Discover over 1000 open source games that are free to play.

Why is it important: Gamers may be surprised to know that there is a thriving open source gaming community. Not only are these games completely free, they can run on potatoes and are compatible with multiple platforms, including Linux.

While many of today’s AAA games are free to play, they have insidious pay-to-win models in which gamers are lured in with microtransactions and loot boxes. Indie games offer a small reprieve from that greedy money, but free-to-play, in the strictest sense of the word, only exists in open source games.

You will find many resources online and a good place to start is Top 50 GitHub Stars. As the name suggests, this is a list of the highest rated open source games on GitHub. Full list includes over 1300 games.

Most of these games are small, stripped-down clones or remakes of old classics that are sure to give gamers a pleasant nostalgic journey. OpenRA is trying to bring back Command & Conquer games from the 90s, and with OpenRCT2 you can go back to the glory days of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. But there are also more modern games like Craft (Minecraft) and Unciv (Civilization V).

OpenRCT2 inspired by RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

Developers and modders alike will find these projects equally appealing. Open source means that the source code is freely available on GitHub, so developers can use it as a springboard for their own game. Because most of these projects are licensed under the GPL or MIT, the code can be modified and redistributed. Some projects even encourage collaboration, where developers can submit a pull request that can be included in the next version of the game.

For another complete list of clones and remakes, follow the link Clones of open source games. Clicking on the “repository” link will take you to the GitHub page of the game in question, where you can download it. Dos Games Archive there are some 80s and 90s gems for those chasing the nostalgic feeling that only a retro classic can give.

I think most gamers have a few treasured old school games that they return to from time to time. As for me, it’s time to light up a little freedom.

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