Primer Series: The most popular genres and which one is for you

Primer Series: The most popular genres and which one is for you

Video game genres have been blending into one another over this past generation to the point where it may be hard to understand what mechanics are even tied to which genres. This can make it overwhelming to players who just want somewhere to start. This primer article aims to break things back down to their foundations and set you, the gamer, on their way.

If you love to play video games, you will probably be well aware that there are many different kinds of game out there, and especially a lot of different genres that you can try out. You might have tried out all of them or only a couple, but in either case you might be wondering what kind of genre is likely the best for you to play. Whether you have some kind of an idea about what genres you would prefer, or whether you have no idea, let’s take a look through some of them now. All of these video game genres are worth looking into in one way or another, and one or two of them are bound to be perfect for you.

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First-Person Shooters

One genre which shows just how much video games have evolved over the years is the first person shooter (FPS). This is a game that we all know and love, and most of us have played a fair few examples of this game genre. In the FPS, you have the perspective of a first person who is shooting at enemies. While this is pretty straightforward and it’s always pretty similar, it is nonetheless intriguing and amazing how many different iterations there are of this genre of game.

It all began with Doom, the classic 90’s shoot-em-up. Since then, FPS games have evolved rapidly over time, leading to more modern classics like Halo right up to the most recent ones of Call Of Duty. These games are ideal for anyone who might be looking for a dose of adrenalin, given that they are fast-paced and action-heavy. If you are looking to feel as though you are involved in an action movie, then FPS games are probably the genre for you.

Image Credit – CCO Licence

Real-Time Strategy

Maybe you are looking for something a little less nervy, the kind of thing where you can simply pit your wits against another player – whether that player is a computer AI or a real human being? With real-time strategy, that’s exactly what you have. This genre of game goes back even further than the FPS, with its roots being back in the 80s, with the classic Ancient Art Of War being one of the very first iterations of its kind. Since then, as with any other genre of game, the RTS has expanded out in a thousand directions, and today you can find so many different ways to play this kind of game.

One of the most popular of recent times is the Age Of Empires franchise, which combines RTS classic tropes with some interesting history and fun graphics. All in all, the RTS game type is great for any gamer who has fun micromanaging a range of things, and who wants to be able to adapt a strategy in real time to win a game. If you have a historical edge or you are interested in war, then that could be a bonus in enjoying this type of game.


Who doesn’t love to play a role-playing game at least once in a while? At least part of the joy of this kind of game is that there are so many out there, offering such a wide range of different virtual experiences, that no matter what you are after you are bound to find a game to suit. RPGs are all about adventure, exploration, and beefing up the character’s EXP to win more and more fights.

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Even within the realm of RPGs, there are so many different kinds of games out there that you might want to play. You have games like Zelda where you can openly explore the whole world of the game, doing side quests and main quests, and gaining hearts along the way. Then you have ones like Final Fantasy, in which you get into regular battle at random – as well as some of the major scene battles when you come across a boss. Those games are heavy on the storyline, so perfect for anyone who particularly enjoys feeling as though they are involved in a movie or something of that nature.

No matter which RPG you go for, they are great if you are looking to invest many hours of gameplay into something genuinely rewarding, and if you like watching your character improve over time in strength and HP.


If you are looking for a game type which you can play solo or with others in a competitive way, then you are certainly going to want to think about racing games. These have long been one of the very most popular types of game out there on any platform, and it’s easy to see why. They don’t take quite the same investment as something like an RPG, but they are still extremely enjoyable and allow for a quick burst of competitive fun. If that is what you’re looking for, then good news: there are so many racing games out there that you can choose from.

Whether you want to take a spin in one of the many free car games you can find online, or you are keen to set up a racing game on a console, you can be sure that there is always a game to play of this type. And it’s a great option if you are wondering how you can keep yourself and your buddies entertained when they come over to visit.

Image Credit – CCO Licence


We have already looked at the RPG, of course, and the MMORPG is really just a kind of version or extension of that. However, it is worth looking into in its own right, as it is such a uniquely fascinating kind of game, and one that is really dominating the video game markets at the moment and over the past few years. So what exactly is an MMORPG, and why are so many gamers so crazy about this kind of game?

In simple terms, it’s just an RPG which involves many other players in an online universe. It stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, and it is exactly what it sounds like: a shared universe in which many people are playing together. Part of the fun of this kind of game is that you can do basically whatever you like, and that is both a blessing and a curse. But you should find that you also meet people and friends, and in a way this can be a very social way to game.

On top of that, it’s also incredibly engrossing, and the kind of game that you might find yourself playing for many hours at a time. It’s definitely a big investment, but you do generally get a lot out of it in the end.

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In survival games, you as the character are dropped into a world of some kind and you have to – you guessed it – survive. That might mean that you are in an alien world, for instance, or out in the wilderness or whatever else it might be. You generally have a collection of items you can use and you need to use those to survive, as well as finding other items along the way. Back in the day you would play these games as ASCII text files, but now there are many flash games out there which do the same thing – albeit with more modern graphics and a more involved storyline a lot of the time. It’s a fascinating game to play, and a great one for anyone who loves to roleplay survival.

Room Escape

Another common kind of flash game is the room escape game, which is something that we have all enjoyed from time to time. Of course, they have now started doing these in person, in real life, but they started as simple flash games. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of these online, and you should be able to find plenty that are challenging enough and yet easy enough to overcome if you look. Over time, you will become more adept at solving the puzzles, and you will learn more and more exactly how you are meant to achieve the goal of escaping the room.

This is a great type of game for anyone who is a good critical thinker, who likes a puzzle, and who has a great degree of patience. If you have all of those things, you should find that this is the kind of game for you.

So – which one is best for you? There are other types of games out there than these, of course, but these are some of the most popular. You might already have an affinity with one or more of these but if not you should simply try out a few and see which seem to fit as well as possible. Over time you will develop a taste for a particular kind, just like anything else, and probably learn a lot of the tropes and ways of that genre too, which will in turn help you to get even better.

Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"

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