How Many Video Game Genres Are There?

Video games are an extremely varied form of entertainment, so not all games come in the same shapes and sizes. There are millions of video games out there, and each one falls under one of about a dozen main categories – genres. Genres aren’t exclusive to gaming, but since most video games offer limitless potential, possibilities and personality, it makes sense that gaming genres are incredibly unique from one another, and these are just some of the different types of video games.

Fighting Games

Fighting games pit 2 or more players against each other in a close-ranged melee-based combat system where players have to use specific attacks, offenses and combos at the right time in order to gain an advantage on the stage. Popular fighting game series include Midway’s Mortal Kombat, Capcom’s Street Fighter and Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros.

Party Games

Party games are games made for casual play and are usually played by people who don’t frequently play video games. These games usually include minigames and small activities that practically work like a board game, with a popular example being the Mario Party franchise.


Platformers usually involve your character moving from one platform or position to another, usually involving precise timing, and the settings and characters are often depicted as kooky/goofy, to add a light-hearted tone to the game. Famous platformers include Donkey Kong (1981) and Super Mario 64 (1996).

Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games, otherwise known as RPGs, are games that let you assume the role of either a specific character or a custom character. Most traditional RPGs are turn-based, like the Pokémon series, but some let you explore a vast open world, like Elder Scrolls, Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption as your assumed role. Another subgenre are dungeon crawlers, which take place in a linear world, usually based off a dungeon, like in Diablo.

Rhythm Games

Rhythm games are music-themed games that allow the game to test your sense of rhythm, usually by pressing buttons rapidly on a controller. Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are examples of rhythm games.


Simulators are split into two categories: Those that give you complete freedom and control over a specific force, like The Sims series and those that give you a simulating experience based on a singular thing, like Goat Simulator. Some tycoon games also fall into this genre, like Roller Coaster Tycoon or Zoo Tycoon, as you’re simulating and managing a business/attraction.

Survival Games

Survival Games have you try to survive a hostile open-world with meagre resources, where you must rely on your wits and skills in order to stay alive and be safe. Popular examples of this genre are the Survival mode in Minecraft and the Save The World mode in Fortnite.


Shooters consist of gunplay and murder, and allows you to simulate wielding and using artillery. Shooters go by many subgenres, including “First-Person Shooters”, which plays in a first-person angle, like Call Of Duty, “Third-Person Shooters”, which plays in a third-person angle, like Gears Of War, “Shoot ‘Em Ups”, which pits you against large waves of opponents, like Galaga, “Hero Shooters”, which adds characters with special abilities and strengths to the game, like Overwatch and “Battle Royales”, which pit 100 or so players on a large map with a shrinking safe zone, forcing players to fight against each other until one is left standing, like Fortnite.

Sports Games

Sports games are games that allow you to simulate various sports. These games often come in licensed franchise titles like the FIFA or Madden series, in which new installments release annually to update the roster and teams to their current state. Some sports games are racing-based, like the Gran Turismo or Mario Kart series, and some games are complete outliers, like the Wii Sports series that allows you to play a variety of sports.

Stealth Games

Stealth games have you sneak around enemies/obstacles using quiet, inconspicuous combat and careful thinking, like in the Hitman or Sly Cooper series. Loud combat is still allowed, but heavily consequential.

Strategy Games

Strategy games require careful and thoughtful planning, using diplomatic tactics in order to achieve victory. Most of these games has you assume the role of a dictator or leader, like in the Civilization series, but some are more combat-focused, like the Warcraft series.

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