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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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kaiman 23 Dec, 2020
Without Wine/Proton, this year would have been pretty desolate for me, even in the indie space. But even then, the games I did enjoy this year would rank fairly low on my list of all-time favorites, with one notable exception: Paradise Killer. That one came pretty much out of the blue, but it was so wonderfully wacky and had a great world to explore, and an awesome soundtrack. Really quite an extraordinary experience.

Looking back, Signs of the Sojourner probably deserves another playthrough, or two. I love how it looks and due to the card-based dialogue mechanic it takes a bit of luck and planning to get the outcome you want. So there's plenty of stories I have not yet fully explored.

Crusader Kings III is likely the game I spent the most time with this year (maybe with the exception of the Ace Attorney trilogy). It's a good game, no doubt, but there isn't anything truly novel or exceptional about it.

Yes, Your Grace really looked and sounded gorgeous (I've since bought 2 CDs of the wonderful Merkfolk, who did the soundtrack), but with a mostly fixed story it's really only good for a single run. And even the best ending leaves a bit of a bitter taste.

I'm still playing Haven, but it's not quite as good as anticipated. Pretty chill overall, and funny on occasion, but not very gripping. A bit more mystery and greater sense of discovery would have gone a long way.

Luna The Shadow Dust was short and sweet. Unfortunately it was practically over by the time the puzzles got really interesting.

I enjoyed art of rally, but all in all there was just not that much variety to keep me hooked for long. I didn't even unlock all the cars. The same goes for Pendragon. Even before unlocking all playable characters, repetition set in and the novelty was gone.

I guess to sum this year up, there were some delicious bites and snacks to be had, but I really, really could have done with a three course dinner! Maybe 2021 ... :-).
tmtvl 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: 1xokWith CK3 as the only AAA title, if you want to adopt this classification.

I'd say Paradox is firmly Middle Market, not AAA. That said, I don't think there's an official definition for where MM ends and AAA begins.
CFWhitman 23 Dec, 2020
I've played quite a bit of Children of Morta at this point. It can be a bit grindy at times, but I'm still having fun with it. I have a long way yet to go.
no_information_here 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: rafagars
  • Hollow Knight (Truly beautiful) (Native)

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

Hollow Knight is amazing if you are patient and like Metroidvania games.

I just finished Prey 2017 and really enjoyed it. It ran very well in Proton and didn't have too many bugs. To keep with the Arkane Studio theme, I just started Dishonored for the first time. Running well, too.

Damn, Proton has opened up so many things that were hiding in my library.
gojul 23 Dec, 2020
It's clear that Feral has dropped the ball. Their radar looks empty. Too bad. Without Proton Linux gaming would be almost dead by now.

I liked Desperados 3, could not play until now on CK3 (with a French keyboard it absolutely sucks since you cannot remap your keys), and most of the other games were proton title or DLC of existing games.
robvv 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: 1xokWith CK3 as the only AAA title, if you want to adopt this classification.

I often find the indie games so much more interesting than the AAA games. And even if Hellpoint isn't AAA, it's definitely AA in my book :-)

Currently, I am losing too many hours to Tallowmere II. It's sooo frustrating!
robvv 23 Dec, 2020
Quoting: gojulWithout Proton Linux gaming would be almost dead by now.

Whilst Feral and Aspyr are doing very little at the moment, there are still plenty of native games being released. Just looking at my recent Steam library entries, I find the following: Mesmer, Streets of Rage 4, Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe, Atom RPG Trudograd, Ziggurat 2, Crystal Caves HD, Ultimate Racing 2D, 9 Monkeys of Shaolin, Vecter, Blasphemous, Hellpoint, Golf With Your Friends, Children of Morta, Dead Age 2, Drox Operative... need I go on?

There's still plenty to choose from :-)
HerrLange 23 Dec, 2020
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I really have the impression that gaming on linux has "decreased" in terms of interesting native releases.

Looking into my this years purchase history I have mainly just bought extensions for existing games:
- add-ons/extensions for City Skylines
- add-ons/extensions for Two Point Hospital
- add-ons/extensions for Parkitect
- add-ons/extensions for Prison Architect
- add-ons/extensions for Cvivlization VI
- add-ons/extensions for Darkest Dungeon
- add-ons/extensions for Europa Univeralis IV
- add-ons/extensions for Hearts of Iron IV
- add-ons/extensions for Oxygen not Included

For Linux native:
Songs of Syx
Legend of Keepers
Space Haven

And I preordered Sapcebase Startopia.

For Proton-play I bought Wreckfest.

Looks like I mainly played games from previous years lie anything from Paradox, Oxygen not Included, Parkitect, Two Point Hospital and Transport Fever 2. I can't remember any game from 2020 really sucked me in.
Nezchan 23 Dec, 2020
I finally finished Salt & Sanctuary recently, so that's a big achievement for me.

Been playing Stardew Valley the past couple of days, now that the new expansion is out. It's really great and I love the new map.

Littlewood is great, and I'll probably go back and play a different route sometime in the new year. The characters are all wonderful and it's a joy to just putter around and make my little town. Can't wait to see what the dev does with it in the future.

I come back to ISLANDERS every so often, and early in the year I played a lot of Dicey Dungeons. For a while I got pretty into Kind Words, and again after the update for that came out. Need to play more of it. I tried a variety of things from the BLM Bundle on Itch, of course, as a lot of people did. Dorf Romantik in particular looks promising, and the dev is planning to expand it into a much deeper game. One to watch out for.

Those are the big highlights I can recall off the top. There's probably a bunch I've forgotten as well.
theghost 23 Dec, 2020
I played Factorio pretty often this year, which hit official release in 2020.
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