Updated: Jan 3, 2021
10 of The Best Linux Games To Play In 2021
There are many free Linux games that you can play at home. Coronavirus has forced us all to stay at home. Although the lockdown has been eased, we still are not going out full fledgedly. So how can you pass time at home? You can choose from a myriad of games that you can play. Even if you are using Linux, you can get a decent amount of free Linux games. Linux has many free games now. And these Linux games are very much playable with good graphics, story and sound.
10 Best Free Linux Games
Linux had the notoriety of not having any interesting games. But today there are many free Linux games available. True, these games cannot match up to the Windows games, but Linux games have come a long way.
Here are 10 best free Linux game that you can find on the major Linux free software stores -
AssaultCube is a first person shooter available in most of the Linux distros. Yes, it is a very old game based on an older gaming engine - Cube.
Although the game cannot compete with polished Windows games like IGI, I am in love with the game. To me AssaultCube is the best Linux game. The graphics are 1990-ish. But the game-play is awesome.
The smart developers took a wise decision and decreased the speed of the game. So unlike other Cube games, you will have scope to think and strategize - it is not a mindless shooting game.
This free Linux game has a vibrant community around it. Every month, new maps get added. So the game remains new to the players. The official Discord Server, the unofficial Telegram groups make the players meet, chat and have friendship. Sometimes graphics do not make a game hit - the community makes it a hit. Medusa, XFA, the ZZs, Ana, Me and a lot more - we are the ones that make AssaultCube great.
Official Website - https://assault.cubers.net/
Sauerbraten or Cube2 is another first person shooter that you install and play for free on Linux. The music of this Linux game is epic. People who like fast gameplay will love the game.
The graphics too are more polished than AssaultCube. There are many interesting game modes in Sauerbraten. Of them, I like the insta CTF. Cube2 supports passing of the flag to other teammates.
Official Website - http://sauerbraten.org/
This is the last first person shooter in this list. Xonotic is different from the above free Linux games in the sense that it is based on Nexuiz classic - and Nexuiz is based on the Quake gaming engine. It is similar to Cube but it focuses on indoor maps. People who love industry-like maps with dark, mysterious places will find the game great.
Official Website - https://xonotic.org/
SuperTuxKart is a 3D racing game available on most of the software stores. The new updated version (1.2) of it was released in August 2020..
Don’t expect graphics or stories like NFS. It is a nice little game to pass time. The graphics are just fine with a comic touch. The Ubuntu free game focuses more on fun and less on Physics. It is suitable for children - there is little to no learning curve.
Official Website - https://supertuxkart.net/Main_Page
TrackMania Nations Forever
If you find the graphics of SupertuxKart too juvenile, you can try Trackmania. It is a Snap package - meaning that it is a Windows game on Linux with WINE already packaged so that you can play it on Linux without any fumbling.
The graphics are way better than SuperTuxKart. The control is smooth. But the game lacks a gritty story.
Download The Official SNAP Version From - https://snapcraft.io/tmnationsforever
Frets On Fire
Yes I am digging up old games from the ruins! Frets on Fire is a very old musical rhythm game. You have to press the appropriate keyboard keys when the colored markers appears at certain points to make the music flow efficiently.
You will find the start of the game funny. However, a pro tip - Linux Mint app store has the version 1.3.110 of the game. Any version before 1.2.512 should be used. Later versions are buggy.
Official Website - http://fretsonfire.sourceforge.net/
[ Read Further : Best Linux Game On Climate Change ]
NeverBall is a free Linux game that has the power to make you relaxed. You have to guide a ball to its destination by tilting the floor. You have to collect coins in order to open portals to the next levels. The platform is dangerous - the ball can fall down anytime. So guide the ball with utmost attention.
Official Website - https://neverball.org/
DreamChess is a Chess game for Linux which is more polished than Gnome Chess. The difficulty levels are increased in a balanced manner.
There are 3 major themes - classic wooden, figurines and opposing elements. I found the classic wooden to be clutter free. What I could not find is the option to set time. Other than that it is a great chess game.
Official Website - https://www.dreamchess.org/downloads
FreeTennis is a Tennis simulation game for Linux. This game for Linux is quite realistic. However there is no audience. When you first play the game, it will take quite a long time to serve the ball without ‘fault’. The sound, the player movement, the tapping of the ball and even the screams of the players are real life-ish. You have to move the player with the help of the mouse which is quite counter-intuitive.
Official Website - http://freetennis.sourceforge.net/
Since switching to Linux, I had been hungering for Open World games - games that have no limit in the platform - you can go anywhere. Like IGI. At last I found one. Openmw is loved by veterans because it is an overhaul of the yesteryear game Morrowwind Elder Scrolls. This new game is much more polished with no haphazard-ness. However, one bad thing is, you have to import the data files of the old Morrowwind in order to play this new game.
Official Website - https://openmw.org/en/
The Linux gaming world is about to change with the introduction of Snap - you can package WINE with Snap to make Windows games playable on Linux. If you are rich, you can buy Steam games that are way advanced than the free Linux games.
Update 1 -
A Reddit user with the username mechLyfeNL seems to disagree with my statement that Steam is not a viable place to find free Linux games. I tried Steam a few years back and could only find ‘Free To Play’ Steam games that are worth playing if you don’t want to shell out money. However, I tried Steam again today, and there are many Truly Free Steam games available now that can kill time. Ofcourse they are not as great as Resident Evil 3 or Doom Eternal but they are quite enjoyable. I am listing here 3 Free Steam games that you can play ( and enjoy) without shelling out money ( as of September 2020)
DDRace Network -
DDNet is a mod of the original game Teeworlds. This game showcases teamwork at its best. Your persona in the game is a 2D character with round face and small hands and legs. What you have to do is go from point A to B. But there are hurdles. You have to use hooks to climb up and to avoid the hurdles. There are freeze zones and bullets that will freeze you and you can’t move. You HAVE TO take the help of other players to come out of the freeze zone. Infact, when the game starts, you won’t find any guide or heads up. It says that you have to chat with other players to figure out how to wade through the maze-like side scrolling platform.
If you feel lonely in these troubled times, this game can fill the void.
Twin Turbo SuperCharged Nitro Fueled Papamobile -
Whoa quite a big name! Before delving deep - I salute the developer of the game for taking a bold stand!
The hero of the game is the Pope - Humanity’s only hope! And that Pope is black. Quite a hell of a political messaging there. The Pope’s ( your) task is to carry an antivirus vaccine and deliver it to the World Health Organization of the planet - Vatican 2317 - the only human inhabited planet!
So you step into your SuperCharged Nitro Fuelled car and head for the WHO. This is a car game ( not racing though). There are obstacle and pickups on the path. A guy on Reddit rightly says that the game is reminiscent of Skytrak. However, there are no other cars. This cyberpunk game features a futuristic setting - dont expect natural roads and greenery. However, I found that the sound of collision came before the collision with a hurdle. This was quite annoying. I don’t know if it was the fault of my PC or the game. Do try it and let me know.
Clam Man 2 Open Mic
This is the reason that I did not list Steam games in the original article. This is a free prologue to a an about-to-be released Role playing game. The game contains the first chapter only. If you do not wish to know what happens next, you can try this game. The game has a nice storyline - this not your usual action-action-action game. If you do not get bored reading long drawn conversation ( but interesting and enjoyable) this game is for you.
A Reddit user named Sidorovich was kind enough to mention some of the more modern games that you can play on Linux. If you are questioning your switch to Linux because of the lack of good games - do play these games mentioned by the user. Here is the list of the games that he mentioned -
Battle For Wesnoth
Sonic Robo Blast 2
Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart
Total Chaos ( My favourite from his list)
I will surely write a separate article about these games once I get to know them better.