The 10 best Mac game deals in the Steam Summer Sale 2016

Absolute classics for as little as a buck or two apiece—don't miss this.

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Steaming hot

If you love playing games on your Mac, take note: The Steam Summer Sale is going on right now, and it means that loads and loads of great games are available for upwards of 90 percent off on Valve’s digital distribution platform. 

Many modern Mac gaming classics can be had for just a couple bucks apiece, and even new games have significant markdowns. We’ve gone through the lists and picked out 10 great deals for 10 totally great games, ensuring you get awesome experiences without breaking the bank. In fact, all but two of these games are less than $10 apiece, and the pricier games still see huge discounts from the standard prices. 

The sale ends on July 4, so be sure to grab a few games before the holiday weekend comes to a close. And if these don’t grab you, go browse the Mac game listings for even more options.

portal

Portal ($2)

Haven’t played Portal? Fix that as soon as you can, please. Seriously, it’s only $2 this week, down 80 percent from its everyday price of $10, and it’s one of the greatest puzzle games ever conceived. We gave the 2007 game a glowing five-star review when Steam finally moved over to Mac in 2010, and its appeal has not been diminished by time.

This first-person puzzler tosses you into a series of test chambers with a gun that shoots blue and orange portals that link together—and then layers on a load of brilliant humor atop the brainy teleportation challenges. It’s short but thoroughly sweet, and well worth the full price, but $2 is just a steal. Better yet, get the Portal/Portal 2 Bundle for $5.23 (that’s 83 percent off) and experience the much larger and just-as-great sequel too.

bioshock infinite

BioShock Infinite ($7.49)

The floating city of Columbia is one of the most original settings ever conceived for a game, and it helps 2013’s BioShock Infinite stand tell next to the series’ iconic original game. As private detective Booker DeWitt, you’ll infiltrate the runaway sky city and try to rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious young woman with a surprising secret. 

BioShock Infinite is one of the most dazzling first-person shooters ever made, packing in loads of atmosphere, great character performances, and plenty of intrigue—and it’s 75 percent off right now. If you don’t know the franchise well, now’s the time to dig in too, as both BioShock and BioShock 2 are $4 apiece. Better yet, get the whole trio for just $10.51.

super meat boy

Super Meat Boy ($1.49)

If the title alone doesn’t sell you, how about this? Super Meat Boy is one of the most challenging 2D platform games ever constructed, tasking you with flinging your little beef hero across massive chasms and around giant, spinning saws in the hopes of reaching each stage’s goal. And you’ll do that in more than 300 levels if you hope to see the credits roll. 

Super Meat Boy was one of the first big indie sensations (as chronicled in the great Indie Game: The Movie), and certainly provides enough excitement for the $15 asking price. But for one-tenth of that, just $1.49, during the Steam Summer Sale? Well, you’d be a fool to pass this one up if you have any interest whatsoever in side-scrolling endurance tests.

xcom2

XCOM 2 ($36)

XCOM 2’s $36 price tag is the highest of this entire list by far, and might not seem all that impressive at a glance. But let’s put it in context: This is one of the biggest and best games released so far in 2016, and the full price is $60—so this 40 percent dip also represents the largest discount in dollars on the entire list. It’s actually a fantastic deal after all! 

Like its stellar predecessor, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (which is $7.49 right now), XCOM 2 challenges you to take command of an alien-battling team and guide it to victory through turn-based skirmishes. XCOM 2 is hugely improved in many ways and can easily suck away dozens of hours this summer, plus if you’re eager to try Valve’s Steam Controller, you can get a bundle of XCOM 2 and the gamepad for $66 (still 40 percent off).

tombraider

Tomb Raider ($5)

The classic Tomb Raider template had become tired after a few-too-many entries and little significant evolution—so for 2013’s eponymous reboot, they started fresh. This Lara Croft was no longer the cocky, battle-hardened explorer, but rather a young woman trying to make a name for herself. And the game opted to make intense action just as important as exploration.

As a result, Tomb Raider is a bit of a different beast than the original entries, but that’s very much a good thing: It’s a big, beautiful game with thrilling moments and compelling locales. And just a couple years after its Mac debut, you can now get the game for $5 on Steam (75 percent off), with a Game of the Year Edition bundling in all the add-on content for the grand total of $7.49.

ftl

FTL: Faster Than Light ($3)

If you see a five-star review from Macworld, that’s your assurance that what you’re buying is absolutely spectacular—and it’s much the same when Steam users offer “Overwhelmingly Positive” praise. In the case of FTL: Faster Than Light, the tough-as-nails strategy favorite has attained both of those honors, and now you can snag it for 70 percent off the typical price. 

FTL is a strategy game that sends your spaceship blasting across the stars, ever in search of new encounters. You might run into a merchant or a possible new crew member, but you could also jump right into a tough battle that ends your game and force you to start over again. Uncertainty and intense challenge define FTL, but so does a supreme feeling of satisfaction when you start figuring it all out.

dirt3

Dirt 3: Complete Edition ($6.89)

Although strongly focused on off-road driving (hence the name), Dirt 3: Complete Edition might be the best all-around racer available for Mac today. It’s an impressively refined experience, offering an array of different races and Gymkhana stunt events, plus super-slick presentation and a giant heap of content to explore.

If you’ve got a high-end Mac, Dirt 3 can definitely show it off—it’s a beautiful game, especially when you’ve got mud splattering onto the windshield in first-person view. And if you’re looking for something a bit looser and more raucous, consider Dirt Showdown, which is just $3 right now. It’s more of an arcade-style, supercharged take on off-road racing, and it’s arguably even more fun in spots.

halflife2

Half-Life 2 ($2)

Like Portal, Half-Life 2 is one of Valve’s own creations—and it’s just as essential. While the first-person shooter genre has seen major strides since 2004, Half-Life 2 remains one of the best examples of building atmosphere and drama without pulling you out of the game, and the gravity gun puts a fun twist on the usual run-and-gun approach. Right now, it’s 80 percent off.

And the Episode One and Episode Two expansions are absolutely crucial, so at $1.59 apiece right now, don’t miss out of those either. Better yet, grab The Orange Box: it has Half-Life 2, both episodes, Portal, and the now free-to-play Team Fortress 2 all in one purchase for the mind-blowing price of just $5. That might be the Summer Sale’s best deal of all, really.

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Outland ($1)

Outland is arguably the lowest-profile game on this list, but it deserves to be well-known—and better yet, right now it’s available for the laughably low price of just a buck. This side-scrolling adventure takes its cues from classics like Metroid and Castlevania, challenging you to explore an ever-expanding world full of new abilities to discover. 

Where the game deviates from that template is in its use of light and dark powers, which you’ll switch between and need to juggle to overcome the enemies and tricky challenges ahead. Outland flew under the radar a bit, but it’s a really great 2D adventure; at 90 percent off, it’s an easy pickup for just about anyone. Sneak it into your cart… you probably won’t even notice!

alien isolation

Alien: Isolation ($12.49)

Like XCOM 2, Alien: Isolation is tipping the Summer Sale scales here with a double-digit dollar ask, but it was just released on Mac last fall. Also, this movie tie-in is one of the best Mac games released within the last year, and it’s 75 percent off right now. That’s awesome. 

We’ve seen a lot of middling Alien games over the years, but Isolation gets it right: As Amanda Ripley (Ellen’s daughter), it’s you against a terrifying and surprisingly smart alien as you try to hide from the dynamic threat. Alien: Isolation oozes atmosphere and tension, plus the add-on Crew Expendable mission brings back the core Alien cast (including Sigourney Weaver) for a one-off revival. Drop $15 for the full Isolation Collection and you’ll get it all.