There are hundreds of thousands of video games and yet no two are alike. It would be impossible to put them all in the same box, right? And for good reason, as with movies or books, there are all kinds of video game genres. MMORPG, FPS, RPG... Today, we propose you to come back on the most emblematic genres that compose the videogame universe by presenting you the different video game genres.
We have chosen to start this article with the genre that has long been considered the queen of video games: platform games. They are the ones that popularized home consoles and gave the first video game cartoons.
The principle of the platform game is based on simplicity: the hero must jump from element to element over obstacles such as precipices, lakes of lava or sharp peaks. In order to change levels and advance in the game, you have to reach the exit without losing all your lives. Easy to set up, the platform game has long been the video game par excellence. Its concept has now evolved.
It must be said that they are not very young. Appearing in the early 1980s, Space Panic is often considered as the first platform game ever published. This opinion is controversial, because the player could not jump. It was in 1981's Donkey Kong that Nintendo introduced jumping for the first time. This is the first platform game in its own right. It is also in this title that Mario is introduced for the first time. It should be noted that these games are played on a fixed screen and do not yet resemble the platform games that we still play today.
Step by step, many games of this kind will be born. By merging with the horizontal scrolling video games, they become even more fun. This is the birth of Super Mario Bros. Their success is colossal and the genre will never stop innovating and modernizing.
Super Mario Bros
SOME ICONIC GAMES
There are plenty to choose from when it comes to famous platform games.
Here are some of the most iconic ones:
➜ Super Mario Bros and other Super Mario titles
➜ Donkey Kong video games
➜ The Sonic license
➜ Prince of Persia
➜ Ori and the Blind Forest
FPS ("First Person Shooter")
FPS, also known as "first person shooter", is an extremely popular genre of video games. For the past 20 years, they have dominated the market and are the source of some of the world's most iconic licenses.
FPS are 3D shooter video games in which the player has a first-person view. It's as if they are seeing the action through the eyes of the hero. They are therefore opposed to third-person shooters in which the player is placed behind his character. In FPSs, the main component is gun combat. They have been around for many decades. It is the release of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, in 1992 and 1993 that marks the popularization of this genre, even if other shooting games had seen the light before them. They were not immediately called FPS, this term came later.
Playing an FPS requires concentration and precision. This is normal, since the goal is to aim at the opponent and shoot him as quickly as possible without being hit. Reflexes, anticipation and dexterity are what this demanding genre requires. Far from being suitable for everyone, they are nevertheless extremely popular. One of the reasons for this is that the gameplay mechanics of an FPS are adaptable to all kinds of storylines: fantasy, science fiction, horror... There is something for everyone. Today, thanks to ultra-realistic and powerful game engines, immersion is almost total. If the genre remains the same, the studios innovate every year to offer players ever more stimulating titles. There is no doubt that FPS still have a great future ahead of them.
SOME ICONIC GAMES
Chances are you will recognize some of the games we are going to list. FPS are the source of some of the most famous licenses, here are some of them:
➜ Counter Strike games
➜ Call of Duty saga
➜ Battlefield games
➜ Team Fortress
RPG, or "role playing game", is a very popular genre among gamers. They are directly inspired by tabletop role-playing games such as the famous Dungeons and Dragons that appeared in the 1970s. The player embodies a character, sometimes several, that he makes evolve by taking part in an adventure. If the mechanics are simple, the universe, the scenario and the possible evolutions of the people are extremely vast and complex.
At the beginning, RPGs were based on their paper counterparts. It is only around 1980, with the system of saving, that the role playing games such as we know them today make their appearance. Little known and reserved for a few gamers at first, they became known in the 90s. The Legend of Zelda saga, born in Japan, Final Fantasy or Secret of Mana popularize the genre. Little by little, the whole world became interested in Western and Japanese RPGs, giving rise to some of the biggest licenses ever created such as The Elder Scroll or The Witcher.
The mechanics of RPGs are numerous, which is why it is such a vast and popular genre. Many of the games take place in an open world, giving players an unparalleled sense of freedom. The immersion made possible by the customization and evolution of one's character is unparalleled. In an RPG, everyone is free to choose their path, as long as it leads to the completion of the quest. The development of the imaginary world in which the players evolve is often very advanced. The dialogues, the story and the characters reinforce the immersion and the attachment. The player is immersed in a long adventure, often exciting and where side quests abound.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild
SOME ICONIC GAMES
There are countless RPGs. We can often distinguish those from Japan from the others, because the mechanics, although similar, differ on some points. We can quote :
➜ Final Fantasy
➜ The Elder Scrolls
➜ The Fables saga
➜ The Zelda license
➜ The Witchers games
➜ The Kingdom Hearts license
In MMORPG, you may recognize the abbreviation RPG, which we just talked about. There are some similarities, but we are now going to focus on a genre in its own right. MMORPGs combine role-playing games and massively multiplayer online games. This last category gathers games allowing players from all over the world to interact and play together in the same universe simultaneously.
We find some RPG codes: play a character in a vast universe and make him evolve by carrying out quests and following an elaborate scenario, but all this in a multiplayer way. This was made possible thanks to the arrival of servers in the 1990s. MMORPGs are often set in heroic fantasy worlds.
The MMORPG allows even more freedom than the classic RPG. The player is in total control of his character and his progress. He decides how to interact with the world and the players around him. Obviously, this has an extremely exhilarating side that explains the success of these games. Several mechanics exist within an MMORPG. First of all, it is possible to play PvP, "Player versus Player," and to confront other players. Dungeons and raids give the possibility to fight in groups against the creatures of the game, sometimes representing a huge challenge. Exploration, collecting materials and equipment, helping each other and world-wide events ensure that there is never a dull moment. MMORPGs are games that have no end, which is why they are known to be very addictive.
World of Warcraft
SOME ICONIC GAMES
There are many MMORPGs, some of them are free, others require a monthly subscription... What is sure is that there is inevitably an MMORPG that suits you!
Here are the most emblematic ones:
➜ World of Warcraft
➜ Guild Wars
➜ Final Fantasy XIV
MOBAs, for "multiplayer online battle arena", are video games that take place in a multiplayer arena. In the last few years, they have established themselves as references in esport, they are the genre par excellence of online competitions. The concept is simple: teams compete in an arena with the goal of defeating their opponents. The player often plays as a champion and controls him or her from above using a mouse and keyboard. It is an extremely popular genre that brings together several hundred million players each year.
MOBAs require strategy, anticipation and teamwork. Cooperation is a must. Each player controls a hero who has his own specificities, the objective is to assemble a powerful and balanced team that can defeat the opposing team. These games require a lot of knowledge, training and self-sacrifice, which is why they lend themselves very well to the competitive practice of esports. Often known to be difficult, they also have a bad reputation regarding their community. Many players, under pressure, try to raise their level and take very badly the fact of losing. The feeling of victory is as exhilarating as the defeat is harsh, especially if some teammates were not cooperative.
League of Legends
SOME ICONIC GAMES
Several iconic games have popularized the MOBA genre. They are very well known today, as competitions are organized all over the world. The esport has known an important explosion for several years, which explains that these games are in constant progress, here are some of the most famous:
➜ League of Legends
➜ Dota 2
➜ Heroes of the Storm
Let's move on to a video game genre that doesn't appeal to everyone... Horror. Reserved for fans of chills and terrifying atmospheres, this genre can take many forms. Indeed, its specificity is less in its gameplay, as for the other types of games we have talked about, than in the themes addressed.
Popularized in the 1990's, it was first considered simply as a sub-genre of adventure video games. It will be several years before the public realizes that certain mechanics are specific to horror games and make them a genre in their own right. One of the particularities of horror games is that they put the player in the position of a character in immediate danger of death. He must flee, hide or escape thanks to clues and resources that he will have to find. This can be an object hidden in a room, a hidden door or a secret photo that would shed light on the situation. All these mechanics are not necessarily reserved for the horror genre, but you have to add to that an almost unbearable anxiety-provoking atmosphere. This type of game is very often played in the first person, creating an immersion that is both welcome and terrifying.
Thanks to the technologies brought by the studios, the horror genre keeps on renewing itself and adding new elements. All these innovations have made horror games a genre of their own, particularly appreciated by a whole community of gamers.
SOME ICONIC GAMES
Horror games, we can quote a lot of them, however, they are not numerous to be known beyond the circle of the amateurs, here they are:
➜ The Silent Hill saga
➜ The Resident Evil license
➜ Dead Space
➜ Dying Light
➜ Until Dawn
➜ Alone in the Dark
Hack'n slash is presented in a third person view, often you are above or behind the character. The main specificity of this genre is a very fast and intuitive gameplay, since you control your character with two or three buttons. The actions follow one another, the fights are dynamic and you often fight against large groups of enemies. But in addition to that, hack'n slash also takes up many RPG codes. Thus it is possible to make your character evolve thanks to skills or talent trees. The objective is to do a maximum of damage to bring down the enemies. Very often, hack'n slash games are not played in an open world, but on closed maps generating random terrain, loot and monsters. The emphasis is not on exploration, but on repeating dungeons to collect equipment and currency by killing rare monsters.
It's a genre that originated in the 1980s with Dragon Slayer, so it's not exactly new. However, even though it is an old genre, it has always been renewed, so it is still very popular with gamers today. Inspired by heroic fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons role-playing games, hack'n slash games are both complex and simple, but above all, terribly gripping.
Diablo III: Battle Chest
SOME ICONIC GAMES
If there are some of you who have never played a hack'n slash game, here are some of the most famous games of the genre you can start with:
➜ Diablo Saga
➜ Dragon Slayer
➜ Hyrule Warriors
➜ Path of Exile
➜ Minecraft Dungeons
Last game genre of this article: RTS. The abbreviation stands for "real time strategy" and they are better known as strategy games. They are management games. Here the objective is to develop and manage a colony, a city, an army and many other things. These are particularly demanding games that often require you to keep your opponent at bay while developing your own strategy. Anticipation, reflexes, reflection, that's what an RTS requires. Far from being popular with all players, they have nevertheless become extremely successful in the 2000s. They require training and investment, but when you enjoy it, winning is all the more satisfying.
Speaking of winning, RTSs, and especially Starcraft 2, are very present on the esport scene, in fact they were the first games to get into it. It must be said that some games are exciting to watch as they require reflection and precision. They lend themselves perfectly to competition.
SOME ICONIC GAMES
If you are not a fan of the genre, it is unlikely that you will know many RTS, so here are the most famous:
➜ Starcraft games
➜ Warcraft games
➜ Age of Empire
THE RANKING OF THE BEST GAME GENRES ACCORDING TO THE PLAYERS
First, there are the FPS. With the arrival of Battle Royal, a sub-genre that allows you to fight 100 people with the goal of being the last one alive, FPS are more popular than ever. Fortnite, Warzone and PUBG are attracting more players than ever.
Not surprisingly, MOBAs are next, with League of Legends and Dota 2. Every day, nearly 8 million people are on the League of Legends servers, an inordinate number.
In third place are the MMORPGs. Although they have been losing momentum in recent years, they are still extremely popular with a huge number of players. Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV and most recently Lost Ark still attract players in large numbers.
With the recent releases of Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, RPGs still hold a special place in the hearts of gamers. A timeless and vast genre that will always find its audience, whatever the age.
Then there are the hack'n slash games. Many gamers have been won over by Lost Ark or are eagerly awaiting the release of Diablo IV. Let's also note that the release of Diablo Immortal on PC and mobile made a lot of noise and brought a lot of players back to the hack'n'slash universe.
RTSs are popular, largely because they have a strong presence on the esport scene. They may not be as famous as they were in the 2000s, but the gaming community is still strong.
7. PLATFORM GAMES
Platform games are timeless. If they don't have the same form as in the 90s, this game mechanic is still very present. With the release of Super Mario Odyssey, Psychonauts 2 or Ratchet & Clank, there is no doubt that they still have a great future.
8. HORROR GAMES
The Callisto Protocol, Dying Light 2, The Quarry... These are just a few of the names that can make you shiver. These are horror games planned or released in 2022. As you can see, big names are present and intend to keep the genre alive for many more decades.