Who said that OS X isn’t a platform for gamers? Whilst we may still be a long way from being able to run all the latest game releases, a wide range of software with stunning graphics and compelling gameplay is available.
Today we’ll be taking a look at 50 fantastic games for OS X. Most of them are commercial (you’ll need to pay for them!), but together they showcase that the Mac is rapidly earning the reputation of a solid gaming machine. We’ve split them down into various categories so you can quickly see those that interest you most (action, puzzle, strategy etc).
A Few Notes
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that not all these games can run on any Mac. Be sure to check the requirements listed, particularly if you’re using a machine with an integrated graphics card.
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars ($49.95) – Stunning graphics, physics, networking, and story-driven military missions. The game transports you to the front lines of the ultimate war for Earth.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare ($54.95) – A new standard in modern action games, CoD4 offers amazing special effects and an excellent story line.
- Pangea Arcade ($14.95) – Pangea Arcade takes you back to the days of classic gaming. Destroy asteroids in Nucleus, defend your base in Warheads, or recreate the retro space invaders feel with Firefall.
- Jumpman (Free) – It’s incredibly simple (with terribly old-school graphics), but takes an aged concept and adds an interesting new twist.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($19.95) – Surround yourself with magical objects, ghosts, and portraits in every room, cast spells to unleash powerful fifth-year magic, and lead an army against all the very naughty wizards.
- Wingnuts 2 ($29.95) – Fly over a sprawling world, shooting down all manner of planes and stopping the evil “Baron von Schtopwatch”. A really great Mac arcade game.
- Tomb Raider Anniversary ($49.95) – Celebrate ten years of Lara Croft with her latest action adventure; a re-imagining of the original Tomb Raider enhanced with the latest technology.
- A Vampyre Story ($29.95) – Help Mona De Lafitte on her quest to escape from her tormentor, vampire Baron Shrowdy von Kiefer. Simple graphics, but a fun adventurous story-line.
- Ankh: Heart of Osiris ($29.95) – An Egyptian adventure, set amongst the pyramids and crypts of Pharaoh’s land.
- Cosmic Osmo’s Hex Isle ($19.98) – Osmo has been banished to the Hex Isles and needs your help to make his escape and find his space ship again.
Cards, Casino, & Board Games
- Classic Solitaire (Free) – A fun and easy-to-use collection of 46 favourite solitaire games for your Mac, with big, readable cards.
- Full Tilt Poker (Free) – Play online poker against friends or rivals, either with “play money” or for the real thing. Just don’t get too carried away!
- Big Bang Board Games ($24.95) – Chess, Checkers, Reversi, 4-in-a-Row, Mancala, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Backgammon in one great package
- Monopoly ($24.95) – The classic board game in a digital format for the Mac. You either love it or hate it, but the demo seems fairly full-featured if you’d like to try it out.
- Scrabble Journey ($24.95) – The most popular word game in the world is back with a twist: you’re using your word-building skills to travel the globe. Another classic!
- Hoyle Casino 2009 ($19.95) – A full featured casino app, with over 600 variations of 16 of the most popular casino games. Not quite the same as being in Vegas, but a good effort.
- Chessmaster 9000 ($39.95) – Not only is this a standard chess game/simulator, it will also teach and train you to improve your game. You can even review classic matches to learn from the pros.
Kids & Learning Games
- Pet Pals: Animal Doctor ($24.95) – A realistic simulation that includes more than 40 different medical instruments, dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish and reptiles
- Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall – All the Cartoon Network characters are at risk, and they need your help. Planet Fusion has attacked, threatening to overrun Earth with its destructive green goo…
- Monopoly: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition ($24.95) – Teach your kids about money in a fun, easy-going environment. It also includes a bunch of interactive mini-games.
- Math-teroid ($7.99) – Combining the classic gameplay of Asteroids with basic mathematical skills.
- Learning with Nemo ($19.99) – I couldn’t imagine a friendlier character to learn from. Aimed at 2-5 year olds, Nemo introduces you to basic games and computer concepts.
Puzzle & Trivia Games
- World of Goo ($20) – A physics based puzzle / construction game, centering around Millions of “Goo Balls”. You interact with them in a beautiful environment, navigating through levels full of surprises.
- Bejeweled ($20) – I’m sure many of you will have come across Bejeweled previously – it’s deceptively simple, but infuriatingly fun.
- Enigmo 2 ($19.95) – Enigmo 2 is a 3D puzzle game where you construct mechanisms to direct lasers, plasma, and water to toggle switches, deactivate force-fields, and eventually get them to their final destination.
- Peggle ($20) – The idea is to fire a silver ball at the top of the screen, aiming to hit all the orange pegs on the way down. Not immediately grabbing, but with gorgeous graphics.
- Tetris Zone (Shareware) – Tetris Zone offers four modes of play, from the simple, yet addictive 15-level Marathon mode to an instant hard-drop variation and more. Great for some nostalgic puzzle fun.
Role-Playing Games (RPG)
- World Of Warcraft ($19.99) – The classic role playing game is available for the Mac, but also requires a monthly fee, and an internet connection to play. It’s a whole other world!
- Second Life (Free to Try) – A richly-textured world filled with hundreds of thousands of objects, players, and countless new possibilities to explore. You can pay to upgrade for extra features.
- Eve (Free to Try) – 5,000 solar systems evolve daily in one enormous persistent universe populated by nearly 200,000 players. There’s quite a bit to explore!
- City of Heroes ($19.99) – Bringing the world of comic books alive in this massively multiplayer 3D online universe. There’s the added element of villians – you need someone to defend the world from!
- The Sims 3 ($49.95) – The latest incarnation in The Sims series is available immediately for Mac, but doesn’t come cheap! It’s a major step forward from previous versions.
- X-Plane 9 ($49.95) – X-Plane is the most comprehensive and powerful flight simulator available. You can fly anything from single-engine planes to helicopters and spacecraft.
- Spore ($39.95) – In this fascinating game, you guide your own creature through five stages of evolution and seek out new planets filled with other players’ creations.
- Black & White 2 ($49.95) – Control and nurture your create to help protect (or interfere with!) the land of Eden. You can either lay siege to the world, or keep the peace.
- NoLimits Rollercoasters ($29.95) – NoLimits is the ultimate roller coaster simulation game that lets you experience authentic roller coaster thrills. Either ride existing creations, or make your own from scratch.
- Guitar Hero ($59 with controller) – The incredibly popular guitar simulation game, complete with a wired guitar controller and a range of popular tracks to play along to.
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour ($39.95) – All manner of artificial intelligence additions make this an incredibly advanced golf game. Craft a career and take on the pros.
- Drop Point Alaska ($24.95) – An advanced snowboarding game complete with a pilot-able helicopter, 100 challenges and a massive array of tracks across the expanse of virtual mountain.
- Need For Speed: Carbon ($29.95) – You’re racing in a flat-out war for the city, avoiding the police. The graphics are stunning, and you can select from a range of (very) flash vehicles.
- Madden NFL 08 ($14.95) – Possibly a little dated now, but still a solid American Football game. It mixes action with strategy, to play to your strengths and exploit the weaknesses of your opponent.
- Colin McRae Rally (£35) – You’re thrown into the thick of rally racing, a sport that throws some of the toughest terrain in the world at you. A range of stages, cars, and competitions keep the action enjoyable for a decent length of time.
- FlatOut 2 ($39.95) – My favorite type of racing game, FlatOut 2 smashes lots of things to pieces – cars, scenery, and often the driver. Graphics impress, and it’s a great change from a standard racing game.
- Shaun White Snowboarding ($29.99) – We rated this game as 6/10 in our review, finding it to be a fun experience but lacking in the sound and graphics department.
- Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars ($39.99) – Featuring 30 missions that allow you to experience both sides of the evolving story, C&C3 excels in graphics and gameplay. It also has a thorough multiplayer capability.
- Multiwinia ($19) – A faced paced, action game with a completely unique, stick-men twist.
- Age of Empires III ($54.95) – Command one of eight mighty powers grappling to conquer the New World in this new generation of the landmark Age of Empires series.
- Pirates ($29.95) – There’s something romantic about the pirate lifestyle, and this strategy/action game lets you duel enemy captains, exchange plank-shattering broadsides and seize valuable booty.
- Civilization IV ($49.95) – Create your own lasting legacy from the dawn of man, right through to the space age. It’s the best way to satisfy an unusual demand for power!
- Star Wars: Empire at War ($49.95) – If you love Star Wars, this is definitely a strategy game worth taking a look at. Battle and plan across all the famous planets, and enlist the help of heroic characters.
As you can see, a huge variety of choice exists for gaming on the Mac. You don’t need to settle for dusty, old 1990s games – big blockbusters are available. Whether you can justify the high price of some of these games is very much a personal choice.
Have fun, enjoy the games, and do let me know what you favorites are!