10 Best Windows Games That Can Be Played on Linux

For most hardcore gamers, Linux is taboo since they probably think that they cannot play their favorite Windows-only games with it. They do have a point of staying away from Linux, but if they knew that they can play some of their most wanted games on Linux, will they take the switch?

A program called Wine (Wine Is Not an Emulator) allows Unix-like computer operating systems on the x86 architecture to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. Wine also provides a software library known as Winelib which developers can compile Windows applications alongside to help port them to Unix-like systems.

I have picked 10 of the most popular Windows-only games that are now playable in Linux for the hardcore gamers and for those who have just migrated to Linux and are missing these exciting games:

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft (commonly known as WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). It is Blizzard Entertainment's fourth game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. World of Warcraft takes place within the world of Azeroth, four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001. The game was released on November 23, 2004, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. It is currently the world's largest MMORPG in terms of monthly subscribers. World of Warcraft currently holds 62% of the MMOG market at 10 million subscribers. The current subscriber base for all MMOGs is 16 million.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game and the sequel to the highly acclaimed Half-Life. It was developed by Valve Software Corporation and was released on November 16, 2004, following a protracted five-year development cycle during which the game’s source code was leaked to the Internet. The game garnered near unanimous positive reviews and received critical acclaim, winning over 35 Game of the Year awards for 2004. Originally available only for Windows-based personal computers, the game has since been ported onto the Xbox, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 video game consoles.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

NBA Live 07
The NBA Live series of basketball video games, published by EA Sports, is currently one of the leading National Basketball Association simulations on the market. Originally, the NBA Live series was released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and SNES with NBA Live 95. The naming was changed from utilizing the last two digits of the year to the entire year number from 2000-2005, but returned to the original naming convention with NBA Live 06. NBA Live 07 was released for the Playstation 2, Xbox, PC, Playstation Portable, and the Xbox360. The major new feature for this year was an evolution of the freestyle superstars system.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.


StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game of the StarCraft series, it was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1998. With more than nine million copies sold worldwide as of 21 May 2007, it is one of the best-selling games for the personal computer. A Mac OS version was released in March 1999, and a Nintendo 64 adaptation co-developed with Mass Media Interactive Entertainment was released on 13 June 2000. With its storyline adapted and expanded through a series of novels, StarCraft has three expansion packs available and a sequel in development.

Many of the industry's journalists have praised StarCraft as one of the best and most important video games of all time, and for having raised the bar for developing real-time strategy games. StarCraft's multiplayer is particularly popular in South Korea, where professional players and teams participate in matches, earn sponsorships, and compete in televised tournaments.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.


EverQuest, often called EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was released on March 16, 1999. The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost. It was developed by Sony's 989 Studios and its early-1999 spin-off Verant Interactive. It was published by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Since its acquisition of Verant in late 1999, SOE develops, runs and distributes EverQuest.

EverQuest has earned many awards, including 1999 GameSpot Game of the Year and a 2008 Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.

EverQuest II was released in late 2004. Set in an alternate universe similar to that of the original EverQuest, this "sequel" takes place 500 years after the awakening of The Sleeper. The game has also inspired a number of other spinoffs.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is a first-person shooter video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision for the PlayStation 3, Windows, and the Xbox 360. It is scheduled for release for Mac OS X in the third quarter of 2008. It is the fourth installment of the Call of Duty video game series, excluding expansion packs. The game breaks away from the World War II setting of previous games in the series and is instead set in modern times. The game is the first in the series to be rated Mature in North America. The title and game details were announced on April 25, 2007, and the game was released worldwide between November 6, 2007 and November 9, 2007. It became available on Steam on November 6, 2007 for pre-purchase, and was available to play on November 12, 2007.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare received considerable praise and has won numerous awards from gaming websites, including IGN's "Best Xbox 360 Game". It was the top-selling game worldwide for 2007, reaching over seven million copies as of January 2008.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Warcraft III

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (War3 or WC3 or RoC) is a real-time strategy computer game released by Blizzard Entertainment in July 2002. It is the second sequel to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and it is the third game set in the Warcraft Universe. An expansion pack, The Frozen Throne, was released in 2003.

The game proved to be one of the most anticipated and popular computer game releases ever, with 4.5 million units preordered and over one million additional units sold within a month. Warcraft III won many awards including "Game of the Year" from more than six different publications.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is a real-time strategy video game developed and published by Electronic Arts for the Windows, Mac OS X and Xbox 360 platforms, and was released internationally in March 2007. The direct sequel to the 1999 RTS title Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun by Westwood Studios, a now defunct company that was taken over and liquidated by EA in 2003, Tiberium Wars returns the Command & Conquer series to its roots in the Tiberium story arc of the franchise, once again featuring the factions of the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod, and also introducing a new extraterrestrial faction known as the Scrin. A first expansion pack to Tiberium Wars, titled Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, was released on March 24, 2008.

Tiberium Wars takes place in the year 2047, at the advent of and during the "Third Tiberium War" when the Brotherhood of Nod launches a worldwide offensive against the Global Defense Initiative; abruptly ending seventeen years of silence and crippling GDI forces everywhere. With the odds tipped in the Brotherhood's favor this time, GDI field commanders rally their troops and begin to combat Nod's second re-emergence, trying to restore lost hope.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Final Fantasy XI Online

Final Fantasy XI, also known as Final Fantasy XI Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square (later Square Enix) as part of the Final Fantasy series. It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002. The PC version was released in North America on October 28, 2003, and the PlayStation 2 version on March 23, 2004. In Europe, only the Windows version was released, on September 17, 2004. An Xbox 360 version was released worldwide in April 2006 for all regions, as the system's first MMORPG and the first cross-platform MMORPG. The Xbox 360 version does not require an Xbox Live Gold account.

In January 2004, Square Enix announced that more than 500,000 users, using more than one million characters, were playing the game. As of 2006, between 200,000 and 300,000 active players logged in per day, and the game remains the dominant MMORPG in Japan. Four expansions for the game have been released, capitalizing on the game's success.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Guild Wars
Guild Wars is an episodic series of multiplayer online role-playing games created by ArenaNet, a Seattle game development studio and a subsidiary of the South Korean game publisher NCsoft. Three stand-alone episodes and one expansion pack were released in the series from April 2005 to August 2007. All Guild Wars games run on the Microsoft Windows platform.

The games in the Guild Wars series were critically well received and won many editor's choice awards, as well as awards such as best value, best massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), and best game. Guild Wars was noted for being one of the few commercially developed games in the MMORPG genre to offer online play without subscription fees, its instanced approach to MMORPG play, and the quality of the graphics and play for computers with low specifications. In February 2008, NCSoft announced that 5 million units of games in the Guild Wars series had been sold. The sequel, Guild Wars 2, was announced in March 2007. It will have updated graphics and gameplay mechanics, and will continue the original Guild Wars tradition of no subscription fees. No release date has been announced.

Linux installation instructions plus other details about this game can be found HERE.

Those are my recommended Windows games that can be played on Linux. Feel free to add yours.


  1. AnonymousJune 12, 2008

    Great list. Maybe you can add a compilation of online games that work with linux

  2. AnonymousJune 12, 2008

    Top Ten Free Cross Platform Games

    10. Postal 2 Share the pain -

    9. Tremulous -

    8. Sauerbraten -

    7. Alien Arena 2008 -

    6. World of Padman -

    5. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory -

    4. Warsow -

    3. Nexuiz -

    2. Open Arena -

    1. (io)Urban Terror -

    These games are all Free & Free to play online, as much as you want! The license of these games vary, some are GNU, some use other licenses - check their website if you need to know which games uses which license.

    This is just my list of the top 10 first person shooters (FPS) games. I will save my lists of other game genres at a later time!

    Game Not Over,

  3. AnonymousJune 12, 2008

    I'ld like to mention Eve Online.
    It has a Linux Client which is quite easy to install but not quite up-to-date.
    If you wish to, you can even run the Windows version with the newest Wine after some tweaking.

  4. AnonymousJuly 16, 2008

    I'd just like to point out that this is all highly illegal. You do not have Microsoft permission to make copies and run Windows code under Linux. When these things start to phone home, and they come for you, don't say you were not warned. It happened to a friend’s cousin of mine.

  5. Speaking to the Anonymous guy who expressed doubts about the legality of this whole thing: We don't need permission (legally) to run the software under linux or any other platform, if you can write an emulator to run it. By the way, that site is either some of the most serious satire I've ever seen, or the result of some twisted Microsoft Get-the-Facts campaign :)

  6. 1. The Server is running on a Linux Distro (Server: Apache/2.0.52 (CentOS))

    2. ...

    "This is not a ‘real site dealing with real issues’. Every corner of this site is a joke. All the content is *pure crap*. Can’t you see the TRADEMARK SIGN on “The Truth”?

    We tell you that 1) Linux will make you hack both your ears off and 2) it will sap and impurify all of your precious bodily fluids. There are 100s of other statement such as this. And you think this is real?

    Thanks for ruining a good joke and making me post this.

    You people make me sick. Get *the fuck* off the internet. We don’t want your kind tainting the rest."

    Seriously guys, read before writing ^^

  7. It's misleading to call these "Windows games". Many of them are not Windows exclusive.

  8. Anonymous - Games designed for a Microsoft OS don't belong to Microsoft, and so long as you actually have a copy of the game, there is absolutely nothing at all illegal about playing it on Linux in any way, shape, or form. Because if you own the game, it is yours to do with as you will. Please get your legal facts straight before posting again.

    Anyway, in regards to the list... cool, but I wouldn't list the games that have to be run under Wine as "Linux-able" - simply because it requires emulation to play, and isn't really supposed to work on Linux. Plus, it has some serious bugs and game performance issues, at least in my experience of trying to play HL2 on Wine on Ubuntu... :-(

  9. "I'd just like to point out that this is all highly illegal."

    I'd just like to point out that this "Promoting Linux" site and its author is a fraud. Since it's 100% made up of disinformation.

    This is a great article and there's nothing illegal about it. WinE is 100% Free software.

  10. If they don't actually tell you in the "term of use/user agreement" that you can't use linux to play the game, there should really be no problem.

  11. Giving acolyte souske double dragon is like assigning him to waste your other heros res signets

  12. re:
    "zoulnix Said,
    If they don't actually tell you in the "term of use/user agreement" that you can't use linux to play the game, there should really be no problem."

    Actually, in contract law, if you didn't sign anything when you bought it, the game is yours to do anything you want except copy and distribute, and that is only a civil case and NOT against the law! You can use it to level a table leg, play it on linux or make an abstract art piece. The agreement they make you click on is not enforceable as it is and "after the fact of contract" (don't remember the legal term - too many drugs after law school) That would be like a character in the game saying you owe MS $500 if you shoot him and trying to make that a legally enforceable contract when you do him in. The point of sale is the only enforceable contract and I don't remember signing anything like the garbage in install says... do you?

  13. The whole legal thing has been brought up in court in the past. And yes, when you buy a game it does not say anywhere it must be run in Windows. Also, Wine is NOT illegal because there is NO MS code in it, it was proven in court some time ago when Microsoft was creating FUD by suing Linux users and distro makers/program writers for supposed copyright infringement when there was no copyright infringement going on. There's nothing bogus in this article and if a little research would be done, all this would be found to be ridiculous.