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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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  • Yep (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:53PM (#23793849) Homepage Journal
    And all five people who bought them greatly enjoy them. So do the other hundred thousand or so who downloaded them via torrent because 'all software should be free', further throttling Linux game development.
  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 14, 2008 @03:54PM (#23793861)
    I guess most Windows and Mac users must believe the same thing!
  • Re:I knew it! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:10PM (#23793991)

    How many commercial games can you play on Linux?


    A lot. Many require WINE or similar to run though. In fact though with a VM you could say you can run every single commercial game in existence on Linux. Just because a game doesn't run natively on Linux doesn't mean that you can't play it using WINE, and many of the more prominent games even have specific steps to play the game perfectly or better then on Windows.
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @04:11PM (#23794001) Journal
    Yes, because all 5 people include the thousands that all play Eve, right?
  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday June 14, 2008 @05:25PM (#23794559) Homepage
    If that's your killer app, you'll only end up killing the platform.

    I wouldn't play a single-boot game. I haven't done that since the DOS days, and even back then I found it highly annoying. I have this ridiculously overpowered PC for a reason, and I very much enjoy firing up any random game in a few seconds, play however long I want, and quit back to the desktop so I can resume productivity. I often alt-tab out of games to poke at something else, or look up a game guide on the web.
  • Re:Vendetta Online (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vskye (9079) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @07:40PM (#23795541)
    I play Vendetta and it rocks. I've been playing since Nov 2007 and it really is a cool game, and I'm running it under Ubuntu 8.04 with the 64-bit linux client. You get something like 8 hours of free time to play online to see if you like it enough to subscribe. (just a happy gamer, not associated with VO) Oh, one more thing.. take the training missions first before you start asking silly questions. ;)
  • Technically, yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @07:52PM (#23795599) Journal
    Well, technically, yes, there have been more games ported to Linux, back in the Loki Games days. Stuff like IIRC Call To Power or Railroad Tycoon (IIRC) 2. Well, those are the two I actually own. There probably are a few more.

    That said, do note that the list is already containing some... rather... "classic" ones. Gorky 17, for example is a 1999 games for example, so it's rapidly approaching a decade old. So is Creatures 3. Knights and Merchants is from 1998. (And even back then it was a crap game, with some of the worst pathfinding (among other sins) I've seen in a RTS. And not very popular either. So it's... unsettling to see that as one of the best games for Linux.)

    Quake 3 was a good game, back then, but it's from 1999 too. Ok, they have Quake 3 Arena there, which is from 2000.

    Don't get me wrong, there's newer stuff in that list too, and some good stuff too. But, nevertheless, it's basically 42 games spread across 10 bloody years. Yeah, so some would be closer to one end than others, but that doesn't invalidate the point much. You're probably better off trying to use Wine than waiting for those commercial Linux games to trickle in.
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @02:50AM (#23798171) Homepage

    But enough [Windows and Mac users] are willing to pay to make PC gaming a billion dollar industry.
    If you design a game for both PCs and Macs, then adding Linux as a third platform shouldn't be that hard, since hopefully you're already writing using a cross-platform toolkit (in fact I am in the process of doing so myself). Note that if you're not doing so, but rather writing specifically for PCs and specifically for Macs, then you're already wasting a lot of effort over what it would take to use a cross-platform toolkit from the beginning.

    So the main reason not to support Linux is if you are PC-only, which is making less and less sense with Apple's rising success.

    A further issue is that of consoles. In fact PC (/Mac) gaming is somewhat declining in comparison to consoles, where game publishers make much more money. So it makes sense to write your game in a manner that allows it to be ported to the three major consoles (even if you don't intend to do so immediately, it makes sense to keep your options open, which they are not if you write something very specific to Windows and DirectX). So if you make room for such future portability, you should be using a cross-platform toolkit, hence again adding Linux support shouldn't be too hard.
  • Re:Yep (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:14AM (#23799355)
    Have you looked at http://freshmest.net/ [freshmest.net] or http://sourcefourge.net/ [sourcefourge.net] ?
    Most modern distributions have a software-repository browser built in. A 'add/remove software' dialog shows all the software available from your Linux Distributor.
    Usually, you can add extra repositories (like dag, livna or freshrpms) to get even more pre-packaged software.
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ardor (673957) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:26AM (#23799409)
    Unfortunately, its not as easy.

    First, adding Linux means adding TONS of work for support. Linux distros are much less static than Windows or OSX - the platform can vary greatly. This makes support very hard, this is why id and Epic do not give support for their ports.

    Also, OSX and Linux have many subtle differences which might catch you off-guard. Expect lots of testing and debugging.

    When we move to consoles its a different story altogether. Forget about one cross-platform toolkit, the platforms are too diverse. If you want to exploit the raw power of, say, the PS3, you NEED to do a real port. Write the code as modular as possible, but expect rewrites. Forget about using the SDL on the PS3, for instance, or OpenGL - if you want full power, you program the chipset directly. Also, a cross-platform toolkit ends up consuming resources, something you often cannot afford (a good example is the PS2 with its lousy 32MB RAM). In short, a simple cross-compile won't do the trick, unfortunately.
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @01:51PM (#23801555)
    If you design a game for both PCs and Macs, then adding Linux as a third platform shouldn't be that hard, since hopefully you're already writing using a cross-platform toolkit

    The second platform for the Windows developer is the XBox 360 - and the cross-platform toolkit is sitting there in front of him

    The Mac port can be outsourced.

    The OEM Linux PC is typically presented as an entry-level system with bottom feeder specs.

    The games in the CNR [cnr.com] repository make that plain enough.

    It's the rare Linux developer who competes directly against the Sims or Bioshock on the PC.

    He's far more likely to be producing content that wouldn't look out of place on Shockwave.com or the download arcade on the console.

    XBox Live!

  • by skeeto (1138903) on Monday June 16, 2008 @12:56AM (#23806327)

    I hope I am not being overly pedantic here, but there is nothing non-commercial about the GPL or any other free software licenses. In fact, you can pay money [redhat.com] for Free softare games if you like. What they really mean is proprietary. In the article, they do however have a clearer definition,

    To be eligible for inclusion in this list each game needed to be:

    • Released under a proprietary license with a fee required either to purchase the game, or a monthly charge
    • Not require Wine to run. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows software

    My only complaint is with the title of the article.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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