Marathon is a series of sci-fi first-person shooters by Bungie, which share a common setting, recurrent characters, and an overarching story. It is considered one of the flagship series of the Macintosh computer during the 1990s. The events of the series begin in 2794 aboard the starship U.E.S.C. Marathon, near a colony on the planet Tau Ceti IV. A security officer must defend the ship against the onslaught of an alien race known as Pfhor. As the series evolves, the ship's AI Durandal begins to play an important role in the plot, interfering in the conflict with its own agenda.
The Marathon series introduced several notable features to the FPS genre, including the ability to look and aim up and down, dual-wielding weapons, health-recharging machines mounted to walls (instead of health kit pick-ups), and more. The games retain common gameplay elements, such as mission-based stage progression and communication with computers, which is often necessary to acquire information about the plot.
- Marathon was only available for Macintosh with its initial release on December 21, 1994.
- Marathon II: Durandal is the only game in the series to have been officially released for Windows 95 in addition to the Apple Macintosh and was released in 1995.
- Super Marathon - A bundle release of Marathon and Marathon II: Durandal for Apple's short-lived Pippin platform that was released in 1996.
- Marathon Infinity was re-released as part of the Marathon Trilogy box set for Macintosh on May 1, 1997.
- The Marathon Trilogy - A box set which includes three Marathon games that was released in 1997.
- Bungie Mac Action Sack - A collection of six Bungie games, three of which were the Marathon trilogy, for the Macintosh released in 1999.
- Bungie released source code and game content from the entire Marathon Trilogy in 2005. An open source project, Aleph One, was launched to allow the three games to be freely played on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and other platforms. Other features were added, including online play and support for higher-resolution graphics. The engine was also updated to support Bungie's previous work, such as Pathways into Darkness and the Marathon Zero beta.
- In 2007, Marathon 2 was re-released in an updated form as Marathon: Durandal for the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade. It features a new HUD that fills less of the screen, support for online play, and optional high-resolution sprites and textures.
- Marathon fan Daniel Blezek released a free version of the original Marathon for Apple's iPad on the App Store in July 2011, running off an iOS port of the Aleph One engine.
- Also that year in July, the license for the source code was changed to GNU GPL-3.0-or-later.
- After 12 years of development, the Aleph One team released version 1.0 in December 2011. All three Marathon games can be downloaded for free for the Macintosh, PC and Linux platforms.
- In 2012, the entire Marathon Trilogy was added to the iOS App Store as free downloads.