The 20 Best Free games for Mac

Mac Gamer HQ picks its favorite free Mac games, including shooters, strategy games and more

By Kirk Hiner | Updated Sept 10, 2018

Lately, gamers get suspicious every time they hear about a free game on Mac. This is because “free” doesn’t always mean free.

Paid loot boxes are increasingly destroying games that would otherwise be great, forcing you to pay for more levels and characters, or worse, for power-ups and better gear to actually provide a gameplay advantage.

As such, we decided to focus on games that are either 100% free or are at least free-to-play (F2P) games that you can actually enjoy for free. 

With that in mind, we played through and evaluated a slew of free Mac games, and we’ve put together this updated list of the best free games for Mac.

We made sure there is enough variety here to please most gamers, but this is also a perfect opportunity for you to try something new. Also, to help you decide, we’ve designated each game as Free (start to finish) or F2P (free to play, but purchases are possible).

Of course, if you’re happy to just buy your games, feel free to check out our comprehensive list of the 100 Best Mac games available today. For the freebies, read on.

Game★ Best OverallBest for MacBookBest Value
GenreBattle RoyaleStrategyAdventure
Release date201720152008
Metascore

77

93

90

Our rating★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★☆
Requirements⚠️ Fairly Demanding⚠️ Fairly Demanding✅ Not Demanding
Check PriceOfficial SiteOfficial SiteOfficial Site
Last updated: September 10, 2018

We decided to complete overhauled the Competition section to make it more useful (with more information and a more thourough description of the game).

Our absolute favorite free Mac games

Fortnite

Free-to-Play / Battle Royale Shooter

Consider this your free invitation to one of the biggest gaming parties going on right now. You’ll play, you’ll have a great time, you’ll die, and you can always come back for more…

Fortnite Battle Royale is simply the free PvP mode of Fortnite. You and up to 99 opponents are dropped on a giant map where you must find randomly placed weapons,  shields, and resources to help you remain the last player (or squad) standing. With the multitude of weapon types and shelter options available, Fortnite Battle Royale accommodates pretty much all survival strategies.

You can’t just hide and hope for the best, however; the longer you survive, the tighter the playing area, forcing you to engage in combat instead of finding some remote area in which to camp.

As you’d expect from one of the finest competitive online games for Mac, the competition can become pretty caustic. But there are a lot of friendly players, too…and some pretty good dancing.

The games does lag a bit at times, and those who want to pay will be able to level up more quickly. But when it comes to third-person multiplayer combat action, Fortnite Battle Royal is a game you simply have to try.

System Requirements: Macs that support Metal API, OS 10.12.6, 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, 4 GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 graphics card.
Starcraft 2

Free-to-Play / Real-time Strategy

Here’s another game that gives you dozens of hours of content to play for free. In fact, it was recently updated to be even freer! If you want more (and you likely will), just pay for some new campaign chapters.

Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, Starcraft II is a real-time strategy game that allows you to participate as one of three races: Protoss, Terran, or Zerg. Although a sequel (it’s set four years after the events of 1998’s StarCraft: Brood War, and uses characters and settings from that game), Starcraft 2 stands on its own.

If you’ve played a previous Starcraft game, you know just how deep the gameplay and strategies can go. There’s a lot to do and manage, which is why fans have remained so loyal over the years. If you haven’t played one, Blizzard gives you a lot to do here before they start asking for money.

Starcraft 2 gives you the complete Wings of Liberty story campaign, unranked and versus AI for multiplayer (along with the ability to unlocked Ranked), and three-story commanders before implementing any restrictions or microtransactions. You can then pay to get the full story mode, individual commanders for co-op games, announcers, and skins. You won’t need all of it, but if you love what the free version offered, you’ll have plenty of options to keep the fun going.

System Requirements: OS 10.11, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better, 30 GB hard drive space.
Spelunky

100% Free / Adventure

Spelunky—an indie action-adventure game created by Derek Yu—has you controlling an unnamed adventurer/explorer, known as the Spelunker. Your aim is to explore the underground tunnels and gather as much treasure as possible while avoiding the traps and enemies filling the tunnels. Gameplay is straightforward: whip or jump on enemies; pick up items; or use bombs and ropes to further explore the caves.

Levels are randomly generated, and you only get one life (if you die, you have to start from the beginning). Although this sounds like it’d make the game frustrating, it actually gives each run a unique feeling.

There are two important reasons you’ll want to consider giving Spelunky a go. First, it’s an extremely light game that can run great on older Macs, including MacBooks. Second, it’s completely free from start to finish.

A good match for fans of 2D platformers who want to reminisce and remember the good old days of Castlevania, Spelunky offers plenty of great, free entertainment.

System Requirements: Unavailable…
0 A.D.

Open-source /  Real-time Strategy

Here’s another game that’s completely free from start to finish. 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. For a group that scattered and diverse, they’ve given us a surprisingly tight game of ancient warfare.

In 0 A.D, you will begin development of your city, raise a mighty army, and contend with rivals to take over the world. Those rivals can be on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

As you’d expect from an RTS game, you’ll spend time gathering resources, developing and advancing technologies, and defending yourself from attacks while launching campaigns on others.

Although 0 A.D. is set in a fictional time, the game is rooted in reality. The randomly generated battle maps are based upon real geography of the ancient world, as are the detailed units, buildings and technologies.

If you’re a developer, you’re invited to contribute to the game’s growth. If you’re not, you can still get creative with the game’s map editor. It’s all free no matter how you get involved with 0 A.D., so dig in and get history started off right. And if you really like it, consider contributing to the game’s development.

System Requirements: OS 10.7, 2006 or later Intel-based Mac.

Into horror games? Grab Observer is 60% off!

From the creators of Layers of Fear comes Observer, a psychological horror game about hacking the minds of insane criminals to solve crimes.

Usually $29.99, this is the cheapest the game has ever been:

Also great free games for Mac

Heroes of the Storm

Free-to-Play / MOBA

Which storm, you ask? Wrong question. Which developer? Blizzard. So you know this multiplayer online battle arena game is worth your time. Consider it a League of Legends challenger with a greater focus on team play. Fans of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft and other Blizzard titles will be happy to see their favorite heroes show up here.

These Heroes of the Storm fight in 5 vs 5 battle arenas, engaging in versus AI, unranked and ranked fights. The ranked fights are split into hero (solo) leagues and team leagues, both of which pit you against stronger competition as you rack up wins. In addition, Blizzard rolled out the Heroes Brawl game mode in 2016, expanding the gameplay styles with Arena, Mutator and Single-Lane rules.

There are around 80 heroes to rotate through, and if you find one you really like you can purchase permanent access to him/her/it through in-game currency or microtransactions. Speaking of that, microtransactions are otherwise relegated to hero customizations and mount purchases (horses, lizards, etc.). In other words, you won’t need to pay anything to fully enjoy the game.

Still not convinced? Heroes of the Storm also happens to be one of our editor-in-chief’s favorite games. Check it out and maybe you can take him on.

System Requirements: OS 10.11, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M or ATI Radeon HD 4670, 20 GB hard drive space.
Team Fortress 2

Free-to-Play / First-person Shooter

It was originally released as a standalone game in 2008 and we still cannot talk about the best free games for Mac without mentioning Team Fortress 2.

TF2 is a team-based first-person shooter developed by Valve. Players choose a character from the multiple classes available, then join one of two teams and battle in a variety of game modes such as capture the flag and king of the hill. Its fan base remains faithful due to its art direction, gameplay, and humor, making Team Fortress 2 one of the top rated games of all time. Plus, find the right team and Team Fortress 2 becomes an excellent cooperative multiplayer game for Mac.

Fans of online first-person shooters will get into this one quickly, and remain active thanks to the game’s strong sense of community and the high production values typical of Valve. Purchases are relegated to unique weapons, outfits, and such, so they’re certainly not necessary to stay involved, yet another reason for the game’s enthusiastic fan base.

System Requirements: OS 10.5.8, 1.7 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM,  NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, Intel HD 3000 or higher, 15 GB hard drive space.
Lord of the Rings Online

Free-to-Play / MMO

There are so many good F2P MMOs out there that it can be hard to figure out where to start. If you’re in that situation, why not begin your adventure in the amazing universe of Middle-Earth with Lord of the Rings online?

Developed by Turbine, LotRO follows the story from the books and movies and gives free access to almost everything the game has to offer. The only differences with the paid version are the two character slots (as opposed to five), the fact you cannot send money through the in-game system, and the lack of destiny points (high-end points you have to be a VIP member to use). The small details are easy to forget considering  LotRO is one of the higher-quality MMOs available.

Lord of the Rings Online isn’t just for fans of Tolkien’s work, it’s for anyone who loves the classic MMO formula (such as World of Warcraft’s) but prefers to not have to pay for it. The amount of fun you can have with this game without paying a dime is outrageous, making it one of the finest free online Mac games available.

System Requirements: OS, 10.7.5, 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 2 GB RAM,  Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better, 25 GB hard drive space.
League of Legends

Free-to-Play / MOBA

League of Legends from developer Riot Games remains one the most popular and successful Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) available. It’s so popular it has its own League of Legends Friends mobile app just to help you keep track of everyone.

In League of Legends, you assume the role of a “champion” with unique abilities, weaknesses, and strengths. Your objective is to fight alongside your team against other player or computer-controlled champions. In the most popular game modes (there are many), you have to destroy the opposing team’s nexus which lies at the heart of a guarded base. Battles last around 20 to 60 minutes, with your Champions starting out at a very low level. They gain experience throughout the match and—equally important—they earn gold that can be used to buy in-game items to increase their powers and abilities. These disappear at the end of the match and you start the next round fresh.

You have over 100 champions at your disposal, and you can spend money to purchase them (as well as multi-game boosts) straight-away. Beyond that, microtransactions are relegated largely to cosmetic items.

Oh, and be warned that League of Legends is a complex and highly competitive game, and the community is known for being particularly harsh towards newbies.

System Requirements: OS 10.8.5, 2 GHz Intel Processor, 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT / ATI Radeon HD 2600, 5 GB hard drive space.
Cave Story

100% Free / Adventure

You’ve certainly heard of Cave Story—and you’ve maybe even played one of its console or Steam iterations—but did you know this Metroidvania style 2D platformer started as a “free time” project for developer Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya? It took him five years to develop the game, and it became one of the first Indie gaming successes.

Cave Story quickly gained traction because of its great story and solid gameplay. You start as an amnesiac who wakes up in (you got it) a cave, and as per usual when you find yourself alone and without memories in a cave, you quickly learn you’ll have to fight a crazy doctor who plans to conquer the world.

The enhanced version called Cave Story+ is available pretty much everywhere, but the original Cave Story is still available for free.

System Requirements: Unavailable…
Hearthstone

Free-to-Play / Collectible Card Game

There aren’t many companies that can deliver the same high quality of free games as Valve, but one that certainly can is Blizzard. We already talked about Starcraft II, and here we are again with Hearthstone—a digital collectible card game based on the popular Warcraft universe. If you don’t get into card games, don’t skip ahead just yet…this one is widely praised by players no matter previous feelings towards the genre.

Hearthstone is much simpler than you would imagine. In every match, you pull three or four cards (depending on who goes first) out of your customized deck of 30 cards. There are different card types (weapons, spells and minions), but the objective is clear: empty your opponent’s health before he does the same to you.

Hearthstone is a great game—free or paid—that’s a good match for pretty much any kind of gamer. Seriously. It’s easy for new players to get into but offers enough depth to keep you hooked. It also benefits from frequent, free expansions to refresh the available cards, and its light system requirements make it one of the top free games you can easily play on your MacBook.

System Requirements: OS 10.10, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, 3 GB hard drive space.
Paladins

Free-to-Play / First-person Shooter

Upset that Overwatch is still sorely missing on the Mac? This may be the answer. Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins focuses more on teamwork than most of the other free-to-play games we’ve included here. Players choose a champion from four possible categories: front line, damage, support and flank. You’ll need to pay to get access to all of the available champions, but the free options are more than enough to get you started.

There are a wide variety of game modes to battle through in Paladins, including popular options such as siege, team deathmatch, survival, and co-op.

Your champion’s abilities can be enhanced via cards which provide cooldown reductions, health bonuses, etc. In addition, in-game currency obtained by killing enemies and winning battles can be used to purchase even greater bonuses.

The team behind Paladins have stated that they drew inspiration from Team Fortress 2, but this game stands up quite well on its own, quietly becoming one of the hottest Mac games of 2018.

System Requirements: OS 10.10, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 3870 or higher, Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or higher with 512 MB Video RAM or better, 10 GB hard drive space.
Dwarf Fortress

100% Free / Strategy

No, this isn’t a Gimli-only mod for Lord of the Rings Online. Dwarf Fortress is its own unique entity—part construction and management, part roguelike, and text-based.

Yes, text-based.

A typical Dwarf Fortress game involves a randomly generated world in which you indirectly control a group of dwarves in an attempt to build an underground fortress. Without much direction (the game has no objectives) and text-based graphics, this game is hard. But that’s also Dwarf Fortress’ charm. Once you figure out how everything works, building that fortress becomes an addiction.

Also, part of Dwarf Fortress’s fame comes from the fact it’s a two-member project that survives solely on donations.

Dwarf Fortress is a good option for folks who appreciate a good challenge (it’s famous for its difficulty and complexity) and who don’t need high-end graphics to enjoy a good gaming session. You can also feel good about yourself for supporting the indie movement.

System Requirements: 10.3, 512 MB  RAM, 100MB of hard drive space.
Brawlhalla

Free-to-Play / Fighting

Here’s another game that promises “No Pay to Win. No Pay to Play. No hidden fees. No monthly costs. No paywalls. And it’s going to stay that way forever.” Sound good? It’ll sound even better once we get into the specifics.

Brawlhalla is a 2D platformer fighting game along the lines of Super Smash Bros., only with many more gameplay options (you have to have something to compensate for the loss of Ike, I guess). There are online ranked 1v1 and 2v2, online 4 player free-for-all, online 8 player free-for-all and 4v4. Locally, you’ve got free-for-all, custom teams, and a single player tournament.

And if the gameplay options don’t keep things fresh, the multitude of weapons and power-ups available during the brawls will certainly keep things moving along. If you do want to pay, you can unlock all of the characters or you can get different outfits for them. But if you decide to keep your money to yourself, it won’t stop you from winning.

System Requirements: OS 10.7, 1 GB RAM, 400 MB hard drive space.
Doki Doki Literature Club!

Free-to-Play / Visual Novel

Terrified by the concept of joining a book club? Then this game’s for you. A visual novel by Team Salvato, Doki Doki Literature Club is actually a psychological horror game in disguise.

It starts out innocently enough, with your character joining a high school literary club. There’s a poem writing mechanic you can use to flirt with the various girls in the club, and there’s a lot of dialogue to click through. But things turn dark very quickly and you’ll soon find that Doki Doki Literature Club is more about keeping the girls alive than it is about finding your one true love through books.

The game breaks the fourth wall quite a bit, creating a wholly meta experience that’s effective even if you’ve never played a dating sim before. Be prepared for the disturbing content…and plenty of restarts. You’ll need to play through the game a few times to get the ending that won’t put you off high school clubs forever.

System Requirements: OS 10.9, 1.8 GHz Dual Core Processor, 4 GB RAM, 350 MB hard drive space.
OpenTTD

Open-source / Simulation

Remember Transport Tycoon Deluxe? It was a business simulation game released back in 1995, so if you were too young or just missed it, its spirit lives on with this open source remake.

Like its inspiration, the point of Open TTD is to make money by transporting people and cargo via planes, trains and automobiles…and boats. Each time you successfully move an object from point A to point B you’ll get income that can be used to build better methods of transportation. All this takes place between 1950 and 2050, giving you plenty of different technologies to develop and utilize (although mods and online content can take that even further).

Of course, technology has changed quite a bit since 1995, and Open TTD has taken advantage of that by expanding the game with larger maps, an enhanced UI, multi-language support, custom AI, and plenty more. Even better, Open TTD features online and local multiplayer with up to 255 players! And although updated, the game does retain its original visual charm.

System Requirements: OS 10.3.9, 128 MB RAM.
SuperTuxKart

Open-source / Racing

We gave you a Super Smash Bros.-style game earlier, so why not include some Super Mario Kart love as well? SuperTuxKart is a kart racer with several racing modes for single and multiplayer action, as well as plenty of characters to obtain and use.

Of course, what really matters in games such as this are the tracks. There are 21 to unlock within the game’s story (it involves a kidnapping and a race-to-save-your-friend element if you must know), but with the open source model, there are plenty more to download via add-ons.

SuperTuxKart has some pretty impressive, colorful racing environments that are fun to drive through. Fans of open source gaming will also get a kick out of seeing the mascots from other titles making their appearance here. Overall, SuperTuxKart offers a great deal of arcade racing fun.

System Requirements: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, 1 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX, AMD Radeon 6870 HD series card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 512 MB Video RAM or better, 700 MB hard drive space.
Fistful of Frags

100% Free / First-person Shooter

Born as a wild west-themed mod for the Source engine, Fistful of Frags is a deathmatch game set in the Wild West. It has your basic options such as teamplay, versus and elimination modes, but separates itself with some unique mechanics.

For example, it has a dual wield weapon system with double dynamic crosshairs, and you can even throw your weapons as projectiles when all else fails. And speaking of weapons, the historical guns available to you are slower to use than modern first-person deathmatch games, but they’re still quite powerful. It also forces you to play things a little more realistically than when you’re using tasers, bazookas and flak cannons. The more skilled you become with your guns, the more you’ll be rewarded.

You won’t have to pay a dime to play Fistful of Frags; no microtransactions exist within the game. Use the money to buy some whiskey if you’re of age, as the game seems to focus on that quite heavily.

System Requirements: OS 10.7, 1.7 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM,  NVIDIA GeForce 8, ATI X1600, Intel HD 3000 or higher, 3 GB hard drive space.
The Battle for Wesnoth

100% Free / Turn-based Strategy

With a name like Wesnoth, you just know it’s a place you’re going to have to battle for. Thankfully, the battles are turn-based on a hex grid that will take you back to the ‘90s visually, which was a tremendously colorful and detailed place to be.

So, what will you do during The Battle for Wesnoth? As described on the project’s website, “Embark on a desperate quest to reclaim your rightful throne… Flee the Lich Lords to a new home across the sea… Delve into the darkest depths of the earth to craft a jewel of fire itself… Defend your kingdom against the ravaging hordes of a foul necromancer… Or lead a straggly band of survivors across the blazing sands to confront an unseen evil..” That enough for you?

The Battle for Wesnoth features 16 single-player campaigns and 46 multiplayer maps (online and hot seat) over which more than 200 units will battle. The game has developed a large, dedicated fanbase due to the quality and quantity of content, the engaging gameplay, and the fact that it’s free (not to mention its Tolkienesque setting). That community has, in turn, contributed a ton of user-made content ranging from new campaigns and factions to artwork.

System Requirements: Unknown…
Canabalt

100% Free / Endless Runner

Sometimes you want to play a game with just one button. We get that, and that’s why we offer up Canabalt. This endless runner has been released on everything from iOS to the Commodore 64 (wait…what?), and it offers plenty of frenetic fun on the Mac.

Basically, you’re a dude running from some sort of threat. We’ve all been there, right? In Canabalt, this involves running/jumping across rooftops as you dodge various obstacles along the way. Unlike in real life, you get faster as you progress, increasing the challenge.

And unlike many endless runners available, the environments in Canabalt are procedurally generated. This means the game is more about skill than memorization, and it greatly increases the replay value. If you’re looking for a free way to kill some time on your Mac, Canabalt is it.

System Requirements: Adobe Flash.
Unreal Tournament

100% Free / First-person shooter

We close our top 20 with Unreal Tournament from Epic Games, but I expect it’ll be much higher up the next time we look at this list. A new iteration of one of the all-time classic multiplayer first-person shooters, Unreal Tournament fills old-time gamers like me with nostalgia while pointing all players directly towards the future.

If you’re too young to know, Unreal Tournament was initially developed in 1999 as an expansion for the single-player FPS Unreal, but quickly took on a life of its own. The game drops combatants on wonderfully designed (and quite memorable) maps in which they can engage in the usual multiplayer matches: assault, capture the flag, deathmatch, etc. Loaded with unique weapons, armor, and amplifiers, Unreal Tournament gives gamers of all types a way to win.

This new version is still in alpha, so there’s plenty of work to be done (as evidenced by multiple reports that it’s still quite buggy). That means you’ll be helping the developers along by playing it, but it’s also your chance to improve your skills ahead of launch…for free.

For the record though, it is unclear what will happen with this game as no updates nor a word from the developers have occurred in almost a year…

System Requirements: OS 10.9.2 or later running the latest version of Metal, 2.5 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor, 4 GB RAM.

The Competition

This is a very big list we’ve put together for you, but not big enough to cover everything. As more games are made available for free in an effort to draw gamers into their community, there’s more we have to look at.

As such, here’s a list of games that didn’t quite crack our top 20 but are good enough to get a recommendation from us.

GamesGamesOur takeGenreDemand Level
Guild Wars 2 Mac art

Guild Wars 2

MMORPG
Guild Wars 2Because you can’t have a guild without having wars. If you tend to prefer story-driven games, this MMORPG actually builds a storyline around your actions. It’s a great way to stay involved when you get tired of fighting for fighting’s sake.

Developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT, Guild Wars 2 uses a dynamics event system as opposed to traditional quests to create the story within its persistent world. Select your race choose your profession, pick your skills and join the fight.

74

Metascore
MMORPG
Trove Mac art

Trove

MMORPG
TroveThis sandbox MMORPG allows you to play as a pirate, a dinosaur tamer, a headless knight, and more. Developed and published by Trion Worlds, Trove invites players to build a world, explore others, fight, and go home (it’s the only place you’ll be safe, after all).

The game is visually reminiscent of Minecraft, but offers plenty more dungeons to explore, abilities to master and bosses to defeat. And because everyone’s competing with Fortnite these days, there’s a battle royal mode to keep the kids happy.

NA

Metascore
MMORPG
EVE Online Mac art

EVE Online

MMORPG
EVE OnlineSurprisingly, this is only one of the few MMORPGs set in space as opposed to a fantasy world. EVE Online features over 7,800 star systems to explore and conquer, and its unscripted setup means you can do so at your discretion.

Its persistent world of mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploration, and combat will keep you entertained for a very long time, and there’s now a limited free-to-play to help you get started. EVE Online has even been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, for crying out loud!

NA

Metascore
MMORPG
SMITE Mac art

SMITE

MOBA
SMITEThis free to play third-person MOBA from the developers of Paladins allows players to control a god and get into the thick of the team-based combat with the game’s third-person perspective.

You get five free gods (from the available 80-plus) when you sign up, and new content is released every two weeks. Start off in the newbie-friendly arena mode and build up your skills until you’re ready to become a Grandmaster in the SMITE World Championship (or just have fun with the numerous promotions events).

NA

Metascore
MOBA
Xonotic Mac art

Xonotic

Shooter
XonoticTotally free and totally open-source, this first-person shooter runs on a modified Quake engine and is inspired by Unreal Tournament and Quake (but with enhanced player movement). This means you can play classic modes such as deathmatch and capture the flag, but you can unlock 14 more for a wide variety of intense combat options.

And as you’d expect when hearing the names Quake and Unreal Tournament, Xonotic, is a rare first-person shooter action amongst the other games on our list.

NA

Metascore
Shooter
Elder Scrolls Legends Mac art

The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Collectible Cards
The Elder Scrolls: LegendsA collectible card game featuring two-player turn-based combat (against a human or computer opponent). The cards are based on characters and creatures from The Elder Scrolls, pitting the player character against a High Elf named Naarifin who intends to fulfill the Culling with the help of an army of demons.

The game is free-to-play, with expansion sets available for purchase (including one that features elements from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). The latest—Houses of Morrowind—was just released in April of this year.

NA

Metascore
Collectible Cards
Super Crate Box Mac art

Super Crate Box

Action
Super Crate BoxThis is certainly one of the more unique freeware games on our list. Super Crate Box provides old-school arcade action mixed with the intense excitement of modern survival games. The enemies won’t quit coming, and the only thing you have to stop them is one of 14 weapons provided at random by the crate box.

Pick up your weapon, kill as many as you can, then hit up the crate box for a new, different weapon. If you don’t stop the enemies before they reach the firepit they’ll return even faster. May the odds be ever in your favor, or something like that.

NA

Metascore
Action
IMAGE

Marathon Mac art

Shooter
MarathonOh, Marathon, glorious Marathon. One of the all-time great first-person shooters for the Mac is still available, and it’s available for free. You can’t call yourself a Mac gamer without having played this.

Marathon broke new ground in the first-person shooter genre across all platforms, which is quite an achievement as it was only available for Mac OS. Developed before microtransactions were even a thing, it’s totally free to play from start to finish. Still a blast to play despite its age.

NA

Metascore
Shooter
The Plan Mac art

The Plan

Experimental
The Plan“A fly ascends to the skies, pondering the pointlessness of its brief existence.” They say a fly’s life is only three days, but it’s not like it knows that, right? A fly doesn’t know death from Shinola.

But we do, and that makes this “experiment” from the developers of Among the Sleep a beautiful bit of relaxing freeware. It doesn’t last much more than five minutes, but isn’t that kind of perfect? Gorgeous visuals and simple gameplay to share with others.

NA

Metascore
Experimental
Unturned Mac art

Unturned

Adventure
UnturnedWork with friends to survive a zombie-infested land (because that always turns out so well). This F2P game comes from the creator of the Battlefield and Deadzone games in Roblox, bringing with it similarly blocky graphics that make the proceedings a bit more lighthearted than your usual zombie fare.

You’ll be up against nature and other players—not just zombies—as you attempt to fortify your stronghold in the Yukon, Hawaii, Russia and other official and community created maps. Also, you have access to jet skis and helicopters. As you should.

NA

Metascore
Adventure
The Expendabros Mac art

The Expendabros

Action
The ExpendabrosVideo games have thankfully become quite diverse over the past decade, but every now and again you just want to help some old-school arcade burly men go on an old-school action mission of intense side-scrolling mayhem.

The Expandabros may be nothing more than a short but free way to try out Broforce, but we see nothing wrong with that when you get to control guys like Broney Ross, Bronar Jenson and Toll Borad. Take down a ruthless arms dealer and his army of soldiers, artillery and circular saws exactly as ‘80s action heroes would want you to.

NA

Metascore
Action
Realm Grinder Mac art

Realm Grinder

Role-Playing
Realm GrinderIn this “clicker” from Divine Games you’re a monarch out to expand your realm. You’ll start with nothing more than a meager farm and a strong desire to explore, build, upgrade, and attack. Are you good? Are you evil? Let the other players decide.

Your concern should be solely with clicking to get rich. Whether you get there by dealing with elves, demons or any of the other dozen factions is up to. How much you spend it also up to you; Realm Grinder is free-to-play, but microtransactions are available if you tire of clicking.

NA

Metascore
Role-Playing
Iron Snout Mac art

Iron Snout

Action
Iron SnoutNot content to hide in his house of straw, this little pig would rather defend himself with cleavers, athletic equipment, and whatever else he can find...including the body parts of his enemies. This free brawler is bloody and violent, but its colorfully cartoonish and often humorous presentation help to keep the proceedings light.

The fast-paced action is enhanced by simple controls that helps you get started quickly, but you’re going to need some practice to unlock all of the game’s achievements.

NA

Metascore
Action
OpenRA Mac art

OpenRA

Strategy
OpenRAThis is your chance to play one of the earliest (and finest) real-time strategy games for free, as OpenRA is pretty much just Command and Conquer. The classic real-time strategy game from Westwood Studios has been made available through and maintained by the open-source community, and has been updated to run natively on modern operating systems and screen resolutions.

So, although it retains the visual style of the 1995 original, it plays just fine on your iMac or MacBook. OpenRA offers many “modern features” as well, including dual-button mouse input, fog or war, and streaming support.

NA

Metascore
Strategy
Shadow Warrior Classic Mac art

Shadow Warrior Classic

Shooter
Shadow Warrior ClassicFrom the creators of Duke Nukem 3D comes his Asian counterpart. This throwback first-person shooter is equally juvenile, equally over-the-top, and equally fun...provided your mindset is rooted firmly in the 1990s.

The lead character’s name is Lo Wang, and that should tell you everything you need to know. The bad jokes, gore and stereotypes are almost as prevalent as the repeated environment textures, but that’s just what we played in the ‘90s. It was either this or Mario Teaches Typing. At least now it’s free.

NA

Metascore
Shooter

Our Criteria

We know that game fandom is subjective. We all have our own filters that lead us to a specific genre or title, but there’s a lot of commonality in those filters. Here’s what we used to determine which games should be included here and where they should rank.

Native support: You’d be surprised how many Top Games for macOS lists feature Windows-only games. Not here. Each and every one of the games mentioned here is officially supported on MacOS and does not require Bootcamp or Wine.

MacOS performance: Having said that, we haven’t specifically tested each game on multiple Mac systems. Because all of these games can be freely downloaded and tested, we didn’t feel the need to benchmark. Check our comments on each game, however, to see which of them are prone to lags or will work well on older Mac systems.

Critical acclaim: We know that our opinions are not the only ones that matter. To keep this guide as relevant as possible, we only considered proven games with positive reviews from both professional reviewers and average gamers.

100% Free VS. Free-to-Play:  As we mentioned before, there’s a distinction between free and free-to-play (F2P). Both are included here, but check our designations to see which are really free and which require microtransactions of various sorts.

Wrapping Up

Great games are available at any cost. And although there are features and options in $60 titles that you’ll rarely find for free, we continue to be amazed by how much entertainment you can get out of a game that won’t cost you a dime to play. We had a lot of fun learning about and playing these games, and we hope you will, too.

As you check them out, we only have two requests for you. First, be sure to tell us about any great Mac free games we missed. And second, if you can, send some financial love to the developers.

Game development is a hard road to travel, and these people deserve to be rewarded.