15 Main Video Game Genres You Should Know About

Are you a fan of video games? Then you should definitely know what the main genres are, so the next time you see “MMORPG” or “MOBA” you know what it is about. Who knows, by going through this list you may find a new type of video game attracting your attention!

1. Platform games

Have you ever played Super Mario or Jazz Jackrabbit? Then you know what a platform game is – you need to guide a character through obstacles and advance by moving from one platform to another. Donkey Kong was the first platform game, but the absolute bestseller is Super Mario.

2. Shooter games

These games can be first-person or third-person shooter, depending on the perspective of play, and the purpose is to eliminate enemies by using various weapons. Doom is a good example of shooter game.

3. Role Playing Games (RPGs)

An adventure game is an RPG if it meets the following criteria: players need to complete a specific quest, characters evolve by adding abilities, and characters need to acquire and manage various tools needed to complete the quest.

4. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG)

MMORPGs are a version of the previous video game genre, but the difference is that these games are played online and thousands of users participate concomitantly. One of the best-known games in the genre is World of Warcraft.

5. Simulation games

In simulation games players can control vehicles such as cars, ships, tanks, and aircraft. Aside from simulation games dedicated to amateurs, there also are professional simulation games used to train pilots.

6. Puzzles

Puzzles are a type of brain game with no action involved. Difficulty levels vary from beginner to expert and these games are known to improve cognitive functions, including in older players.

7. Combat or fighting games

In this type of game you need to fight with one or more opponents. Multiple controls are available to replicate fighting moves.

8. Educational games

Educational games help with learning processes and are definitely the kind of video game that parents allow their children to play. These games feature questions from areas such as math, science, and information and communication technology, and players usually have multiple answer options to choose from.

9.Survival games

This type of game is not for the faint of heart – one needs to “survive” in an environment including frightening and disturbing elements. Survival horror games are dedicated to a mature audience.

10. Life simulation

Life simulation games are also known as artificial life games and require players to control artificial lives. A very successful version in the genre is pet-raising simulations, and the best example is probably Tamagotchi.

11. Strategy games

This type of video game involves lots of planning and thinking in order to obtain the victory against the enemy – usually, the player plays the role of a god who is controlling units under their command. Subgenres include 4X games, artillery games, real-time strategy (RTS), real-time tactics (RTT), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), tower defence, and wargames among others.

12. Trivia games

Trivia games are played a lot on mobile phones, because you can dedicate any amount of time to them, from the couple of minutes before you enter the dentist’s office to several hours spent while travelling by bus, for instance. In this type of game, the goal is to answer questions in order to obtain points.

13. Board games and card games

These are computer versions of traditional games, and they have been popular for a long time, because they don’t require a large amount of computer resources. Examples include Chess, Backgammon, Solitaire, Mah-jongg, and other.

14. Arcade games

The popularity of these games has decreased since home-based video game consoles have been launched in the 1990s – arcade games are provided by coin-operated equipment and they were usually found in public businesses like bars and restaurants. Regarding arcade game examples, it’s impossible to not have heard about Pac-Man or Space Invaders.

15. Dancing games

The best known dancing game is Dance Dance Revolution – players stand on a platform and need to hit coloured arrows with their feet with help from visual and musical cues. A major benefit of these games is that you can lose weight due to the aerobic exercise. Some dancing games even feature a workout mode to encourage weight loss in players.


As you probably have been thinking while reading this list of video game genres, many games are not limited to just one single genre, and are in fact a combination of two or more types. For instance, Portal 2 is a game based on first-person shooter mechanics where you don’t need to shoot anything but in fact you have to solve puzzles.

Video games are a source of entertainment, but they can also bring benefits by sharpening some skills. Which of these game genres have you tried so far and what impact did they have on your life?