As the current health crisis continues to necessitate social isolation, many have looked towards playing video games to entertain themselves at home and to help keep their minds off what’s happening in the world. In fact, a report by market analysts NPD Group reveals that video game spending in the US has reached record heights, with the total revenue reaching $11.6 billion between April and June this year.
And there’s never been a better time to get into video games than now, as developments in technology, storytelling, and design have greatly improved and diversified the video game landscape. A guide to video game genres by HP points out how genres and sub-genres in gaming continue to grow in number and complexity, especially as developers continue to innovate in new and exciting ways. You’ll find that a lot of genres tend to overlap with each other, and some titles might belong to more than one genre. What helps gamers distinguish between genres, however, is styles of gameplay.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at five of the most popular video game genres in the world.
More commonly known as RPGs, role-playing games are characterized by incredibly immersive world-building and extensive lore, where a player goes on quests to complete a story. RPGs encompass a wide variety of subgenres, from cooperative MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online RPGs) to strategic and tactical turn-based RPGs. The key thing to note about RPGs is that while they are primarily driven by the story and characters, players can freely take side quests and finish the game at their own pace. Examples of popular games in this genre are the classic Pokémon franchise and the crowd-favorite Final Fantasy series.
Sports games are some of the most beloved video games of all time because they reflect real-life sports. With sports video games, you can play your favorite sport, with your favorite team, and as your favorite player — all in the comfort of your home. Sports video games are inherently competitive, and you can either play against your friends or an AI-controlled team. FIFA, NBA, and NFL are just some of the real-life sports events that have video games based on them.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to build cities or start your own farm, you can replicate the experience by playing simulation games. Designed to mimic aspects of real-life activities, simulation games give players the freedom to choose how to live their experiences — whether it’s starting a family in The Sims 4 or managing a post-apocalyptic commune in Fallout Shelter. Flight and driving simulation games also exist for those who want an adrenaline rush.
In recent years, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games have dominated the video game industry. In fact, the highest-grossing video game of all time is a MOBA game called League of Legends. A sub-genre of strategy video games, the objective of MOBA games is to demolish the enemy’s base while using a ‘champion’ with a unique set of skills. What makes this genre even more popular these days is the large competitive gaming scene behind it — with millions of dollars in prize pools and an illustrious e-sports career for those who have the skills.
Adventure games are known to mix narrative puzzles, immersive environments, and reflex-based gameplay. In adventure games, players can either play in the first-person or third-person perspective. Combining exciting visuals with a jam-packed storyline, adventure games often have missions that a player has to finish in order to advance the story and finish the game. Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil, and Metroid are some adventure games that have captured the hearts of players all over the world.