Most Popular Game Genres Explained

There is a number of different games, and each of them can be attributed to some genre. But there are many genres, too, and it is not easy not to get lost in them. This article deals with  eight most popular, market-leading and most frequently heard game genres that are part of a major gaming culture


In the games of this genre, the player's reflexes and reaction speed in response to changes in the environment play a big role. A common feature of shooting games is the player's armed struggle with computer-controlled opponents or other players (playing on the network). Modern shooter games can be divided into shooting ranges between the first (the player sees the image on the screen) and the third person (the player sees the controlled player and the surrounding environment).

Call Of Duty Modern Warfare gamplay

Also, shooters are divided into tactical (have more complex, more complicated gaming mechanics – more movement options, wider weapons choice), hero (at the beginning of the match the player chooses a character with unique qualities. This genre of the game requires great skills and good teamwork).

The main types of matches in the shooters are deathmatch (players kill each other, respawn after begin eliminated, the victory is achieved by reaching certain number of eliminations), capture the point (players try to occupy the small territory controlled by the other team) and plant and defuse (in the territory of the match one team turns on the bomb that the other team tries to defuse – depending on the status of the bomb one or the other team wins).

Battle Royale

One of the freshest game genres that has emerged as a hurricane into the gaming market in just a few years. The game is mainly influenced by the mechanics of shooting games, but the idea of the matches is different – the so-called Last Man Standing: the winner and the winning team are only one; everything happens just like the Hunger Games – participants start the game at the chosen place of the world, without having any equipment that is later obtained in buildings and containers (chests or containers).

PUBG Gameplay screenshot

At that time, players are forced to travel to an increasingly declining "safe" zone, which increases the density of players and fights between them. The end of the game is that a player or a team, who remains  alive and removes all other players, becomes the winner.

Free to play games of this genre had an impact on it popularity. The feeling  of satisfaction gained after winning and a new game mechanics that combine experience in shooters and survival games.


As the genre name itself says, in the games of this genre the player... engages in sport – or rather manages the character who takes it. The popularity of žbasketball (NBA2K series) and football (FIFA series) is determined by the popularity of a real, non-virtual sport (who would not want to change the outcome of the world championship, whose favorite team lost in the finals?).

Sports games are divided into fights (a player manages a player who fights in a boxing ring or another type of fight in the arena), fancy (the sport in the game does not exist in the real world – e.g. baguette football in Rocket League), strategic (the player does not control athletes, any team strategies, is responsible for the team, etc.) and real sport (the player who participates in existing sports competitions).

RPG – Role-Playing Games

The mechanics of games of this genre are often similar to table role-playing games (such as Dungeons and Dragons). The player selects a character with a certain competence (e.g. ability to enchant or fight). Later, the player unlocks more of the player's skills or receives better equipment (weapons, armor) in accordance with the intended storyline. The action takes place both in travels , wild areas, where the protagonist fights monsters, and dungeons, cities or castles. The player acquires more experience that can be used to unlock new character skills/abilities or game currency in combat when fighting and defeating opponents.

Witcher 3 screenshot

With the opportunity to merge many players into a single network, MMORPG games have become popular – in which players interact not only with computer-controlled players, but also with each other: struggling, exchanging equipment and forming alliances for good or pleasure.

It is interesting to notice that Grand Theft Auto V, a popular game could also be assigned to role-playing ones, “sandbox“ role-playing games. It is a very large game world, a lot of action unrelated to the main storyline and a large number NPCs. The games of this type are the longest played and are often equated to the creation of a second life in virtual space.

Strategic games 

In strategic games, the player's success is determined not by the speed of reaction or reflexes, but by the ability to plan. In the games of this genre, the player does not directly participate in the action (for example, he does not shoot himself with guns or drive a truck that delivers materials), but takes on the role of "manager" by giving orders to computer-controlled actors.

The most famous type of strategic games is 4X games. Here, the player, encrypting the name, explores, expands, exploits and exterminates. Most often, the action of these games takes place in the past or in a fancy future, the game progresses not quickly, and the player is given power to a unit with a high expansion potential – the state, kingdom or civilization. Perhaps the most popular game of this kind could be called Civilization a series that a little older readers may still remember.

Another popular type of strategic games is real-time strategy games (RTS). In these games, players make decisions based on the constantly changing situation in the game. The main actions carried out by the player are the receipt of resources, the creation of their headquarters, technological progress, which allows the expansion and development of military forces. The most popular game series of this type is Blizzard entertainment studio released Starcraft.

MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)

Strategic games type– in this sub-game two teams, made up of players who control one player. Game characters, like role-playing games, have unique qualities and skills. As the game progresses, each player acquires the additional qualities or skills selected, which determines the changing strategy of attacking and defensive teams.

The aim of the game is to destroy the base of the opponents. Each team is assisted by minions that appear at its headquarters and are coming to the side of the opponents, whose flow requires constant attention from the opposing team. MOBA games are also characterized by role-playing game features, but each game is like a separate, one-time progression.

League of Legends gameplay


As the genre implies– the games of this genre simulate real or fictional reality. Three main types of simulator games are distinguished: management, life and transport.

In management games, the player assumes the leadership role – he plans and executes the future of the managed arrangement. In city management games, the player, in the role of mayor, creates and directs the city – expands his territory, manages financial affairs, raises the standard of living in the city. In business simulation games, the player develops and grows the business. The most difficult and serious games are considered to be government simulators – in which the player participates in the politics of the country, regulates the economy, laws. This type of games is mainly for self-development, not for pleasure.

In simulation games of life, the player makes decisions in virtual life. Biological simulations allow the player to test (simulated) different ecosystems, inheritance by changing the invariable parameters of reality. Such games are often used for educational purposes. Popular and social simulation games – they play a key role in the social dimension of communication.

Transport simulation games give the player the ability to operate various means of transport – planes, cars or trains.

The most popular are airplane simulators. Here, players operate planes, play the role of airport dispatcher, fight in air battles. These simulators are also used for pilot training, training.Joysticks are used to control the game.

Car simulators are divided into two categories: simulators and entertainment. In simulators, the player participates in realistic car races together with other players or opponents controlled by computer. A controller is not required but highly suggested when playing these games: the controller of the console or the pedals and steering wheel by help of which the car is operated. In entertainment games, the player drives a car in cities, highways or even fancy areas. The purpose of these games is to give pleasure to the player and not to teach driving skills.

Forza Horizon 4 Gameplay

In train simulators, the player is often moved to the past, when the steam carriers were powered by coal, and the rail network was the main mode of freight transportation. Some of this type of games are also of economic interest – the player not only drives trains, but also curates the cargo escaping his train in order to make greater profit.

Open world and sandbox games

Games of this genre often share common features and elements with other genres (shooters or role-playing games). In open world games, a player is not constrained by pre-intended spaces, they're free to explore the surrounding world, and the tasks presented by developers to perform at a custom time and in order. In these games, the player is given interaction with the characters associated with the world. Such games are more like real life with freedom of behavior.

In Sandbox games, a player can create, demolish, change the environment or even create additional levels of the game  or mechanics by himself, using the tools in the game. As in open world games, the player can move freely around the world of the game, communicate with other players. The name has emerged from allusions to sand boxes for children to  play,  to build and create, to demolish and destruct. One of the most famous not only among the other games of this kind, but also in the entire gaming industry that has been changed is Minecraft which has been in the market for 11 years already.

Minecraft with shaders gameplay screenshot