A Video Game Genre List – The basics.

This will be a basic list and explanation of the various genres of video games that are out there. Again for those already in the know, this list will be something you already know. But for anyone else that is interested in learning or just getting started then I hope this list will shed some light on the subject.

FPS

FPS or a First Person Shooter is likely one of the most popular genres of games in the modern-day. An example of some games in this is the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchises which tend to release new games on an annual basis.

Typically the player takes control of an individual or individuals and plays ‘As them’, seeing the game world through the character’s eyes and taking actions as that person. As the shooter part suggests, you’re usually carrying a gun of some variety, and spend your time going through missions and killing enemies and completing objectives. FPS games tend to have a lively online multiplayer scene where you can play matches against other people from all over the planet, or at least that is close to your geographical location.

RPG

RPG’s or Role Playing Games are the true definitions of playing a character in a virtual world. Depending on the game the characters will be preset and you’ll get to pick a name, or you can make your own character from scratch picking from various looks and hairstyles e.t.c. in a character creator.

Examples of this genre are the Final Fantasy franchise or Mass Effect Trilogy.

RPG’s tend to be heavily story-driven, and offer an immersive experience for the player and give them a world, characters, lore and story to truly get lost in for hours. Back in the day, they were mostly text-driven, and characters talking would involve reading chat boxes that appeared on the screen, nowadays however it’s standard for things to be nearly fully voice acted. (Whether the voice acting is any good however is up to you.)

Typically the camera for this genre is 3rd person (Behind your character) or Isometric (Looking down at your character at an angle with the camera following them as they move.) Although with that said, they can also feature first-person elements. They also usually involve an inventory to manage as you pick up items through playing.

  • JRPG: JRPG’s are the same as normal ones except for the J on the front which stands for Japanese. These are naturally heavily influenced by Japanese culture and tend to contain many anime titles.

Strategy

Strategy games are a genre where you take control of a faction or army and perhaps build a base through a series of missions. As you progress more advanced buildings and units are unlocked for you to use in the future missions. They don’t always take place on solid ground either, as there are strategy games out there that take place in space.

Examples of this genre are the Command & Conquer franchise and Age of Empires franchise.

Many things can be incorporated into a strategy title, from complete make-believe and fantasy buildings and units you can build and control to modern-day tanks and infantry and planes. It all varies and depends on what the game actually is. Sometimes all these are even mixed as there are several games out there where you play ‘through time’ so to speak and play a nation through the ages of time, all the way into the far future.

  • 4x: 4x games fit into the strategy genre in the sense that they are the same but on a much grander scale. The title stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate. And rather than controlling a single base in a single mission, you control an empire or civilization and guide it to greatness through the years on a massive map, competing with other empires or civs.

Horror

The title is self-explanatory as far as they have gone so far. The horror genre is a popular one with streamers, largely because some enjoy being scared or their reactions to being scared are entertainment for their audience.

Examples of this genre include Amnesia: The dark descent and S.O.M.A

Usually, you spend your time-solving puzzles or locating items to progress through the level while evading monsters or aliens or whatever the enemy might be. Sometimes there might not even be an enemy at all but the game is built to prey on your paranoia and make you think there is an enemy always just a little out of view. These games typically have a story that you follow that makes you want to progress rather than huddling in a corner and praying for it to be over.

In the main, you don’t have a weapon in these games because that would eliminate the fear if you could just blast the monsters into red paste. So you could spend your time running or hiding until the monster gets bored and goes away, giving you time to slip by and continue.

Platforming

This is a rather broad genre in that it often gets slotted into other genres rather than just being one all on its own. Typically, it just means you play a character that goes through levels jumping from platform to platform and getting past obstacles that might be in your way. Oh, and did I mention those platforms tend to move or collapse out from underneath you? So you have to be quick too.

Examples of this genre are the Megaman franchise and the Super Mario franchise.

There are enemies to beat too, likely using a variety of weapons or simply from jumping on them. Powerups feature more heavily too, which are items you can pick up to increase your health, firepower, range e.t.c.

People enjoy platforming games for their tight and fluid controls, quick speed and thinking ahead to reach the end of the stage before a timer runs out. Of course, a platforming game with bad controls can be torture to play and make you want to through your keyboard or controller at the wall.

In Summary

There are many more besides the ones mentioned above, and I didn’t even really touch on combining them which some game developers have done to mixed success,

Of course, whichever one you enjoy the most is solely down to personal preference and what you enjoy, just remember it never hurts to experiment!

Have fun and happy gaming!

Matt

Founder of Venom Gaming

2 thoughts on “A Video Game Genre List – The basics.”

  1. Nice article, never knew 4x was a sub-genre despite loving that kind of game myself, so definitely learnt something new today ^^

    Reply

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