The 15 Best Linux Games In 2020

As of 2020, gaming on Linux has become more convenient and easier. Many AAA titles originally launched only for Windows or even macOS have been tuned to support Linux. Developers have also started creating better Linux gaming distros to cater to this growing creed of Linux gamers.

Linux gaming distros are developed specifically to offer the user a Linux base for fuss-free gaming. Each of these distros is free, user-friendly, reliable, and doesn’t even require a reboot after an update. You can play the best games for Linux easily on any of the following –

  • Solus
  • Ubuntu Gamepack
  • Manjaro
  • SteamOS
  • LakkaOS

You can check out the complete list of the best linux distros for gaming here.

As of now, Linux has truly evolved to provide a complete desktop gaming experience. Major game studios are now developing games using Vulkan API. Google has also launched a cloud gaming service in November 2019 called Google Stadia. Those who don’t know, Google Stadia is based on a Linux server!

So why are game studios developing Linux based games? It’s simple, to make their games available on Stadia and to take advantage of the low-memory Linux OS making way for better gaming performance and experience.

Linux can be faster than Windows and macOS for gaming while sticking to the same PC build! But operating Linux may require some expertise from your end.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in! 

Best Games for Linux in 2020

1. Minecraft

Minecraft

Released in 2009, Minecraft has surpassed all games in terms of sales. As of 2020, this game has clocked sales of over 200 million copies. Not just sales, it has over 120 million active users per month.

The latest JAVA version of Minecraft even has an achievement system known as advancements. Minecraft features an open-world game that allows you to explore, craft, survive, and build structures. It has 5 distinct modes each offering a unique gaming experience.

The most exhilarating part of this game is some of its reality-based concepts like the day-night cycle. It has several unique terrains like mountains, forests, caves, lava, and water bodies.

The original JAVA Minecraft can be brought for $26.95.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 GHz / AMD A10-7800 APU 3.5 GHz
  • GPU (discrete): GeForce 700 Series or AMD Radeon RX 200 Series
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 4GB SSD
  • Software: Minecraft 1.12 and above requires Java version 8.

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2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

The Witcher 2- Assassins of Kings

Witcher 2 is a sequel to The Witcher, launched in 2007. Although this game has a third part, it is not available directly on Linux distros. You can play Witcher 3 by using steam platforms but not directly. 

The graphics content and storytelling of this game is outstanding as per 2011 standards. Witcher 2 features the same protagonist, Geralt of Rivia. He is among a few surviving Witchers, trained to kill monsters. Geralt possesses a number of superpowers and carries two swords, a silver for monsters while a steel sword to fight others.

The game is open-ended and there are multiple endings that will depend upon your choices and actions made in-game. The enhanced edition for PC is available for $19.99.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Intel or AMD Quad 
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 260 or ATI HD4850 1GB
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 23GB 

3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Middle Earth- Shadow of Mordor

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an open-world action-packed video game with astonishing graphics and an ancient backdrop. The storyline is placed between Hobbit series and The Lord of the rings trilogy.

The gameplay and environment in this game are remarkably like the movies. The player controls a Ranger who bonds with an Elf to avenge the fall of their loved ones by the hands of evil powers.

Shadow of Mordor has received critical acclaim, praised for its combat scenarios, open-world design, and the Nemesis System. Nemesis is an AI-powered feature that enables Non-player characters to remember your actions and counter them.

It has been completely tested on Linux distro, Ubuntu 14.04.2, priced at $14 for a Linux PC version.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Core i7-3rd gen 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 or AMD Radeon HD 7970
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 40GB 
  • Software Requirements: Direct X Version 11

4. Dying Light

Dying Light

Dying Light is one of the most popular survival games today, up there with the likes of The Last Of Us. This game features a vibrant open-world city, infested with zombie-like creatures. Dying Light can be recalled among the best Linux RPG games. You spawn as an undercover agent, Kyle Crane who must gain access to a quarantine zone in the city of Harran.

The real-time day-night cycle adds to the gameplay as the zombies gain speed and strength during the night. The graphics and image quality feels are exemplary.

There is always something interesting to discover in your vicinity. Other than that, the mob dynamics are excellent and quite a challenge. It takes an expert gamer about 18 hours to complete it.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: Core i5- 4670K, 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290 (2GB)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3
  • Storage: 40GB 
  • Software Requirements: Direct X Version 11

5. Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark- Survival Evolved

Running-up a snowy mountain firing a machine gun from the back of a dinosaur. Ark: Survivor Evolved will fulfill all your childhood fantasy and keeps you in awe. It is among the best Linux compatible games around with vivid backgrounds and outstanding graphics. This open-world game is full of action and adventure.

The maps in this game are called Arks. Explore them solo or with up to 100 players. Like many survival games, this game spawns you on the breach of a massive island. The challenge is to survive a huge variety of terrifying beasts.

With the progression of gameplay, you will be able to unlock new weapons and complete achievements. The multiplayer mode of this game is particularly challenging with the potential of looting others’ shelters.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Processor: 2 GHz 
  • GPU (discrete): OpenGL 3 Compatible GPU with 1GB Video RAM
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Software Requirements: Direct X Version 11

6. Tomb Raider 

Tomb Raider

This game features the famous explorer protagonist Lara Croft in her first adventure. Shipwrecked and stranded on an island, you will be pushed to your limits to survive while exploring the island.

The gameplay is based on the successful origin story of Lara Croft. Your character in this game develops after going through a series of events and facing unprecedented dangers. The game exhibits powerful cut-scenes and excellent graphics.

Tomb Raider will take some serious gaming acumen and offers adrenaline-pumping action at every corner. If you are an action-adventure stealth gamer, Tomb Raider is arguably the best Linux game in this genre, available online for just $19.99.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 14.04 or Steam OS 2.0(64bit)
  • Processor: Intel i5
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 760 with 3GB Video RAM
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 15GB 

7. Dota 2

Dota 2

DOTA 2 is a famous multiplayer online battle game also known as MOBA games. It is among the popular free Linux games. It is one of the most rewarding and intense team-based games around.

It stands out against other games in the same genre with its amazing features. The game will present you with over 100 avatars to choose from. All these characters are unlocked the moment you complete the tutorial.

No matter what in-game purchases you make, the gameplay will be a level playing ground for all. There is absolutely no advantage other than experience and better team gaming abilities. It will also provide you with an entrance to professional competitions in the DOTA 2 community. This is among the best free Linux games available today and one of the most popular ones around as well.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 12.04 or above
  • Processor:  Dual-core processors with a clock speed above 2.5 GHz
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 8600 / Intel HD Graphics 3000 / AMD HD 5000 or above
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 15GB

8. Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Borderlands is back with a bang. This first-person shooter game had a prequel launched in 2009. But Borderland 2 is quite a few steps ahead of its prequel. It is back with the dangerous enemies, entertaining characters, addictive level-up systems, and tons of loot.

Everything offered by the original game has been refined and amplified. It makes the planet of Pandora an even more exciting and rewarding place to explore. The shortcoming of the previous version has been greatly reduced.

The gameplay offers some genuine comedy during progressions. This game will keep you busy for quite some time. It is available for $20 online.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Steam OS, Ubuntu 14.04
  • Processor:  Intel or AMD Quad-Core above 2.5 GHz clock speed 
  • GPU (discrete): GeForce 260 or AMD equivalent
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Storage: 13GB

9. Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike- Global Offensive - Best Linux games

Every gamer must have tried their hands at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It is more of an update than a sequel. The game restores all the features and functionalities of the original Counter-Strike.

It is clearly the best multiplayer shooting game ever developed. With better graphics and controls, CS: GO has truly outlasted the original Counter-Strike. You can play both online and offline. Players must repurchase weapons, armor, and equipment after completing each round.

It is also a famous Esports and competitive game with frequent prizes. You can play CS: GO easily on Steam, making it one of the best free Linux games around as well.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 12.04 or above 
  • Processor: A dual-core INTEL or AMD processor with clock speeds above 2.5GHz
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 8600 / AMD Radeon HD 2600 or above
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 15 GB 

10. Portal 2

Portal 2

Portal 2 has greatly outsmarted the original version. The cast of characters has been expanded with a more substantial storyline. The challenges have also been made more difficult and rewarding.

The game feels funny and more interesting because of the robotic voices in the background. Unlike other multiplayer shooting and RPG games, Portal 2 is a puzzle game. There is a near-impossible level of difficulty that throws a substantial without leaving you disappointed.

It is available for $9.99 online. Get this game to challenge your analytical thinking!

Recommended System Requirement

  • Distro: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor: Dual-core Intel or AMD processor above 2.8 GHz clock speed
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 8600 / AMD Radeon HD 2600 or above
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 8 GB

11. Terraria

Terraria

Terraria is among the coolest 2D action-adventure sandbox ever. This game takes all the exploration, crafting, building, and battling that makes Minecraft adventure mode into a 2D landscape.

The adventures become more challenging with the difficult battle monsters as you progress. Terraria’s tremendous depth pairs well with a straightforward run jump and shoots type combat. The combat is extremely simplistic, and battling becomes even more fun when you keep finding new materials.

You can combine the materials you find to craft new items. The best part is that the entire world can be mined. Hence, there is no shortage of resources. Get Terraria for only $10.

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Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Processor: Intel/AMD Dual-Core 3.0 GHz
  • GPU: 256 MB graphics memory
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Storage: 200MB 
  • Software Requirements: OpenGL 3.0 support

12. Deus-Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus-Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the most graphics-intensive games you can play on Linux. Though launched back in 2016, you will need an above moderate gaming rig or setup to run this mammoth game let alone at optimum graphics settings.

You will spawn as covert agent Adam Jensen and get a huge arsenal of futuristic technologies and augmentations. Choose the right approach to unravel a worldwide conspiracy that changed human civilization. The superlative maps and mission designs take this game to the next level. For just $29.99, this is a must-have game without a doubt.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 16.10 or Steam OS 2.0 
  • Processor: Intel i7-3770K
  • GPU (discrete): 6GB Nvidia 1060 
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 70 GB
  • Important Note: AMD and Intel Graphics Cards were not supported at the time of release

13. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

Despite the 2D graphics and a rhyming tune, Stardew is very addictive. The secret of Stardew Valley is that it is much more than generating resources. From farming and exploring mine, this game gives such a close touch to reality.

The crops will generate money, which you can use to buy tools. Further, you will take these tools and mine to create more resources and grow your village. Simple serene and far off from combat. A truly non-violent Linux game. It can be bought online for just $14.99.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Distro: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS  
  • Processor: 2GHz AMD or Intel processor 
  • GPU: 256 MB Video card
  • RAM:  2 GB 
  • Storage: 500 MB
  • Software Requirements: OpenGL 2.0

14. Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally

Extreme is the word that will come to your mind when you experience the graphics and audio quality of this game. It bites on a huge chunk of hardware for a smooth drive. Dirt Rally is arguably one of the best racing games out there.

It would require you at least a few hours of practice to be able to control your car on the track. Controls are just like the sweet spot between real-time and simulation for the perfect racing experience. A first-person perspective will give you a real sensation of driving a rally car.

You will get tracks in different time zones from humid sunny tracks to slippery tracks in freezing temperatures. A highly recommended game for those in search of an adrenaline boost. It is also ranked among the best Linux games on Steam, available on it for $19.99.

Recommended System Requirement

  • Distro: Ubuntu 16.10 or Steam OS 2.0 
  • Processor: Intel i5-6500 3.2 GHz
  • GPU (discrete): 4GB Nvidia graphics
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 42 GB

Important Note: 

  • NVIDIA cards require driver version 370.28.
  • AMD GPUs require MESA 13.0.3.
  • Intel GPUs require MESA 13.0.3.

15. Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

Released in 2007, Team Fortress 2 is a first-person shooter game with both online and offline modes. Despite being launched in 2007, this classic FPS continues to receive updates and have helped this game survive the era of high graphics and hardware hungry games.

The best part about this game is given the graphics, features, weapons, and terrain, the gameplay fares well when compared to the latest multiplayer battle games. This game will run even on the oldest of PCs, better on Linux!

Recommended System Requirement

  • Distro: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor:  Dual-Core Intel or AMD with clock speed above 2.8GHz
  • GPU (discrete): Nvidia GeForce 8600 / Intel HD Graphics 3000 / AMD HD 5000 or above
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage: 4 GB
  • Software Requirements: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card

Conclusion

There has been a constant influx of games on Linux OS. The power and stability that it offers along with the fact that Linux is free to use, has made this perhaps the next new market for gamers. Just head over to Linux OS and enjoy a ton of games out there. Time is not far when developers will be releasing a Linux game versions on launch dates as well!

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