawing comparison to some of the original shooters such as Doom and Quake, Strafe doesn’t try to be any more or less than what it is: a shoot everything that moves rogue-like game with procedurally generated textures and graphics and sounds straight out of the 1990s.

Released simultaneously for Mac and Windows, Strafe revels in its efforts to be inappropriate, though not quite Duke Nukem inappropriate. Strafe has been praised for its successful retro look, feel and fast gameplay, though some have found the game repetitive with little variety from room to room or level to level.

Can Your Mac Run It?

Thanks to its retro nature, just about any Mac today can run Strafe.

Strafe Mac Release Date: May 9, 2017.

 

The Best games for Mac of 2017: Upcoming

2017’s top Mac games so far are great, but the games still to come are just as exciting. You never know if a developer will meet its release date or not, but these have been officially confirmed, so unless a catastrophe occurs, these games should be released before the end of the year.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The latest in the Deus Ex franchise, Mankind Divided has presumably been delayed coming to the Mac (it’s already out on Linux) by, wait for it, Metal. Listed as Coming Soon on Feral’s website, this installment continues the franchise’s story and gameplay.

In the latest edition, augmented humans such as yourself have become outcasts, segregated from the rest of society. You’re obviously out to fix that. As in the previous installments, you choose how to upgrade your augmentations and how to play the game: stealth, barrels blasting, hacking, etc.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Mac Release Date: Soon, according to Feral Interactive.
DiRT Rally

DiRT Rally is Codemasters’ latest racing game and aims to be the most authentic and thrilling rally game ever made. DiRT Rally is winning high praise for its realism in every aspect, although this includes cautions that it is a deucedly difficult game to master. The game looks like the off track version of F1 2016, making this a great year for Mac racing sim fans.

On the downside, DiRT Rally is another franchise that, according to Steam, is waiting on Metal support. While this may be frustrating for Mac gamers, in the long run, this should be a good thing for us.

Strafe Mac Release Date: May 9, 2017.
Sudden Strike 4

The latest in the WWII real-time strategy series, Sudden Strike 4 will be the first game in the series to make it to the Mac. In Sudden Strike you play as either the combined British and American forces, the Germans or the Soviets in campaigns covering large battlefields and a variety of troops. In a first for the series, you’ll also get to choose from one of nine famous commanders who will allow for different approaches and abilities.

I’m a huge fan of WWII games and as a lifelong Mac gamer who had never heard of this series, I was immediately excited by it and am about to give developer Kite Games my money.

Sudden Strike 4 Mac Release Date: August 11, 2017.
Ark: Survival Evolved

On Steam Early Access since what feels like forever, ARK is finally getting a full release packed with updates, a new map, a Griffin and the recent announcement that Metal support is coming in 2017.

An open world survival game with dinosaurs, you begin the game stranded, naked and freezing on a mysterious island. If you survive long enough, you’ll work your way up to crafting, farming and, yes, taming dinosaurs and other creatures. This game gives you so much to do. You can use skills, breed animals, ride them, and fight or become friends with other human players on the island.

Ark: Survival Evolved Mac Release Date: August 8, 2017.

Tacoma

Tacoma, the next game from the creators of the extremely popular Gone Home, promises to take the story-telling from that title to a whole new level … literally. Set on the Tacoma space station in 2088, your character is tasked with finding out what happened when some malfunction leaves the station apparently abandoned, with nothing but augmented reality (AR) recordings from the crew members to help you. You can see 15 minutes of gameplay on their website now.

I’m really excited for this title as I loved Gone Home, my biggest complaint being that it was too short.

Tacoma Mac Release Date: Sometime 2017 according to the developer.
We Happy Few

Every time I see this title I think it’s a World War I game. Boy is it ever not. Set in an alternative, war-ravaged English city in 1964, We Happy Few is a roguelike survival game where most of the city’s inhabitants are on the drug Joy, and thus are “happy”; you aren’t but have to pretend you are in order to survive. That and use stealth, crafting and combat, where appropriate.

Oh, and being a rogue-like, when you die, you start over, using what you’ve learned to try and survive longer in the next procedurally generated Wellington Wells.

We Happy Few Mac Release Date: On Steam Early Access for Windows, with a Mac release expected with or shortly after the final Windows release.
BattleTech

A new game from the same team that brought you the original BattleTech/MechWarrior series is definitely a reason to celebrate. Apparently lots of people thought so, as they blew past their Kickstarter goal of $250,000, raising $2.7 million.

Featuring turn-based strategy, you’ll play as the leader of a team of battle mechs. You can upgrade your base of operations, negotiate mercenary contracts with feudal lords, repair and maintain your stable of aging BattleMechs, and more.

The game will feature a single-player campaign and player vs. player multiplayer, the ability to customize your mechs and a tech tree.

BattleTech Mac Release Date: Sometime 2017.
NIDHOGG 2

A sequel to the popular 2D, pixel-art fighting game, NIDHOGG 2 promises more of the same: new moves, new weapons, new arenas, improved graphics and a new beat-heavy soundtrack, but the same style that made the first so popular.

While the original, which featured fencing and melee attacks, was somewhat minimalistic, that’s certainly not the case with Nidhogg 2. The sequel now has things like a bow and arrow, a battle ax, the ability to kick weapons out of your opponents’ hands and beautiful new backdrops. This all adds some nice variety to this throwback title.

NIDHOGG 2 Mac Release Date: Sometime 2017.
Escape from Tarkov

Escape from Tarkov is the first game under development from Russia-based Battlestate Games. Described as a hardcore, realistic MMO first-person shooter with RPG elements, the game is set in the fictional city of Tarkov in 2028, which has been cut off from the outside world. You play as a mercenary from one of two sides working and fighting to make your way out, or adapting to the new reality and living inside the city.

While slated by the developers for a Mac release, they have specifically said it may not be cross-platform multiplayer, which could be a problem as MMOs require a big player base to be fun.

Escape from Tarkov Mac Release Date: Closed beta scheduled for summer 2017.
Vikings – Wolves of Midgard

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard (WoM) is a hack-and-slash action RPG set in the Norse mythology universe. You are a clan chief fighting to save Midgard from annihilation as Ragnarok approaches, and you’ll get to travel through the Norse realms of Midgard, Niflheim, and Balheim.

Drawing favorable comparisons to Diablo, Vikings is about players hacking enemies to death while collecting loot and growing more powerful. But Vikings has a slightly different take on the tried and true Diablo format. Instead of experience points, blood is collected by slaying enemies which are then sacrificed to an altar to gain a level.

WoM also includes two-player cooperative multiplayer and an M rating.

Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Mac Release Date: Released for Windows in March 2017. Planned for Mac “at a later date”.
Oxygen Not Included

From the makers of the extremely popular Don’t Starve, Oxygen Not Included is a space-colony simulation set on an asteroid. You are tasked with building an underground base and keeping it going by supplying all the needs for the inhabitants’ survival and happiness.

In addition to food, water, and shelter, this also means making air to breathe, thus the game’s title. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a review of the alpha, and it sounds like quite the challenging game, with the cartoon-style graphics belying the realistic physics and chemistry you’ll be working with.

Currently in Alpha, the game is coming in May to Steam Early Access for Windows.

Oxygen Not Included Mac Release Date: “At a later date” according to the developer.
Before

Before, from the same studio that brought us Rust, is a prehistoric survival game set in prehistoric times, where you’re trying to keep your tribe alive.

You’ll do all the things you’d expect in a real-time strategy survival game: craft, gather, build and have combat, but you’ll be primitive. In keeping with that theme, the graphics, while pretty, have a cartoony style reminiscent of Godus.

Before Mac Release Date: “When it’s done”, according to the developer.
Unreal Tournament 4

It’s baaaack. That’s right, Epic Games is developing a new Unreal Tournament, and Mac users are in on the fun. Currently in pre-Alpha, UT4 is being developed as a free (as in free, not free-to-play with microtransactions) and open source project. That’s right, any of you code jockeys out there can help in the development and Mac users can also get in on the pre-Alpha.
The flip side: this development has been going on for three years now and it’s still only in pre-Alpha.

This upcoming first-person shooter is the ninth installment in the Unreal franchise, and the first main entry in the series since Unreal Tournament 3 (2007). According to the developers, gameplay will remain largely unchanged from past iterations, which means more of that same addictive fast-paced shooting.

Unreal Tournament 4 Mac Release Date: No release date confirmed.

 

The Best games for Mac of 2017: Rumors

These are those games we think could make it to MacOS later this year. Maybe because the developer mentioned Mac support without committing itself, or maybe because ongoing Mac ports were leaked.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Here we have a bit of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that this game, a realistic open-world RPG set in the real Holy Roman Empire, as opposed to the usual fantasy medieval RPG setting, looks amazing and does appear headed for release this year. The game promises features you’ve never seen before. For example, your gear will get dirtier and bloodier as you use it, there will be real combat techniques and even real-world castles recreated with the help of architects and historians.

The bad news is that despite a successful Kickstarter that included Mac & Linux support, all mention of that support has disappeared from their website and the developers have refused to commit one way or the other to this support in the future.

The lesson here? Think twice before supporting developers who haven’t proven themselves based on promises. Plus, the game was pushed again and is now planned for 2018.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Mac Release Date: February 2018?

The Signal from Tolva

From the British development team behind Sir, You Are Being Hunted, The Signal from Tolva is a first-person, open-world combat and exploration science fiction game. You and your robots explore the ruins of a world, trying to find the source of the signal and what it means. In the meantime, you’ll be fighting others trying to do the same.

Originally announced for Mac along with Windows and released for Windows in April, the developers are dealing with a technical issue with terrain on the Mac that they have not yet been able to resolve; from their statements, it sounds like they still hope for a Mac release.

The Signal from Tolva Mac Release Date: Sometime 2017?
Seasons After Fall

Seasons After Fall is a puzzle platformer where you play as a fox that has the ability to change the seasons at will. You use this ability to manipulate your world, solving puzzles and uncovering secrets to solve the game’s mystery.

Featuring gorgeous 2D, hand-painted graphics and a beautiful soundtrack, Seasons After Fall is perfect for those looking for a relaxing, exploration-puzzle game.

Seasons After Fall Mac Release Date: Unclear, originally announced for Mac but no official word since the Windows release.
Divinity: Original Sin 2

A sequel to one of the most popular RPG’s of recent times (and one that made our top 10 RPG list), Divinity: Original Sin 2 is not officially coming to the Mac … yet.

Currently on Steam Early Access and due to be released on Windows in the second half of this year, I give the developers credit for being open about the porting situation (which if you’ve read this whole article you know isn’t always the case). The Kickstarter did not include support for other platforms, and they’ve been quite open that they’re focusing on getting it done for Windows, and will then look at porting.

On the bright side, they have also stated that they’re building it on the original’s base, presumably making porting easier. So on this one, I’m cautiously optimistic.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Mac Release Date: Sometime 2017?

Your turn

Whew, that was exhausting. Not a bad list, eh? Even with some of the games on this list that are question marks, the rest of the year in Mac gaming releases promises to be as exciting as the first five months. Metal finally seems to have come into its own, and developers seem to be quickly taking advantage of it. In addition to the listed, official titles, we can certainly expect some additional surprises like F1 2016 as we head into the last half of the year.

Well, that’s our list of the best games for Mac 2017, what’s on your radar that’s either on the list or on your wish list? Let us know in the comments.

This article comes from Steve Marx, one of Mac Gamer HQ’s most loyal contributors.