Thanks to a lot of community effort there are several games that got a free and open source software (FLOSS) engine as a drop-in replacement for the proprietary one. Even if never released for Linux, they can be played now natively, some of them even on Vulkan, read Games – Vulkan OpenSource.
The content like artwork, media and music still remains under their original copyright license and you still need a copy of the original game or if not available you can buy it used or via one of the game shops.
Running the game with a free and open source software engine offers several advantages like Linux support, 64bit, new OpenGL paths, bug fixes, new features and so on. Not every project reached the same quality, but in most cases it is worth a try.
The game engines can be used as well to develop own games or as development examples. A more complete list can be found here https://www.gamingonlinux.com/wiki/Open_Source_Game_Engines_List or here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_video_games
OpenRA (license GPLv3, http://www.openra.net, https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA) is a game engine for the Command & Conquer games including Krush Kill ‘N Destroy 1 + 2. The Red Alert part of the game is available for free of charge and can be downloaded in game once OpenRA is installed.
pacman -Sy openra
If you add the prefix
SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland to the start parameter then OpenRA will work fine in Wayland.
Command & Conquer
If you run OpenRA for the first time it will allow you to download the base game of Command & Conquer – Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000 for free. Only the mission briefings need to be purchased or installed from the original CD’s, if you want them. OpenRA is developing support for Tiberian Sun as well.
Krush Kill ‘N Destroy 1 and 2
OpenRA runs since December 2018 as well Krush Kill N’ Destroy 1 and 2 (license GPLv3, https://kknd-game.com, https://github.com/IceReaper/KKnD). OpenRA will download the demo and you can start testing it. The game data cam be purchased at GOG:
OpenSC (https://github.com/cookgreen/OpenSC) is a mod of the OpenRA engine for Starcraft.
Age of Empires II
OpenAge (license GPLv3+, http://openage.sft.mx) is a game engine remake for Age of Empires II (or the HD version). The code is available on https://github.com/SFTtech/openage. Technically it maybe extended to Age of Empires and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, as they used the same engine.
Baldurs Gate + Icewind Dale + Planescape: Torment
GemRB (license GPL, http://www.gemrb.org) is a portable open-source implementation of Bioware’s Infinity Engine and it runs:
- Baldur’s Gate 1+2 (https://www.gog.com/game/baldurs_gate_enhanced_edition, https://www.gog.com/game/baldurs_gate_2_enhanced_edition)
- Icewind Dale (https://www.gog.com/game/icewind_dale_enhanced_edition)
- Planescape: Torment games (https://www.gog.com/game/planescape_torment_enhanced_edition).
You can buy the game content on GOG DRM free. It is developed on here https://github.com/gemrb/gemrb.
NBlood (license GPLv2, https://github.com/nukeykt/NBlood) is a open source engine for the FPS game Blood. To play the game you need to buy a copy of the Blood game (available on GOG and Steam).
CaesarIA or Julius
Caesar III (1998)
CaesarIA (license GPLv3, https://bitbucket.org/dalerank/caesaria/wiki/Home) is a game engine remake of Caesar III that slightly modified the original game play. You can find it as well on Steam https://store.steampowered.com/app/327640 and on GOG https://www.gog.com/game/caesar_3
Julius (license AGPLv3, https://github.com/bvschaik/julius) is another open source game engine for Caesar III that tried to stay with the original game play as close as possible.
Carnage3 (https://github.com/codenamecpp/carnage3d) is an open source reimplementation of GTA 1 (Grand Theft Auto).
Delver Engine and Editor (license GPLv2, https://github.com/Interrupt/delverengine) has been released as free software in November 2018. To play the game you can buy the game content on Steam.
FreeAblo (license GPLv3, https://freeablo.org, https://github.com/wheybags/freeablo) is a open source engine for Diablo 1 game and is available for Linux. It requires the game data to be played, but it is still not yet finished. Diablo 1 is not available for sales anymore, you can only buy a used CD copy (on the Internet Archive.org a copy is available, but this is maybe not legit).
You can use the normal or the git version.
DevilutionX (license public domain, https://github.com/diasurgical/devilutionX) is a Diablo 1 port provided as public domain in June 2018 by Devilution (https://github.com/galaxyhaxz/devilution), which seems to be at least partially de-compiled, it is not sure if there are legal concerns (copyright) as this might not be an own development and reverse engineered like other engines. To play the game you need to have the game data from the original game. At least Diablo 1 can be bought now on GOG.
Before you can run the game, copy diabdat.mpq from your CD or GoG installation (or extract it from the GoG installer) to the DevilutionX install folder or data folder; make sure it is all lowercase:
OpenD2 (license GPLv3, https://github.com/eezstreet/OpenD2) is a open source engine for the Diablo II game and is available for Linux. It requires the game data to be played.
Doom + Herectic + Hexen
Duke Nukem 3D + Redneck Rampage + Redneck Rampage: Rides Again
NRedneck (https://github.com/nukeykt/NRedneck) is an open source game engine for Duke Nukem 3D, Redneck Rampage and Redneck Rampage: Rides Again. More details can be found in this forum post https://forums.duke4.net/topic/10241-rednukem-redneck-rampage-port/.
Ebony Spire Heresy
Ebony Spire Heresy (license MIT, https://beardedgiant.games/product/ebony-spire-heresy/) provides the game engine as open source and is available on Steam.
Black & White (2001)
OpenBlack (license GPLv3, https://github.com/openblack/openblack) is an open source game engine for Black & White. The game data must be owned to play the game with OpenBlack.
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
OpenMW (license GPLv3, https://openmw.org) is developed under a GPLv3 license. The code is available on https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw. Work is ongoing to add support for Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, read https://openmw.org/2019/followers-of-shadows.
Install the engine with the following command:
pacman -Sy openmw
You can buy a DRM free copy at GOG if you don’t own the game already:
Download the Windows version, install it with Wine, then run OpenMW (openmw-launcher command) and follow the first launch guide. It will find your existing Wine game installation folder, if it is a default one automatically, but you need to add the data folder manually. OpenMW runs great on Linux and playing works really well.
OpenMW is using SDL2, so Wayland should be supported natively, but I got some error messages, see below. But on Plasma-Wayland the game works at least well trough XWayland, except some input bugs with the mouse and keyboard, hopefully solved with the next Plasma release.
$ SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland openmw-launcher wl_registry@2: error 0: invalid version for global wl_data_device_manager (9): have 2, wanted 3 SDL_Init failed: "The video driver did not add any displays"
The Elder Scrolls: Arena
OpenTESArena (license MIT, https://github.com/afritz1/OpenTESArena) is a new game engine for Elder Scrolls: Arena in an early stage and not fully playable yet.
Final Fantasy VIII
OpenVII (license MIT, https://github.com/MaKiPL/OpenVIII) is working on a new game engine for Final Fantasy VIII, it is not fully working yet but looks interesting. This will add Linux support and it is based on OpenGL.
Gothic + Gothic II
REGoth (GPLv3, https://github.com/REGoth-project/REGoth) is a remake of the Gothic and Gothic II engine.
You can buy a DRM free copy at GOG if you don’t own the game already.
You can by a DRM free copy from GOG:
Run REGoth from a terminal with the following flags:
REGoth -g "path/to/gothic1or2" -w startworld.zen
path/to/gothic1or2 points to the root of a Gothic I or II installation and
startworld.zen is one of the Zen-Files found in a
.vdf-files in the games
Gothic 1 – Overworld: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic1″ -w world.zen”
Gothic 1 – Oldmine: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic1″ -w oldmine.zen”
Gothic 1 – Freemine: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic1″ -w freemine.zen”
Gothic 1 – Sleeper temple: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic1″ -w orctemple.zen”
Gothic 2 – Overworld: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic2″ -w newworld.zen”
Gothic 2 – Valley of mines: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic2″ -w oldworld.zen”
Gothic 2 – Addonworld: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic2″ -w addonworld.zen”
Gothic 2 – Dragonisland: REGoth -g “path/to/gothic2″ -w dragonisland.zen”
OpenJK + EthernalJK
STAR WARS Jedi Knight + Jedi Outcast
OpenJK (license GPLv2, https://github.com/JACoders/OpenJK) allows you to play the following games in single player mode:
- Jedi Knight I: Jedi Academy Single Player
- Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Single Player
With EthernalJK you can play in multi player mode. Luxtorpeda can use OpenJK and Ethernal JK automatically in Steam Play.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
Buy a DRM free copy:
Shadow Warrior Classic (1997)
Recently the source of Shadow Warrior (license GPLv2 for the game engine files, https://gitlab.com/NY00123/sw-src-and-build-addendum) has been discovered again and released as open source, it is not playable yet or ported to Linux, but sooner or later this will probably happen.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
OpenXRay (license BSD but maybe it is just source code that is not free, https://github.com/OpenXRay/xray-16) is based on Game Engine XRay that has been used for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat added several enhancements plus Linux support. You need to buy the game content and data to use it with OpenXRay.
System Shock: Classic
System Shock (license GPL, https://github.com/NightDiveStudios/shockmac) has been released as free software on 2018-04-07. The Linux version on Steam was only a Wine wrapper. A new linux version has been created https://github.com/Interrupt/systemshock, the code name is Shokolate. To play the game you need to buy the game content.
Return to the Roots
The Settlers 2
yay return-to-the-roots # or for the latest builds yay s25rttr
Buy a DRM free copy:
Link the game files on Arch Linux, e.g. like this:
rm -R /bin/RTTR/S2 ln -s /home/rainer/.wine/drive_c/GOG\ Games/Settlers\ 2\ GOLD/ /usr/share/s25rttr/ sudo mv /usr/share/s25rttr/Settlers\ 2\ GOLD /usr/share/s25rttr/S2
Then run the game:
The game seems to run, only campaigns do not work yet. The game is using the old SDL, hopefully they will upgrade to SDL2 to provide modern support for Wayland, this will probably happen with the release of version 1.0, read https://github.com/Return-To-The-Roots/s25client/issues/144.
CorsixTH (license GPL, https://corsixth.com) is a remake of the Theme Hospital engine. You can follow the development here https://github.com/CorsixTH/CorsixTH. Install the engine with the following command:
You can buy a DRM free copy at GOG https://www.gog.com/game/theme_hospital.
Download the Windows version, install it with Wine, start CorsixTH (CorsixTH command) and link it to the path of the Wine installation folder of Theme Hospital. CorsixTH runs great on Linux and playing works really well.
CorsixTH is using SDL2, so Wayland should be supported natively, but I got some error messages, see below. But on Plasma-Wayland the game works really well trough XWayland.
$ SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland CorsixTH --------------------------------------------------------------- Welcome to CorsixTH v0.60! --------------------------------------------------------------- This window will display useful information if an error occurs. --------------------------------------------------------------- wl_registry@2: error 0: invalid version for global wl_data_device_manager (9): have 2, wanted 3 SDL_Init failed: The video driver did not add any displays An error has occurred in CorsixTH: /usr/share/CorsixTH/CorsixTH.lua:133: Cannot initialise SDL stack traceback: [C]: in function 'assert' /usr/share/CorsixTH/CorsixTH.lua:133: in main chunk [C]: in ? wl_registry@2: error 0: invalid version for global wl_data_device_manager (9): have 2, wanted 3 SDL_Init failed: The video driver did not add any displays bootstrap.cpp:49: Unable to initialise video
OpenLara + OpenTomb
Tomb Raider 1 – 5
OpenLara is developed under a BSD license and the code is available on https://github.com/XProger/OpenLara. For more details you can follow the forum tread http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=216618.
You can even play and test it in a browser (Fullscreen with ALT + Enter):
Buy a DRM free copy:
You can install OpenLara in Arch Linux from AUR with:
Run OpenLara from the terminal.
Another Alternative to OpenLara.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
ETLegacy (license GPLv3, https://github.com/etlegacy, https://www.etlegacy.com) is build based on ioquake3 engine an offers OpenGL 3 support. The original game engine has been released as open source and the game file can be downloaded from here https://www.splashdamage.com/games/wolfenstein-enemy-territory. The game maps have been recreated with higher quality. On Arch Linux you can install the game from AUR (use the git version, the normal doesn’t work as of librenderer_opengl1_x86_64.so issues):
If the game crashes after the first setup, run it again.
OpenXCom (license GPLv3, https://openxcom.org, https://github.com/SupSuper/OpenXcom) is an open-source clone of UFO: Enemy Unknown (“X-COM: UFO Defense” in the USA release) and X-COM: Terror From the Deep videogames by Microprose. Luxtorpeda can use OpenXCOm automatically in Steam Play.
Open Source Games with Proprietary Engines & Games
GTA San Andreas
San Andreas Unity (license MIT, https://github.com/GTA-ASM/SanAndreasUnity) tries to remake GTA San Andreas (Grand Theft Auto) with the Unity engine.
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
Download gratis game https://elderscrolls.bethesda.net/en/daggerfall?.
Download game builds http://www.dfworkshop.net/projects/daggerfall-unity/live-builds.