Here we are just a little over ⅓ of the way through 2018 and we’ve already had plenty of great game releases for MacOS. And the great news is that there’s even more just ahead.
And it doesn’t matter if you want graphics-intensive shooters, futuristic turn-based combat, stylized puzzle/adventures or Metroidvania 2D combat, there’s something for everyone.
⚠ This post covers exclusively the games released on 2018: the ones already out and the ones most likely to be released this year (usually requiring us to contact the developers directly).
As an added bonus, we’ve also included the best Mac games 2018 has offered thus far. There’s no shortage of new Mac games and we want you to have something to play while you wait for the others.
Of course, there’s no reason to restrict yourself to the current year. Be sure to also check out our list of the 100 Best Mac games available today.
|Our Pick||Runner-Up||MacBook Pick||Free Pick|
|Best Overall||A close second||For older Macs||A free option|
|Rise of Tomb Raider||Pillars of Eternity 2||Northgard||Paladins|
|Action Adventure||Role-Playing||Real-time Strategy||Shooter|
|⛔ Very Demanding||⚠️️ Fairly Demanding||✅ Not Demanding||⚠️️ Fairly Demanding|
|86 Metascore||90 Metascore||81 Metascore||NA|
|Full Review||Full Review||Full Review||Full Review|
Lara Croft has risen. Again. The first Tomb Raider reboot from Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics was brought to Mac in 2014 by the good people of Feral Interactive, and they’ve now done the same with Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration.
This sequel sends Lara off to some of the more exotic locations on Earth, including ruins in Syria and the frozen mountains of Siberia. Granted, Lara now does more killing and less…you know…tomb raiding than long-time fans would expect, but it all comes together for a typically thrilling experience.
How you use the weapons and tools acquired throughout the game is entirely up to you, providing a sense of freedom as you hunt for supplies, eliminate enemies and uncover the secrets and treasures of the lush environments.
This lushness comes at a hefty price, though, as the system requirements will push your Mac to the limits. You can check our performance review for all the benchmarks and results. If your Mac is up to the task, you’ll also be rewarded with all of the game’s DLC in this package. That includes four additional challenges, endurance mode (with co-op play), additional difficulty settings, and more. Rise up.
Release Date: April 12, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.13.4, 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 2 GB NVIDIA 680MX, 2 GB AMD R9 M290, 1.5 GB Intel Iris Graphics 540 or better, 27 GB hard drive space.
This game is the direct sequel to the Pillars of Eternity RPG, not the similarly named Deadfire Pack DLC released in 2017. It’s confusing, we know, but we’re here to set things straight.
In the standalone Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, you return as a Watcher, a person who can read others’ memories and even the memories of their past lives. This gives you incredible power, but it also means you’ll have incredible enemies. In this particular case, it’s Eothas, the god of light and rebirth. That sounds pleasant, sure, but Eothas attacks your stronghold and leaves you for dead, so it’s now up to you to travel to Deadfire to confront Eothas for answers…or revenge. We’ll know when we get there.
I said that Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is a standalone game, but if you did play through the first PoE your actions in that game will carry over into this sequel. If not, summer’s just ahead and you’ll have time to play through them both.
Release Date: May 8, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.12.6, 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT750M, 45 GB hard drive space.
There’s no gaming genre that can’t benefit from a healthy dose of Norse mythology, and that’s what Northgard brings to strategy games. There’s a new continent to be explored and conquered, and that’s what your Viking clan will set out to do.
Of course, it’s not going to be easy. There are rival clans to face, undead warriors and giants to defeat, and snow. Plenty of snow. You’ll survive it all by building your settlement, putting your Vikings to work at different jobs, and expanding your territory to acquire more materials and strategic advantages.
Northgard features online multiplayer against your friends or AI along with an 11 chapter single player campaign. In either mode, different victory conditions will help keep things fresh. So, whether you’re into real-time strategy games, Viking lore or both, Northgard is waiting to be conquered.
Release Date: March 7, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.10, Intel i3 processor, 4 GB RAM, 2 GB available space.
This team-based shooter just left Steam Early Access and it did so 25+ million players strong. It’s free-to-play, in that although there are items to purchase within the game, anything you can buy can also be acquired by playing. Eventually.
An example of this are the game’s Champions, including “sharpshooting humans, mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, and jetpack-clad dragons,” all of which can be customized with a deck building system. You can acquire these in battle or pay up front to unlock all current and future Champions (new ones are added regularly).
Initially seen as an Overwatch clone that could be played for free, Paladins has become so much more. The game has good graphics, great support, and excellent gameplay. Teamwork is key to victory, so choose your Champion wisely and set up a diverse team that communicates well.
Paladins will also serve as good practice for Paladins: Battlegrounds, a forthcoming online battle royal game that can be played solo, with a teammate, or in groups of four. It changes up the battle royal formula with mounts, epic items that provide survival bonuses, and cards scattered on the battlefield to upgrade your abilities.
Oh, and you become a chicken when you die. So, look forward to that, I guess.
Release Date: May 8, 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, 10 GB hard drive space.
Civilization 6: Rise and Fall
There’s probably nothing I can say here about Civ 6 that you don’t already know. Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is simultaneously legendary and running strong, and its fanbase is amongst the most dedicated in all of gaming.
If you’re among them, you’ve likely already downloaded it and are playing the Civ 6: Rise and Fall expansion as we speak. If not, there are plenty of new features that can heavily alter your civilization-building strategies. For instance, you’ll now want to inspire loyalty amongst your citizens to prevent revolt and in neighboring territories to help expansion. You can recruit powerful characters and appoint them as governors to utilize their special bonuses in city customization. Civilizations can form pacts against threats, earning reward or penalties when the threat is over, depending upon how it ended.
Then, of course, there’s all the new global content: eight new world wonders, seven natural wonders, four new units, two new districts, and plenty more.
The great thing about Civ 6 is that Firaxis and Aspyr are as dedicated to the game’s fans as the fans are to the game. If you haven’t yet joined this incredible gaming community, grab Civ 6 now and see what all the talk’s about. If you have, enjoy the Rise and Fall.
Release Date: March 23, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.11.6, 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor, 6 GB RAM, 1 GB GPU or better, GeForce 775M, Radeon HD 6970, Intel Iris Pro or better, 15 GB hard drive space.
Subnautica finds you exploring the underwater world of an alien planet. Why? Because you crashed there, and now you need to gather resources to survive. It’s you against time and the environment, but what a gorgeous environment it is!
The setup for Subnautica is really cool. Initially, you’ll only be able to explore the immediate area around your life pod. But as you gather resources and develop equipment you’ll be able to venture out into deeper and more dangerous (and stunning) locales for rarer items. You’ll need to craft everything from simple knives for self-defense to complex watercraft for more efficient exploration. Gaining access to areas you could only see from a distance before proves quite rewarding both through the accomplishment itself and through what you could find there.
Even better, deeper exploration also builds the lore of the game, providing a compelling narrative that’s often lost in survival titles such as this. It’s a survival game that’s more about science and less about twitch, and it’s quite engrossing. You may not be able to find another game that so perfectly balances serene, aquatic exploration with the stresses of underwater survival.
Release Date: January 23, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.9 Mavericks, 2.5 GHz Intel Dual Core, 4 GB RAM, Intel HD 4600 or equivalent graphics, 20 GB available space.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
Has any fictional serial killer received as much gaming love as Jason Vorhees? Killer Puzzle marks the fourth video game based on the horror icon and may be one of the most bizarre yet.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is played on a small isometric game board. You slide Jason around the board in an effort to kill everyone in the fewest number of moves while avoiding various hazards. In other words, it’s smart enough to know that moviegoers always took Jason’s side over that of the idiot teenagers. And with over 100 levels to play, that’s an awful lot of teenagers to kill.
Fans of the series will get a kick out of the references to the films, including outfits from the movies and levels that take place in Manhattan and outer space. And if you enjoy Friday the 13th for the gore… Well, it has that too, albeit in cartoon form.
In a nutshell, Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is one of the best free Mac games 2018 has delivered so far. Just expect to pay for items such as new costumes, additional levels, etc.
Release Date: April 13, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.9.3, Intel Core i3 Processor, 2 GB RAM, 300 MB hard drive space.
Rust is a massively-multiplayer action RPG in which you’ll explore, gather resources, build a base, make friends and enemies. People should work together in order to survive, but largely just end up killing each other. You know how gaming communities are.
The basic point of Rust is just to do whatever it takes to survive its apocalyptic world. You start with practically nothing and must scavenge for the necessities of survival: food, shelter, fire, and (of course) weapons. Think Ark: Survival Evolved, without the dinosaurs.
A beautiful game with over 160,000 positive Steam User reviews (75% recently, 80% overall), the biggest complaint is about a sometimes toxic community that makes it difficult for newcomers. Yes, you can create alliances to help you along, but those easily break down leaving you all alone again, likely about to die. Of course, that’s just part of the fun, and eventually, you get to drive an army tank.
Release date: February 8, 2018 / System Requirements: OS: 10.7, Intel Core i7 Processor, 8 GB RAM, GTX 670 2GB / AMD R9 280 better, 10 GB Hard Drive space.
This 2D platformer from the developers of the classic TowerFall has been so well-received we want to make sure you didn’t miss it.
Celeste centers around a young girl named Madeline and her adventure to the top of Celeste Mountain. She’ll meet many personable characters in her travels, and will learn more about herself along the way. The touching narrative is actually one of the highlights of the game, providing more character development and incentive than we’re used to seeing from platformers.
We also see increased difficulty. Celeste presents quite the challenge, much like the old-school 2D platformers on which it’s based. There are 700+ screens to beat and secrets to unlock (including “Brutal B-side chapters…built for only the bravest mountaineers”), and dying is just part of the process. You’ll respawn right away, so no backtracking is necessary. Jump, dash, climb, die, jump, dash, climb, advance. See if you don’t get hooked.
Release Date: January 25, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.7.5, Intel Core i3 Processor, 2 GB RAM, OpenGL 3.0+ (2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable), 1.2 GB hard drive space.
See, this is what I like. When we started to put this list together, Battletech was in the coming soon section. Now that we’ve published, it’s been moved to “already out.” Go grab it while you’re waiting for some of the others to be released.
Why? Because it’s BattleTech and it comes to us from Jordan Weisman (the original BattleTech/MechWarrior creator) and the developers of the Shadowrun Returns series. Here, the action takes place in the distant future of a galaxy in perpetual war. These wars are now fought with massive, mechanical combat vehicles, which instantly makes everything much cooler.
You command your own mercenary squad of combatants, which involves equipping and protecting your base, upgrading your mechs, hiring new mercenaries, and (of course) combat. It’s up to you to position over 30 BattleMechs in the field, using the terrain and special skills of your squad members to gain the upper hand.
As one commenter on Steam put it, “XCOM and Shogun had a baby. It was 100 feet tall and had glowing red eyes.” We’re pretty sure that’s a recommendation.
Release Date: April 24, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.13.2, Intel Core i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 775M (2 GB VRAM), 30 GB hard drive space.
Getting to Mars is no longer the problem, it’s surviving once you get there. You’ll discover this yourself in Surviving Mars, a new city builder set on the planet that has most fascinated sci-fi fans from the moment sci-fi was created.
Developed by Haemimont Games and published by Paradox Interactive, Surviving Mars starts you off with an agency for funding and a location for colonizing, and then it’s up to you to build your city and survive the harsh environment. Mine for resources, cultivate food, build resource centers and shelters, and keep your citizens healthy and happy as you face the numerous challenges of surviving and thriving on a hostile planet.
Surviving Mars will have you dealing with everything from the mystery of the black cubes to alcoholism, and it doesn’t give you a lot of help with tutorials. Users have also complained about the clunky UI. Still, if you’re looking for a unique entry in the city building genre, Surviving Mars is a big and welcome entry.
Release Date: March 15, 2018 / System Requirements: OS 10.11, Intel Core i3 Processor, 4 GB RAM, OpenGL 4.1 (GeForce 600/AMD Radeon 5000 or higher) with 1GB of video RAM, 6 GB hard drive space.
If you’re looking for an in-depth overview of all the top MacOS horror games, visit our dedicated guide with more horror games, benchmarks, and test:
|Filter by name||100 Best Mac Games||Filter by genre||Free games only?|
|Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night|| |
Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
You’ll play Bloodstained as Miriam, an orphan who is slowly turning into crystal because of an alchemist’s curse. Her only chance to stop it is to locate the curse’s summoner, Gebel, who is hiding away deep in a dangerous castle. I totally get the castle part, but still, don’t understand why people have to hide so deeply within them.
You can expect a lot of combat and exploration in Bloodstained, with new weapons and abilities becoming available as you progress. The gameplay itself is 2.5D, which basically means it’s 2D combat in a 3D setting. We’re past the game’s projected release date of March 2017 at this point, but the wait won't be long now that a definitive release date is official:
From the creators of This War of Mine, Frostpunk is a city-building survival game set in a late 1880s where rampant snowstorms and frost led to the death of millions. You are amongst of a group of survivors—workers and engineers—who managed to locate a heat generator and are using to build a new city. You’ll need to harvest coal, wood, steel and food in this harsh environment in order to survive, but of course politics have to come along and make everything even more difficult.
You can use laws to force the workers to stay on the job, but we all know how well that tends to go over. On the other hand, something has to keep the workers motivated or you could quickly run out of the precious materials needed to keep the city afloat.
Work on the macOS version of Frostpunk is in progress, and we hope to have an update soon as to when Mac gamers can bundle up and get to work in an effort to save humanity from the elements.
|Tropico 6|| |
Naturally, the islands of Tropico are tropical paradises, but what will you do with them? Peacefully lead your citizens to happiness and prosperity, or create a dictatorship to instill fear in the people and destroy those who would get in your way…
Yeah, me too, because that’s what makes games like this fun. Tropico 6 keeps the series fresh by adding completely new infrastructure and transportation options, a revised research system that focuses on politics (steal what you can’t create), and the timely return of election speeches. “Address the people and make promises that you can’t possibly keep.” It’s pretty easy to get away with it, we’ve learned.
|A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia|| |
A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
Thrones of Britannia is a standalone Total War game that starts off in the year 878 A.D. Combining turn-based strategy with the real time battles for which the franchise is known, Thrones of Britannia features the “most detailed Total War map to date.”
You’ll be able to lead any of the ten available factions—including the Anglo-Saxons, Gaelic clans, Welsh tribes or Viking settlers—bringing plenty of replayability to the game. It’s not all about the nuances of leading your faction into combat, however. You’ll also need to forge (and break) alliances, manage and protect your settlements, train your soldiers, and develop the proper strategy for your battles. Being able to quickly adapt when those strategies fall apart will be a big help, too.
Total War is among the most popular franchises available for Mac today, and with Thrones of Britannia it looks like Feral Interactive is bringing us one of the most engrossing entries yet.
As is implied by the title, Griftlands will have you negotiating money, loyalty and your own morality as you seek to make your fortune within the game’s flowing economy. A full cast of characters are available for you to control and set up as companions. These characters will also engage in turn-based combat where the goal is to subdue, not kill, them. Kind of a refreshing approach these days, really.
As the game’s designer, Kevin Forbes, stated in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, “Individual fights are designed to be short and impactful. Morale and NPC personality effects factor in heavily – many fights are not to the death, but rather until one side surrenders. Killing people can lead to mechanical repercussions down the road, and NPCs remember what you did to them in the past.”
We’re excited to learn more about Griftlands as we get closer to release, and will certainly keep you posted.
|The Banner Saga 3|| |
The Banner Saga 3
For those not familiar with the series, The Banner Saga is a turn-based RPG with a story centered around a caravan of Vikings trying to survive in harsh environments. Strategic decisions affect the progress of the story; even the characters selected for combat can have permanent and major consequences.
The Banner Saga 3 will introduce deeper strategic combat along with new playable characters, enemies, upgrade options and more. It will also retain the hand-painted artwork and tricky battle grids of its predecessors. The game is not due out until the depths of summer, but that gives you just enough time to pick up the first two Banner Saga games if you haven’t already (or play them again if you’re not comfortable with the results of the decisions you made).
|We Happy Few|| |
We Happy Few
Why would they do this? Because this is “retrofuturistic” 1960s Wellington, England where joy isn’t an emotion, it’s a drug used to overcome the anguish of the city’s past. You’re forced by the citizens to take Joy or you’re killed. To survive amongst them without becoming them, then, will require your preferred combination of combat, crafting, conforming, and scavenging. You can play as three different characters in a procedurally generated world that ensures no two playthroughs are alike, and you will even have the ability to create your own story in the sandbox.
We Happy Few looks to have a dark sense of humor and a sharp sense of style, and should keep you entertained for quite a while with its three intertwining stories and numerous engaging gameplay elements. We don’t yet have an exact release date, but don’t worry, be happy.
|Oxygen Not Included|| |
Oxygen Not Included
That’s because this sim is set in an oxygen-depleted space colony. Unlike with similar games, you’re not landing on a new planet to colonize it. Rather, you’re living deep inside an asteroid and dealing with all the hazards and stresses such a life would provide. You’ll need to develop the technology to combat hostile aliens, continue to develop infrastructure, keep the colonists happy and sane, and—as is implied by the title—continue to provide the resources necessary for survival.
With some careful planning (and a little luck), you may just help your colony thrive in this hostile environment. If not...well, there are plenty of other asteroids out there in which you can try again.
|Insurgency: Sandstorm|| |
The story here is quite unique, as the game focuses on a group of four individuals on a personal quest in the modern day Middle East. Each battle and challenge these four face brings them closer together and sheds light on their situation, adding more emotional depth than you usually get in a military FPS.
Of course, there’s also a multiplayer mode if you prefer the heavy action. That includes split-screen co-op for the single player story in which up to four players can join in, each controlling one of the game’s main characters. Online multiplayer is also in development, complete with competitive matchmaking, a ranking system, and more. On top of all this, the game is being built with the Unreal Engine 4 so it should look great and play well on your Mac. Get ready for combat.
|World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth|| |
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
It’s all good news for the game’s rabid fanbase, as they’ll now be able to raise their level caps to 120, will get access to new dungeons, and will be able to increase their bag slots beyond 16 for the first time since the game’s release. There will also be new allied races, mounts, pets, and plenty more.
As for the story, a new conflict between the Alliance and Horde erupts following the events of Legion (the previous expansion), and the two factions must travel to the human nation of Kul Tiras and the troll empire of Zandalar to recruit new allies to their cause. If you can’t wait for the game’s official release towards the end of the summer, a beta did just open this April.
|The Wolf Among Us Season 2|| |
The Wolf Among Us Season 2
The trouble is that we haven’t heard much about season two since that announcement. We do know that Adam Harrington and Erin Yvette will return to voice Bigby and Snow White, respectively. It’s also been reported that Season Two will not resolve all of Season One’s cliffhangers. Instead, it will simply continue the narrative related to Bigby and Snow White, and will again be based on Bill Willingham's Fables comic book series.
As such, fans of this gritty twist on classic fairy tales can expect more of the same cinema noire storytelling with plenty of style and puzzles to solve. Hopefully we get more details on the game’s creative direction and release schedule soon, perhaps at E3 in June.
|Phoenix Point|| |
By 2047, the human race is almost completely wiped out by alien mutagens and some typically bad sciencing. What remains of humanity is scattered about in small factions across the planet, each with its own ideology and secrets. You, on the other hand, are part of the Phoenix Project, a worldwide organization designed to be activated when the world is in peril, which apparently missed the phone call. You have no contact with the organization’s other cells, and you need to find out what happened to them.
Like XCOM before it, Phoenix Point will offer tons of customization through soldier development and weapon research/modification. Battles will take place in procedural, destructive environments spread across a large number of diverse missions.
Backer builds (pre-alpha) are available now, allowing you to get some practice in before the game’s official Mac release later this year alongside the Windows and Linux versions.
|Into the Breach|| |
Into the Breach
Presented with retro graphics, Into the Breach initially looks like your typical turn-based battle game set on an isometric grid. However, the game has a very unique twist. As a reaction to movies such as Pacific Rim and Man of Steel where no one cares that entire cities get destroyed because at least the good guys won, Into the Breach tasks you with defeating the enemies while also protecting the surrounding structures.
The battles themselves are waged between giant mechs and daikaiju (which I would also say is inspired by Pacific Rim except for the fact that such battles have been waged well before then). Defeating your enemies isn’t always the point, either, as it’s sometimes enough to sacrifice a unit to maintain position or defend another from attack, much like in a game of chess.
And speaking of chess, reviews of the Windows version often point out the game’s difficulty. You’ve been warned.
|Rise of Industry|| |
Rise of Industry
As you’ve likely gleaned from the title, Rise of Industry presents you with an initial investment and some property that’s shared with AI controlled towns and villages. It’s up to you, then, to supply goods and services to these villages in an effort to help your chosen industry rise.
Gameplay is broken into modes: career (you must specialize in a certain industry) and sandbox (do what you want). In either mode, you’ll have to deal with things like permits, supply and demand, trade, and the very worst aspect of running a business: customers.
A free demo version is available on Windows and Linux, so we expect the Mac version to get the same treatment once the Unit bug is ironed out. Until then, industry will have to rise without us.
Unlike the PvP action of Battle Royale, Save the World is the co-op, sandbox survival mode of Fortnite. Billed by Tim Sweeney, Epic’s founder, as a cross between Minecraft and Left 4 Dead, Save the World tasks players with working together to explore the environment, scavenge materials, craft weapons, and build forts to help fight off waves of monsters. Of course, it’s all presented with the colorful, fun-loving, freestyle dancing attitude of Battle Royal.
Fortnite is available now via paid early-access, with the official release for all platforms scheduled for this year. Check it out when you’re done wasting your time fighting with your friends and ready to join up with them for something bigger...like saving the world.
There are a lot of MacOS games coming out in 2018. A lot. Thus we got to be very selective in choosing which games made the list. So, how did we pull these particular games to the top? By focusing on these criteria:
Obviously, the game has to run natively on macOS; no Wine, Parallels or Bootcamp needed.
Confirmed Mac Version
No rumored compatibility. No “we’re looking into it”. We’ve actively engaged with the developers to get confirmation that macOS versions are in the works even if the details haven’t yet been announced elsewhere. If you see a game mentioned here, it’s because we know first hand that the developer is working on it.
Here’s where we get more subjective, but each of these games has something very important going for it. It could be a much anticipated sequel to a popular Mac game, it could be the developer’s name/pedigree, or it could be that we just really like the concept. Regardless of the reason, we’re buying into the hype for each of these titles.
There’s an awful lot to consider here, we know, but that’s a good thing. Whether you’re hoping for a new entry in your favorite genre or looking to branch out into something different, the new Mac games for 2018 will give you plenty of options. Go ahead and get hyped for a few long-awaited sequels, get ready to dig into a few games that your Windows-using friends are already playing, or get something completely new when it becomes available.
Here at Mac Gamer HQ, we’ll be sure to let you know when these games finally come out, and we look forward to hearing what you think about them.
If you’re looking forward to a game that we didn’t cover here, be sure to let us know. We’re always on the lookout for the next big game!
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.