A few days ago there were less than 5000 games available to install and play on Steam for Linux.
Following the incredible Steam Play update by Valve, which adds streamlined compatibility layers for Windows-only games, that number is potentially much, much higher. In less than a week, the number of perfectly playable games on Steam for Linux increased by nearly 1000 titles. That is an increase of almost 20% practically overnight, and it's guaranteed to climb higher as the Linux community continues testing the enormous library of Windows games on their favourite Linux distributions.
Valve officially whitelisted 27 games at this early stage, however, we can expect that number to grow at a rapid pace. 2134 unique games have been user-tested from the Steam for Windows library. Each game receives one of six ratings: Completely Stable, Stable, Unstable, Unplayable, Crashes or Won't Start. A Completely Stable rating signifies that the game exhibits native-like performance with no bugs or errors. Since the testing began, 971 unique titles have been stamped with a Completely Stable status.
As the hour's tick by, it is becoming clear how beneficial this latest Steam Play update is to the Linux community at large. The first step that Valve took was to rejuvenate Linux in 2013 with SteamOS and the Linux Steam, client yielded results, but "The Year Of Desktop Linux" never arrived. By improving the tools created by the open source community and employing the developer behind the DirectX-to-Vulkan project, it has done more for PC gaming on Linux in the last week that it managed to do in 5 years.
Before any of this took place, Linux users were forced to use workarounds like Wine and DXVK to get these games up and running with varying degrees of success. Even with pleasant GUI tools like Lutris, there was still a lot of guesswork. Now Steam automatically applies those workarounds and various customisations to each game. It is as transparent as simply installing a game on Windows. Users can even point their Steam for Linux client at their Windows installation, and it will download the necessary updates.
However, this doe not mean that you can ditch Windows and expect every game to work, not yet, at least. Possibly not ever :'(. Especially ones that contain aggressive DRM and anti-cheat software. It does mean that in the weeks and months to come, the total games available that can be played on Linux – and wit native-like performance – should be at least double to what it is now.