Mac users have it rough. You get some of the best hardware on the market with super polished, stable software, yet so few games to play on it. But just because most developers aren't releasing their games for macOS doesn't mean you can't get PC games running on your Apple-made machine. It just takes a bit of finesse.
If you really want to play PC games to the best of your hardware's capability, you'll want to install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp (unless you have an ARM-based Mac, which won't support Boot Camp). It's the easiest way to get games running and provides the best performance.
Okay, so you've exhausted all the Mac-compatible games in popular stores, and you're ready to tinker in order to get some other games running. Some Windows-only titles may run on macOS through Wine(Opens in a new window), a compatibility layer for Mac and Linux systems designed to run Windows programs. Wine itself can get rather technical to set up, especially when it comes to games, but there are a few third-party tools that make things easier.
While Porting Kit is the easiest and most up-to-date tool for installing games with Wine, other programs aim to do something similar, like PlayOnMac(Opens in a new window) or the $60 CrossOver(Opens in a new window). Some may work better with certain games, so your best bet is to search for "the best way to get [the game you want] running on a Mac." To browse Wine-friendly games before you buy, check out the Wine Database(Opens in a new window) alongside Porting Kit's library to get a feel for what might work on your system.
If you want to relive games from your youth, there's a good chance your favorite retro titles can be emulated on your Mac. There are plenty of emulators for retro game consoles out there, but Mac users have it pretty easy with OpenEmu(Opens in a new window), which can put all your favorite retro games in one place. Install the program, select the systems you want to emulate, and you're off to the races.
Download a game's files to your Mac (again, we'll leave it up to you to find them), put them in a folder (like ~/Documents/DOSgames), then open DOSBox and run mount c ~/Documents/DOSgames to turn that folder into your emulated C: drive. You can then launch your game by typing in the path to its EXE file (like C:\keendrms\start.exe) and pressing Enter.
Some games may work with no extra effort, while others may require tweaking, so check out the DOSBox compatibility list(Opens in a new window) or look up your games of choice to see what fiddling might be required.
If all those options sound a little too cumbersome, there's one more method that's far more plug-and-play: cloud streaming. Services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming allow you to play games on a number of different devices, including your phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. Each is set up a bit differently.
GeForce Now has a free option that includes some wait time before you can play a one-hour session, with a $10-per-month plan that eschews these limits and improves graphical fidelity. You can play games you already own, but only those supported by GeForce Now.
Fans of horror games have benefited more than most from the meteoric rise of online gaming, with many of the genre's most famous titles and franchises having started life as free-to-play indie games. With Flash games no longer a thing, Steam is now one of the very best places for those indie game developers to showcase their work, thanks in large to the sheer size of the platform.
This obviously works out pretty well for players too, effectively ensuring that there are always plenty of new free-to-play games just waiting to be discovered on Steam. Fans of horror games are particularly spoiled for choice in this regard, as there's an ever-growing number of fantastic free-to-play horror games on Steam. Below are some of the very best ones.
Like many other free-to-play horror games before it, After Hours takes place in an abandoned hospital. Players must explore and escape the derelict facility, while simultaneously being stalked by the mysterious creature that resides there. Stealth and silence will be key for those hoping to survive, though, even then, nothing is guaranteed.
Alien Swarm doesn't contain jump scares, nor does it rely on shocking imagery like some of the other great free-to-play horror games on Steam, but it can still be pretty scary when an alien swarm begins to close in around the player's position. In that sense, the game does an excellent job of creating tension while simultaneously rewarding players for their efforts with satisfying power-ups and weapon drops. For those in the market for a good horror shooter, it's definitely worth a look.
Inspired by some of the great RPG Maker horror games of yesteryear, Ann is arguably one of the most well-presented free-to-play passion projects on Steam. It looks and sounds fantastic and blends together high-quality animation and traditional 2D sprite-based gameplay to surprisingly good effect.
The goal of BABBDI is a simple one, with players just needing to find a way to escape, yet this is far from a simple game. Yes, there's no combat in the traditional sense, but then nor are there many limitations when it comes to exploration. Everything just comes together perfectly, making this not only one of the best free horror games on Steam but one of the best free Steam games period.
One of the most popular horror games of all time thanks to its unique combination of Silent Hill and Half-Life, Cry of Fear is objectively one of the better free-to-play games around. The game boasts a triple-A adjacent experience, with an 8-hour campaign and multiple ending scenarios, on top of a co-op experience and diverse modding community that satisfies anyone left wanting more.
Most people have probably never heard of Disaster Squad Productions' Cursed trilogy, which, in truth, is a real shame. The three point-and-click games are full to the brim with passion, and although they rarely end up being scary despite the many horror themes and motifs that can be found throughout them, this doesn't make them any less enjoyable for players.
Described by its creators as "a 3D narrative experience in madness," Dagon: by H. P. Lovecraft is one of the most immersive free-to-play horror games on Steam. At least it is when played in VR mode, anyway: a feature that most indie devs could only dream of implementing in their titles, especially those that are being given away for free.
As the title might suggest, it's one of many games inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft and can be played with or without a VR headset. The whole thing can be completed in under half an hour, but the atmosphere presented within this visual novel will likely have players returning whenever they find themselves in the mood for another spooky boat ride.
There's still no word on when exactly the full release of Dark Fracture will see the light of day, but, if Dark Fracture: Prologue is anything to go by, it looks set to be one of the better free-to-play first-person horror games on steam. The visuals and audio combine to provide a delightfully disturbing atmosphere, while the thought-provoking puzzles contribute just the right amount of challenge.
According to its creator, Deathly Stillness was never intended to be an officially released game. It was thrown together in just 17 days and is meant to serve as a tutorial of sorts for other game creators. That hasn't stopped tens of thousands of people from downloading and enjoying it though, with the title now one of the best free horror games on Steam when it comes to positive review scores.
The game doesn't rely on shock factor to get by, however, and is an intriguing experience for those looking for more psychological horror media after the recent surge of Silent Hill-inspired games. Critics and players alike have praised the game's refreshing take on visual novels, a genre that's become more or less the modern equivalent of dollar-store romance novels.
Since the release of its first installment back in mid-2014, Scott Cawthon's Five Nights at Freddy's has grown into one of the most well-known and most-liked survival horror series around. With books, spin-off games, and even a movie in the works, it's so much more than just a jump scare simulator these days and is well worth checking out for fans of the horror genre.
Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator is one of two free FNaF games on Steam and is well worth the price of admission or lack thereof. The title is a business simulation gaming with players put in charge of their own pizza restaurant and continues the story of Michael Afton, who also appears in FNaF 3 and Sister Location. There's plenty of lore for fans of the series, but the gameplay alone should be enough to satisfy those who are new to the franchise.
High Entropy: Challenges is a bit like a cross between Portal and some of the more recent Deus Ex games, with players able to use a combination of puzzle-solving and stealth to avoid falling victim to the game's killer robots. Of course, much like the latter, they can opt to go on a shooting spree instead, but this arguably sucks a lot of the fun out of the experience.
Rather than sticking to the tried and tested horror formula, a lot of indie developers have been taking a very different approach these days. On the surface, their games are cute and innocent, but this all starts to change pretty quickly once players begin to dig a little deeper. I Frog-ot is one of these games, managing to perfectly capture this concept while piling on as many frog-based puns as possible.
It may not be an out-and-out scare-fest like some of the other great free horror games on Steam, but My Sticker Book still packs in a decent amount of psychological horror elements into what ends up being a relatively small and short package.
Released in late 2021, Poppy Playtime quickly began attracting attention among fans of Steam horror games. However, it wasn't until the game went free-to-play in May of the following year that its popularity really exploded. Now, the game's antagonist Huggy Wuggy is arguably one of the most recognizable figures in modern gaming, and for very good reason. 2b1af7f3a8