Macs aren’t exactly regarded as the ultimate gaming machines, but they have more gaming power — and more games — than many people give them credit for. Just this year, many of the best new PC games on the market have come out for Mac, too.
Below, we take a look at the 10 most lauded Mac games from 2015 that you can buy on Steam. As for our methodology, we surveyed all of the Mac games listed on Metacritic with exceptional praise all around, creating a composite score including both critic and user ratings (e.g. a game with a 95 critic score and 9.3 user score would receive a 94 composite score). This should gives us the clearest picture of how well the games were received overall between the time of release and now.
11. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
This point-and-click adventure game centers on a handful of fantasy characters, including Ivo the elven princess and Wilbur the gnome. Each character is involved in a personal story that you get to play out, but as the game progresses, the stories weave together, culminating in a grand journey to save the world. If you’re looking for a modern adventure game to whisk you away to an imaginative land, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 will do the trick.
10. OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood
This skateboarding game offers more of what fans loved about the original OlliOlli: tough side-scrolling levels in which precision and style are key factors. Your job is to reach the end of each level, while stringing together wicked tricks into high-scoring combos. Slip up just once, however, and you have to restart the level. It’s all about quick thinking and fast fingers, which means OlliOlli 2 will test your reflexes.
9. Axiom Verge
Nintendo has ignored the Metroid series for several years now, so Tom Happ, the maker of Axiom Verge, has stepped up to deliver the kind of games fans have been pining for. You play as a scientist who wakes up in a strange world full of sprawling environments, alien enemies, and useful items scattered all over the place. Most games are made by a team of people, but with Axioim Verge, Happ is the sole creator. He did the art, programming, and music all by himself. When a game looks, sounds, and plays this good, that’s an incredible accomplishment.
8. Invisible, Inc.
Your job in this turn-based tactical game is to infiltrate corporate compounds, complete a mission, and make a slick escape — preferably while avoiding a shootout. If you do the job really well, the enemies will never know you were there at all. That’s why it’s called Invisible, Inc.
7. Crypt of the NecroDancer
It’s a great time to be a roguelike fan. If you’re not up to speed on this genre, roguelikes tend to start you off with a very basic set of abilities and tools, and have you pick up equipment and abilities as you progress. The catch is that you lose everything when you die, so you always start from scratch. Crypt of the NecroDancer has that basic setup, but it adds a music/rhythm element to the gameplay. You and the enemies move to the beat, so you have to tap buttons to the rhythm if you want to succeed.
6. Grim Fandango Remastered
This remastered point-and-click adventure game puts you in the shoes of Manny Calavera, a travel agent who helps newly departed souls make their way through the Land of the Dead. The game has style to spare, and it draws heavily on film noir for inspiration. So just like in movies such as The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, things go sideways quickly, and you find yourself wrapped up in a conspiracy you’ll have to untangle before the credits roll. Oh, and if you haven’t listened to this game’s soundtrack, you’re really missing out.
5. Tales From The Borderlands
Telltale Games has had a run of excellent adventure games that basically play out as movies, with the player being called on to explore new environments, tap buttons during action sequences, and choose how conversations progress. Tales From the Borderlands is based on a series of popular first-person shooters set on a Wild West-like planet called Pandora. This game may feel different from the games that inspired it, but still manages to fit right into the game world. That’s quite a feat, and it makes for an adventure that’s well worth taking.
4. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was a very fun action puzzle game that came out in 1997 for the original PlayStation. It followed the story of Abe, a green alien who helped his fellow Mukodons escape slavery from a factory where they were about to be ground up for meat.
This New ’n’ Tasty edition is a remake of that game, with improved graphics, tweaked gameplay mechanics, and a handful of control concessions that make the game less frustrating to play. The one thing that has remained the same, however, is the brilliant level design, which stitches together puzzle after puzzle in a way that’s tough to improve upon.
3. Pillars of Eternity
Fans of old-school computer role-playing games (cRPGs) like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment will definitely want to check out Pillars of Eternity. It’s from Obsidian Entertainment, the makers of excellent recent titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth and Fallout: New Vegas, as well as classics cRPGs like Neverwinter Nights 2. Apparently lots of people long for those bygone days of dungeon crawling, because the developers raised more than $4 million through crowdfunding to make it. Judging by the almost universally positive reviews, it looks like the game was worth every penny.
2. Kerbal Space Program
In Kerbal Space Program, you design your own rockets to shoot into outer space. Some games might give you shortcuts to make the process easier, but not this one. You’ll find new challenges in every step of the process: when you’re designing the rocket, preparing the staging area, and controlling it as it shoots into the air. But when you succeed? The only thing more satisfying would be if you got a degree in rocket science and started working for NASA.
1. Cities: Skylines
Lately Electronic Arts hasn’t been delivering the kinds of SimCity games longtime fans of the series want, so developer Colossal Order saw an opening and took it. This game lets you build the city of your dreams from the ground up, with all kinds of fun goals along the way. It also gives you more freedom than most games, letting you tweak the difficulty to your heart’s desire and even give yourself unlimited money if you just want to go crazy with your city designs. If you’ve ever enjoyed a SimCity game, you’ll probably love Cities: Skylines.
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