If Linux is going to make significant strides in increasing market desktop share, it needs to be able to compete with Windows in all areas. The average computer user typically just wants a single operating system to use for their work, to surf the net, to keep in contact with family and friends, and to have some fun. Having to reboot between operating systems is frankly too inconvenient for many users, as well as being perceived as too difficult. While you can run many Windows software from Linux (e.g. by using virtualisation software, or Wine), again this simply appears to add to the complexity of using the PC. Furthermore, whilst Wine does allow some of the hottest Windows games to run under Linux, it is inevitable there will always be some incompatibility issues.
Even though PCs face increasing competition from dedicated gaming consoles, PC gaming will never die. If Linux is going to dominate the desktop market, it needs a good stream of native games. However, commercial gaming companies are only going to port games to Linux if they can realise a tidy profit from that work, and in the main that requires a significant gaming base. In many ways, open source games represent a solution to the Catch 22 situation, making Linux more attractive from a gamer’s perspective, and increasing the possibility of more commercial games being released on the market.
To be eligible for inclusion in this list each game needed to meet the following requirements:
- Free to play (no download charge, no monthly charge)
- Does not require Wine to run. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows software.
- Not in the early stages of development
The only exception we have made is to include Quake Live, a truly awesome web browser based game which has under a proprietary license. But it was simply too good to miss off this feature.
Now, let’s scrutinize the 8 games at hand. For each game we have compiled its own portal page, providing screenshots of the game in action, a full description of the game, with an in-depth analysis of the features of the game, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Extra Hot Free Linux Games (Part 1 of 3)|
|Quake Live||Fast, browser based multiplayer shooter|
|Unknown Horizons||2D realtime strategy simulation|
|Stendhal||Fully fledged multiplayer online adventure game like Ultima Online|
|Speed Dreams||Motosport simulator|
|Commander Stalin||Soviet real time strategy game|
|Marathon: Aleph One||First-person shooter game based on Marathon 2|
|TripleA||Turn based strategy game|
|Stockfish||Extremely strong chess engine|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.