Free Open Source 2D Game Engines to use in 2021

This blog lists free open source 2d Game engines to use.

Also, you can create 2D video games conveniently if you select a good game engine, featured with all the necessary tools as a basis for your game. 

But do you know which is the best 2D game engine in 2021? Let’s discover some of the excellent game engines that can really help game developers.

Read our previous post if you are interested in 3D Game engines.

Best Game Engines in 2021: for Beginners and Experts

Here are some most important and beneficial 2D game engines that can make you a good game developer too early, and you will wonder how it happened.

 Let’s get started with them.

Cocos2D (User-Friendly GUI Game Engine)

Cocos creator Game engine GUI user friendly

Cocos2D is an excellent software that is free to use. You can build 2D games, mobile apps, and other programs by using it. It is an open-source game developing framework that is meant to support games’ development according to your desire. You think about a game, and it will make it for you according to your thoughts.

Additionally, Cocos2D is an MIT licensed engine and is written in C++ programming. Also, it supports many operating systems and desktops, including Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Android, and Tizen. Hence you can refer to it as the best game engine in 2021.

Games written in Cocos2D

  • Flow Free
  • Diamond Dash
  • Geometry Dash Lite.

Pros

  • Option to add external modules.
  • Easy to fix bugs.
  • Writing codes in supportive languages is straightforward
  • Supports a variety of programming languages.
  • Free and user-friendly GUI

Cons

  • Documentation lacks pertinent information.
  • Some initial split-up codes create a sort of confusion.

Corona (Free and Open Source)

Corona Open Source 2D Game engine

Corona, commonly known as Corona SDK, is again a free and open-source 2d gaming engine developed by Corona Labs in 2009. It is a set of tools that allows its users to create advanced games and applications with an intuitive graphical interface for mobile, Android, iOS, Kindle, Windows, and OS X. 

The website is not updated and now moved to Solar2D game engine

The purpose of it being Open Source is to grow the community and involvement of more developers in building worthy apps and games. You can develop, edit and make your games live with this platform. You can also edit your project after publishing it without disturbing its live appearance.

Games written in Corona

  • Zip zap
  • Fun Run 2
  • Mandora

Pros

  • Various plugins are available for multiple functions.
  • Good customer support service.
  • It has no subscription charges; free to use.
  • It allows you to create various apps with just a simple codebase.

Cons

  • It supports 2D only.
  • It lacks some essential features for business usage.

LÖVE (Free 2D Game Engine)

Free 2D game engine Love

LÖVE is also called Love2D and is an open-source yet cross-platform game engine. The language in which it is written is a C++ programming language, and it uses LUA as its scripting language. Lua makes it a very lightweight and fast yet powerful engine. 

It provides easily accessible features for users to manage and control their projects in a better way.

Thus, the engine is best known for the development of 2D video games and mobile applications. It features a touchscreen to pour in more convenience for its users. Isn’t it the best 2D game engine in 2021? Indeed it is. 

Games written in LÖVE

  • Space shooter
  • Multiplayer Gravity Lander
  • Brick Breaker

Pros

  • Easy access and free to use. 
  • It supports multiple programming languages. 
  • Uses LUA scripting language
  • Excellent platform for prototyping
  • Supportive and friendly community. 

Cons

  • Documentation is written in a callous and technical language. 
  • GUI is missing. 

Oxygine 2D (Pure C++ Open Source and Cross Platform)

Pure C++ 2D Game Engine

Oxygine is another free and open-source 2D game engine. It is licensed by MIT and also available on GitHub. Other features of it include its more compatibility with Windows and macOS and easy-to-use API. 

Oxygine is written in C++ language and supports effective coding to save both time and effort. Hence, you can build exciting games and applications for Web browsers, Linux, Windows, iOS devices, MacOSX. Moreover, it doesn’t require any plugins, unlike Unity, and runs smoothly as an HTML5 app. 

In short, you can say that it is good at its performance, unique in its features, yet it is one of the best game engines in 2021.

Games written in Oxygine 2D

No games published yet in Oxgeine 2D 

Pros

  • Free and open source 
  • Advanced features and easy-to-use tools. 
  • Simple Unicode text rendering. 
  • Build apps and games for various platforms. 
  • Easy to download. 
  • You can build games as HTML5 Apps 

Cons

  • Community support service is not so good.
  • The least number of tutorials are there to understand it completely.

GDevelop (2D drag and drop game engine)

drag and drop 2D game engine

GDevelop is a highly developed free tool for game creation and development. It is simple to get started with and doesn’t want you to be an expert programmer to start developing apps and games via this 2D game engine. You can create both simple as well as highly complex video games. 

Also, this game engine can convert your tedious project into fun. And, you can create and export your games and other 2D applications for Windows, macOS, and Android.

 So, GDevelop is highly recommended for developing your native 2D games for Windows and Linux. 

Games written in GDevelop 

  • Karambola
  • Flipper Run Mike
  • Hyperspace Dogfights

Pros 

  • Most reliable and best 2D game engine in 2021
  • Helping community
  • Capability to produce games without coding
  • Robust engine. 
  • Easy to use UI. 

Cons 

  • It gets slower sometimes. 
  • Somehow challenging to learn for beginners. 

libGDX (cross-platform 2D Java game development framework)

2D cross-platform Java game development framework

LibGDX is a cross-platform game engine that is based on OpenGL and written in Java programming. It works on Windows and is compatible with Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and your browser. It allows you to build the most valuable 2D games and a healthy environment for fast iteration.

 Most of the 2D developers use this robust game framework for their projects and rely on it more than any other game engine. So you can count it in the best games engines in 2021.

Games written in libGDX

  • Flappy Bird 
  • King under the mountain
  • Space Grunts 
  • Construction city. 

Pros

  • It allows you to test your project in real-time.
  • No need for an emulator.
  • Fast and time-saving
  • The framework of this game engine is quite robust.
  • Community support is commendable.
  • Multiple advanced options.

Cons

  • It is less beginner-friendly. 
  • It lacks excellent and detailed documentation.

Ren’Py (2D Cross Platform Game Engine)

image 8 - Free Open Source 2D Game Engines to use in 2021

Ren’Py is a 2D game engine, or you can say a visual novel engine. Hundreds use it to thousands of developers to create engaging visual stories around some vital phrases. 

Also, some game developers are using it to develop simulation games. It has a very active community with timely updates of new features.

 Another fantastic feature of this game engine is that it is an open-source engine, and you are free to check the validity and safety of your codes. It has the capability of converting your thoughts into 2D visuals, so it is one of the best game engines in 2021.

Visual Novels written in Ren’Py

  • AOPII
  • Yesterday’s Dream
  • Locked-In

Pros

  • It is open-source and cross-platform. 
  • The community of Ren’py is very active and friendly.
  • Best at creating puzzle games.

Cons

  • It lacks good documentation.
  • This genre is not for everyone.

Some other best game engines

Besides the game engines, as mentioned above engines, there are some other game engines that you can use as a framework for your game.

Please have a look at them.

  • Godot 
  • UE5 ( not released yet but coming soon)
  • Game Maker; Studio
  • Unreal Engine 4
  • Torque 2D MIT
  • Pygame 
  • Moai SDK
  • MonoGame
  • Unity
  • Orx
  • Stencyl 

You can try any of them as all are simple and easy to use.

Final Verdict

We have tried to give you as much information about the best game engines in 2021 as we can. We can indeed say that game building career has a large scope in the future, and it is something everyone should try at least once. 

Also, it is a myth that game development is tricky. In actuality, if you know a few basics, you can quickly start game development using the game engines mentioned in the above list.

So are you ready to get started with your 2D game development career? If Yes, then let us know that which game engine are you thinking of trying. 

Also, leave your thoughts about this article here. We are more than happy to see your responses.

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