SteamOS is an operating system designed specifically to play games from the Steam gaming platform. But because SteamOS is based on the Linux operating system, only Steam's Linux-compatible games, which currently number 502, can be played on it.
That's less than a quarter of all Steam games, but the list still includes some great titles, such as "Portal," "Metro: Last Light" and "Bastion."
If you want to try out SteamOS, or you're thinking about getting a Steam Box gaming console next year, you can browse Steam's Linux selection on the Steam website to find playable games -- or keep reading to see our top 50 picks.
Steam's Linux/SteamOS selection is sure to grow. We'll update this list as new titles are added.
Explore, and try to make sense of, a young man's dreams in this bittersweet top-down adventure game.
You play as an adventuring bard who just wants to drink and flirt in this hilarious send-up of fantasy RPGs.
One of the biggest indie games of the past few years, "Bastion" puts you in the role of the Kid, a survivor of the Calamity that shook the Earth.
Act 1 of this critically acclaimed episodic indie from Double Fine Productions launched Jan. 28.
With its artsy turn-of-the-century aesthetic, "Don't Starve" blends survival gameplay with a science-fiction and fantasy storyline.
Old-school "Grand Theft Auto" fans will like this zany, hyperviolent action game that is both tons of fun and smarter than it looks.
One to four players team up to fight against the zombie hordes in this co-op adventure game.
This high-fantasy adventure role-playing game (RPG) follows a group of prisoners trying to escape from the terrible Mount Grimrock.
Burn it all! Keep warm by buying stuff to throw into your fire in this funny, searing satire of consumer culture.
Play as a thief and assemble a team of characters to pull off the ultimate heist in this slick co-op indie game.
Play as a clumsy octopus trying to pass for a normal human in this weird, funny indie game.
This story-driven adventure game pits detective Nicolas Legrand against the mysterious thief known as The Raven.
You'll need a good sense of musical timing to beat this witty retro-style action platformer about a warrior on an epic quest.
First-person shooter (FPS)
This is an update to the beloved massively multiplayer first-person shooter "Counter-Strike," whose biggest claim to fame is its unforgiving one-life-per-round policy.
This beloved 1998 game puts players in the shoes of physicist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself in the midst of an interdimensional alien invasion.
In this 2004 sequel to "Half-Life," Alyx Vance joins Gordon in the continued fight against aliens and humans alike.
The first of two short games that deal with the aftermath of "Half-Life 2."
The second of two short games that deal with the aftermath of "Half-Life 2," and the most recent game in the "Half-Life" series published to date.
Explore post-apocalyptic Moscow in this grim first-person action game, where survivors live in abandoned metro tunnels, fighting mutants and each other in an attempt to control a new doomsday device.
This brilliant game combines mind-bending physics puzzles with razor-sharp wit. It's occasionally free on Steam's site, so you have no excuse not to grab it.
This survival horror game from 2010 might be one of the scariest games of all time.
Massively Multiplayer Online
A man's home is his castle, right? Defend your castle in this brutal massively multiplayer game, where other players will try to take what's yours and dying means starting over from scratch.
Originally a fan-made mod of "Warcraft 3," "Dota 2" (the name comes from its original name, "Defense of the Ancients") is one of the most popular fantasy massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) of all time.
Not so much a game as a digital playpen — the technical term is "sandbox" — "Garry's Mod" lets players create their own video game levels, characters and scenarios.
This minimalistic indie platformer is as much about timing music as it is about timing jumps.
This remake of the 2004 indie game "Cave Story" puts players in the role of a young amnesiac boy who must save an underground village from an evil scientist.
Its unique shifting perspective and charming art style helped make indie platformer "Fez" one of the most beloved games of 2013.
Beautiful art meets brilliant stealth gameplay in the critically acclaimed 2D platformer "Mark of the Ninja."
Currently in early-access beta, "Starbound" is an adventure game that puts players in the role of an interstellar refugee who must make a home on a new, uninhabited planet.
An anthropomorphic cube of meat embarks on a quest to save his girlfriend in this platform indie game with a distinct retro flavor.
Play as a thief, warrior and wizard in this platform game set in a beautiful 3D fantasy world.
Players have to control the level's gravity as well as the character in order to win this challenging retro-style platform game.
This visual novel by Christine Love is the successor to her earlier, critically acclaimed work, "Digital: A Love Story."
This techno-noir point-and-click adventure game follows an ex-assassin and an amnesiac at opposite ends of the galaxy.
One of 2013's most acclaimed games follows a girl who comes home from a long trip to find her house empty.
In his search for a road that doesn't exist, a truck driver encounters many bizarre characters and places in this poetic point-and-click adventure game.
More like an exploratory interactive story than a game, "Montague's Mount" asks players to unravel a mystery on an abandoned Irish island.
Two scientists travel backward through a man's life to fulfill his dying wish: to travel to the moon.
This colorful, abstract and slightly erotic puzzle game is definitely unlike any other you've ever played.
Keep time to the beat in this psychedelic music-based puzzle game.
In this weirdly adorable physics puzzle game, players must build machines out of goo in order to traverse increasingly perilous levels.
The Super Bowl might be over, but the game never ends!
What was it like to be a game developer in the 1980s? Play "Game Dev Tycoon" and find out.
This tower-defense game combines strategy with furious button-mashing, all in a vivid medieval fantasy setting.
This epic historical strategy game and its numerous expansions are all available on Linux and SteamOS.
Players in search of a multiplayer strategy game with elements of mind-bending puzzle-solving will love "Frozen Synapse."
Command a starship in this procedurally generated space-exploration game.
Up to 32 players compete to build and destroy one another's characters in this retro-looking platform game.
Colonize planets and wage interstellar war in this real-time strategy game, currently in early-access beta.
You thought "Minecraft" was hard? "Rust" is a brutal survival game in which you must find food, water and shelter before you die of exposure — or another player kills you for your meager supplies.