Why everybody is wrong about Mac Gaming

I’m a Mac Gamer and I’m on a mission: To show you how everything you hear about Mac gaming is wrong and that the shiny aluminum machine you’re using right now is capable of much more than what they want you to believe.

Sometimes it feels like the whole world (or at least the video-gaming scene) deliberately wants to convince you that Macs sucks and that Mac gaming sucks even more. They will tell you that Apple is the worst (the company itself and everything they do), that Macs are over-priced and under-powered and that they’re incapable of playing anything better than Age of Empire 2.

Wrong about Mac Gaming

I used to be part of the problem. Really. I never trashed Mac gaming, but back when I had my black MacBook, I simply believed what the internet trolls told me. I never even tried.

Fast-forward to 2014. Macs have never been better at playing video-games. I even run a blog that only talks about Mac Gaming! It’s time to put those rumors down. Not that I want to change the trolls’ opinions (that’s impossible and unimportant), I’m here to convince you that you shouldn’t have to give-up gaming because you chose a Mac. In fact, you should embrace it.

Let me tell you why everybody is wrong about Mac Gaming…

 

1. There are tons of amazing games available

Mac games Portal 2Let’s start with the basics: the games.

This is going to sound painfully obvious (you’re a Mac Gamer HQ reader after all ;) ) but you wouldn’t believe how lost most Mac users are. Every week, I get tons of emails asking me if good games exist on the Mac.

Instead of replying 10 times per week with a list of random games that I like, I did better.

I created a list with the 75 Best Mac games out there.

The facts are undeniable. The quantity of high-quality Mac games is growing exponentially. Be it from powerhouses such as Blizzard or Valve, top-notch Mac porting companies such as Aspyr or Feral, or from quality indie studios, there are more and more good great games coming to the Mac each year.

But I get you, you’ve heard so many times that Mac gaming sucks, it’s tough to take this seriously. Just so you know I mean business, I created this video with last year’s Top Mac games:

You can also check 2013’s Best Mac Games, the Newest Mac Games or the Top Mac First Person Shooters if you need more convincing…

top games.jpg

Some of Mac Gaming’s finest.

Those resources right there should be enough to keep you busy for months, but if you don’t feel like leaving this page, from the top of my head, there’s:

If there isn’t at least one game that you love in this list, there’s nothing I can do for you…. Moving on.

 

2. Mac Games are finally easy to find

The days when Mac games were impossible to find are long gone. It’s easy to forget that at one point in time, the only place where you could find Mac games were Apple stores. Then, when Apple stopped giving games shelf space, Mac gaming almost died.

Steam logoThings are (luckily) different today. You now have so many options to buy and download your favorite Mac games from the comfort of your home:

  • Mac Game Store: What sets this online store apart is the fact it only offers Mac games. This means hundreds and hundreds of Mac games in only one place, including the newest and older ones. The Mac Games Store continues to evolve with a native App, more supported languages and even a brand-new system to earn points and exchange them for FREE Mac games.
  • GamersGate: While GamersGate has less Mac games than the MacGamesStore, in many cases their games are compatible for both for Mac and PC. This means you can buy for example Borderlands 2 and install it on both Mac and PC. This may not be useful for everyone, but it’s still more value for your money if you occasionally game on a Windows PC.
  • GameAgent: We’ve talked about GameAgent before. What sets them apart is now their huge Mac Games collection, but their amazing GameAgent tools, including Mac Match, which tells you which games your Mac could play (consolidating system requirements) and a real time price comparator that includes Amazon, Apple’s Mac App Store and more.
  • Amazon: This is a go-to place for Mac Gamers since Amazon launched its Digital Store. Ever since, their Mac Gaming collection keeps growing, offering in some cases boxed games too. The Amazon brand is so known and trusted that it easily became one of the top choices for Mac Gamers. It also includes all of Amazon’s great features. For example, you can buy BioShock Infinite with two clicks.

Mac App Store

  • Apple’s Mac App Store: Apple’s Mac Store is to this day the most easy, fast and intuitive way to buy and install a game for your Mac. The fact is, with the built-in Mac Store, you already have a huge collection of Mac games (and apps) at your disposal, 1-click away. The Mac Store also offers some of the best sales around, including Triple-A games for $0.99 or in some cases for FREE.
  • Steam: With so many features to offer, Steam easily stands-out from the crowd. Not only does it have one of the biggest collections of Mac games out there, it also supports in many cases Steam-Play, a feature that lets you install on your Mac previously purchased PC games. If you have ever been a Steam user, there’s a good chance you will get FREE Mac versions of your games when you first install Steam on your Mac. Also, Steam offers FREE games such as Team Fortress 2.

As you can see, they all have their strengths and unique selling points.

 

3. Performance continues to improve

Mac games Grid

Grid plays and looks beautifully…

I won’t lie to you, if you play the same game under Windows and Mac on the same machine, performance will be slightly better on Windows…

But this isn’t because the Mac is somehow flawed. The problem comes from 2 directions: Developer support and Apple’s support.

For one, most developers that support both Windows and Mac versions of their games will obviously spend more time polishing and testing their games on Windows, simply because that’s where the money is… The same can be said about graphics card companies like NVIDIA and ATI.

Then you have Apple’s support (or lack thereof).  This can get complicated really fast, but the bottom line is that unlike Windows (and its DirectX graphic engine), Apple is careless with its graphics engine (Open GL) which is always out of date. And yes, that hurts Mac gaming’s performance:

OpenGL-Mac-adoption If you want to learn more about this issue, you can read GameAgent’s great article about how Apple is influencing the development of Mac Games.

But the good news is that the performance gap is closing fast. Apple is working hard on fixing some of these issues. In fact, since  OS X Mavericks and specially the latest OS X 10.9.2, performance has greatly improved for many games.

Aspyr’s Director of Development, Michael Marks, is reassuring: “The good news is that we continue to work closely with Apple. Partly as an outcome to some of the above situations, we have a very active and positive relationship with Apple, AMD, and NVIDIA.

 

4. More and better developer support

People keep saying that nobody cares about the Mac, especially developers. I won’t lie to you, this used to be a real problem. The Mac’s market share was so tiny, it made little sense for most developers to spend resources on it. Hell, I can’t blame them. But things have dramatically changed and it’s a shame that people refuse to accept that.

Mac Gamings saviours?

Mac Gaming’s saviors?

Things started to turn around with the adoption of Intel processors back in 2007, making the development of Mac games much easier.

Then, in 2010, Valve brought all its games (and god knows how good they are) and the world’s biggest gaming platform to the Mac.

That was enough to jump start the platform. Alongside Valve, Blizzard also pledged to treat Macs and Windows PCs equally and even EA is slowly committing to the Mac with the introduction of their Origin platform to OS X last year.

Then you have some dedicated porting companies like Aspyr or Feral Interactive whom sole purpose is to develop and publish Mac versions of games. For them, there’s no discussion about prioritizing. They exist to make Mac versions of games and have the technology, experience and means to do it properly. They got into the business a long time ago and there’s no doubt they continue to grow every year. Nowadays they have close relationships with some of the world’s leading developers, including the creators of renown franchises like Call of Duty, Civilizations, Total War, BioShock, Borderlands and more.

Gone Home MacIf that wasn’t enough, the rise of Indie developers has particularly helped the Mac. More and more indies port their games for Windows, Linux and Mac simply because they decided to develop their games using cross-platform engines (with the Unity engine leading the way).

With multimillion dollar publishers, rapidly growing porting companies and hundreds of Indies supporting the Mac platform, it’s hard to claim that no one cares about the Mac gaming platform.

 

Your turn, because it’s all about the community

1700 words will never be enough to convince the trolls they are wrong. In fact, not even 15,000 worlds would suffice.

What really matters is that you understand what Mac gaming is capable of. If we want to take this one step further, we need to create together a strong Mac Gaming community, filled with people that both love the Mac platform and also happen to love gaming. If we stick together and guide all new Mac users away from the haters, Mac gaming will continue to grow and perhaps one day reach its full potential.

There’re many ways you can help build this community. You could do what more and more passionate gamers are doing: creating dedicated YouTube channels and Blogs. I’m talking about the guys like Inside Mac GamesAl Valentyn, Control Command Escape, Game Agent Blog, Adamski TV and Playintosh out there. If that’s a little too much of a time investment for you, you can join our Newsletter, which basically is Mac Gamer HQ’s inner circle. In fact, starting this week, some projects, news and deals will be exclusive to the Newsletter…

There’s a big chance that you already know all this stuff and are here because you crave some more Mac gaming news. But I’m sure you know at least one person that gave up gaming because they got a Mac. Do them a solid and send this article their way ;). When more Mac users embrace Mac gaming, more developers will support it!

If you had to point Mac gaming’s biggest struggle, what would that be?

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  • Vlad

    Goog article :) Anybody hear anything about FIFA 2014 or 2015 porting on OS X?

    • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

      Thanks man, unfortunately there are no news whatsoever regarding new Fifa games coming to OS X. If past is any indication, don’t expect a Fifa game to come to the mac any time soon….. (I’m a big Fifa fan myself and that’s pretty much the only reason I still own a console…)

  • observer1959

    I’m not a gamer but being in graphics and video professionally my sons grew up with Macs at home and one continues to use them. I’ve passed this article on to him.
    One big change that gave Mac games a big boost is iOS devices. Gaming is a big part of that platform and many consumers bought Macs only after experiencing those devices. The record shows that Apple is selling more Macs then ever before and is outdoing PCs in the above $1k up price range. I’ve used Macs since 1986 and it’s never been so good. I can’t keep up with all the new people coming to me with Apple questions.
    The developers know this and are ready to accept all this new money from the new customers.
    One really big boost would be for Apple to make an environment similar to Rosetta to play iOS games on OS X. I believe even more iOS users would be interested in their first Mac because of this.

    • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

      That’s a good comment but keep in mind that many “hardcore” gamers oppose iOS gaming and in fact, believe that it could do more harm to Mac gaming than good.

      Think about it, easier porting from iOS to OS X could mean more and more developers going for the rather simplistic iOS-type of games instead of the more sophisticated games that we usually enjoy on the Mac.

      That said, iOS gaming is getting better (they have HearthStone, XCOM, etc) so I personally wouldn’t mind seing more iOS games make it to the Mac. Better more than fewer, even if some of them are rather “basic”.

      • Chris Tallant

        If anyone saw the WWDC, watch what the dev did with Metal and Swift and created an iOS and OSX game in under 5 minutes…

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  • bregalad

    I can tell you’re a serious gamer, but even you have to admit that there are video cards out there that draw more electricity than an entire iMac, cards the likes of which will never appear in any machine bearing the Apple logo. Getting that performance requires a large case, lots of cooling and a lots of power.

    Towers also have another enormous advantage: when your gaming experience starts to get sluggish you can pull out the GPU, replace it with a new one and feel like you’ve gotten a whole new PC without having to buy a whole new PC.

    Making that type of hardware simply isn’t part of Apple’s DNA so the most demanding games will always be Windows first and Windows best. Consequently the players of those games will also be on Windows. Luckily for Apple they’re a small minority.

    • Chris Tallant

      This is true, and as you mentioned, most people who do this already run Windows and care more about Min/Max-ing their system for the most DPS on their games rather than the overall performance for everything. Apple never has focused on gaming first and foremost, because exactly like you said: it’s a small minority. Most PC users (of ANY pc – windows/OSX/*nix) use multiple applications on a day-to-day basis and not just specifically games. People who enjoy Apple products do so because they want the best performance on everything they do – not only their games… it’s a bonus.

      • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

        Could have said it better…

        If you are extremely hardcore and want the best possible gaming performance for the buck, a custom Windows machine is the way to go.

        But most people wouldn’t dare building a custom PC and most want to do more on their computer than just gaming.

        The Mac is specially good for the creative types but they are great all-around machines that “just work”, perfect for the vast majority of users.

        They can’t be as good as dedicated gaming machines for gaming but they can still play some serious stuff. That’s the whole point of the article….

        • Chris Tallant

          Exactly. And even then, you’re talking about spending thousands of dollars for a specific machine to do ONE thing. Hence the benefit of a console.

          • staraffinity

            A computer that is good at gaming is good at many other things too.

        • Brudah Whoopa

          One, building a custom pc is like legos, its just screwing in a motherboard as your base plate, and than slapping things into it, plugging some things in,then guess what? A computer! If you don’t feel comfortable, watch people build one.

          Hmm, I have a gaming machine right here, it does bf4 at around 70-79fps and goes through chrome a-lot snappier than osx. It also renders 4k video, works well for making 3d models for 3d printing, it does everything you can think of. Hell, I’m able to run ssaa at a playable framerate. It doesn’t just game, its an all around pc. I built it for 1500 dollars

          Specs:

          Intel haswell refresh pentium g3258 overclocked to 5.1 ghz stable
          Watercooled
          gtx 770 overclocked to 1.8 ghz base and 4.5 ghz memory
          Watercooled
          16 GB of hyperx fury
          2tb of western digital 10,000 rpm drives

          Alot faster than your shit macs

      • Brudah Whoopa

        Windows never focused on gaming either, its the market of gaming thats focusing on windows, adding to that they have workstation components, and due to that the gpu’s have shit for the bios of them, at-least for gaming anyway. So to be perfectly honest, macs aren’t for gaming as they are only focused on a workstation environment, and as of late, the stuff needed for that environment is not good enough for gaming.

        • Chris Tallant

          Microsoft actually /kinda did… DirectX was specifically designed to improve hardware acceleration on GPU’s back in the 90’s. The problem is while OpenGL has the benefit of open-source tech and design communities behind it, DX still only runs on NT-based file systems.
          But like I said somewhere else, If someone is looking for a “dedicated” gaming machine, you’ll have to go back to the offline consoles that didn’t also stream music/movies and double as home entertainment machines. Granted, I believe we’re all arguing semantic at this point, but it’s good to bring these things to the attention of people who refuse to accept that down to hardware, computers, consoles, DVR’s…hell, my Ti-84… all work on similar hardware with bootstrapped memory and everything else is optional.

    • Chris Tallant

      And one slight flaw…if anyone can call it that. – your “video cards draw more power than an entire iMac” is a bit misleading… the Asus TITAN GTX6GB I have in my windows gaming rig (yes, the $1,000 model) pulls at 300w peak consumption, while the CPU on my 27″ IMac (2013 model) uses 239 watts itself.. but the internal power supply to the device (yes, I already took it apart.. I’m a compute tech – sue me) is listed as a 300 watt.. so they’re identical.

      I know there are over clocked GPU’s that run hotter, but I wanted to give an “out of the box” example.. the dual 770’s in my son’s computer pulls enormous numbers, but he’s also got a 1200w supply… and his box crashes every day. He’s also 10. So god only knows what headaches are loaded on that ssd.

    • Nosferatu

      Counter argument:

      I’ve got a Mac Pro 2010, a polished metal tower with excellent cooling. The case is basically a grated tube with two giant fans.

      I have since upgraded:
      – Graphics card to a Nvidia GTX 680
      – Upgraded my DUAL CPU config from a E5620 Quad to a X5675 Hex (12 cores, 24 logical)
      – Added a bunch of RAM
      – Considering a BluRay writer add-on in the additional drive slot
      – Bought a RAT 9 Gaming mouse (Mac Compatible)
      – Hooked up my HDTV for gaming
      – Hooked up my (Optical) Surround Sound System
      – Got a sh*tload of professional software running

      The best thing is I don’t even need screwdrivers to perform an upgrade, except for the CPU’s.
      And even if I did want to play on Windows, Mac supports multi boot with Bootcamp.
      Let’s see someone run Mavericks on a PC, without the supported hardware components of a Hackintosh.

      Anyways the point is the trolling is unnecessary fanboyism. Yes, Mac has got some issues that WILL be fixed but the hardware is Premium quality and big companies are investing in the platform.

      • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

        I’m so jealous right now… Awesome system, you should send some pictures to makes us drool lol

        • Nosferatu

          If you compare the bare components of a Mac you will find that all these separate components are all top-of-the-line premium components in their specific area at the time of release.

          Take for example the Xeon X5675, 3,0GHz Hex core; this as a stand alone still outperforms several other Intel Core processors, even some of the new generation. And this is a CPU built to run in Dual CPU configs, Windows Custom PC’s don’t conventionally run Dual configs.

          Check Links:

          http://www.cpubenchmark.net/multi_cpu_pt7.html

          My Steam Profile for Screenshots:

          (Most are 1080p taken when playing on HDTV, several are in Win7 Bootcamp)

          http://steamcommunity.com/id/Nosferatu_BE

        • Brudah Whoopa

          That’s pretty much yelling console right there, yet the macs have no where near the power of consoles… Due to them having workstation components, also being that workstation gpu’s have shitty bios’s to back them up.

      • bregalad

        I know the quality of the old Mac Pro. They are amazingly cool and quiet for professional work and highly upgradable with no tools.

        My brother is a FPS gamer and has a modified 2009 Mac Pro.
        He upgraded his CPU from W3520 (2.66GHz quad) to W3670 (3.2GHz hex).

        On the GPU side he’s currently running both an over-clocked Radeon 5970 (dual GPU card) and an nVidia GTX 770. He’s had several other cards over the years and always had at least one Radeon and one GeForce (some games perform better on one platform than the other).

        The Mac Pro doesn’t have enough power to run all those cards so he’s chopped up his case and installed a second small power supply just for the video cards.

        I applaud you both for showing the potential of the Mac Pro tower case, but Apple doesn’t make that model anymore. Eventually you won’t be able to upgrade your box any further and you’ll have to decide whether high performance gaming is important enough to justify purchasing a PC solely for that purpose.

        PS. I know a crazy gamer whose PC is packing three Titans. It’s said that the lights in his neighbourhood dim when he turns it on.

      • pajman sarafzadeh

        they were great. I love my old Mac Pro. Too bad the new ones solder all the parts in so you cant upgrade or even repaid one

      • Brudah Whoopa

        First off, I have watercooling, You have nowhere to speak when it comes to cooling.

        Two, upgrades? so? its still being bottle necked by the os, being that its a downgraded, locked down, and shat on version of unix, you can obviously tell it won’t do well with games as it is put to the workstation audience, in which workstation hardware has a bad reputation in the gaming market, excluding the titan series from nvidia. Also being that workstation gpu’s have absolutely shit bios’s for gaming, its almost like they capped the performance in games, due to it being so bad, though with further inspection you will understand that its not.

        Xbox controller? yeah I know, but would still never give a shit about what the console peasants have to say, though this is even more cringe worthy than their peasantry.

        2.5 LED CInemaDisplay? well, too bad I got a 4k gsync monitor that goes up to 144hz.

        A hdtv can be hooked up to any device with an hdmi cable, simple as that.

        I don’t need screwdrivers at all, due to watercooling units mainly using thumb screws, along with the case having thumb screws. bullshit.

        Do you think I want to run mavericks? Of course not, it is poorly optimized for almost everything besides rendering, It takes more than 30 seconds to load up the app store as other tasks are running, and half of the stuff on there is unneeded. Adding to that, half of the stuff they are adding now, linux has had for ages, along with linux running a lot smoother and snappier than windows or osx, with a better layout as well. So its not osx you want, you want linux.

        Hardware premium? No… Its workstation products, your just paying for our shit pretty much. When you buy workstation grade stuff it lower the price for things like the new gtx 980’s, due to them raising the price to pay for the consumer grade parts, and lower the price of the consumer grade components. So pretty much your just donating money to our cause when buying stuff with workstation components, thanks!

        Also something I forgot to note in the ending, for the last time, WORKSTATION COMPONENTS ARE NOT MEANT FOR GAMING!

  • pajman sarafzadeh

    “But this isn’t because the Mac is somehow flawed. The problem comes from 2 directions: Developer support and Apple’s support.”

    Actually, that means that the MAC is flawed. Devs are not supporting gamers because Apple is not supporting Devs Apple is Mac.

    I love my Apple computers, but there pretty bad for gaming.

    • natchu96

      He means the hardware, not the people who make the stuff >_>

      • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

        Like it when someone clarifies stuff like this before I do ;)

    • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

      Matchu96 already replied but yeah, I mean the hardware: it’s not like the processor, video card or RAM are lesser than on Windows machines. In fact they come from the same companies and manufacturing plants.

      The biggest difference could be that Macs use high-end Intel, Nvidia, ATI, etc components when most Windows machines don’t…

      • pajman sarafzadeh

        For the same price, they do. In fact, the windows PC are almost always much better. In the 90’s, And the software amplifies the difference. Nvidia rarely updates drivers for MAC, because of the limitations of OSX. Maverick is running 4 year old API’s, what would be the point to update it. Windows drivers get updated every few weeks.

  • Mikhail Bunkin

    It seems to me that Mac is traditionally a professional platform for people who use computers in their work, so gaming on a Mac will never be top priority, neither for Apple, nor for Mac users. But it’s great to see it becoming a priority nonetheless, because professionals also like games! Maybe it’s not the best platform for gaming, but it’s definitely the best platform for working + gaming. Amazing to see latest games appearing on Mac, and SteamPlay that gives you a Mac version for free when it’s out is just too good to be true. And as with years technology will allow to embed powerful GPUs into smaller devices, and what now requires tons of electricity and a fridge to run in, will fit into an elegant laptop – I’m sure we’ll see more powerful Macs that will run more demanding games, while keeping their trademark low power consumption and ergonomics.

  • Chris Tallant

    I run Witcher 2 on my 2012 Macbook pro with no problem.. DOTA 2 plays fine.. maybe not at the setting you’ve mentioned, but I haven’t bothered since I still get called names whenever I try to play…so I go back to Witcher 2. I have yet to find a game this little thing can’t run. Try again.

    • PJ

      Dark Souls II?

      • Chris Tallant

        Show me a Mac version. On BootCamp: No Problem. For example: Titanfall runs without a hitch.

  • Tom Wyrick

    Truthfully, I do a fair bit of gaming on my Macs. That said though, I also only own higher-end Mac systems. (I never bothered with the budget priced MacBooks or even an Air. My take on the Mac is it’s a premium computer to begin with. If you’re going to invest in it, you may as well go all out and buy a “Pro” class computer and do it right. Would you go into a Mercedes or Lexus dealer and ask for the most stripped down model possible?)

    What I’ve always felt about Mac gaming is this: The limited market and limited resources of the developers focusing on Mac means you’ll wind up with only the proven popular games coming to the platform. If you’re a teenager with hours and hours to burn each day playing video games? Then this probably won’t satisfy you at all. But a console probably makes more sense for you anyway, in that case. (You can rent titles from places like GameFly and get your hands on hundreds of games to play without breaking the bank.)

    For those of us who bought a computer for a number of reasons, and just want to play a good game occasionally as ONE of those reasons — the Mac will do just fine. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to accidentally buy a game that’s not any good, because nobody’s going to put forth the effort to port over a mediocre game from Windows or a game console. Heck, about half of the people I know who game on the computer really don’t play anything except for World of Warcraft. That runs just fine on the Mac.

    If there’s ONE thing I wish the Mac had for gaming, it would be a good baseball game with online multi-player capabilities. MLB “The Show” baseball on the Playstation is a great example of what I’d like to see for it … but I don’t even think the Mac ever had a baseball game for it at ALL, save for the titles that let you act as an armchair coach, manipulating stats.

    • Chris Tallant

      Totally agree. But then again, have you seen Origin on OSX? I’d love to play ANY sports game (I’m a huge hockey fan, for example,) and the most popular games for Mac in Origin is the 3,199,312 SIMS titles. I wouldn’t even use those to start a fire. That sounds like a song…

  • Emil Efendulov

    Amen to that.

  • Emil Efendulov

    SJobs was the real arch enemy of mac gaming and everyone (even at apple) use to wonder what’s his problem. Maybe now that he’s passed away we could maybe see a shift in company politics?

    • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

      One could hope but I don’t think they have strong opinion towards Mac gaming (positive or negative), I think they just have bigger fish to fry (or at least they think they do).

      • Emil Efendulov

        Neutral opinion is way better than negative opinion so I don’t find a reason not to have hope :)

  • http://www.grahammiranda.com/ Graham Miranda

    Wow you’ve really written a lot. Your 100% right Macs are amazing at games. I use a lot of X-Plane and it’s amazing on my Mac. ~45FPS on Mavericks and ~52FPS on Windows 8.1 (bootcamp).

  • http://mfdawes.com Mixel

    Sadly far too many games missing from the Apple library. I still have to boot in to windows and have a separate dedicated PC for hundreds of my games.

    Macs are fine for gaming, but i think the main anti mac gaming argument comes down to the fact that spending a much smaller amount on pc hardware will get you a muuuuch more capable gaming machine, with a much bigger library of games that run much smoother and prettier. Gamers tend to go down that path as they dont need the advantages(/and disadvantages) of the Mac platform. I couldn’t make do despite being a heavy Mac user for all my work/art etc.

  • http://www.animeister.com theanimaster

    Gaming ‘SLIGHTLY’ better than a PC? Now that’s an twisted lie. Bud, I don’t have the oodles of cash to spend on the absolute latest mac, but on my 2011 Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM an SSD upgrade and pretty much everything maxed out, TombRaider 2013 runs pathetic under OSX requiring me to use the absolute minimum gfx settings whereas under BootCamp I can enjoy the graphics more on higher settings (although I get sound stuttering and all… might be my Windoze installation).

    Bottomline for mac gaming: don’t buy mac-only versions. Get the SteamPlay (MAC+PC) versions so you can see if the mac version really is optimised well-enough to enjoy playing it on OS X. Few games are like this — one in mind is RAGE. Another is Borderlands 2. Note the developers of these 2 games too because they really do mac gaming justice.

    • staraffinity

      RAGE is interesting, because it also runs really well (60 FPS) on the consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3).

    • Chris Tallant

      Curious because I ran Tomb Raider 13 on my 12 pro (pretty much same setup as you) with default settings and had no issues whatsoever…other than it getting hot like normal…

  • Dinso Din

    I can tell this is a lie
    LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

    • Chris Tallant

      Proof or go back to to Games for Windows Live.

  • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

    Indeed I did, thanks for the heads up, it looks better now….

  • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

    Very often gamers tell me that they are very disappointed with their top of the line Macbooks. We quickly realize there’s one problem:
    They run the game at Retina resolutions and expect the game to run like crazy.

    Not many computers are capable of playing graphically intensive games on Max settings on “Retina” resolutions…

    What GFX card do you have?

  • Douglas Raybeck

    You may have noted some dissent out here. There are a number of reasons: you can game on a Mac if you wend your way through Steam for the game you want (cludgy) and then try attaching a controller to handle the flying … good luck. I’ve dropped more than $100 on controllers guaranteed to work with a Mac but … not so much.

    • Chris Tallant

      PS3 Dual Shock. Plugged in first try on over 100 machines.
      Here’s even a white one from Amazon, with the cable, new in box. Literally: plug cable into controller, plug USB into MacBook Air/Pro, press the BlueTooth button the controller and let it sync. Unplug the cable (unless it needs to charge) and OSX uses the bt stack subsystem to control the device. Some games you’ll have to map the buttons to what you prefer, but movement and default settings work for standard controls.

  • Douglas Raybeck

    I too grow increasingly restive with Apple’s dismissal of its loyal customer base, and it isn’t limited to games. I am considering alternatives having used Macs since there were Macs.

  • TiddK

    Unfortunately, having watched the above video, it seems this site’s definition of ‘great games’ boils down to 1st person ‘Shoot ‘em Ups’ and driving games. I’m comparatively new to Mac gaming, but for me the best games are those which are entirely natural to the Mac, and don’t require enormous GFX capacity.

    To me the best game ever is Plants vs Zombies, which is a humour-ridden tower defence-type strategy game. It is full of endless variety, and is one I keep coming back to again and again. Those tower defence strategy games are brilliant, requiring thought and planning as well as reflexes and testosterone. The problem is that the developer – PopCap – was late bringing it to Macs, and though it has released PvZ2 for iOS it has no plans right now to release a Mac version.

    So that’s the problem in my view – not Macs but developers.

    • Chris Tallant

      So… Fez, Portal, StarCraft, Diablo, Civ, XCOM, and DotA are “FPS and Racing Games”? Got it. Going to change everything I know about life, the universe, and humanity.

      And the “entirely natural to Mac and don’t require enormous GFX capacity” is an oxymoron. Which is it? Do you want a game to play? One with a vibrant player base that comes from a company that could support itself? Then it needs to diversify and publish games on multiple platforms using engines like Unity and OpenGL/CL. Or, if you’re looking for titles that don’t require hardware, there are thousands of free flash animation games on Facebook, usually with “…Saga” after their name.

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  • staraffinity

    Metal for OS X perhaps? Seemed like (at the keynote) it’s iOS only. That’s where Apple’s gaming focus seems to be. But wouldn’t hurt to get it to OS X. Rather the opposite! :)

    • Chris Tallant

      As someone with a dev account, I can assure you it’s both operating systems (and more..but don’t tell the Windows fanboys because they’ll think it’s cheating or infringing on MFC territory even though it doesn’t use the .NET framework for a single function call).

      • staraffinity

        Wow, that’s great! Because by looking at the WWDC 2014 videos about Metal there’s only talk about iOS.

  • Mark Wilson

    In my opinion, the biggest handicap to mac gaming is the lack of surround sound audio. I am constantly researching it but I have yet to find a viable method of creating a surround sound gaming environment. I have the Logitech Z-5500 speaker system and in my old G5 I had a Revolution 7.1 card, but I never could reproduce effective surround sound (with video games). Now I have the mid-2011 27″ imac (a great mac…Im super happy with it); I have the Logitech speakers hooked up to the digital out and it plays DVD MOVIES in surround sound just fine….but not games!

    • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

      There’s actually some people addicted to surround sound while playing. I know of one in particular that manages to do this on his Mac constantly:
      https://twitter.com/smoke_tets

  • mikelyons

    Very well said. I agree.

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  • Chris Tallant

    Do you mean like “Marathon” before Bungie was bought by Microsoft? I’m not sure there are any AA publishers releasing OSX only titles anymore. Indies you will see all the time, but most big names want the most brand recognition possible and will release it as many platforms at once.

  • Chris Tallant

    You’re not alone, Nik.. That’s something we’d all like to see change also.

  • Kevin Bradley

    Your 2¢ has been noted, Mr. Ballmer. Your estimated Mac prices are way off. You love PC’s, we get that. So why are you here? Trolling.

  • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

    Indeed, don’t know where you got your facts but I’ve played minecraft on an older Macbook Air and it ran just fine.