“War, huh, what is it good for?” – Edwin Star, War from the album War and Peace
Well… apparently, it’s good for good times. War games are all over the map. So, to honor our ever-present source of joy and soul-crushing doom, Mac Gamer HQ presents you with a four-star general overview of the best war games for Mac.
As always, we’re going for different styles and genres, as well as different price points and system requirements. We aim to help you discover great new games and perhaps one of these will be perfect for you:
Want even more good games for Mac? These are the 100 Top Mac games you can play today.
Top Mac War Games: Renowned Franchises
The condition of man… is a condition of war of everyone against everyone – Thomas Hobbes
MacGamer HQ’s head-honcho Ric is a fan of the franchise’s take on feudal japan, Total War: Shogun 2, but I’m definitely fond of the most recent release, Total War: Attila. Attila takes you to the end of the western Roman empire and puts you in control of one of the Mediterranean or Germanic tribes that carved up former Roman territory, and their enemy’s hides in the process. The game features a skirmish mode, historical battles mode (which lets you relive some epic battlefield confrontations of the period) and a campaign mode. Campaign mode features a dynasty interface that allows you to play the court game of intrigue if you’re the type that likes your war in intimate settings. You can purchase additional campaigns and culture packs if your favorite war-mongering pack of blood-thirsty maniacs isn’t in the base game.
Wargame: European Escalation, gives the player the chance to control one of the Cold War militaries in Thatcher-era Europe. The game’s sequel, Wargame: Airland Battle, takes you right back to the battlefield in a conflict between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces. But if you had to buy just one, the series’ latest, Wargame: Red Dragon, brings you near the end of the Cold War and adds a variety of the Asian communist states, expanding the theater of war to a truly global scale.
Top Mac War Games: Real-time Strategy games
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time – Leo Tolstoy
The three released DLC packs introduce more armies for single and multiplayer modes (including action on the Western Front), each of which carries their own strengths and flaws. You can pick up the CoH2: Master Collection for a tidy $39.99 and choose how you want to win and on which map to reign supreme.
Hearts of Iron 4 is the company’s most war-oriented, giving you god-like command over pretty much any country that existed in the WWII period. An almost ridiculously complex technology system lets you guide your country’s development as you like, while diplomacy systems let you conduct trade, form and break alliances and treaties, and appoint advisors to help you turn the world from a divided battleground into one of your making. The military system provides you with the chance to specialize your battalions. Pause the game, set your plans, bump up the game-clock speed, and unpause and you can watch your grand vision bring the war to a close on your terms, or bring your country to ruin.
Starcraft 2 gives you control over one of three races, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, to craft a mobile war machine from, almost literally, the ground up. Nearly every aspect of your fighting force, from securing resources to front-line battle commands, is under your control and while the battlefield is yours for the taking, it’s also everyone else’s.
While Blizzard controversially released each race’s story as its own game, as opposed to the original which had all three in one package, Wings of Liberty, Legacy of the Void and Heart of the Swarm can now all be bought and played separately. With a variety of playable races, Starcraft 2 can easily satisfy any urge to dominate your fellow man … or alien.
Top Mac War Games: Turn-based
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The tactical combat system provides turn-by-turn control over 5 classes of warriors that you can tailor to your own strategy. The technology system of the previous game remains, in expanded form, giving you control over how you’ll exterminate your alien overlords. A greater cast of friends, foes, NPC’s, and increased diversity in weapons and gear complete the game’s customization options, giving you total control over your forces in both the campaign and multiplayer mode. With XCOM 2, you are humanity’s last stand, again, after the first last stand against alien invasion forces failed.
The 2-D graphics call to mind the old-school style of Dragon’s Lair with beautifully animated battlefields and story animations. The campaign mode is currently 2 games deep, with a third episode in development, and since decisions made in the first game carry over to the second, I recommend you start with part one and play through the second.
Top Mac War Games: Shooters
I’m better when it’s breathing. – Chris, American Sniper
The entire MW series (CoD4MW+MW2+MW3) is also available on Steam in one bundle that puts all of Modern Warfare in your hands, along with DLC, for a reasonably tidy sum. There’s really not a lot to say about it. It’s Call of Duty, but on Mac hardware. Just aim, run, and shoot people in the face.
The Mac version of the game is currently in experimental beta mode so you might want to hold off on buying the game until it receives official support. Then again, if you really can’t wait, you can buy the Windows version and then hype your friends on the Mac beta to help the process along.
The gameplay is good too, featuring some exploration but mostly taking cover and shooting (similar to Gears of Wars games). You’ll find yourself short of ammo, time, and patience often enough that you might end up needing a new controller in this game that, for myself, calls to mind the 1999 film Fight Club, but instead of not being about war, it’s about war. Post-script spoiler alert.
Top Mac War Games: Survival
Our nation exists because of the people! We exist because of them. – Cidolfas Orlandu, Final Fantasy Tactics
Only the dead have seen the end of war – attribution questionable
Resource management, scavenging missions, and housekeeping are central to the survival of your group. Decisions on how your players behave toward remaining survivors affect the morale and health of your characters in the randomly generated world brought to life in a beautifully animated tale of survival and loss in a devastated world.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. – Albert Einstein
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Please understand that I only mention games because I believe they’re interesting, good, and/or fun. Never because I received a free copy or to earn a small commission.
This article comes from Thomas Trono.