Confucius says: "A person who prefers Linux on their home computer is like a person who prefers to be under the hood of their car instead of driving it." This is probably why /g/earheads prefer Linux, but we're abo/v/e that. Linux has been a favorite of neckbeards everywhere since the 90s, but now it's really been catching on: when people do a 360° and moonwalk away after seeing the unholy abomination of Windows 8, or their jaws drop in shock when they see how Windows 10 went full 1984 on the users' privacy, yet realize they can't afford an iComputer, they look at Linux and say, well, why the fuck not.
But you may ask: "What about the vidya?" True, Linux has fewer games than Windows. Other than a short porting fad back in the 90s, it just didn't seem commercially viable. But things are changing: all major engines are now designed with multiplatform in mind (thanks in large part to the growth of mobile platforms), so ports have become easy and cheap to do. Digital distribution also helps reduce costs, and even Valve pushes hard for Linux gaming because they got afraid of Windows' app store.
Although the amount of commercial games is still modest, there's a bunch of online stores that offer them:
Other than native games, there is Wine, a compatibility layer to run Windows applications (it's recommended to use the PlayOnLinux frontend).
Free games from repositoriesEdit
To download and install programs on Linux, one typically does not download .exe files from various websites and run them by hand; instead, distros provide a software repository or package manager. If something is not in your distro's manager, you can still port the package over but you might need to puzzle out some missing dependencies. For those of us who love to tinker on the engine more than driving the car, you can get the source code for each of these and compile it by hand.
|Battle for Wesnoth||Turn-based Strategy||Fantasy strategy game where much of the game's units, music, artwork, and campaigns are player contributed. The game plays on a hex based system, with terrain affecting the accuracy of attacks and unit movement. Six well-balanced factions are available for play at the start. It makes you really feel like you're commanding an army by having you level troops into hardened veterans, which you can recall for future battles. Dozens of custom units are available for single player and multiplayer by downloading player mods known as "eras". Fantastic quality considering it's freeware. Download stable version if you just want to play the game without too many bugs.|
|Beneath a Steel Sky||Adventure/Point 'N Click||Classic adventure style game that follows Robert Foster on a journey through a cyberpunk-esque metropolis. Requires ScummVM to be played, but that is also a free install from your local package repository. Fun fact: the background art is drawn by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame.|
|Freeciv||Empire Building||The awesome that is Sid Meier's Civilization, now with multiplayer that isn't hot-seat, custom tilesets, and you can tinker the hell out of the rules. It's been upgraded since to play more like Civ2. If you preferred the sort-of sequel "Colonization," check out FreeCol.|
|Frogatto||Adventure/Platformer||Old school adventure platformer with RPG elements like quests and buying powerups.|
|Frozen Bubble||Puzzle||It's Bust-A-Move, that game that's like Breakout plus Bejeweled where you break the walls by adding more bricks. Every Linux magazine from here to India puts this in their top ten list. Casual gamers can't get enough of this on Linux or any other platform.|
|Micropolis||Simulator||A free port of the original SimCity.|
|Nethack||Roguelike||Imagine Dungeons and Dragons in a very difficult, video game form. Death is permanent, the dungeon is always randomly generated, and you aren't going to win for a very long time. A spinoff of "Rogue," so it's a Rogue-like game, but everyone had a go at the source code to add everything including kitchen sinks. You can check out the game's wiki Here. Default interface is ASCII graphics in a term window, but you can download extra packages for a tileset or even isomorphic interface instead.|
|Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup||Roguelike||This game is a modern take on the roguelike genre that doesn't stray too far from its roots. It keeps the randomly generated environments, turn-based gameplay and punishing difficulty of classic roguelikes. But reduces the amount of keystrokes to learn, replaces the ASCII with more descriptive tiles and improves the interface to the point it is playable by using a mouse. It also focuses on reducing the amount of spoilers required to finish the game without sacrificing its inherent complexity. Definitely one of the best modern roguelikes (others are ADOM and TOME4) around and probably the easiest one to get into that doesn't dumb things down too much (Dungeons of Dredmor) or is barely a roguelike (FTL, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac). You can get it here.|
|Oolite||Space Combat, Trading||The classic 8-bit galaxy-on-a-single-floppy space game Elite lives on. Better graphics (duh), a mod community and a wiki proves that Elite ain't dead.|
|Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection||Puzzle, Casual||Futoshiki, Lightup, Loopy, Nonograms, Sudoku, Untangle... all those Japanese puzzles that people install on their Blackberries and iPhones and buy cheap books of at Barnes and Noble, Simon Tatham already ported them to Linux and you can make each one as hard or as easy as you want. Also available on Android (which is Linux under the hood, so no surprise.)|
|Spring RTS Engine||Realtime Strategy||It's Total Annihilation re-implemented to use OpenGL and more computing power. When the kids in high school were pissing themselves over the strategy of StarCraft, the TRUE neckbeards-in-training were playing Total Annihilation. The game mods have taken on a life of their own, so you can use Spring Engine for real-time strategy games with rules (not just re-skinned units!) for WWII, Gundam, Star Wars, sci-fi, necromancers, or even a Tron game if Darwinia isn't crunchy enough for you.|
|SuperTuxKart||Racing||A cool mascot racer in the vein of Mario Kart. But here, all the characters are mascots of various free software projects, such as BSD's Beastie, GIMP's Wilber, and KDE's Konqi.|
|Torus Trooper||SHMUP||Another shooter from Kenta Cho. Remember Tempest? This is Tempest on steroids. You're racing down this tube, sometimes at over 4000km/h blowing shit up. The graphics and music help to put you in the mood too, kind of has the same feel as Rez. It's not a game with a whole lot of depth, but it's fun to play every now and then.|
|The Ur-Quan Masters||RPG||Star Control 2. Adventure across the stars, recruiting other aliens that got the shit kicked out of them since the previous game, or fend off the aliens that decided to kiss ass to the new murderous-squid overlords. Between exploring distant stars and doing mineral scans (Hmmmm...) you get into ship-to-ship action combat against different vessels with a rock-paper-scissors balance of abilities.|
Free games in distro-agnostic packagesEdit
These are still typically free software (or at least freeware), but do not use your easy-peasy package manager to install itself deep in your system. Most of the time, they are just binaries (or executables in Windows parlance) in downloadable tar.gz archives (which work like .zip files). Though, in some more rare cases, these may also include games that come as source code only -- you need to hunt down the right libraries through your distro's package manager, compile, and install manually (while trickier, this has the added bonus of increased optimization for your computer hardware, however marginal).
|Abuse||Platformer||You got locked up in a prison where illegal genetic experiments take place, and all the inmates were transformed into monsters. A 2D platformer with a rather unique mouse-driven aim system, a gritty style, and merciless action. Was made free when the developer went bankrupt. Worth checking out.||Desura|
|Dwarf Fortress||Sim||Comes with 2 game modes: Fortress mode where you set off with a bunch of dwarves to make your fort in the wilderness, and Adventurer: A roguelike with no purpose(yet). Addictive gameplay, very in depth damage system(even keeps track of how much damage each FINGER receives), and a game so confusing to newcomers it is recommended to read MagmaWiki thoroughly before playing, or watch the tutorial videos like 51ppycup's YouTube. It's definitely the most complex game you've ever played, and probably the most complex game you will ever play. It's worth the endeavor though.||Official site|
|Heroes of Newerth||Action-RTS||It's DotA by S2 Games. Need I say more? Just run the shell script in terminal to install and you're good to go. Went F2P model because of competition from LoL. Some heroes are original, while others are ported from DotA. This'll hold you over until Gaben decides to port every Valve game (DotA2) to Linux.||Official site|
|Katawa Shoujo||Visual Novel||The story tells of a young man who, after suffering a heart attack upon hearing a confession from the girl he loves, is diagnosed with cardiac dysrhythmia and sent to a school where he meets several lovely and charming teenage girls who each suffer from a different disability.||Official site|
|Marathon trilogy||FPS||The predecessor to the Halo series. The year is 2794 and you are a security officer aboard the UESC Marathon, a large, multi-generational colony spacecraft (converted from one of Mars's moons). As the ship and the Tau Ceti colony are attacked by hostile extraterrestrials, you find that something is amiss with the ship's artificial intelligences - one of which having gone quite insane after figuring out a secret greater than universe itself.||Sourceforge|
|Revenge of the Cats: Ethernet||Team FPS||Tug-of-war style territory fight with an unusual travel/heal/respawn mechanic.||Official site|
|Typhoon 2001||Tube shooter||Fan remake of Tempest 2000, one of the trippiest shooters ever.||Mirror|
|World of Padman||Arena FPS||Wacky colorful cartoons and cleavage. Spray your color and run around on bookshelves.||Official site|
|Xonotic||Arena FPS||This is very much like Quake (its engine actually is a massively improved version of the original Quake engine), but with even more jumping around; you'll see what I mean once you play it. Includes game modes like Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, "Keyhunt" and more, both in Singleplayer and Multiplayer. Has about 10-30 people playing for any region at their respective daily "peak times", but hopefully there will be more once version 1.0 is released.||Official site|
Commercial games Edit
|Picture||Title||Genre||Year Released||Description||Where to acquire|
|Alpha Centauri||Empire Building||1999||FreeCiv IN SPAAAAAACE. There's some story that gets revealed, and landmarks you can make use of even on a randomly generated world. More diplomacy and culture-changing options too.|
|Amnesia: The Dark Descent||Horror & Survival||2010||You play as Daniel, an amnesiac who must investigate the mysterious Castle Brennenburg, with only two goals in mind: Find your memories, and kill the castle's owner, the mysterious Alexander of Brennenburg. VERY loosely based on Lovecraft's "The Outsider" (So loosely based that you will only understand the similarities after you beat the game). TL:DR; Decently hard puzzles. Loads of NOPENOPENOPE|
|Aquaria||Action-adventure||2007||Massive award-winning indie title created by Spelunky programmer Derek Yu and Crayon Physics Deluxe composer Alec Holowka. Aquaria features huge underwater environments with an emphasis on exploration, challenging-but-not-stupid boss battles and an absolutely phenomenal soundtrack. Before you ask: yes, there is a nude mod.
An absolute must-have for any Metroidvania fan.
|Baldur's Gate||RPG||1998||Role playing game based on the D&D universe; great story and characters, you have control over a party up to six heroes, and well, it's one of the best RPGs of all time.||GOG|
|Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn||RPG||2000||You control a party of 6 characters, each with their own extensive personalities. If you carry both Good and Evil NPCs in the same group, or if you heckle them, they will often leave or try to kill you/each other. High charisma generally avoids more extreme reactions, however.
D&D rules are in effect, giving you the option to choose from almost any fantasy class or multi-class. A pause feature allows for perfect management of the 6 (or fewer) characters in your control. There are well over 100 different spells and 20 levels in the original, and more in the expansion.
|Beat Hazard Ultra||Rhythm Shmup||2011||Basically, a Geometry Wars/Asteroids clone, which makes levels out of your music tracks and repeateadly rapes your eyes until you eyegasm and become mindless seizing vegetable, which leaks saliva and breaks into convulsions. Yes, it's OBVIOUSLY not recommended for people who are photosensitive. Also, hard, at least, where music of my tastes is concerned. Try perfect playing lastendconductor on Tough difficulty with visual intensity on 200%. Now that's what I call "challenge".||Steam|
|Braid||Puzzle / platformer||2009||Use some very well-done time manipulation powers to save the princess. Or maybe it's a girlfriend. Or candy. Or the atomic bomb. Don't pay attention to the story, just pay attention to the myriad time-powers (and the ending is pretty good too).||Steam|
|Broforce||Platformer||2015||Testosterone: the video game! They got all the great heroes from the manliest action movies ever, and put them together in a crazy tough 2D platformer where pretty much everything is explodable.||Humble|
|Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars|
(aka Circle of Blood)
|Adventure||1996||Great classic adventure game about an american investigating a series of murders in Paris which, of course, are related to something much bigger involving an ancient cult descending from the Templars. Made years before all the templar/DaVinci craze. Serious story, but nice bits of humor here and there. The sequels get gradually worse, although the second game is still good.||GOG|
|Cave Story+||Action-adventure||2011||A robot boy awakens in a dark cave and soon comes across a village of rabbit-like creatures being attacked by a mad scientist. A vast and rather challenging game, originally free but this paid version has upgraded graphics and improved gameplay.||Steam|
|Cities: Skylines||Simulation||2015||Love Sim City? Looking for something that was not ruined by developer incompetence and publisher greed? Say no more.||Steam|
|Cook, Serve, Delicious!||Restaurant Simulator||2013||What do you get when you take Warioware and Diner Dash, throw them into a blender, and set it on puree? A mess, for starters, but you'd also get something similar to Cook, Serve, Delicious! You start out with a basic 1-star restaurant, and gain notoriety through new recopies, challenges, and so on. Memorizing the correct order to make food is key, and you will likely curse at your computer when you mess up the layers of a lasagna. Free updates have brought weekly challenges and competitions as well, so if you prefer just making food over owning a restaurant, you can do that too.||Steam|
|Costume Quest||Adventure / RPG||2011||Note: Best played around Halloween. You play as a kid trying to rescue your sibling kidnapped by troll-like monsters. However, this game has a nostalgic childhood-like feel to it. The dialogue, the attitudes, along with the general humor and plot can really take you back. In dealing with obstacles, you find, build, and use costumes and their abilities to proceed, such as a light-up toy sword to scare away darkness phantoms. The battles are a little simple, but play well enough and are rather cute and silly, being hilariously exaggerated through imagination. The game is a little short, but the DLC expansion chapter (which is included with the PC version) rounds it out nicely.||Steam|
|Crusader Kings II||Grand Strategy||2012||Crusader Kings II lets you play as a historic European Dynasty and lead them from the Norman conquest of England in 1066 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Through war, strategic marriages, incest, intrigue, and crusades you will expand your demesne and secure your Dynasty's future in the tumultuous Medieval Era. CK II has many pieces of DLC but the 4 major expansions are Sword of Islam (Allows playable Muslims), Legacy of Rome (Makes the Byzantium Empire much more unique to play as), The Republic (playable Merchant Republics and new trade mechanics) and The Old Gods (Adds a new 867 start date, playable pagans, and numerous game play mechanics like the ability to raid).||Steam|
|Darwinia||RTS||2005||Get your RTS on with 8-bit troops in a 32-bit terrain. Very hacker atmosphere, terrific soundtrack, simple interface that focuses you on the fights and resources instead of min/maxing and spreadsheets. You'll be cheering every time your blocky little guys defeat a wireframe evil spider.|
|DEFCON||RTS||2006||You remember the movie WarGames? With Matthew Broderick? It's EXACTLY like the game that he was supposed to be playing, only this time there's no namby-pamby AI that tells you it's a bad idea to throw nukes at the Commies.|
|Drunken Robot Pornography||FPS||2014||Get your jetpack and laser blaster ready: you made the mistake of giving free will to your robot bartender and the son of a bitch built an army of giant robots to destroy the city! Unique indie mix of FPS and bullet hell, perhaps a bit "fluff" but still very fun. Quite unique in the FPS genre for having extremely vertical stages. Sadly, it in fact does not contain any pornography. From the creators of AaAaAA!!!.||Humble|
|Dust: An Elysian Tail||Platformer / Action-RPG||2013||A mysterious warrior wanders a fantasy land with a magical talking sword and a little flying sprite companion, trying to regain his own memories. A beautiful furry-themed indie 2D platformer with RPG and beat 'em up elements. Stunning painted backgrounds, top notch animation, great voice acting. Hard to believe one guy did most of the game all by himself.||GOG|
|Dustforce||Platformer||2012||Very challenging and lesser-known platformer that draws obvious Super Meat Boy parallels with its wall-sliding action, online replay feature, and focus on speedrunning. This time there's dust on every surface, dust on rabid wild animals, and you've got to clean that shit up. Doing so while getting the highest rank in each level is crazy hard and technical. Don't miss out on the amazing sprite art or music, either.||Steam|
|Empire: Total War||Strategy||2009||Empire Total War is a mixture of Real Time Strategy and Turn Based Strategy. In campaign mode, you play as one of 13 or so major nations starting at the year 1700. From there you manage economy, build improvements, be diplomatic, and attack people. When you attack, it switches to a RTS, with the troops you have at your disposal. Unfortunately, it's plagued with a shit load of bugs, even after The Creative Assembly released THREE goddamn patches. Interesting game, but don't start here, go for Medieval, or Rome first. Tip: Don't buy it as a single game but rather in the bundle with napoleon total war for the same price.||Steam|
|Football Manager 2016||Sports/Simulation||2015||Do you suffer from severe autism? Then this game is for you! Create your own manager and manage football clubs from all around the world. It's a good game with very deep and complex gameplay, but it's the best football simulator. It also has a big community of modders; just don't expect good graphics!||Steam|
|Freedom Planet||Platformer||2014||Glorious indie old-school 2D mascot platformer, with the sort of level design, physics, graphics and music you'd expect from the very best Mega Drive games.||GOG|
|Gish||Platformer||2005||An indie platformer with an interesting premise: the main character is a 12 pound sack of tar, who can make himself hard, sticky, or slick. Tons of secrets and extra content add onto the already enjoyable gameplay and music, increasing playtime a bit. Newcomers will probably find the controls and the character's movements cumbersome and awkward, but you'll get used to it. Good for killing a boring afternoon.||Official site|
|Half-Life Complete||FPS||2008||An experiment goes terribly wrong, and everyone's favorite crowbar-wielding MIT Ph.D. has to deal with a ton of aliens invading and the black ops trying to cover up the whole mess. Come on, it's the goddamn Half-Life series, you can't not play this!||Steam|
|Icewind Dale||RPG||2000||(See Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn and PlaneScape: Torment) You have the ability to custom create your entire party. While this makes for a fun combat group, it takes away the unique character personalities that are present in other Black Isle games. The Icewind Dale series are purely combat oriented, forget about a memorable story or great dialogs, what counts here is to clean the dungeons of hundreds of beasts.||GOG|
|Killing Floor||FPS / Survival Horror||2009||Co-op zombie killing. Originally a free Unreal Tournament 2004 mod, until someone put a price tag on it. It's a nice alternative to Left 4 Dead. It has more zombie types, and only a few of them are the runner kind. Has classes which get various bonuses and can be leveled up in various ways. It also has hilarious British accents, and the game would be worth buying just for that. LOADS A MONAY!||Steam|
|King's Bounty: Armored Princess||RPG / Strategy||2010||The sequel to King's Bounty: The Legend. Overwhelmingly similar to its predecessor, Armored Princess continues the cheeky yet fun story of KB and improves a few mechanics. Both of these games are great and definately worth purchasing - both are fun and will challenge you to overcome strategic shortcomings in your army builds.||Steam|
|Knock-knock!||Surreal Horror||2013||The latest game from Russian Studio Ice Pick Lodge, and unfortunately also the most poorly reviewed. This is the most accessible release in their library, but this does not detract from their trademark commitment to crafting avant-garde atmospheres with varying degrees of realism and a uniquely Russian sensibility.||Steam|
|Left 4 Dead 2||FPS||2009||Despite being released just a year after the original, this is a damn fine game to sit down and play with your friends either online, or couch-session. Great graphics, nice additions to the gun list, and new zombies. If you played on Advanced on the first game, expect to get kicked back down to Normal. This game is harder than the first. Feels incomplete, due to the fucking retarded Survivor AI and bugs. Is a glorified expansion, with less fun.||Steam|
|La-Mulana||Metroidvania||2013||Freeware classic gone from MSX-style to remade for modern PC, and remastered to the max. Features better controls, better laptop, more settings, MUCH smoother animations and action, a rearranged soundtrack, and even some new story additions. Some puzzles, traps, and bosses have been modified, sometimes to be easier or harder. Bosses are generally more challenging though. If you never played the original, that's fine. There's enough differences to warrant giving both a go. For those not in the know, it's a mostly non-linear platforming adventure game. Dungeons are full of danger and riddles and require some non-lateral thinking and possibly note-taking to figure out.||Playism|
|LISA||RPG||2014||A side-scrolling RPG where you play as a middle-aged martial artist called Brad on his quest to rescue his kidnapped adopted daughter in a brutal post-apocalypse where women have become extinct. The story starts dark and quickly descends into a tale of human misery. Notable for having up to 30 characters that can be recruited into the party, plus containing horrible moral choices. Also has a DLC ending called LISA the Joyful which essentially concludes the story.||Steam|
|Lux Delux||Strategy||2005||Risk done right. Over 700 maps, and you can make your own, SDK for hacking the ruleset (like having naval units, or canals, or remember playing nuclear Risk?). Comes with LAN and Internet play too.|
|Master of Orion 2||TBS||1996||Old-ass space 4X game with well-balanced and varied gameplay. Lots of tech and economy management, with optional tactical battles. Many different valid strategies to win the game.||GOG|
|Mercenary Kings||2014||Action/RPG||While the Paul Robertson pixel art and the chiptune music may scream "Metal Slug successor" to you, this game is actually more like Monster Hunter Lite. You take on a variety of missions in the form of Mega Man-esque platformers, and collect materials and money to create better guns and stuff. Multiplayer is fun, too. Only caveat is that it is definitely as difficult as Monster Hunter. Prepare for a LOT of trial and error when it comes to gameplay.||Steam|
|Neverwinter Nights||RPG||2003||Do you like third edition Dungeons and Dragons? Well, this game is basically that, but in computer form. Play as whoever you want, read nice big blocks of text, and enjoy slow, somewhat lengthy turn-based battles. Plenty of mods out there for those who want them and tons of persistent worlds (mini-MMORPG's, ranging from action PvP to deep DM-heavy roleplaying) still online.|
|Pajama Sam||Adventure/Puzzle||1996+||Quirky adventure series. Bit for ||Steam|
|Papers, Please||Dystopian Document Thriller||2013||You are the immigrations inspector for Arstotzka, a Eurasian communist shithole. It is your job to inspect the papers of everyone trying to enter the country, turning away any and all who do not qualify.
A lot more engrossing than it sounds. Seriously, play this.
|Penumbra: Black Plague||Survival Horror / Adventure||2008||Continuing the story, you can expect more of the same mindfucking and puzzles, except now there's no combat, fuckers. Best be learning how to run.||Steam|
|Penumbra: Overture||Survival Horror / FPS / Adventure||2007||A FPS set in 2000 where a scientist is led to Greenland in search of his dead father. He falls into a mineshaft where he is only equipped with a flashlight(which runs on batteries) and a glowstick. The game blends a very unique physics element where you must click and drag items to pull them open/closed. Enemies include wolves, giant spiders, giant worms, and humanoid like creatures. Only weapons are a pipe and hammer. Has tons of puzzles.||Steam|
|Planescape Torment||RPG||1999||Widely regarded as THE BEST RPG ever made. This is a very dark, story driven game. D&D rules are present, using the Planescape setting, with an amazing multiverse world where Good verse Evil blended with Law verse Chaos: featuring philosophy, existentialism, demons, angels, order and chaos beings, etc. (See Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn and Icewind Dale for more game style details.)Although this game focuses more on the RPG/dialogue part and a bit less on the Action/Combat, the combat sections are still awesome like in BG I&II, featuring even "cutscene spells" ala FF summons. Features a wide varied cast of colorful and unique companions even for a D&D adventure. The music, writing and story in this game are objectively THE BEST of any other RPG. Period.
Must Play for any D&D/RPG fan. Also recommended for Fallout fans. (same team)
|Portal Bundle||Puzzle||2007||Welcome to the Aperture Science Computer-Aided Enrichment Center. It is time to do science or die trying.||Steam|
|Postal||Isometric shooter||1997||Now this is the story all about how some guy's life got flipped-turned upside down, so he cracks and goes out on a shooting rampage. Unlike the sequel, or the movie, this game does not play violence or potty humor for laughs. It is absolutely straightforward in its unabashed depravity. It is disgusting and frightening. And it's also a hidden gem of a mercilessly hardcore game.||GOG|
|Postal 2||FPS/Sandbox||2003||One of the most hilariously fucked up games ever. Survive a week in a crazy little hick town plagued by anti-gaming activists, cannibals, terrorists, bank robbers, radical environmentalists, ATF agents, and Gary Coleman! Will you refrain from using force, or will you leave a trail of mangled, charred corpses in your wake?||Humble|
|Psychonauts||Platformer||2005||Play as an carnival escapee who runs away to a summer camp for psychics.Original storytelling and well written humor compliments this game. Hailed as one of the best platformers of the PS2/XBOX generation, now "out of print" but available for download on steam and other places on the net. Whilst the game can be incredibly frustrating due to bugs and/or camera, the sheer brilliance of the music, visuals, level design, retarded amounts of originality and a feeling of childlike joy eclipe any problems it has.||GOG|
|Rochard||Platformer / puzzle||2011||When an asteroid mining crew finds evidence of intelligent life out there, they're attacked by space bandits, and soon find themselves as targets of a nasty conspiracy. Excellent graphics and sound, some nice run-n-gun action, and a ton of crazy physics-manipulating puzzles.||Steam|
|Shadow Warrior||FPS||2013||A bodyguard / henchman / hired killer is sent to acquire a very special sword, but when a horde of demons gets in the way and slaughters everyone before he has a chance to, he realizes there's something weird about his corporate overlords.
Remember the 90s classic? Lo Wang was a sort of oriental Duke Nukem, but unlike the notorious DNF, this one is actually a good game... a fast-paced, damn fun, insanely over the top, ultra violent romp. From the same team of the also excellent Hard Reset.
|Skullgirls||Fighting||2013||I hope you brought a pillow to bite, because this game is about to push your shit in. Skullgirls is an indie fighting game that uses the lag-reducing GGPO-netcode, so now even Brazilians can laugh at you. It features an ever-growing roster of playable characters, a unique art-style and some of the most hardcore gameplay since Guilty Gear. If you ever get tired of having to wipe your pussy-ass tears after every match, there's always a Skullgirls General on /vg/.||Steam|
|Spec Ops: The Line||TPS||2012||In a near future, Dubai was annihilated by a series of freak sand storms. Months later, a radio transmission indicates that there might be survivors there after all. You lead a Delta Force team sent to investigate, but when you get there, you find there's some real crazy shit going on.||Humble|
|The Stanley Parable||First-person Adventure||2013||A free (?) mod for HL2 about some guy named Stanley who works for a company, pressing buttons, until one day everything changes. Very stripped down gameplay (WASD, mouse, and E), but focuses on story. A self-aware deconstruction of video games, but can seem pretentious. Multiple endings, short playtime, but worth checking out for the story.
There are two games called "The Stanley Parable", made by the same people: the free one at moddb is Half-Life -ish, the for-pay one at Steam is Portal 2 -ish. The free mod has 6 endings, while the paid version has 18. Play the free one first to see if you like it.
|Super Meat Boy||Platformer||2010||Ridiculously good and hard platformer with an equally ridiculous premise: You are a running and jumping cube of meat trying to rescue your girlfriend (who happens to be made of bandages) from an evil fetus in a robot suit. Features 300 levels and tons of hidden secrets, including many playable characters from various indie games such as Captain Viridian from VVVVVV, The Kid from I wanna be the Guy, Mr. Minecraft and even a headcrab. Will also be patched with a level editor in January.
The 360 version is also good, but the selection of hidden characters is different and there's no level editor (but a bunch of exclusive stages in exchange).
|Team Fortress 2||FPS||2007||Arguably the most fun of any multiplayer game with cartoonish graphics and game-play filled with constant explosions and ||Steam|
|Terraria||Survival / Sandbox||2011||LOL VIRAL. Aside from that, this game is ||Steam|
|The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings||Action-RPG||2012||The very brutal and rather titillating journey of a badass monster slayer in a gritty, morally ambiguous fantasy world. Think "Zelda meets Game of Thrones" and you'll kind of get it.||GOG|
|Trine||Platformer||2009||A very charming platformer where you control a thief, wizard and knight with the standard "stop the blight afflicting the land" storyline. Characters can be switched in real-time and each has a different ability - the thief has a grappling hook, the knight is a tank and the wizard doesn't have any real attacks but can create bridges or cubes from thin air. Beautiful graphics and music create great atmosphere. Excellent narration makes you feel like you're playing a bedtime story. It's a budget title, you should get it.||GOG|
|Undertale||RPG||2015||If you've managed to avoid the annoying-as-hell fandom, this is absolutely worth checking out. A bullet hell-esque battle system that likes to switch things up during boss fights, an amazing soundtrack (fucking MEGALOVANIA, man), likable and well-written characters, and a narrative that, while nothing special on the story side of things, is incredibly well-executed... this just has a lot going for it.||GOG|
|Unreal Tournament 2004||FPS||2004||Skip the first Unreal Tournament and get this one instead. Fast-paced arena FPS, based heavily on acrobatics and aim, recommended for its complexity and variety. Gametypes range from vehicle-based Onslaught mode to football-like Bombing Run. Unreal Tournament 2004 is commended for consistent developer support, and a once-massive mapping/modding community that produces quality content to this day. The single-player is boring but the AI is rather intelligent in all maps, especially deathmatch.|
|Uplink||Strategy/Sim||2002||Hack computers. Don't get caught. Decent story, full of intrigue. Bring down corporations and destroy people's lives for money to upgrade your computer while searching for a mysterious virus. Don't let the appearance fool you, the later missions are hard and intense, and the game has quite a few secrets.|
|VVVVVV||Platformer||2010||With an art style based on Commodore 64 games and chiptunes for music, you might get the feeling that this is retro indie shit. Well, it's retro and indie, but also fun as hell. Flip gravity back and forth to leap across increasingly elaborate challenges in a quasi-sandbox alternate dimension to incredibly catchy tunes. You'll die, a lot, but a proliferation of checkpoints means you'll rarely lose more than a minute when you die.||Official site|
|Wasteland 2: Director's Cut||RPG||2014||From the producer of the original Fallout, this is what a modern Fallout would be if they made it for the old fans instead of casuals: a top-down, turn-based tactical RPG with a fuckton of possibilities and immense room for customization.||GOG|
|World of Goo||Puzzle||2009||I shouldn't have to tell you what World of Goo is. Yes, they made a native Linux version. Is there a platform this game DOESN'T run on?||Steam|
|X3: Terran Conflict||Space sim||2008||One of the best space simulators, you fly ships (any ships, from small to capitals), you trade, you fight, you build your own stations ( and empire ) you do missions, you pirate, you hire pilots to do things for you ( like sending them on trading runs ). Learning curve like in dwarf fortress, but its worth it. Note: This game is a bitch to play. Your starting ship is a piece of shit if you play custom games.||Steam|