For those who like big windows games, the maxim that you need a dual boot system in order to play them is becoming less applicable all the time.
I have the following games running successfully… (all these work by simply clicking on Setup.exe and following the Installer step by step as you would do on Windows).
Portal 1 & 2
Mass Effect 1 & 2
Men of War Assault Squad
Men of War Red Tide
Grand Ages Rome Gold
GTA Vice City (the online multiplayer patch works as well)
GTA San Andreas
Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood
Sins of a Solar Empire
Unreal Tournament (later versions had Linux installers included on the install discs)
Company of Heroes
This game needs to be installed on Windows, updated and then the THQ folder copied into your Linux partition somewhere. I have the full game working, online and off, with the RC_Realism and Eastern Front mods both working as expected. (I used vmware player and installed XP onto that, then installed the game to XP and then copied the folder to my home partition).
Alien vs Predator (old game - needs to be installed the same way as Company of Heroes)
This is a short list of games and is reflective of my taste/collection rather than being an exhaustive list of the games that will work with WINE. But back when I started using Linux you could get Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament working on Linux and that was about it.
Step 1 - check out the WINE Applications database (google ‘WINE App DB’) and look for the game you’re trying to install. Has anyone else had success? Did they leave any tips or advice? Don’t be discouraged if there’s no mention of it, try anyway.
Step 2 - try invoking Setup.exe using WINE (either by clicking using the file manager, or from the command line “WINE ./Setup.exe”).
Step 3 - try installing it to Windows and then running it from Linux.
Step 4 - don’t be disheartened by failure. Some games just don’t work on Linux.
Some games, once installed, add a nice menu entry that appears not to work. I found if I use the file manager to show the ~/.wine folder, that if I drill down into the game folder and invoke the game .exe, that some games whose menu entries don’t work, can be played as expected.
Other games I’ve had running in the past include Call of Duty 1 & 2, Civilization 3 & 4, Quake 2.
NOT A GAME - I also managed to get Studio Line’s “FL Studio” (used to be called fruity loops) to install and run. On top of this, VST plugins work, for the most part and I was able to get Absynth up and running as well as one or two other “stand alone synth apps” (Absynth needs a fast system to run on, my dual core Pentium D box had a heart attack when I launched it). Traktor Pro installed and worked - again - it needs a decent system.
I’d love to get ReBirth up and running - no success as yet and ditto for Propellerhead’s Reason.
I discovered that downloading the latest DirectX redistributable and running it with WINE helped a lot and should be done, preferably before you start installing games. (Stage 1 of the install is a straight extraction - MAKE SURE you have a dedicated folder to extract it into as it has a lot of files in it. Stage 2 is just “wine DXSETUP.EXE”).
Disclaimer - I am not a software engineer, WINE expert or programmer. If you get stuck and ask for help I’ll do what I can but, alas, I have long since mislaid my magic wand.