When Apple first announced Apple Arcade, the gaming world was understandably skeptical. Could a subscription service for gaming work when the App Store already has tens of thousands of popular games? Apple first promised around 100 new and exclusive games, and, as of today, that number is close to 180 games in total. Choosing which of those games to try first may be a challenge, so we have compiled a list of the best Apple Arcade games to help you get started.
1. Oceanhorn 2
One of the biggest names as part of the original Apple Arcade launch, Oceanhorn 2 is as close to Legend of Zelda as you can get on App Store. It’s a gorgeous game that plays well on macOS, especially when paired with a Bluetooth controller. Everything from the colors to the style is just so beautiful that it’s hard to put it down once you start.
The plot is fairly run of the mill, as a young knight faces many challenges in his quest to save the world. That’s okay if you prefer the gameplay to the plot, and in that regard, there’s more than enough to enjoy.
2. What the Golf?
This game is different than any golf game ever played. The objective of the game is to get the “objects” into the hole, and the “object” can be a golf ball, yourself, a cat, a club or whatever object you are using. Gameplay is simple, as you drag your finger down the screen and release it to shoot the “object.” The game does a fantastic job switching between 3D and 2D levels, and on the big screen of a MacBook or iMac, it’s even better.
This game is all about physics and requires you to forget everything you know about golf. Ultimately, it’s this twist on an old sport that helps make the game so fun.
3. The Pathless
A relative newcomer to Apple Arcade, The Pathless lets you play as a hunter and put your archery skills to the test in a battle between good and evil. Sound basic enough? There are plenty of puzzles and a semi-open world that includes forests and snowy tundras to spice it up. You need to use all of your skills to hunt down corrupted spirits that can lead to some breathtakingly beautiful battles.
Aside from being a fun game, The Pathless is also gorgeous. Add music that just feels right as you zoom across different lands, and there is a good chance you will try and complete the game in one sitting. Don’t. Savor it over time.
4. The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a classic game, and kudos to Gameloft for refreshing it. This refreshed version is beautiful and plays so well on the Mac. There’s a mix of pixel art and visual styles that feels just right for The Oregon Trail formula. They immerse you back into a game world you may remember from two decades prior. With 12 different journeys, you are responsible for monitoring the health of your entire group as well as the wagon – all while learning about the places you travel.
Hunting, rafting and other mini-games await and continue to serve as nostalgic reminders of a game you might have spent far too many hours on before. Make sure you have the right balance of supplies before you take off on your adventure and enjoy every bit of this game on a big screen.
With the release of Fantasian, Apple has brought an incredible RPG game to its subscription platform filled with 150 different places to explore. The game is centered on a character named “Leo,” who must unravel the mysteries of a mechanical infection that is slowly engulfing mankind.
Each diorama-based level is nothing short of a work of art for the Apple Arcade platform and quickly immerses you into an RPG world. Between its unique story, incredible development team and similarly world-class composer, everything about Fantasian just clicks, especially when you play on a bigger screen.
6. Sneaky Sasquatch
Have you ever wondered what life might be like if you were a Sasquatch? In Sneaky Sasquatch, you, as a Sasquatch, have to find a way to sneak around human campsites, disguise yourself in human clothing, and even play a quick nine holes at the local golf course.
Best played with a controller, this game is truly unique and adds a superb mix of both gameplay and story. How many other games can claim to have a Sasquatch that can also ski down a hill or work as a police officer and write speeding tickets? The graphics are colorful and cartoon-like, making it fun for all ages.
7. PAC-MAN Party Royale
Another attempt to play on nostalgia, PAC-Man Party Royale is a great game to play with friends. The framework of the original PAC-MAN craze is intact, but this reimagination for Apple Arcade takes the arcade favorite to an entirely new level. Playable with up to four people, PAC-MAN is best played on a large screen, like a Mac, with separate Bluetooth controllers.
When your party is ready to play, you can square off in the Battle Arena, or if you want to go it alone, you can face players from around the world. No matter how you play, you will still want to stay away from the “Ghosts” that have hunted PAC-MAN for decades. On top of the nostalgic fun, the graphics are colorful and fun, which just adds to the replayability of this excellent title.
On top of the above list of Apple Arcade games, Apple recently introduced cult favorites like Cut the Rope, Monument Valley+ and its first major sports title with NBA 2K21. That so many of the games are playable on the Mac just as well as the iPhone and iPad only adds to the $4.99 subscription value. For more value saving, you can even get the Apple One bundle and access to various Apple services with a single subscription.