Update: We have published a more detailed and updated post with our final Top 10 Best Mac Games of the Year (including our finest video!).
2013 is promising to be Mac gaming’s finest year yet. We are only halfway through the year, but the games released so far speak for themselves. Although there are other things that could mark 2013 as awesome (such as OS X Mavericks graphics performance or the new Mac Pro), we are going to focus on what really matters: The games. Without games, a platform is worthless, and Mac gaming is no exception. With that out of the way, what are the best games 2013 has brought us so far?
We of course count on you, in case we missed something (the comments section is very important here)!
2013’s Best 10 Mac Games (so far)
10. Lego Lord of the Rings
Release date: February 21st, 2013
I keep saying Feral Interactive is in a roll this year, releasing a new Mac game almost every month (with Tomb Raider hopefully following next!). You will see what I mean throughout this list, with LEGO LOTR being the first example. Released early this year, Lego Lord of the Rings is the latest Lego game available on the Mac. It has that trademark mix of adventure gameplay, humor, Legos and carefully recreated universes. Lego games may not be for everyone but they sure enjoy a growing fan base.
Our reviewer really enjoyed this one, concluding our review with “Lego Lord Of The Rings is excellently put together. The brilliant storyline follows the book and movie very closely with some fun Lego additions. I was surprised how addictive and fun the whole experience was“.
9. Anomaly 2
Release date: May 15th, 2013
One of the Indie surprises on this list, Anomaly 2 easily earned its place in our ranking. Sequel of the famous Anomaly: Warzone Earth, the game that turned the tower-defense genre on its head, Anomaly 2 took it one step further, improving the graphics, gameplay and story.
Anomaly 2 also introduced a revolutionary Multiplayer mode: Pitting 2 players against each other, one controls the defensive forces (as with any other tower-defense game out there) while the other player controls the offensive forces (featuring the unique Anomaly gameplay).
Switching sides after a couple of turns, this multiplayer mode definitely offers tons of fun.
8. Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing
Release date: April 4th, 2013
Another game from Feral interactive, Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing is a must for every racer fan out there. Emulating the Mario Kart formula, Sega managed to do the impossible and recreate a similar experience.
This game will certainly not provide realistic gameplay or graphics, it will do exactly the opposite: give you a completely fun and crazy racing game, made to be enjoyed with friends (which is exactly the same as their other Sega port Sonic Superstars Tennis – Download link).
It is hard to find weaknesses here, as SEGA has executed this game brilliantly and it delivers hours of arcade fun. The gameplay is slightly repetitive and some may find it too simple but is extremely fun if you play it with friends. Do we finally have a mac game worth playing when friends come over? I certainly think so!
8. Hotline Miami
Release date: March 19th, 2013
Developed by Dennaton Games, Hotline Miami is the second Indie on this list. The game was created using GameMaker which is a rather simple development tool. But considering the end result, the developer did an amazing job. Hotline Miami is a back to the basics, old school shooter that promises hours of gory fun.
Brilliantly executed, its an top down shooter like no other. It does lack depth and gameplay can feel repetitive after some time but Hotline Miami still feels like a well deserved break from playing those complicated, overly complex big budget games ;).
6. Napoleon: Total War
Release date: July 3rd, 2013
Napoleon: Total War is the latest Total War game available on the Mac. Also ported by Feral Interactive, Total War basically improves on everything Empire: Total War (download link) did before it.
As explained in our review, “Napoleon: Total war is a visually appealing, high quality strategy game that you should have. With a great Campaign mode, Historical battles and Multiplayer modes along with the included DLC: The Peninsular Campaign and unit packs, Napoleon TW offers excellent value“.
If you enjoy strategy games, Napoleon TW’s enormous sense of scale and tactical gameplay will hook you up in no time.
Release date: July 3rd, 2013
Perfect for casual racing gamers like myself, Grid is precisely located between arcade and simulation. This isn’t Gran Turismo, nor Mario Kart. It’s right there in the middle, and instead of wanting to please hardcore and/or casual gamers, it simply focuses on cool graphics, fun gameplay and recreating an intense sense of speed.
This is a racing game everyone can like thanks to its intense gameplay and immersive atmosphere. Grid makes you feel like a bad-ass, and that alone gives it a spot in this list.
Still not convinced? As in our official review, we can only tell you that “One can only hope more games are made like Grid“!
4. Civilization V: Brave New World
Release date: July 3rd, 2013
I hesitated to include this one as it’s officially an Expansion and not a full game. However, considering the depth Brave New World adds to the whole Civ V experience, it ended up scoring a place in the final Top 5.
Brave New World adds new civilizations, buildings and units, but it’s true accomplishment is that it fixes one of Civ V’s biggest problems: The end-game was boring.
Brave New World gives you the end-game fun and excitement Civilization V always deserved. How? They delivered on their promises and completely overhauled 3 key elements of Civ V: Trade, Culture and Diplomacy. Without a doubt, Brave New World is the game’s finest Expansion so far. You can read more about it in our review.
3. StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
Release date: March 12th, 2013
StarCraft 2 is one of those games that doesn’t need to be introduced. Second instalment on the StarCraft 2 trilogy, Heart of the Swarm focuses on Sarah Kerrigan and the Zerg armies. Adding a lengthy campaign and more units to use in the Multiplayer modes, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is a noteworthy addition to 2013’s Mac games catalog.
Developed and published by Blizzard, it is worth mentioning this game is the only one from this list to come to the Mac straight from the original developer. This unfortunately doesn’t happen often enough. We can only hope more developers take notice and follow the steps of Blizzard and Valve.
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Can you have a 2013’s Best Mac Games list without XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Hell no! XCOM is without a doubt a game you don’t want to miss. With a great single player campaign and a robust Multiplayer mode, XCOM is the best strategy shooter out there.
Praised on PC and even iOS, the Mac version of the game has been critically acclaimed, with MacAppStorm giving it an incredible 10/10 score and our own Mark Gregory giving it 4.2 /5 stars.
From our review, “XCOM: Enemy Unknown is not for the faint of heart. You WILL get your ass handed to you time and time again, but this is all part of its charm. This is a must own for anyone who fancies themselves as a master strategist”. [
- Cross-platform multiplayer between PC and Mac
- Buy it once but use it on both platforms
- Access to the many sales Steam has
1. Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 was probably the biggest surprise this year, the game no one expected. Still, it quietly earned a place in our all-time Top 10 Reviewed games. With virtually no marketing efforts from neither TransGaming nor Rockstar games and a myriad of technical glitches, Max Payne 3 definitely had a rocky launch on Mac.
Still, every Mac gamer I know is extremely happy with this release, including our own Jon Carr, who couldn’t stop complimenting this game in our official review:
Max Payne 3 is easy to recommend. It offers a thrilling return for fans of the earlier games, and an amazing shooter experience for everyone else. For $40, you get about 10 hours of single player story and a great multiplayer mode.
Closing words (and rant)
I know someone will say: “yeah, Macs sucks, some of these games were released on PC on the 2012, bla bla bla…“. Indeed, some were released before, but who cares? We, Mac gamers, are a glass half-full bunch. We focus on the trends and improvements (don’t forget to check our detailed State of Mac Gaming guide where we go deeper into all of this this).
All we notice is that a ton of games are coming out for the Mac this year, more than last year and more than the year before. As Mac users, quality goes further than quantity, and so far so good! Some very good ones have been released this year and if that wasn’t enough, some of the best games planned for 2013 are not out yet. We can only imagine how great this list will be in December. Anyway, we know Mac games get released later than PC games. We don’t care that much, and if some us do, they just use Bootcamp or Parallels (or any of the other methods available to play any game you would ever need).
Rant aside, what more can we expect from 2013? Now we can just wait and see what the rest of the year will bring. Neither Feral nor Aspyr are particularly public about their future plans but with BioShock Infinite and SimCity coming soon, and the Feral radar packed with dots, 2013 still has many surprises left.