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The Genres Edit

A Brief IntroductionEdit

When adding a game to a list or even creating a new page, you're going to want to put something in the genre box. Here you will find a list of acceptable Genres that may be put in the Genre tabs. Usually you'll find that a game fits into more than one category, this is not only acceptable but totally encouraged. A good example would be Action/Adventure, or Puzzle/Platformer, two very common cross genres. Sometimes games will fit into three genres, this is also acceptable (such as Lode Runner for NES, which is Puzzle/Platformer/Arcade) . Four is also possible, but this is very rare and should be used very sparingly (an existing example is Dark Cloud for PS2, which has RPG/Action/Sim/Roguelike). Anything past four is unacceptable.  If you see any games labeled with a genre that doesn't fit or a genre that is not on this list, then you should edit it to something more appropriate. There are two categories for Genres, the Legitimate and Joke Terms/Pet Terms. If you don't post a Genre from this list, if it's funny enough, we'll usually let it slide. If it catches on, it will probably be added!

  • NOTE: There are exceptions to every rule. Remember that this is a guideline, and not absolute 100% requirement. If you feel a game fits more into a genre description not described, or that contradicts the description given here, put your Nathan Hermann in buttswn what your...uh...heart(?) tells you. If it's not considered the most appropriate given genre, it will probably just be changed by one of our butthurt editors.dt
    • Basically. - MFGreth1 12:52, January 10, 2012 (UTC)

Legitimate GenresEdit

Genre Explanation Examples
2D Fighting Fighting games usually feature one-on-one combat where opponents battle until a certain outcome, usually the depletion of one fighter's health. Though early 2D Fighting games offered varying interpretations of this concept, Street Fighter II defined the genre at large, featuring a roster of varied characters with a multitude of special moves, which can be chained into combos. This type of highly technical game became the standard for the genre and continues to have a huge worldwide competitive player base today. Despite losing popularity with the death of arcades in the West, Fighting games have made a comeback thanks to online console play. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike; Garou: Mark of the Wolves; Darkstalkers 3: Jedah's Damnation
3D Fighting After Street Fighter II set the template for 2D Fighting games, titles like Tekken and Virtua Fighter became pioneers of the 3D equivalent. 3D Fighting games have the same basic structure as their 2D counterparts, but combat on a 3D plane allows for more dodging, horizontal attack ranges, and a greater importance for grappling and "juggling" enemies in midair. 3D Fighting games also tend to be more slow-paced than 2D Fighting games. SoulCalibur II; Tekken 3; Virtua Fighter 4
4X Strategy A sub-genre of Strategy games focused on the four X's: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. These games are large-scale and take place over long periods of time, giving the player control over the growth and development of entire civilizations. Usually they feature some type of combat, which may be turn-based or real-time, and a historical or sci-fi setting. These games were very popular on PC in the mid-to-late nineties. Endless Legend; Civilization V; Sins of a Solar Empire
Action One of the broadest game genres. Action games usually revolve around some type of combat where the player controls a character or avatar, and require fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. Many of the earliest video games are considered Action games, and most modern games contain Action elements as well. However, most modern games fall into one of the many Action sub-genres and should be labeled as such. Hagane: The Final Conflict; Demon's Crest; Clash at Demonhead
Action-Adventure A hugely popular game genre that combines the reflex-based gameplay of Action games with the long-term obstacles and narrative of Adventure games. The player goes on a journey while obtaining new items or abilities, overcoming small and great obstacles, and defeating ever-stronger enemies. A lot of games that don't neatly fit into any particular subgenre are labeled Action-Adventures if they have elements of both. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past; Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver; Okami
Action-RPG A subgenre of RPGs, Action-RPGs incorporate a combat and gameplay system taken from Action games. This makes gameplay more brisk and exciting than the usually cerebral or slow-paced combat of RPGs. Action-RPGs tend to follow the structure of Action-Adventures, but still contain the stats, leveling, and equipment systems that identify them as RPGs. Kingdom Hearts; Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen; Dark Cloud 2
Adventure Adventure is one of the oldest game genres, and refers to a type of game that doesn't include action gameplay or reflex-based challenges. Rather, players explore their environment, interact with characters, and solve puzzles to progress. Traditional Adventure games usually featured a text-based or "point-and-click" interface. In Japan, Visual Novels are a popular sub-genre. Pure Adventure games lost popularity in the late nineties, but have recently experienced a comeback, mainly thanks to indie developers. Grim Fandango; The Last Express; The Secret of Monkey Island
Air Combat A sub-genre of Combat games that simulates dogfights betweeen planes, or similar showdowns with airships. These games may vary in their use of first or third-person perspective and their degree of realism. There are some variations, such as space combat games where players pilot spaceships, but the general gameplay is similar. Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War; After Burner; SkyGunner
Arena Brawler A sub-genre of Fighting games that usually features larger stages with elements that can be interacted with, Platform game elements, item pick-ups, combat for more than two players at once, and simpler move inputs compared to traditional Fighting games. Arena Brawlers may also be single-player games with progression similar to Beat-'em-ups. This sub-genre was popularized by the Super Smash Bros. series, but pioneered by Power Stone in the previous generation. Many licensed games based on anime series and cartoons are Arena Brawlers. They are often seen as more "casual" Fighting games, but may boast deep gameplay. Super Smash Bros.; Power Stone 2; Jump Ultimate Stars
Arena Combat A sub-genre of Combat games where players choose a character from a roster like in Fighting games. However, combat takes place in large arenas where players have high mobility and access to a wide arsenal of long-range moves. Many Mech Combat titles are Arena Combat games as well. In the mid-2010s the genre has become quite popular in Japanese arcades for its fast-paced gameplay and potential to be adapted from many franchises. Pokken Tournament; Gundam Extreme Vs.; Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Arena Shooter Arena Shooters are a spin-off of Shooting games, and First-Person Shooters in particular. Though FPS games like Halo and 007: GoldenEye boasted prominent multi-player features, Arena Shooters are dedicated multi-player experiences where players usually choose their character from a pre-determined roster (this version is also known as a "Hero Shooter"). Arena Shooters are often squad-based and feature characters with different roles and specializations, giving matches a certain degree of tactics. Unreal Tournament 3; Quake Arena; Team Fortress 2
Artillery Artillery games are a very old sub-genre of Strategy, where the player controls tanks or similar vehicles and fires projectiles at opponents. The core of the gameplay is in calculating the trajectories of projectiles in order to successfully hit enemies. The oldest Artillery games were text-based, but they reached a peak of popularity with modern online iterations, like Gunbound, becoming massive hits. Today, Artillery games persist mostly through a handful of established franchises. Scorched Earth; Worms: Armageddon; Hogs of War
Atmospheric This is a term used to refer to games that are primarily about atmospheric exploration instead of fulfilling immediate objectives. The game may not even have any specific goals other than soaking up the atmosphere, but in any case the player is encouraged to explore to their heart's content. Games that have atmospheric settings but clear, constant objectives should probably not be classified as Atmospheric games, as a rule. Free-roaming diving games usually fit into this category as well. Yume Nikki; L.S.D: Dream Emulator; Abzu
Beat-'em-Up A sub-genre of Action games and a cousin of Fighting games. Players choose their character, with a particular arsenal of moves and abilities, and fight their way through side-scrolling stages full of mooks, while facing the occasional boss, often in an urban setting. Beat-'em-ups usually feature item pick-ups and multi-player action. This last feature made them widely popular on arcades throughout the nineties, after which they lost relevance and now appear mainly as download titles or on the indie market. They continue to hold a devoted fanbase. Streets of Rage 2; Guardian Heroes; Castle Crashers
Board Game A game that simulates the experience of playing a board game, whether this is a real and established game such as Monopoly or mahjong, or a fantasy board game such as Mario Party or Fortune Street. These may be faithful recreations of the games they are based on, or take several liberties with the concept. Usually multi-player, obviously. Mario Party 3; Dokapon Kingdom; Fortune Street
Bullet Hell Bullet Hell (known as "Danmaku" in Japan) games are a specific type of Shoot-'em-up. Like the name implies, Bullet Hell games feature enemies that literally fill the screen with complex, interweaving patterns of projectiles. Thus the player's main challenge consists not in defeating their enemies but in successfully navigating the onslaught of projectiles without dying. Bullet Hell games were established by titles like DoDonpachi and popularized by the Touhou series of indie games, and are noted for their extreme difficulty. Ikaruga; DoDonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou; Mushihime-sama
Card Game A game that simulates playing a card game. The most popular and ubiquitous example is Solitaire, available on just about every computer ever. Over the past decade, Card Games have gained new relevance thanks to the rise of online poker. Uno; Blackjack; Texas Hold 'Em Poker
Casual Although it has been often used derisively (contrasted with "hardcore" games), Casual is an overarching category that describes simple, easy, and accessible games generally on browsers or mobiles, meant for people who generally don't spend much time playing video games. These games may be watered-down versions of established genres or just simple Action games, much like the earliest arcade titles. Casual games are designed to be played on-the-go, and in shot bursts. Angry Birds; Flappy Bird; Fruit Ninja
Character Action A recently-defined sub-genre of Action games. In Character Action games, players take control of a character with a huge arsenal of weapons and techniques, and a complex moveset which includes combos and move variations. Though it may have the structure of an Action-Adventure, the focus of Character Action games is the complex combat system, and finishing enemies in the most stylish way possible. Players are usually graded and rewarded for their performance in this regard. Also called Stylish Action or Extreme Action. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition; God Hand; Bayonetta
CMS CMS (Construction and Management Sims) are a type of Sim game where players must build, maintain and expand a community or project while managing limited resources. Success is often measured by the quality of life in the community or similar metrics. There are many sub-types of CMS games, such as business sims, government sims, and theme park sims. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis; Roller Coaster Tycoon; Harvest Moon 64
Collect-a-thon Platform Collect-a-thon Platform games are a specific type of 3D Platform game that became very popular in the mid-to-late nineties thanks to games like Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. Their defining characteristic is the existence of dozens if not hundreds of collective trinkets spread out all over playground-like stages, and players must find and collect them all. This may be the game's primary goal or simply an optional objective, but in any case the game is crammed with collectibles. Super Mario 64; Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!; Banjo-Tooie
Combat Combat is a cousin of the Action genre that focuses specifically on simulated combat in a specific situation. There are many established Combat sub-genres such as Vehicular Combat, Air Combat, and Mech Combat. These games usually aim to give a degree of realism to the experience without turning into Sim games. They often include a degree of customization as well. Combat games in various forms have always had their fanbase on consoles and PC. Twisted Metal 2; Steel Battalion; For Honor
Dating Sim Dating Sims are a popular sub-category of Visual Novels, which have the same presentation and gameplay as their parent genre. However, the player's main objective is to pursue a character as romantic interest, usually given the choice from several available ones. The romantic interest that the player chooses will usually determine the story branch that they follow and the ending they get. These games may or may not have erotic elements (known as "eroge"). Though Dating Sims usually feature a male pursuing females, there are "otome" games that reverse the roles, as well as "yaoi" and "yuri" games for gay and lesbian relationships, respectively. Tokimeki Memorial; Katawa Shoujo; Mystic Messenger
Dungeon Crawler Dungeon Crawlers are a sub-genre of RPG primarily focused on dungeon exploration and combat, mainly inspired by the Wizardry games. Narrative and overarching story may take a back seat to exploring dungeons, killing monsters, and collecting loot or money. Unlike Roguelikes or Hack-n-Slash games, Dungeon Crawlers are defined by usually featuring a first-person perspective and a turn-based combat system, though there are active-time examples as well. Dungeon Crawlers also tend to feature puzzles and stronger Adventure game elements than the other genres mentioned. Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord; Legend of Grimrock; Etrian Odyssey II
Edutainment This is a broad category of games that seek to entertain while they educate players or teach them new skills. Edutainment games include Bible story games, language-learning games, history trivia games, problem-solving games, and many others. As long as they're video games and they're expressly designed to teach the player something or improve a real-world skill, they fit into this category. Oregon Trail; Brain Age; Donkey Kong Jr. Math
Endless Runner These are games where the player's avatar is constantly running through a procedurally-generated, endless stage. Players can usually jump or turn to avoid obstacles, among other actions, but cannot stop running. Endless Runners also have driving and other equivalents, and have become especially popular on mobiles. Temple Run 2; Super Mario Run; Canabalt
Escape the Room A sub-genre of Adventure games that has been popular with the indie development community for decades, Escape the Room games place the player inside a locked room. Predictably, the main challenge consists in using whatever tools are available to escape said room. Whether these sequences are framed within a larger story or exist individually depends on the game. Some Adventure games include Escape the Room segments as part of their puzzles. Crimson Room; DROOM; 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
FPS FPS (First-Person Shooter) games are a sub-genre of Shooting games that became immensely popular. They are basically Shooting games played from the protagonist's perspective, allowing for a higher degree of immersion and realism. Military FPS games are extremely popular, but these games may also take place in fantasy or sci-fi settings. FPS games may also incorporate an optional third-person perspective, limited melee combat, or narrative elements of Action-Adventures. Online multi-player FPS games are also particularly popular. Doom; Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare; Half-Life
Grand Strategy A sub-genre of Strategy directly inspired by tabletop wargames. In Grand Strategy games, the player mobilizes an entire community or country's resources, and must consider a multitude of variables when taking action. These games are usually very complex and take place in a real-world historical period, with sessions that can last hours and battles that can last days. However, there are also simplified and more streamlined entries in the genre. Hearts of Iron; Crusader Kings; Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI
Hack-n-Slash Hack-n-Slash is a term often used to describe all kinds of Action games today, but originally it was used to describe Diablo and games like it. These are action-RPGs, usually with a multi-player component, where characters explore dungeons, defeat enemies, obtain loot, purchase new weapons and items, and repeat the process ad nauseaum. However, this usually takes place within the larger structure of a traditional RPG story and progression, which differentiates these games from the more barebones Roguelikes. Online Hack-n-Slash games are also very popular. Diablo II; Dungeon Siege 2; Torchlight II
Incremental Incremental games, also called idle games, clicker games or clicking games, are video games whose gameplay consists of the player performing simple actions (such as clicking on the screen) repeatedly to gain currency. This can be used to obtain items or abilities that increase the rate at which currency accrues. Cookie Clicker, Clicker Heroes, Sakura Clicker, Time Clickers, AdVenture Capitalist
Interactive Fiction Interactive Fiction games refer to early Adventure games which used text-based input for the player to choose their next action. They also refer to more modern games that blur the line between "games" and "interactive storytelling." In any case they are Adventure games with a text-based presentation and an overwhelming focus on narrative over everything else, similar to Japanese Visual Novels but often less character-centric. Photophobia; Slouching Towards Bedlam; A Mind Forever Voyaging
Interactive Movie Interactive Movies are a sub-genre of Adventure games that feature full-motion animations or live-action sequences, which play out like a movie. At certain points the player will have to input an action in order to progress or fail. Usually the player's only involvement in these games is guessing which action the developers want them to take. While initially maligned thanks to a drove of bad games in the nineties, Interactive Movies have made a comeback thanks to games with more involving and less contrived gameplay structure. Dragon's Lair; Heavy Rain; Until Dawn
JRPG JRPGs (Japanese RPGs) are a type of RPG primarily developed by Japanese studios and usually contrasted with Western RPGs for their different characteristics. The trademarks of JRPGs include a pre-determined party of characters with little customization, relatively linear progression, a fixed story with little player agency, a turn-based battle system, and an anime art style. JRPGs were massively popular in the mid-to-late nineties but lost favor in the next decade. Recently JRPGs have evolved beyond their constraints, while more traditional offerings are still available mostly on handheld systems. Final Fantasy VII; Phantasy Star IV; Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Kart Racing Kart Racing games are a sub-genre of Racing games popularized by Mario Kart. Aside from normally featuring karts instead of other vehicles, these Racing games are less serious, often featuring fantasy characters and settings, unrealistic physics, and item pickups which can be used against opponents. The general structure of Kart Racing games makes them more amenable to casual players than "serious" and demanding Racing titles, though that doesn't mean they aren't competitive or complex in gameplay. Mario Kart 64; Crash Team Racing; ModNation Racers
Kusoge Kusoge literally means "shit game" in Japanese. However, it is not used to refer to all bad games in general. Specifically, a Kusoge is a game that is unquestionably, objectively bad, but still enjoyable or interesting for a number of reasons. Maybe it has personality, an interesting gameplay feature, or is just stupidly ridiculous, but in any case it might be worth a play for the more adventurous gamer. Zero Wing; Chou Aniki; Zelda's Adventure
Life Sim Life Sims are a type of Sim game that put the player in the shoes of a character in the real world or a fictional one, who is simply living their life. The focus is on daily micro-management of resources, income earning, and miscellaneous activities. The game may have an ultimate objective or none at all. Life Sims where the player controls the actions and/or environment of multiple people, such as The Sims, are also referred to as "God Games," and generally don't have a fixed primary objective. Animal Crossing; The Sims; Tomodachi Life
Light Gun Light Gun games are a sub-genre of Shooting games primarily designed for arcades. Players normally use a gun-like accessory or peripheral to directly shoot at the screen with a sensor. Due to their format, they are usually played from a first-person perspective. Light Gun games lost popularity with the death of arcades in the West, but have experienced a revival thanks to motion controls appearing on consoles. Light Gun games may also be Rail Shooters if movement is on-rails, but this isn't necessarily the case. House of the Dead 2; Time Crisis II; Virtua Cop
Matching Puzzle Matching Puzzle games are a sub-genre of Puzzle games established and defined by the ever-popular Tetris. Players have to place blocks or objects into lines as they fall, trying to put objects of the same shape or color together in order to "clear" the line and continue playing. Some Matching Puzzle games have a competitive multi-player element, where players try to ruin their opponent's game with specific power-ups or special abilities. Tetris; Puyo Puyo Fever; Magical Drop F
Maze Maze games were popularized by Pac-Man and enjoyed a period of ubiquity before more or less disappearing. In Maze games, the player character has to navigate and potentially escape maze-shaped levels, usually while negotiating traps or enemies in pursuit. Some modern games with an isometric or top-down perspective present Action or Shooting gameplay in maze-like environments. Pac-Man; Zombies Ate My Neighbors!; Hotline Miami
Mech Combat A specific type of Combat game where the player controls a mecha, a giant robot or power suit that is popular in Japanese anime and pop culture. As such, this is an almost exclusively Japanese genre. Mech Combat games usually play similarly to Arena Combat or Vehicular Combat games, but usually include projectiles, melee combat, fast travel, and flight options. Mech Combat games may take on the structure of Action-Adventures or consist only of one-on-one showdowns. Armored Core 2; Another Century's Episode 3; Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Metroidvania The term "Metroidvania," a portmanteau of "Metroid" and "Castlevania," was originally coined to describe the gameplay of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. These are usually side-scrolling Action-Adventures with RPG elements. They are primarily defined by their large, fully interconnected game world, which allows for non-linear progression, as the player obtains items and abilities that allow them to explore previously inaccessible areas. While both Metroid and Castlevania have since moved away from this style of game, it is very popular in the indie scene. Cave Story; Axiom Verge; Guacamelee
Military Sim This type of Sim game tries to realistically simulate the experience of military combat, whether modern or belonging to a certain historical period. While modern Military Sims may superficially look like FPS games, they lack the unrealistic aspects and video game-y mission objectives of those games. Combat is more tactical than twitch-based, and there are many more variables for players to consider. Lately, online Military Sims have become remarkably popular. Arma III; America's Army; Project Reality
Mini-games This sub-genre of Action games refers to titles which may have an overarching gameplay system and/or narrative, but their main content is split into scores of mini-games which can be completed in short periods of time. Mini-games are included in all sorts of other game genres, but this genre refers specifically to games with a gameplay mechanic focused on lots of mini-games, played either procedurally or in random bursts. Multi-player games with lots of mini-games are also called "Party Games." Incredible Crisis; WarioWare D.I.Y.; Rhythm Heaven
MMO MMO (Massive Multi-player Online) games allow players to connect with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of others in a persistent game world. MMO games are not a genre unto themselves; there are MMORPGs, MMORTS games, MMOFPS games, and so on. Their defining characteristic is that they are primarily games to be played online with others en masse. Games which have an online component but are primarily single-player experiences should not be called MMO games. World of Warcraft; EVE Online; War Thunder
MOBA MOBA (Multi-player Online Battle Arena) games were popularized by DOTA 2, which set the template for the genre. Players choose characters from a roster with pre-determined abilities and face off in teams on large arenas, co-operating to win against the opposing team. MOBA games incorporate elements of RPGs (leveling up, purchasing items), and Strategy games (defending towers, managing henchmen). The MOBA competitive scene is especially lucrative and popular. DOTA 2; League of Legends; Smite
Monster Collecting Monster Collecting games are a type of RPG that became very popular thanks to the Pokémon series. These games normally progress as typical JRPGs but instead of fighting enemies directly, the player can catch, raise, strengthen, and put together teams of monsters or wild beasts. This sub-genre fuses elements of RPGs with Raising Sims, but normally with a focus on combat. Some RPGs include a monster-collecting side-game or feature, without being full-fledged Monster Collecting games. Pokémon Gold/Silver; Dragon Warrior Monsters 2; Monster Rancher 2; Spectrobes
Musou Musou is a type of Action game popularized by the Dynasty Warriors series. Players choose from a roster of pre-determined characters with a number of special attacks, and progress through large areas full of low-level enemies or mooks, occasionally facing a boss. Musou games are distinguished because progress is made by killing hundreds if not thousands of enemies in crowd-clearing super attacks, pushing your way through endless waves of foes. Recently, many Musou games based on established properties have been produced, due to their simple but addictive gameplay. Dynasty Warriors 4; Warriors Orochi Z; Sengoku Basara 4: UTAGE
Open World Open World (or "sandbox") games are defined by their non-linear progression. They usually make all or nearly all of the game world available to the player from the start, allowing them to go and explore in whatever direction they like. While Open World games usually have an overarching story and objective, these may take a back seat compared to whatever the player wants to do. Open World-style games became hugely popular in the late 2000s, especially for RPGs and Action-Adventures. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; The Witcher: Wild Hunt; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Paddle Paddle games are a style of early game that was popular in arcades, mostly inspired by the ever-popular Pong and Breakout. Players manipulate some type of paddle or reflector in order to bounce back a ball either at an objective or at their opponent. There are countless Breakout and Pong clones out there, but in any case they all have more or less the same gameplay. Pong; Breakout; FlingSmash
Party Party games are multi-player games meant specifically for a social setting. They may be video game versions of real-world game shows or original games. Party games usually feature accessible gameplay and games based on rounds, where players take turns competing to emerge victorious. Wii Party; TV Show King Party; Viva Pinata: Party Animals
Physics Puzzle A sub-genre of Puzzle games. Players have to figure out the physics engine of a game in order to take advantage of its properties and complete challenges by manipulating objects. 2D Physics Puzzle games are very popular on mobiles, while their 3D equivalent reached a new level of popularity with the development of open-source physics engines for games like Half-Life 2 and Amnesia. Physics Puzzles are included in many first-person Action-Adventure and FPS games. Portal 2; World of Goo; Kerbal Space Program
Platform Platform games are a sub-genre of Action games where the focus is on overcoming physical obstacles through careful maneuvering and jumping. This usually involves hopping on platforms, hence the name. They usually include some kind of combat, and an Action-Adventure game structure. 2D and 3D Platform games are sometimes separated due to their considerably different mechanics, but they operate under the same concepts. A notable sub-genre is the Collect-a-thon Platform game, which gained popularity in the nineties. DuckTales; Super Mario World; Spelunky
Puzzle A basic game genre, in Puzzle games players must, obviously, solve puzzles to progress. They may also be video game versions of real-world established types of puzzles, like Sudoku or trivia games. Pure Puzzle games are now rare, but they have been incorporated into all sorts of game genres, including Action-Adventures, RPGs, and even FPS games. The Matching Puzzle sub-genre remains popular, as do Adventure games focused on puzzle-solving, and Platform games with Puzzle elements. Picross 3D; Echochrome; Monument Valley
Programming This is a niche type of game that enjoys certain popularity on PC. In single-player Programming games, players must master and use a programming language mainly to solve puzzles; in multi-player Programming games, two players' programs are pitted against each other. The latter category has a wide competitive scene for all types of games, including tournaments for chess-playing programs. Carnage Heart; Hackmud; Pony Island
Pro Wrestling Pro Wrestling games are a sub-genre of Sports games that have developed their own conventions and gameplay systems. Due to their nature they are similar to Fighting or Arena Combat games, but focused more on grappling and strategically-timed holds in order to succeed. Pro Wrestling games may be licensed and feature real-world wrestlers, or be entirely fictional. They usually boast very large rosters and character creators. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns; WWE SmackDown!; Virtual Pro Wrestling 2
Racing One of the earliest game genres, in Racing games the player must simply race and beat opponents to the finish line. Racing games usually but not always involve vehicles, and have different degrees of realism. The most realistic ones might qualify as Vehicular Sims, while the more fantastical ones might fall into the Vehicular Combat or Kart Racing sub-genres. At any rate, Racing is a perennially popular genre on arcades, PCs and consoles, and many games of other genres have incorporated Racing or vehicular features. OutRun; F-Zero GX; Gran Turismo 7
Rail Shooter A 3D sub-genre of the Shooting genre. Rail Shooters are close relatives of Light Gun games. Players progress through a mostly pre-determined path while manipulating a cursor to shoot enemies on the screen. Depending on the game, progression through levels may be completely on-rails or allow for a degree of movement. The latter category is sometimes called a "Tube Shooter" and comprises games like StarFox and Sin & Punishment. Sin & Punishment: Successor of the Earth; StarFox 64; Rez
Raising Sim Raising Sims are a type of Sim game where the player is in charge of raising and taking care of something or someone, usually a pet. Raising Sims find their origins in portable Tamagotchi games of the late eighties and nineties, but have since evolved into more complex titles. Many games, especially Monster Collecting games, have incorporated elements of Raising Sims in order to have the player establish an emotional connection with the game's characters. Nintendogs; Seaman; Princess Maker 2
Rhythm Rhythm games are a sub-genre of Action games where players need to time actions and button presses to a beat or song in order to succeed. Rhythm games that use peripherals such as Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero became wildly popular for a time. Even though they are past their peak, Rhythm games continue to enjoy success mostly on handheld systems and PC. Many modern Rhythm games have a competitive or multi-player element as well. Elite Beat Agents; Donkey Konga 2; Gitaroo Man
Roguelike Roguelikes are a sub-genre of RPGs directly inspired by the PC game Rogue, which featured randomly-generated levels as players progressed through dungeons. The focus of Roguelikes is on slaying monsters, collecting loot, and acquiring better equpment to proceed farther into the dungeon. There are usually harsh penalties for dying, such as losing all your equipment and/or experience. Unlike other RPGs, there is usually little or no focus on story. Modern Roguelikes usually feature real-time combat. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon; FTL: Faster Than Light; The Binding of Isaac
RPG RPGs (Role-Playing Games) are a wide and popular genre, usually based on the concepts of tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. Players take control of a character or characters in a fictional setting and progress through the game by acquiring equipment, increasing their character's stats, and/or leveling up through experience. Since their appearance, elements of RPGs have been applied to all kinds of games, but "true" RPGs usually retain focus on story and character-building. Cultural differences have led to the labels "Western RPG" and "Japanese RPG" to describe different design approaches. Wasteland; Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura; Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
RTS RTS (Real-Time Strategy) is a sub-genre of Strategy games, where all of the player's decision-making and actions take place in a constantly-changing environment. RTS games are characterized by actions like producing units, fortifying bases, gathering materials, and researching technologies. RTS games have acquired a vibrant competitive scene, with games such as StarCraft II being played competitively for huge sums in South Korea. Modern RTS games are generally on PC and incorporate a multi-player element. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty; Age of Empires II: Age of Kings; Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Run-n-Gun Run-n-Gun is a sub-genre of Shooting games. Similar to Shoot-'em-ups, the player controls a character or avatar while shooting enemies through scrolling levels. However, Run-n-Gun games incorporate elements of Platform games and Action-Adventures in their gameplay. There are both horizontally and vertically-scrolling Run-n-Guns. The genre has fallen out of popularity, having reached its peak in the mid-to late nineties. Gunstar Heroes; Metal Slug 3; Contra III: The Alien Wars
Shoot 'em Up Shoot-'em-ups are a subgenre of Shooting games where the player controls an avatar (usually an airship) and shoots enemies while progressing through scrolling levels. Shoot-'em-ups are usually light on narrative and focus on arcade-style gameplay, including power-ups, score systems, and end-stage bosses. While Shoot-'em-ups reached peak popularity along with arcades in the nineties, they have since retained a strong cult following, with new entries on PC being quite common. Shoot-'em-ups with cutesy art direction, like Cotton or TwinBee, are affectionately known as "Cute-'em-ups." Einhander; Radiant Silvergun; Soukyuu Gurentai
Shooting Shooting is one of the most broad genre descriptors. Basically, players control a character or avatar and shoot enemies or objectives. Shooting games may be in 2D (Run-n-Gun, Shoot-'em-Up) or 3D (FPS, TPS), and feature elements from several other genres (Platform, Action-Adventure, Puzzle). Generally, Shooting games should be further specified through sub-genres when they are labeled as such. Mega Man 2; Space Harrier; Fantasy Zone
Sim Sim is a very broad genre, and an abbreviation for "simulation." Put simply, Sim games aim to give players a realistic (or simply immersive) simulation of a certain situation or experience. There are many established sub-categories of Sim games, such as Vehicular Sims, Life Sims, Construction and Management Sims, and Raising Sims, among many others. Sim games should be further defined through these sub-categories. The Sims 3; FlightGear; Animal Crossing
Sports Sports is a very broad category that refers to video games based on all manner of sports. The sport in question may be real or fictional, and the game may approach it with a realistic or unrealistic tone. Generally speaking, Sports games should be further defined by the specific sport that they are about, but there are too many to list them as sub-genres in this section. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2; NBA Jam; Super Punch-Out!!
SRPG SRPGs (Strategy RPGs) are a sub-genre of RPGs that were primarily defined by games like Fire Emblem and Shining Force. In these games, players control several characters on large battlefields and attack enemies in turns. The concepts of RPGs such as experience, leveling, equipment, and stats normally apply. The combat system of RPGs incorporates an element of Strategy games, but they should not be confused with TBS games. SRPGs feature the characters and narrative commonly associated with RPGs. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War; Final Fantasy Tactics; XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Stealth Stealth games are a sub-genre of Action-Adventures where the player is encouraged to hide, sneak around, and attack enemies by surprise instead of engaging them directly. Aside from their approach to combat, Stealth games are usually very similar to Action-Adventures. Stealth elements have also been incorporated into more action-oriented games, but a game is only considered to fit into this genre if approaching enemies in a non-stealthy way is usually discouraged. Stealth games rose to prominence in the early 2000s. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence; Thief; Hitman: Blood Money
Strategy Strategy is a broad term to refer to games that incorporate elements of tactics and/or war games to their gameplay. Players must usually manage large numbers of units, various different resources, and attempt to expand their group and/or defeat an enemy. Strategy games may feature turn-based or real-time combat, and boast varying levels of complexity, but normally require a more cerebral approach to problems in order to succeed. King of Dragon Pass; Jagged Alliance 2; Invisible, Inc.
Survival A sub-genre of Action-Adventure games where the player character primarily needs to survive. Usually the player character has several needs (hunger, rest, sanity) which need to be periodically sated by finding resources in a hostile world. There is usually a combat feature, as well as elements of RPGs such as item-crafting or earning experience. The game may have a fixed goal, or may simply end when the player character finally dies. Many Action-Adventure games have incorporated Survival elements without becoming Survival games. This War of Mine; Don't Starve; Ark: Survival Evolved
Survival Horror Survival Horror is a type of Action-Adventure game that was primarily defined by Resident Evil. Players control a character who is relatively helpless against the enemies they will face, which encourages hiding or running away more often than fighting. They are also characterized by scarce items/ammunition, persistent enemies, and control schemes that limit the player's mobility. As the name suggests, these games usually have horror movie settings, which adds to the tension. Although Survival Horror games are not as popular as they used to be, elements of them can be found in many modern Action-Adventures. Resident Evil; Silent Hill 2; Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
TBS TBS (Turn-Based Strategy) games are a sub-genre of Strategy games, and the turn-based counterpart to RTS games. Players must manage several units, resources and objectives in order to complete missions, but combat and other actions are carried out in turn-based order. TBS games have fallen out of favor in recent years, largely replaced by the mechanically similar SRPG, but some still persist. Heroes of Might and Magic III; Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising; Total War: Rome II
TCG TCGs (Trading Card Games) are the video game versions of (usually) established, real-world trading card games. The game may work with a peripheral that scans the player's real-world card collection, or may hand out virtual decks for the player to use (or both). TCGs usually stick to the rules of their real-world counterpart, if there is one. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses; Pokemon Trading Card Game; Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Time Management A quick-thinking sub-genre of Strategy where players must manage limited time and resources in order to complete a steady stream of tasks. Time Management games may have Sim elements depending on the activity involved. They have become popular games for handheld systems and mobiles thanks to their accessibility. Diner Dash; Airport Mania; Ore No Ryouri
Tower Defense Tower Defense games are a sub-genre of Strategy games where the focus is on defending a main base or tower from incoming waves of low-level enemies or "creeps." The player must implement, upgrade, and use all manner of weapons to impede their advancement, while managing resources and placing new towers in real time. Tower Defense games have recently become very popular on browsers and platforms thanks to their accessibility and quick play style. Rampart; Lock's Quest; Plants vs. Zombies
TPS TPS (Third-Person Shooter) games are a sub-genre of Shooting games. The player controls a character and views the action from the third-person, usually over-the-shoulder perspective. Compared to FPS games, TPS games are more likely to incorporate elements of RPGs or Platform games. Modern TPS games also tend to feature cover mechanics (giving rise to the term "Cover Shooter") and options for melee combat as well. Vanquish; Max Payne; Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Vehicular Combat Vehicular Combat games are a sub-genre of Combat games where characters control vehicles and use an arsenal of weapons and items, as well as speed, to destroy their opponents. These games may skew closer to realism or fantasy depending on the game, and may feature monster trucks, tanks, or armored cars, among others. Some Racing games have elements of Vehicular Combat but the primary goal is still to reach the finish line, not destroy your opponents. Carmageddon; Vigilante 8; Twisted Metal: Black
Vehicular Sim Vehicular Sims try to realistically simulate the experience of piloting a vehicle, whether this is a car, tank, train, plane, submarine, bus, spaceship, or other. These games are usually developed for niche hobbyist markets, as they lack mission objectives and focus on realism above all. They may also be used to actually train pilots in the operation of these vehicles. Assetto Corza; X-Plane 10; Southern Belle
Visual Novel Visual Novels are a type of Adventure game that developed and became popular in Japan, especially the Japanese indie game scene. These games borrow their presentation from manga and anime, featuring text, still images, and character portraits. Like in traditional Adventure games there is no Action gameplay, only puzzles, conversations, and decisions for the character to make. These games continue to be very popular in Japan and have gained a foothold overseas as well. Fate/stay Night; Steins;Gate; Muv-Luv Alternative
Walking Simulator This is a recent type of Adventure game that attempts to convey its story mostly through gameplay instead of cutscenes and exposition. Though the term was originally derisive, it has come to describe modern first-person and third-person Adventure games where the player simply explores, interacts, and listens as the story unfolds. The Silent Hills demo "P.T." showcased the genre's potential for horror games, and many copycats have surfaced since. Gone Home; Dear Esther; Firewatch
WRPG WRPGs (Western RPGs) is a term used to refer to the conventions of RPGs developed by American and Western European developers. Compared to their Eastern counterparts, WRPGs usually feature greater character customization, a more open game world, greater freedom in choosing your character's path, some kind of morality system, and active (instead of turn-based) combat. Though consoles were previously dominated by JRPGs, WRPGs have made a huge comeback. Planescape: Torment; Fallout: New Vegas; Mass Effect 2

Joke Term/Pet Term GenresEdit

These genres, while not necessarily an accurate representation of the game's gameplay, should be used just to spice up the articles and keep people interested. We at /v/ love our in-jokes and sarcasm, so these flavor-enhancing genres should help keep people reading.

Genre Explanation Type
Ball Rollan Games

Katamari Damacy, duh (also Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, man). See also: Marble Madness, Rock of Ages.

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Being A Badass A joke-genre that implies your main character is the fucking bee's knees, a macho manly figure of totally awesome that beats on his enemies with the fire of a thousand suns. Easy examples include God Hand, Bonk's Adventure, Yakuza, River City Ransom, Punch Out!!, Devil May Cry, and Shatterhand. A favorite for the PS2 page (where it originated in Yakuza's description). Icon1
Being A Dickhead A genre that ensures your main character is a total asshole who does nothing but cause other people misery and suffering the likes of which they have never encountered til they met you, just so you can get your jollies from doing this. Examples include Bully, Overlord, Prototype, God of War, Stubbs the Zombie, and Noby Noby Boy.
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Bullet Hell Also known as "manic shooter" or "danmaku". A variation of shoot 'em up where enemy projectiles come FROM FUCKING EVERYWHERE. It's really about pattern memorization and twitch reflexes more than anything or in all fairness, surviving the bullets (sometimes not bothering to fire at the enemy in exchange for safety) instead of shooting everything down. Difficulty is so ridiculous that it will make you sweat enough bullets that you will have to dodge those too. Batsugun and DonPachi are usually cited as the first of this style. Other notable examples include Touhou and Ikaruga. Icon3
FMV A genre that almost no one wants to play, FMV games are games that have Full Motion Video. It's more like watching a C-movie than actually playing a game as there is little interaction. This genre is single-handedly responsible for some of the worst games ever made (Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, anyone?) However, some great FMV games include Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and Brain Dead 13. Icon7
FREE "Free Reactive Eyes Entertainment" is a term coined by Sega to describe the unique blend of styles of Shenmue. 256px-ShenmueDCbox-1-
Metroidvania Contesting for a legitimate genre, Metroidvania games are a very specific type of platformer in the vein of Metroid and Castlevania II where the player must collect plenty of items to unlock areas and has total freedom of exploration/progression. Arguably, Impossible Mission, Montezuma's Revenge, Pitfall II, Starquake, and Pharaoh's Curse can be seen as the predecessors of this genre. Other examples include Cave Story (arguably!), Tomba!, Faxanadu, and Shantae. Icon12
Pinball Simply a video game that plays as a Pinball machine. Obvious example include Pokémon Pinball, Devil's Crush, Metroid Prime Pinball, and Alien Crush. Amusingly, Pinball on the NES is NOT a Pinball game, as it plays more like an Arkanoid clone. Icon6
Point 'N Click A pet term applied to games whose main method of control are pointing and clicking with a cursor. Usually applied to retro (or retro styled) Adventure games such as The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, although, these games have seen a large resurgence on the Nintendo DS, like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Hotel Dusk. Icon7Icon4
Pong its pong. Icon8

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