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The 10 Best Mac First Person Shooters

First-Person shooter games are so popular, they can make or break a gaming platform: “Does this console support Titanfall? What about Gears of Wars?” is a good example. First-Person shooters (FPS) are poster boys and the Mac suffers in that department.

But everyone just assumes that the Mac is lacking because it doesn’t support the latest Call of Duty or Battlefield. Yet, the Mac still has many great First-Person Shooters to offer, including some of the very best.

After rounding up the best Racing gamesMMORPGs and Strategy games for Mac, it’s time we tackle the most popular genre of all, the Mac’s best First-Person shooters. As always, there will be no web-based fremium here. Sorry!

If you’re looking for the best Mac games, no matter the genre, this resource has the 100 Best Mac games available. In no particular order, these are the best Mac Strategy games.

 

The Best First-Person Shooters for Mac

Best Mac Games

2013’s Mac Game of the year, BioShock Infinite is a hell of an experience.

Brought to the Mac by Aspyr, BioShock Infinite is a single-player game, driven by an amazing story. The story takes place in an unforgettable universe (the flying city of Columbia) that could only be matched by BioShock’s city of Rapture. I won’t spoil the story for you, but I can tell you the ending alone is one of the best I’ve seen.

While the story alone could put BioShock Infinite in any Top 10 list out there, the game’s gameplay and graphics are almost as good as the story. The shooting mechanics are solid and the graphics are nothing short of impressive. At some points I had to stop and just absorb the breathtaking vistas Columbia had to offer. You can also read my full review for more details.

If you fear your Mac won’t be able to handle it, the original BioShock is a great alternative that can run great on a MacBook.

A Good Match for: Everyone. That story is worth your time, no doubt.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Best Mac Games

You cannot make a best First-person shooter list and not mention Team Fortress 2. The fact that it’s free certainly helps, but the game could cost 50$ and I would still buy it.

TF2 is a team-based First-Person Shooter developed by Valve. The game gives you the choice among nine character classes. After choosing a character, you then join one of two teams and battle in a variety of game modes including capture the flag and king of the hill. The style is cartoonish and the gameplay squad-oriented. You will need a solid team to succeed.

Overall, people love it for its art direction, gameplay, humor, and strong community. And as with any other game from Valve, you can expect the same high-quality as always. Being free, this game is not only one of the best Mac FPS, it’s also one of the Mac’s best free games.

A Good Match for: Folks who prefer community above anything else. Close to 10 years after it’s release (in 2007, as part of the Orange Box), Team Fortress 2’s community is stronger than ever.

Get it from Steam.

 

Best Mac Games

When it was first released back in 2011, Human Revolution offered a refreshing approach. It was something different than what the Call of Duties kept forcing on us. For once we had a choice.

Developed by Eidos Montreal and brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, Human Revolution is a cyberpunk first-person shooter that can do stealth and action if needed. The game will always give you the choice to tackle a given situation in different ways. You can be stealthy and sneak up on enemy soldiers, worrying about noise and hiding bodies. Or you can just run and gun, if that’s your cup of tea, a la Call of Warfare: Modern Battlefield 4.

While Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be mostly remembered by the different strategies it allowed (and encouraged), it will also be remembered by the top-notch story it tells. The single-player campaign is fascinating and will make you forget all about Multiplayer.

A Good Match for: Fans of stealth games. Also, everyone, that’s tired of the Call of Duty formula.

Mac App Store Badge

PS: Read this if you’re wondering why the Mac App Store is your best bet.

 

Best Mac Games

The Metro series was infamous for its beautiful graphics and punishing performance. In fact, Metro: Last Light was so demanding, it was often used to benchmark gaming machines. If that wasn’t enough, the game was recently enhanced and improved for next generation consoles. Reborn as Metro: Last Light Redux, the game looks even better.

Developed by Ukrainian developer 4A Games, Last Light is a single player shooter that puts you in the middle of a post-apocalyptic Moscow. As the name of the game suggests, most of the story takes place inside the metro system, with occasional missions above ground. Last Light’s universe is scary, desolated and immersive. And the game’s stealth mechanics are the perfect feature to go along with it.

If you want to take a break from the fast-paced Multiplayer shooters that dominate the market, Metro Last Light is just what you need.

A Good Match for: Fans of horror and survival genres.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Best Mac Games

It’s no secret that I love Borderlands 2. In fact it’s the game that turned me a Mac gamer for good. But why isn’t it on this list at all? Because Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel did everything a Borderlands fan would expect: It improved upon the previous Borderlands in every way.

Brought to the Mac by Aspyr, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel kept the winning-formula of mixing First-Person Shooter with Role-Playing elements. Here, you will kill and loot, and gain experience points and skills. Yet, Borderlands: The Pre-sequel added new gear, low-gravity mechanics and new skill trees. Enough features to keep you busy in the enormous universe that is entirely at your disposal.

The game also supports up to 4-players co-op. And needless to say, the adventure is much more fun with friends.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is demanding on low-powered Macs, but only because of it looks great. You read my full review for more details.

A Good Match for: Folks who love open-ended universes and role playing games.

Mac App Store Badge

 

Best Mac Games

Portal 2 was a tough pick. Not because it lacks quality, but because it isn’t technically a first-person “shooter”. Regardless, this first-person game is so good, it deserves a spot on this list.

Also developed by Valve, Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform game. And as you can imagine, it doesn’t focus on guns and shooting baddies. Instead, it revolves around solving mind-bending puzzles. Portal 2 retains all the elements that made the first Portal so unique, and at the same time, it includes enough to make it surpass it’s predecessor (including a co-op campaign).

Our review is all praise, but that’s only because this game is one of the best games ever made. By it’s own rights, Portal 2 is one of Valve’s best games to date and that means a lot.

A Good Match for: Folks who want to shoot less and think more.

Get it from the Mac Game Store.

 

Best Mac Games

People love to hate Call of Duty, but there’s a reason Call of Duty breaks sales records every time. Call of Duties are as mainstream as it gets, but they do offer great graphics, over-the-top stories and competitive Multiplayer.

From all the Call of Duty games available on Mac, Modern Warfare 3 is the only one that made it to our Top 10. Why? Mainly because it’s the latest one available on Mac, which means that it’s better looking and featured-packed of the bunch. It also helps that Modern Warfare 3, unlike Black Ops, offers cross-platform Multiplayer between Windows and Mac OS X gamers on Steam.

Modern Warfare 3 is truly a complete package. It offers a big-budget story, a co-op mode you can play with a friend and the fast-paced Multiplayer most people buy the game in the first place for.

A Good Match for: Gamers who enjoy the fast-paced Call of Duty style.

Get it from the MacGameStore.

 

Best Mac Games

Left 4 Dead 2 is yet another game from Valve, and the sequel of the fan-favorite Left 4 Dead. One could argue that too many Valve games made it to this list, but truth is, they all bring something completely different to the table. And Left 4 Dead 2 is no exception.

The game puts you and 3 other friends in a world full of zombies where you are forced to work as a team. Each level will make you cross zombie-infested areas in order to reach a safe zone. All while doing your best to survive the hundreds of hideous creatures the game will throw at you. L4D2 will throw at you zombies in great numbers, but also tougher monsters to keep you on your toes.

Left 4 Dead 2 is the perfect example of a successful sequel.

A Good Match for: Gamers wanting to do some co-op. L4D2 is the best co-op first-person shooter you can play on your Mac.

Get it from Steam.

 

Best Mac Games

Counter Strike: Global Offensive is another great game from Valve.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an online tactical first-person shooter developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, and the fourth game in the franchise. CS: GO features classic content from the original Counter Strike, such as revamped versions of classic maps, as well as brand new maps, characters, and game modes.

The game offers the most competitive online Multiplayer out there. This was true with the original CS and CS:GO doesn’t disappoint. CS:GO also features cross-platform Multiplayer between Windows and Mac OS X.

A Good Match for: Gamers wanting a challenge. CS:GO’s Multiplayer is ruthless and requires much practice to master.

Get it from the Mac Game Store.

 

Best Mac Games

If you’re much younger than me, this could be the very first time you hear about this game. This one is a special dedication to fans of old-school and retro games. But other than being a monument to gaming (it was revolutionary when it was first released in 1994), the game is genuinely fun and one of the best free games you can get for your Mac.

Marathon is a science fiction First-Person shooter from Bungie, the creators of the legendary Halo franchise. The game takes place several centuries into the future and puts you in the shoes of a security officer attempting to defeat an alien invasion aboard a colony ship named the Marathon.

Marathon is a perfect break from all those online First-Person shooters that have saturated the market. You can get the Marathon Trilogy for free and it includes the original Marathon, Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity.

A Good Match for: Folks who love old-school gaming, fans of the Halo series, and gamers willing to embrace an important piece of Mac gaming’s history.

Get it from their Official Website.

 

Your turn

It looks like you no longer have an excuse not to try a First-Person shooter on your Mac. With so many options, ranging from fast-paced games to platformers, the Mac has something for everyone.

In fact, many other FPS didn’t make it to the list, but are still great games: Rage, Doom 3, Quake 4, Outlast, The Darkness 2, Shadow Warrior, and many more.

So what is your favorite FPS? Are you currently playing some on your Mac? Let us know in the comments section, perhaps you’ll even find fellow Mac users to play with!

  • Chris Tallant

    (Don’t hit me) but Chivalry (otherwise known as “Team-Kill Simulator” but a great game where you can wage medieval wars and shoot your friends in the ass with a crossbow,) Sanctum (but I still think I’m the only one who plays this amazing mix of FPS and Tower Defense,) and finally: Garry’s Mod. It’s a game that lets you put turbine jet engines on your lawn chair. REALLY.

    • Agreed, both are good too. I may just add them to the conclusion, not sure yet… 😉

  • Camilo Alonso López Cristoffan

    Nice post Ric, just keep up the good job!!!

    And nice touch with the “tiny ribbon description”, it’s really great!

    • Thanks Camilo, I liked them too, I guess they are a great way for people unfamiliar with the games a sense of that they’re all about!

  • mikelyons

    Glad to see Marathon included here. Yay for classics!

    Good lineup of FPS goodness.

    • I’m very glad to see that the old-school game of the list is well received 🙂

  • Cha0zz

    Hey dude, I think you made a small type, it should be ‘bioshock infinite’ not ‘infnite’

    • Oh man, that sucked, it could have been a typo that could be fixed in 2 seconds but it was an image I had to redo, export and import… lol
      Thanks for the heads up!

      • Cha0zz

        No problem 😉

    • Dick DeLoach

      You made a small “typo” too Cha0zz. Proving you and Ric are both human.

      • Cha0zz

        Looks like I did indeed, thanks. 🙂

        • Dick DeLoach

          🙂

  • SprSynJn

    Since when has Counter-Strike: Global Offensive been free?

    • Since I smoked something and got mixed up. CS GO is not free, not at all. I have corrected that, thanks for the head up!

  • Kelvin

    I am a pretty heavy gamer, but I can’t love FPS. Every single time I forced myself to try to play a famous FPS game, so that I am not left out by this FPS hype, I got disappointed. I will keep thinking how great this game will be if it is a TPS. In TPS, I can enjoy my character’s design, and the beautiful and immersive world. However, this doesn’t happen in FPS. FPS game to me is such a huge mess, I can’t see what’s going on at all. Only one FPS that does not give me that feeling-FarCry 3. Still, I can’t finish the game because it is a FPS. It would have became one of my favorite games if it is a TPS. Sorry, I can’t like FPS and I don’t know why.

    That being said, thanks Ric. I really enjoy all your articles.

    • 🙂
      Can’t do much for you here if you just don’t like FPS! I guess you don’t like the pace (usually, very fast) or peculiar field of view. But I will soon work on a Best RPGs for Mac guide. Hopefully you will enjoy that one more 😉

      So we get that you don’t like FPS, what is your favorite Mac game then? 😉

      • Kelvin

        Your explanation makes a lot of sense. Pace is one thing for sure (that’s probably why I prefer Far Cry 3, which is much slower compare to other FPS). The field of view is definitely the one I hate most. Even in RPGs like Skyrim and Guild Wars 2, I never switch to first person view.

        I love RPG, TPS, and RTS, a plus if they are pirate themed. I often play AAA games in Bootcamp because they are not available on Mac. I played games like AC series (Black flag <3) and Final Fantasy series. On Mac, I like Batman Arkham series and Total War series. My favorite Mac game was Mafia. Then, I purchased Guild Wars 2 after reading about it here. Now, it became my new favorite. It is really fun and I am enjoying it. Thank you Ric.

  • htek

    Pathways Into Darkness is another vintage, old-school FPS that is similar to the Marathon series.

    • Never heard of it, I will have to check it out. thanks for the heads up. By the way, what is your main mac for gaming?

  • Etien Jasonson

    Can’t believe Presequal was put in and Borderlands 2 wasn’t!!! Borderlands 2 is probably one of the best games ever made (definitely one of the most accommodating of all players), with an intense story line, hours upon hours of gameplay, a great combat and looting system and an amazing arsenal of DLC content to back it up if you’ve slashed and blown your way through to UVH mode…. And although I do like the Presequal, it really doesn’t match to the greatness of its predecessor, all reviews back this up.

    I know this is all my personal opinion, but no one should play the Presequal before they play Borderlands 2, it is just a superior game in all regards.

    • I can partially agree with you. I also preferred Borderlands 2 because it got so much right and it sometimes felt like a revolution. Something I’ve been wanting to play for years but didn’t exist before.

      The Pre-sequel wasn’t a revolution, but it was a more polished version of Borderlands 2. It didn’t earn as much respect as Borderlands 2 did when it first came out, but it still added even more things that improved the Borderlands formula.

      Problem is, expectations were so high, everyone expected a jump in quality like the one between the first Borderlands and Borderlands 2. That wasn’t the case, so the game got lower review scores…

      • Joshua Bahr

        Here’s the thing though, Borderlands TPS was a fairly significant step BACK from what Borderlands 2 was. I’ve spent probably something near 1000 hours playing Borderlands 2. It’s one of my favorite games of all time. The story, the humor, the guns, the mechanics, the absolute insanity. I’ve played through the storyline multiple times, at least once with every character, and most I’ve gotten to high OP levels.

        Borderlands TPS, I could barely finish a single playthrough.

        Why the significant difference? The combat flow is atrocious in TPS. How often are you simply running from one end of the map to the next? How often do you find yourself just running from one enemy spawn, killing everyone, then running 30 seconds to the next enemy spawn camp? That almost never happens in Borderlands 2. The enemy spawns are constant, they are nearly overwhelming, and on top of that, they rarely fit the “run to marker x, kill 5 enemies, run to the next marker, kill 5 more”. On top of that, the map designs were fairly ingenious and really minimized the amount of backtracking needed to accomplish objectives. There were times during TPS that I felt like I was doing nothing but run from objective to objective, hardly killing anything in the process. There were entire minutes where I didn’t even kill something. How can that be a Borderlands game?

        If I want a Borderlands fix, I can think of a dozen maps in Borderlands 2 that I can enter, kill dozens of enemies, with hardly any downtime. I can’t say the same for Borderlands TPS. Even the best maps still had huge zones with absolutely nothing.

        Honestly, Borderlands TPS is a second-rate substitute for the Borderlands experience. It’s not simply higher expectations. If anything, people weren’t expecting much considering it was coming out on previous gen hardware and wasn’t even being developed by Gearbox. That doesn’t amount to high expectations. It was a cash grab to buy some time for the eventual Borderlands 3. I think people were simply hoping for more Borderlands 2. Unfortunately, they didn’t deliver, they gave 80% of what Borderlands 2 was. Yeah, it’s still better than many other games out there, and can scratch that Borderlands itch. But there’s are reasons why players continued to play Borderlands 2 religiously for nearly 3 years, but barely spent any time in TPS. (Check youtube content for the 2 games, some youtubers, King Gothalion, MorninAfterKill, Admiral Bahroo, Man of Low Moral Fiber, have hundreds of videos on Borderlands 2, but barely anything for TPS).

  • Brian Enck

    I’m not much of a gamer but this looks fun, can I play this on my regular Mac? Thanks.

    • Very sorry for the late reply man, I somehow missed your comment here… Anyway, I’m happy to share my thoughts but I do need to know what Mac model you have 😉 That will obviously change the quantity of games you could play at decent settings…

      • Redlinerino

        could i play mw3 on a mac book pro mid 2012? intel core i5, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB, 2.5 ghz?

        • That Intel HD 4000 will be a problem for you. I tried MW3 on a Macbook Air with a 5000 and it ran “ok” at lowest settings. Any less than that and I guess the game will be unplayable…

          • Jack

            I have the same graphics card. Looking for a casual FPS, good multiplayer action, and won’t require too much of an investment of my time (i.e borderlands.) I played TF2 for sometime, but couldn’t get into the cartoonish aspect of it. Any suggestions? I’ve never played CS before.

  • mage56

    So I have a new Mac Air and an 8 year old MacBook pro and am novice (well, about to be novice) gamer. 2 questions:
    what can I play on both?
    what is best controller/gaming device overall as I start trying some of these games?

    • What graphics card do both computers have? That alone will tell you which one will be more powerful to play games. In any case, Marathon will definitely work, Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 should too. Stay away from Infinite and Metro, as they are the most demanding games in this list.

  • L pinkie

    I have a question. I wanted to get Modern Warfare 3, REALLY BADLY, but I can’t because I don’t want to pay with credit or paypal. Is there some way to buy it with iTunes, cause I have a ton of iTunes money. Thanks!

    • Hey there, sorry for the VERY late reply BUT, no you cannot, as the game is not available on the Mac App Store…

  • Pierre Lebrun

    How did Shadow Warrior not make it to the top 10 list?!

    • Compromises had to be made! What game would you have removed to make some room?

  • Jiibrael

    Killing Floor ! (the first opus, still no mac port for KF2).

    This is a permance-based collaborative FPS zombie survival game. Pick a class, buy weapons between waves, level up your class. At higher difficulties you really have to conserve ammo and … aim for the head ! 🙂

    • Yeah but, why not play Left 4 Dead 2 instead? If they ever release KF 2, why not, but in the meantime L4D2 seems like a better alternative.

  • Devexer

    Hey dude, Love this site I just wanted to ask you I have a MacBook pro 2.5 intel core i5 and 4GB DDR3 RAM which games could I run? Thanks Man.

  • Mattyg718

    I have a MacBook Pro 13.3 inch with retina. Would Cod ghosts work

    • Rishabh Bharti

      Its not that good man. Try COD MW and BO series.

  • Can’t believe you really missed Half Life. Great list though, thanks!

    • Ric

      Glad you liked it nonetheless 😉

  • Mitch Mandell

    Team Fortress 2 (TF2) has gone downhill for mac users. Constant freezes and crashes has forced me to stop playing, even after upgrading to a faster system with more ram and vram.

  • Mitch Mandell

    I used to play Team Fortress 2 on my Mac but Valve no longer provides stable updates or supports the Mac community. I can no longer play TF2, even on a an upgraded Mac with i7quad and 32g Ram.

  • Rishabh Bharti

    Man, I’ve played all these in the past year (not the old one though). Most of these were released 3-4 years ago. No new games are available for mac. If you find some, please make sure to update the list -_-