I will never forget my computer science teacher’s belief that games are only an initial distraction to the world of computing for people interested in computers. He perceived that budding programmers could only be fixated on games for up to 6 months. After that, coders would start to use computers more productively, learning earnestly about the operating system and writing system and application software.
However, the reality of the matter is that programmers of all ages enjoy playing games. When Linux was in its infancy, games were few and far between. Over the years, this imbalance has been addressed, and thousands of native Linux games are now available to download, the vast majority of which are released under freely distributable licenses.
The myths persist, however, when it comes to Linux. In the eyes of many computer users, Linux is perceived as largely functional, mostly restricted to running servers, office tasks and web browsing. However, there is a wide and ever growing range of native Linux games available, but given the range, it can be hard to identify which ones are worth a spin. We hope this article will unite gamers with some really exciting titles.
Readers may also wish to view our previous articles highlighting 105 superb free Linux games (42 Best Linux Games, 42 More of the Best Games, and 21 More of the Best Games.) If you wonder why some of your favourite Linux games are not listed below, this is probably because they have already been covered in these earlier features.
To be eligible for inclusion in the list below, games again needed to satisfy 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
For each of the 14 games listed below we have compiled its own portal page, providing screenshots of the game in action, a full description of the game, with an in-depth summary of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Ardentryst||Focused on fighting, story and character development|
|Gate 88||Fast-paced, frenetic blend of RTS and 2D space shooter|
|Orbital Eunuchs||Addictive overhead shooter|
|Blood Frontier||Total conversion of Cube Engine 2|
|Pang Zero||Clone and enhancement of Super Pang|
|0 A.D.||Polished war/economy strategy game|
|Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup||Dungeon exploration, combat and magic|
|8 Kingdoms||3D turn-based fantasy strategic game|
|Widelands||Economic and military strategy game similar to Settlers II|
|MegaMek||Clone of the classic BattleTech|
|Toga II||Chess engine with strength in excess of 2800 ELO|
|Tennix||Amusing tennis game with 2D graphics|
|Rigs of Rods||Truck, car, airplane and boat simulator|
|Castle Game Engine||VRML game engine|
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