List of video game genres

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This is a list of video game genres. These genres span game mechanics, themes, perspectives, and play styles. There is also a video game genre category.

Name Description Examples
Action Games which require fast reflexes. Combat, Vanguard
Action role-playing game Games which user RPG elements, but use heavy action elements. Secret of Mana, Borderlands
Adventure Games where exploration of interesting environments plays a heavy role. Colossal Cave Adventure, King's Quest
Artillery Players control tank-like entities and take turns lobbing shells at each other. Scorched Earth, Worms
Atmospheric Few game elements, more just for taking in the atmosphere.
Beat 'em up Player uses martial arts to beat up many foes. Kung Fu, Karateka
Block games Games which involve the manipulation of blocks. Tetris, Dr. Mario
Casual A game that can be easily and repeatedly started and stopped and doesn't require intense interaction. Bejeweled, Little Inferno
Dating simulator Simulates going on dates and having relationships with people. HuniePop, Katawa Shoujo
Door game Games based around bulletin board system doors. Legend of the Red Dragon, Usurper
Driving Games where driving (not racing) civilian vehicles is a major element. SkyRoads, Euro Truck Simulator 2
Dungeon crawl You work your way through a monster-infested dungeon. Dungeon Master, Diablo
Educational The primary goal is to educate the player. The Oregon Trail, Reader Rabbit
Fighting Player uses martial arts to beat up specific foes. Karate Champ, Street Fighter
First-person shooter 3D first-person perspective, player shoots at enemies. Wolfenstein 3D, Doom
Flight simulator Simulates flying civilian airplanes or similar flying crafts. Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator
Full motion video game Games which incorporate pre-filmed video sequences Night Trap, The 7th Guest
Graphic adventure Adventure games which put heavy emphasis on their graphics rather than descriptions. King's Quest, Shadowgate
Hidden object Games where you try to find hidden objects in a scene. Where's Waldo, The Enigmatis Collection
Horror Scary video games with a horror theme. The 7th Guest, Resident Evil
Humor Games which feature a lot of humorous content. Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter, The Stanley Parable
Incremental video game Games which progress in thousands of small discrete increments. Progress Quest, AdVenture Capitalist
JRPG RPGs that follow design styles of early Eastern games, especially from Japan. Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy
Licensed Video games that are based on a licensed brand. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure
Light gun game Games which require the use of a light gun. Duck Hunt, Area 51
Management simulator Simulates a management duty. SimCity, Theme Park
Massively multiplayer online game Online game that can handle a very large number of simultaneous players. Ultima: Online, EverQuest
Maze Games where the player must solve or traverse a maze. Pac-Man, Maze Craze
Metroidvania A combat-based adventure where exploration uncovers items to unlock more of the world. Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Military Primarily based on military elements. North & South, Call of Duty,
Mystery Games which require the player to solve a mystery. Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Multi-genre video game The game which incorporates several entirely different game mechanics. TRON, ActRaiser
Multi-user dungeon Multiple players connect to take place in a persistent online world. Smaller than an MMO. The Shadow of Yserbius, DragonRealms
Platform shooter Platformers where shooting enemies is a major part of game play. Mega Man, Contra
Platformer Side view 2D environment with gravity where the player moves up and down over multiple platforms. Pitfall!, Super Mario Bros.
Puzzle Requires logical thinking and reasoning rather than reflexes. Minesweeper, Solitaire
Racing Games where you race against opponents or the clock. OutRun, Mario Kart
Rail shooter Player's movement is on a fixed "rail," but they control where they can shoot. Star Wars (original arcade game), Lethal Enforcers
Real-time strategy Strategy games where the action happens in real-time as opposed to turn-based, and resource management plays a big role. Dune II, WarCraft
Real-time tactics Strategy games where the action happens in real-time as opposed to turn-based, but focus is on unit control rather than resources. Myth: The Fallen Lords
Rhythm game Player must perform actions in rhythm with music. Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero
RPG Player takes the role of a character and builds them up at they progress through a story. Ultima, Final Fantasy
Rogue-like Games similar to Rogue, top-down lo-fi dungeon crawlers with permadeath. Rogue, Nethack
Runner The player constantly moves forward through an often procedurally-generated and endless map avoiding obstacles. Canabalt, Alto's Adventure
Sandbox Player is allowed to create and modify the game environment. Minecraft, Terraria
Scrolling shooter A 2D shooter where the player moves through a larger environment. 1942, Defender
Shooter 2D environment, player shoots projectiles at enemies. Space Invaders, Galaga
Simulation Games which simulate a real life process. SimCity, Microsoft Flight Simulator
Single screen Games which take place in a single screen. Pac-Man, Yars' Revenege
Sport Games related to sports. Tecmo Bowl, Ice Hockey
Strategy Games where you must find a good strategy within a rule set. Civilization, Command & Conquer
Text adventure Adventure games which predominately use text to describe the game world. Zork, A Mind Forever Voyaging
Tower defense You setup and upgrade defenses to stop an onslaught. Desktop Tower Defense, Rampart
Traditional A video game which simulates a traditional style non-video game. Chess Master, Solitaire
Trivia Games based around answering trivia questions. You Don't Know Jack, Trivia Crack
Turn-based strategy Strategy games which give you time to think in between moves. Civilization, X-COM: UFO Defense
Vehicular combat The player pilots a war machine (aircraft, tank, ship, etc.) in combat, typically first-person. Battlefield V, Red Baron
Visual novel Games that are primarily illustrated stories, but often have a small amount of interaction. Doki Doki Literature Club!, The Portopia Serial Murder Case
Western RPG RPGs that follow the design style of early Western RPGs. Ultima, Wizardry
Word game Games based around playing with words. Super TextTwist, Wordtris