Gaming on the Linux platform is alive and well, thank you very much. In fact, there are more quality games available for Linux today than ever before. If you’re using a recently released version of a distro, like Ubuntu, you’ll find a wide range of game categories available right from the install menu. The options increase if you’re not opposed to spending a little coin.
Hardware performance is really only a concern for the graphic-intensive games. You’ll need a fairly recent video card with on-board memory in the 256MB range. Chances are pretty good that you won’t have any issues getting them to run either, although you may need to activate a proprietary video driver for the graphics intensive games. With Ubuntu 10.04 we had to enable the Nvidia proprietary driver on our Dell XPS M1330 laptop to get some of the games to work. Neverball was very jerky without the proprietary driver but ran extremely well with it.