Types of Video Games

Types of Video Games

The video games industry is blowing up, with more and more people getting involved every year. There are already thousands of different video games grouped into different genres or types. Video games are categorized into genres according to their underlying objectives and characteristics instead of their specific gameplay. Then, each video genre is further divided into subcategories or subgenres, with multiple games fitting into one genre.

Don’t let the classifications scare you; we will break them down now, and you’ll see it’s not that complicated. We can fully grasp how publishers and game developers categorize their titles once we break down the game mechanics. There are nine different video games in total, including action games, role-playing games, simulation games, strategy games, and idle games. Let’s look at these five types of video games we mentioned; feel free to read up on the rest.

Action Video Games

Action video games are, well, video games with action; the player is in complete control of the action. These games, such as Galaga and Donkey Kong, majorly comprise physical challenges gamers must overcome. Action games are easy to understand and play, making them some of the most popular video games in the industry. Action games have seven subgenres, including platformer, shooter, stealth, and fighting.


Hollow Knight is one of the most popular core hop-and-jump gameplays

Characters in these games interact with platforms, including jumping, falling, and running, which is where they get their name from. Platformer games include Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros, the earlier video games.


In shooter games, players engage in the action using weapons; the goal is to take out the opponent or enemy. According to the player perspective, there are three categories of shooters: first-person shooters, third-person shooters, and top-down shooters.


In stealth games, players rely on cunningness and precision to overcome challenges and use combat or action to accomplish the goal. They encourage players to be covert in how they engage in the action. Two good examples of games in the Stealth genre are Metal Gear and Dishonored.


Fighting games are centered on hand-to-hand combat in most cases and action in combat. Games in this genre feature playable characters specializing in their unique fighting style and abilities. 

According to IMDB Ranking, TOP-5 the most popular fighting games are:

Mortal Kombat II (1993 Video Game) – 8.2 Rate

Mortal Kombat (1992 Video Game) – 8.1 Rate

Mortal Kombat (2011 Video Game) – 8.4 Rate

Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996 Video Game) – 8 Rate

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (2006 Video Game) – 7.9 Rate

Role-Playing Video Games

Role-playing games (or RPG) are arguably the second-most popular games in the industry; they feature fantasy or medieval settings.

Planetside 2
Planetside 2 is currently the top-ranked among massively multiplayer online roleplaying games in the world

The setting is due to the genre’s origin, which you can trace back to paper role-playing games like Dungeons and & Dragons. In role-playing games, players get choices that affect the game’s outcome, meaning they have alternate endings. The subgenres of role-playing video games include action, MMO, tactical, and sandbox RPGs, among others.

  • Sandbox RPGs: These are highly immersive and engaging, open-world role-playing games that let players roam their environment for adventure.
  • Action RPGs: This category of role-playing games combines the elements of action-adventure and action games. 
  • MMORPGs: Short for multiplayer online role-playing games, MMORPGs feature hundreds of players in the same world with similar objectives interacting.
  • Tactical RPGs: These are more traditional board games where the action is over an isometric grid with chess-like gameplay.

Simulation Video Games

Simulation games are designed to imitate fictional or real reality to simulate a real event or occasion. This category has three subgenres, including life simulation, construction and management simulation, and vehicle simulation games.

Life Simulation

The Sims
Among life simulation games, The Sims are, probably, the most well-know

Games in life simulation are sometimes called “god games” because of the quality of control they give players over the character’s whole existence. In life simulation games, players control artificial life and can use simulations to simulate a character’s ecosystem or genetics. The play may also be able to correct the character’s reaction to certain situations. Typical examples of games in this category include Nintendogs and The Sims.

Construction and Management Games

SimCity is a very popular video game in the construction and management simulation genre. It stimulates the city’s building and management process, covering taxing city residents, zoning, and street planning.

Vehicle Simulation

These games incorporate combat and aim to recreate the experience of a vehicle, like driving a tractor on a farm or flying an airplane.

Strategy Video Games

The gameplay of strategy video games is based on traditional strategy board games, giving players access to the world and its resources. As the name implies, strategy games require that players carefully develop tactics to overcome in-game challenges. The subcategories in this genre include 4X, real-time strategy, and tower defense, among a few others.

  • 4X: This strategy video game has four major goals: to explore, expand, exploit, and terminate. A good example of this type of game is the Civilization series; these games’ underlying goals are responsible for their historical setting.
  • Real-Time Strategy: These games require players to collect and maintain resources while developing resources and combat units. Two popular examples and well-known franchises in this subcategory are The Age of Empires and Command Conquer.
  • Tower Defense: These games require that players fend off creeps, the games’ computer-controlled enemies, to win. They give different towers different abilities – for example, the ability to poison or slow down creeps.

Idle Games

Idle video games are simplified games involving minimal player involvement, like clicking on an icon. These offer rewards to players who complete simple objectives, thus keeping them engaged. Moreover, idle games are easy to develop; you can develop a simple game even if you know nothing about coding. The subcategories in this genre of games include exergame, party game, casual game, and programming game.


These games are designed to work with a controller or peripheral that lets players simulate an activity or exercise.

Party Game

Party idle games are designed for four or more players and feature mini-game competitions where players compete to finish a challenge first.

Casual Game

Casual idle games have basic game mechanics, rewards, and well-designed levels to keep players engaged and aiming for more.

Programming Game

Programming idle games use Java or C# and requires players to overcome an obstacle or complete a challenge using code.


These are only some of the various examples of video games, you can research others if none of these appeals. Each game genre features different types of video games classified under different subgenres to make selection easier. The fact that technology is evolving also makes the interactive gaming landscape more fertile and ripe for the picking.