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Top 10 Free Linux Games
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by Rob Williams on September 19, 2006 in Linux

If you think that there are no great games for Linux, think again! We are taking a look at 10 of some of the most popular Linux games… that just so happen to be completely free!

Introduction

If you use Linux as your primary OS, then you already understand why it is so great. But, do you game on it? Ever try to convert your Windows friends to Linux? More times than not, the dreaded first question is, “Can I game on it?”

For some reason, there is a constant mindset that there are not many games for Linux when in fact there are many. I don’t mean the small ones that are included with GNOME or KDE, but full blown projects that deliver captivating and deep game play experiences. There are even a few good commercial games out there for Linux, but that’s not the topic of today’s article.

Instead, we have put together a top 10 list of free games you should have installed. With the help of the Gentoo and Ubuntu forums, we have thrown together what I believe to be a solid list of 10. Shouts out also to Michael of Phoronix and Susan of Tuxmachines for their help also!

So how does a game make this top 10 list? Well, from 10 – 1, they have all been listed according to how many votes the game received. Though there were around 50 games total that were brought up in forum posts, most only had a single vote. Even our #10 had only four votes, so it’s obvious that the top games are there for a reason. In order to qualify for the list, the game had to meet these requirements:

  • Has to be 100% free… no strings attached.
  • Cannot require wine to run.
  • Open Source not a requirement.
  • Installation must be painless.
  • Cannot be an add-on to a commercial game.

We can learn a lot from this simple top 10. First, a game doesn’t have to have incredible graphics in order to be fun. That’s well known by many already, and proven by this list. Puzzle games are some of the easiest to get into, so they prove quite popular. For a more immersive experience, FPS games are a top genre, especially for online multi-player fun. Actually, FPS games proved so popular, that 4/10 of the games listed today are just that.

One thing that really stood out to me here was the fact that 8 out of all 10 of these games, are also available for Windows and other platforms. That says a lot. Most of the games were first developed for Linux then ported over to Windows/Mac OS X. It would be great to see the opposite effect happen though. Even with the large amount of games available for Linux, the total count would be scary to look at when compared to Windows.

You may wonder about the lack of images on this page… that’s because this is a top 10 list and I didn’t want to spoil any ‘surprise’ that could possibly come from this list. So, without further ado, let’s check out #10 and #9. Also… don’t check out the drop down menu unless you want all of the titles revealed to you early :)


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