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What is Video Game Genres: A Detailed List Of Video Game Genres 

Introduction to Video Game Genre

All of the games that we create fall into one of the many predetermined categories, commonly known as game genres. The game engineer or project manager must choose the kind of game he intends to create before beginning development. As a result, you will learn about the many sorts of games and their features in this chapter.

What are Video Game Genres?

A video game genre is a classification that categorizes video games based on shared gameplay characteristics, themes, and mechanics. Genres help players and developers communicate about the type of gaming experience a particular game offers.

Video Game Genre is a term that summarizes the core gameplay concepts and elements present within a game. Unlike movies & other media, a Video Game Genre is usually assigned to a game based mainly on its gameplay, not the story, narrative, or lore. Source:

Video game genres provide a way to quickly convey expectations to players, as they often imply certain gameplay elements, challenges, and narrative themes.

game types categories

Source: public domain

A variety of elements can be included in video game genres, such as:

  1. Gameplay Mechanics: The core gameplay mechanics and interactions that define how players interact with the game world. This could involve shooting, platforming, puzzle-solving, strategy, role-playing, and more.
  2. Game World and Setting: The environment and context in which the game takes place. This includes historical, futuristic, fantasy, or real-world settings.
  3. Narrative and Storytelling: The way the game’s story is presented and how players engage with it. This could include linear narratives, branching storylines, or open-world exploration.
  4. Multiplayer and Social Interaction: Whether the game is designed for single-player, cooperative, competitive, or massively multiplayer experiences.
  5. Aesthetics and Art Style: The visual and audio design of the game, including graphics, music, sound effects, and overall atmosphere.
  6. Challenges and Objectives: The goals players must achieve to progress in the game, such as defeating enemies, solving puzzles, completing quests, or reaching high scores.
  7. Player Experience: The emotional and psychological response players are likely to have while playing the game. This can include feelings of excitement, tension, relaxation, fear, or satisfaction.

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Types of Video Game Genres With Definitions

There are numerous game genres, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the main game genres along with explanations:

  1. Action: Action games emphasize physical challenges, reflexes, and hand-eye coordination. Players often engage in fast-paced combat, exploration, and platforming. Examples include “Devil May Cry,” “Doom,” and “Uncharted.”
  2. Adventure: Adventure games focus on exploration, puzzle-solving, and narrative-driven experiences. Players unravel stories, interact with characters, and progress through the game’s plot. Examples include “The Legend of Zelda,” “Monkey Island,” and “Life is Strange.”
  3. Role-Playing Game (RPG): RPGs allow players to take on the role of a character and often involve character development, story-driven quests, and decision-making. RPGs can be divided into sub-genres like “Western RPGs” (e.g., “The Elder Scrolls”) and “Japanese RPGs” (e.g., “Final Fantasy”).
  4. Simulation: Simulation games replicate real-world activities, allowing players to experience situations they might not encounter in their daily lives. Examples include “The Sims” (life simulation), “Microsoft Flight Simulator” (flight simulation), and “SimCity” (city-building simulation).
  5. Strategy: Strategy games require players to use strategic thinking and planning to achieve objectives. They can be further divided into sub-genres like real-time strategy (RTS), turn-based strategy (TBS), and grand strategy. Examples include “StarCraft,” “Civilization,” and “Total War.”
  6. Sports and Racing: These games simulate real-world sports and racing activities, offering players the chance to compete in virtual environments. Examples include “FIFA” (soccer), “NBA 2K” (basketball), and “Forza” (racing).
  7. Shooter: Shooter games revolve around combat and gunplay. They can be further categorized into first-person shooters (FPS) and third-person shooters (TPS). Examples include “Call of Duty,” “Counter-Strike,” and “Gears of War.”
  8. Horror: Horror games aim to evoke fear and suspense in players by placing them in unsettling and often dangerous situations. Players might need to solve puzzles while dealing with ominous atmospheres and threats. Examples include “Resident Evil,” “Silent Hill,” and “Amnesia: The Dark Descent.”
  9. Platformer: Platformers involve navigating characters through levels filled with platforms, obstacles, and challenges. Jumping and precise timing are key gameplay mechanics. Examples include “Super Mario,” “Celeste,” and “Hollow Knight.”
  10. Puzzle: Puzzle games challenge players’ problem-solving abilities by presenting them with various puzzles and brainteasers. These games can range from traditional puzzles to more innovative and abstract challenges. Examples include “Tetris,” “Portal,” and “The Witness.”
  11. Fighting: Fighting games pit players against each other or AI-controlled opponents in one-on-one battles. Players use a combination of attacks, combos, and special moves to defeat their opponents. Examples include “Street Fighter,” “Mortal Kombat,” and “Super Smash Bros.”
  12. Music and Rhythm: These games focus on rhythm and music-based challenges, requiring players to match beats, timing, and patterns. Examples include “Dance Dance Revolution,” “Guitar Hero,” and “Beat Saber.”
  13. Educational and Serious Games: These games aim to educate players or address serious topics while offering an engaging experience. They can cover a wide range of subjects, from history and science to health and social issues.

These are just a few examples of game genres, and there are many more that cater to diverse player preferences and experiences. Game genres can also intersect or blend elements from multiple categories, leading to hybrid genres that offer unique gameplay experiences.


Image source: public domain, creative commons


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