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Our quick-picks of the best Linux games of 2020 so far

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We're halfway through the year already? Madness. Even with all the craziness of 2020 going on, lots of games still managed to get out of the door. I know, I can't believe 2020 isn't over yet either. Thankfully there's plenty of games to take our minds off everything from murder hornets to COVID19 and more.

Now we're at the halfway point, let's think about some of the top Linux releases of 2020 so far. This list is extremely subjective of course, this is just my personal pick on the top 15. Think of it as a starting point for good games to look at if you're stuck for something. In no particular order, going up to June 30 and I'm cheating just a little bit by including some Early Access titles too.

The Pedestrian

The Pedestrian is a 2.5D side scrolling puzzle platformer. You are The Pedestrian! Enter into a dynamic 3D world with stunning graphics and challenging puzzles.


Resolutiion is a fast-paced action-adventure created by two angry German brothers leading a band of vagrants who loaded it with lovely pixels, dirty jokes, deep ideas and badassemotional tunes for 20 hours of punishing combat, rewarding exploration, and layered storytelling.


Stoneshard is a challenging turn-based RPG set in an open world. Experience the unforgiving life of a medieval mercenary: travel across the war-torn kingdom, fulfill contracts, fight, mend your wounds and develop your character without any restrictions.

Space Haven

Embark on a space voyage with your ragtag crew of civilians in search of a new home. Build spaceships tile by tile, create optimal gas conditions, manage the needs and moods of their crew, encounter other space-faring groups, and explore the universe in this spaceship colony simulation.


Command the Nimbatus and craft drones out of hundreds of different parts. Survive unknown threats in a fully destructible, procedural universe, compete against other players in different arenas or enjoy complete creative freedom in the sandbox.


VirtuaVerse is a challenging old school cyberpunk point & click adventure set in a future not so far away narrating tales of technomancers, AVR graffiti writers, hacker groups, tribes of cryptoshamans, digital archeology, epic cyberwars and virtual reality debauchery.

Fort Triumph

A strategy game combining the turn-based combat of XCOM with the world exploration of HOMM. Build towns, collect artifacts, improve your heroes, and influence your tactical surroundings using physics!


Solve challenging cable-based puzzles and uncover what really happened to the crew of The Alabaster. Now with Hint System (for those ultra tricky puzzles).

Iratus: Lord of the Dead

Iratus: Lord of the Dead is a turn-based tactical roguelike RPG set in a dark fantasy universe. Lead an army of undead to help an angry necromancer in his quest to reach the surface world and bring death to the mortal realms!

Into the Breach

Control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game. The Linux release came later but most welcome.

One Step From Eden

Build a powerful deck, cast spells on the fly, battle evolving enemies, find game-changing artifacts, make friends or make enemies, just make it to Eden. Might actually be one of the most challenging games of this year.

Lair of the Clockwork God

A fast-paced Point-and-Click adventure AND an indie platfomer in one! Join adventurer Ben and wannabe indie darling Dan in a race against time to stop all the Apocalypses happening at the same time.


A procedural co-op space sandbox where players can build their own space ships out of dynamically scalable blocks. Fight epic space battles, explore, mine, trade, wage wars and build your own empire to save your galaxy from being torn apart by an unknown enemy.

Black Mesa

Is it cheating to include a remake? Nah. It's brilliant. I don't think Half-Life or Black Mesa really need a description do they? Relive Half-Life in this fan-made re-imagining.

Iris and the Giant

Iris and The Giant is a fusion of the CCG, RPG and roguelike genres. You play as Iris, who must brave her fears in her imaginary world. Dive into a melancholic and gripping adventure, filled with cute monsters and buried memories. Ready to face your inner demons?

Lenna's Inception

The legendary hero is dead, and a strange glitch is spreading across the kingdom. Explore dangerous dungeons, and defeat the eight archangels to restore order to an unraveling world in this epic action-adventure RPG.


Unrailed! is a co-op multiplayer game where you have to work together with your friends to build a train track across endless procedurally generated worlds. Master random encounters with its inhabitants, upgrade your train and keep it from derailing!

Starcom: Nexus

Suddenly thrown into an unknown galaxy, you must explore, fight or befriend aliens and transform your ship from a small survey vessel into a powerful battlecruiser to unravel the mystery of the forces that brought you here and find your way home.

Fates of Ort

Fates of Ort is a retro fantasy RPG focused on strategic action, in a land where time is frozen when you stand still. Cast powerful spells - but beware, they will cost you your life.

ShellShock Live

Demolish your friends with hundreds of upgradable weapons shot from your customizable tank in this action-packed online multiplayer tanks game. Earn XP to level up and unlock new tanks, weapons, and gear. Fight against or alongside your friends for strategic team or free-for-all matches.

Admittedly, this was originally a top 5 and then a top 10 and you get the idea…gosh, so hard to pick a small set of great games from so many overall. I could easily keep going, there's a lot of quality out there but all developers supporting Linux deserve a big high-five. I'll also give Valve a truly honourable mention here for bringing Half-Life: Alyx officially to Linux with Vulkan support. One day I hope to actually be able to play it but damn VR is expensive.

If you want to just follow new releases, you can do so easily with our New Release tag.

Over to you in the comments: let's keep it simple, why don't you list your top 5 for this year so far or perhaps the 5 you're most looking forward to playing on Linux later this year?

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CFWhitman 5 Jul, 2020
I don't think that 3D games are better than 2D games, but they are different. That is, it's not the greatest thing to have a dearth of 3D games in the releases for the year. Ideally, I would like to see good 2D and 3D games.

I also wanted to mention that as far as I am concerned immersion does not equal fun. That is, it does not follow that the level of fun goes up with the level of immersion. It is possible for a game to be too immersive. Part of the reason that VR is not more popular (besides that on the computer it tends to be expensive) is that people don't necessarily want to be that immersed in what they are playing (or watching). Sometimes people would rather be a bit more of an observer and a bit less of a participant in a game they are playing. It's possible to prefer playing a 3D game with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to playing one with a VR helmet and finger tracking.

Some of the best games I have ever played have been 2D, such as Super Metroid (SNES), Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (TurboGrafx-16 Super CD), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Playstation), Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD), Legend of Oasis (Saturn), Guardian Heroes (Saturn), Cave Story (GP2X through GINGE on OpenPandora), Hollow Knight (Linux), etc.*

Of course, some of the best games I have ever played have been 3D as well, like Half Life (Windows), Half Life 2 (Windows), The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (Nintendo64), Goldeneye: 007 (Nintendo64), Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (Windows), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Linux), Metroid Prime (GameCube), Portal 2 (Linux), etc.

Do I think the 3D games are better than the 2D ones? No. Neither do I think the 2D ones are better than the 3D ones.

*(The platforms I have in parentheses are the platforms that I first played each game on.)
Liam Dawe 5 Jul, 2020
The debate is always nice to have of course but I think some people need to remember: such articles, as stated, are heavily subjective. I don't even like the majority of big-budget AAA titles, all articles like this are entirely from my personal POV.
drjoms 17 Oct, 2020
[quote=Tuxee][quote=drjoms][quote=Liam Dawe]
Quoting: 14Depends on you how hungry or tired you are.

Apart from that pretty much all games I played recently are either 2D (Dead Cells, plenty of classics on MAME) or "fixed perspective" 3D.

Exactly that. I have eaten too much 2d games on Linux.(though Rim world is an amazing game!)
Even if you are hungry, there is so much serial you can eat time after time.
drjoms 17 Oct, 2020
[quote=Tchey][quote=drjoms][quote=Liam Dawe]
Quoting: 14Also, seeing how tech improves fast, a "good 2D" will age way better than anything 3D.
I remember watching demo of the very first Virtua Fighter, and i was woaaaah !
I’m quite sure in 20 years i will look 2020 best 3D game and think it’s looking old.
On the other end, i can look at Super Mario 1+2+3 today, and still feel the appeal.
Its because 2D compared to 3D is bad looking from start and appeal is not looks and game play, just game play.

Look at borderlands game. 3D and yet very playable many years after it was released.
and still will be more fun then 2D GTA
ageres 17 Oct, 2020
Quoting: drjomsIts because 2D compared to 3D is bad looking from start
Suuure. Glorious 3D is always looking good.
14 17 Oct, 2020
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Quoting: ageres
Quoting: drjomsIts because 2D compared to 3D is bad looking from start
Suuure. Glorious 3D is always looking good.
Your reply is illogical. He said, between his two posts, that 2D games are mostly about gameplay DESPITE the looks. He did not say that 3D games age well. Why is aging brought up anyway? It wasn't my point anyway. I personally don't play games that are 20 years old. Others can feel free to enjoy those of course. I hope they do. Suit yourselves. But I don't have a preference for playing games that look like they're 10-20 years old, 2D or 3D. My issue is new 2D games look pretty similar to old games. I'm not arguing to convince other people to feel the same way I do. I don't think others should either. We're not debating human morality. It's a matter of preference.

Last edited by 14 on 17 October 2020 at 1:46 pm UTC
CFWhitman 19 Oct, 2020
I think that some 3D games have aged better than others. For example, I think that Half Life 2 and Portal 2 still look pretty good, even when played on modest hardware.

Of course, I also enjoy playing Descent and Descent 2 (DOS games from the '90s) with the open source engine available for them on Linux, which only marginally improves the graphics from the old games since the same graphics files are used. There are also plenty of 2D games which I love, even some new ones. Part of me thinks you're missing out if you won't play a classic game because of the way it looks.

Similarly, I think you're missing out on some of the best movies ever made if you won't watch an old movie because it's black and white or the lenses or film used don't have the resolution to make the movie look any better at 1080p than it does at 720p or even 480p (though some old black and white films do have good resolution).

Of course, there are limits to this sort of thing. Sometimes things are only of historical interest since they led to the development of what we used later on. Five minute reels of dancing girls cannot compare to a full length feature film. Atari 2600 games are rarely anywhere near as engaging as even something as outdated as a good NES game.
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