What can you play on your M1 or M2?
March 24, 2023
Apple Silicon’s iPads now have as much, if not more, spinning power than previous-generation game consoles. Making it possible for developers to develop console-level games on a thin, fanless tablet. With some exceptions, most of the games on this list are not exclusive to an iPad equipped with an M1 or M2 chip.
However, playing on an iPad with Apple’s latest Silicon offers relevant advantages in one way or another. We have chosen a list of games that can harness the power of the tablet to approach or even match the console or PC variants of such games. They offer console games on the go without the compromises of weaker mobile devices or handheld consoles such as the Nintendo Switch.
XCOM 2 Compilation
XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactical game originally released for PC and consoles in 2016. The XCOM 2 Compilation ($19.99) is a bundle that includes the base game and all expansions and downloadable content released for it. In the game, players take on the role of the leader of a military group fighting against an alien invasion. Players must manage resources, discover new technologies, and build and upgrade their bases to best equip their armed forces for battle. In addition, they must make strategic choices on the battlefield, choosing basic strategies and positioning their soldiers to face the opponent.
In 2021, the game received an update with a new graphics-focused mode for more powerful iPads, bringing it closer to the graphical fidelity of the console version. With an M1 or M2 device, you can have smooth gameplay, fast AI shifts, and crisp, detailed graphics. There is no need to compromise.
Civilization VI (free to play) is a turn-based tactics game that was originally released for PC in 2016 and later released for mobile devices including iPad. The game is set on a new planet and allows players to lead a culture from scratch. Starting in ancient times and progressing through different eras of history. In Civilization VI, players must build and run their metropolises, learn new technologies, and engage in diplomacy or war with other cultures. The game features a variety of leaders and cultures to choose from, each with its unique abilities and properties.
You should play such retro Computer games on your Mac M1 or M2
Graphically, Civilization VI is not very exciting. The game is attractive, but it is not that GPU-intensive, regardless of platform. At the time of this writing, the iPad version does not include the nice leader animations displayed above, but otherwise the game is completely intact. So why is it so important to play on Apple Silicon’s iPad?
It all depends on CPU performance. Civ 6 can challenge even the most powerful desktop CPUs, especially late in the game. It is no fun sitting through playing time while AI opponents slowly assess their next move. On an M1 or higher, the turns are much quicker and this makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of a live Civ 4X match.
Alien: Isolation ($14.99) is a survival horror game originally published for PC and consoles in 2014. The game is set in the cosmos of the Alien film franchise and follows the story of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley. The girl struggles to survive on a space station invaded by a deadly alien creature.
In Alien: Isolation, players must use stealth and problem-solving skills to evade the alien and overcome other dangerous threats on the space station. Such as malfunctioning machines and hostile human survivors. The game features a first-person view and focuses on atmosphere and tension. The first person has limited resources and the need to hide and distract the alien to survive. The mobile version of this game impresses on any mobile device that can run it. But on an M1 or M2 it is just as good (if not better) than playing on a next-gen console such as the PlayStation 4, with the graphics’ default performance giving impressive fluidity on the iPad.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Divinity: Original Sin 2 ($24.99) is a paper game that was originally released for PC in 2017, later released for consoles and mobile devices including iPad. The game is set in a fantasy world and follows the narrative of a cast of characters who seek to find the mystery of their shared priors and the source of their magical abilities.
In Divinity: Original Sin 2, players must explore a vast open world, complete quests, fight enemies, and make choices that will shape the outcome of the game. The game features a turn-based battle system and a focus on character customization, allowing players to produce and develop their characters and adventurers. While Original Sin 2 will run on an iPad Pro 2018 or earlier, it will lack the detail and sharpness of the PC or console variants. When playing it on an iPad M2, it looks like the game is painted on the other side of the glass. It’s the ultimate way to play Original Sin 2 on the go and stands up to the PC version in terms of fluidity and detail.
GRID Autosport ($9.99) is a racing game that was originally released for PC and consoles in 2014. The game features a wide variety of racing disciplines, including touring car, GT, endurance, single-seater, street, and more. Players can choose to compete in a career mode, tackling different disciplines and rising through the ranks to become a champion. Or they can engage in more casual races in a variety of game modes, such as time trials and multiplayer racing.
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GRID Autosport features well over 100 cars and 100 tracks, as well as customizable controls and complexity settings to suit the preferences of different players. The game is known for its realistic performance and debuff model, as well as its immersive and atmospheric presentation.
This is another game that runs well on a device like the iPad Pro 2018 and scales well on most devices. However, in its 120fps performance mode the M1 or M2 takes gaming to the next level. Frame rates are especially useful in racing games like GRID Autosport. Also with the added high grunt of the latest chips, you’ll get much more consistent output at that target frame rate. This only applies to iPad Pros with 120Hz displays. But even if you lock the game to 60fps it looks beautiful. Just remember to download the high-resolution texture packs that remain accessible as a free in-game download.