How Many Game Genres Are There in the World?
RTS! FPS! RPG! MMORPG!
Do those words mean anything to you? Or do they sound like the incoherent ramblings of an individual who has had a bit too much to drink?
Well, if you’re one of those who know what the letters stand for, congratulations! You’re a true 100% certified geek! However, if you do happen to be in (what I think is) the majority of the population who have no idea what I’m talking about, allow me to enlighten you.
They’re all different game genres. RTS stands for Real Time Strategy, FPS is a first-person shooter, RPG is a role-playing game and MMORPG is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (that’s quite a mouthful).
How many genres are there exactly though? Well, the answer really depends on how specific you want to be when it comes to dividing your video games.
If you’re a purist, you may be inclined to divide your RPGs into action RPGs, tactical RPGs, sandbox RPGS and so on. To most casual gamers, all RPGs would probably be lumped into one single category, regardless of the exact intricacies of the game itself.
For the sake of your (and my) sanity, let’s stick to keeping things simple and do a quick rundown of the popular genres of games that most of us enjoy.
It doesn’t matter if it’s in third person or first, as long as the character you’re controlling is carrying a gun, we’re lumping it in here.
Most of these games involve the player killing, mauling, dismembering or performing all sorts of violent (but extremely fun) acts against hordes of some kind of villain. Often, it’ll just be you against hundreds or even thousands of zombies, aliens or terrorists.
This genre is probably one of the most popular ones out there. Games like Half Life, Overwatch, Doom, Left 4 Dead and Gears of War can all be grouped here and these are often the games that sell the most copies when released.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Civilization? The Total War series? StarCraft, surely?
They’re all strategy games (and really fun ones too).
Essentially you play God. You command large swathes of troops and move them around the map to destroy your enemies. The enjoyable aspect of these games is that they reward intelligent thinking.
For example, if you end up leaving your archer regiment free to close range attack from the opposition’s cavalry, expect them to be overrun quickly. However, if you protect them and let them do their bow and arrow thing from far away, the same regiment can easily turn the tide of battle and win the day for you! Problem solved!
This is one of those genres which seem to be all encompassing.
It’s difficult to accurately describe what exactly constitutes an action-adventure game. The general consensus seems to be that any game which has a significant amount of running, jumping, shooting and exploration along with puzzles thrown in occasionally can be considered one.
Games like Uncharted, Tomb Raider and the Zelda series can be grouped here.
(For some reason, Hollywood seems to particularly like making movies based on these games.)
Role Playing Games / Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
“I’m a level 87 warlord!”
“Wow! Level 87? You’re my idol! I’m just a level 52 mage!”
Those kinds of conversations are pretty common among role-playing game enthusiasts.
RPGs involve developing a character over a long period of time. Sometimes, gamers can take many days just to decide on the design of a particular character. So, these games end up being extremely customisable. You will rarely ever find two similar looking characters with a similar skillset due to the sheer number of options gamers have during customisation.
This genre is seen by many as being a continuation of board games like Dungeons and Dragons, which in itself is a role-playing game.
The massively multiplayer online versions of these games consist of players from all over the world competing and cooperating in attempts to become the master of higher ranking characters.
MMORPGs have enormous in game worlds with thousands of players being online at the same time.
These ones are pretty self-explanatory.
Just do a quick YouTube search and you’ll end up seeing all sorts of controllers being chucked at monitors and TV screens as the players concede a last-minute goal or basket. That kind of anger at losing is often reserved only for adrenalin-pumping sports game like the FIFA series.
These are very often popular party games as they’re very pick up and play friendly.
If you want a good laugh, look up a game called Goat Simulator. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
You step into the shoes, or rather, hooves of a goat. And go around doing goat like things. Eating grass. Pooping wherever you want. Licking whatever you want. Stuff like that.
While you may wonder why people would want to spend their free time simulating a goat, it turns out that these games can actually be pretty addictive.
The most popular simulation game will, of course, be The Sims, where many live out their fantasies to become a Rockstar and own their own massive home with a gorgeous supermodel wife/husband.
This list of game genres could go on and on. You have puzzle games, trivia games, games on mobile devices, text based games, fitness games and so on.
I’ll run out of writing space and you’ll run out of patience.
The main question that matters though is this: Which one is your favourite? Let us know!