2013 was marked as a memorable year for gaming. After years waiting for the next-gen, Microsoft and Sony finally delivered the PS4 and Xbox One, machines that broke (and keep breaking) sales records since day one. If that wasn't enough, 2013 was also the year that gaming monuments such as GTA 5 or The Last of Us were released.
Still, while they all monopolized headlines all year long, 2013 was also the year Mac gaming showed us it was a viable gaming platform. While not as big as the Xbox, PlayStation or even Windows gaming platforms, the Mac still got more high quality games than ever before.
People is quick to criticize the Mac (specially when it comes to gaming) but what happens when you take a closer look at the actual facts? Well, let me show you why 2013 was an amazing year for Mac gaming.
You can't claim a year was great just because of a single game, but BioShock Infinite is the tip of the sword. Claiming the Mac Game of the Year spot at Mac Gamer HQ, the game also fought for Game of the Year on consoles and Windows, going head to head against GTA 5, Call of Duty: Ghosts and the like.
BioShock Infinite's story is deeply satisfying. The ending alone will give you a big OMG moment. The gameplay is solid too, proving you can tell a great story while giving players the tools to have a lot of fun.
BioShock Infinite alone is reason enough to give Mac gaming a try.
Tons of Triple A games
Agreed, a single game isn't enough to prove a platform's potential. Well, Mac gaming had more than enough Triple A games to show the world what it's made of. Among hundreds of games released for the Mac this year, some of the best where:
- Metro: Last Light: For a long time the bechmark of high quality graphics, Last Light was one of the big surprises this year. One more quality FPS to add to the library. The game got 7.2/10 score of IGN.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Developed for the Mac by Feral Interactive, XCOM won Apple's game of the year. It can easily be considered the best tactical shooter on the Mac.
- StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm: Second part of the StarCraft 2 trilogy, Heart of the Swarm added a lot to the StarCraft 2 experience, making it an even whortier sequel to the legendary StarCrat.
- Max Payne 3: Although marred with technical issues at launch, Max Payne 3 is still a great action game, filled with intense moments, solid gameplay and a good story. This game is pure RockStar and that means a lot.
- DotA 2: Finally out of beta, Dota2 is perhaps the most popular MOBA currently out there and the fact it's on Windows, Mac and Linux helps.
These are just some of the highlights of the year. Many other great games came to the Mac last year, including Napoleon: Total War, Grid, Spec Ops: The Line, Lego Lord of the Rings and Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing to name a few.
The best of the Indies
While Triple-A games usually get all the glory, several Indies also marked 2013 as a great year for Mac gaming. These are just some examples of the top notch indie games we got on for the Mac last year:
- Fez: Without a doubt one the most famous indie games ever, Fez is a retro-looking platformer that takes gameplay one step further with the use of 3D environments. You can check IGN's review for more.
- Mark of the Ninja: Klei Interactive's famous Xbox Live hit finally made it to the Mac, bringing its killer stealth gameplay full of ninjas, grapple shots and more.
- Gone Home: Perhaps the indie surprise of the year, Gone Home tasks you with exploring your own house. While it doesn't sound extremely exciting on paper, the game plays the nostalgic chord beautifully, recreating a beautiful gaming experience.
- Papers, Please: Papers, Please is unlike any other game you've ever played. You take the role of an immigration agent and it's up to you to decide who comes in and who doesn't. The game takes morality seriously and proves that sometimes the right thing to do is not so clear.
While these were the most high-profile indie games of 2013, others such as Hotline: Miami, Don't Starve or Anomaly 2 will also be remembered as 2013's Mac finest.
Granted, the platform had its dark days (right before digital downloads became popular). Not so long ago, it was virtually impossible to find games for the Mac and all you could play was Age of Empires or The Sims. Those days are long gone. With Steam, the Mac App Store and specialized stores, you now have hundreds of great Mac games 2-clicks away (check the 75 Top Rated Mac Games if you need inspiration) .
I'm not trying to convince you Mac gaming is the best gaming platform out there (that would be a lie). However, if you a have a Mac, rejoice with the fact Mac gaming has a lot to offer.
This opinion piece comes from Ric Molina, founder of Mac Gamer HQ, the number one source for Mac gaming.