The 15 best Mac games you can get right now

Quit GarageBand and close down iMovie: here's how to get your gaming fix from a Mac

Macs have never had the best reputation for gaming.

Whether because Apple preferred to market them as creative computing powerhouses or because their alumnium shells could cook eggs after a heavy graphics session, the lowly Mac spent much of its youth in the gaming outhouse suffering with years-behind releases and sub-par ports.

Mercifully for Mac owners, things have changed. 

Sure, the mega-releases still hit mainstream platforms some way before Apple's (if ever), but there is a growing and substantial crop of computing capers which you can beam to your Mac through the App Store and Steam - which can more than hold a candle to PC alternatives.

Few are unique to Mac, but a number are redesigned, remastered and retuned for the OS X interface, with slicker moves and better integration - so there's absolutely no excuse not to spend your weekend putting all of our recommendations to the test.

Here are 15 of the best games you can grab right now.

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II

It might originally have hit consoles in 2004, but this second instalment in the Star Wars Knights series, or KOTOR as it’s affectionately known, is a corker on any platform. As well as hitting you with a dose of early noughties nostalgia, the replatformed role-player delivers all the LucasArts smarts you’d expect from the Star Wars series.

Playing as a lone Jedi struggling to manage the Force (who doesn't?) whilst fighting Sith Lords, KOTOR has an immersive story with depth, humour and endless backstories for heaps of characters. Where the original was buggy, the Mac version taps into everything great about Knights without any of the lag - perfect to tide you over until Disney's release of Episode VII.

2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Hotline’s second coming is just as much a frantic, ultraviolent top-down 8-bit role-player as its first iteration. Wrong Number gives you the chance to control 13 different psychopathic shooters each with unique skill sets, offering brutal combat opportunities as the game’s unique, retro visual style and immersive narrative experience pull you fully in.

With a soundtrack of over 40 tracks setting the pace and Tarantino-like levels of pixellated gore, you’ll quickly become engrossed in the gruesome scale of Wrong Number. Its maps are larger and gameplay as (if not more) compelling than the original.

3. Homeworld Remastered

Homeworld in many ways defined the real-time strategy genre when it was released in 1998.

Seeing players focus on space campaign missions through which all surviving ships and resources progress to future challenges, gameplay is both expanisve and thoroughly engaging, with developing objectives, immersive cut-scenes and numerous unlockables.

What's so special about the recently-released Remastered Collection? Well, it gives you both the original Homeworld and Homeworld 2, as well as Homeworld Classic and its successor, and a Steam Multiplayer mode - that's a lot of Homeworlds. What's more, all the titles have been fully remastered by members of the original development team to work fluidly on modern platforms, including OS X.

That means choosing fleets, deciding tactics and strategising situations, in real time, on your Mac. Glorious.


4. Lego Jurassic World

Spanning the spheres of Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, Lego's latest foray into movie-gaming crossovers hits OS X in fine form, delivering all DLC in one package.

Brimming with the Lego series' classic humour, desctructability and endless customisation, Jurassic World delivers some surprisingly expansive gameplay, not least through the ability to customise your dinosaur collection by collecting amber and experimenting with DNA - just as easy as real science.

That, together with well thought-out storylines, is enough to make Lego Jurassic World a thoroughly playable and unique role-player on Mac platforms. Roar.

5. Dirt 3 Complete Edition

The Dirt series was the pinnacle of console rally racing, offering multiple-discipline muddy madness - and Dirt 3 was no excetion.

Now, you can download Dirt 3 Complete Edition direct from the App Store: hitting the Mac platform with masses of DLC content bundled in, including the Monte Carlo rally pack, Dirt gives you the gear to hare it over dust, tarmac, gravel and snow in hundreds of settings and race styles.

Fancy yourself as the next Ken Block? You can also have a thrash at his fabled Gymkhana round Battersea Power Station. What's more, this Complete Edition all been optimised for Mac by Codemasters, meaning you're well set to burnout a '60s Mini Cooper S or batter an Audi Quattro ragged.