5 Best Arcade Games for Linux

Nowadays, computers are serious machines used for gaming. If you can’t get the new high score, you will know what I mean.

In this post, you will know some of the games you can play on Linux today. For many years, gamers have been forced to use dual boot or Wine to run their games. This has mostly changed for many games now, including Steam.

Games Available in Repositories

The games are available in the repositories; the whole Steam marketplace is available if you install Steam. Steam is available as both a snap and can be directly installed under Ubuntu. The array of games on this platform is immense, so today you will hear about other games.

WolfenDoom – Shot-em-Up

This game is a first-person shooter game that many will recognize. Built as a fork of Doom, your mission is during the second world war. Your options are limited, and you need more supplies. What is available in the snap store is a limited game with only three levels. You can purchase the full game from the developer.

You can also find mods for this game. It can change how the game looks and even how it plays. With enough work, a mod can become a new game. Mods are available on moddb, this site has mods for many games.

Warzone 2100 – Strategy Game

A team called Pumpkin Studios developed this game back in 1999. They released it as free and open-source in 2004, and you can find the development efforts on the “Warzone 2100 Project” website. You can also join the effort to develop it if you wish. You play the game as a strategy game; the scene is apocalyptic, and you command troops and armored tanks over the battlefield. You can play in the browser or have the multiplayer capability. A nifty feature is that you can start a “server” with one player and play on the same LAN. You do this by choosing the IP address of the first player. No need for full internet connectivity.

If you don’t have any friends that play, you can just play against the machine. In fact, you can add AI players to join or fight against you. It is up to you if you need help or a harder challenge. For this game, you can also pick up mods on the same site.

OpenRA – Strategy Game

This game is also a strategy game that you see from above. The graphics are less impressive than Warzone 2100, but the gameplay is gripping. You also have the option to build your own modification. They are called mods; you can create a new environment for this game. As the name implies, it is open. The standard for these modifications is an open standard. You can even dig deeper and make your own game.

Other than that, on the moddb site, you can find many variations of this game.


Supertux is a jumping game that must be in the Linux enthusiast repertoire. The game feature Tus the penguin who must save Penny from her captivity. This game plays like a classic platform game. The experience is very retro, although it has very nice cartoon graphics and smooth gameplay for any computer.

The demands on your system are minimal, so you can play on almost any platform. Don’t forget that Tux is out racing also in other games. Search the repositories for tuxracer, tuxfootball, and supertuxcart.

M.A.R.S A Space Shooter

In this game, you will steer your spaceship around the solar system. The ship will approach planets due to gravity; it takes some practice getting used to it. After you know how to steer, you need to shoot at the enemy. This game has also a music score with many tracks available. There is also an announcer to instruct you on what you need to do.

You have the ability to play the game on your own, with two people on the same keyboard or in the future over the network. The snap is marked as a Proprietary license, but the game is available on GitHub under the GPL.

Run Old Stuff

If you have a love for old-style games, you should check out MAME. MAME is a hardware emulator that you can load with the games from years ago that ran on other systems. The system supports hundreds of systems from the ‘80s and onwards. You will have to put some work in to support your chosen platform. The work entails adding the supporting ROM files that the system needs to emulate particular hardware.


For many years, game developers have made games for a particular platform, usually a games console, but that is changing. Nowadays, you can find both the new games and the old retro games on your favorite platform– Linux. The gaming industry is now aiming to get you involved in the game so they can take profits after you have gotten good at it. This is a business model that forces manufacturers and developer to make engaging games, and it gives free and open source a great opportunity to make games that can be supported by users.

About the author

Mats Tage Axelsson

I am a freelance writer for Linux magazines. I enjoy finding out what is possible under Linux and how we can all chip in to improve it. I also cover renewable energy and the new way the grid operates. You can find more of my writing on my blog.