Online games offer an opportunity to interact with players all over the world. While playing with the in-game AI can be fun, when you play online games with other players globally, it can be a true test of your gaming skills. If you’re looking to exercise your competitive edge, here are the best online games for Mac.
- DOTA 2
- Path of Exile
- Lord of the Rings Online
- StarCraft II
- Spelunky 2
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
- EVE Online
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- World of Warcraft
- Rocket League
- World of Tanks
1. Minecraft – Editor’s choice
It’s been over a decade since the release of Minecraft. However, the game receives overwhelmingly positive reviews and gathers millions of players each year.
The biggest reason has to be the freedom that Minecraft provides its players. From crafting the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles, replete with interiors and the most intricate of details, players can share their creations with everyone.
If this gameplay doesn’t cater to your gaming instincts, you can also play the brilliant survival mode. In this mode, you have to craft your survival kit and survive dangerous nights where you’re attacked by a mob. This mode, contrary to the pixelated aesthetics of the game, can pump your adrenaline sky-high!
You can play the game for free. However, there are numerous microtransactions in the game that can be off-putting.
2. DOTA 2 – A classic MOBA
Anyone who has played or plays online games regularly has heard of Defence Of The Ancients, popularly known as DOTA. With the second iteration in the series, developers improved on an already winning formula.
Fun fact: This game was created by members of the Warcraft III community as a mod. The mod became so popular that Valve capitalized on it to produce this gem.
The gameplay involves ten players who play in two teams of five. Each player independently controls a character with unique abilities, and they have to defeat the other team in PvP combat. Both teams have a structure called the “Ancient” at their base. The first team to destroy the opposing team’s Ancient wins the match.
The game has superb production quality and continues to produce new content to keep players engaged. However, the only gripe with the game would be its steep learning curve. Since this game has been around for a while, you will have to face competitive players if you’re a new player.
3. Path of Exile – Massive online RPG
There are plenty of online RPGs available for download. However, very few online RPGs have made the impact that Path of Exile has on gaming. This is one of the best online games for Mac.
Like any good RPG, Path of Exile has an interesting story. It has a dark fantasy setting in which the nation of Oriath exiles people to the continent of Wraeclast. At a point in time, Wraeclast was home to ancient gods. You take control of an exile who has to fight their way back to Oriath.
Your character can be one of several classes, such as a Scion or Templar. Each class has its unique perks, abilities, and stats. Veteran RPG players will recognize elements from the Diablo series in this game as well.
The only caveat is that leveling up in the later stages becomes tedious as experience points and valuable items drop rarely.
4. GWENT: The Witcher Card Game – Toss a card to the Witcher
Gwent is a popular card game introduced into the Witcher universe. Now, a full-fledged game is available for players who want to play this board game without logging into their Witcher games.
The gameplay is similar to the Gwent game found in the RPG series, with a few added refinements. All the cards are relevant to the Witcher universe, and you can play the game against other players.
From calling out bluffs to making decisions on the fly, GWENT offers multiple ways to play. This is without even mentioning the different game modes.
Unfortunately, the game runs on a freemium model. So, you’ll have to deal with plenty of microtransactions.
5. Lord of the Rings Online – A great entry into Tolkien’s universe
The Lord of the Rings universe has been a mainstay in pop culture since 1954. Apart from exceptional movies and console games, we now have an MMORPG that truly encapsulates what the universe is about.
Lord of the Rings Online is set in the regions of Eriador, Gondor, Rohan, and Isengard. Since this is an RPG, you can customize your character from four races and seven classes for personalized gameplay. The game continues to be updated frequently to bring new content to the legions of fans.
There are endless stories and quests to embark on, with multiple characters available for interaction. Completing quests rewards players with experience points and in-game currencies to acquire the best armor and weapons. All weapons and armor in the game can be crafted from scratch.
In this game, you don’t fight against other players. Instead, a special addition called “Monster Players” can be engaged in combat in certain areas.
The grinding system in the game is slightly nerfed, however. You’re not awarded too many points after completing a quest.
6. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – Play for the story, stay for the gameplay
In 2010, the gaming world was shaken by the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Very few strategy games had changed the gaming scene like StarCraft II. Even now, most strategy games take inspiration from this epic.
The game provides three different species and their associated campaigns – the Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg. Each campaign brings forth multiple missions containing unique and challenging conditions. Players are also encouraged to rack their creative sides and post custom maps to be used by other players globally.
While this is simply one of the best video games ever made, it has a steep learning curve. Newcomers to the genre might face some difficulties adjusting to the game’s pace and intricacies.
7. Spelunky 2 – For the skilled gamer
The first iteration of Spelunky was a resounding success. While players were skeptical about the sequel, developers improved upon an already successful formula and gave the gaming world a game worth every buck.
Spelunky 2 puts you in the shoes of Ana, the protagonist’s daughter, in the first game. Ana is tasked with finding her parents, who have been lost on the moon. Unfortunately for her, this isn’t an easy task as the moon’s caverns are filled with deadly enemies and traps.
The game is designed in a roguevania style, and the maps are randomly generated. For example, every time Ana dies, she loses her items, and the game map rearranges itself randomly. Although this adds difficulty spikes to the game, it also keeps the gameplay fresh.
For online gameplay, the more players added to co-op, the more difficult the challenges become. However, your rewards are that much greater.
A fair disclaimer to newcomers – this game is exceptionally difficult. Some players might find it overwhelming.
8. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – High-scale strategy game
Sid Meier has always produced elite strategy games. If the Sid Meier name is attached to a product, you can rest assured that you’ll get excellent gameplay.
With Civilization VI, the latest in a long line of Civilization games, improvements have been made across the board. The game’s objective remains the same – you start from the beginning of civilization and work your way to become a world power. Whether you achieve it through military domination or cultural influence is up to you.
In terms of online gameplay, you can play the game with friends, strangers, and even AI. The person hosting the game will decide each player’s win conditions and the starting era/resources.
My only issue is the art style. It contradicts the game’s serious nature.
9. EVE Online – Intergalactic MMORPG
If you’re looking for an online game providing you with action, strategy, thrill, and a nearly endless amount of content, look no further. EVE Online is a game you should already be playing.
The game is set in intergalactic space with over 7,800 star systems to explore. Each star system has certain planets, and the planets with sentient life forms have their unique characteristics. When you play the game, you will interact with thousands of players and engage in economic competitions and militaristic expeditions.
Every element of the gameplay is unscripted. How you play and interact with other players will not be impeded by the game’s AI, and the only way to progress is to get better at the game.
The game’s sheer scale could be daunting to some players, though.
10. The Elder Scrolls Online – One of the best games of all time
The Elder Scrolls series has always produced monumental epics in gaming. Taking a cue from their immense success with The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls Online for its fans.
The game is set in the in-game continent of Tamriel, with different storylines connected to the events of the previously released games. Players can customize their character from ten different races and six classes based on their playing style.
When you play online, you can embark on quests, interact with players or NPCs, discover lore, free-roam, and explore the depths of Tamriel. The player’s choices will define their experiences in Tamriel.
The game’s only caveat is its monthly subscription model. Unless you subscribe each month, you won’t be able to play the game.
11. Stellaris – Grand 4X strategy game
Stellaris combines the best of both turn-based strategy games and real-time strategy games. Its gameplay focuses more on an empire’s economical and technological development without resorting to military activity.
The game’s set in space, with intergalactic diplomacy, trade, and warfare the main assets of the gameplay. It’s set in a distant future where tyranny and chaos are the norms, and players fight to re-establish a new order. A player’s choices can determine whether the new order is based on absolute destruction or peaceful coexistence.
Stellaris offers the opportunity to players to choose a premade empire or customize an empire to their liking. However, the base traits of your empire will determine your gameplay.
For example, an empire focusing on Materialism cannot outlaw the usage of robots. There are plenty of similar, subtle pretexts that make up the game’s core.
Some reviewers have opined that developers tend to make major changes to game aspects, even where unnecessary. This is something that you should consider before picking up the game.
12. World of Warcraft – Classic MMORPG
World of Warcraft was released in 2004. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength to become one of the pillars of online gameplay.
Like any other MMORPG, you have the option to create your avatar and customize them to your liking. After your character creation, you can go on quests, interact with players, explore the expansive in-game world, and, most importantly, fight monsters and other players.
The only way to progress through the game is to level up by gaining experience points and in-game money. The currency can then better your character’s armor and weapons. This game is immensely fun to play and can get very addictive, especially with frequent updates to the game’s content.
The game’s major con is the grinding mechanic. I wish they were a bit more rewarding.
13. Rocket League – Arcade-style sports game with a twist
Arcade-style games are always fun to play. They reward your skills and rarely test your patience with too many intricate gameplay aspects. With Rocket League, you get the best of arcade sports games.
There is a twist to the tale, however. Instead of playing soccer with players, you play soccer by controlling vehicles in a large arena. That’s right – you’ll have to score a goal (with a huge soccer ball) by hitting it with your vehicle. As crazy as it sounds, it’s fun to play!
While the rules remain similar to general soccer, new updates to the game have added the ability to modify core gameplay elements and rules. This results in endless replayability and fun factor.
Unfortunately, the game’s physics engine hasn’t been a big hit with fans. Hopefully, the developers will patch out the bugs since this is the game’s core element.
14. ARK: Survival Evolved – Primeval survival RPG
Survival RPGs have become common in 2022. Each year, you’ll come across a few new survival RPGs claiming to bring something different to the table. ARK: Survival Evolved backs up this claim with unique twists.
Your character is stranded on an island and must survive. However, you not only have to deal with natural elements and issues such as hunger but also with prehistoric animals the size of large buildings. Additionally, you can’t forget about the potentially dangerous and hostile human players stranded on the same island.
This game is the epitome of “survival of the fittest”. You’ll have to constantly be on guard for your survival. If you’re lucky, you may even find a tribe or faction that you can join to aid your chances of survival.
One of the game’s major flaws is optimization. Since its release, it has continued to suffer from performance issues.
15. World of Tanks – 20th century-based MMO
Although the Call of Duty and Battlefield games have allowed us to play with tanks, they were restricted to specific missions and basic gameplay. With World of Tanks, you can try out a range of tanks, each with its specific stats and nuances.
The game’s main focus is tank warfare between players. You can choose tanks from the early 1900s to the Cold-War era. You can choose a tank of your preference and control its movement and weapons. Moreover, you can communicate with allied forces on the same map. The maps are chosen at random to ensure fairness.
You can also join a pre-existing clan or create your own once you’ve become experienced in the game. The clan’s formation will allow you to increase your stronghold from one zone to four (at most).
Since the game follows a freemium model, premium users get a slight advantage in tanks and weapons. Although this isn’t a dealbreaker, it can impede skill-based gameplay.
Online gaming has picked up a fair amount of steam in recent years. With games focusing more on freemium models and online gameplay, it’s fair to say that online gaming will become the norm in a few years. How did you like this list of games to play with friends online on Mac?
Are you a gamer who focuses more on single-player campaigns? Or do you prefer the competition that online gaming provides? Comment your opinions below!