What Types of Video Games are There?


Ever wonder about the different types of video game genres, or how to describe them to others? Well, fear not! An online friend, David Arceneaux (INTP), identified and described several genres with examples to illustrate each type. Thanks, David! <3 


Real-Time Strategy game, a genre where you control almost every aspect of an army in real time in order to beat up some other dood's army, be it computer- or player-controlled. This is your Starcraft or They Are Billions type game.


Japanese Role Playing Game, a genre where you control a party through menus and usually turn-based combat against computer-controlled monsters. This is the kind of game that rewards persistence over raw twitch reflexes, as the player gains power through working through the game's scenarios, and this power makes prior challenges easier to overcome. Examples include Final Fantasy games


Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, a genre where you and a team of other players team up to beat up other players and destroy their base, defending yours in the process. This is your League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), or Smite


This genre is like a real-time puzzle solver where sneaking through some predictable obstacle course to achieve a goal is the main gameplay element. Examples include the Metal Gear Solid series, or Thief.


Multi-User-Domains/Dungeons. This is a genre that gives the player a text-based interface where they navigate through areas and engage in combat with computer-controlled baddies or even other players by typing console commands. Think of it like classic Zork, but with other players along for the ride. https://www.achaea.com/


This is a genre where the user goes through a randomly-generated environment to achieve some well-defined objective using abilities/items randomly dropped from the randomly-generated monsters or events, and failure is unrecoverable. Examples are varied, going from spaceship combat game FTL to rhythm-game hybrid Crypt of the Necrodancer, to arcadey Binding of Isaac.


This is a genre where users control a fighter and beat up another fighter using a series of timed joystick and button presses to execute defensive & offensive moves. This is your Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat type of game. (trailer has violence and blood)



A genre where the player is thrust into a scenario where there is a spooky scenario, and the player has limited health/attack abilities to use against whatever spooky scenario in the game, which range from jump scares, to seemingly insurmountable opponents. Examples include the Resident Evil series, Insomnia, and Outlast. (video can be suspenseful, creepy, contain violence, and gore)


First-Person Shooter. The player controls a character where you see what they see, usually using ranged weapons to attack computer- or player-controlled opponents. Play consists of maneuvering through the play area to collect weapon upgrades, ammunition, and health items, and achieving goals, all the while fighting off baddies. Examples are the venerable Doom and Wolfenstein series, and even multiplayer online versions, such as Call of Duty. (gameplay has gunfire, violence, and some blood)


Massively-Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games. These are, as the name says, scaled up and networked RPGs where some opponents are tough enough to require social coordination to take on, but also with enough things for solo players to work through. Examples are World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy 14, and Elder Scrolls Online.


Turn-Based Realtime? Strategy. (I think the RT is a typo). This is a genre where the player controls an army/nation and gets to make decisions in a discrete timeline. It's like RTS games, but built around more analytical deliberations. Examples include games in the Civilization series, or Galactic Civilizations (made by another company from the one that makes Civilization). 


Player controls a game area and has to reach some goal condition to win, or at least rack up more points. Gameplay can range from matching colors/shapes of objects operating under gravity (Tetris, Bejeweled) to solving equations (Sudoku) to moving objects around a play area to get an item from one place to another (Sokoban). 


Grand Strategy:

Much like the Realtime/Turn-based Strategy games, this is a genre where the player controls a nation/army, but the computer handles all the micromanagement aspects. Examples include Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. 


I can only guess this means Realtime Strategy-Arcade. Wikipedia doesn't even know about it. LOL so, no examples!


Action RPGs, where timing and reflexes in combat come into play against baddies, as well as gaining power by making it through the game's scenarios. Examples include the long-running Zelda series


The player simulates a real-world sports game, where the rules and activities are modeled as closely as the UI & hardware can allow for. 

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