It’s an exciting time to be a Mac gamer. The latest MacBooks are genuine gaming machines thanks to the addition of ray tracing, mesh shading, and some impressive GPU performance. Even more, Apple is courting more developers to port their games to Apple’s computers with features like Game Mode and the Game Porting Toolkit.
In short, Mac gaming has never been in a better place. If you’ve bought a new Mac loaded with a chip from the M3 family, you might want to test out its power with a few demanding games to see what it can do. There’s no need to stick to mild indie games that won’t cause your Mac to break a sweat — we’re talking AAA titles that will run natively on Apple hardware. And, of course, you can always use an app like CrossOver to run any Windows games you can imagine. But here are the best games that run natively on an M3 Mac to try out, ranging from incredibly deep fantasy RPGs to exhilarating battle royales.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Coming from the team that made Divinity: Original Sin 2 — one of the best Mac games around — expectations were high for Baldur’s Gate 3, and it has delivered on almost every front. It’s been widely hailed as the game of the year on any platform, and having that kind of title on Apple’s computers is fantastic news for Mac gamers.
It’s well-suited to Apple’s powerful new M3 chip, too. The level of detail, from the world itself to the characters that inhabit it, is absolutely breathtaking. Things can really heat up in combat too, with all kinds of eye-catching special effects, whether you’re raining down fire or blasting your enemies with lightning strikes.
The developer recommends an M1 Pro chip for the best performance, and that’s now been surpassed by the M3 series. If you have one of the latest chips, you should get excellent performance out of one of the most exciting games around right now.
Lies of P
Lies of P is the kind of AAA game it would be hard to imagine on a Mac just a few years ago. Yet here we are, with an engrossing Soulslike title paired with Apple’s top-notch hardware. If you’ve been lamenting the absence of Elden Ring on macOS and want something that captures that same atmosphere, Lies of P will scratch the itch for you.
We tested it out when we reviewed the M3 iMac and got around 55fps at 1080p with medium settings, showing that this is the kind of game that can really push Apple’s chips. Using the M3 Max in the 14-inch MacBook Pro, we got well over 100fps at 1080p resolution and max settings. At the higher 2294 x 1432 resolution, our reviewer recorded an impressive 70 fps. Even with the latest high-end games, then, Apple’s M3 series is more than capable of running things smoothly.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4, the latest title in Capcom’s legendary horror franchise, got its outing on the PC in March 2023, but it won’t launch on the Mac until December 20 this year. Yet judging by the ecstatic reception it’s received on Windows, it’s going to be one to look forward to for Mac gamers.
Now that the M3 chips support hardware-accelerated ray tracing, this game can offer an exhilarating visual experience to match the thrill and tension of its gripping story and gameplay. That’s something you just wouldn’t get with older Mac chips since they simply don’t have the ability to output that kind of graphical fidelity.
Resident Evil Village
It used to be rare for Apple to show off high-end games at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but the company’s recent improvements have been such that it’s not unusual these days. One game that got the glitzy show treatment was Resident Evil Village, and it’s an excellent game to push your M3 Mac to see what it can do.
When we tested it on a MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, and it got around 60fps at 1080p resolution and the Balanced settings preset. Try that with an M3 chip, though — or better yet, an M3 Pro or M3 Max — and you’ll be able to turn the settings right up and still get smooth frame rates. It’s a great showcase of what you get with Mac gaming today — and what the future could look like for the platform.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
If Baldur’s Gate 3 is your kind of game, you’ll love Divinity: Original Sin 2, as it was also made by developer Larian Games. Even years after its release, it remains one of the most enjoyable titles you can play on the M3 series of Mac chips.
With a rich story, captivating characters, and some of the most creative, rewarding combat in any turn-based game, this is a superb experience from start to finish. And when battles start to get frantic — with fireballs flying and explosions rending the sky — you’ll be glad you’ve got a beefy M3 chip to handle it all.
Hideo Kojima’s post-apocalyptic tale depicts a world afflicted by the Death Stranding, which has opened a link between the realms of the living and the dead. As Sam Bridges, you must help humanity recover by connecting the last remaining survivors across a ravaged United States.
With an M3-series chip inside your Mac, Death Stranding is an ideal chance to ramp up the settings and take in the desolate beauty of a forsaken world. Sure, you might have been able to do that on an M1 or M2 chip, but you’d have to drop the settings down to cope. With an M3 chip and the extra performance it brings, Death Stranding on the Mac really gets a chance to shine.
Fortnite might not seem like the most strenuous of games to run on an M3 Mac, but it has plenty of options you can crank up to give you an even better experience. If you prize visual fidelity, there’s a lot you can do to make it prettier — and ask more of your Apple chip.
Of course, in any kind of shooter, you might want to actually lower settings to give you as many frames per second as you can get. But with the power in the M3 series — especially the high-end M3 Pro and M3 Max — you’re not compelled to turn every setting down to “low” just to make things playable on a Mac. That’s what’s so impressive about Apple’s latest chips: you can get both performance and aesthetics without too many sacrifices, and Fortnite is a good example of that.