2013 was a stellar year for Mac gaming with a number of high-profile releases and visually spectacular games. We look at the best Mac games released in 2013.

From the visually spectacular Borderlands 2, through to the incredibly deep Bioshock Infinite to quirky but important games like Papers, Please and Kerbal Space Program. These are the games that stood out from the thousands released on the Mac App Store: the best Mac games that will stand the test of time.

So if you’re looking for some Mac games to play in the New Year, then these are the ones to download. It looks like the Mac is getting better and better for gaming: here’s to a great 2013 and (hopefully) an even better 2013 for Mac games.

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BioShock Infinite

£13.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Bioshock Infinite

We almost regret that this is a game at all. BioShock Infinite creates a 3D world of such splendour that it’s a shame to stop gawking and start shooting. BioShock Infinite creates a fabulous skybound world which you explore in first-person perspective. And the place you explore, Columbia, is an ultra-religious, racially intolerant community that has seceded skywards from the United States. Interesting! It has a steampunk style, blending the future with the past and you fight through the streets and use a grappling hook to zoom around levels (via roller coaster-style tracks). As a shooter BioShock Infinite is reasonable, but as an overall gaming experience BioShock Infinite is without peer. This is a latecomer to the Mac, having only just arrived a good few months after every other platform, but if you haven't played it elsewhere we’d advise this to be top of your list of games to play in 2014.

Read More: BioShock Infinite Review

BioShock Infinite (App Store Link)

Borderlands 2

Price £6.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Borderlands 2

This isn’t the most original sequel ever, but Borderlands 2 took everything that made Borderlands a minor hit and improved upon each element to create a major hit. You take the role of a bounty hunter in the futuristic planet of Pandora, searching for treasure. The story is thin as a rake, but Borderlands 2 has a combination of fast-paced shooting and online role-playing elements that make this an addictive experience. And the fantastic cel-shaded graphics make it feel like you’re playing a graphic novel.

Read More: Borderlands 2 Review

Borderlands 2 (App Store Link)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Elite Edition

Price: £34.99

Best Mac Games 2013: XCOM Enemy Unknown

While the stunning iOS conversion of XCOM had everyone talking, the Mac edition of this fantastic turn-based strategy game offers the better experience. You control a small squad of soldiers in encounters with alien combatants. As you kill and capture aliens your scientists work on them to unlock bigger and better weapons and equipment. It’s a thinking game, and messing up your commands has long term implications. This is a visually resplendent game with deep, deep gameplay.

Read more: XCOM: Enemy Unknown Elite Edition review

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Elite Edition (App Store Link)

Kerbal Space Program

Price: £19.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Kerbal Space Program

This has flown largely under the radar, which is a terrible shame because Kerbal Space Program is one of the best games we’ve seen this year. Kerbal Space Program enables you to design and build your own spacecraft, and fire them up with Kerbals (small green characters) on board. You can build space stations, explore other planets and control an entire space program. It’s a complicated experience (which might be why it’s not on many other best-of lists) but we think it’s incredibly rewarding. The demo version of the game has been available for free since 2011, but the full paid-for version was made available this year and we think it was well worth the wait.

Read More: Kerbal Space Program for Mac demo released

Kerbal Space Program (Steam)

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Papers, Please

Price: £6.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Papers, Please

Even for the indie scene this is a bit of an oddball. In Papers, Please you work in a border control post in the fictional country of Arstotzkan. It’s your job to quiz people, scan their papers and decide who can stay and who has to leave. As the game progresses the challenge of spotting miscreants becomes harder, and you get to listen to various tales of hardship; but get it wrong, or become too lenient and you won’t have enough money to look after your family. There’s an obvious moral message here, which starkly contrasts the fun arcade nature of the game. One to make you think.

Read more: Papers, Please review

Papers, Please (Steam)

Rayman Origins

Price: £13.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Rayman Origins

Rayman is a classic platform character from Ubisoft that made a triumphant return to the Mac in 2013. If you haven’t played a truly good 2D platform game in years then Rayman Origins is your chance. You have to run, jump, swim and hover through the gorgeously designed locations in The Glade Of Dreams. All in all this is a lovely game to play: visually gorgeous and packed with classic gameplay.

Read more: Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins (App Store)

Mark Of The Ninja

£11.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Mark Of The Ninja

Mark Of The Ninja is a 2D side-scrolling indie game that creates a world of stealth. In Mark Of The Ninja you must outwit your opponents. The graphics are good, but it’s the flowing animation that really makes it a joy to behold. And there are a lot of interesting gameplay elements, like the restricted field of vision (normally seen in RTS - real time strategy games). Mark Of The Ninja is a fast-paced game that requires you to think to play it properly, and you get a real sense of achievement from completing each challenge.

Mark Of The Ninja (Steam)

Rogue Legacy

Price: £11.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Rogue Legacy

This is a classic 2D “explore the castle” game with a neat twist. Every time you die a child succeeds you, with unique features. One might be colorblind, have vertigo or be a dwarf. Each offers completely different gameplay: one might play the game upside down, the other might be a MAGE with OCD who gains power for each piece of furniture he cleans (you get the idea?). In Rogue Legacy you have randomly created castles and randomly created characters. The visuals aren’t that spectacular but it has this great gimmick that keeps the gameplay constantly feeling fresh. It is a challenging game, however, and your choice of characters often feels like choosing between the least bad option (rather than the one with the best powers). But it’s a unique experience

Rogue Legacy (Steam)

Bit.Trip Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Price: £10.49

Best Mac Games 2013: Bit.Trip Runner 2

Yeah, that name. Let’s all try to get over it. Bit.Trip Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is a rhythm-based music platformer. You run through the level using moves in time to the soundtrack. It’s a neat mixture of two different styles with some great visuals. Above all: it’s fun! Really fun!  Runner 2 stands out for its ability to put a smile on anybodys face.

Bit.Trip Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (App Store)

Metro Last Light

Price £13.99

Best Mac Games 2013: Metro Last Light

Metro: Last Light improves upon the gameplay of its predecessor without destroying what made the series great in the first place: the setting. Last Light takes you back to the post-apocalyptic Russian wasteland, employing an excellent soundtrack and bleak, desolate imagery to deliver a first-person shooter with surprising pathos and one of the most genuine game narratives in recent memory.

Read more: Metro Last Light Review

Metro Last Light (App Store)

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