As the 2010s come to a close, let's look over a few different ways of looking at how many popular games are available on Linux as of December 2019.
Inspired by an article I did in January this year, back then when looking at the Steam 250 website we had 132 out of 250 of the best reviewed games available on Linux. Right now though? How much has changed in the space of almost one year?
Not a whole lot actually! 125 in the top 250 are available on Linux. That's still a really great amount of games, especially since these are all games that have a seriously great user rating. This includes some awesome titles like: Portal 2, Terraria, Factorio, Stardew Valley, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.
Just like when we did this previously, let's see what happens when we add in titles played using Steam Play Proton using a rating of Platinum (according to ProtonDB). That rises another 39 to give us 164 / 250, when in January it was only 153.
How about the 250 Hidden Gems list though? Games that have a really good review score, but don't have a really high amount of reviews (usually only a few hundred). Well, there's currently 67 out of 250 that support Linux. Still reasonable, considering how niche Linux gaming is right now. Plus the Hidden Gems list fluctuates quite often so it's just a bit of fun to look at that one really. Right now some of those gems include: Wildermyth, Shipped, Ding Dong XL and Scalak.
Something to keep in mind of course is that a game reviewing well, doesn't necessarily mean it will remain popular. Some games can get a huge amount of good reviews at release and over the next year, only for people to move onto something else. What about the games that are popular based on player count, as of right now how many of those support Linux? Out of the top 100 by concurrent player count on Steam, a reasonable 40 of them currently support Linux! Fantastic games like: Oxygen Not Included, Crusader Kings II, Slay the Spire and RimWorld.
As an added extra, just for kicks: what about the growth in the amount of games on Steam, that support Linux? I had a fresh go at counting it up, this is as close to accurate as I can get without taking into account a few here and there with a different release date for Linux (click to enlarge):
How many Linux games are there on Steam as of December 2019? Approximately 6,136. We're seeing an average of about 78 games a month releasing on Steam that have Linux support.
The takeaway: Since Steam started supporting Linux officially back in 2013 gaming on Linux has exploded from a few open source titles, to a few indies and now we have some of the best games on Steam easily playable. What will the next 10 years give us? We'll be here to find out.