How much more free can a game get, than free in price? Off course “DRM-free and open source” is the correct answer. Look what I have found for you.
Just like Firefox and other open source projects, there are game developers who let you access their code. Mostly these games are hobby projects and free in its price as well. A lot are outdated, abandoned, forgotten, but there are also some pleasing titles to be found as well, even a few impressive active projects. I took the time to look up in the web for the interesting ones and created this list. Have in mind that I didn’t play most of these games and I cannot judge them.
If you are a Windows user, then you can usually download an executable file from the download sector on the Website. The Linux user can lookup in the repository of their distribution. If it is not there, then either the website provides a pre compiled executable or you can lookup on the various places I linked. Just make sure you get the newest version, as not all sources are up to date.
What is Open Source?
Open source means the source code of a project is accessible to others than the developer, usually to the public. In general this allows the examination or modification of the programs code and rebuilding it on different computer systems. The license of the code or included proprietary media files can grant or limit specific rights and freedom, like distribution for in example. In this article I don’t make a distinction between truly free software and open source content.
Most, but not all of the games in this list are sort of inspired by, re-imagination or even clones of popular games. Have in mind a few are not developed anymore, progress is slow and unfinished. This can be a problem with multiplayer modes, where only a handful or no one is playing. Sometimes the decision to include a specific title wasn’t easy, but even a dead project can be enjoyable today; if the underlying composition is good. With that it mind, have fun with the exploration.
A little compact list of all titles from the list below. The links point directly to the websites: 0 A.D., The Battle for Wesnoth, Blobwars: Metal Blob Solid, Chromium B.S.U., Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Endless Sky, FlightGear, Freeciv, Freedoom, FreedroidRPG, Frets on Fire, Frozen Bubble, Gravity Bone, Hedgewars, Mari0, Minetest, Nethack, Neverball, Oolite, OpenArena, OpenSurge, Pingus, Pioneer, The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M, Spelunky Classic, Super Tux, SuperTuxKart, Stunt Rally, Taisai Project, Tales of Maj’Eyal, Teeworlds, The Dark Mod, TORCS, Warfork, Warzone 2100, Widelands, Wizznic, Wyrmsun, Xonotic, Zero-K
Battle for Wesnoth, The
Blobwars: Metal Blob Solid
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
Frets on Fire
Secret Chronicles of Dr. M, The
Tales of Maj’Eyal
The Dark Mod
A lot didn’t make into this list for various reasons. First and foremost the ZDOOM engine, which is a port of the original DOOM to modern PCs. It is not just a game, but a whole engine to load up other games. This tool is so powerful, it allows for easy modification and creation of new games.
Then there are new projects, which only works if you have the original game files of an old commercial classic, in example:
- freeablo (Diablo)
- OpenRA (Command & Conquer / Dune 2000)
- OpenRCT2 (RollerCoaster Tycoon 2)
- OpenTTD (Transport Tycoon Deluxe)
- UFO: Alien Invasion (UFO: Enemy Unknown)
Honorable mentions, partly through community recommendations:
- Armagetron Advanced
- Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
- Crack Attack!
- Cube 2: Sauerbraten
- H-Craft Championship
- Scorched 3D
My main sources for the research was:
- A Wikipedia list of open-source games
- List of Open Source Game Clones
- Game category of the Free software directory
- Trilarion’s list of Open Source games
- leereilly’s list of Games on Github
- Linux Games in Flathub
- Linux Games in Snapcraft
There are off course a lot more, but I leave it here to you. If you want, leave me a comment with recommendations. But I want to stay at 40 games in the list and probably won’t include anymore. The more people know about a specific project, the more history and credibility the devs have, the more I am interested into. Easy installation process on Linux and Windows are big plus too.
Let us spread the world with open source games.