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Our top favourite Linux games released in 2020

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As 2020 comes to a close, here's a brief look over what games we personally thought truly stood out in 2020 that directly supported Linux. 

Here's my own personal picks of games I personally enjoyed the most through 2020:

Spiritfarer

With all the terrible things going on in the world, Spiritfarer was a wonderful reminder to slow down and appreciate the little things and life itself. 

Spiritfarer felt a bit like the antidote to 2020 that I needed. Take care of spirits, travel slowly around by boat, and eventually let everyone go into the next life. It's an easy game to recommend to pretty much anyone because it's just thoroughly wonderful.

Avorion

I am a space nerd. There, I said it. I really truly am. The final frontier - it's just so exciting and travelling through space in Avorion feels fantastic.

Mine asteroids and watch as they break apart, do a little trading and build up your fleet all while taking in the great atmospere. Not just that though, all the building systems in Avorion make it worthwhile as you build your own ships block by block like it's space Minecraft.

art of rally

A racer that needs no introduction I'm sure. art of rally is one of the best top-down rally racers. Tough as hell too! It's a very different experience to traditional rally games like the DiRT Rally series, and nice to see something a little more accessible and stripped back to just enjoy the ride.

A Monster's Expedition

We have another fantastic relaxing game here on top of Spiritfarer in my list. A Monster's Expedition is easily one of the best puzzle games I've played in a very long time, with an open-ended structure that allows you to explore different sections with a clever progression system that sees you knock down trees to access various different puzzle islands - it's simply magical.

CARRION

Absolutely brutal. Do I need to say more? Probably, but should I? Look, CARRION is absolutely insane. You control a big messy blob of anger and go around eating people.

If you feel like you need to let off a little steam, it fits nicely as you slide around a research complex, growing stronger and causing havoc as you go.

Amnesia: Rebirth

The scariest game of 2020. I definitely never ever want to play it again but I mean that in the best way possible. It was a serious experience, one you have to try but I don't think my body could handle much more from it. Incredible atmosphere and it shows how Frictional Games have still clearly got it when it comes to horror.

SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE

SUPER

HOT

SUPER

…you'll understand if you've played it. A first-person shooter where time is almost at a standstill until you move. A much expanded game compared to the original, and to me it was all the better for it. Much more replay value, and just amazing to play through. There's simply nothing else like it.

Superliminal

Not a particularly long puzzle game but I really appreciated the different way it forces you think.

It reminded me of my first time playing the likes of Portal and The Talos Principle because of how unique it is. It's all about getting the right perspective. Pick up an object, and how you look at it will change the size of it. Such a magnificent idea and I wish there was a whole lot more of it.

Disc Room

Love being frustrated? Want a different kind of dungeon-crawling experience? Disc Room is what you need to download. The name says it all, you run through rooms full of spinning discs trying to cut you up. Why are they here though, why are you exploring? Many questions, even more deaths and a whole lot of fun as you duck and dive through many disc rooms. Disc Room is absolutely frantic that you don't want to miss it.

Crusader Kings III

Where do I even start with Crusader Kings III? One of the most deep and complex items in my Steam library, a properly modern grand strategy game from Paradox that's…actually quite inviting and even an idiot like me can enjoy?

I was sold on CKIII pretty quickly. It's a story-teller, and an RPG as much as it is a grand strategy game and one you can play however you want. Not as complex in a few ways as the previous game sure enough, but it doesn't need to be, it's not the same game and it's better for it. Opening up grand strategy to more people and it's never dull.


Notes: I could of course make a much longer list as there's plenty that were awesome but these are just what stood out the most for me personally. Considering how many I enjoyed, this was a real struggle to cut down! There's also a large number I am still yet to personally go through. I decided not to list games on Stadia, since the service has only recently opened up to more people and is still locked away from many countries - it felt a bit unfair. GeForce NOW also doesn't count, since they don't actually support Linux yet but that is planned. Plus, as always, my personal focus is developers supporting Linux because there's already more than enough places focusing on AAA Windows games.

Our livestreamer, Sin, also played quite a lot of games through this year on our Twitch Channel. Here's what Sin thinks stood out the most from what was played:

Littlewood

Now I have put a silly amount of time into this adorable game, but I stand by my statement of this being the relaxing game we needed in the middle of 2020. Littlewood gave me massive Animal Crossing/Stardew Valley vibes and honestly who doesn't enjoy that. 

You play a hero that has already saved the world and now it's time to rebuild the village, you also get to name yourself and the village, I am known as Mayor Sin of the village Hell. To rebuild the village, you collect resources, decorate homes, make new friends that will want to move in and hold cute pixel pets! 

Littlewood stood out for me this year, because of the easy and yet addictive game play, that just makes you feel wholesome and happy after you play for 10 hours straight! 

Children of Morta

Children of Morta was a game I honestly thought I wouldn't enjoy, but boy was I wrong about that. Not only is the art in the game stunning, the story is really beautiful too. Even within the sad moments of the game. 

You play as the Bergson family and have to defeat the corruption that is now infecting Mount Morta. There are so many different characters and abilities to play and use within the world, I was a massive fan of Linda and Kevin.

Children of Morta is here purely because not only was the game stunning, but quickly sucked me in, because I needed to know what happened. And, well, because there is always time to do one more dungeon run before logging off for the day!

Hellpoint

So Hellpoint I only just completed, but it was an epic and rage filled adventure to defeat the final boss. Hellpoint is a souls like game that takes place in space! Pretty sweet combo to be honest.

Now Hellpoint was my first souls like game I have ever played, and I quickly learnt that you can't rush the game, and it’s not the best idea running into a boss fight, I will never forgive the cat boss. The areas were super fun to explore and the mobs were great to fight (except one mob that inflicts madness!) 

There is so much to Hellpoint too, that on my first run I barely touched the surface. There are so many secrets, tons of weapons and a bunch of gear. That maybe a second run might be in order in the future! 


Those are just released games but what about those still in development, like Early Access titles? There’s a lot to appreciate there too that arrived through 2020. Here’s a random five that are absolutely worth looking into that I’ve personally tried and enjoyed:

What have been your favourites that released in some way this year? Let us know in the comments and give over your top recommendations for other readers.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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47 comments
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1xok 23 Dec, 2020
With CK3 as the only AAA title, if you want to adopt this classification.

Linux games are often indie games. Such indie titles always have something that the so-called AAA productions often don't offer or have simply lost: Originality. Many AAAs once started out as indie game. Take GTA, for example.

Nevertheless, it has to be said that without Proton, Linux gaming would have a very hard time. It is often not only about AAAs, but also simply about games like Among US. Which brings us back to indies. Even there, not everything is released for Linux.


Last edited by 1xok on 23 December 2020 at 12:21 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: 1xokWith CK3 as the only AAA title, if you want to adopt this classification.

Linux games are often indie games. Such indie titles always have something that the so-called AAA productions often don't offer or have simply lost: Originality. Many AAAs once started out as indie game. Take GTA, for example.

Nevertheless, it has to be said that without Proton, Linux gaming would have a very hard time. It is often not only about AAAs, but also simply about games like Among US. Which brings us back to indies. Even there, not everything is released for Linux.
Sure, but it would be nice if the comments didn't descend into the usual arguments on this and people just talk about what they enjoyed across 2020 :)
1xok 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: Liam DaweSure, but it would be nice if the comments didn't descend into the usual arguments on this and people just talk about what they enjoyed across 2020 :)

I started Dark Souls III after finally getting past the start screen after the update to Xubuntu 20.4. No idea where the problem was. I'll definitely still check out Hellpoint. Thanks for the mention. I had totally forgotten that this was also released for Linux.
Corben 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: Liam Dawejust talk about what they enjoyed across 2020 :)
Some of the games I enjoyed this year (order by last played):

  • BioShock Remastered (Proton)
  • Beat Saber VR (ofc! Proton, whitelisted by Valve)
  • GTFO (Proton)
  • Synth Riders VR (Proton)
  • Pistol Whip VR (Proton)
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice VR (Proton)
  • Star Wars: Droid Repair VR (Proton, some issues with video playback)
  • Prodeus (atm Proton, native version planned)
  • Drone Swarm (Proton)
  • Everspace 2 closed Alpha + Beta (Proton, with some tweaks)
  • Metro Exodus (Stadia)
  • Deep Rock Galactic (Proton)
  • Metro 2033 and Last Light Redux (native)
  • Everspace (Linux native)
  • Helldivers (Proton, 32 bit version)
  • Half-Life: Alyx VR (Proton at that time, has now a native version)

and even more... I can't even explain how much fun I had playing games on Linux this year!


Last edited by Corben on 23 December 2020 at 1:00 pm UTC
TheBard 23 Dec, 2020
The best surprise I had in 2020 was Desperados III. I took it mostly to support devs realising on Linux day 1. But as soon as I started playing it, I loved it. It was even fun replay missions several times to play differently. If you like stealth games, you should have a look at it.

The big crush of 2020 is probably Stellaris. It was not realeased in 2020 but some of its DLC are, so I think it is closed to. At first, I was very affraid to play it. I thought it would be too complex and so only for hard core strategy fans. Actually, the game manages to be fun from the beginning. I have 300h on the game and I only start to know how to play well. So yes the game is very deep. But I enjoyed all of these 300 hours. Exploring the galaxy is fun, there are a lot of naratives and you don't need to understand everything to play and have fun.
rafagars 23 Dec, 2020
The pandemic gave me a lot of time to play videogames. Some of the games I have played this year

  • Yakuza 0 (It was super fun and interesting. Now I want to play the rest of the saga) (Proton)

  • Metal Gear Solid V (Not the best MGS but still really fun) (Proton)

  • Hollow Knight (Truly beautiful) (Native)

  • Prey (If you like Bioshock or System Shock 2 probably will like this game too) (Proton)

  • Terraria (Super addictive) (Native)

  • Islanders (Chill game) (Native)
RafiLinux 23 Dec, 2020
Hellpoint and Streets of Rage 4 have the very few times in which I got a game sooner rather than later in which I was very surprised by the content and quality. Hellpoint is just an excellent experience all around. Got all three endings and unlocked everything and I still want to go back in and try different weapons and runs. SoR4 is a family smash. Everyone I know owns it and it's one of the games we all want to play with each other all the time.
dude 23 Dec, 2020
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[quote=Corben]
Quoting: Liam Dawejust talk about what they enjoyed across 2020 :)
Some of the games I enjoyed this year (order by last played):

    ..
  • Half-Life: Alyx VR (Proton at that time, has now a native version).


Yeah, gaming doesn't get much better than HL:A.
It just takes that crazy amount of money and patience to get an Index and good hardware. I can't wait to play it again on a serious GPU next year.
Nanobang 23 Dec, 2020
I'm still enjoying my weekly Dying Light sessions with a friend of mine, but haven't played too many new titles this year. I've bought quite a few during the sales, just haven't started any of them ... except Dweller, which I'm playing now a fun, forgiving puzzler (so far). I expect to begin Borderlands 3 in the coming months, now that Proton can run it without too much fuss --- at last.
flesk 23 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: TheBardThe best surprise I had in 2020 was Desperados III. I took it mostly to support devs realising on Linux day 1. But as soon as I started playing it, I loved it. It was even fun replay missions several times to play differently. If you like stealth games, you should have a look at it.

I also absolutely loved Desperados III, and it's even my most played game on Steam now*. It wasn't actually a day 1 release though, as the Windows version was released on 16 June, while the Linux version was released with the first paid DLC on 2 September.

(*I've played my previously most played game, Psychonauts, a bunch offline with the GOG version though.)


Last edited by flesk on 23 December 2020 at 4:33 pm UTC
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