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The 10 Best Horror games for Mac

Halloween is coming and I’m sure you’re looking for something scary to play.

Well, I have good excellent news for you. While I was looking for killer horror games myself, I realized one thing:

The best horror games support macOS.

Which means you won’t have a problem finding something right up your alley. Do you prefer first-person, top-down, story driven or action-packed games? No problem, these 10 games cover most genres and play styles.

The Candidates

GameNameGenreRequirementsPC MetascorePrice
Alien Isolation MacAlien IsolationAlien: IsolationSurvival High81$39.99
BioShock MacBioShock RemasteredBioShock RemasteredShooter Low96$19.99
Soma Mac artSOMASOMASurvival Medium84$29.99
Layers of Fear MacLayers of FearLayers of FearPsychological Horror High72$19.99
Metro Last Light MacMetro: Last Light ReduxMetro: Last Light ReduxShooter High82$19.99
Outlast MacOUTLASTOUTLASTSurvival Medium80$19.99
STASIS MacSTASISSTASISPoint & Click Low79$19.99
Observer MacObserverObserverCyberpunkHigh78$29.99
The Walking Dead MacThe Walking DeadThe Walking DeadAdventure Low89$24.99
Doom 3 MacDoom 3Doom 3Shooter Low87$9.99
Slender MacSlenderSlenderSurvival LowNAFree

 

The Criteria

I’ll be honest with you. The last time I played a horror game was SOMA. I was alone one night in my living room, lights off, sound up. I. Did. Not. Enjoy. It. Too much stress. I’d rather play The Walking Dead. Tense too, but different.

What I’m saying is that while everyone can enjoy a good horror game, we all like different things. Nevertheless, you can rest assured all these games:

  • Are part of the Horror genre.
  • Can be scary because of the story, atmosphere, and/or graphics.
  • Support macOS, without the need for wrappers or virtualization.

But can your Mac run it?

What good would it be to share with you the best games if your Mac can’t handle them? To help you chose the right game for you (and your particular Mac), we used Count It to test them all (always on Medium Settings and 1280x800 resolution) on two different machines:

All Horror benchmarks

Detailed specifications:

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2016): 2.0 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 540 (1.5GB).
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014): 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB).

Keep in mind that anything over 30 frames per second is perfectly ok to enjoy a game. With these results, you should be able to gauge how demanding a game is.

But remember, always refer to the official system requirements before buying a game! Without further ado, let’s dive into the best horror games for Mac.

 

The Results

Alien: Isolation

Set fifteen years after Ridley Scott’s original film, Alien: Isolation sends you on a journey to an abandoned space station. This probably sounds like a standard Alien-scenario, but Isolation is unlike any other Alien game you’ve ever played before.

Isolation is the first game that finally captures the essence of the original film. This is a game about survival. The monster is to be feared and respected. It can’t be killed. All you can do is run and hide.

Luckily, the space station is full of places to hide, including vents, lockers, and cabinets. This means stealth will be your best weapon against the monster.

But can your Mac handle it?

Alien Isolation benchmarks

This is one of the best horror games on Mac App Store. It looks amazing and plays smoothly thanks to Feral Interactive‘s fine job with the macOS version. That’s great, but good looks usually mean demanding games…

My MacBook Pro could handle it, but just barely. To run it, you’ll need:

🔥 A recent Mac with a powerful graphics card.

Alien: Isolation Mac requirements: MacOS 10.10.4; 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 4GB RAM; 35 GB HDD space; NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, ATI Radeon HD 5670, or Intel Iris Pro with 1GB of Video Memory.

BioShock Remastered

BioShock Infinite was the top BioShock experience on Mac, but that changed with BioShock Remastered’s Mac release.

Infinite is in many ways a superior game, but when it comes to scary experiences, BioShock Remastered is the way to go. BioShock is not about jump scares, it’s about immersing you in one of the most desperate places ever. The game takes place in Rapture, a city full of psychopaths ready to do the most gruesome and terrible things.

The gameplay mechanics are great too, making this an extremely fun game to play. And now that the Remastered version supports macOS, you can enjoy improved graphics, better textures, and resolutions up to 5K.

BioShock Remastered benchmarks

What’s even better, this game is so well optimized, it runs even better than older, simpler games. Both my iMac and MacBook Pro ran it great, with a lot of power to spare. To enjoy it, you’ll need:

✅ Any Mac, even an older one will do.

BioShock Remastered Mac requirements: MacOS 10.12.5; 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5; 8 GB RAM; 27 GB HDD space; 2GB NVIDIA 680MX, 2GB AMD R9 M290, 1.5GB Intel Iris Pro 5200.

SOMA

SOMA is the most recent game from the creators of the Amnesia series.

This first-person shooter takes place in an underwater research facility. It’s Rapture meets the Nostromo, and that’s the best part of the game. The tension comes from the environments here, not the monsters.

But it gets worse: You can’t fight back. You’ll have to hide from the monstrosities that roam the corridors as you explore and discover what happened to all the missing employees.

Just like in past Amnesia games, you can interact with everything around you. You can grab door handles, yank cables, move items and more. This creates an incredibly immersive, yet demanding experience:

SOMA benchmarks

Similar to Alien: Isolation, this is one good looking game that will require some chops to run properly. SOMA is a little more forgiving, but you’ll still need:

⚠ A recent Mac with average specs.

Soma Mac system requirements: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3; 4GB RAM; 25 GB HD space; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, AMD Radeon HD 5750, or better with 512 MB of Video Memory.

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear is a unique take on the horror genre. There may be no monsters here, but this is still one of the scariest games you can play on your Mac.

In Layers of Fear, you are a painter who has gone mad in his attempt to finish his masterpiece. The entire game takes place in what seems to be an ordinary house. Except it isn’t. You enter a room and turn around, only to see that the door disappeared. Paintings seem to follow you with their eyes. At some points, you begin to understand what it must feel to go mad.

The more you play, the more disturbing this game becomes. You’ll find clues to the horrible things you’ve done and eventually hear and see terrifying specters of the things you used to love.

Layers of Fear benchmarks

This is an unsettling game that also looks great. Aspyr did a great job here. Even my MacBook Pro, with its puny Intel Graphics, could handle it. To run it properly you’ll need:

🔥 A recent Mac with a powerful graphics card.

Layers of Fear Mac system requirements: MacOS 10.10; 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5; 4GB RAM; 5 GB HD space; ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB VRAM, Nvidia GeForce 750M or Intel HD 6100.

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light was enhanced and improved for next-generation consoles. Reborn as Metro: Last Light Redux, this game looks amazing.

But looks aren’t enough to earn a spot here. If Last Light Redux is one of the most chilling experiences on Mac, it’s because of its setting: the metro system of the post-apocalyptic city of Moscow. The world was turned into a wasteland and it definitely reeks despair.

Last Light is also the most action-packed game on this list. The desolate atmosphere, coupled with some jump scares, makes this a very tense game to play. Still, there’s a lot of shooting involved here and if you’re into action shooters, Last Light will be right up your alley.

Metro Last Light benchmarks

Needless to say, the beautiful graphics push the game to the next level. The attention to detail is impressive, reminding us why Metro games were often used as performance benchmarks. To experience it in all its beauty, you’ll need:

🔥 A recent Mac with a powerful graphics card.

Metro Last Light Mac system requirements: OS X 10.9.5, 3.2 Ghz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 9 GB HD space, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750m or Radeon HD7950 with 1GB of Video Memory.

Want even more great Mac games? Check out the Top 100 games on Mac you can play today.

Outlast

Many claim Outlast is the scariest game that can be played on Mac.

Outlast puts you in the shoes of a freelance journalist who decides to investigate a psychiatric hospital lost in the mountains. That was obviously a bad idea, as hell breaks loose and you find yourself surrounded by homicidal patients. Plus, most of the corridors, rooms, and sewers you’ll navigate are pitch black. The only way to see is by using the low-battery video camera you have on you.

But it gets worse: You are completely incapable of combat.

With no weapons at your disposal, you will have to be quick on your feet to stay alive. Needless to say, Outlast is a must if you enjoy horror games.

Outlast benchmarks

This is a great-looking game too, but unlike others on this list, you won’t need a top of the line Mac to enjoy it:

⚠ A recent Mac with average specs.

Outlast Mac requirements: MacOS 10.9; 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo; 4GB RAM; 5 GB HD space; GeForce GT 750M, Intel Iris Pro 5200, or Radeon HD 3xxx.

STASIS

Horror games are going through a renaissance, largely thanks to Indies. Outlast and Soma are the more famous examples, but what if you don’t want another first-person game?

Since last year, you have this excellent point-and-click indie called STASIS.

In STASIS you wake up in a seemingly abandoned spaceship. There are no signs of survivors, but the bloodstains on the floor make you understand that something went terribly wrong. Turns out human experiments were carried out on the ship, but could not be contained. Monsters lurk in the shadows, but they can’t stop you from trying to find your lost wife and daughter.

STASIS is a great indie, but what impresses me the most is how macabre this game can be. It doesn’t need jump scares, the atmosphere does all the work. Point-and-click adventure games weren’t supposed to be this scary.

If you want a solid story, interesting puzzles, and a tense atmosphere, look no further than STASIS.

STASIS benchmarks

STASIS is one of those games pretty much anyone can enjoy. The only reason it didn’t run faster is because it has a 60 frames per second limit. To play it, you’ll need:

✅ Any Mac, even an older one will do.

PS: You should check out CAYNE. It’s very similar to STATIS, but happens to be a completely free horror mac game!

STASIS Mac system requirements: MacOS 10.7; 2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo; 2GB RAM; 5 GB HD space; Nvidia GeForce 205, AMD Radeon HD 3400 Series, Intel 4000 Graphics with 256 MB VRAM.

The Walking Dead: The Game

The Walking Dead is based on the award-winning comic book and television series by Robert Kirkman, and it too does a great job of recreating the hopelessness of a zombie-infested world.

The game has its fair share of jump-scares, but the actual horror comes from the desperate world it recreates. The Walking Dead will show you how the world has gone to hell, how zombies could tear you apart, and how survivors can be even more dangerous.

Want to know the best part?

As most games from developer Telltale, this game is a monument to storytelling in video games, featuring a story full of choices that matter. Those choices will shape your adventure and define who your friends and foes will be. And that’s what makes this game so tense and macabre: seeing those you get attached to get slowly wiped out.

The Walking Dead benchmarks

As every Telltale game out there, The Walking Dead goes for a cartoonish style that both looks great and is very easy to run, even on older Macs. If you have an old MacBook lying around, I’m confident it should be able to handle this:

✅ Any Mac, even an older one will do.

The Walking Dead Mac system requirements: OS X 10.6, 2.3 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 2 GB HD space, NVidia or ATI graphics card with 512MB of Video Memory.

DOOM 3

Does Doom 3 need an introduction?

Doom 3 is as old-school as it gets. Set in 2145 on Mars, the game takes place in a research facility where an experiment goes horribly wrong. A gateway to Hell is opened, causing a demon invasion. As a space marine, you will have to fight your way through the base and find a way to close the gateway and stop the demons from invading Earth.

Doom 3 isn’t subtle, but the endless waves of demons will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire campaign.

The bottom line:

While the game is over 10 years old, it’s still one of the scariest experiences you can have on your Mac.

Doom 3 benchmarks

And you can already guess the other benefit of playing an older game: It can be played on older hardware too! If you want to play Doom 3 at decent settings and resolution, you’ll need:

✅ Any Mac, even an older one will do.

Doom 3 Mac system requirements: Intel Core 2 Duo; 1GB RAM; 2GB HD space; ATI Radeon x1600, NVidia Geforce 7300 or card with 128MB of Video Memory.

Observer

Observer is the latest and greatest horror game to arrive to macOS.

From the team behind Layers of Fear, Observer tells the story of detective Daniel Lazarski, played by Blade Runner’s replicant Rutger Hauer. And by the way, the entire game feels like Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner in first-person.

But this isn’t the story of an ordinary detective. As part of a special police unit, your job is to hack and invade suspects’ minds. In this future, anything you think, feel, or remember can be used against you in a court of law. If you were looking for something different to play, this is it.

Taking place in a city ravaged by drugs and neural implants, Observer sets a new bar for cyberpunk storytelling and dystopian environments. Coupled with a disturbing sound design, Observer is a tense, suffocating, and dark experience.

Observer benchmarks

And this is the most demanding game in this list (which in a way makes sense as it’s the latest too). My MacBook Pro couldn’t even launch it!

This is a perfect example of why you need to always check the game’s system requirements before making a purchase. To run it at the highest settings you’ll need:

🔥 A recent Mac with a powerful graphics card.

Observer Mac requirements: MacOS 10.12.6; 3.3 Ghz Intel Core i5; 8 GB RAM; 20 GB HD space; NVIDIA GeForce GT 680, AMD R9 M290.

Bonus: Slender

Slender: The Eight Pages is a unique take on the horror genre. The game takes place in a dark and scary wood. It gives you a weak flashlight and asks you to find the eight pages that are scattered throughout the woods.

The problem is, the Slender man is out to get you. Staring at the Slender will cause everything to fade to black, so your only hope is to run from it. I won’t lie to you, this didn’t sound that scary at first, but once I find myself in those dark woods, I got why this little game was so popular.

But here’s the kicker:

This is one of the top free horror games for Mac you can find. I won’t cost you a dime and it will never ask you for money. To play it, you’ll need:

✅ Any Mac, even an older one will do.

Slender Mac system requirements: OS X 10.6 or later.

It’s Your Turn

With first-person shooters, adventure games and more, this list has something for everyone. I’m confident that no matter your particular preferences, at least one of these games will be a good fit for you. And most importantly, they all have what it takes to put a chill on your spine. What better way to celebrate Halloween than that?

Do you have a favorite Horror Mac game for Halloween that wasn’t listed here? If so, let us know in the comments section.

  • Camilo López Cristoffanini

    As always Ric, I totally missed the Amnesia Series here even though you mentioned that Soma is a successor of those…
    Awesome list anyways!

    • Ric

      Glad you liked it! And yeah, I know you’re a big fan of the Amnesia series. But with so many candidates, it didn’t feel right to feature 2 games from the same dev… Can’t please everyone! 😉