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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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denyasis 24 Dec, 2020
Quoting: gojulIt'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 sorta wonder if that is partially due to valve's embrace and extension of wine into the steam platform. It's hard to compete with "free".

My apologies, back on topic.

I highly enjoyed:
Crying Suns (proton until it stopped working for me). Usually not a huge fan of roguelikes, but the setting and art, make it so good.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R series (wine). I really love the openness of the world to exploreb and freedom to tackle a lot of objectives. It reminds me the joy I had paying my favorite game of all time, Morrowind. It's much much more linear, but still excellent.

Kerbal Space Program: probably my third favorite. It only seems to be getting better. I can never make it past the Mun though.

Factorio. I finally beat it. My inner logistics manager is pleased. So pleased. They will be handing out a certificate of appreciation shortly

Other mentions, Super Tux Cart, Contraption Maker, and Poly bridge. Great for little kids and adults trying to relax.
gustavoyaraujo 24 Dec, 2020
My list:

Proton and Wine titles:

SHENMUE 3
Heroes of The Storm
Street Fighter V
Sonic and SEGA All Star Racing Transformed
Need for Speed Most Wanted and Rivals
Sonic Mania

Native ones:

DIRT 4
CS GO
Horizon Chase
SuperTuxKart
Star Conflict
Shotgun Farmers


Last edited by gustavoyaraujo on 24 December 2020 at 2:36 am UTC
flesk 24 Dec, 2020
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Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: gojulIt'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 sorta wonder if that is partially due to valve's embrace and extension of wine into the steam platform.

I don't think it's just partially. Feral don't get any money when people buy a game to play with Proton before they've released a port, so it's just not worth it for them anymore. They have a lot of cost up front (salaries etc.), so they have to be smart about which games to port, and it doesn't make sense to target Linux for less profits than ever. Feral didn't drop the ball, Valve did.


Last edited by flesk on 24 December 2020 at 6:43 am UTC
Phlebiac 24 Dec, 2020
Unfortunately, the pandemic didn't provide extra gaming time for me - e-commerce is booming these days. I've only played maybe 1% of what's in my Steam library. Looking at the history, here's what I enjoyed this year:

Whispers of a Machine - when asked if I've played Cyberpunk yet, I pointed at this one and said "kind of..."

Night of the Rabbit - Daedalic makes nice games; this was definitely not the silly humor of Deponia, but it was entertaining.

Agent A: A puzzle in disguise - kind of simplistic puzzle game, but done well enough

Darkestville Castle - a humorous adventure game

Strange Brigade - a fun action game, runs great with Proton

Beautiful Desolation - from the guys who did Cayne and Stasis; lovely graphics from them as usual. They are making a Stasis 2 but unfortunately won't commit to Linux support on that one.

Sol 705 - quirky adventure game; not the best, but decent for a one man production

Guard Duty - another humorous adventure game (can you tell I like those?)

Supraland - mostly before he dropped Linux support. He kept breaking it in updates, then dropped it. Seems to work fine with Proton, but was annoyed (especially since he had just finished the Kickstarter for the sequel, which promised Linux support), so just haven't gone back to it so far. Maybe he'll bring back Linux support when he has to do it for the sequel, or maybe he'll just be a dick and cancel that despite it being promised.

My Brother Rabbit - kind of a hidden object game, but I enjoyed it

Kathy Rain - from the same people that did Whispers of a machine; they do nice work
Liam Dawe 24 Dec, 2020
Quoting: flesk
Quoting: denyasis
Quoting: gojulIt'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 sorta wonder if that is partially due to valve's embrace and extension of wine into the steam platform.

I don't think it's just partially. Feral don't get any money when people buy a game to play with Proton before they've released a port, so it's just not worth it for them anymore. They have a lot of cost up front (salaries etc.), so they have to be smart about which games to port, and it doesn't make sense to target Linux for less profits than ever. Feral didn't drop the ball, Valve did.
I don't think it's just that though. Feral have expanded into mobile and switch, both way bigger markets. They also only joined in on Linux due to SteamOS / Steam Machines which failed. We've finally seen the tail end of that now I think. Still, they did some really good work and enabled us to play a lot of what we couldn't for years and they helped push a lot of things in the background :)
scaine 24 Dec, 2020
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So many games. In date order:

Native
Iris and the Giant
Wildermyth
Fort Triumph
Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor
Space Grunts 2
Burning Knight
ΔV: Rings of Saturn
Half Life: Alyx
Blasphemous (technically 2019, but only released for Linux this year)
Children of Morta
Superliminal
Carrion
art of rally
Hellpoint
Wasteland 3


Proton
Risk of Rain 2
Neoverse
Gunfire Reborn
Outer Wilds
Lightmatter
Noita


There's also a bunch of games I played for the first time this year (but not launched this year):
Mr Shifty
The Forest (proton)
Mindustry
Manaspark
Dark Souls III (proton)
Control (proton, yesterday!)


There's others, but these stand out as the ones I really enjoyed. I've played much, much more this year than previous years, probably because I had extra cash from not having to travel, not eating in restaurants and not going to the pub! Also, my VR experiences have been fun, so from a technology/gaming perspective, it's been a fun year to offset all the realities and politics happening in the "real" world.
Kuduzkehpan 24 Dec, 2020
Hitman
Tomb raider
Starcom nexus
Windward
Tuxee 24 Dec, 2020
New titles from 2020:

Desperados III
The Pedestrian
Black Mesa
Drag (though I really suck at this)

and still

War Thunder
einherjar 24 Dec, 2020
Thanks to devs releasing on Linux and to Valve for proton, I enjoyed these games this year:


  • * X4 Foundations native
    What a great and immersive space simulation! Split Vendatta is also a great DLC and the devs are very Linux friendly!


  • * The Witcher 3 and Hearts of Stone
    I finished TW3 and Hearts of Stone. I liked Hearts of Stone more then the main Story. It was always kinda immersion killing to me. You have to find and save Ciri, whom is like a daughter to you, but hey, you play gwint and of course have time for some farmers problems. Time doesn't matter. And then again, Ciri is in great danger and needs help fast? Hmm, that was kinda strage to me.


  • * Deep Rock Galactic proton
    This is a hell lot of fun to play with friends! ROCK AND STONE!


  • * CS:GO
    Yeah, well known I think. I always get back to it from time to time to play with a mate or just alone in competitive.
    The actual operation is a bit lame I think.




So my favorite one this year is surely X4 Foundations native.

And I am really looking forward to in 2021: Valheim The devs are cool, like nordic metal like I do and they support Linux :-)
And of course the game seems to get really good.

Hopefully I can soon get a new graphics card for a reasonable price. Then I may give Cyberpunk a try. But I will wait with that a few month anyways, they should make it ready and polish it first.
Liam Dawe 24 Dec, 2020
Quoting: einherjarAnd I am really looking forward to in 2021: Valheim
Oh heck yeah, I am too seriously looking forward to Valheim. It looks like a survival game I would actually like to spend some time in, think we might have to boot up a GOL server for that one :D
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