Since their inception, many different styles of video games have been created for gamers to enjoy. There’s something out there for everyone to have fun playing, whether you want something action-oriented, using your brain to solve puzzles or strategize, or something relaxing with casual gameplay.

7 Most Popular Video Game Genres image

If you’re new to playing video games or want to explore new genres, trying to sort through all the different kinds out there can be a bit overwhelming. Below, you’ll find a simple breakdown of each genre and the subgenres within each one. Some of the most popular games within the genre will also be listed, so if you find one you feel you’d enjoy, you can try them out for yourself.

Table of Contents

    1. Action

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    Video games in the action genre tend to be fast-paced and focus more on hand-eye coordination skills. They are usually the games that will keep you on the edge of your seat and include many combat mechanics. Some subgenres are shooters, platformers, fighting games, and survival games. Action games often combine elements from other genres, such as role-playing or strategy games.

    As you can probably tell, this genre encompasses a variety of video games. Some of the most popular in this genre are Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Doom, Super Smash Bros., Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and many more.

    2. Adventure

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    Adventure games were some of the earliest games created with text-based games. These games aren’t focused on action or any coordination or reflex skills but instead are based on exploration and decision-making. Adventure games are great for casual and laid-back entertainment. Popular adventure games of today include Life is Strange, Myst, Firewatch, and more.

    However, many games are considered action-adventure games that combine elements of both genres, such as Fallout, The Last of Us, God of War, and The Legend of Zelda. Action-adventure games tend to be more common than just pure adventure games.

    3. Role-Playing Games

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    Roleplaying games, or RPGs, derive many mechanics from classic tabletop role-playing games. RPGs are heavily focused on gaining experience, leveling up your characters, and growing progressively stronger in strength and skill. RPGs combine adventure elements to the game, such as exploring areas. RPGs may also include strategy or action elements depending on if the combat within the game is turn-based or in real time.

    There are quite a few sub-genres to the RPG genre, like MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), roguelikes, which focus mainly on exploring randomly generated dungeons, tactical RPGs, which focus on turn-based combat, and sandbox RPGs, which are RPGs placed in an openly explorable environment.

    Some popular RPG games include Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Elden Ring, Pokemon, Witcher 3, World of Warcraft, and many more.

    4. Sandbox and Open-World

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    In open-world and sandbox games, players are not constrained to taking a single route but can explore an environment in any way they wish. Sandbox games give players plenty of creative avenues to alter the in-game world, while open-world games are more geared towards an open environment.

    Sandbox and open-world games are often combined with other types of games, especially RPGs. Some examples of sandbox and open-world games include Minecraft, Garry’s Mod, Grand Theft Auto, No Man’s Sky, and more.

    5. Strategy

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    In strategy games, players must make careful and thought-out decisions based on several factors within the game to be successful. For this reason, many strategy games do not have time constraints and are turn-based. Strategy game mechanics are very similar to board games. However, many strategy games still operate in real time as well.

    Some popular examples of strategy games include Sid Meier’s Civilization, Warhammer 40,000, Starcraft, League of Legends, and more.

    6. Simulation

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    Games in the simulation genre are generally created to simulate aspects of real life in various ways. Some common types of simulation games are life simulators, farming simulators, and building simulators. These games have many variable mechanics depending on the kind of simulation. They are also usually more geared toward casual play.

    Examples of simulation games include The Sims, Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, SimCity, Zoo Tycoon, etc.

    7. Puzzle

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    Puzzle games focus on a player’s problem-solving skills to advance through the game. Many other genres employ puzzle elements, but pure puzzle games only focus on puzzles. This is a popular genre for mobile games, like Candy Crush or Cut the Rope. More expansive puzzle games may include a story to follow as puzzles are completed, and the story may directly relate to the puzzles themselves.

    Examples of puzzle games include Portal, Professor Layton, Tetris, Scribblenauts, The Room, and more.

    Find Your Next Favorite Game By Exploring These Genres

    No matter what sort of gamer you are, with so many different kinds of games available, you can always find something new that provides you with an exciting and entertaining experience. Whether you want fast-paced gameplay, games that take time and thought, or relaxing games to play when you have some downtime, video games can provide something for everyone.

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