The 20 Best Free games for Mac in 2019

We pick our favorite free Mac games including shooters, strategy games and more

By Kirk Hiner | Updated June 7, 2019

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

Microtransactions 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 that 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 can actually be enjoyed for free.

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

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 RoyaleStrategyShooter
Release date201720152012
Metascore

77

93

83

Our rating★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★☆
Requirements⚠️ Fairly Demanding✅ Not Demanding⚠️ Fairly Demanding
Check Price

Epic Games

Battle.net

Steam

How We Decide

Finding the best games is a nice start but what good are they if their Mac versions suck?

Sometimes a great game on Windows can suffer from extremely poor MacOS performance, or even worse, a broken Mac version. That’s why testing these games on Mac hardware is critical for us.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 2

In this list, you’ll only find games that are both great and have proper MacOS support. You can read all about how we test MacOS performance below.

Our favorite Free Mac games

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 3

1. Fortnite

Mac Release date: 2017

MacOS developer: Epic Games

Genre: Online Shooter

Metascore: 81

Fortnite: Battle Royale is the free PvP mode of Fortnite. You and up to 99 opponents are dropped on a giant map where you must find 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 becomes, forcing you to engage in combat instead of finding some remote area in which to camp. And as you’d expect from one of the finest competitive online games for Mac, the competition can be brutal.

Those willing to pay will be able to unlock more cool skins and other cosmetic items. But other than that, everyone gets access to the full game!

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

Expand to see if your Mac run it

Testing Conditions: We tested the game using the Low Quality Preset, 100% 3D Resolution, V-Sync Off and 1280×800 resolution:

Fortnite Mac results (updated)

Can your Mac run it? Fortnite used to be very demanding. Even our 2016 MacBook Pro couldn’t pass the 30 FPS mark (which is the absolute minimum for a fast-paced online shooter). However, the Mac performance of the game has improved a lot and the game is now playable on more machines.

Any bugs you should be aware of? Not exactly a bug, but be aware that performance is terrible as soon as your character jumps from the bus. This is also improving but not entirely gone yet. Be patient and wait until performance improves and FPS stabilize.

Verdict: Medium emoji Somewhat Demanding

System Requirements: OS 10.12.6 and a machine that supports Metal, 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, 4 GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 or better.

Fortnite

Our Score: ★★★★☆

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 4
The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 5

2. Starcraft 2

Mac Release date: 2015

MacOS developer: Blizzard

Genre: Strategy

Metascore: 88

Developed by Blizzard, Starcraft 2 is a real-time strategy game that shouldn’t need an introduction.

Sequel to the critically-acclaimed Starcraft, Starcraft 2 features the most intense, fast-paced and well-oiled gameplay you’ll ever see in a real-time strategy game. Good gaming keyboard and mouse are both mandatory!

Starcraft 2 was already a must-buy when it was $59.99, but now that the game offers an extremely generous free-to-play version, you owe it yourself to try it. The free-to-play version of Starcraft 2 gives you the complete Wings of Liberty campaign, ranked and unranked Multiplayer, and every co-op commander available.

And if you ever want even more Starcraft 2, you can pay to unlock more single-player campaigns, special skins, new co-op commanders and more.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

Expand to see if your Mac run it

Testing Conditions: We tested the game using Medium Graphics quality, Low Texture quality, V-sync off, and 1280×800 resolution.

StarCraft 2 results

Verdict: Low emoji Not Demanding

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.

Starcraft 2

Our Score: ★★★★★

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 6
The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 7

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Mac Release date: 2012

MacOS developer: Valve

Genre: Shooter

Metascore: 83

Counter-Strike practically gave birth to the competitive FPS scene and is responsible for most of the LAN parties that took place in the 90s. That was a long time ago, but Counter-Strike has managed to evolve over time and successfully remain relevant.

In 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released and it expanded upon the team-based gameplay it pioneered 19 years earlier. CS: GO featured new maps, characters, weapons, and delivered updated versions of the classic CS content. Enough to become once again one of the most played games on Steam in the planet.

CS: GO is still praised for it’s extremely accurate and solid mechanics, but now that the game is free-to-play and includes Danger Zone, a brand-new battle royale mode, CS: GO is a must for anyone remotely interested in shooters.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

Expand to see if your Mac run it

Testing conditions:

We tested the game using Medium Graphics quality, Anti-aliasing and V-sync off, and 1280×800 vs. 1650×1050 resolutions.

Results:

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 8

Demand Level:  Low emoji Low

System Requirements: OS 10.11, 2GHz Intel Core Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 2400, NVidia 8600M graphics or better, 15 GB hard drive space.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Our Score: ★★★★☆

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 9
The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 10

Grab Thimbleweed Park for free on the Epic Games Store!

Usually $19.99, you can get this excellent adventure game for free:

More great Free games for Mac

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 11

4. Lord of the Rings Online

Mac Release date: 2008

MacOS developer: Turbine Inc

Genre: MMORPG

Metascore: 86

There are so many good F2P MMOs out there 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”. But trust me, those small limitations 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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 12

5. Hearthstone

Mac Release date: 2014

MacOS developer: Blizzard

Genre: Collectible Card Game

Metascore: 84

There aren’t many companies that can deliver as high-quality free games as Valve, but one that certainly can is Blizzard. We already featured two of their games, yet 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. 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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

Expand to see if your Mac run it

Testing Conditions: We tested the game using Medium quality and 1280×800 resolution.

Hearthstone_export

Verdict: ✅ Not Demanding

System Requirements: OS 10.9, 2.4 GHz Intel Core Dual Processor, 2 GB RAM, GeForce 9600/130/Quadro FX 5600, Radeon HD 5870, or Intel HD 4000 with 512 MB of dedicated memory, 15 GB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 13

6. Paladins

Mac Release date: 2018

MacOS developer: Hi-Rez Studios

Genre: Shooter

Metascore: 83

Upset that Overwatch is sorely missing on Mac? This may be the answer. In Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins, players choose a champion from four possible categories: front line, damage, support and flank.

Paladins clearly drew inspiration from Team Fortress 2, and some have called it an Overwatch clone, but this game stands up on its own. Paladins has a lot to offer, including a wide variety of game modes to battle through, such as siege, team deathmatch, survival, and co-op.

And unlike Overwatch, champions have abilities that 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.

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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

Benchmark results (in FPS):

2013 MacBook Pro

2016 MacBook Pro

2014 27-inch iMac

Expand to see if your Mac run it

Testing Conditions: We tested the game using the Medium settings, 2X Anti-Aliasing, Vertical Sync Off and 1280×800 resolution:

Paladins results

Can your Mac run it? Testing Paladins was an extremely pleasant surprise. The game ran great on all machines, and even in the heat of battle, it ran at an acceptable speed on our older MacBook Pro. If you have a MacBook from 2013 onwards, you should be able to run it. 

Any bugs you should be aware of? The game ran smoothly and the experience for us was bug-free.

Verdict: ⚠️ Fairly Demanding

System Requirements: OS 10.10, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 3870, Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT or higher, 10 GB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 14

7. Spelunky

Mac Release date: 2008

MacOS developer: Derek Yu

Genre: Platformer

Metascore: 90

Spelunky—an indie action-adventure game created by Derek Yu—has you controlling an unnamed adventurer, 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.

The 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.

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 (yes, this game is completely free from start to finish).

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

System Requirements: OS 10.9, 2.0 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor, 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 320M, Intel HD 3000, 20 GB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 15

8. 0 A.D.

Mac Release date: 2010 (still in active development)

MacOS developer: Wildfire Games

Genre: Strategy

Here’s another game that’s completely free from start to finish. This open-source 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.

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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

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

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 16

9. Heroes of the Storm

Mac Release date: 2015

MacOS developer: Blizzard

Genre: MOBA

Metascore: 86

Considered a League of Legends challenger with a greater focus on team play, Heroes of the Storm is another game from Blizzard.

Fans of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft and other Blizzard titles will be particularly excited to soo their favorite heroes take part in 5 vs 5 battles, either against the AI or against human players in ranked and unranked matches. And on top of creating a solid MOBA geared towards more casual players, Blizzard keeps rolling new game modes, events, and new Heroes to keep you coming back for more.

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. In other words, you won’t need to pay anything to fully enjoy the game.

Verdict: A generous free-to-play game.

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.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 17

10. Team Fortress 2

Mac Release date: 2007

MacOS developer: Valve

Genre: Shooter

Metascore: 92

Originally released back in 2008, we still cannot talk about the best free games for Mac without mentioning Team Fortress 2.

TF2 is a team-based FPS 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.

Verdict: A generous free-to-play game.

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.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 18

11. League of Legends

Mac Release date: 2017

MacOS developer: Epic Games

Genre: Online Shooter

Metascore: 81

In League of Legends, you assume the role of a “champion” with unique abilities, weaknesses, and strengths.

In the most popular game mode, 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.

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.

League of Legends remains one the most popular and successful Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) available, but be warned, this is a complex and highly competitive game, and the community is known for being particularly harsh towards newbies.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

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.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 19

12. Cave Story

Mac Release date: 2011

MacOS developer: Pixel Studios

Genre: Platformer

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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

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.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 20

13. Dwarf Fortress

Mac Release date: 2006

MacOS developer: Tarn Adams, Zach Adams

Genre: Strategy

Dwarf Fortress is part construction, part management, part roguelike, and part 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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

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

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 21

14. Brawlhalla

Mac Release date: 2017

MacOS developer: Blue Mammoth Games

Genre: 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?

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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

System Requirements: OS 10.7, 1 GB RAM, 400 MB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 22

15. Doki Doki Literature Club!

Mac Release date: 2017

MacOS developer: Team Salvato

Genre: Visual Novel

Metascore: 78

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 not really 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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

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

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 23

16. OpenTTD

Mac Release date: 2004

MacOS developer: OpenTTD Team

Genre: 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, 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.

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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

System Requirements: OS 10.3.9, 128 MB RAM.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 24

17. SuperTuxKart

Mac Release date: 2006

MacOS developer: Steve and Oliver Baker

Genre: 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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

System Requirements: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i3 Processor, 1 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX, AMD Radeon 6870 HD or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or better, 700 MB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 25

18. Fistful of Frags

Mac Release date: 2014

MacOS developer: Fistful of Frags Team

Genre: Shooter

Born as a 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.

Even better? 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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

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 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 26

19. The Battle for Wesnoth

Mac Release date: 2008

MacOS developer: David White

Genre: Strategy

The Battle for Wesnoth is an open source, turn-based strategy game featuring turn-based battles on a hex grid that will take you back to the ‘90s visually. 

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.

Verdict: This is a generous free-to-play game.

System Requirements: OS 10.8, 2 GHz Dual Core Processor, 2 GB RAM, 800 MB hard drive space.

The 20 Best Free Games for Mac in 2019 27

20. Canabalt

Mac Release date: 2009

MacOS developer: Adam Atomic and Danny B

Genre: Action

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 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.

Verdict: This is a truly (100%) free game.

System Requirements: Adobe Flash.

The best games for your Mac

Normally, we test the MacOS performance of all our featured games and share the results with you. This time, as these are all free (and most have low system requirements), we decided to focus on our Top 3.

We performed our tests on these machines:

iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)

3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013)

2.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016):

2.0 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 540 (1.5GB)

These are the results:
GameRequirements2013 MBP FPS2016 MBP FPS2014 iMac FPS
Fortnite Mac artForniteMedium emoji Medium23.4 FPS

Borderline

47.1 FPS

Playable

96.5 FPS

Smooth

StarCraft 2 Mac artStarcraft 2Low emoji Low33.8 FPS

Playable

70.1 FPS

Smooth

115.9 FPS

Smooth

CS GO Mac artCS: GOLow emoji Low34 FPS

Playable

50.9 FPS

Playable

79.8 FPS

Smooth

Expand to see how to interpret these results

For your reference, this is how we describe the different levels of performance (in frames per second):

Below 20 FPSUnplayableLaggy gameplay, full of stutters and slowdowns.
20-30 FPSBorderlineCan be Ok in slow paced games. Still, not optimal.
30-45 FPSPlayableAcceptable for most (most gaming consoles do this).
45-60 FPSSmoothFluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.
60+ FPSVery SmoothFor hardcore and professional players, a luxury for most.

We usually aim for 30 FPS, because 30 FPS is enough to guarantee a smooth and fluid experience. This YouTube video does a great job at showing the differences between 30 FPS VS 60 FPS.

Why test games at 1280×800 instead of 1080p? Keep in mind that most of us have MacBooks that are not meant to be game machines. We prefer to stick to 12080×800 to give older Macs a chance (that said, our Performance reviews do include tests at 1080p.

In a nutshell:

The best MMORPG for MacBook owners is The Lord of the Rings Online whereas the most demanding MMORPG on Mac is Final Fantasy Online.

The Competition: Even more Free Mac games to download

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 takeDemand LevelFree games only?

Wild Terra Online Mac artWild Terra Online

Free-to-Play
Wild Terra OnlineA hardcore sandbox RPG, the world of Wild Terra Online is created completely by the players.

As with some previous games on the list, you improve your skills by using them, learning to craft all the things you’ll need to survive. Difficult and grindy but rewarding, Wild Terra Online allows you to create the character you want and do what you will as long as you survive.

NA

Metascore
Not demandingNo

RPG MO Mac artRPG MO

Free-to-Play
RPG MOA retro style MMORPG, RPG MO is for fans of RuneScape and Ultima Online.

Another open-world sandbox MMO, RPG MO is known for its player-made economy and being truly free-to-play. You’ll have the usual grind, but you also get a house and pets for relaxing.

And with modest system requirements, RPG MO is great for throwback fans with older and mid-range machines.

NA

Metascore
Not demandingYes

WAKFU Mac artWAKFU

Free-to-Play
WAKFUAnother game featuring a player-driven economy, WAKFU is also known for its beautiful anime style, its turn-based tactical combat, and its unique class system.

You’ll also have the usual crafting, quests, dungeons and battles you’d expect in a MMORPG. A unique and fun anime MMO, WAKFU suffers as some others do from a small user base, making a player-built world difficult to maintain.

76

Metascore
Not demandingYes

Planetshift Mac artPlanetshift

Free-to-Play
PlanetshiftPlaneshift is a completely free 3D MMORPG set, inside a giant stalactite attached to the roof of an even more giant cave.

Containing all the classic RPG elements, Planeshift, like several others in this list, allows you to chart your own path as you explore the world of Yliakum.

NA

Metascore
Not demandingYes

Ryzom Mac artRyzom

Free-to-Play
RyzomAnother free and open source MMORPG, though with subscriptions available, Ryzom is set in a science fiction/fantasy world and features a classless system and a world that responds to your actions.

Another persistent 3D world MMO, the developers are also very open about seeking input from players to help in the game’s development.

NA

Metascore
Not demandingYes

Puzzle Pirates Mac artPuzzle Pirates

Free-to-Play
Puzzle PiratesLooking for something a little more casual and less focused on RPG elements? Puzzle Pirates may be what you’re looking for.

You’ll be a pirate progressing through the game by solving various puzzles and mini-games. Don’t be deceived by a cartoony look and some casual-looking puzzles, this isn’t a kids or mobile game. With single & multiplayer, including cooperative multiplayer, Puzzle Pirates is a different take on the MMO.

78

Metascore
Not demandingYes

Champions of Regnum Mac artChampions of Regnum

Free-to-Play
Champions of RegnumThis is the epitome of a Japanese grinding MMORPG. After starting out and getting to level 10 or so, the quests fade out and the only thing left to do is wait for special events like realm vs realm battles, or pay for boosts from the online store to help level-up and grab a mount for traveling speed.

The beauty of Regnum is the singular focus on PvP combat. There is no crafting, no raiding, and almost no high-level content. Learning to battle at end game (level 60+warmaster) is the key to Regnum.

NA

Metascore
Not demandingYes

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

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.

Mac 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.

Pricing: How much are these Mac games REALLY?

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.

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission (this is how we pay the bills). This commission comes at no additional cost to you