Whether you want something free to play or you’re looking for invest in a long term favorite, there are plenty of amazing options on Linux. Many of Linux’s best titles are actually the best in their genre. This is especially true with some eSports games. Plenty of big names from other platforms have been ported over to Linux recently too, allowing for a ton of choice. That said, these games stand out above the rest.
DoTA 2 is one of Valve’s biggest titles. It’s been around for a fairly long time, and it was one of the first games Valve ported to Linux when they started supporting the OS with Steam. It was also one of the first Linux games to receive Vulkan support.
DoTA 2 is one of the biggest MoBA games and a giant player in the eSports space. Valve continues to update DoTA 2 with new heroes and content. Because DoTA 2 is an eSports title with an active online playerbase, you’re never going to run out of things to do in this game.
If you aren’t familiar with Counter Strike, you probably don’t know much about gaming. The latest iteration of Valve’s popular first person shooter, CS:GO is an extremely popular game in the genre and a huge player in the eSports scene. CS:GO is an absolute must for any fan of military style shooters or just competitive gaming.
Rocket League is based around a strange concept, cars playing soccer(football, sorry), but it’s a genuinely fun game that’s exploded in popularity. The game literally reaches new heights, allowing cars with rocket boosters to fly through the air and play the ball. Rocket League is another huge eSports title that has a large online playerbase and fanbase.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is another major title from Valve. It’s a cartoon first person shooter that allows you to take the role of one several characters with different abilities. Together with your team, you fight an opposing team over several objectives.
Team Fortress 2 might not be as big as it once was, but it’s still a very popular title with complete Linux support. With an active online community and competitive play, this one shouldn’t get old for a long time.
In a lot of ways, Ark takes the Minecraft formula and cranks it to eleven. You’re character is stranded on an island with dinosaurs, crazy tech, and other players, and you need to survive. You need to make the most of your surroundings and cooperate with other players to get that done. Oh, and you can ride a dinosaur, so there’s that.
The Civilization games have been a staple of PC gaming for a long time, and why wouldn’t they be. They’re one of the major driving forces behind the real time strategy genre and the civilization simulation one. Both Civilization V and VI are available for Linux, and the ports for both are great. If you like history, or modding the crap out of history to include Game of Thrones characters, Civ should be right up your alley.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider is easily one of the best installments in the series, and one of the top action games in recent history. Play through Lara Croft’s origin while surrounded by visually stunning landscapes and a living world. Between the original game content and the subsequent expansions, there shouldn’t be any shortage of things to do and explore here.
Metro 2033/Last Light
The Metro series really stepped into the main stream in terms of popularity several years ago, but they’re still going strong today. Metro 2033 and the follow up, Metro Last Light are unique shooters that take you on a journey through a world ravaged by nuclear war. Both in the metro tunnels turned shelter and the wasteland above, you’ll struggle against human antagonists and horrific mutants in an attempt to survive.
Shadow of Mordor
Have you ever wanted to be a ranger like Aragorn and hack you way through Sauron’s worst? Well, that’s what Shadow of Mordor lets you do, but even better. This action game takes things to the next level as you play as a human ranger, possessed by a wraith who you must work with as you fight your way through Mordor to defeat your common enemy, Sauron. Your new wraith buddy gives you some awesome abilities, like mind controlling orcs to join your side. With that, Shadow of Mordor brings a strategy twist to a genre that can otherwise feels stale.
Dirt Rally is a somewhat of a different racing game. Instead of racing on a paved track, Dirt puts you on the… dirt. Rally races take place on all sorts of different terrain and courses, adding a new dimension to the game. You get to experience races in varied situations, making the whole experience more fun than just turning left. On the simulation side of things, Dirt Rally is surprisingly realistic and aims to replicate the feeling of being the driver, right down to the sound of the engine.
There are so many more games coming to Linux, both from ports and through Wine, it wouldn’t be any kind of surprise to see big shifts in this list next year. This is especially true if you count Steam Play, which runs Windows games like native ones in Steam. That, combined with the ever improving state of graphics on Linux might bring more new titles and players than ever to Linux.