The adventure genre is one of the most diverse in all of gaming, encompassing everything from point-and-click mysteries to casual puzzlers to action-packed epics. That makes it somewhat difficult to isolate the very best, but it also means there’s something for everyone.
Also, keep in mind that we have considered all types of adventure games here, including what some call “action-adventure” games.
These are our absolute favorites:
The rest of the best:
And if you’d prefer something entirely different, this massive post with the 100 Best Mac games covers the most popular games across all genres.
Our favorite Adventure games for Mac
|Release Date:||April 4, 2020||64-Bit Support:||Yes|
|API:||Rosetta 2||M1 Support:||Metal|
It’s not just a game, it’s pretty much an entire culture at this point. A sandbox building game at heart, Minecraft provides plenty of options for gamers to set out and craft their adventure. Explore procedurally generated worlds, gather resources, build shelters (or boathouses or mansions or Masonic temples…it’s all up to you), and protect yourself from enemies both live and AI.
With multiple modes from which to choose—including one in which you can just relax and watch others play—there’s something here for gamers of all types and skill levels.
Although it leans more towards action than adventure, Cuphead is a visually unique and highly challenging run-and-gun game that must be experienced. Its art style is inspired by 1930s cartoons and uses actual techniques of that area to achieve its retro look.
As Cuphead or Mugman (or both in local co-op mode) you’ll travel across numerous creepy worlds battling equally creepy monsters and bosses as you race to pay back your debt to the devil. Thankfully, there are plenty of advanced weapons to acquire and super-moves to learn along the way. Creepy.
Subnautica: Below Zero
Still in Early Access, Subnautica: Below Zero returns you to planet 4546B of the original Subnautica, this time to an arctic region. A disaster at the research station leaves you stranded and alone with only your skills to survive. You’ll need to explore below and above the water’s surface to find the food and materials you’ll need to survive.
Some of the planet’s creatures will help you, most will not. And along the way you’ll continue to unravel the mystery of the aliens who had explored the planet before you. A visually stunning entry in your adventure catalog.
Other great Mac Adventure games
Rise of the Tomb Raider
This sequel to the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot finds Lara Croft racing into Siberia to uncover the legendary city of Kitezh before the paramilitary organization known as Trinity acquires its promise of immortality. Now available in a 20 Year Celebration collection, action-adventure fans get immediate access to the base game as well as the Season Pass content, including the new “Blood Ties” story, online Co-Op Endurance mode, and the “Extreme Survivor” difficulty.
Long-time Tomb Raider fans will also enjoy an outfit and weapon inspired by Tomb Raider III and five classic Lara skins. And did we mention zombies?
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Not all computer adventure games feature horses and armor; some get by just fine with box cars and tattoos, as with Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Set three years before the events of the award-winning Life is Strange, Before the Storm tells the story of Chloe Price and Rachel Amber.
These unlikely friends must help each other face and overcome their demons, and their success will be determined by the decisions you make along the way. Featuring multiple endings and lots of room for character customization, it’s just like coming of age all over again.
If you have to wake up in a strange location with no idea of who you are or how you got there, it may as well be on the island of The Witness. With over 500 puzzles you’ll at least have plenty to do as you attempt to regain your memory. Billed as a “game of ideas,” the Witness gives you dozens of areas to explore, all of which are rendered in vivid color and detail.
If you like puzzles, mystery, and exploration along the lines of Myst, The Witness has them in spades. Let’s just hope that—unlike Myst—it has an ending, too.
Although it’s been out since 2016, Firewatch is the type of walking sim that could completely take adventure gamers by surprise if you haven’t checked it out. You play a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness, and when something strange draws you from your tower you have to explore it alone with only your supervisor, Delilah, on the other end of your walkie-talkie.
Part mystery, part exploration and part narrative adventure, Firewatch is carried along by the strength of the story and acting, as well as its development team of industry veterans.
Return of the Obra Dinn
Hey, the Obra Dinn is back! What is it? It’s a ship that was lost at sea in 1803. It’s now 1807 and the ship has drifted into port with no crew aboard. You play an insurance investigator hired to assess damages, but the mystery of what happened will quickly take over your investigations.
Depicted in stippled black-and-white graphics like on the Mac SEs (but so much more advanced), the visuals of the game become almost as compelling as the story. A logic-based mystery for the detective crowd.
After a year abroad you return home to find your house empty. Your family is gone. There’s nothing for it but to figure out what happened yourself in this exploration game. Gone Home offers no puzzles and no combat. With no fear of danger or interruption, you’re free to search the fully interactive house to piece together what happened.
Check through notes and belongings to learn the story of a family attempting to deal with heartache and change. A sentimental and moving trip back into the ‘90s, especially if you were coming of age at around that time.
Night In the Woods
Leave reality behind to become Mae Borowski, a college dropout returning home to her aimless life. But of course, things are different now. Your friends, the atmosphere…things just aren’t normal in Possum Springs. The modern storybook-style graphics with animal protagonists may seem cute, but make no mistake; there’s a creepy undercurrent running through this tale of friendship of reflection.
With plenty of characters to meet and areas to explore, Night In The Woods runs players through the gamut of emotions as they learn more about Mae and her friends. A slow-building adventure with a great payoff.
The Competition: More Action-Adventure games for Mac
There’s no reason for the adventure to end there. There are more games that didn’t quite make our top 10 list but were certainly worthy of consideration. These include new and classic titles from AAA publishers, but also critically-acclaimed indies such as Death Road to Canada and more:
|Games||Games||Our take||Demand Level||Free games only?|
Factorio✅ Not demanding
|Factorio||If you think Factorio sounds like a factory-building simulation you’d be right. And if all you’re doing is building factories you can bet they’re going to be big, require lots of resources, and attract lots of enemies. |
Add in cross-platform cooperative multiplayer, modding support, and a map editor, and Factorio takes factory building to the next level. If you’re a fan of building big, complex systems that do cool things, Factorio is for you.
This War of Mine✅ Not demanding
|This War of Mine||Perhaps the most unique game on this list, This War of Mine is a single-player survival game simulating war from the perspective of a group of civilians in a bombed out city. |
By day you craft, take care of yourself and your group, and plan for the night, when you venture out to gather resources including food, fuel and weapons. With Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam and low hardware requirements, This War of Mine suits many Mac gaming needs.
Kingdoms and CastlesConstruction and Management
|Kingdoms and Castles||Kingdoms and Castles, from Lion Shield, LLC, is as you might expect a city building sim set in Medieval times where you start by building your hamlet and graduate to building your castle. |
Considered more of a “lite” city sim builder, with low-poly graphics and smallish maps, Kingdoms and Castles offers an alternative to the modern-era city builders.
Surviving Mars⚠️ Fairly Demanding
|Surviving Mars||Along with Northgard above, Surviving Mars is one of the newest games on this list. It offers a unique, Mars-based twist on the city building sim. |
Building a city on Mars offers unique challenges, like making sure your colonists have air to breath, and developer Haemimont Games has thrown in some mysteries inspired by classic science fiction depictions of Mars to keep things interesting and different every time you play.
0 A.D.✅ Not demanding
|0 A.D.||This open-source, historical, real-time strategy game comes from Wildfire Games, a group of volunteer game developers from around the globe who are obviously big fans of Age of Empires 2. |
In 0 A.D, you will begin development of your city, raise a mighty army, build an empire, and contend with rivals to take over the world. Those rivals can be on Windows, Linux, and Mac. And did we mention it’s free?
Endless Legend✅ Not demanding
|Endless Legend||A fantasy entry in the 4x turned-based genre dominated by the Civilization series, Endless Legend comes from AMPLITUDE Studios, who brought us Endless Space and Dungeon of the Endless. |
Working to survive and unravel the mystery of why your planet seems on a cycle of doom, you will build and lead a civilization using resources, skills, and magic. Cross-platform multiplayer rounds things out for those seeking a fantasy-based Civilization-like game.
Dawn of War 3⚠️ Fairly Demanding
|Dawn of War 3||Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 is an RTS set in the Warhammer universe. |
Featuring big armies, huge heroes, and an increased focus on multiplayer (only cross-platform between MacOS and Linux), developer Relic has announced the end of DoW III support meaning no new content will be coming. However if you can find it on sale, it should be supported on your machine for years.
Hearts of Iron 4✅ Not demanding
|Hearts of Iron 4||The latest in the series of turned-based, WW2 grand strategy games, Hearts of Iron is considered the deepest, most authentic simulation of WW2 on a world scale. |
Choose your nation and run it exactly as you wish, from making economic, diplomatic and political decisions to how, when and where you fight.
StarCraft✅ Not demanding
|StarCraft||That’s right, the original also makes this list, because it’s just that good. And free. |
Possibly the best RTS of all time, StarCraft has you gathering and building as one of three races in a story that connects them all. The Brood War expansion is also free, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t grab them and play them (again) now.
Tooth and Tail✅ Not demanding
|Tooth and Tail||Another lighter RTS, in Tooth and Tail you play as one of four different weaponized animal factions battling over control of the food supply. |
Tooth and Tail features short battles, pixel graphics, multiplayer, and system requirements that should appeal to owners of less powerful machines. While the single-player is hampered by some balance issues, the game is an affordable and different take on the genre.
Offworld Trading Company✅ Not demanding
|Offworld Trading Company||Offworld Trading Company is a rare RTS that features no combat. That’s right, you’ll be collecting resources, but not to build armies. |
Instead, you’ll be on Mars trying to build the next big company, play the stock market, and defeat your enemies in commerce, not on the battlefield. It also features a difficult AI and cross-platform multiplayer.
Rome: Total War✅ Not demanding
|Rome: Total War||The highest rated Total War game ever, Rome: Total War has to be on anyone’s best Mac strategy games list. |
With the classic Total War combination of empire building strategy and battle tactics, Rome: Total War allows you to lead one of Rome’s famous families all the way to the top. And as an older title, it’s perfect for all of you with less powerful Macbooks.
There’s never been a better time to try an adventure game on your Mac. With top games from AAA developers and independents, there’s something in this genre for everyone.
With options from AAA blockbusters to critically-acclaimed indies, there’s a Mac adventure game for every gamer and Mac. So which one is your favorite? What are you currently playing? What did we miss?
Let us know in the comments section, perhaps you’ll even find fellow Mac users to play with online!