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17 Best Linux Games Of 2017 | Premium and Open Source

[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]

A decade ago Linux was not much popular among desktop users as it was only used on backend servers. Only a handful of users preferred it over other proprietary software. But now the story has changed, as more and more people are using Linux distributions, including me. But what about if you want to play games?

I am sure that most of the users who want to jump into the freeware world ask one particular question ‘will I be able to play any games’ or ‘does it have any good games’? Well, let me tell you that Linux compatible games have evolved a lot in the last decade or so. Unlike proprietary operating systems, Linux has the biggest repository of open source games and after the introduction of Steam, Linux users now have access to those big AAA games.

Below is the list of some of the most powerful Linux games, which you should play at least once to experience something different. We have kept our focus on Freeware games, but some AAA games are also included in this list.

17. Widelands

Widelands

Availability: Free
Developer: The Widelands Development Team

Well, it’s not for fast paced gamers, but if you really like real time strategy then Widelands in one good option. The game is heavily influenced by The Settlers series as it has both single player and multiplayer game modes. You can play the game in almost all European languages. Like Settlers II, you can also create your own maps with the advanced in-game map editor.

16. Hitman 2016

Hitman 2016A Snapshot from Hitman 2016

Availability: Paid
Developer: IO Interactive

As Agent 47, your objective is to eliminate high profile targets assigned by your company in various international locations. Like any other Hitman series, this game also gives you a great amount of freedom to engage your targets and finish the job. As you might know, that stealth is one of the core ingredients of the game, but you can also use explosives and long-range rifles to accomplish your objectives.

15. Pingus

Pingus

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: Ingo Ruhnke / Pingus community

Your main objective in this game is to escort a certain number of penguins from the entry point to exit by clearing various obstacles in their path and even creating bridges as well as safe pathways for penguins to use. Pingus has a total of 55 levels, with each starting with multiple trap doors opening and releasing a steady line of penguins who will follow each other one by one. If you do not clear their paths, quick enough, they will fall off and eventually die costing you the game.

14. Metro: Last Light

Metro Last LightA Snapshot from Metro: Last NIght

Availability: Paid
Developer: 4A Games

The game’s storyline revolves around its main protagonist Artyom, from whom’s perspective you will play the entire game. Even though, it’s mainly focused on fighting mutants, confrontations with hostile humans will also take place throughout the game. Overall, Last Night offers a significant level of freedom to employ different tactics to engage your enemies and encourages multiple route exploration compared to its predecessor, 2033. It also has a larger map which means a bigger area for you to explore.

13. Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2A Snapshot from Team Fortress 2

Availability: Free to play
Developer: Valve Corporation

As the name implies, it’s a team game of the FPS genre. The game focuses on two teams competing with each other for a common objective. The two teams are comprised of mercenaries, which were hired by two brothers to protect each other’s assets. As a team member, your collective objective is to capture other team’s priced assets. To play, you are free to choose one from nine different in-game character classes.

12. Borderlands 2

Borderlands2A Snapshot from Borderlands 2

Availability: Paid
Developer: Gearbox Software

It’s an open world role-playing action game focused on first-person shooting in which the player has to complete missions while collecting loots, which generally include items such as weapons, shields etc. Although the game took almost all the features from its predecessor, the additional bonus “Vault Hunter” makes the game more interesting by making the enemies much more stronger.

11. DOTA 2

DOTA 2

Availability: Play for Free on Steam
Developer: Valve Corporation

DOTA 2 is undoubtedly one of the most popular online battle arena video games, which can only be played in teams. The concept is pretty simple – ten players who are equally divided into two groups collectively compete against each other to destroy a structure defended by the other team. The team who gets its hands on that structure and destroys it first wins the game.

Before starting the game, each player has to choose a “hero,” which will help the team to defend as well as attack their opponents. Each hero has its own pros and weaknesses and also comes in different designs.

10. Alien Arena

Alien Arena

Availability: Free and Paid on Steam
Developer: COR Entertainment

Alien Arena is a traditional FPS computer game that combines sci-fi concept from mid-20th century with gameplay concepts of Quake and Unreal Tournament series. Although it comes with a single-player mode where you compete against bots, the game is best enjoyed when played in a multi-player mode.

The core feature of the game is an internal browser or server that pinpoints online players for you to compete with and it also works as an IRC client between the online players. Overall, the game looks much like a modified Quake II and with a few new changes.

9. SuperTuxKart

supertuxkart

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: SuperTuxKart Team

SuperTuxKart is a free and open-source kart racing game, which is quite similar to the Mario Kart series but with clear distinctions. It has several game modes including single player, multiplayer and a story mode where you have to complete a race within a time limit to be able to open new karts and tracks.

For more fun, you can choose your in-game character which are official mascots of other open source software like Tux (Linux Kernel), Beastie (BSD), ElePHPant (PHP) and much more.

8. Empire: Total War

Empire Total WarA Snapshot from Empire: Total War

Availability: Paid
Developer: Feral Interactive

In this game, with the ultimate aim of world conquest, the player has to lead his nation towards the greatness by focusing on the economy, politics, founding new lands and colonizing them. This real-time, turn-based strategy slobberknocker focuses on the real world setting during the 18th century featuring world powers like Great Britain, France, Prussia, Russia and the Mughals and much more.

7. Life is Strange

life is strangeA Snapshot from Life is Strange

Availability: Episode 1 Free, Paid
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment

Do you like episodic video games? If yes, then you would definitely love Dontnod Entertainment’s Life is Strange. The game revolves around an 18-year-old photographer named Max Caulfield, who suddenly finds out about her supernatural ability to time travel. Played from a third-person view, the time travel setting allows the player to rewind and undo any past action.

You can interact with other non-playable in-game characters and objects, explore numerous locations on the map, which will enable you to solve puzzles in the form of sub-quests, making drastic changes to the environment. But be careful, your choices in the past will have several short and long-term consequences.

6. 0 A.D

O AD

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: Wildfire Games

Are you a die-hard fan of real-time strategy games like Age of Empires, but don’t want to ditch your favorite Linux? Well, it turns out that you don’t have to. O A.D offers you all the real-time strategy game elements like building bases, creating various army units, military tactics and most importantly, research and technology.

The game is basically about economic growth and warfare. It will test your management skills and the way you engage your military. It features 12 different civilizations to choose from, with each having special units and specific buildings.

5. TORCS

TORCS

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: TORCS Team

TORCS is an all-in-all open source, multi-platform/purpose car simulation, which can be used either as an ordinary car racing game or AI racing platform and even as a research ground. Alongside Linux, the game is also available for FreeBSD, Mac OS X, AmigaOS 4, AROS and MS Windows.

As mentioned earlier, due to its free and open source nature, this game has been extensively used as a platform for many research related to gaming, including automated car setups, human-assisted algorithmic generation of tracks and the application of several computing techniques and robot driving.

4. OpenTTD

OpenTTD

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: OpenTTD Team

OpenTTD is an open source remake of 1995’s MS-DOS and Mac based video game Transport Tycoon Deluxe. As a player, your target is to build a transport empire using your management skills and business tactics. Although the gameplay is almost identical to TTD, it includes several new improvements.

After choosing a town or a city as your base of operations at the beginning of a game, you now have to create a network of roadways, railways to generate revenue. You can either transport goods or passengers or even both at the same time. The game will start from 1950 with the level of technology available that time all the way to 2050, by which the player has to score high as possible. After then no new technology will be available.

Read: 18 Best Batman Games Ever Created

3. UFO: Alien Invasion

UFO Alien Invasion

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: UFO: Alien Invasion Team

Drawing heavy inspiration from the 1994’s classic UFO Enemy Unknown, the creators of UFO: Alien Invasion wanted to enhance the quality and experience of the game rather than just making it flashy with high-end graphics cards. It’s a team-based strategy game, where the player takes on the evading army of aliens who want to take control of the Earth. The game is available in two modes, Geoscape mode, and Tactical mode.

2. The Battle for Wesnoth

Battle for Wesnoth

Availability: Free

The game will take you to the fantasy world, where you have factions of elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs and humans alongside dragon-like creatures to choose from. It’s a turned based strategy game, in which the player has an ultimate goal to defeat enemies by creating a formidable army and controlling as many villages. The Battle for Wesnoth is highly inspired from the Master of Monsters and Warsong.

1. Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100

Availability: Free, Open Source
Developer: Pumpkin Studios

Read: 22 Scary Games To Play With The Lights Off

The story begins in the latter half of the 21st century, when world’s major civilizations are completely written-off after a series of devastating nuclear bombings due to malfunction in a powerful new strategic defense system. The player is an important member of “The Project,” an organized group of survivors who vowed to rebuild human settlements from the available technology and defeat their nemesis the ‘New Paradigm’, which is actually controlled by a computer virus.