The gaming world has undergone a number of whirlwind changes that have shaped and reshaped the face of gaming drastically over the past two decades. Since the early Nintendo Gameboys and the revolutionary Sony PlayStations, the market for gamers has always existed, which means the demand for interesting games has as well. Timeless classics like Super Mario continue to stand the test of time and have spawned several other games branching into different genres. Today’s video game makers keep that versatility in mind during their ideation and execution phases—giving gamers gorgeous gameplay that traverses more than one genre at a time. And that leads us to an important disclaimer, with so much overlap, there are plenty of games that qualify for multiple different genres! Nevertheless, there are some genres that always keep fans coming back. So what are the they? Let’s break them down.
If there’s one genre of video game nearly everyone has played in one form or another, it has to be classic racing games. Whether it’s Mario Kart or Forza Horizon, racing games are the epitome of competition. Though it takes a bit of practice to coast through tracks like Rainbow Road, racing games are some of the easiest to learn and most straightforward to play on any gaming console. The objective is simple: be the fastest car to cross the finish line.
Fighting games have been a staple in the industry ever since gaming existed. 80’s and 90’s arcades featured lengthy lines of gamers waiting to try their hand at Tekken and Street Fighter. The basis of fighting games is simple—exchanging blows until one fighter’s health bar is completely knocked dry. Choosing your fighter is only half the battle; it’s the timing that takes the win. These games have slowly lost their appeal since the 90s, but games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate keep it in the top ten.
Building your characters and building your gamescape environments are the defining features of a simulation game. One of the best (and worst) things about simulation games is that you can never get bored of them. There’s a reason why The Sims games have remained incredibly popular, and no matter how many expansion packs or editions they make, gamers will always buy. Designed to simulate real-world activities, simulation games mimic reality and allow players to experience the lives of their own fictional constructions.
7. Sandbox/Open World
Characterized by minimal character limitations and free-roaming ability, sandbox games are the freedom rider’s answer to a call for liberation from progression-style games. Unlike traditional level-up games, sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption feature mini-games, tasks, multiple storylines, and an overall non-linear gamescape. Players have access to the entire world from start to finish and are free to adventure from the first load up.
Gamers who are avid fans of the action-adventure genre usually hold those special games near and dear to their hearts. From The Legend of Zelda to Tomb Raider, these action-packed games are full of character development, intense storylines, item collecting, puzzle solving, and gamescape exploration. Action-adventure games function more like an interactive movie than traditional role-playing games, which makes them a classic genre that captivates gamers of all ages.
Sports games are another genre that have never lost their popularity over the decades of video game development. Today’s NBA 2K19 has become so vividly life-like that it could easily be mistaken for a real-life basketball game. The same rules apply, the same teams and players exist, and clever artificial intelligence makes single-player gameplay as realistic as basketball can feel on a TV screen. Games like FIFA and Madden turn real sports into esports, and every annual release is met with the same excitement (and selling power) as the last.
4. First-Person Shooter
Earning its name from the perspective positioning, first-person shooter games immerse gamers into the gamescape. Instead of watching your character run around and follow your commands, you become the character. Top-sellers like Overwatch and the Call of Duty franchise give gamers a front row seat to the action. Gameplay generally follows a storyline that requires a whole lot of shooting for linear progression and keen reaction times to land precise kill shots.
3. Battle Royale
More popular than ever before, battle royale games are characterized by several combatants fighting until one fighter is left standing. So if you know how to play PUBG, you’ll have no problem learning the ropes of Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Ring of Elysium, or Mavericks. Simple as they seem, conquering battle royale leaderboards takes serious, world-class chops.
2. Role-playing games
RPGs or role-playing games are characterized by rich storylines and decision-making. Players lead game characters through the gamescape, making a number of simple and complex choices that shape how each individual story develops. RPGs cover many genre bases, so gamer favorites like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda qualify as both action-adventure and RPG.
Video games are in many ways a world of their own. No matter what your genre preference is, all you need to do is power on and load up for a quick escape from this universe into another. Each of these ten genres offer something different and something worth a try.
1. Massively Multiplayer Online Games
There’s no way around it, MMOs and all their subsets have captured the hearts of the gaming community for the past decade or more. Gamers looking to face competitors from all around the globe need not look further than a good MMO. Massively multiplayer online games feature hundreds, even thousands of gamers playing the same game on the same server. MMOs allow players to compete and cooperate with each other on an incredibly large scale. From World of Warcraft to Knights of the Old Republic, MMOs have such a variety of options that there is always a game fans can enjoy.