To demonstrate the level of sophistication available, we have put together a list of 42 high quality Linux games that all have the virtue of being free to play.
To ensure that there is something of interest here for every type of gamer, we have covered a wide variety of computer game genres, including the ever popular First Person Shooters (FPS), Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), as well as arcade games, board/puzzle games and more.
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 sort of exception we made was to include the game OpenTTD, a personal favorite which we could not see miss the list. OpenTTD needs the MS Windows or DOS version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. But assuming you already have the game, OpenTTD lets you play it for free natively under Linux.
Our three requirements automatically excluded a whole raft of high quality games that run under Linux. There are a collection of titles where a no-charge client is available for download, but where the game requires a small monthly subscription to play online. Notables examples of games which fall into this category include EVE (a massive multiplayer online game set in a science-fiction based world), Vendetta (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game), and Savage 2 (a fantasy and science-fiction themed game that combines elements of the first-person shooter, real-time strategy, and action role-playing game genres). Subscription based Linux games will be covered in a future article.
Wine has reached a level of maturity that it lets you play a wide range of commercial Windows games. This enables gamers to enjoy classics such as World of Warcraft, the king of the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (which has over 11 million subscribers), Half-Life 2, Silkroad Online, Planescape, Day of Defeat: Source Steam, Call of Duty 2 etc etc. We'll also cover the world that Wine opens up in a separate article together with commercial native Linux games too.
There is no particular reason why the compilation is confined to a mere 42 games. There are, of course, many, many hundreds of other free Linux games that are great fun to play. But we had to stop somewhere. In any case 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams, The Hitcherhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).
Alien Arena 2008
Fast paced deathmatch shooter
3D Scrolling Space shooter
Chaotic and intense multiplayer First Person Shooter
Based on the Quake III Arena source, similar to Open Quartz
Secret Maryo Chronicles
Two-dimensional, sidescrolling jump-and-run platform game
Aliens vs Humans action/strategy First Person Shooter
Total conversion/stand-alone First Person Shooter
Fast Paced First Person Shooter
Enhanced version of Armagetron, a 3D lightcycle game
Space shoot'em up
Clone of Trackmania: 3D, stunts and skills
Rhythm video game
3D kart racing game, with many tracks, characters, and items for you to try
Cooperative multiplayer graphical RPG and adventure game
Massive Multi-player online RPG
Classic dungeon crawling
Battle for Wesnoth
Fantasy turn-based where you battle for control of villages
Turn-based multiplayer empire-building
Implementation of Colonization
3D real-time customizable strategy
Based on the classic DOS game Scorched Earth "The Mother Of All Games"
Gameplay experience of Total Annihilation (TA) into three dimensions
UFO: Alien Invasion
X-COM inspired turn based 3D strategy game
Warzone 2100 RP
3D realtime strategy set on a future Earth
General Aviation Flight Simulator
Frets On Fire
Musical skill and fast fingers
Clone of the Microprose game "Transport Tycoon Deluxe"
Racing Car Simulator
OpenGL-billard game with realistic physics, AI-player and many gametypes
Slam Soccer 2006
Comic style football game
Board & Card
Fish Fillets NG
Port of Fish Fillets from Altar Interactive
Throw colourful bubbles to build groups and destroy the groups
Tilt the floor to roll a ball through an obstacle course
Clone of BioWare's Infinity Engine
3D game engine
Interpreter for 2D adventure games with several integrated engines
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