Is there some alternative to Wine ( the windows "emulator" ) which is more stable and more likely to work with my Windows games?
Like mentioned before, Wine is the most advanced compatibility layer (W ine I s N ot an E mulator ;-)) you will find.
If you are not happy with it, there are two other projects based on wine but with some tweaks for the support of actual games like Half Life 2, World of Warcraft, etc:
- Codeweavers CrossOver Games - http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/
- TransGamings Cedega - http://www.cedega.com/
Maybe this will satisfy your needs.
Unfortunately Wine is about the best bet for most Windows games, though you don't actually state what sort of games you are wanting to play.
For non-3D games then virtualisation sometimes works well, but of course that still requires a Widnows license in order to run the OS in a VM. For really old games then DosBox is the thing to try, even in the Windows world.
As David said, wine is about the only way to have Windows stuff running.
However when it comes to games there is Crossover Games from Codeweavers (they use wine and tweak it) and Cedega from Transgamings (they operate on a wine fork, imho).
Be aware that both are commercial products, though.
As I am unsure what the policy towards commercial products is I do not provide any links. Both products should be fairly easy to find on any search engine online.
I advice VirtualBox, it is by far the most reliable Windows virtualization I've experienced. There's one catch, though.
VirtualBox uses the WINE Direct3D wrapper for 3D acceleration done with Direct3D. So it might actually be of no improvement on the hardware accelerated side...