Types of Video Games

Introduction to Video Game Genres

Video games may seem like an overwhelming library of the same kind of experience sold over and over, but in fact - just like books and movies - there is a wide variety of video game genres out there on the market. Let's take a look at a few!


When most people think of a video game, they probably think of a shooter. These are games like Halo and Call of Duty that have taken the world's entertainment markets by storm, and they're usually available for singleplayer or online multiplayer, where a user can hook their console up to the Internet and play with people from around the world. Shooters tend to be violent and relatively straightforward games - the equivalent of the action movie genre.

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Fighting games had their heyday back in the arcade days, but a few such games are still going strong. This genre features hand-to-hand combat between two or more players, necessitating a fast and frantic playstyle that at its best can rival advanced strategic games like chess in its complexity. Street Fighter, Tekken, and Soul Caliber are a few examples of fighting games.


These games tend to be much broader in scope than other genres, covering events from a single battle to the history of the world - or even the history of imagined galaxies. Strategy games like the Civilization series and Galactic Civilizations give players control over a wide variety of society's elements, like military, religion, culture, and economy, while other strategy games like Starcraft or Warcraft focus on the carefully timed building of chess-like units to defeat an enemy.


Where the other genres so far have been about action and history, the RPG genre focuses on the story of an individual or small group of individuals. These are the adventure stories of books and movies, places where players assume the role of a character and make the choices that determine the course of that character's story. Final Fantasy and Fallout are two famous games in this genre.


The MMO, as it's popularly known, is one of the most widespread gaming genres in the world. These are supersized RPGs (the name stands for "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game") where players live out their characters' lives as one person among hundreds, and even thousands, of other players, forming strong real-world friendships and playing with people from around the globe in doing so. World of Warcraft is the most famous MMORPG.