Best Linux games

Although there has been a change in the gaming industry for several years, Windows is and remains the undisputed top dog among gaming operating systems. Nevertheless, more and more titles are available for Linux: With Steam, Ubuntu and GOG, users now have a decent game collection available . These include numerous free online games and iconic retro games.

The best place to go for Linux games is certainly the Steam platform . More than 13,000 games are currently available. In addition to numerous indie games, well-known AAA titles can also be found.

On the Ubuntu Software Center you can find free and paid Linux games . The focus is more on the category of arcade and board games. However, the key is in the store, because the Steam client can be downloaded there to access the well-known Steam games that are also available for Windows. To be able to use the center, however, you must create a user account. Alternatively, Steam Linux download is available from the Internet.

In this article we will outline some of the best games for Linux that you can find on steam and elsewhere. Some are free and others are paid.

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Urban Terror

Urban Terror is a free multiplayer shooting game developed by FrozenSand. Its creators define it as a tactical shooter where realism is not at odds with fun . As a result, you get a unique, very funny and addictive title .

Without being of the latest generation, the graphics comply and ensure optimal gameplay when the following is met:

  • Graphics card: 8 MB with 3D acceleration and full OpenGL support.
  • Processor Pentium MMX at 233 MHz or Pentium II at 266 MHz or AMD K6-2 at 350 MHz.
  • Memory: 64 MB of RAM, a computer 100% compatible with Windows XP or higher.
  • Without the need for any registration , the title is available for other platforms such as Windows or Macintosh and to test it you just have to download, install and play it. Inside you will have the following game modes:
  • Capture the flag : The objective is to capture the flag of the opposing team and take it to their own base.
  • Team Survivor : Eliminate the players of the opposite team until there is at least one survivor from their own team or the time runs out, in which case the game would be a draw. Rounds are used for each team and the team that wins the most at the end of the game wins.
  • Team Dematmatch : Eliminate players from the opposing team. It differs from Team Survivor mode in that in this mode the player is reborn again. The team that has eliminated the most opponents when the time is up will win.
  • Bomb Mode : Similar to Team Survivor but with the difference that one team has to activate a bomb at the enemy base and the other team has to prevent this from happening.
  • Follow the leader : It is similar to Team Survivor. It is that the leader must touch the enemy flag that is located in random positions, so the rest of the team must protect him from the enemy. Automatically, the leader begins with Kevlar armor and a helmet, subsequently rotating among other members.
  • All against all : In this version it is not played as a team, but is an individual mode where you have to kill all the other players. The player with the most opponents wins.

  • Capture and Maintain : It is a game mode in which there are two teams that must take over the largest number of flags distributed throughout the map. If a team takes all the flags, 5 points are scored in their favor, winning the one with the highest score at the end of the game.

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Hedgewars is a turn- based strategy game based on the mythical Worms saga but starring hedgehogs instead of worms. The game consists of eliminating the hedgehogs of the rest of the teams that participate using various weapons, many of them unconventional and that adds a very funny touch to the games.

The graphics of the game are cartoon type and there are various configurable scenarios that provide variety to the games and it has a sudden death mode that makes each one of them endlessly extend in time. It is very fun to play with friends and family because in each round the conditions are random and allow very different results.

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The game is GPLv2 licensed and available for multiple Linux distributions.


Pingus is a very popular clone of the ancient game Lemmings . Its mechanics are fully preserved, the goal being to guide the penguins along the stage to the exit. The game goes through various phases. Different skills can be assigned to the penguins to be able to successfully exit the level.

The challenge is not only to get these little beings out alive, but must meet the time and number of lives saved requirements , which increases the complexity of the game.

As the games’ levels increase, the requirements will be much higher and you will have to squeeze your head to be able to solve the different puzzles that surround each of the phases. A word of advice, there are times when the sacrifice of some penguins is necessary for the salvation of the rest.

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The game has a very casual drawing style and colorful graphics . There are no melodies or sound effects worth highlighting, they just do their job. The controls are simple and very intuitive and they are all operated with the mouse, so in a few minutes you will be able to pick up the game mechanics and you will be fully focused. Do not miss the opportunity to try this classic of Linux games.

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Torcs is a racing game. So what’s so special about Torcs? Simply artificial intelligence. In this racing simulation, the other drivers try to learn every lap. In this game there is something for every car lover, from Formula 1 cars to off-road vehicles. There are 41 routes to choose from and ensure that there is no boredom.

Since the game is a bit older, the graphics are not so modern. The game should still be looked at because the development of the AI ​​is remarkable and it works very well.


Onraid is a 2D shooting game that will remind of Contra a lot, but Onraid is much better. This game features single player, MMO, local multiplayer, and online multiplayer game modes.

Players can implement custom strategies even when using in-app purchases to improve their chances of victory.


SuperTuxKart is a fairly popular game among Linux gamers community . This is a 3D kart racing game whose characters are mascots of some of the most famous free software projects like Tux, GNU, the BSD daemon and the PHP elephant.

With over 20 race tracks, 6 game modes, and improved play options with each update release, SuperTuxKart is designed for players who enjoy the thrill of kart racing.

SuperTuxKart works like Mario Kart. As with the original, there are items in the form of packages that are collected during the race and used to make it difficult for the other players to gain their own advantages.

As well as the regular game mode, there are also time races and an arena mode, in which the objective is to destroy the opponent with items, or a soccer mode, where two teams have to get a giant football into the opposing goal. The game characters come from the cosmos of free software. Among other things, there is Tux the penguin from Linux, Wilber the wolf from Gimp and Suzanne the monkey from Blender.


FlightGear is a free flight simulator and is currently one of the most important free alternatives when it comes to commercial flight simulators. Its code is open and extensible and, thanks to this, it has a large number of add-ons created by third parties.

It is probably the only program of this type whose code is free and with no intention of hiding how it works internally, which makes it very extensible. Although there are players who consider that they cannot overcome the graphic level of the best commercial products, the physical model of the flight and the realism of the controls are at the same or higher level than the best simulators.

This is because FlightGear was developed from the start with a high technical and scientific profile. It is supported by OpenGL and requires 3D acceleration hardware.

The game is available for the main platforms, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and has, among its main features, the following:

  • A comprehensive and accurate database of the world stage .
  • 20,000 real airports , approximately.
  • An accurate terrain design from around the world based on the latest release of SRTM data. The scenarios include lakes, rivers, roads, railways, cities, towns, land, and other geographic options.
  • It features a detailed and accurate model of the sky , with correct locations of the sun, moon, stars, and planets for the specified date and time.
  • It has an open and flexible aircraft modeling system that allows expanding the number of aircraft available .

  • The animation of the cockpit instruments is very smooth. Instrument behavior has been realistically modeled and failures in many systems are accurately reproduced.
  • Has multiplayer support
  • Has a simulation of real aviation traffic
  • There is a realistic weather option that includes both sunlight, wind, rain, fog, smoke and other atmospheric effects.

Mad Max – The apocalypse

The game, which is based on the original movie MadMax, is an action adventure. Slip into the role of Mad Max, a warrior who stands alone against bloodthirsty looters and gangs. The rules are simple: kill or be killed. Max teams up with a mechanic named Chumbucket to build his survival vehicle Magnum Opus. The vehicle can be upgraded and equipped with weapons and armor to suit the bandits’ needs.

The landscape’s graphics are breathtaking. At least one Intel i5 processor and 8 GB RAM and a 2 GB Nvidia 660ti graphics card must be installed on Linux PC in order to dive into the apocalypse.

0 AD

0 AD started as a mod for Age of Empires II and then went on to be considered as one of the best free software game projects.

0 AD is an engaging war game that sets players in a fictional historical period . However, don’t be confused, civilizations were once real as developers took their time to delicately include maps, buildings, historical monuments, etc.

Civilization VI

Developed by Firaxis games and compatible with Linux under Aspyr Media, Civilization VI offers an attractive RTS experience. The game offers you to play the role of a popular world historic leader, including Gandhi, Roosevelt, Victoria and more.

The game takes you from the Stone Age, where you fight with primitive weapons, to the modern age, where a single nuclear weapon could disrupt the whole civilization of your enemy.

Developer Firaxis Games has developed several games from the Civilization series. The most famous of these is Civilization V, also available on Linux.

Hearts of Iron IV

This is a war strategy simulation. The victory is in your hands. You take command and lead your troops to victory in World War II. Let the greatest commanders of World War II fight battles with tanks, planes, ships, cannons and newly discovered weapons of mass destruction.

Hearts of Iron 4 looks good and is a lot more detailed than its predecessors.

Portal 2

Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle game that can be enjoyed with a friend. The award-winning game was developed by Valve. The game in Portal 2 is about solving space challenges using the portal gun, a device capable of ripping through space and time.

The game features excellent storytelling, fascinating level design and a phenomenal voice performed by Ellen Maclain (Glados), Stephen Merchant (Wheatley) and JK Simmons (Cave Johnson).

Hollow Knight

The Metroidvania style game with the difficulty of a Dark Souls title, Hollow Knight is a must for Linux players. Unlike other 2D scrollers, Hollow Knight offers deep knowledge, relatively better exploration options, and a ton of secondary content.

The game’s fight is tough but rewarding, and the player will certainly be relieved with a sigh of relief after almost every tough boss fight. Hollow Knight features hand-drawn characters and an environment that further complements its dark atmosphere.

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2 is a cooperative zombie shooter. The game regularly forces people to change their strategy by alternating firearms and melee weapons.

The game launched in 2009, so it has a ton of mods and updates that give a boost to its gameplay.

Total War: Warhammer

If you prefer to command huge armies of bloodthirsty monsters, then Total War: Warhammer is for you. This is one of the best games on Linux with a ton of content.

The game features five playable races, dwarfs, vampire counts, green skins, empire and breton. The game’s campaign lasts almost 100 hours and, at the same time, a huge amount of downloadable content is also available.

Dying Light

Few games actually manage to create a zombie game without making it super repetitive. Dying Light is one of them. The game features zombies, explosions.

Developed by Techland, Dying Light offers a simple story, many parallel missions and almost 50 hours of exciting play. Dying Light also offers an online cooperative with three of your friends.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a Steam exclusive multiplayer game that is clearly a masterpiece as it has been able to win up to 800,000 daily players. Being one of the most popular steam games in its genre , Dota 2 is definitely a must-have for those who never give up too fast.

This is a 3D isometric real-time strategy action game and is the sequel to the Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients.

Basically the objective of the game is to play in a team of 5 people to destroy the opposing team and collect digital goodies along the way.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Lonely stranded on an island without food and clothing and fight for survival by hunting, collecting and building. A warehouse is to be built to protect against dinosaurs.

The camp is expanded into a fortress and the dinosaurs become farm animals. ARK Survival Evolved is the Minecraft for adults with impressive graphics at the highest level.


The successor to the award-winning strategy game XCOM. Humanity has lost the war against the aliens. Only those who live on the edge of the world have a low level of freedom.

Can mankind resist to eliminate the alien threat once and for all? If you are new to XCOM 2 and a fan of strategy games, you should definitely take a closer look at the game.

Witcher 2:Assassin of Kings

the Witcher 2 marks a definitive victory for game developer CD Project Red. The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is set in the midst of a bloody power struggle and a blood-soaked plot. The main protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, is caught between monsters, tyrannical rulers, witches and almost everything that is bad. The game is easily worth several days of play.

The next big project from developer CD Project Red is Cyberpunk 2077, which takes place in a futuristic metropolitan city. The game is also likely to come to Google Stadia, Google’s cloud game streaming service.

Dead Cells

Developed by Motion Twin, Dead Cells offers 2D action combat like Metroidvania. This Linux gaming app features fast-paced action fighting, breathtaking artistic design, awfully difficult boss fights, and superfluous controls.

Just like a good Metroidvania, players acquire new abilities that allow them to unlock new locations in the game. Dead Cells is one of the best Linux games if you like challenges.

The developer Motion Twin is also in talks with Google officials to bring dead cells to Google Stadia.


The shooter classic and the revolutionary of e-sports , counter-strike offers new, expandable gameplay. With new maps, weapons and skins and a revised graphic, players are once again immersed in the world of terrorists and anti-terrorist forces.

Counter-Strike has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and is still one of the most played games.

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Nikolaus Oosterhof

Nikolaus holds a degree in software development and has a strong passion for all things tech-related, especially gadgets with screens. Though he is nostalgic for older phone models, he's a retired gamer and continues to enjoy programming in open-source environments. Additionally, Nikolaus enjoys writing about Linux, macOS and Windows and has experience designing web pages.

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