There are plenty of great games for Linux, but it’s not always easy actually getting them to run. Package management systems like apt have made things easier, but not all games are available this way. Fortunately, Snap has come along as an easy way to run almost anything, including games, without hassle.
Snap is Ubuntu’s solution to cramming everything an app needs to run into a single package. This isn’t the only software of its type, but since it is developed by Canonical, it’s the default on Ubuntu. Getting started is easy: just search for Snap Store in the Software Center and click install.
You’ll find plenty of software in the Snap Store, including a fair number of games. To save you the trouble of searching, we’ve gathered some of the best below.
1. TrackMania Nations Forever
The free version of the long-running TrackMania franchise is far from realistic. Instead of a simulation, you get crazy physics and gravity-defying track designs. While some features found in the paid version aren’t present, there is plenty to do here.
Most of the fun to be had with this game comes from going online. Here you’ll encounter player-created maps that take the game’s premise and run wild with it. Chances are you won’t make it through the track the first or even fifteenth time. The feeling when you finally make it through can only be topped by the feeling of when you beat your previous time.
If you’ve been gaming on Linux for a while now, chances are you’ve encountered Xonotic before, or at least its predecessor Nexuiz. While that game eventually turned commercial, Xonotic stayed free and promises it will remain so.
The gameplay here is classic first-person shooter, fast paced and very much in the mold of games like Quake 3. The game offers nine core weapons and a bevy of game modes. These modes included classics like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, as well as more unusual modes like Freeze Tag.
Not to be confused with the commercial version first released in 2012, this is the original free version of Spelunky. While it might not have everything from the new version, the punishing platforming action is still present.
Spelunky borrows from roguelikes as much as it does classic platformers. This means, among other things, that every time you make your way through the cave, it will be different. Your goal is to make it as deep as you can, gathering as much treasure as possible along the way. It may not be the most visually stunning game, but it makes up for it with sheer depth.
4. Eternal Lands
When people think of MMORPGs these days, chances are the first thing they think of is World of Warcraft or its many expansions. Eternal Lands hearkens back to a time before that enormous franchise when online RPGs were more open-ended. If you’re looking for an MMORPG that doesn’t hold your hand, this might be for you.
The core game is free, though you’ll only be able to choose from three races for your character. These are Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. Gnomes, Orchans, and Draegoni are also available, but only to paid users. There are two continents to explore and plenty of ways to improve your character. There aren’t any pre-built classes here. Instead, you level up your character as you see fit.
5. WolfenDoom: Blade of Agony
The title should give you a clue as to what to expect from this game, in more ways than one. While this is indeed a Doom mod, it is far more than a basic mod. The outrageous nature of the title hints at the gameplay, which is over the top, to say the least.
While the game goes for a retro look, it isn’t a simple Doom rehash. For one, it uses effects that would be impossible in the ‘90s, so you’ll need a decently powerful computer to run it. It also has a stronger focus on story than the shooters that inspired it. If you’re looking for retro gameplay with a more modern take on storytelling, this could be perfect for you.
Looking for more games?
If you’re looking for more than the above games, there are plenty more on the Snap Store. That’s not the only place to look, either. We have a list of 15 of the best free games for Linux that should help you get your fix.