Select Page

The 10 Best RPG games for Mac

If you’re a Mac gamer and a fan of Role Playing Games (RPGs), you’ve never been at a loss for AAA titles.

Even during the dark days of the late 1990s/early 2000s, when we wondered whether gaming on the Mac would survive, top tier RPGs continued to be released on our favorite platform.

Thankfully those dark days are long gone, but the pedigree of the best RPG games for Mac has continued unabated:

GameNameGenreRequirementsMetascore
Pillars of Eternity MacPillars of EternityPillars of EternityRole-Playing⚠️️ Medium89
The Witcher 2 MacThe Witcher 2The Witcher 2Role-Playing⚠️️ Medium88
Divinity Original Sin MacDivinity: Original SinDivinity: Original SinRole-Playing⚠️️ Medium94
Darkest Dungeon MacDarkest DungeonDarkest DungeonRole-Playing✅ Low84
Diablo 3 Mac artDiablo 3Diablo 3Role-Playing⚠️️ Medium87
The Banner Saga 2 MacThe Banner Saga 2The Banner Saga 2Role-Playing✅ Low82
Undertale MacUndertaleUndertaleRole-Playing✅ Low92
Hyper Light Drifter MacHyper Light DrifterHyper Light DrifterRole-Playing⚠️️ Medium84
Star Wars KOTOR 2 MacStar Wars KOTOR 2Star Wars: KOTOR 2Role-Playing✅ Low85
Wasteland 2 MacWasteland 2: Director’s CutWasteland 2: Director’s CutRole-Playing⚠️️ Medium87
More recently the RPG genre seems to be undergoing a renaissance, thanks especially to Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites. New games, updates of classics, and innovative takes on the genre have all found crowdfunding success.

Of all game genres, Mac RPG games arguably provide the greatest embarrassment of riches, so much so that picking a top 10 is sure to leave some great games out in the cold. That said, we’re going to give it a shot (with a little cheating), and if we left your favorite RPG off our list, let us know in the comments.

The Best RPG Games for Mac: “Traditional”

Let’s face it, when I say Role Playing Game you think Dungeons & Dragons, right? And there’s some truth to that, as many of the games on this list are in that fantasy, medieval, dungeon crawling, monster fighting genre. The following are our favorites, and as you see, even within that category, there is plenty of variety.
Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity (PoE) was one of the first high-end RPGs to get funded on Kickstarter (raising close to $4 million). While a little late to release, PoE delivered on its promise of a return to old-fashioned RPG for Mac gamers. Featuring an almost ridiculous amount of customizability for your character, including a large number of classes and races, PoE features a large (though not completely open) world to explore, an engaging story, multiple side quests, and a real-time with pause combat system.

As with most RPGs in this category, the story is a variation of good vs. evil; you play good, gathering your party (some have even managed to create a party just made up of polar bears) and going on your quest to defeat evil and return good and light to the world. With a deep main quest and myriad side quests to choose from or ignore, PoE offers some of the longest play time and greatest replayability in the genre.

PoE requires a fairly modern and powerful machine thanks to its higher-end graphics:

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.6.6, 2.53 Ghz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 14 GB HD space, Radeon HD 6750M or NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512 MB of Video Memory.
The Witcher 2

As the title indicates, The Witcher 2 is another sequel and, like several others in this list, is considered one of the best RPGs of modern times.

While earning its Mature rating for various reasons including nudity, The Witcher 2 also manages to play like a classic fantasy RPG. As in the original, you play as The Witcher Geralt of Rivia, and the game features a solid story continuing from the events of the original, interesting characters, and notably good voice acting and graphics. Plus, it features combat mechanics far better than the original. The Witcher 2 will keep you as gripped as the original, and might even make you forget that the Mac has not (yet?) received a port of The Witcher 3.

Thanks to its 2012 release date, The Witcher 2 is playable on a variety of moderately powerful Mac systems, but you will need something with a dedicated graphics card, Intel integrated chipsets are not supported:

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.7.5, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 25 GB HD space, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512MB, ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB or better with 512 MB of Video Memory.
Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin, a prequel to the popular Divine Divinity, is an open world RPG featuring turn-based combat, cooperative multiplayer, and the ability to interact and manipulate the world as you desire.

In Divinity: Original Sin you play as two (or one of two if you’re playing in cooperative multiplayer mode) Source Hunters, seeking out those who use the darkest of magics, the Sourcerers (nice, huh?). A multiple award winner and one of the best reviewed computers games of 2015, Divinity: Original Sin also wins points for its voiceovers, controller support (if you’re into that sort of thing), and, it bears repeating, the ability to do just about anything you can think of in the game, things that maybe even the developers didn’t anticipate.

While the game can be challenging to newcomers of the genre, it rewards those who stick with it and are willing to explore, experiment and take advantage of the whole world they have been given.

Divinity: Original Sin requires a moderately powerful Mac with at least 10GB of free space:

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.9.5, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB HD space, Intel HD4000 or better.
Darkest Dungeon

A classic dungeon crawler with some nice twists, Darkest Dungeon is also one of the newest games on this list, having been released in 2016.

A roguelike (think perma-death) game with turn-based combat, one of the unique elements of Darkest Dungeon is The Affliction System, where the characters in your party, in addition to suffering damage from enemies, will also suffer increasing levels of stress, paranoia and more as your quest continues, which will impact their ability to assist you in combat.

This leads to another fun and different feature, the need to rest and relax in between your battles; go into town, relax and level back up, then head back underground for more battles. Featuring a unique 2D hand-drawn style and a gothic atmosphere, Darkest Dungeon is one of the most unique looking and playing games on this list.

It’s also one of the more difficult games, so if you don’t like having your characters die and need replacing (remember, I did say perma-death) you might want to look elsewhere. But if you can take it, you’ll be rewarded with hours of gameplay and the satisfaction of defeating a truly difficult game.

Thanks to the 2D graphics, Darkest Dungeon is playable on most any Mac from the last several years:

✓ Any Mac will suffice, even an older one will do.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.9+, 2GB RAM, Open GL 3.2+ Compliant, 2 GB available space.
Diablo 3

Diablo wasn’t the first computer RPG, but is one of the longest running series and is the one many people think of when you mention RPGs, especially combat RPGs. And it’s from Blizzard, which means you can get your RPG fix the same day as Windows users. And though we waited 12 years for the third installment, when it came out there was pretty unanimous agreement that the wait was worth it.

Continuing the story told in the first two installments, Diablo 3 is a classic hack n’ slash RPG with all the elements you expect: dungeons, monsters, fierce bosses and a richer story than found in many RPGs. Plus, thanks to Blizzard’s “Starter Game” concept, it’s one of the few somewhat free RPG games for Mac you can try before you buy. If you’re looking to dip your toes into the waters, Diablo 3 is as good a place to start as any.

Even though it’s a few years old by now, Diablo 3 still requires a moderately powerful Mac to run.

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.8.5, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 MB RAM, 25 GB HD space, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256 MB of Video Memory.
The Banner Saga 2

The second installment in the Banner Saga series (a third, concluding installment is already on the way), The Banner Saga has many of the classic RPG elements, but with some differences: rather than the classic European-esque, medieval setting, The Banner Saga takes place in a Scandinavian, Viking-inspired setting; also, like Darkest Dungeon, The Banner Saga uses beautiful, hand-drawn 2D graphics and animations; and finally, as with many of the best games on this list, The Banner Saga focuses as much on story and character as on combat, leading to a satisfying experience and true investment in the members your party.

Add in a beautiful soundtrack and The Banner Saga 2 is one of the most satisfying turn-based RPGs to be found on the Mac.

Thanks to the 2D graphics, The Banner Saga 2 can run on most Macs you’ll see around today:

✓ Any Mac will suffice, even an older one will do.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.7.5, 2 GB RAM, 256 MB Video RAM, 4 GB available space.

Honorable Mentions: There are so many in this genre, and if you’re a fan of some of the old series, the good news is that some have been updated to run on newer computers with improved graphics.

Two of our favorites in this category that didn’t make our list are Planetscape: Torment Enhanced and Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced.

The Best RPG Games for Mac: Retro-styled

In recent years, there’s been a trend of games playing homage to the 8/16 bit days of gaming, both in graphics style and gameplay. The following are two of our favorite RPGs in that category.
Undertale

Hearkening back to the days of simpler games and 8-bit graphics, Undertale features and old-fashioned look but a distinctly modern style.

You see, while you can fight your way through to victory, you can also win this game by being kind and sparing your enemies, and the way you play will affect how the game unfolds. Undertale takes place in a world where monsters were locked underground long ago after being defeated by humans. Your character stumbles through the magic barrier that leads to the Underground and the monsters and must find her way back up top.

With a minimalist, keyboard-based set of controls and an excellent soundtrack, Undertale quickly became a fan favorite and even the best Mac RPG of all time according to GameFAQs. So, if you like your RPGs games old-fashioned looking but with a modern sensibility, Undertale is for you.

Thanks to its retro graphics, Undertale can run on any Mac running MacOS:

✓ Any Mac will suffice, even an older one will do.

Minimum System Requirements: 2 GB RAM, 200 MB HD space.
Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter pays homage to the 16-bit graphic days, though with beautiful, hand-drawn graphics and animation as opposed to the blockier 8-bit graphics of Undertale (not a judgment, just an observation). Another Kickstarter-funded RPG, the Drifters (including you) of Hyper Light Drifter have access to long-forgotten technology while your character is also suffering from an unspecified disease for which you are seeking a cure. Another twist in the game is that instead of going around finding ammo to resupply your weapons, you gain ammo by hitting opponents with your energy sword.

With beautiful graphics and sound, and a focus on tactical combat against the increasingly more powerful monsters, Hyper Light Drifter has quickly become a favorite RPG game for those looking for a good looking, retro, combat-focused 2D RPG.

Thanks to its retro graphics style, Hyper Light Drifter is great for just about any Mac you’ll be trying to game on:

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.7 and above, 1.2 GHz processor,4 GB RAM , 512 MB video memory, 2 GB available space.

The Best RPG Games for Mac: Sci-fi

If you prefer your RPG futuristic instead of fantasy, there are options for you, including the two following games whose franchises are considered two of the best in the RPG field.
Star Wars: KOTOR 2

If you like your RPGs to be set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, boy have we got you covered.

The sequel to what many consider not just one of the best RPGs of all time but one of the best computer games of all time, Knights of the Old Republic II (KOTOR II) takes place, like the original, 4,000 years before the events of Episode I in the movie series. Also like the original, the sequel was very late coming to the Mac, following the Windows release by a cool ten years. That said, the game was remastered and brought to modern times last year. You can now enjoyed it with better graphics, sounds and an increased resolution.

Nonetheless, it remains, like the original, one of the best sci-fi RPG games you can find. Featuring a great story, interesting characters and pausable real-time combat, KOTOR II allows you to join the dark or the light side as you work to rebuild your connection to the Force and to find the remaining Jedi after they have been mostly wiped out by the Sith.

Despite being an older title, the game requires a relatively modern Mac running at least Mavericks (MacOS 10.9):

✓ Any Mac will suffice, even an older one will do.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.9.5, 2.2 Ghz Intel Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 10 GB HD space, NVIDIA Geforce 330M, ATI Radeon HD 3870, or Intel HD 3000 with 256 MB of Video Memory.
Wasteland 2

Perhaps you’re not a fan of the Star Wars universe but you are a fan of sci-fi RPG games.

Wasteland 2 may just be for you. Yet another Kickstarter-funded RPG, it followed the original Wasteland by a mere 26 years. An isometric game featuring turn-based combat and set in a post-apocalyptic western United States, Wasteland 2’s strong points include customizability, large parties, decisions that really make a difference (one of my favorite things in an RPG), good dialog and obviously improved graphics over the original.

Set 15 years after the events of the original game, you again lead a party of Rangers in a post-nuclear world, attempting to provide some law and order to a world gone monster crazy. Wasteland 2 features plenty of violence and a Mature rating. If you prefer your RPG games futuristic instead of fantasy, Wasteland 2 is, without doubt, one of the best RPG for Mac you can find (and Wasteland 3 is coming for Mac also).

A relatively recent game, Wasteland 2 requires a fairly powerful Mac with a decent graphics card:

⚠️️ Requires a recent Mac with average specs.

Minimum System Requirements: MacOS 10.5, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 30 GB HD space, NVIDIA GeForce 300 Series or Radeon equivalent (512 MB).

Honorable Mention: Looking for a sci-fi RPG that still has that fantasy feel? Shadow Run: Hong Kong, the latest in this long-running series, may be for you.

Your turn

Hopefully, this list has shown you that RPG can mean a lot more than sword and sorcery, although there’s also plenty of that if you want it. And even within the “traditional” RPG style, there’s plenty of variety, from story-focused games to hack and slash action RPGs that allow you to kill monsters early and often. Whether you prefer a game focused on story and character or just want some action, there’s no shortage of excellent games for any level of gamer. Sci-fi or retro, 2D or 3D, the Mac has an RPG game for you. If you’re an RPG fan you’ve probably found several games on this list for you. But even if you’re not, this list probably has a game or two you should try.

And with our embarrassment of RPG riches on the Mac, we may very well have left your favorite off our list. I know that while our fearless leader Ric and I had very similar lists, there were a few differences. So let us know in the comments which of your favorite RPG game(s) we left off. I look forward to the discussion.

This article comes from Steven Marx, one of Mac Gamer HQ’s most loyal writers.

  • Aardvark99

    How about Torchlight II. I’ve never played Diablo 3, but it seems that Torchlight II is universally reviewed as a better game. Plus there’s a demo on Steam and the fully version is only $20.

    • Steven Marx

      Good point and that one almost made the list (I think it was on mine but not Ric’s) and probably should at least have been mentioned. Thanks for bringing it up though, and I didn’t realize there was a demo on Steam.

  • Trevor

    I’m curious…why do you include Knights of the Old Republic 2, and even praise the original KOTOR in it’s description, yet snub the original KOTOR on your list? The sequel is good, and I certainly respect the darker aspects that it gained over the original, but even with Aspyr’s recent release of it for the Mac which improved over the earlier Windows release in many ways, KOTOR2 is still compromised, and doesn’t reach the heights of the original Knights of the Old Republic. As you said in KOTOR2’s description, the original may be the best computer game of all time. So, doesn’t that mean it deserves to be included in this list?

    • Steven Marx

      It’s an excellent question and I was torn on which way to go on this one as KOTOR is generally considered the better game. But I think ultimately Ric and I decided to focus on the newer games if we were going with a series.

  • Jim

    I would add Drakensang online to this list. Its free to join, video quality graphics, just do the opening quests. Right now there is an event in the capital city of Kingshill, involving going into the sewers to fight the giant rats and other nasties. Several quests, I’ve only just started in this event.

    • Ric

      I’ve heard some good things about it. But if we decide to mention it and recommend it, it will be at our Top MMORPGs page. Easier for everyone to find it.

      Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely check it out.