Video Games

10 Free and Open Source Game Engines

Game engines offer huge benefits to game developers. The main functionality they provide is the library of core functions used in a computer game. This often includes a realtime rendering engine for 2D or 3D graphics, physics engine with collision detection, a character animation system, scene graph, sound, artificial intelligence, threading, networking, input, streaming localization support, debugging tools, integration with languages, and the provision of performance monitoring and optimization tools.

Game engines play a crucial role in the fast creation and development of computer games. As they offer a collection of visual development tools, and are often presented in an integrated development environment, they vastly accelerate the development of games. Game engines are referred to as “game middleware” because they provide a flexible and reusable software platform.

Let’s explore the 10 game engines. For each engine we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screen shot of the program in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Game Engines
GodotFeature packed 2D and 3D cross-platform compatible
jMonkeyEngineGame engine made especially for modern 3D development
libGDXJava game development framework based on OpenGL
LÖVEFramework to create 2D games in Lua
OGREObject-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine
OHRRPGCEOfficial Hamster Republic Role Playing Game Construction Engine
Panda3DFramework for 3D rendering and games
PixiJSHTML5 creation engine with 2D WebGL renderer
PygameSet of Python modules designed for writing video games
SpringReal-time strategy game engine

Note: The utilities are listed in alphabetical order.

Eligibility criteria

TickFree to download. The project must be available to download without charge but the authors may accept donations.

TickPublished under an open source license. Popular open source licenses for games include MIT License, GNU General Public License, and BSD License.

TickNot in an early stage of development. The utility must be in a stage of mature development.


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 are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.