When was the last time you saw a list of best Linux games? Probably never. The gaming scene on Linux is improving each year, thanks to the Proton compatibility layer and game developers finally realizing Linux’s worth. For starters, Proton translates Direct-X on Windows to Vulcan supported by Linux.
“But isn’t it hard to install games on Linux?” The answer is no. All you need to do to access supported titles is install Steam, enable SteamPlay, install a game, and start playing. Apart from playing on Steam, you can also install Steam Proton to launch non-steam games. Here I said “supported titles.” Because some of the most popular games work out of the box, but games with anti-cheat mechanisms are still unplayable. That said, let’s get started with this list of ten popular Windows games that you can play on Linux.
Which Linux Distros Are Best For Gaming?
Beginners often get confused as to which Linux distro is the best for gaming. While there isn’t a concrete answer to this, we do have a list of the best Linux distros for gaming, so make sure to check it out.
If you want to know more about what’s going on with the “Gaming on Linux” scene, make sure to check out our how to choose a Linux distro for gaming article.
Best AAA Linux Games: Windows Games On Linux
1. GTA V
Surprised? With over 180,000 active monthly players and over 140 million copies sold, Yes, GTA V can run on Linux and is the second most popular game in the world after Minecraft.
The recent reports on the official ProtonDB website report very few crashed and lags. In fact, Linus Sebastian from Linus Tech Tips did a video on the Linux gaming scene where he played GTA V and compared the gameplay on both Windows and Linux.
2. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider came out in 2018 and is the sequel to the Rise of the Tomb Raider (Which is also available for Linux). It is one of the best AAA action-adventure titles out there that you can play on Linux.
As per the reports on ProtonDB, the game runs natively with zero crashes or lags provided the hardware is sufficient. Overall, running this “not so old” AAA title on Linux shows how great Linux gaming has gotten.
3. Read Dead Redemption II
Released in 2018 by Rockstar Games, this game broke several records and generated over USD 725 million in the first week. Everything to the storyline to the graphics are excellent.
According to the reports on the ProtonDB website, Red Dead Redemption II has been rated Gold standard, meaning; it runs almost perfectly and requires minimal tweaking to get started.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Developed by CD Projekt Red, famous for its latest title Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is praised for its design, gameplay, and visuals. Over 30 million copies of the Wicher 3 were sold and it’s also rated 10/10 on Steam.
If you’re a fan of The Witcher 3, the good news is, it runs out of the box on Linux, with very few people reporting minor frame drops here and there. Overall, it’s definitely one of the best games to play on Linux.
5. Watch Dogs 2
Released in 2016 by Ubisoft, Watch Dogs 2 is the sequel to the OG Watch Dogs, released in 2014. The open-world, characters, and overall gameplay are fantastic. Ubisoft sold over 10 million copies of the game by March 2020.
If you’re someone who loves the concept of “hacking” stuff around you, you’ll absolutely love this game. Watch Dogs 2 is rated Gold on ProtonDB with minimal problems with Uplay connect and stability.
6. Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest fighting title from NetherRealm Studios, the 11th edition of the Mortal Kombat series. Everything from the visuals to the storyline is great.
If you’re a Mortal Kombat fan or searching for a mesmerizing fighting game, look no further. Mortal Kombat 11 is rated Gold on ProtonDB, and most reports state little to zero issues.
7. Cyberpunk 2077
Yes, you read that right. Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hyped and graphic-intense games of 2020. Although, developers of CD Projekt Red received a lot of criticism for releasing a half-baked game, it has gotten much better in the past few updates.
The game is rated Silver. A few reports say the game is unplayable while other reports suggests the game runs but the frame rates are low compared to Windows. Either way, we definitely see the performance improving with future Proton updates.
8. Hitman 2
If you’re into stealth video games, then Hitman 2 is one of the games to try. Released not too long ago in 2018, it is the sequel to the 2016 Hitman (which you can also play on Linux) and has received a lot of positive feedback (9/10 on Steam) from the gaming community.
The game is rated Platinum on the Proton website, with a few users reporting screen windowing issues on the latest 6.3.2 version.
9. Resident Evil 2
Released in 2019, Resident Evil 2 is the remake of the 1998 Resident Evil 2. As the name suggests, it is a survival game set in a post-apocalyptic scene in Raccoon city where people have turned into zombies due to T-virus developed by Umbrella Corp.
The game is rated Platinum on Proton, with a few users reporting minor bugs. Overall, it’s definitely one of the best recent games to play if you’re into horror games.
10. The Assassin’s Creed Series
Most people, including me, grew up with Assassin’s Creed. Created by Ubisoft, the first Assassin’s Creed title named “Assassin’s Creed,” was released in 2007. The studio has released twelve main Assassin’s games until now and many sub releases, with the latest one being Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Assassin’s Creed is a stealth and adventure game inspired by the Prince of Persia series. Here is the list of Assassin’s Creed games that you can play on Linux with their ratings. To test things out, I installed Ubisoft Connect on Linux using Lutris and installed Assassin’s Creed II that I got for free. I was quite surprised on how it ran on my 8th gen Intel 8250U machine with integrated UHD 620 graphics.
|Assassin’s Creed (2007)||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed 2||Silver|
|Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood||Silver|
|Assassin’s Creed Revelations||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed III||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed Rogue||Silver|
|Assassin’s Creed Unity||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed Syndicate||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed Liberation||Silver|
|Assassin’s Creed Origins||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed Odyssey||Gold|
|Assassin’s Creed III Remastered||Silver|
The games that we’ve covered in this article are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you want to play your favorite games, chances are, they might be available on Linux. To see the list of all games available on Linux, visit the official ProtonDB website.
Gaming on Linux has come a long way in recent years, and slowly but surely, it’s only going to get better. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know.