Top 5 Paid Games for Linux

With Linux matching Windows and Mac head-to-head in almost every field, indie developers are ensuring that gaming on Linux doesn't get left behind. We've covered various types of games that are available for Linux, from the best MMORPGs to the top action-packed First Person Shooters. While most of these games are free, there are a few paid games that have come out for Linux.

Here's a look at the top 5 paid games that are making noise:

Minecraft is a new cross-platform indie game, which has recently gained a lot of popularity. It is a 3D sandbox game, where players must try and survive in a randomly generated world. In order to do this, they must build tools, construct buildings/shelters and harvest resources. If you're still curious, then do check out the best minecraft structures created by addicted players from around the world. Minecraft comes in two variants – Beta and Classic, both with single-player and multiplayer options. The Classic version (both single-player and multiplayer) is free. On the other hand, Minecraft Beta, which is still under heavy development, will retail at 20 Euros (that's about 28.5 USD) when finished. For the moment, the game can be pre-purchased and played as a beta for 14.95 Euros. Users who buy the beta version won't have to pay anything for the stable release once it comes out.

In case you're still confused what the whole hype is about, then here's a nice video explaining the basics of the game:

This multiple award-winning game, developed by former EA employees has been one of the most popular games for the Linux platform. World of Goo is a physics-based puzzle game by 2D Boy, that works on Windows, Linux, Mac, Wii and even iOS. The game is about creating large structures using balls of goo. The main objective of the game is to get a requisite number of goo balls to a pipe representing the exit. In order to do so, the player must use the goo balls to construct bridges, towers, and other structures to overcome gravity and various terrain difficulties such as chasms, hills, spikes, or cliffs. The graphics, music, and the effects come together to provide a very Tim Burton-esque atmosphere to the game.

The game consists of 5 chapters, each consisting of multiple levels. In all, there are about 48 levels, making the experience truly worthwhile. In case you've missed it, World of Goo was part of the Humble Indie Bundle 1 and 2. However, the game can still be purchased at $19.95 from the Ubuntu Software Center or from the official website.

We've covered Amnesia in detail before. In this game, you play the role of Daniel, who awakens in a dark, godforsaken 19th century castle. Although he knows his name, he can hardly remember anything about his past. Daniel finds a letter, seemingly written by him and which tells him to kill someone. Now, Daniel must survive this spooky place using only his wits and skills (no knives, no guns!). Amnesia brings some amazing 3D effects along with spectacularly realistic settings making the game spookier than any Polanski movie. As of now, the game retails at as low as 10 USD. Before buying, you can also try out the demo version of the game HERE.

One warning though, don't play this game with the lights turned down; it's really that scary!

Vendetta Online is a science fiction MMORPG developed by Guild Software. Quoting the website “Vendetta Online is a 3D space combat MMORPG for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. This MMO permits thousands of players to interact as the pilots of spaceships in a vast universe. Users may build their characters in any direction they desire, becoming rich captains of industry, military heroes, or outlaws. A fast-paced, realtime "twitch" style combat model gives intense action, coupled with the backdrop of RPG gameplay in a massive online galaxy. Three major player factions form a delicate balance of power, with several NPC sub-factions creating situations of economic struggle, political intrigue and conflict. The completely persistent universe and detailed storyline add to the depth of immersion, resulting in a unique online experience.”

The game has been around since 2004, and since then, it has evolved a lot with developers claiming it as one of the most frequently updated games in the industry. Gamespot rated Vendetta as 'good', but there have been some criticisms about its limited content compared to its high subscription price. The game uses a subscription-based business model and costs about $9.99 per month to play the game. Subscribers get a discount on subscriptions for longer blocks of time bringing the monthly price down to $6.67 a month. A trial (no credit-card required) is also available for download on the official website.

Osmos is a puzzle-based game developed by Canadian developer Hemisphere Games. The aim of the game is to propel yourself, a single-celled organism (Mote) into other smaller motes by absorbing them. In order to survive, the user's mote has to avoid colliding with larger motes. Motes can change course by expelling mass, which causes them to move away from the expelled mass (conservation of momentum). However, doing this also makes the mote shrink. In all there are 3 different zones of levels in Osmos, and the goal of each level is to absorb enough motes to become the largest mote on the level. With its calm, relaxing ambiance thanks to the award-winning soundtrack, Osmos creates a truly unique gaming experience.

The game has received a great response so far. On Metacritic, it has a metascore of 80, based on 22 critics reviews. Apple selected Osmos as the iPad game of the year for 2010. Osmos retails at $10 for the PC, Mac and Windows versions. The game is available across Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and iOS.

Why pay?

In the free world of Linux and Open-source, many people argue that if everything is 'free', why should I pay for a game? Of course, the Linux world is free but free doesn't mean free as in 'free beer', the word free implies freedom. Most of the popular games for Windows, now come with SecuROM and other such DRM restrictions that restrict one's fair-use rights. This means that the user will only be able to use the software on one machine, sometimes requiring constant activations.

Games and other software developed in the FOSS world don't have such absurd restrictions. Users are free to use and distribute the game, and yes there's none of that activation or cd-key nonsense. While these games respect the user's freedom, keeping them free (as in free beer) is not a viable option because developers have to devote a lot of time and money in making these games. So, shelling out a few dollars for these games will help the indie developers pay their rent as well as come up with many new games for this emerging gaming platform.


  1. TRINE and others in the humbe-bundle.

  2. Shouldn't that be "THE 5 Paid Games for Linux"?


  3. other than world of good amnesia, i don't see much of games..

    give a look to oil-rush, trine, shadow ground survor..

  4. RYZOM is another great MMORPG for GNU/Linux :)

  5. Well, Starcraft II plays fine in Wine, no modifications whatsoever.

  6. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Heroes Of newerth is another option

  7. AnonymousJune 16, 2011

    I've got Trine and Shadowgrounds from the humblebundle, World of goo and Osmos ( demo only for now ), Samorost and Samorost 2, Machinarium, the rest I run in Wine e.g. Trackmania including some I get on Steam - Creavures, Axel & Pixel etc. and some old games by Sierra. But yes, most of mine are indie games.

  8. AnonymousJune 20, 2011

    SpaceChem also a very good candidate