Best open-source game engine

Collection of Best open-source game engine | 2D and 3D game projects 2023

The past couple of years has seen a great hike in the gaming sector where more and more companies are coming towards making the best games, and also with the launch of platforms like twitch gamers have got a platform to earn money while playing video games.

Game developers are now getting into the business like never before and are looking for making the process of game development cost-effective and lite so that more and more gamers will be able to afford the game and increase their sales.

To solve this dilemma many programmers and companies have come up with the option to provide a completely free game engine, that is open source game engines.

Many of the modern game developers have moved on to the option of having an open-source game engine and have the maximum out of it to keep the cost of development low.

Since these open source engines are gaining more and more interest day by day we will look for the reason they are gaining this craze.

Reason for the gained interest:

Ease and availability

The open-source game engines are best in providing ease and availability, these platforms provide the best option for using pre-made codes and also provide the function to add plugins and also manipulate the program based on the requirements.
Adding such options thus allows the user to save time and money to develop the game thus drastically reducing the cost of gaming.

Reduced cost for Hardware and Software

Game development is a hard task and requires heavy hardware and Softwares to make the games including the graphics and other components.
But being open source allows the game to be less expensive and also makes the process more system portable.
Linux is a very good example that allows the system to be more hardware portable and easy to manage.


Since gaming requires a lot of licenses of different forms, many times the developers and designers are into a storm creating the licenses for the games, now since the open-source game engines or the free game engine are free as it is evident from the name hence the time for licensing is saved with a huge cut.

Now since we have shown the major advantages of using the open-source gaming engine, we can now jump to the main part.

What is an open-source game engine?

A game engine can be considered as the environment for building games and programming software and development-related issues.

Hence the software available in the market for making video games is not free and easy.
Here comes the famous world of open source game engines and free game engines.

These game engines also come with several other benefits like plugins and the environment of development.

Using this type of engine brings the concept of versatility and cross-platform access in the game development field.

This kind of engine also applies to the better handling of licensing work as many of them are free licensed.

History of Game development

1950 marks the development of the very first video game, but due to lack of technology and unawareness of the general public, it was unavailable to many.

PONG was among the very first arcade games for the common public and was developed by atari in 1972, however single developer games started due to lack of technology and capital for the same.

Trends in game development

Battle Royale Games:

Since the outburst of games like Pubg and Fortnite battle royale games have become common to the masses.
These are generally multiplayer games with the sole motive to be the last survivor of the game.

Mobile Games:

Since mobile is the best way to access games in the current market being cheap and highly available it becomes one of the ways through which we can enjoy free and better games.

AR/VR games:

AR and VR are the next big thing in terms of game development however the developers are interested in AR as the VR games require more heavy hardware requirements and become the more feasible mode of gaming platform.

What are the best free open-source gaming engines?

Since game development requires robust and heavy hardware and software configuration, therefore having these for free is very unlikely, hence there are only a few good open-source engines and thus we bring the best in the field.


open source game engine godot

Godot is one of the best known free gaming engines, has a number of great features that allow the developer to be very open and creative while developing any game and get the maximum productivity, some features that it provides are:

It offers a fully integrated environment for game development since it is very strong it allows powerful development. Being in the list of one of the most powerful 2D or 3D game engines that are completely cross-platform accessible.

Since we have spoken about the licensing in the above advantages we can be free while developing in Godot as it is open source and licensed under MIT.

Developers can be free with language usage using languages such as C#, C++, or the GDScript proprietary to their engine, which is optimized for the Godot’s architecture it is a strict typing language.

Since graphics also play an important role in this we have a great rendering and make the 2D or the 3D game look fantastic.
When the development is completed the Godot opensource gaming engine also allows the developer to deploy games on multiple platforms like Android and iOS for mobile and windows, mac, and many more.

Also, the integration of HTML and web assembly allows exporting the game on the internet.

Along with a great online community, it’s one of the best free gaming engines for development.

Spring Engine:

open source game engine spring engine

Being very new to the market Spring Engine has been one of the best free gaming engines released in 2007, is a 3D RTS (real-time strategy), and is being done under the GNU General Public License.

This platform has also been very much popular among the newcomers to the field.

Provided with just a dual-core 3GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 5GB ROM, and a mere 512 MB of Graphics in the lowest form it becomes the best option for one of the best platforms and free game engines to start for beginners.

Now programming in this platform may require knowledge of the Lua language this language has been chosen as it is lightweight, multi-paradigm, and allows massive options for customization.


open source game engine cocos

Also from the list of best free game engines, it is most noted for its cross-platform compatibilities. Being registered under the MIT License, this platform has a very thin platform-dependent layer, thus making it suitable for many cross-platform activities.

Not only used to build games but also highly useful in making applications and GUI-based interactive programs.
Similar to Godot, this platform also allows the use of multiple languages like C++, Lua, and Javascript, making it highly cross-platform friendly.

Since it is not very high in graphics it is optimized to run 2D games with OpenGL and also the best engines for such 2D rendering.

id Tech 4:

open source game engine idTech

One of the oldest in open-source game engines, id Tech 4 or Doom3 was released on the 3rd of August 2004, as evident from the name it has been developed by the id Software.

This is one of the platforms that have two scriptings languages one for mods which is very similar to C++ and one more scripting language for the GUI’s, if interested in native apps one can also opt for C++ as the language of choice.

Panda 3D:

open source game engine panda3D

One of the most reputed and most noted among the line of developers, panda 3D has a very special place in the heart of developers. Since it has great 3D rendering its used for 3D games, visualization, and simulations.

It originates from the great company Disney where it was made to build 3D attractions at the theme park and later became the 3D engine named panda 3D.

In the aspect of languages accepted Panda 3D can be coded using C++ and Python.

Panda 3D uses an automatic wrapper-generator to bring out complete functions in a python interface.


open source game engine starling

Starling is a Gamua based product and is famous for its 2D gaming environment. It especially is used for the framework for both mobile and computer development. It also has features like the transition between flipping playing cards with 3D magic rendering.

When talking about the support it takes Bitmaps and true fonts.

It also uses a number of blend modes to create marvelous special effects.


open source game engine monogame

This special framework uses C# language for development purposes and has a large arena of supported OS like windows both computer and phone, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and many more.

It’s the next generation of XNA touch by Jose Antonio Farias and Silver sprite by Bill Reiss.
It has new features and implements the XNA 4 API fully.

It contains software that provides an excellent textual format for the ease of editing, also has a list of compiled and optimized binary formats for runtime usage.


open source game engine unity

One of the most known real-time 3D development platforms, that lets you create, manage, and monetize video games. Its most well-known features are close to cinematics visuals and use for the dark theme User interface.

The uses of the engine contain modification and removal of splash screens.

Performance-wise it has some of the greatest features like providing insight into the performance in real-time data, the capability to store the complete projects on the cloud servers, and also monetizing solutions for mobile games.

It has also gained its name in the field of AR/VR gaming, along with which you also get rich visual arts tools, assistance for creating device-ready content along with being highly customizable and ultra-slim on runtime.


open source game engine superpowers

SuperPower is a special software created mainly for Windows software. It best serves for the real-time collaboration of free 2D and 3D Gaming Software.

The best deal about this software is that it can be exported to multiple OS like Windows, OS X, Linux, and also mobile Os like that of android and iOS.

It also allows the user to have a load of plugins and also provides a downloadable HTML5 app.

Helps users with the inclusion of many well-laid GUI.


With the growth in the gaming market and more people getting drifted towards gaming, the industries in the gaming sector have grown to the max. With this growth, the developers always look for the method to develop games with less cost and resources.

Therefore the rush for the open-source game engine is having all-time high demand as these allow the developer to be more open and develop the games based on specific requirements and become more relevant to the masses.

These, therefore, are the best ways to make games using the free game engine allowing people to use plugins pre-programmed codes and also save themselves from the hectic pain of licensing.

When we see the games of the past we had PONG the very first game in 1972 by Atari.

Now when we come to the part of having the best online game engines we have the following:

  • Godot
  • Spring Engine
  • Cocos2d-x
  • id Tech 4
  • Panda 3D
  • Starling
  • MonoGames
  • Unity
  • SuperPowers

To read more such interesting Articles check out

I'm Nitin, a proud author at SocialMirror. My forte lies in crafting imaginative and engaging blog content that captivates readers. With a penchant for storytelling, I bring a unique perspective to our platform. Beyond the digital realm, my passion lies in mobile photography, where I explore the world through the lens of my smartphone. This hobby allows me to blend creativity and technology, often infusing my articles with visual narratives. I'm dedicated to sharing insights and stories that resonate with our audience, bridging the gap between creativity and technology in the ever-evolving digital landscape.