Games are a fantastic pastime – an entertaining way to spend some time testing your skills against your friends or opponents from all over the world. Better yet, what can be more impressive than playing free games? Welcome to the world of open source games.

What are open source games? Well, any game that allows you to download its source code can be classified as under open source games. They are almost always free since the idea behind developing them is not to earn profits. All the open source software developers want is interactive entertainment and to showcase their skills to the world.

33 Best Open Source Games You Must Try

There are many open source software on the web, and the list of open source games available is quite vast. They are available across all operating system platforms and not just Linux.

They are fun, exciting, and worth exploring. Open source games can be both single-player and multiplayer mode and can be downloaded without any cost. Selecting the ones you should play is the primary challenge here.  Also, remember that they are different from the Open World Games.

So, let’s solve that concern and check out the best open source games.

1. 0 A.D

0 A D open source games

By: Wildfire Games

Release Date: 23rd December 2018

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, 0 A.D is set more than 500 years ago, between 500 B.C and 1 B.C. The second part of the game is placed between the years A.D 1 to A.D 500.

It is a real time strategy game based on historical wars and the economy. The players need to build a base, train an army, and be ready for combat. The other crucial components of the great game are technology and research.

You get to choose from 12 civilizations. As you advance in the real time strategy game, you move from the village to town and finally to the city. With every new stage, the player gets to unlock new buildings and new technologies.

0 A.D can be played in both modes. It is a single-player and multiplayer game. If you are a fan of Age of Empires, you’d love this one.

Download 0 A.D

2. Battle for Wesnoth

battle for wesnoth

Game Developer: David White

Release Date: 18th June 2003

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android

Battle for Wesnoth is a turn based strategy game that is played on a hexagonal map. With some aspects of a role playing game, it combines resource management and tactical combat.

The player is required to build a large army, gradually turning recruits into established veterans. You need to put up a fight to regain your Wesnoth throne, as you are a legitimate heir. 

One of the best open source games, Battle for Wesnoth, has a built-in map editor that enables you to create custom units and campaigns. You can also write game development strategies, your scenarios as you challenge your friends and strangers to fight this fantasy-themed cross platform game compatible with Apple macOS, Microsoft Windows, and GNU/Linux.

Download Battle for Wesnoth

3. Alien Arena: Retro Style Open Source Games

3 alien arena open source games

By: COR Entertainment

Release Date: 4th September 2003

Platforms: Windows and Linux

Alien Arena, initially called CodeRED, is a fast-paced multiplayer mode first-person shooter game. Based on the same lines as Quake and Unreal Tournament, the deathmatch game gives the players the feel of science fiction with retro style maps.

With 60 levels, ten weapons, and eight-player characters, it is one of the best free source games and worth a try. Some of the game modes are Team Core Assault, Tactical, and Deathball.

Do you wish to play Alien Arena as a single-player game? No worries. You can indulge in playing matches against the bots. What more? They have a global stats leaderboard keeping a tab of all the scores worldwide.

Download Alien Arena

4. Armagetron Advanced

4 armagetron advanced open source games

Game Developers: Dave Fancella, Fred, Jochen Darley

Release Date: 2001(Initial release)

Stable Release: 27th November 2016

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Armagetron Advanced is a multiplayer 3D game based on the film Tron. The players drive around on ‘light cycles,’ which are dual-wheeled motor vehicles.

As the bikes continuously move forward, it leaves behind a colorful wall trail. The player aims not to touch the arena walls or the trails left behind by the light cycles. The target is to get your opponents to crash before you do.

Players can change the vehicle’s direction to 90 degrees left or right, and there are other game modes to spice up things even further. One of the best open source games, Armagetron Advanced, is simple yet fun.

Download Armagetron Advanced

5. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (DCSS game)

5 dungeon crawl stone soup source gaming

By: DCSS DevTeam

Release Date: 19th September 2006

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Web

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, also known as the DCSS game, is a roguelike game in which the players create characters whom they direct through the dungeon.

The goal is simple; descend into the dark dungeons as you fight monsters and avoid traps. Battling monsters will make you powerful. The power will help you in the next stages of the game, where you need to find the magic amulet and finally escape.

There are innumerable ways to die and various things to discover. What more? You can also keep an eye on the scoreboard of the other DCSS game players in real-time.

Download Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

6. Hedgewars: Fun Open Source Games

6 hedgewars source gaming

By: Hedgewars Project

Release Date: 24th November 2006

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS

One of the best open source games, Hedgewars, is hilarious and addictive. It is a turn-based strategy game with elements of action, comedy, and artillery.

Players get access to a large number of tools and weapons. Some are the classic ones, such as grenade and shotgun, whereas it also boasts of cake and watermelon bombs and bazooka.

Every player controls a team of multiple hedgehogs and chooses his/her weapons to kill the opponents in this great game. Remember that the hedgehogs die when they fall into the water body or when their health power is reduced to zero.

Download Hedgewars

7. Freedoom

7 freedom source gaming

By: Freedoom Project

Release Date: 22nd October 2019

Initial Release: 16th April 2003

Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Freedoom, one of the best open source games, is a clone of the game Doom. Although the source code of the game Doom is open and free, attractions like graphics and sound effects are licensed.

Freedoom is a combination of three independent games, and each level is a notch above the other. There are two single-player campaigns, and the third one is a multiplayer mode deathmatch.

A deathmatch game or FreeDM contains no monsters and is compatible with Doom II and Final Doom PWAD. With a decade long catalog and thousands of DOOM levels, the free FPS action game can be played along with a compatible game engine too.

To play it, you also need to download a compatible doom engine, for instance, get Crispy Doom.

Download Freedoom 

8. MegaGlest

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By: SoftCoder

Release Date: 6th January 2010

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best moddable video games, MegaGlest is a 3D game based on real time strategy. It mixes elements of the fantasy world with technology to create an unforgettable experience.

MegaGlest is based on the game called Glest, which is now defunct. With 17 natural settings, MegaGlest emphasizes big battles, epic adventures, magic, and re-imagined elements of the past civilizations.

The game takes place on a map of varying sizes with mountains, cliffs, open fields, seas, and rivers. Each player controls one of the units out of the seven factions like Egypt, Indians, Tech, Magic, Romans, Persian, or Norsemen. It also enables the players to create total conversion mods.

Download MegaGlest

9. Minetest

9 minetest source games

By: Perttu Ahola

Release Year: 2011

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android

Do you want to play Minecraft without paying a bomb for it? Or, are you not satisfied with how Minecraft is developed and its vision? Get your hands on Minetest, the most exciting exploration game.

Minetest is a free sandbox game set in an infinite world with limitless possibilities. Each player explores a block world and can also become the creator of one. Enter into this unknown world with over 30 blocks to build from and choose to fly over the blocks using airplanes or sail through them using a boat.

Choose from the hundreds of servers or select single player game mode; as you indulge in playing one of the best open source game engine.

Download Minetest

If you are a Minecraft fan and want some options, you can check the fun games similar to Minecraft.

10. OpenTTD

10 open ttd source games

By: OpenTTD Team

Release Date: 14th March 2004

Platforms: Mac, Linux, Windows

One of the best open source games, which is free to play, OpenTTD is a clone of the game Transport Tycoon Deluxe by Chris Sawyer. OpenTTD is a business simulation game where the players take charge of a transport company with the aim to incur profits.

OpenTTD mods have added features and enhancements when compared to its predecessor. The new changes include a range of map sizes, user-made artificial intelligence, and a user-friendly interface.

Download OpenTTD

11. OpenRA

11 openra openrct2

By: OpenRA Developers

Release Year: June 2007

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Games like Ages of Empires and Command and Conquer helped the real-time strategy games come into the limelight in the 90s. Based on Westwood Studios’ concept,  OpenRA recreates real-time strategy games like Red Alert, Dune 2000, Tiberian Dawn, and Tiberian Sun.

Red Alert is by far the best game in the series, and OpenRA, one of the most exciting open source games, is made on the same lines. Staying true to its original game, OpenRA incorporates all kinds of enhancements. The creators not only created a great game engine but also enables users to download graphics and sound effects.

One of the best multiplayer strategy games, OpenRA, requires the players to go head against their opponents. With various defense theories, placements, and combat levels, you need to manage troops on the realistic war front. You can also download the original game source code from the GitHub repository.

Download OpenRA

12. OpenRCT2

Game Developer: Ted ‘IntelOrca’ John

Release Date: 2nd April 2014

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, OpenRCT2, is a clone of the famous 2002 simulation game called RollerCoaster Tycoon 2.

With both scenario and Sandbox play, OpenRCT2 enables the players to create and manage amusement parks. You can also design and build your roller coaster rides.

Since the assets of the original game are still licensed, you have to have a copy of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 installed to avail OpenRCT2.  You can buy the same at only $10 here.

Are you wondering why you would still choose to play OpenRCT2?

Well, it can be played on multiple platforms, and you get additional enhancements like interface theming and fast-forwarding. Also, OpenRCT2 can be played in multiplayer mode and has improved overall performance.

Download OpenRCT2

13. The Saga of Ryzom: Role Playing in Open Source Games

By: Nevrax

Release Date: 19th September 2004

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

There are not too many Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) available as open-source, which makes The Saga of Ryzom notable and extra special.

With realistic effects in a dynamic environment, this game is a perfect example of how free games can attain high quality. However, please note that to avail of all the features, you will need a paid account for $9 per month.

Ryzom consists of invasions, battles, harvesting, crafting, a super A.I system, a dynamic ecosystem, and a classless system. It gives you the freedom to explore and experiment at your convenience. You can shape your character as you wish!

Indulge in weapon-oriented fighting and create custom actions like spells or attacks as you play The Saga of Ryzom, one of the best open source games.

Download The Saga of Ryzom

14. Teeworlds

14 teeworlds volt video games

By: Teeworlds Team

Release Date: 27th May 2007

Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux

Teeworlds, one of the best open source games, is a mix of the classic games Quake, Mario, and Kirby. It is a side-scrolling multiplayer 2D shooter game featuring cartoon-themed graphics and is based on physics.

It emphasizes fast-paced action and relies on classic shooter weapons and gameplay. Teeworlds is a crossover between the sprite-based shooting games of the golden era and first-person shooters of modern times.

The aim is to shoot the other players or their objects. You can also collect shields that are spread throughout the map as and when needed. You can even be a game developer here and design your own maps!

Download Teeworlds

15. SuperTuxKart

Original Game Developer: Jeorg Henrichs, Marianne Gagnon

Release Date: 6th August 2007

Stable Release: 20th April 2019

Operating System: Windows, Mac, Linux

Are you a fan of the game Mario? One of the best open source games, SuperTuxKart, is what you will get if you retain Mario Kart and replace the characters of the game with open source mascots.

It is a 3D arcade racer with various characters like Gnu, Tux, Golok, Sara, and Kiki. SuperTuxKart is all about racing, being the first one to reach the finish line and winning. You can choose modes like Battle, Time Trial, and play both single-player and multiplayer versions.

With distinct elements such as using and collecting the Nitro cans, the multiplayer game aims to bring fun and enjoyment for all players.

Download SuperTuxKart

16. FreeCiv

16 freeciv volt video games

By: The FreeCiv Project

Release Date: 5th January 1996

Stable Release: 22nd July 2018

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Web

One of the best multiplayer strategy games, FreeCiv is an open source clone of the game Civilization II. It is an empire-building strategy game that takes the players back in 4000 B.C. They undertake the roles of tribal leaders who aim to guide their people through the centuries.

Inspired by human civilizations, their primary aim is to lead your faction from the Stone Age to the Space Age. The multiplayer game reaches an end when one civilization successfully eradicates all others or when you attain the target of space colonization.

Download FreeCiv

17. Warsow

By: Warsow Team

Release Date: 28th July 2012

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Warsow, one of the best open source games, is a first-person shooter inspired by the classic game Quake and loosely based on the e-book Chasseur de bots by Fabrice Demurger. It is fast-paced and focuses on speed and movement.

The game is set in a futuristic cartoon world and boasts of a cyberpunk style with dark and flashy graphics. Its competitive gameplay revolves around maneuvering and trick jumps. One of the most striking features of this game is stylish graphics, like the cell-shaded characters. This open source game enables you to create your game modes and make amends in the interface. Even if you do not make any changes, Warsow is fun and worth playing.

Download FreeCiv

18. The Dark Mod

Release Date: 19th Oct 2009

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, The Dark Mod is a clone of the cult classic Thief by Looking Glass Studios.

To play The Dark Mod, you need to install the base version of the game first. You can then install it as per your choice. There are around 170 missions to choose from! Each task is better than the previous one and transforms you into a mysterious world.

New players are always suggested to start with the pre-installed Training mission. The game download comes with the official introduction and the setting of the Dark Mod along with two missions.

Did not like any of the missions? Create your own using the built-in editor.

Download The Dark Mod

19. Xonotic

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By: Team Xonotic

Release Date: 8th September 2011

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, Xonotic is a fast-paced first-person arena shooter game. The developers aim to encourage community involvement. It is made on the same lines as the games Unreal Tournament and Quake but has newly added features as well.

Xonotic has 16 different game modes to choose from and a wide array of weapons. It also has popular game modes like Deathmatch and Capture The Flag. To unlock the game modes, the players need to complete different levels. The game involves intuitive mechanics and crisp movement.

Download Xonotic

20. Sauerbraten

Game Developers: Wouter van Oortmerssen, Lee Salzman, Mike Dysart

Release Date: 6th May 2004

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the initially made open source games, Sauerbraten, is all about first-person shooters. Single-player and multiplayer mode, this game design is on the same lines as Cube FPS.

The players need to kill the enemies and collect their skulls. They also have to protect their flags since the opponent’s team will aim to touch them. The popular modes available in the game are Deathmatch, Capture, Capture The Flag, Efficiency, Tactics, Instahold, Instagib, and Teamplay.

Sauerbraten has an in-game level editor, which is the most striking feature. With geometry and map editing, the primary aim is to create a fun game and an elegant open source game engine. The drawback, though, is a small player base and inactive development.

Download Sauerbraten

21. Endless Sky

Game Developer: Michael Zahniser

Release Date: 30th October 2015

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, Endless Sky, is a clone of the Escape Velocity, which was released in 1996. Combat and 2D space trading game, it’s all about exploring the innumerable star systems.

You start as a pilot leading a ship that you buy using a bank mortgage. There are 50 types of ships to choose from and experiment with. You fight pirates in the game and gradually end up becoming one yourself.

Endless sky also enables the players to develop their ships and look out for the alien worlds and space species.

Download Endless Sky

22. AstroMenace

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Game Developer: Mikhail ‘ViewWizard’ Kurinnoi

Release Date: 19th September 2007

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

AstroMenace is an excellent old-fashioned 3D space shooter arcade game. The interface of AstroMenace has high-quality special effects and crafted 3D graphics. As mighty space warriors, it provides you with the perfect opportunity to polish your combat gaming skills.

Players need to guide their ship through the waves, protect the same from oncoming fighters, and dodge bullets. The gameplay of AstroMenace is in 2D, but the visuals and graphics are 3D with high-quality special effects. 

Download AstroMenace

23. Neverball

23 neverball freeze tag codes

By: Robert Kooima and Team

Release Date: 21st May 2014

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Neverball is one of those fun open source games inspired by games like Super Monkey Ball and Marble Madness. A combination of action and puzzle game, Neverball really tests your skills. As a player, you need to tilt the floor, which intends to roll a ball and pass the hurdles before the time runs out!

It consists of more than a hundred challenges, each demanding the players to move the ball into the goal while collecting coins simultaneously. Neverball made basic concepts like inertia and gravity fun, and collecting coins might not be as easy as it sounds.

Download Neverball

24. FreedroidRPG

24 freedroidrpg freeze tag codes

By: FreedroidRPG Dev team

Release Date: 2nd April 2016

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, FreedroidRPG, is based on the famous computer game series Diablo. The cross-platform role playing game backdrop is about the world destroyed by the fight between humans and robots.

It consists of the official Linux mascot, Tux, a smiling penguin. FreedroidRPG focuses on destroying robots. The players need to finish tasks of the non-players characters and also need to fight different levels of robots.

Focusing mainly on solitary gameplay, the game development team of FreedroidRPG states that the game has over 10 hours of single-player content to offer.

Download FreedroidRPG

25. UFO: Alien Invasion

25 ufo alien invasion rts games free

By: UFO: Alien Invasion Team

Initial release date: 15th November 2006

Release Date: 28th June 2014

Platforms: Linux, Microsoft, Mac, Android

One of the best open source games, UFO: Alien Invasion is an alien-fighting strategy video game inspired by the X-Com series, and based on the Quake II engine.

The players are in charge of a secret organization intending to defend planet Earth against brutal aliens. The squad-based tactical game combines military realism with science-fiction. UFO: Alien Invasion has a turn-based approach that gives the players control over their respective squads, thereby maintaining speed and danger.

Download UFO: Alien Invasion

26. FlightGear

26 flight gear rts games free

By: FlightGear Developers and Contributors

Release Date: 17th July 1997

Stable release: 14th March 2019

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac

One of the most distinctive open source games, FlightGear is a flight simulator. Not exactly a clone of Microsoft Flight Simulators, but FlightGear has a lot in common with it.

With the prime objective of forming a refined open flight simulator framework, FlightGear can be enhanced by anybody interested in contributing to the game development. Their purpose is to “do things right” and reduce short cuts.

The players learn how to fly a plane, and of course, the most challenging part is taking off. You get to choose between three Flight dynamics models and master a fully operational 3D cockpit of various aircraft.

Download FlightGear

27. Secret Maryo Chronicles

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Developer: SMC Team

Release Date: 23rd January 2003

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Secret Maryo Chronicles is based on the most loved game ever, Super Mario. With a two-dimensional open-source platform, it is a jump and run game with an advanced editor and detailed graphics.

There are coins scattered all around, which the player has to make sure Maryo collects. Re-creating the eternally popular platform, the game follows the original model with the same structure and scenario.

Download Secret Maryo Chronicles

28. Oolite

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By: Giles Williams, Jens Ayton

Release Year: July 2004

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, Oolite is a space trading and combat simulator based on the game Elite.

It is a first-person, single-player, open-ended combat simulator game where the player is the pilot of a spacecraft in a zero-gravity environment. The free game has no particular objective; it is only designed to test your flying.

You get a ship, some weapons, and a little cash to get started with, which is enough for the beginning. You will have to progress, make wealth, and attain glory as you proceed. You can also download the source code from GitHub repository.

Download Oolite

29. Red Eclipse

29 best moddable games

By: Quinton Reeves, Lee Salzman

Release Date: 15th March 2011

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Red Eclipse has a different take on the first-person arena shooter game, which includes impulse boosts and parkour. It enables players to perform unusual acrobatics. With different gaming modes, the players can experience a wide range of gameplay. It also features dashing, sliding, and has a theme that requires agility in a variety of environments.

A free and open source game, it is based on the format of ‘by the people’ and ‘for the people.’ The volunteers and developers aim to create a fun environment and provide an excellent experience. Red Eclipse is easy to play, yet it contains some elements which need to be mastered.

Download Red Eclipse

30. Unvanquished

30 unvanquished best moddable games

By: Game Community

Release Date: 29th Feb 2012

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

One of the best open source games, Unvanquished is a first-person shooter based on real-time strategy.

It is a human-versus-alien open source software in which the players are asked to choose sides and then fight against the opponent. One of the most striking features of Unvanquished is that, just like insects, players can crawl on the walls and ceilings.

The best multiplayer mode game, Unvanquished, cannot be played in a single-player mode. The game has monthly updates, but the graphics feel outdated. The insect mechanics might make the environment creepy at first, but it gives the game design an exciting twist.

Download Unvanquished

31. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead


By: Kevin Granade and Community

Initial Release Date: January 2013

Stable Release Date: 20th May 2020

Platforms: Classic Mac OS, Linux, Windows

One of the newly released open source games, Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead includes zombies, dungeons, and every other dark element you’d love. Cataclysm is a turn based strategy game where the main aim is to survive. It consists of several roguelike elements and is set in post-apocalyptic New England.

If you do not like the ASCII-style graphics, you can opt for the replacement tilesets, which suit the game design pretty well. Some players find the game very easy, so Cataclysm might not be the most suitable choice for you if you are in the hunt for a challenging game. You can download it from the GitHub repository.

Download Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead

32. Nethack


By: The Nethack Dev Team

Initial Release Date: July 1987

Stable Release Date: 8th March 2020

Platforms: Classic Mac OS, Web browser, Linux, Windows, iOS, Android

One of the best open source games, which belong to the roguelike genre, Nethack is newly revamped and unmissable. The single-player video game was initially released in 1987 and has been an inspiration for many similar games since then. 

Every player has to carve his way out from a mysterious-looking land and cross 50 levels. You are left alone in a dark dungeon to explore and remember to take each step carefully. The main aim is to get back the Amulet of Yendor.

Netback is built around ASCII-style graphics, which signifies that all the moves are based on numbers, letters, and any other key on the keyboard. The game boasts a steep learning curve and loved by players and ardent enthusiasts. 

Download Nethack

33. RVGL


By: RV Team

Initial Release Date: 1999

Stable Release Date: 2010

Platforms: Windows, Linux, Android

If you are a fan of online computer games, which involve racing and chasing cars, you’d definitely love RVGL. One of the best open source games, which is fast-paced and requires agility in thoughts and movements, RVGL is the last one to make it to our list. You take charge of radio control cars and drive them to reach the destination as fast as possible and with minimum damage. 

The racing game allows you to customize your car skins and also pick the sound effects you’d like to play as a background score. You can also choose multi player game version and engage in peer-to-peer tournaments.

The turn based strategy game with split-screen mode enables players to keep an eye on what’s happening at two places simultaneously. 

Download RVGL

Final Thoughts

Open source games consume a lot of time and money to be created, just like any other game. As a player, if you can, always invest in a good gaming laptop. However, the only difference is that the developers of these games give more importance to community and skill development than making profits.

You can help the open-source game developers by donating money, or even better, contributing your time, expertise and providing bug fixes. These games cannot compete with the graphical prowess of the other games for obvious reasons but do provide you with enjoyment.

(Article Updated on 3rd March 2021)