Does Linux have problems running old games

I know Linux is generally seen as having better support for older games, when the projects are still maintained in most distros repositories.

Think FreeCiv, NetHack, Xscavenger, TuxPuck, Tower Toppler (Nebulous) or PySol

But some old libraries can cause dependency hell, and some 32 bit projects were in serious danger with decisions made by upper distro management. Makes you wonder if some retro games survive better under windows then Linux.

I know the source code is generally still available for if and when, someone has the time and motive to resurrect them.

What can be done to better support old game libraries on Linux?
Some way of installing/maintaining older libraries in a container, or FlatPak?

So now with another glitch in the Linux gaming scene caused by upstream developers

Previous tensions between Valve and Ubuntu dropping 32 bit builds

and some commercial Loki games no longer running because of Linux Distros no longer supporting older libraries used by some old games…

I run Linux games in Virtualbox with the 3d VBox/VMWare driver. Linux games like SuperTuxKart and Extreme Tux Racers run at 1080p; 60Hz in an Ubuntu Virtual Machine, giving a 75% load on the iGPU of my Ryzen 3 2200G. Try VMs with 32 bit version of Ubuntu 16.04 or 18.04, if it works you could even sign up for free Extended Security Maintenance till 2026 or 2028. All old Ubuntu releases are still available on:

I have no clue whether you can run 32-bits snap or docker image on a 64-bits OS. However if you run into issues with e.g Ubuntu 16.04 libraries, because you need older versions of those libraries than 2016/18, you should be able to define a snap with all libraries you need, included in the snap.
Another option would be to use an older version of Ubuntu, but I don’t know, whether they support the 3D video driver. The oldest one I use with that 3d video drivers is Ubuntu 14.04, but that one does not support snaps.

Isn’t this how the Steam snap works?

Edit: I’m also pretty sure you can run a 32-bit container on a 64 bit os.