Welcome back to our 4 Part Blog Series on Finding the Perfect Game for Christmas! If you missed Part 1, click here to read!
Today we will be discussing genres, and what genres might be perfect for your gift recipient. There are about 10 major genres, each different from the last. Keep in mind that sometimes defining a genre of a video game can be tough – it’s just like movies or books. Sometimes genres can mix – creating a brand new genre. It can also be difficult to pin down a specific genre to a game. It happens, and it can get confusing. Always know that if there are any questions you have that this blog does not answer, you can always call our stores and ask an in-store associate what might be best for you.
This is a chart generated by statista.com breaking down the most sold genres in 2015. These are the 10 most popular and will be the ones we will explore today.
Let’s get down to it!
The best-selling video game genre of 2015, and for good reason! Shooters have a wide variety of content in them and often end up blending many different genres into them. They can be first person – where you see your hands and guns, or the game be third person, where the camera zooms out to show your entire character.
This is an example of a first-person shooter.
This is an example of a third-person shooter.
Shooters usually involve, well, shooting! So on that note, please consider that most shooting will involve shooting other virtual people, and as a result of that violence, will be considered an M rated game. Shooters often have a strong emphasis on a multiplayer experience with minimal single player options, so note that you may need to invest in Xbox Live or Playstation Plus subscriptions with these games to get the full experience! Some notable titles in this genre would be Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, and Battlefield.
Here is another broad genre. Games in this genre usually involve lots and lots of action and usually little story or slow moments in the game, though that isn’t always true. These games often include lots of challenges including but not limited to shooting, platforming, and puzzle solving. Games of this genre can include gun or swordplay, but can also be fun, silly games for a younger audience. Ratings on action games can be all over the board. Notable action titles are Batman, Grand Theft Auto, and Dark Souls.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is an example of an action game.
These games are virtual recreations of popular sports. A vast majority of these games will be rated E for Everyone. The gameplay is usually simple, dynamic, and most importantly – fun! Easy to pick up for most people, and they come our annually! Notable sports games are FIFA, WWE, NBA, MLB, and Madden NFL. Note that these games will be followed by year titles for the sports year their rosters will represent.
Fifa 15 is an example of a sports game.
NBA 2K16 is an example of a sports game.
WWE 2K16 is an example 0f a sports game.
Also known as RPGs (role playing games). Sometimes, nothing can be more fun than getting home from work or school after a long day and pretending to be something you aren’t – an epic, well-known hero who travels distant lands, or a nameless adventurer dodging arrows and taking down dragons. Role playing games are often long, time consuming games that can spread a little bit of money out a LONG way. I’m not kidding. You can spend $7 on a copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and be playing until the cows come home. Spoiler: That’s a LONG time. Role playing games often have a strong single player emphasis and often little-to-no multiplayer aspects. These games are also often set in a fantasy or sci-fi universe. Ratings in this genre tend to be spread all across the board. Notable games of this genre are Pokemon, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Tales of Xilia and other Tales games, and Dragon Quest.
Final Fantasy is a great example of an RPG.
Adventure games often include a stronger emphasis on story than action games do, but often include a lot of the same conventions. Adventure games will often move slower than action games, but still include the same elements such as platforming, puzzle solving, and shooting. Adventure games will be more about an experience – like RPGs – but not inherently quite as long. Adventure games can have multiplayer aspects, but also focus mainly on a single player experience. Notable adventure games are The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, Heavy Rain, and The Walking Dead Game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a great example of an Adventure game.
Yes! We all need to let out some steam every once in a while, and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t remember playing some sort of fighting game as a kid? Fighting games often require a lot of technical skills and memory, being able to react quickly and pull of counters and combos. They aren’t for everyone, but if you are willing to put in a little bit of focus you can get REALLY good at them. Most popular fighting games also have a strong community following, so getting into some of the bigger fighting games can make you some very great friends. However, sometimes not knowing what you’re doing and just button mashing your way to victory is the best way to win. Fighting games often have a VERY strong multiplayer focus, and are some of the only game still around that have two-player local gameplay, as well as online. That being said, most games also have a decent story mode used to get the player invested in the world of the game. Ratings range all across the board on this one. Notable fighting games include Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, and Injustice.
Mortal Kombat X is an example of a fighting game.
Racing games are all pretty simple in idea, and pretty broad in design. If you like high speed and always being #1, try one of these on for size. Racing games also typically have a fair balance of multiplayer and single player functionality, however some recent games are giving up on local multiplayer and only allow online play. Most racing games will range from E to T, with the kicker often being mild lyrics in the songs used or suggestive themes – no one wants to endorse reckless driving after all. Notable racing games include Forza Motorsports, Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, and Mario Kart.
NASCAR Heat Evolution is an example of a racing game.
Mario Kart 8 is a great example of a fun racing game.
These games require time, patience, and a capacity and love for learning. Strategy games can be huge times sinks, in fact there is someone out there who has been playing the same game of Civilization II for the last 10 years! (Note: NSFW material such as inappropriate language may be present in the comments of the thread) The catch is that strategy games are NOT for everyone. And that’s not bad, but if you can learn to love one and curl up with it, it can very quickly be the most played game in your library. Most strategy games are solely single player experience with limited multiplayer aspects. Most strategy games will range from E to M. Notable strategy games include Civilization, SimCity, and Red Alert.
Battallion Wars 2 is a classic example of a strategy game.
These games are built for families, and as such will mostly be rated E or E10+. These kinds of games will be meant for family games nights and will include virtual board games, card games, trivia, or unique challenges. There is almost solely a local multiplayer aspect to these games, often between 2-4 players. These games will include the Family Game Night series, You Don’t Know Jack, Monopoly, and Just Dance.
Family Game Night is a perfect example of a family game.
Just Dance is another example of a family game.
. These are games – mostly mobile games but many still do make appearances on console – that you boot up because you’ve got some time to kill or want to keep the kids busy. These games often have a minor story and are meant simply to relax. These include puzzle games, mobile games, or creative games. These are games that you will put some times into, but you probably won’t notice it because you’ll be playing them for half an hour or so at a time rather than for whole hours. Ratings on these games are usually on the lower end of the spectrum, ranging from cE to T for the most part. Popular casual games include Peggle, Plants vs Zombies, LittleBigPlanet, and Chocolatier.
Plants VS. Zombies is a fun, favorite casual game.
And there we have it! Using these descriptions, you should be able to decide what games will be best to make the perfect gift! Do you like long drawn out single player experiences? Or do you prefer shorter bursts of fun multiplayer battles with friends? You can find everything you need up there and remember – sometimes genres are hard to track down. If you need help, call or stop by one of our stores and ask for an associate. Until next time, when we talk about Console Exclusivity!