Top Ubuntu Linux Games


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If you’ve switched to Ubuntu (as I have) or any other Linux distribution, you may consider the following free (and in most cases open-source) games, as they’ve been favorites of mine for some time now.

1. Tremulous

Tremulous is an addictive first person shooter (FPS) that has countless gamers on at all hours from both the Linux and Windows worlds. As all other games in this article, Tremulous is free to download and play.

In Tremulous there are two teams: Aliens and Humans. Aliens can have such awesome feats as wall-walking (dizzying to say the least), pouncing from great distances, and spraying poisonous gases. Humans can obtain advanced weaponry and armor, and plant strategic devices such as turrets to defend their base.

Tremulous features a unique upgrade system, where players from each team must make a certain number of kills to gain new upgrades (aliens can evolve into more powerful aliens, and humans can obtain better items and gear).

To install under Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install tremulous

2. Gridwars

Grid wars has been removed from the creators website, however you can still install it in on Linux, Windows, or Mac by doing a quick search.

There is a distinct retro top-down-shooter look and feel to this game, but any thought that this is a vintage game is blown out of the water once you see the stunning liquid visuals that this game provides.

3. VDrift

VDrift is a Linux racing game with a focus on drifting. Quite frankly, VDrift sucks if you only have a keyboard and mouse. If you’re nerd enough to have a PC joystick or gamepad, you’ll get the most out of this little gem.

To install VDrift on Ubuntu:

apt-get install vdrift vdrift-data

4. World of Padman

World of Padman is a rather toony first-person shooter which combines fast gameplay, brilliant colors, and the Quake3 engine (massively supported by today’s hardware standards).

There is no aptitude installer for World of Padman, so if you’d like to try this out you’ll need to visit the World of Padman website Download section.

5. Nexuiz

Nexuiz is another Quake3 mod, but with some of the best weapons this side of Half Life 2.

6. Scorched 3D

Scorched 3D has the same objective as old games like Missile Defense, but provides revamped graphics in a 3D world, network play, and terrain interaction. In same cases it’s just more fun to nuke a path to your enemy and sink their base into the ocean.

Applications -> Add/Remove -> Games -> Scorched 3D

7. Glest

Glest is a well designed real time strategy game, which is guaranteed to provide hours of fun.

To install, download from the ubuntu forums:

and install using:

sudo dpkg -i glest-data_2.0.0-1~getdeb1_all.deb

8. Flight Gear

Flight Gear is a must for everyone. Sometimes you just need to take to the skies ':-)'

To install in Ubuntu:

Applications -> Add/Remove -> Games -> Flightgear

9. Battle for Wesnoth

Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy game. It’s quite fun really!

To install in Ubuntu:

Applications -> Add/Remove -> Games -> Battle for Wesnoth

Comments (27)

That was pretty helpful! But you forgot warsow. Its pretty neat q3 like fps

There's also Urban Terror, one of the most sucessfull quake3 mods

Tremulous is unique? It looks like a Natural Selection clone.

All Ur games are belong to PC!

Very good lineup! I'm playing games under gnu/Linux since the first time I installed it and I must say Ubuntu made a huge leap in the availability and repository's for the games now days. Still I'm going for the original games like Quake III and Unreal Tournament witch are not free but very easy to install and good to play under gnu/Linux.

Very good lineup! I'm playing games under gnu/Linux since the first time I installed it and I must say Ubuntu made a huge leap in the availability and repository's for the games now days. Still I'm going for the original games like Quake III and Unreal Tournament witch are not free but very easy to install and good to play under gnu/Linux.

Vdrift is not on the Ubuntu repositories.

You are missing a popular network game, BZFlag (aka BattleZone Capture the Flag) which is a multi-player 3D arcade tank combat.

it is in the Ubuntu packages and IIRC
apt-get install bzflag

will install it.

I would like to add to the list, "Ur-Quan Masters". A classic game, originally I know it was for PC and also the 3DO game system, probably others. Called "Star Control II", it is still one of the best time-wasters out there!

It's got 1-player or 2-player melee mode where you can fight the computer or somebody else using over 30 different spaceships. If you want a deeper, more involved game, there is the whole role-playing main game where you play a commander who must save Earth and its allies from the dreadful Ur-Quan overlords and their evil minions! It's got all sorts of online documentation, hints, and stuff. Check it out!!

apt-get install uqm

Another game that has Windows, Mac AND Linux versions (and is free) is the Senior Year game at BkLovr

hey man, I helped develop Nexuiz. Just to clarify, it's not a Q3 mod at all, it's written using a modified Quake1 engine called Darkplaces and it's got gamecode and content written frm scratch. It was released before Quake3 engine was opensourced and so it uses none of the quake3 code.

great list, thanks!

Very nice roundup of some of the better games available on Linux.
I'm surprised I'm the first one to comment here. As I type this, your article on Digg has 493 diggs and 74 comments.
Nice job.

I just love World of Padman. One of the best multi-player games ever. And it just looks gorgeous. As for the other games.. I had no idea VDrift looks so nice and I have never even heard of Glest, so I'll check that out ;)

There are so many other games out there that are still super awesome.
Try Urban Terror its like Counter Strike from what I read, I've never played counter strike.
Widelands is an old Settlers2 clone, a cool old game that is fairly addictive but basic graphics.
FreeCiv is a cool Civilization clone.
VDrift does suck with a keyboard (which is what I have) however TORCS seems to be a good replacement.
Just a few of them I've been playing around with the last few days.

was that "take to the skies" in flightgear an enter shikari joke?

Great list, certainly gonna try some of them!

I love playing sopwith just because it's so broken haha.

Scorched 3D is the 3D revamp of the classic DOS Scorched Earth.

To say anything less of it is doing a discredit and disservice to the author of the original game.

These are all great! You did forget my favorite though. Urban Terror is a GREAT free cross-platform FPS game.

you forgot a few:

xmoto: - it's just really fun! 2D motorbike scroller where you jump, brake, fall, dangle, rebound around a level

Frets on Fire: - worth it just to watch the intro/demo , it's close to Guitar Hero and it uses the keyboard as your guitar

Neverball: - this game is more fun than the screenshot looks

Great list! However, I feel mine is more complete:
But, kudos for using videos, wish I'd thought of that! Nevertheless, great list indeed!

Has anyone tried Assault Cube? is a really cool LINUX MMO with game development

I would have played some of these games had it not been for the wacky sound problems in my Ubuntu box :(

That video under vdrift is not vdrift!!

Good list. I've been on Ubuntu this summer, here are a few games I find fun too:

Frozen-Bubble (yes, I'm srs!)
Neverball (this was mentioned. But it deserves another mention.)
Warzone 2100

As you see I'm quite busy :P