Best Free Games On App Store For Mac

Posted By admin On 16.02.22

There are a bunch of great apps you can install on your Mac—no question there. Separating amazing apps from must-have apps is the hard part, and we don’t want you to spend hours analyzing the Mac App Store (or scouring the web) to find the very best and most useful apps. We’ve made a list of champions across four categories: productivity; Internet and communications; music, photos, and video; and utilities.

  1. Top 5 Best Free Games On App Store
  2. Mac App Store Download Free
  3. Best Free Fps Games On Mac App Store

Pangea Software announced that all of its iOS games in the App Store are free on July 10th in celebration of the App Store's 10th birthday. Games are the single biggest category of iPhone and iPod touch applications now that the App Store has launched, and the vast majority of them cost something — some as little as 99 cents, some. Games are the single biggest category of iPhone and iPod touch applications now that the App Store has launched, and the vast majority of them cost something — some as little as 99 cents, some.

The Lifehacker Pack is an annual snapshot of our favorite, essential applications for each of our favorite platforms. For our always-updating directory of all the best apps, be sure to bookmark our App Directory, where we profile amazing apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS each week—browser extensions, too.

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Productivity

Alfred (free-ish)

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You can do a lot with Spotlight in macOS, but Alfred is still our favorite application launcher for yourMac. This easy-to-use tool can do so much more than pull up apps, files, and and keyword-driven automation. Plunk down £19 for the Powerpack, and you’ll get a clipboard history, access to workflows (that you can use to combine different actions, hotkeys, and keywords to do even more), hotkeys, 1Password integration, and even text expansion. In other words, paying for Alfred covers a number of activities that you’d have to download separate apps for—some featured in this very Lifehacker Pack. If you’re a new Alfred buyer and feeling little overwhelmed, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to the app to get a handle on all the amazing things you can do with it.

If you don’t want to pay anything for an app launcher that has similar (but fewer) features under the hood, check out LaunchBar 6: free, if you don’t mind a little bother here and there. That, or consider tricking out Spotlight.

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Bear (free-ish)

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This cutely named app is one of the best note-taking apps you can get, with one small caveat—to synchronize notes between your devices or use custom themes, you’ll need to pony up $15/year for the app’s subscription. Otherwise, Bear is completely free to use (and looks great).

Within the app, you organize your notes by hashtags rather than unwieldy folders. You can also link notes to one another, which makes it a lot easier to chain together related thoughts instead of having to dump everything into one giant Super Note or remember that you had a few things to say, split into different notes, about a particular topic. Install Bear’s browser extension for Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, and you’ll be able to create new notes from whatever portion of a webpage you select. Also, Bear makes it easy to import notes from other services, including Apple Notes, so you really have no reason to not give it a spin.

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If you need to sync notes and don’t feel like paying for it, consider apps like OneNote, Google Keep, or Simplenote—all good choices, but none that can beat our Bear for usability and looks.

aText ($5)

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Who would have thought that text expansion, otherwise known as typing shortcuts, would be so expensive? While it’s true that you can create these kinds of shortcuts yourself directly within macOS, a full-fledged text expansion app is going to save you a lot of time and trouble. We like aText if for nothing else than its price—$5—given that much-loved alternatives like Textexpander ($3.33/mo on an annual plan; $45 for an older standalone) and TypeIt4Me 6 ($20) are anywhere from a bit to a lot more expensive.

As for aText, using it is simple. You set it up so that whenever you enter little words or phrases, the app drops in something else. So, you can finally correct that annoying “ducking” issue forevermore,

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Text expansion, also known as typing shortcuts, can save you hours of typing each day. You type a small word or combination of characters and it’ll expand into full, complex sentences that you often use. We love aText because it offers so many great features and only costs $5. If you haven’t yet jumped on the text expansion train, it’s time.

Todoist (free-ish)

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For simple note-taking and note-organizing, you can’t go wrong with Todoist. The app is completely free—unless you want to pay $39/yearly for more advanced features like automatic reminders, backups, themes, and an activity overview, to name a few features. Otherwise, the basics are great. It’s easy to create and synchronize tasks (and subtasks) across all of your Todoist-using devices, and browser extensions (including a Gmail addon) will help you make Todoist, and your growing task list, an ever-present part of your daily life. You won’t have that same kind of experience with plain ol’ Notes, especially if you’re trying to access your items on multiple platforms.

If you’re a big Google fan, we also love Google Tasks, which you’ll find directly integrated into the latest version of Gmail (and as a direct app for iOS and Android). You can also add to-do items into our note-taking app, Bear. The app Things 3 is a super-comprehensive task manager, but it costs quite a bit: $50 for Mac, $10 for iPhone, and $20 for your iPad. If the first item on your to-do list is “rob a bank,” however, it’s a gorgeous, fully featured app. And if you want to harass yourself about things you have to get done on your Mac, consider giving the quicky Effortless a try—which drops a countdown timer for your tasks directly into your Mac’s menu bar.

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Google Drive and Office Online (free)

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We don’t really have to introduce Google Drive, because Google’s offerings should be pretty well-known by everyone at this point. Docs and Sheets are great, free tools for creating and collaborating on documents and spreadsheets (of course), so much so, that a number of businesses solely rely on Google’s offerings instead of anything fancier or pricier.

If you’re a Microsoft convert, or you really love Word and Excel, you can access basic, online versions of both programs directly from Microsoft—no Office 365 subscription needed. If you’d rather work offline, Apple’s Pages and Numbers are the obvious, free choices, and LibreOffice is still the best open-source office app around.

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Airmail ($5)

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If you really don’t feel like fussing around with Mail, which is fine enough for most macOS users, consider giving Airmail a try. It’s been our favorite third-party mail app for some time given its low price and ample customization. It also hooks into a ton of other third-party apps and services, including Trello, Evernote, your favorite cloud storage service, and Apple’s mighty Workflow app (on iOS, that is).

If you don’t need power options and want easy, simple email, the free Spark is definitely worth checking out—especially since it can help you automatically sort your inbox to make it feel less like an ever-growing pile of things you’ll never read. Boxy 2 is great if you’re a Gmail user who wants the powers of its Inbox app on your desktop (and don’t mind paying $5 for it), and Mailplane 4 ($30) is a solid app if you prefer an interface that looks like the regular ol’ Gmail. Power users might want to investigate Wavebox ($20/year), which lets you access Gmail, Inbox, Outlook, and all sorts of other amazing web apps directly from one, easy-to-use interface.

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Internet and Communications

Google Chrome and Firefox Quantum (free)

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The browser you use is likely going to be dictated by the browser you’ve been using. In other words, if you’re a Google Chrome loyalist, it’ll probably take a lot to get you to switch over to Firefox Quantum (if you’re at all intrigued). And if you’ve been with Firefox from day one, you’re probably a lot less likely to want to move all of your bookmarks, extensions, and other settings over to Chrome.

So, which browser is best? It’s not so much that one excels over the other; it’s more important to say that both, finally, are pretty competitive. Depending on the benchmarks you look at—here are a bunch from ZDNet, for example—the browsers appear evenly matched for speed. I haven’t gone through and assessed the most-recent version of each, but I have used both Firefox Quantum and Google Chrome, and they both feel, well, fast. That said, Chrome still feels a bit like a hog when you’re trying to load a ton of tabs at once, but it’s pretty good about using less of your CPU and memory than other browsers.

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If you don’t like either, Opera is a viable alternative that’s actually pretty speedy in its own right—and we can’t complain about its built-in VPN, either, nor its awesome integration of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram directly into an easy-to-launch sidebar.

Goofy and Franz (free)

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Years ago, it felt like everyone used one chat client to cover a bunch of services (ICQ, AIM, IRC, Jabber, et cetera). Most people nowadays probably have their favorites locked in: Messages for texting, Facebook Messenger for everything else, WhatsApp for sending government secrets or expiring pictures of your booty, Discord for any and all things gaming, Slack for all things not-gaming, et cetera. So, rather than go into detail with all the more obvious apps, we’ll highlight two unique ones.

Facebook Messenger, as you know, requires you to be on Facebook to use it. If I’m correct, you used to be able to essentially connect Facebook’s service to Messages itself, so you could send and receive your Facebook chats without having to have your browser open all the time. And if I’m right (again), you can no longer do that. Instead, you’ll want an app like Goofy, which basically drops the Facebook Messenger interface into a simple application that you can access from your desktop.

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We’re also fans of Franz, which offers the same treatment for a variety of other services (as well as Facebook Messenger). If you don’t want to keep 20 programs open to chat with people, Franz lets you access apps like Slack, WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger all from one, single interface.

Skype (free)

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Everyone also probably has a video chat app they love to use. And there are plenty to pick from: FaceTime, which comes baked into macOS by default; the aforementioned WhatsApp; Google Hangouts; Houseparty; and even good ol’ Facebook Messenger itself.

If you’re looking for a standalone messaging app that can do it all—for personal and business use, too—we still recommend Skype, which Microsoft recently overhauled. Its interface feels cleaner (and comes with a dark mode), it’s still as easy as ever to send text messages, video messages, and files to contacts, and you can even @ message your friends to get their attention.

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That said, we live in an time where most messaging apps have some kind of video or calling component—or so it feels. So if you need that human contact beyond simple texting and emoji, odds are good that you can already do it in the chat app you love.

Music, Photos, and Video

VLC (free)

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VLC is the best media player you can put on your Mac, period. It works perfectly with minimal fuss once you install it, and it can play almost any file you throw at it. If you’re a power user, it has a sea of options that would take the entire rest of this article to describe to you.

We enjoy all the improvements VideoLAN tosses VLC’s way, including its new support for 10-bit color depth and HDR, 360 videos, and improved decoding that allows less-powerful systems to play full 4K videos—even if that’s overkill for your Mac’s display resolution. You can drop a number of plug-ins and extensions into VLC to extend its functionality, and you can even use the app to stream videos to your Chromecast, if you’ve allowed Google to get a foothold into your Apple-only household.

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HandBrake (free)

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HandBrake is a free video conversion tool that, when coupled with an app like MakeMKV, will turn you into a ripping and converting powerhouse. HandBrake is pretty easy to use, but there are still plenty of settings that might give you a little anxiety when you first load the app. We have a guide to help out with that. Once you’ve mastered the basics, queuing up multiple videos and converting them to all kinds of different formats will feel second-nature. Also, don’t forget to grab VLC, mentioned above, so you can actually watch all of your creations.

Adobe Bridge CC, digiKam, and Google Backup and Sync (free)

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Apple’s standard Photos app does a pretty decent job organizing your sprawling photo, thanks to collections, tags, and the ability to view photos by when (and where) they were taken. You can even do a little light editing, too.

If you need a little more organizational oomph, consider Adobe Bridge CC—completely free to use, even though you might have assumed it was a paid app. You can’t do a lot of editing in Bridge (well, any retouching, really), but what it lacks in tools, it makes up for in data. You can easily see all sorts of compelling metadata about the images you’ve taken, and organizing them via ratings, keywords, and labels is easy. Well, setting it up is easy. Actually organizing your sprawling photo library might take a little time, but it’ll be worth it in the end, trust me.

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The open-source app digiKam has organizing, editing, and a UI that’s fairly similar to what you’d find in Adobe Bridge CC. If you’re not used apps like Adobe’s Lightroom, digiKam might feel a bit advanced—possibly even overkill for your needs—but it’s a powerful app for pro users that would rather spend their cash on camera hardware than more software.

Google Backup and Sync isn’t a photo organizing app itself, but it’s what you’ll want to use to get your photos uploaded into Google Photos—a great online tool and compelling alternative to iCloud as a result of the unlimited storage space you get for photos. It’s easy to create collections and share photos with others (Google will even make suggestions for you based around where and when you’ve taken your shots). And we also like that you can get pretty creative with your searches when sorting and organizing your sprawling photo library.

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Spotify ($10) and Amazon Music Unlimited ($8)

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Which music streaming service you pick is largely a matter of preference: one might carry your favorite band, one might have an app interface you greatly prefer, one might have all your friends on it. If you aren’t into Apple Music for these, or any other valid reasons, Spotify is the next obvious choice (sorry Tidal). It has a huge library, its social features are great, and we love the thought it puts into its playlists—human-curated and automatically generated.

If you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber, you should also consider checking out the company’s Amazon Music Unlimited service. You’ll have to pay $8 on top of your Prime subscription, but that still makes it slightly cheaper than an Apple Music ($10) or Spotify Premium ($10).

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Pixelmator ($30) and Affinity Photo ($50)

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Pixelmator is one of the best image editors on the Mac, but it’s no longer the only game in town. Though its $30 asking price might seem high, it’s a bargain considering all the incredible editing tools you get to play with—rivaling more comprehensive apps like Adobe’s Photoshop CC for a fraction of the price. (And if you want features like Touch Bar support, automatic color adjustments, and advanced compression—as well as HEIF exporting—you’ll want to pick up the pricier Pixelmator Pro for $60)

Affinity Photo is a compelling, albeit costlier alternative to Pixelmator that’ll set you back $50 for a professional-grade suite of tools, including full RAW editing and a UI that looks a lot like the Photoshop you might prefer (but don’t want to pay a subscription to get). That includes support for “Personas,” which mimics Photoshop’s Workspaces feature by allowing you to set your screen’s many options and buttons based on whatever it is you’re working on—if you prefer one set of tools for a simple editing and another set of tools for something more complex, like pre-processing images for print.

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If you’re looking for basic image editing and your Mac’s built-in Photos app isn’t enough, you can always give the open-source app GIMP a try. What it lacks in polish, it makes up for in price.

Utilities

Dropbox, Google Drive, and Mega (free-ish)

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These cloud storage services should all be household names at this point. We’ve covered their costs, and their peers’ pricing models, pretty extensively. Which one you go with depends on your budget, preferences, and needs. Dropbox is a great, all-encompassing solution for cloud storage, but you’ll need to get creative to get more than 2GB of free space with the service. Google Drive is a no-brainer, since you get 15GB of space and can easily synchronize files to your laptop or desktop to work on them offline.

With Mega, you get 50GB of free cloud storage to play with and a handy app (MEGAsync) that you can use across your Windows and Mac computers. Mega does have an annoying transfer quota of around 1GB or so in a 24-hour time span, but that’s a small price to pay for a free 50 gigs. Take that, thumbdrives

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qBittorrent or Deluge (free)

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Ever since Transmission had all those malware issues some time ago, and uTorrent filled its installer full of crap and cryptocurrency miners, we’ve been on the hunt for a simple BitTorrent app, and we’ve settled on qBittorrent. It’s an open-source downloading tool that should look pretty familiar for anyone who has used an app like uTorrent or Transmission previously. No big surprises with qBittorrent’s UI or features. We like that the app is ad- and crap-free, is completely open source, and can automatically quit or shut down your PC when your download is done. Deluge is a good BitTorrent app alternative, but the app hasn’t been updated since May of 2017 (when we wrote this), and we prefer something with more active development.

Best free fps games on mac app store

Backblaze ($5/mo)

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If you want to keep your important files on the cloud, rather than a Time Machine backup, that’s fine—you might not have spare storage sitting around, after all. Backblaze is our new top pick for backup services, since it costs half the price of Crashplan (previously great) and does all the same things. Install the app, pick the files and folders you want to back up (encrypted, no less), and hope you never have to use the service’s restoration features.

The Unarchiver (free)

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If you have file archives that your Mac can’t open, give The Unarchiver a shot at them. It’s free, it’s quick, and it does a good job of opening that which your Mac cannot open itself. It also works directly out of Finder, so you won’t have to (annoyingly) open up a separate app before you take a crack at your archives.

A good alternative is Keka, which is also free, also opens a bunch of different archive formats, and can even be faster than The Unarchiver depending on the archive format and size. If you have issues with one app, try the other, and you might find that it does a better job extracting your files.

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(This story originally ran in July 2016, written by Alan Henry. It was updated in July 2018 by David Murphy.)

Hey, look! A sleek computer with a piece of fruit embossed on it. Contrary to popular belief, there’s loads of games to be played on Apple computers.

We’ve made this list with an eye toward matching our list of the best PC games when possible, while keeping in mind that most people’s Macs can’t quite handle the graphical demands of the most cutting-edge PC games. Our twelve recommendations follow.

In the six years since Civilization V came out, we managed to review it not once but twice. That’s how much these games lend themselves to playing and replaying, and Civ VI is no different. The latest entry adds a lot of new ideas to the Firaxis’s tried-and-true formula, and while some new ideas work better than others, the whole is as usual more than the sum of its parts. The mechanical tweaks and refinements are wrapped up in a subtle, board-game-like aesthetic that is as pleasing on your twentieth hour as it was on your tenth. We’ll be playing this game for years.

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A Good Match For:Civ fans, people who have never played a Civ game, basically anyone who doesn’t actively hate Civ.

Not A Good Match For: Anyone who actively hates Civ.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From:Steam Mac App Store

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In Hitman, a simple setup paves the way for an unusually complex game. You enter a level with a target. You can eliminate that target in any way you see fit. Maybe you’re in a Paris fashion show, maybe you’re in the market outside a Moroccan embassy. Maybe you’re in a sprawling Italian villa, maybe a posh Bangkok hotel. Wherever you are, you’ll likely be impressed by Hitman’s painstakingly detailed clockwork communities as they tick along, inviting you to explore and exploit them. The main story assassinations are the tip of the iceberg here, as repeatable escalations, player-made challenges, and miss-and-you-fail elusive targets round out a supremely satisfying collection of sneaking, costumery, and espionage challenges. Yes, Blood Money was great, but this new Hitman represents a pinnacle for the series.

A Good Match For: Fans of classic spy movies, people who like playing dress-up, meticulous folks who love hatching a plan.

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Not A Good Match For: People hoping for a good straight-up action or straight-up stealth game—Hitman has elements of both but is kind of its own thing.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From:Steam

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You’re alone on an island, surrounded by puzzles. That’s The Witness, an extremely complicated game that is really very simple. Some of the puzzles are obvious: They’re on screens right in front of you, stacked in orderly rows. Other puzzles are much less easy to find. All of them will stymie and confound you, but over time you’ll gradually dismantle them until the game’s grand design is laid out in front of you like the workings of a finely crafted watch. Some games make you level up your character to access new areas; this one makes you level up yourself. There are few more satisfying feelings in gaming than when you finally realize the solution to a puzzle in The Witness. With a click, a new door opens.

A Good Match For: Puzzle fiends, people who like a challenge, anyone who likedMyst and wants to see what a modern evolution would be like.

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Not A Good Match For: Anyone wanting action, the easily frustrated, people who don’t like puzzles in games and generally just go look up the answers.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Steam Humble Mac App Store

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You can almost hear the battle cries and smell the gunpowder in what is arguably Creative Assembly’s finest strategy game, which gives players the goal of ascending to supreme military domination against rival feudal lords. Improvements in AI behavior and the introduction of skills allocation let you be a more flexible commander than in previous Total War games.

A Good Match For: Akira Kurosawa fans. Some of the Japanese director’s best dramas took place in Japan’s feudal period, and this Total War game gives a big-picture view of the kinds of conflicts that daimyo and samurai soldiers experienced. Everything about Shogun 2—from the artwork to the soundtrack to the overarching gameplay goals—puts you inside a living history lesson.

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Not a Good Match For: Fans of Creative Assembly’s more ambitious projects. Unlike Empire or Rome, which let you build an empire spanning continents against vastly different foes, Shogun is fairly limited in its scale.

Read our review of the game’s last expansion.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from:Amazon Steam Mac App Store

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When it came out in 2014, Divinity: Original Sin already seemed almost too good to be true. Here we had a PC RPG that combined turn-based tactical combat,Ultima-style world simulation, and pen-and-paper co-op role-playing. It was great. A year later, Original Sin has been re-released in an Enhanced Edition with a number of major improvements. The game now works (well!) with controllers, and it’s now possible to play through the entire game in split-screen co-op. There are a bunch of new items and abilities, the story has been reworked, and the script is now fully voice-acted. One of the best CPRGs in recent memory got a whole lot better.

A Good Fit For: Fans of old-school RPGs like Ultima VII and Baldur’s Gate; people looking for a meaty RPG to play through with a friend; fans of turn-based tactics RPGs.

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Not A Good Fit For: Anyone looking for something relaxed and casual. Original Sin is a difficult, demanding game, and it requires you to manage a bunch of complicated RPG inventory, crafting, and magic systems.

Read our impressions of the base 2014 game.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From:Steam GOG

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Undertale might look like a retro-style JRPG, but it’s unusually forward-thinking. As a human stuck in a world of monsters, you decide whether you want to win encounters with wanton violence or clever context-based interactions (talking, joking, petting, etc). Undertale keeps track of everything you do; it’s paying very close attention, and will often express that attention in surprising ways. Every life you take ultimately has consequences. Despite those grim trappings, Undertale can be an incredibly warm, fuzzy, and funny game. Whether you slaughter or befriend everyone (or walk a middle path), the writing in this game is top-tier, the soundtrack is second-to-none, and the plot hides a treasure trove of secrets that players still haven’t fully uncovered.

A Good Match For: Lovers of smart video game stories, fans of games that subvert expectations, people who’ve ever felt even a single pang of loneliness.

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Not A Good Match For: People who hate shoot-’em-ups and tough boss battles (Undertale’s combat system has elements of both), those who aren’t fond of reading dialogue, haters of lo-fi pixel art.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Steam GOG Developer’s Site

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Crusader Kings II began, in 2012, as a very good game. It has become, following a seemingly endless run of expansions and updates, each one adding new challenges, scope and dimensions to an already exhaustive package, one of the most comprehensive and unique strategic experiences in all of video games.

A Good Match For: History buffs, anyone who knows that kingdoms rise and fall on much more than the strength of their armies.

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Not A Good Match For: Anyone looking for a simple game; Crusader Kings 2 is notoriously opaque and it’ll take you a while to wrap your head around it.

Watch it in action.

Read our review.

Purchase From:Paradox Steam GOG

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Just a man and a dog, looking to make a delivery. That’s how it all begins, anyway. But Kentucky Route Zero quickly becomes a mystical adventure through a land left behind by time, an odyssey in magical realism that feels grand and mysterious in a way that very, very few modern video games can muster. It’s not like anything you’ve ever played, and for that alone, you should play it.

A Good Match For: Anyone looking for something different. Those who still believe there’s magic hidden somewhere off the interstate.

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Not A Good Match For: Those looking for a bunch of complex game mechanics—Kentucky Route Zero is a point-and-click adventure game, and a fairly simple one at that. Also, not for those who want closure—the five-act series is not yet complete, and there tends to be a long wait between chapters.

Watch a video about why the game is great.

Purchase From:Amazon Steam Humble

Top 5 Best Free Games On App Store

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Stardew Valley is an already-great game made indispensable by the Switch. The 2016 farming/dating/life sim lets you forget your worries and embrace a soothingly banal life in the countryside. You water your crops in the morning, and think about how you’re going to improve your farm. You head in to town and stop by the general store to get seeds and chat up the cute boy you’ve had your eye on. And if you want, you explore the mysterious mine, gather magical materials, and uncover the deeper secrets of the valley.

A Good Match For: Fans of games like Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, or Minecraft. Anyone looking for a relaxing but terrifyingly addictive game.

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Not A Good Match For: Anyone looking for a straightforward game. Stardew Valley is calming and low-key, but it’s also extremely complex and doesn’t alway explain itself that well.

Read our impressions of the Switch version.

Study our tips for playing the game.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From:Steam.

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Call it the Superman 2 or Empire Strikes Back of video games. Valve’s follow-up to a classic improves on the humor, characterization and puzzle-solving of its predecessor to deliver a tight, focused experience full of poignancy and humor. It may be one of the oldest games on this list, but it continues to hold its place by offering peerless puzzles and one of the best split-screen co-op modes of all time.

A Good Match for: Comedy lovers, puzzle fans, those looking for something to play with a friend on the couch.

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Not a Good Match For: Mediocrity fans. People who argue with Portal 2’s greatness are like folks complaining that diamonds came from dirt. Their argument is invalid.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: AmazonSteam

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It’s one of very few video games that can be called a national obsession. Elite players of Blizzard’s real-time strategy sequel can out-earn corporate middlemen in China or Korea, but the sci-fi conflict simulator’s most significant currency is the devotion from millions all over the world.

A Good Match for: Jugglers. Succeeding in StarCraft II means waging war on multiple fronts as you keep an eye on resources, deployment, defense and offense in skirmishes where you can be overrun in an instant.

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Not a Good Match For: Those hoping for a gentle introduction. New participants to the Starcraft multiplayer experience will get chewed up as they learn the strengths and weaknesses of the Zerg, Protoss and Terran factions.

Read our review of the latest expansion.

Watch it in action.

Purchase from: Amazon Wal-Mart Best Buy GameStop

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XCOM 2 refines or overhauls almost every little thing about 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a game that was already good enough to win Kotaku’s 2012 Game of the Year award. The game is meaner and faster than its predecessor; most missions have timers that push you forward and force you to take risks, and the new alien types will break even your most time-tested strategies. You’ll get more attached to your team of customizable soldiers than ever, which makes it all the harder to watch them die horribly in the field. As if the original version of XCOM 2 wasn’t good enough, the brilliant 2017 expansion War of the Chosen makes the game bigger and better in almost every way.

A Good Match For: Strategy fans, people who liked the first game, anyone who’s ever wanted to understand just how difficult it is to fight off an occupying force from the inside out.

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Not A Good Match For: The easily frustrated, those looking for a simple game, anyone who rages at missing point-blank shots due to dice rolls.

Read our review, and our take on the 2017 War of the Chosen expansion.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for playing the game.

Purchase From:Steam

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How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Mac App Store Download Free

Update 11/22/17: Time for another big update. We’ve added Civ VI, Hitman, The Witness, Crusader Kings II and Stardew Valley while taking off 80 Days, Civ V, Hearthstone, Minecraft, and FTL.

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Update 2/29/16: We’ve done another big pass, removing Counter-Strike: GO, Half-Life 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Dota 2 and Xcom: Enemy Unknown while adding Undertale, Divinity: Original Sin, XCOM 2, 80 Days and Hearthstone.

Update 2/29/16: We’ve done another big pass, removing Counter-Strike: GO, Half-Life 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Dota 2 and Xcom: Enemy Unknown while adding Undertale, Divinity: Original Sin, XCOM 2, 80 Days and Hearthstone.

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Update 9/11/14: We’ve made a few substitutions to bring this list up to match our PC games list. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Arkham City, Team Fortress 2, Gone Home and Borderlands 2 have cleared room for Total War: Shogun 2, Kentucky Route Zero, Counter Strike: GO, Dragon Age: Origins and Dota 2.

12/13/13 Update: With a design overhaul comes an opportunity to add a bunch of great PC games that have made their way over to the Mac. Many of our past and present best PC games now appear on this list: Half-Life 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Civilization V, Gone Home, FTL, Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Borderlands 2 come on board to replace Trine 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Bejeweled 3, Braid, Galaxy on Fire Full HD, Limbo, Left 4 Dead and NBA Jam.

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Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC Games • The Best PS4 Games • The Best Xbox One Games • The Best Nintendo Switch Games • The Best Wii U Games • The Best 3DS Games • The Best PS Vita Games • The Best Xbox 360 Games • The Best PS3 Games • The Best Wii Games • The Best iPhone Games • The Best iPad Games • The Best Android Games • The Best PSP Games • The Best Facebook Games • The Best DS Games • The Best Mac Games • The Best Browser Games • The Best PC Mods

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Note: If you buy any of these games through the links in this post, our parent company may get a small share of the sale through the retailers’ affiliates program.