Game Genres: A Look at the Many Types of Video Games

28th October 2020

Ah video games: they’re one of Americans’ favorite hobbies. According to recent statistics, a huge 70 percent of us play video games in our spare time. 

Yet what if you’re bored with the same old games that you’ve been playing for years? Surely there are different game genres out there that you could enjoy?

Well, you’re in luck! There are so many different types of video games that there’s always something new out there for you to play. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the most popular genres of games that you need to try.

Ready to get started? Read on and get ready to game on!

1. First-Person Shooters

First-person shooters, or FPS, games are some of the most popular games out there. They’re an old type too, dating all the way back to 1974, when workers at NASA made a primitive FPS called Maze War.

Yet the first true and wildly popular FPS was Wolfenstein 3D. The dream team of John Carmack and John Romero created a fantastically innovative WW2 blaster complete with a ton of secrets and a wild, weird story. These developers would later go on to create Doom, another amazing FPS title.

So what are the hallmarks of an FPS game? These are some of the most important ones:

  1. A first-person perspective (looking through the character’s eyes)
  2. Gameplay based around firefights
  3. Constant action

FPS games lend themselves really well to multiplayer games too, thanks to their fast pace, competitive nature, and how easy they are to pick up and play. 

So if you want to get into FPS games today, what are the must-play titles? For modern hits, we’d recommend checking out Doom: Eternal, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, PUBG, Overwatch, and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus.

If you want to check out some historic FPS games that are still great today, you’ll enjoy Half-Life 2, the original Halo trilogy, Bioshock, and Doom. 

As you can see, there are a ton of awesome FPS games. If you’d like to assemble a good collection without breaking the bank, check out the Lenovo Black Friday deals!

2. Role-Playing Games

When you think of role-playing games, or RPGs, you might think of Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games but role-playing games have been a huge part of video games for decades. 

The 1980s was an era of innovation for RPGs, with titles such as Wizardry, Final Fantasy, Sword of Vermillion, and Wasteland all showing what could be done with video game RPGs. 

So what makes a game an RPG? After all, the name of the genre is pretty meaningless: all games have you play a role. 

The main hallmarks of an RPG are:

  1. A focus on story
  2. Combat that doesn’t require twitch reflexes
  3. Intricate writing

Role-playing games are absolutely perfect for gamers who want to experience long, movie-level stories; amazing world-building, and slower gameplay. They are some of the biggest and most epic games that you can experience. If you want a big single-player experience, a role-playing game is probably what you’re looking for.

So which modern role-playing games should you check out? We’d recommend Persona 5, Disco Elysium, Skyrim, Fallout 4, and The Witcher 3. All of these are huge games that you could sink many an hour into.

If you want to explore the genre’s history, then we’d recommend playing any of the early Final Fantasy games, Chrono Trigger, Diablo 2, Planescape: Torment, and Baldur’s Gate.

3. Racing Games

As long as there have been video games, people have been using them to get behind the wheels of their favorite cars. Racing games encompass a huge range of sub-genres. You can play simulators that are so realistic you will feel the wind in your hair and smell the gasoline, arcade games that offer the thrills of your favorite racing movies, and destruction-focused games.

There are some threads that all of these games have though. They’re all focused on vehicles, you get to take part in races, and there’s a great selection of real or imagined vehicles. 

As you can imagine, these games are also very popular as multiplayer experiences too. Whether playing against friends or strangers, there isn’t much that’s more satisfying than crossing the finish line ahead of all your opponents.

So let’s say that you want to check our a range of different racing games. Which are the best modern titles? We’d say that Forza Horizon 4, Gran Turismo Sport, Assetto Corsa, and DiRT Rally 2.0 are all awesome places to start.

If you want to go a little further back, the original Gran Turismo, Burnout 3: Takedown, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit are all huge fun.

4. Strategy Games

Strategy games are almost entirely a PC phenomenon. These types of games let you take over entire nations and change their destiny. Some are based over spans of hundreds of years, others take place in one war, and others may be based around one particular theatre! 

In some of these games, you’ll only have to manage resources and built units. In others, you’ll need to manage an entire nation, taking care of trade, foreign policy, and war.

Depending on how granular you want the game to be, there are a huge number of different sub-genres. If you want to enjoy a basic strategy game, something like Command and Conquer or Halo Wars is a good place to start. These let you build up an army on the map and wreak havoc against the enemy.

If you’re interested in running a country and experiencing the grandest of grand strategy, then the games by Paradox Interactive are a great choice. Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings 3, and Victoria 2 all let you experience pretty much all the nations of the world.

If you’re more interested in getting down and dirty in the heat of battle, check out the Total War series. If you want to get super nerdy, then games like Gary Grigsby’s War in the East are unparalleled. 

5. Puzzle Games

Do you like solving intricate puzzles? Then puzzle games are for you. These games are based around solving puzzles to progress and can feature puzzles of a huge range of types!

The puzzles can be dressed up in a range of different themes too. Sometimes you will have to solve a crime to progress, other times you may need to unlock a door that has an intricate lock.

If this sounds appealing, then the best example of large-scale puzzle games are probably the Professor Layton series. If you’re most interested in being a crime fighter, then the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy is also a great choice.

The hidden-object games by Spintop are also a really good choice if you want something that’s a little more simple but very addictive.

6. Platformer Games

A platformer game is a game that has you running and jumping across different obstacles, often based on platforms. The most famous examples are the Super Mario games or the Sonic franchise. 

These games can either be in stylized 2D or full 3D. You’ll have to fight enemies, traverse challenging levels, and find different collectibles. There are so many different platformer games that giving recommendations is nearly impossible. However, we would recommend Super Mario Odyssey, Sonic Mania, and Limbo.

All of these offer fun and interesting experiences that will have you hooked.

7. Simulations

Do you fancy getting behind the wheels, sticks, and control panels of your favorite machines? Do you want to be a soldier, a trucker, a car mechanic, or anything else? 

Then simulation games are absolutely up your street. One of the most famous sub-genres of this type of game is the flight simulator. Microsoft Flight Simulator, for instance, models the entire world and lets you explore it with any number of aircraft.

For a different style of simulator, something like Euro Truck Simulator 2, Football Manager, Cooking Simulator, Star Wars Squadrons, or Project Cars could be what you want.

There Are Many Types of Video Games: Check Them Out and Find Your Favorite

There are a huge number of different types of video games. We’ve barely scratched the surface of video games in this list. There are sports games, roguelikes, adventure games, and real-time tactics titles, too! 

The best way to find your favorite type of game is by playing a lot of different games! Check out the games we’ve listed in this article and you’ll have a great start in exploring the world of games!

For more interesting articles, why not check out the rest of our blog?

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.