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PC Games (Games) Software Linux

42 of the Best Commercial Linux Games 158

Posted by timothy
from the answer-to-everything dept.
LinuxLinks writes "It is true to say that the number of commercial games released for Linux each year remains small compared to other platforms. Nevertheless, we faced lots of difficult choices compiling a list of 42 of the best commercial Linux games. The selection we have finally chosen covers a wide range of different game genres, so hopefully there will be something here that will interest all."
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42 of the Best Commercial Linux Games

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  • by Lane.exe (672783) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:56PM (#23793893) Homepage
    I didn't know EVE Online had a native client. Hm.
  • How many... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:03PM (#23793949)
    ...were released in the last year? Last two years? Three?
  • Crappy list (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Silverlancer (786390) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:12PM (#23794011)
    They include games with no real native client (EVE Online, which has a built-in Cedega-like engine), but they don't list The Ur-Quan Masters, possibly the best native-Linux game in history? Given how small their "Adventure" category is, they would have done well to include it...
  • Re:Yep (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:18PM (#23794071) Homepage

    I think there's a small problem of distribution. Linux-only games won't sell. However, Windows games do sell, and if there's Linux binaries available, all the better.

    Of the games on the list, I have NWN, Quake 3, 4 and Doom 3... NWN, Doom 3 and Q4 on the virtue of buying the Windows version and downloading the free binary, Q3A because luckily there actually was a local book shop that had Linux games (I also bought Myth II from them, and ordered SMAC from another store). Loki was a great company, too bad they didn't quite have the distribution figured out to the same extent as other game companies.

    Currently, I don't see many other viable modes of distribution for Linux games other than either a) Sell Windows games and let people download Linux binaries on their own or b) supply Linux binaries inconspicuously on the CD. Linux-only packages are murder.

  • Re:Alpha Centauri... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:25PM (#23794127) Homepage

    I would have nominated Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri but that one broke many a kernal ago on a glibc update. Too bad Loki is dead or they could have updated it.

    Funny, I actually got SMAC to work on a reasonably new setup; the updater blew up (I had to patch the game manually by extracting the update and patching the files individually with xdelta), fullscreen mode doesn't work (weird video mode), and apparently I'd need to disable compositing to make it not crash when the actual game play begins, which I'm too lazy to do...

    We needs a new build or at least a competent clone! SMAC rules!

  • Re:Alpha Centauri... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MK_CSGuy (953563) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:32PM (#23794189)
    I actually returned to Alpha Centauri yesterday and played many hours in the weekend (though back in the day I bought the Windows version and I now play it on VirtualBox).
    This game surely enters my best 3 games ever list, maybe even the 1st.
    This game has the optimal mixture of reasonable graphics, great design, great story, many options and great "feeling".
    Seriously, every time I return to it the game just blows my mind away,
  • Re:Yep (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xtracto (837672) * on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:37PM (#23794231) Journal
    Hell, ship it with a Live DVD version so people don't have to switch right away.

    IMHO that would be a "killer app" for Linux. Develop a game using OpenGL and other libraries and then create a live-CD which only starts the game (and all the underlying hardware is done by Linux).
    That way PC gaming can be made as simple as console gaming. The only downside I see is the lack of upgrades when doing that... other thing you could do is ask to install in some of the available partitions. And let the people play *only* when inserting the disk (that way you can implement insert-CD-annoyance-security.

    I don't know however if Linux would be good for that (given the licenses), maybe a BSD based live disk would be better...
  • DEFCON FTW (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:42PM (#23794265) Journal
    I'm not familiar with many of the games on that list; but DEFCON is a game very worthy of attention. Minimalist vector graphics, ripped straight from the Big Display in every movie version of a NATO command center, minimal; but haunting, sound effects, and a disconcerting premise. That game is tougher on the nerves than anything I've played since System Shock 2. Which is pretty impressive for a third person strategy game.
  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:29PM (#23794591)
    I guess most Windows and Mac users must believe the same thing!

    But enough are willing to pay to make PC gaming a billion dollar industry.

    The developer for Linux begins with the handicap of a 0.68% market share -- in a world where Vista has 15%, OSX on the Mac and the iPhone 8%.

    Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com]

    When your potential market is already microscopic, you can't afford to lose a significant percentage of sales to the pirate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:38PM (#23794665)
    I wrote up a short review with screenshots for several fun lesser known Linux games that didn't all make the top 42 list:
    http://www.linuxgames.com/archives/10260
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:45PM (#23794735)
    Windows users don't have the same organization, at least, not around Windows.

    That doesn't feel quite right.

    You only have to look at CNET and Download.com to see that there are communities built around Windows. A $20 shareware product like SolSuite Solitaire [download.com] rates an editorial review, a video, and 9 million downloads.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:45PM (#23794741)
    Eve Online has no native client. IIRC it has Cedegar tied in. So it breaks their own rules. Sort of.

    Kohan has a pure native version *and* a version that comes autobundled with it's own Wine/Cedegar offering instant one-click install and play and it isn't even mentioned.

    Where is Tribes 2?
    What about Rune or Heavy Metal?

    The last time I tested Wurm Online (given, that was a while ago) it was crappy. I mean, really crappy.

    I'm glad they mentioned Savage/Savage 2 though. The S2Games people deserve credit for a wonderfull game that runs natively on Linux since day one and was the first quality title that actually actively advertised their support for Linux.

    But some of the games on this list are far outperformed by todays FOSS counterparts. The only indie game that I didn't know of and got me curious was "H-Craft Championship". Gotta check that out.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:46PM (#23794747)
    ...to testify on behalf of "Darwinia." Beautiful, moody, atmospheric, and emotionally engaging. Oh, it's also dirt cheap and a bargain at twice the price. Lovely, glowy, primitive "TRON"-esque graphics, swirly sounds, and easy to learn.

    This is one developer that's definitely worth your time and few dollars. Skip the Starbucks for a day and try it out. Even though it's a linear-ish game, there's still replay value. Went all the way through it four or five times now and it's never the same twice.
  • Re:Yep (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZERO1ZERO (948669) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:55PM (#23794851)
    Hmmmm, having used Linux for a good number of years now, I still have problems deciding which software to use, eg. cd burning - i know there are a few K3b, gnomebaker, brassero, xcdroast, cdrtools, nero, etc, but I think it would be quite neat if there was a central place like cnet.com, download,com where these another linux softwares could be put up like that .

    Is there anything like that for linux?

    I'm reminded of the debian software popularity contest package, and I usually tick the box to submit the info - where can I find out the results of all this data collection?

  • by redstar427 (81679) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @06:26PM (#23795067)
    I am testing out the beta version of VMWare Workstation 6.5

    This version does still buffer the video card, but it seems on par with DirectX 9.x and pixel Shader 2.0

    I started testing with older games so far, such as Diablo II, which work fine. Soon I will try newer games. However, since it does not yet report the actual physical video card, some games will not work with it.

    This is improved greatly over the past version, for use with Direct3D games.

    Also, it seems WINE has improved greatly as well.

    However, if you like to play power 3D games, then native Windows is probably the best choice for most games.
  • RTCW? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by antdude (79039) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @06:44PM (#23795163) Homepage Journal
    Where's Return to Castle Wolfenstein [idsoftware.com]?
  • No Descent 3? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeff250 (986303) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @06:52PM (#23795207)
    No game is without its flaws, but Descent 3 delivered a unique gameplay experience for Linux and other operating systems:
    http://www.lokigames.com/products/descent3/ [lokigames.com]
    It deserves mention in the list, perhaps in lieu of one of the more ordinary first person shooters listed.
  • Vendetta Online (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Incarnate-VO (1307775) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @07:04PM (#23795297)
    I designed and run Vendetta Online (vendetta-online.com), another game on the above list. I don't have the cool realtime stats that Teppy does, but we have quite a few Linux people and a significant OS X population (around 30-40% of our userbase, last I checked). Our game is completely native on each platform, and includes a 64bit Linux client. We don't use any kind of portability/wrapper libraries.
  • Re:Alpha Centauri... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @07:44PM (#23795565) Journal
    I would have nominated Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri but that one broke many a kernal ago on a glibc update. Too bad Loki is dead or they could have updated it.

    On a related note, the other day I was really wishing I had purchased the combo pack (SMAC + SMACX) for Linux which was selling several years back. I was checking on Amazon [amazon.com], and apparently nowadays a used copy of SMACX goes for ~$110, with $150 minimum for a new copy.
  • Re:Games selection (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @07:45PM (#23795569)

    Ditto to this. Cider does a piss poor job of supporting EVE, when the "native" clients first shipped it was slow, crash happy, and prone to graphical corruption. Even today it's slow and prone to graphical corruption, it's just less crash happy. Meanwhile Windows users get to use EVE's "premium" graphics, a series of new models and lighting system requiring Shader Model 3 while Linux and Mac users are out of luck. The situation is so bad that the remaining Linux users have gone back to playing the regular client on WINE because it's faster and supports said premium graphics, Mac users are out of luck because DarWINE isn't quite up to speed with SM3.

    It works only if your definition is "it executes" otherwise you're much better off playing it under Windows.

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