Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year

Jul 6, 2021

By Naputt Thiravorachai

Despite this not being a great year overall, there is at least one thing we can be thankful for in 2021. That is, the number of quality video games released for Mac gamers.

If you were worried about 2021 being a bad year for Mac gaming, fear not, as we aim to fully dispel that worry. Whether you’re an FPS fan or roguelike extraordinaire, we’re sure that this list will have something to tickle your fancy.

Without further ado, here are some great titles to play on Mac in 2021.

Chat icon And if you’d prefer something entirely different, this massive post with the 100 Best Mac games covers the most popular games across all genres.


Our favorite Mac games of 2021

 

Metro Exodus Mac gameplay

Metro Exodus

Genre: Shooter 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: April 14, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

Based on the novel Metro 2035, Metro: Exodus is an FPS campaign-focused game set in the icy, post-apocalyptic world of Moscow.

As the main character Artyom, your goal is to lead a band of Spartan Rangers to safety, traveling across post-nuclear Russia towards the east. As a story-driven game, Metro’s visuals and voice acting provide an immersive atmosphere. Whether it be celebrating with your comrades, wiping frost off your gas mask, or the howl of a mutant lurking in the dark, Metro will immerse you into its icy world. But take care with your decisions, your crew’s lives depend on it.

The combat in this game is pretty typical of most survival FPS campaign games. Run, gun, melee, and stealth your way through the snow-covered ruins of Russia, because plenty of enemies are waiting for you in the shadows. Scavenge materials and craft weapons to tackle both mutants and humans in the Russian wilderness.

Metro: Exodus is a solid single-player FPS with a great atmosphere and is considered one of the best new games out there, regardless of the platform. Fair warning though, it is very computer-intensive, but if your Mac can handle it, hop on for an unforgettable train ride.

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Total War ROME REMASTERED Mac featured

Total War: ROME REMASTERED

Genre: Strategy 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: April 29, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

If you enjoy military strategy games, Total War: Rome could be the game for you. From the famous Total War series, this is a game that will challenge your strategic thinking and military command. Even though it’s an old game that got remastered, it still looks great and runs smoothly.

Total War: Rome allows you to experience historical combat in a cool cinematic fashion. Immerse yourself in historical Roman battles, taking command of each battle in real-time. If you think that you can do better than the Romans at sacking Carthage, try it yourself as a Roman commander. With the amount of customization and control you have, each scene will have you feeling like a cinematic director. As long as you’re a fan of RTS, military, civilization management games, Total War: Rome should feel great for you.

Gameplay-wise it takes a lot to get used to, especially if you’re new to this genre. The controls will take some getting used to, and the military commands and formations you’ll have to learn as you play.

A word of caution, this game is somewhat demanding, so pay attention to those system requirements on low specs Macs.

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Griftlands Mac featured

Griftlands

Genre: Adventure 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: April 16, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

From Klei Entertainment, the creators of Don’t Starve Together and Mark of The Ninja, Griftlands is almost guaranteed to be a great game. If you like a Sci-fi, deckbuilding, rouge-like game with RPG turn-based elements in a witty story, then consider checking out Griftlands.

When starting the game, you choose a character at the beginning of each run and utilize their unique card decks to blast your way through the campaign. Each character has their own campaign, keeping reruns fresh and new. But this rouge-like has a twist to it. The enemies you fight all have certain relationships with other NPCs and factions, meaning you’ll have to think carefully about who to kill and who to spare. Manage your allegiances wisely or risk incurring the wrath of an angry faction. This is why besides a standard combat deck for you to punch your enemies with, Gritflands has a negotiation deck to help you recruit allies and manage your relationships with other factions.

Griftlands is not a graphically intensive game and can be played on most Macs. If you’re interested in a sci-fi RPG rogue-like game, look no further.

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Subnautica Below Zero Mac featured

Subnautica: Below Zero

Genre: Action 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: May 15, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

A fan favorite since beta launch, Subnautica is an underwater survival game on an alien planet. Subnautica: Below Zero is its sequel, featuring the same planet and underwater survival exploration mechanics, as well as a brand new story.

Subnautica’s gameplay consists mainly of exploration. In this game, you’ll explore and harvest materials to upgrade your gear, base, and vehicles. Similar to other survival-type games, except this one takes place underwater. The alien aquatic life in this game is stunning, with memorable and strange designs in their own planetary ecosystem. Even though a large part of the game takes place in water, there is also a fair amount of dry land exploration. There are icy areas for you to explore, and cavern ruins for you to unlock and uncover their secrets. The game also does a great job of making you feel alone at the bottom of the sea, giving a sense of vulnerability and fear.

Subnautica: Below Zero has a storyline, but it’s not the most well-crafted one. But that shouldn’t detract too much from the game’s beautiful environment and certainly doesn’t hamper your survivor experience.

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Loop Hero Mac featured

Loop Hero

Genre: RPG 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: Mar 4, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

Loop Hero is an odd game. From the makers of Enter the Gungeon, Devolver Digital, Loop Hero is a rogue-like with a unique twist.

The setting is simple, a lich has cursed your world into a timeless loop and you are their hero. The beginning gameplay consists of your pixelated character walking around in a looped dirt road, situated on a board game-like world. Your hero will run into monsters and fight. Even though you can control where you want your hero to go, the combat in this game is left up entirely to the hero and his allies.

As you kill enemies you unlock cards that you can use to construct terrain and buildings around you, the analogy being a Sim-City rouge-like. It also offers you an interesting choice during each of your runs.

Do you return to your base town and upgrade it using your current loot?

Or do you forge onwards in an attempt to beat the game? You lose a lot more resources when dying rather than returning home.

Overall, if pixel graphics don’t bother you, then consider picking up this strangely fun, city-building dungeon crawler.

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Portal Reloaded Mac featured

Portal Reloaded

Genre: Puzzles 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: April 19, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

Portal Reloaded is a free, community-made mod for Portal 2. It is a very well polished DLC for Portal 2, which means that you do require a copy of Portal 2 to play it. It was released on April 19th, 2021, exactly ten years after the official release of Portal 2. The community created it as a celebratory act and a passionate attempt to pushing Portal’s puzzle-platforming concept.

It distinguishes itself by giving the player a third portal, one based on time rather than space. You’ll now have to solve 25 new puzzles with time as the your fourth dimension. This DLC still retains all of it’s base game charms by forcing you to somehow wrap your brain around dimension-shifting puzzles. These 25 new levels are on par or even better than what the base game had to offer, and are posed as very challenging puzzles.

The game’s visuals remain mostly the same, if not slightly sharper. You also get a new AI overlord to boss you around in-between stages.

If you are a proud owner of Portal 2, try it out, it’s free anyway.

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Totally Accurate Battle Simulator Mac featured

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Genre: Simulation 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: April 1, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

When this game came out, no one would’ve thought that a bunch of floppy clay dough men drunkenly beating each other to death would be so entertaining. TABS is a physics sandbox simulator that allows you to play god in all the silly ways.

Most of the gameplay in TABS consists of you pitting your units against other enemy units. It is important to note that these units range from medieval knights to modern-day soldiers, and to God and Death himself. Unlike the Total War series, you cannot control what your units do on the battlefield.

There is a campaign mode that challenges you to solve their military puzzles by thinking of the best way to destroy the enemy with what you have. Once you’re done with the campaign, feel free to create your own maps, scenarios, and even your own units. TABS also has a system where you can share your newly created work to other players, letting them try to solve your scenarios or have fun with a unit you’ve created.

If you enjoy watching a large-scale barfight happen, consider playing TABS.

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Frostpunk Mac games 2018 featured

Frostpunk

Genre: Strategy 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: Feb 24, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

From the creators of This War is Mine, comes another resource management game, but on the scale of an entire post-apocalyptic civilization. Frostpunk is a city-building game with its main focus on decision-making and societal management. On the surface, Frostpunk has all your basics, building, maintaining, and expanding. But problems will start to appear as the game progresses.

Do you choose to mobilize child labor when there are not enough workers? Let your people eat well but risk not having enough food to last? Starve your people so your supplies will last? There is rarely a moment in the game where you feel comfortable about your decisions.

Even worse, the game has a mechanic where your citizens feel hope or discontentment. Keeping your citizens hopeful can help push through the worst of times through their sheer belief in you. On the other hand, discontentment can drag you down into a pit of never-ending troubles.

The game does a great job of immersing you into their world, with its constant icy diorama alongside the troubling decisions you’ll have to make.

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Transport Fever 2 Mac featured

Transport Fever 2

Genre: Strategy 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: Feb 23, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

If this game were to be summed up in one word, it would be “logistics”. Transport Fever 2, true to its name, is a city-building game with its sole focus on creating the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing transport system. Whether it be boats, planes, or trains, it’s your job to manage them all.

The game itself has a sandbox mode where you can build and design as you please and three different campaign modes. Each campaign is set in different eras, from the great steam engines to modern-day trains. The game does an excellent job of not rushing you into completing their goals, allowing you to complete your missions however you like. But as with all building games, plan ahead well, or else face a messy logistics nightmare similar to real-life traffic.

Vehicle lovers should definitely check out this game, as it offers a large range of transports from all regions of the world. However, the game can be quite confusing the first time you play, as the game does not always tell you what you’re doing wrong.

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Skul The Hero Slayer Mac art

Skul: The Hero Slayer

Genre: Platformer 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: Jan 21, 2021 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

Skul: The Hero Slayer is a platforming game with some fun-looking RPG elements. Its pixel artwork and hack and slash gameplay really give you a nostalgic feeling of all those RPG pixel platformers installed on your phone. The difference, however, is that Skul has a much more fluid control and movement system, making the platforming and combat feel smooth.

You begin on your quest as a tiny skeleton off to rescue your demon king and his fellow aides. At the start, Skul is weak and can’t do much. But as the game progresses, you’ll unlock different powers, which come in the form of different skulls you can wear. Each power has different weapons and abilities, and Skul can wield two at once, allowing you to create a combination that will suit your playstyle.

However, a noteworthy point in this game is that the combat in the later stages can feel very button-mashy and slow. Instead of fighting one difficult boss, the game increases the difficulty by throwing larger hordes of enemies at you during each level. So if you’re not a fan of ability spamming gameplay, take note.

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Hades Mac gameplay 2

Hades

Genre: Action 64-Bit Support: Best Mac games from 2021: Released this year 1
Release date: Sept 17, 2020 M1 Support: Rosetta 2

Not only was this game a contender for Game of The Year, it also won the Best Indie game award of 2020, and it fully deserves that spotlight.

In this game, you play as an immortal prince of the Greek underworld, Zagreus. Zagreus, (or Zag), fights through the land of the dead in an attempt to escape his father Hades and flee to his relatives in Olympus. But even a godling has troubles escaping from death’s domain. The story of this father-son conflict and the effects on their relatives has continually revealed the more attempts you make at escaping.

Gameplay-wise, it delivers a crisp, reactive, and rhythmic combat flow. Your reflexes, wit, and luck will be tested in this randomly changing environment, where each run will bring different dungeons, weapons, and powerups. Try and try again, with different combinations of weapons and boons to break free of the underworld.

In short, calling Hades a fast-paced, rouge-like, dungeon-crawling masterpiece of a game would not do it justice. With stunning visuals, a killer soundtrack, an immersive story, and memorable voice acting, Hades is an experience to remember.

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Conclusion

And that concludes our list of the best 2021 Mac games so far. Rest assured, all of these games have been officially confirmed to be compatible with Macs. No setup or dark magic is required, just install and play at your own convenience. The games covered in this list are truly amazing games made by passionate developers, and will definitely provide you with tons of fun for a long time.

Feel free to tell us if we missed a game you think should’ve been in this list. We’re always on the hunt for a great game to play.

And if you ever decide to pick up one of these games and find them good fun, spread the word, and show some support to their creators, they deserve it.

Stay safe, take care, and keep on gaming Mac Gamers.