20 Most Exciting Linux Games for 2012

In terms of stability and flexibility, Linux blew away its proprietary counterparts a long time ago. What it sorely lacks is developer interest, especially in the gaming department. But there are signs of a major revival. To the delight of Linux gaming enthusiasts, EA started publishing games in Ubuntu Software Center in May 2012. Valve on the other hand is taking things to the next level by actively developing a Linux port of their popular game Left 4 Dead 2. To celebrate the occasion, we have put together a collection of 20 most exciting games for Linux (not essentially released in 2012 itself and in no particular order). Hope you like it.

top 20 linux games for 2012

Braid: One of the most downloaded games in Ubuntu. Braid is a platform game where you manipulate the flow of time to solve puzzles. "Braid has the potential to change the way you think about reality. It will certainly change the way you think about video games", noted Arthouse Games' Jason Roher. Price: US$ 9.99
top 20 ubuntu games for 2012

OilRush: Real-time naval strategy game based on group control. Exciting combination of traditional RTS based gameplay with attributes of tower-defense. Price: US$ 19.95
  • DRM free, Multiplayer support over LAN and Internet.
best ubuntu games 2012

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - Easily one of the scariest games I have ever played. 'An experience that chill you to the core' in every friggin' sense. System requirements are not very steep either. Price: US$ 20.00
best linux games 2012

Super Meat Boy: A highly addictive platformer where you play as an animated cube of meat who's trying to save his girlfriend from evil Dr. Fetus. The game has more than 300 levels. Level of difficulty might be a tad too high for normal users.  Price: US$14.99
bastion game for ubuntu 12.04

Bastion: An action role-playing game where the player character, "the Kid", moves through floating, fantasy-themed environments that form paths as the player approaches the edge. Bastion is widely acclaimed for its story, art direction, narration, and music. Price: US$18.99
top linux/ubuntu games 2012

0 A.D: Unlike all the other games mentioned here so far, 0 A.D is a free and open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy game which is still in very early stages of development. The game is already pretty darn good by the way. FREE
lone survivor for ubuntu/linux

Lone Survivor: A psychological survival adventure game with retro-styled 2D graphics. Players control an isolated, surgical mask-wearing survivor of an infection which has turned the world's population into an aggressive bunch of mutants. Lone Survivor was well received and got widely praised for its storyline and gameplay. Price: US$ 9.99
Psychonauts for linux

Psychonauts: Critically acclaimed platform game that was released for Linux in May 2012 through the Humble Indie Bundle V. Price: US$ 9.99
  • More download options here.
top 20 games for ubuntu

Puzzle Moppet: Ingeniously designed puzzle game with a different sort of gameplay and simple graphics. Due to the game's failure to generate enough sales and interest (according to the developers themselves), Puzzle Moppet is now available for free to download and use. Game's source is also available for free download. FREE
penumbra series for linux/ubuntu

Penumbra Series: One of those games which I just can't play with my headphones on, no matter how hard I try. The tension can gave you an heart attack. Developed by the same Frictional Games of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra series is just as scary, and very subtle in its approach too. As a matter of fact, Penumbra series was released before Amnesia. Penumbra Series consists of a collection of 3 games. Price: US$ 20.00
best linux FPS game - Xonotic

Xonotic: One of the finest open-source first-person shooter games available for Linux (a fork of Nexuiz originally). Gameplay is heavily inspired by Unreal Tournament and Quake. Care for more? Here's is an elaborate collection of finest FPS games for Linux. FREE
Shadowgrounds game for linux

Shadowgrounds: The game is a fast-paced top-down shooter with widely acclaimed graphics and gameplay. Even though the Linux port of this game was released as early as in 2009, Shadowgrounds is still a lot of fun. Price: US$ 9.99
top 20 games for ubuntu 12.04

Heroes of Newerth: A multiplayer online battle arena heavily inspired by Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The game deploys smooth graphics and engaging gameplay, but learning curve can get a bit too steep for casual gamers. FREE
machinarium for linux

Machinarium: Surprisingly good point and click puzzle game which also won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th Annual Independent Games Festival. Price: US$ 10.00
savage2- top linux games

Savage 2: A Tortured Soul - A fantasy and science-fiction themed game that combines elements of the first-person shooter, real-time strategy, and action role-playing game genres. Both 32-bit and 64-bit downloads available for Linux. FREE
Prey FPS game for Linux

Prey: Another brilliant FPS game which is as good or even better than Xonotic. Critically acclaimed and supports Linux and Mac OS platforms.

World of Goo: One of the finest games I've ever played in Ubuntu. Basically a puzzle game with very distinctive gameplay and soundscore. Everything about this game is really light and smooth and you won't be needing any premium graphics card to run this. Price: US$ 19.95
Osmos for Linux
Osmos: Deceptively engaging, cross-platform puzzle game which I really enjoyed playing in my Android. And now it is available in Ubuntu Software Center as well. For me, highlight was the music. It was just perfect. Price: US$ 9.99
Trine for Linux

Trine: A side-scrolling action platform and puzzle game whose Linux version was released in April 2011. Trine was developed by Frozenbyte, the same company behind Shadowgrounds series as well. Trine will debut in Ubuntu Software Center very soon. Price: US$ 9.99
Left 4 Dead 2 for Linux

Coming Soon: Left 4 Dead 2 - Now, this is big. Steam client for Linux is not some crazy speculation anymore. Valve has made their plans very clear. Porting of Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) to Ubuntu is already underway and if all goes well, more Valve titles will follow suit. They even got L4D2 to run much faster in Ubuntu 12.04 than in Windows 7 (315 FPS vs 270 FPS). Exciting times to be a Linux user indeed. Watch this space for updates.

Two other Linux games worth mentioning are Botanicula and Shank. They have not been included owing to the lack of proper Linux support. Also, some of the games featured here are currently available in the latest Humble Indie Bundle with the usual pay-what-you-want offer. You might want to check it out too. Thank you for reading.
Screenshot courtesy: pcgamer.com (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)