We continue our list of the best games for Mac. The next category is:

Roleplaying games (RPGs)

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition

Company: Beamdog
Where to buy: Steam (£3.74/$4.99), Mac App Store (£19.99/$19.99)
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.7, dual-core Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 2.5GB hard disk

The original Baldur's Gate II was released way back in 1988 by the roleplaying gods at Bioware, and its 2D graphics will look pretty dated to anyone that has played modern roleplaying games such as Bioware's Dragon Age series. Even so, it's an essential purchase for anyone that has even the slightest interest in roleplaying games, and the sheer size of the game means that it's excellent value for money.

It's a shame that this updated Enhanced Edition couldn't be brought right up to date with more modern 3D graphics, but it does get a cosmetic makeover with high-def versions of the original artwork, so it doesn't look too bad on modern computer screens. Besides, whether in 2D or 3D, Bioware's great strength has always been its story-telling skill, and Baldur's Gate II is as captivating now as it was nearly 30 years ago. It's very much traditional fantasy fare - with you taking on the role of a warrior, wizard, rogue or cleric - but it's done on a truly grand scale. Your character is just one of many mortal offspring spawned by the evil god Bhaal, and the game pits you against several of your own brothers and sisters as they vie to succeed Bhaal and claim his power as their own.

There are hundreds and hundreds of quests along the way - around 300 hours worth if you try to complete them all - including power struggles within the guild of Shadow Thieves, and an epic battle with the wizard Irenicus, played in full scenery-chewing mode by Brit character actor David Warner. Throw in the return of bonkers barbarian Minsc and his giant space-hamster Boo, and BGII is a real retro treat for RPG fans.

Best Mac games: Baldur's Gate II

Book of Demons

Company: Thing Trunk
Where to buy: Steam (£9.99/$9.99), GOG (£19.99/$25.42)
System requirements: macOS 10.12, 1.7GHz dual-core processor with 512MB video memory

At first glance, Book Of Demons looks a lot like action-RPGs such as the evergreen Diablo series, but it also includes elements of collectable card games and a distinctive graphics style that gives the game a pace and personality of its own.

The static screenshot shown below looks very much like the fast-paced Diablo 3 - as well as sharing the same basic storyline - as you create a warrior, mage or rogue who investigates an invasion of demons coming up from beneath a nearby desecrated cathedral. You also see two large orbs displayed on-screen that represent your health and mana for combat and casting spells, along with a quickbar that allows you to select a variety of different combat skills.

However, the action proceeds at a slightly slower pace than Diablo, as your character progresses through a series of dungeons drawn in a cartoon style that looks a lot like an old-fashioned pop-up book. And, instead of automatically gaining new combat skills and spells as you level up, your character has to collect 'cards' by defeating enemies, which can be used like the combat cards in collectable games such as Hearthstone.

You'll need to learn which cards suit your own personal fighting style, and how they work against different types of enemy, in order to fight your way down into the depths of the dungeons. But you don't need to spend entire evenings fighting through the game, as Book Of Demons has a 'flexiscope' option that allows you to set the length of each quest, making it a great option for casual players who just want to dip into the game every now and then.

Alternatively, if you're feeling really hard-core then you can also select the game's rogue-like difficulty level, which rewards failure with permanent death. The slower pace won't appeal to fans of Diablo's high-speed kill-loot-kill style of play, but if you enjoy traditional table-top roleplaying games then Book Of Demons will have a lot of old-fashioned charm.

It's been in early access on Steam for about a year now, but the Mac version we tried out didn't display any worrisome bugs, and the semi-3D graphics don't need a really high-end Mac to run either.

Best Mac games: Book of Demons

Cat Quest

Company: GentleBros
Where to buy: Steam (£9.99/$12.99), GOG (£9.99/$12.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.7 (not compatible with macOS Catalina)

The recently released Cat Quest II is one of the featured games on Apple Arcade, but if you don't want to pay a monthly subscription for Apple's gaming service then you can find the original Cat Quest on Steam. There's a free demo version too, so you can check it out before buying, and the iOS version of Cat Quest - which isn't on Apple Arcade - is also available for £4.99/$4.99.

Cat Quest is a fun game for younger players, and a good way to introduce them to the world of roleplaying games. You play as a 'catventurer' looking for his 'catnapped' sister as he explores the land of Felingard (both characters are unnamed, so it's a shame there's no option to play as a female cat warrior who rescues her brother). The game has the open-world feel of modern RPG games, allowing you to explore dungeons, collect loot and train up a variety of skills as you gain experience. However, it does a good job of keeping things simple for younger players, with basic WASD keyboard controls for movement, a simple mouse-click to bash enemies with your weapon, and Space bar to dodge and roll. (You can use a gamepad if you'd prefer.)

And, like a good RPG, it provides a range of additional magical skills and abilities that you can learn, such as the Flamepurr fire spell that does area-of-effect damage to nearby enemies. Magic spells require mana, but hacking and slashing recharges your mana, and you can soon get into a satisfying groove by alternating physical and magical attacks. The only minor problem with Cat Quest is that it won't run on macOS Catalina, so you might be better off buying the iOS version if your Mac has already been updated.

Best Mac games: Cat Quest

Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure

Company: Branching Narrative
Where to buy: Steam (£7.99/$9.99)
System requirements: macOS 10.14, 8GB memory

There's nothing like a bit of nostalgia to comfort you in times like these - and for many gamers there's nothing more nostalgic than Deathtrap Dungeon, the most famous of the Fighting Fantasy books from the 1980s.

The book series, of course, helped to inspire the whole dungeon-crawling genre of computer game that's still going strong today, and this new 'interactive video adventure' is an attempt to update (ever so slightly) the format of the old paperback books while retaining their old-school charm. The game is currently in its 'early access' phase, so there's still a little fine-tuning to be done, but we couldn't resist the chance to take a trip down memory lane.

You don't get modern 3D graphics; the actor Eddie Marsan acts as the game's narrator, recorded on video as he guides you through the twists and turns of the classic adventure. In fact, it's rather reminiscent of the interactive adventure games that you could buy on CD-ROM or laserdisc (remember those?) in the 90s.

Marsan sits in an old study, using his best actorly voice to recount events as you explore the dungeon. When it's time to make a decision your options appear as text on screen, and then hand-drawn 2D graphics and animations are used to depict the action as it unfolds.

It's still pretty old-school, in other words, and younger gamers raised on 3D epics such as Skyrim or Dragon Age may not understand the appeal. But they're all busy on TikTok during the big lockdown, and those of us who can remember the good old days of Dungeons & Dragons will welcome the chance to escape down memory lane while we're all stuck indoors.

Best Mac games: Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure

Diablo III

Company: Blizzard Entertainment
Where to buy: Battle.net EU (from £16.99/€19.99) or Battle.net US ($19.99)
System requirements:
OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.x or later; Intel Core 2 Duo; nVidia GeForce 8600M GT or better; ATI Radeon HD 2600 or better; 2GB RAM; 12GB available HD space

Twenty years after the events of the last game, a meteor strikes the much-troubled town of Tristram, opening up a gateway into the depths of the earth and paving the way for the return of the demon lord Diablo. As always, it's up to you to gird your loins and turn back the forces of darkness before they unleash untold nastiness upon the earth.

This time around you can choose from five different character classes - barbarian, demon hunter, monk, witch doctor and wizard - each with its own unique skills and abilities. The graphics have been updated too, and now provide a true 3D view of the action.

There's no denying the addictive grip that Diablo III exerts, even if Blizzard could have been more ambitious in updating from Diablo II. If you have any interest at all in sword and sorcery action games this is simply irresistible.

Read the full Diablo III for Mac review

Best Mac games: Diablo 3

Disco Elysium

Company: ZAUM
Where to buy: Steam (£34.99/$39.99), GOG (£34.99/$43.59), Mac App Store (£38.99/$39.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.13.4 or later, Metal-Compatible graphics card

It's tough being a Mac gamer sometimes, watching great new games always arriving first on PC - and often never being released on the Mac at all. Last year's launch of Disco Elysium was particularly galling for RPG fans, as we watched the PC version of the game mop up awards all over the place. However, the Mac version of Disco Elysium has suddenly appeared, with no advance publicity, and is widely available on all the main online game stores.

As mentioned, Disco Elysium is a roleplaying game, but instead of medieval fantasy or futuristic sci-fi, the game casts you in the role of a drunken detective in a sort-of-contemporary setting, in the town of Revachol.

You wake one morning in a sleazy hotel, with a mega-hangover, barely knowing who you are. After locating your trousers, you explore the hotel and encounter your partner, who reminds you that you are a detective investigating a murder case. You then set off to explore the local neighbourhood, interrogating suspects and looking for clues as you try to crack the case.

Despite the contemporary setting many traditional roleplaying features are still in evidence - you can choose an 'archetype' for your character, such as the 'Thinker' who relies on deductive skills, or take the 'Physical' approach and try to intimidate suspects for information. There's also an extensive set of additional skills, such as empathy or logic, that you can use to help you in your investigation. You don't need to get too bogged down in stats and details, though, and you'll soon be able to head off and explore the neighbourhood, which is wonderfully depicted, with grimy graphics and atmospheric music.

Disco Elysium is the sort of absorbing, immersive game that can absorb you for hours on end. However, the system requirements for the 3D graphics are quite steep, so check to make sure your Mac can handle it first. Some of the language is a bit ripe too, so this definitely isn't a game for younger children.

Best Mac games: Disco Elysium

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Company: Larian Studios
Where to buy: Steam (£17.99/$26.99), Mac App Store (£43.99/$44.99)
System requirements: macOS 10.13.6 or later, MacBook Pro 2016 or later, MacBook Air 2017 or later, iMac with AMD graphics 2013 or later, Mac Mini 2018

At the end of 2018, the developers at Larian Studios announced that they were working with Apple - in itself a bit of a shock as Apple generally shows bugger-all interest in games on the Mac - to develop a Mac version of Original Sin 2 (one of the greatest RPGs of all time) using Apple's Metal graphics system. There's nothing half-hearted about the Mac version, either - as well as using Metal for the impressive 3D graphics, the game supports HDR (high dynamic range) on the latest Macs, as well as Mac-specific features such as Apple trackpads and the TouchBar on new MacBook Pro models. And the game's multiplayer mode even works across both Macs and PCs, so you can play online with your friends (as long as you've all got the latest patches and updates). The only drawback here is that the Metal graphics require a fairly powerful Mac, so make sure to check the game's system requirements before buying.

Don't worry if you've haven't played the original game, as this sequel remains in the fantasy world of Rivellon, but steps forward in time and allows you to embark on an entirely new adventure. You start the game in a bit of trouble, as you've been captured and sentenced to jail for using a dangerous magical force called 'Source'. Using Source gives you - and other 'Sourcerors' - great power, but it also creates a gateway to another dimension called The Void, allowing evil creatures to invade Rivellon. And, yep - you guessed it - your job is to save the world from the invading demons.

The game begins with a helpful tutorial to get new players started, and newcomers can also opt for a ready-made 'origin' character that has already been set up for you. More experienced players can delve into character creation, with a wide variety of races on offer - with standard options such as humans, dwarves and elves complemented by more exotic lizards and undead - and the game also offers several difficulty levels and modes to cater for different playing styles and levels of experience.

It might all sound like fairly routine fantasy fare, but Original Sin 2 is tremendously well-made and involving. There are few simple good-versus-evil choices, and sometimes you'll find yourself wracked with guilt because you simply can't find a nice, clean solution to a particular problem or a tricky side-quest. The solo game by itself will keep even hardened roleplaying fans absorbed through the dark winter months, and the various online and multiplayer modes will ensure that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a game that you'll come back to time and time again.

Best Mac games: Divinity: Original Sin 2

Elder Scrolls Online (plus Blackwood expansion)

Company: Zenimax
Where to buy: Green Man Gaming (£42.49/$59.99), Steam (£49.99/$59.99). This is for the base game plus the expansion set; both sites also sell the base game, or just the upgrade, for a lower price
System requirements: macOS 10.13, Mac with quad-core CPU, discrete GPU with 1GB VRAM

The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the few A-list MMORPG titles that supports the Mac, and ever since its launch back in 2014 the developers at Zenimax have kept their loyal players coming back by updating the game with a regular series of new 'chapters'. These are essentially expansion packs that add more content, and occasionally new features too. But every year or so, Zenimax releases an update that makes major changes to the game in order to keep it feeling fresh and exciting - and 2021's Blackwood expansion is one of the biggest updates for quite some time.

The changes begin as soon as you enter the game. Even if you haven't bought the Blackwood expansion there's a new introductory tutorial that sends you to the island of Balfiera, where you can learn the ropes by helping the local townsfolk to fend off an invading army of monsters. Once you've completed the tutorial you're given the option of entering a portal that can send you anywhere in the vast world of ESO.

If you decide to head off to Blackwood, you'll discover a vast new zone, full of quests and challenging dungeons. Blackwood also introduces a new companion system, which allows solo players to recruit a computer-controlled companion who can fight alongside you. This will be great for players - like me - who tend to play solo most of the time, with the new companion helping you to complete quests and tasks that might previously have been a bit too tough for one player on their own.

Blackwood also introduces a new Gates of Oblivion storyline that will continue developing throughout this year, with a major quest that pits you against the demonic Prince Of Destruction, as he schemes to invade the mortal realm. The good news is that you don't have to pay the full price for Blackwood right away, as the original base game now costs just £14.99/$19.99 - and no longer requires a monthly subscription to play. That contains enough action and adventure to keep you happy for months, before you decide if you want to visit Blackwood as well.

Best Mac games: Elder Scrolls Online - Blackwood

Final Fantasy XIV Online

Company: Square Enix
Where to buy: Square Enix EU store (from £9.99 + £7.69 monthly subscription) or US store (from $19.99, plus $14.99 per month); free trial also available
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.14 or later, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor

As we've mentioned in the past, Final Fantasy XIV has had a bit of a chequered history - with the original Mac version in 2015 being so bad that the developers actually offered refunds. However, a series of updates over the past few years have seen FFXIV emerge as one of the top games in the MMORPG genre - despite the fact that, until recently, it was one of the few MMORPGs that still required a subscription to play.

The latest update, which is now called Final Fantasy XIV Online, gives the game another major revamp, reworking the central quest system in order to give players a smoother introduction to the game's vast online world. It also incorporates the Heavensward expansion pack that was previously sold separately, giving you even more quests and adventures to explore. Most important, though, is the new free trial system, which allows new players to sign up for a free account that provides access to vast areas of the game without paying for a subscription (although, to be honest, the registration process is a bit of a chore).

Players with a trial account can take their characters all the way to level 60 - the maximum level with a subscription is 80 - and explore the main game and all the extra zones and quests in Heavensward for free. If you want to advance beyond L60 and explore new character classes and other new features then you will still need to buy a copy of the game and pay for a continuing subscription. However, you can start for as little as £9.99/$19.99 for the Online Starter Edition, and then decide if you want to continue your subscription, and buy the latest Shadowbringer expansion pack as well.

Best Mac games: Final Fantasy XIV Online

Overlord: Raising Hell

Company: Virtual Programming
Where to buy: Steam (£1.74/$2.49, also requires Overlord for 87p/$1.24), Deliver2 (£6.99/$9.99), Mac App Store (£8.99/$8.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.9, 2.0GHz dual-core Intel processor

The original Overlord was released for the PC, Xbox and Playstation way back in 2007, but it recently appeared on the Mac for the first time. And it stands up pretty well for a game that's almost a decade old now.

Overlord is described as an action roleplaying game, along the lines of the Diablo series. You take the role of the Overlord, a bad guy who sets out to reclaim his lands from a bunch of other bad guys. The Overlord wields an axe and can learn additional skills as you progress through the game, but his primary power is the ability to summon hordes of goblin-like minions to do his bidding. You can send your minions off to destroy an enemy or pick up items that you want to carry around.

As you become more powerful you can summon larger numbers of minions, and there are also different types of minions available, including fighters, archers and healers, so this adds an element of strategy to the game as you learn how to deploy your minions against different types of enemy. And the fun element of the game lies in your ability to be as evil as possible, terrorising innocent villagers or occasionally showing mercy and letting them off the hook.

The Raising Hell expansion pack included with the Mac version also includes a number of new 'abyss' levels that provide a really tough challenge. Unfortunately, the Mac version doesn't have an online multiplayer mode, but there is a split-screen mode that allows two people to play together, either working together to complete a challenge, or competing against each other to destroy a particular target.

Best Mac games: Overlord: Raising Hell

Overlord II

Company: Virtual Programming
Where to buy: Steam (£1.74/$2.49), Green Man Gaming (£6.99/$9.99), Deliver2 (£8.99/$9.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.9, 2.0GHz dual-core Intel processor

Typical - you wait years for an Overlord game on the Mac, and then three come along all at once. Hot on the heels of the recent Overlord and its Raising Hell expansion we now have Overlord II.

The format of this sequel is very similar to the original Overlord, albeit on an even larger scale. You play as the evil Overlord seeking to regain power from the Glorious Empire, which has taken control of your lands. This gives you even bigger armies and larger territories to conquer, and you are now assisted by four different types of minions that you can use to do all your dirty work. The brown minions are brawlers who wade straight into battle, while the red minions can chuck fireballs from a distance. There are also stealthy green minions who act as hidden assassins, while blue minions can resurrect their fallen comrades and swim to explore areas that the other minions can't reach. Your minions also have the ability to ride animals such as wolves and spiders, which give them additional abilities that you can use in combat.

This sequel also introduces two different game modes. In Destruction mode you simply destroy everything in your path, using the life force of your victims to make your destructive spells even more deadly. Alternatively, you can enslave your enemies and make them work for you, throwing them into battle as cannon-fodder or using them to develop resources that enhance your strength. It's all good clean fun, and not too expensive at just £6.99, and the age of the game means that it runs quite well even on older Macs models. The only disappointment is that - for various technical reasons - the multiplayer options from the original PC version don't work on the Mac.

Best Mac games: Overlord II

Pathfinder: Wrath of The Righteous

Company: Owlcat Games
Where to buy: Steam (£42.99/$49.99), Epic Games Store (£42.99/$49.99), Green Man Gaming (£42.99/$49.99), GOG (£42.99/$58.57)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.11, 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor

Roleplaying fans frustrated by the long wait for Baldur's Gate III can get a fix of old-school RPG action from Wrath Of The Righteous, the latest game based on the popular Pathfinder series.

Wrath Of The Righteous isn't a direct sequel, but it's set in the same mythical world as the previous game, Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The story is fairly straightforward fantasy fare, letting your character play as a 'crusader' in the war between the people of Golarion and the demonic forces that are attempting to invade through an inter-dimensional portal known as the Worldwound. The game follows the traditional RPG format laid down by the original Baldur's Gate games, but it brings the format up to date with more sophisticated 3D graphics and refinements such as the ability to switch between real-time combat and more tactical turn-based combat.

That flexibility brings a modern feel to the game, but this is still very much an old-school RPG where you need to think carefully about your choices when completing quests, and also in developing your main character. There are 12 races to choose from, with 25 different classes offering dozens of skills and abilities - not to mention the option of following a 'mythic' path later in the game, perhaps becoming an Angel, a mighty Dragon or an evil 'Swarm That Walks'.

There is a tutorial built into the opening chapter of the game, which helps to introduce you to the main controls and commands, but this is a game that would really benefit from a downloadable manual that you could keep for reference. It's pretty expensive too, but the original Pathfinder: Kingmaker has now come down in price so you could buy that as an affordable introduction.

Best Mac games: Pathfinder: Wrath of The Righteous

Path of Exile

Company: Grinding Gear Games
Where to buy: Steam (free, with IAPs)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.13, 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor

Path Of Exile - or PoE to its friends - has been around since 2013 on Windows, and it's a very popular alternative to action-RPGs such as Diablo 3. We were rather surprised when the developers at Grinding Gear announced a Mac version completely out of the blue in September 2020 - which then hit a few snags, before finally emerging at the start of 2021.

The main attraction of PoE is that it's completely free to play, and while there is an online store this mainly sells cosmetic items, such as fancy armour and cute pets, so you don't need to spend a lot of money in order to compete properly.

The storyline for the game is pretty thin - you're an exile, cast up on the shores of an island, and you head to the nearest town to pick up a few quests and make a name for yourself as an adventurer. It's routine stuff, but Path Of Exile has a similar addictive quality to the Diablo games, getting you hooked into the routine of killing monsters, picking up loot and improving your weapons, armour and skills so that you can tackle the next big Boss and do it all over again. And, like Diablo 3, the game keeps things fresh by launching new events every few months - called 'leagues' - where you can start afresh with completely new characters and compete with other players to complete a series of challenges.

Path Of Exile is showing its age in some ways - the graphics aren't exactly state of the art, and the skill systems for the various magical and warrior classes are seriously complicated. But it's hard to complain when the game is free to play, and Path Of Exile will be a fun game for aRPG fans who have grown tired of waiting for Diablo 4 to arrive.

Best Mac games: Path of Exile

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Company: Versus Evil
Where to buy: Steam (£16.49/$24.99), Green Man Gaming (£46.49/$59.99, Deluxe Edition)
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.12.6 or later, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT750M or Radeon R9 M370X

The original Pillars Of Eternity was a big hit back in 2015, that very much harked back to classic RPG games such as Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. At the end of that first game you (probably) saved the world and picked up a nice little castle for your troubles. Five years later, this sequel kicks off with the somewhat disturbing news that the ancient god Eothas was buried under the castle, and he has now returned to life, destroying the castle and gobbling up a whole bunch of souls along the way. Clearly in need of a little sunshine after being buried underground for all those millennia, Eothas heads for the islands of the Deadfire Archipelago, with you in hot pursuit on board the good ship Defiant.

Setting much of the action on board the Defiant adds a new element to Deadfire. The game still has the well-written story and quests as its predecessors, along with a handy cast of characters that can join you in your adventures. However, taking control of the Defiant and its crew makes you a lot more mobile, allowing you to explore the islands and pick up all sorts of extra quests along the way. There's even an element of naval combat too, as you encounter rascally pirates eager to relieve you of all your magical loot.

The game has brushed up its traditional approach to combat too, with more detailed 3D graphics and lighting effects - overlaid on top of the finely detailed 2D background artwork that typifies this genre of roleplaying game - and improved camera controls that help you to keep track of the all different characters as the swords-and-sorcery combat fills the screen. It's never going to compete with the likes of Diablo 3 with its high-speed kill-loot-kill action, but the updated graphics give Deadfire a slightly more modern feel that will help it to attract a younger audience, while still offering the rich story-telling and fantasy world-building of the best old-school RPGs.

Best Mac games: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II

Company: Aspyr
Where to buy: Green Man Gaming (£2.01/$2.80), Steam (£2.51/$3.49), Mac App Store (£9.99/$9.99)
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.9.5, 2.2GHz dual-core Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 256MB graphics card

It's more than a decade since the original Knights Of The Old Republic was first released, but that game is still selling well on the App Store even after all these years. So it came as a bit of a surprise when we realised that this sequel - originally released for PC back in 2005 - has only just arrived on the Mac for the first time.

Like its predecessor, KOTOR II is set thousands of years in the past, long before the events of the Star Wars film series. You play one of the last surviving Jedi, who have been almost completely wiped out after a long war with the evil Sith Lords. At the start of the game you wake up injured and with no memory of recent events. Even your trusty light-sabre has gone missing, so your initial challenge is to recover your memory and your Jedi powers, and then set off to try and find any other Jedi that may have survived.

There's a wide range of skills and abilities that you can develop as you progress through the game, and you can focus on either light-sabre combat or spooky Force Powers depending on how you want to develop your character. There's also a strong story and roleplaying element, full of political twists and turns, and moral decisions that will affect the final outcome of the game. The 3D graphics look a little dated now, but the intriguing storyline and light-sabre action will soon have you hooked, and at just £9.99 the game's a real bargain for Star Wars fans.

Best Mac games: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II


Company: Herocraft
Where to buy: Steam (£3.74/$3.74), Green Man Gaming (£3.75/$3.75)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.5, 2.4GHz dual-core Intel processor, discrete graphics card with 256MB VRAM

It's not entirely accurate to describe Tempest as a sea-faring version of No Man's Sky, as this nautical roleplaying/strategy game only allows you to traverse the seas of a single planet, rather than the endless galaxies of outer space. However, the open-ended playing style of Tempest does have similarities to No Man's Sky, as it allows you to explore an open world - or open sea - where you're free to roam at will, fighting pirates and the occasional monster from the watery deeps, or just concentrating on trading in order to increase your wealth.

You start off by inheriting your father's ship, the Henrietta, and a brief - and occasionally confusing - tutorial guides you through the basics of navigation and combat at sea. After that you can go into the main Map view and chart your course, perhaps aiming for the nearest trading port, or heading out to sea in search of adventure.

As you near your destination, or if you're approached by an enemy ship, you'll switch into the 3D view, which depicts your ship ploughing through the open seas. If you're after adventure you can start firing on other ships in order to disable them and seize their treasure, or work on improving your influence with various factions so that you can trade freely and use the money to upgrade your ship or train your crew.

Like No Man's Sky this is a game that you can play largely on your own, trading or fighting to develop your own style of play, but there's also a multiplayer mode where you can team up with friends to complete quests, or just blow each other up in endless battles at sea.

Best Mac games: Tempest

Torment: Tides Of Numenera

Company: InXile
Where to buy: Steam (£11.54/$14.84), Mac App Store (£20.99/$21.99), Green Man Gaming (£34.99/$44.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.8, Intel i5 processor, GeForce GT 700M or above

Sometimes, as the saying goes, the journey is more important than the destination. That's very much the case with Torment: Tides Of Numenera, a game that - while not a direct sequel - comes from some of the same design team who created the classic roleplaying game Planescape: Torment almost twenty years ago.

Set a mind-boggling one billion years in the future (give or take a few weeks), Torment takes place in a bizarre world where a being known as the Changing God hops from body to body in order to achieve eternal life - a bit like Apocalypse in the last X-Men film, but a lot more interesting. You play a 'castoff': the owner of a used body that has now been discarded by the Changing God, and who now discovers that an ancient spook called The Sorrow is hunting down all the castoffs and destroying them.

That's bad news, of course, so you set off on quest to save your own life, and also to discover more about the futuristic world of Numenera and your role in that world. And, of course, you get to choose a class for you character, such as the Glaive warrior class, the rogue-like Jacks (of all trades), and Nanos, who use nano-technology that is so advanced it pretty much doubles up as magic.

Like Planescape, Torment puts its emphasis on story-telling rather than combat, with long swathes of dialogue, and important choices that affect how other characters react, and how the game itself unfolds. And, true to its roots, the graphics are resolutely 2D and isometric.

If you're a fan of 3D action-RPGs like Diablo then you should probably look elsewhere, but if you prefer RPGs that focus on story-telling and character development you'll find the weird and wonderful world of Torment to be a worthy successor to the original Planescape.

Best Mac games: Torment: Tides Of Numenera

Two Worlds II

Company: Zuxxez
Where to buy: Mac App Store (standard edition: £9.99/$9.99), Mac App Store (GotY edition: £14.99/$14.99), Steam (£14.99/$19.99), Green Man Gaming (£14.99/$19.99)
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.6.3, 2GHz Intel processor, graphics card with 512MB VRAM

The original Two Worlds wasn't released on the Mac, so you're kind of coming in halfway through the story in this sequel. That won't matter too much, though, since the story isn't particularly original. You start the game by breaking out of prison and then setting off on a quest to rescue your sister, who has been enslaved by an evil emperor.

What rescues the Two Worlds II from cliché is the sheer quality and scale of the game. The world you travel across is vast, and depicted with excellent 3D graphics. There are stacks of quests to keep you busy and help you gain in wealth and experience, and the combat and skill system gives you great freedom to develop your character.

Best Mac games: Two Worlds II


Company: Paradox
Where to buy: Mac App Store (£20.99/$21.99), Steam (£23.79/$29.99), Green Man Gaming (£23.79/$29.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.10, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor, discrete graphics card with 1GB VRAM

There's something strangely apt about Tyranny, a new roleplaying game based on the premise that "sometimes evil wins". At first glance, Tyranny looks very much like a traditional roleplaying game, with the old-school isometric graphics that developers Obsidian employed in the excellent Pillars Of Eternity. And, of course, you have the traditional selection of skills that allow you to train as a warrior, wizard or rogue as you progress through the game.

But Tyranny very much goes its own way, with an unusual set-up and storyline that really puts an emphasis on the choices that you make during the game. Rather than throwing you into the typical battle between good and evil, the story of Tyranny begins just as the evil overlord Kyros completes his conquest of the land known as The Tiers. And, rather than playing the hero who saves the world from the forces of evil, you are merely a 'Fatebinder', a lieutenant in Kyros' army, who now presides over the conquered Tiers and has to juggle the competing ambitions of different factions within the army. Do you simply stab everyone in the back and grab all the power for yourself, or try to maintain a balance of power and lead some sort of benevolent dictatorship that doesn't involve crushing too many innocent peasants underfoot?

If you're looking for the trigger-finger combat of games like Diablo then you might be disappointed, but if you enjoy the roleplaying aspect of RPG games then Tyranny will present you with tough decisions and challenges that will keep you engrossed for hours at a time. The game's systems requirements are quite steep, though, so check them out before buying.

Best Mac games: Tyranny

Victor Vran

Company: Haemimont Games
Where to buy: Steam (£15.99/$19.99), Green Man Gaming (£15.99/$19.99)
System requirements: Mac with OSX 10.9, 2GHz processor, GeForce 6000, AMD Radeon 5000, or Intel HD 4000
Price: £15.99

It's hard for any action-RPG to emerge from the shadow of Diablo 3 - which is still going strong after years, thanks to its Necromancer update - but Victor Vran comes up with a few ideas that help it to stand out from the crowd.

For starters, the game's developers have abandoned the typical mediaeval fantasy setting and placed Victor's adventures in a slightly more modern steam-punk-gothic world, where magic and science co-exist. That allows you to use a wide range of weapons and skills, with guns and grenades alongside traditional swords and hammers.

Character development is unusual too, as you don't choose one specific class, such as a wizard or warrior. Instead, you simply choose whatever weapon seems appropriate for the next battle or enemy, and then back it up with a variety of magical skills that are powered by 'overdrive' energy that you build up during combat.

There's even a card-game element too, as you can choose cards that provide a variety of different offensive or defensive bonuses. Throw in a spot of parkour running and jumping, and the game's combat proves to be both fun and challenging, as you work out which combination of weapons and skills works best, both in the single-player and online modes.

The storyline isn't quite so well developed. You're summoned to the demon-infested town of Zagoravia where you simply have to kill stacks of monsters and attempt to locate an old friend who's gone missing. The camera controls can be a bit clumsy at times, and it's a shame that you don't have the option of playing as 'Victoria Vran', but the slick combat system is plenty of fun, and there's a number of expansions and add-ons available too - including a bizarre collaboration with head-banging band Motörhead that probably deserves a review all of its own. Cliff Joseph

Best Mac games: Victor Vran


Company: Worldwalker Games
Where to buy: Steam (£19.49/$24.99)
System requirements: Mac with OS X v10.13, 64-bit processor

Wildermyth is an unusual and impressive roleplaying game with flexible character development that encourages you to go back and play through it again.

It's an immediately eye-catching game with 'papercraft' graphics that look like a child's popup book, as your 2D characters use a turn-based combat system to move through hand-painted 3D environments. You start by creating a party with three characters: a warrior, a hunter (rogue) and mystic. These characters are created by the game, with their own personalities and backgrounds, although you can fine-tune each character by modifying their appearance, skills and other abilities.

And, like all good roleplaying games, it allows you to make choices that affect the story and the relationships between the various characters. At various points you'll be presented with options - drawn like panels from a comic book rather than dull lumps of text - that establish whether your characters are friends, rivals, or even in a romance, and this affects the way that the story develops and how the lives of your characters unfold.

The tutorial could be a little clearer - I had to look up some videos on YouTube to help me get started - but the turn-based combat isn't too difficult to master, and you can develop your party's abilities to combine stealth, magic and weapon skills in any way that you like. And, at the end of each game, you can save favourite 'legacy' characters in order to bring them back the next time you play.

This is where Wildermyth really stands out, as its story is 'procedurally generated' - it's not entirely random, but is flexible within a framework that is controlled by the game itself. There's enough variety within that framework to enjoy playing through again, and gives you the luxury of being reunited with your favourite characters to see how their stories and relationships continue to develop throughout their lives.

Best Mac games: WIldermyth

The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings

Company: CD Projekt
Where to buy: Steam (£14.99/$19.99), Mac App Store (£19.99/$19.99)
System requirements:
OS X 10.7.5 or later

The Witcher 2 is one of the best roleplaying games of recent years and, as the name implies, it's the sequel to the original Witcher game that was originally launched on the PC in 2007. Both games are based on the popular fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski that follow the adventures of Geralt of Rivia - a 'witcher' who roams the fantasy kingdom of Temeria, slaying monsters and generally being mean and moody.

RPG fans will quickly find themselves drawn into this rich - and often adult - storyline, but the combat and skill systems are quite complex so you'll need to devote a bit of time to mastering them. Some people may find the lack of different character classes a little restrictive, too; but the vividly drawn world of the The Witcher 2 will appeal to anyone who enjoys old-school roleplaying games. It's good value, too.

Read our full The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings for Mac review

Best Mac games: Witcher 2

World Of Warcraft

Company: Blizzard
Where to buy: WoW (free for Starter Edition, plus £8.99/$12.99 monthly subscription)
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.5.8; Intel Core 2 Duo; graphics card with 256MB VRAM

Its cutesy graphics aren't to everyone's taste, but World of Warcraft is still the game that rules the massively multiplayer online scene, with around seven million subscribers playing as wizards, priests, warriors and rogues. Part of that success is down to the release of regular expansion packs, such as 2010's Cataclysm, which - quite literally - shook up the landscape, destroying some old areas and introducing new zones for you to explore.

The fairly regular release of new material keeps experienced players happy, but to attract new players, Blizzard announced a Starter Edition of the game that allows you to play for free until your character reaches level 20.

Best Mac games: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor