It has been over half a year since I started this blog back in the start of December. To be honest, it feels like I just started it yesterday. Yet my site statistics tell me that I’ve almost made a total of one hundred posts on my blog. It’s shocking to me that I’ve managed to keep this up so long, but it’s mainly thanks to all of you reading my blog. Just a single view of one of my posts is enough to make me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile so thank you all for that. So today, I will be counting down my Top Ten Favourite Video Game genres. I was originally planning to count down my Top Ten Favourite Video Games but, let’s be real here, what gamer can limit it to just ten? Maybe I’ll do that next time. Just give me another half a year and a hundred more posts to think on it and I’ll get back to you. For now, I hope you enjoy my Top Ten Favourite Video Game Genres!
I’ve never really talked about it before, but I absolutely love music. The list of musical genres I enjoy is near endless, but one of the more prominent is game soundtracks. There’s just something that makes them stand out compared to normal music. In a way, there’s a story attached to each and every track. A story of an intense final boss battle, or a relaxing stroll through a beautiful world or just a skirmish with a few normal enemies. What’s even better, is when the music actually plays a part of the gameplay. Music and gameplay being one and the same is just an awesome idea, albeit an often challenging one. Rhythm games often require heavy dedication and perfection, but when everything comes together and you get the hang of it, it all blends together harmoniously into an absolute masterpiece.
#9 MOBA(Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
MOBA’s are the most recent genre on this list that I’ve discovered a love for, which is fitting considering it is a relatively new genre. Overtaking MMO’s as the most popular form of multiplayer gaming less than a decade ago, MOBA’s have you working as a team with other players to fight and defeat another team that are trying to defeat you. They have you playing a large roster of hero characters each with their own role in the game and abilities. My first memories of playing a MOBA were from back in 2013 when I played the lesser-known Awesomenauts for the first time though I’ve started playing the likes of SMITE a lot more lately. I’m not usually a fan of multiplayer games, but there’s something enthralling about being presented with so many ways to play and strategize. Not one game is the same, and you never know what to expect. The communities for these games can be toxic, but I still get plenty of enjoyment from pitting my skills against another on the battlefield, even if I lose. Which I often do.
Games today are becoming more and more complex, trying new innovative ideas and only getting bigger and bigger in terms of scope. Despite this, I can still get a lot of pleasure out of the simplest platformer games. Platformers are way past their Playstation 2 glory days but they still remain one of the most popular genres, and for good reason. Almost anyone can understand the concept of a platformer meaning almost anyone can enjoy one. They don’t need to be complicated to be fun. Somehow, the genre manages to evolve without losing its allure and central approach. Perhaps that’s why Super Mario was so popular. If someone who had never played games before asked me to show them one game that represents everything about gaming, I’d show them a platformer. Hard yet fair. Challenging yet intuitive. I couldn’t make this post without at the very least mentioning this genre.
If you read the Monster Hunter Unpopular Opinions post I made the other day then you’ll know difficulty is a major selling point for me. Apart from freedom to do what I want, challenge is one of the main reasons I play a game. Nothing beats the feeling of defeating a tough, seemingly unstoppable boss or beating what appeared to be an impossible game or level after putting in hours and hours of hard work. I love being able to brag about my impressive accomplishments that I worked up a sweat trying to achieve. It’s one of the reasons that I love games with lot’s of achievements. They act as a recognition of all the effort you put into reaching a certain goal. There’s just something pleasing about being able to say: “I’m in the 0.1% of people who managed to beat this boss”. While it can be frustrating, the reward is almost always worth the risk for me.
I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m really not a fan of real-time strategy games. Truth be told, I’m not that much of a strategist, often preferring to just go with my instincts and hope for the best but what makes it worse is when you’re pressured to make your tactical decisions right in the moment. I either end up making some stupid in hindsight decisions due to the pressure or end up falling way behind my opponents because I take too much time to act. Turn-based strategy games don’t have this problem. I can spend as long as I please figuring out a solution to the situation. Yet this does nothing to detract from the tension of a fight, at least to me. In fact, it probably makes it even more intense. Slipups are a lot harder to recover from often due to the fact all your units are attacking at once. You can’t realise your mistake and interfere midway, you have to grit your teeth and face the consequences. For that reason, I love turn-based strategy games; to be honest, they’re probably the only kind of strategy game I can get into.
Ah, adventure! There’s nothing better than coming to the realisation that the massive world stretched out before you can all be explored with little to no limitations. Adventure is one of the most classic video game genres, hell, one of the most famous games of all time is named ‘Adventure’. One of the primary reasons I love video games so much is because it allows you to explore other, fantastical worlds with as much freedom as you want, and there’s no genre that fulfils this better than the adventure genre does. Immersing yourself in the lore of another world is a refreshing breakaway from normal human life. One of my favourite games in the adventure genre is The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for its massive open world and feeling of exploration. When I first looked out onto that ocean as a kid, I couldn’t suppress my joy at coming to the revelation I could explore all of that. The effect adventure games have on me has weakened somewhat now I’ve aged, but there’s still a special place in my heart for adventure games.
Like the #1 spot on this list, the RPG/JRPG genre encompasses an unthinkably large area of gaming. While most people think of the classic turn-based Final Fantasy RPG when they hear one of these acronyms, you’d be surprised just how many games fit into the Role-playing Game genre. Skyrim, for one is an RPG. This fits more into the classic idea, being set in an expansive fantasy world rooted in the past but Mass Effect is also an RPG. One set in the very far future where man has finally gained the ability to travel beyond the stars. Dark Souls is an RPG, yet it has some elements of dungeon crawl and hardcore. One of my main reasons for playing video games is to escape reality and experience an entirely different world and RPG’s seem to be one of the most immersive genres which is probably why I love them so much. If you think about it, any game can be considered an RPG as you’re taking on the role of another character so in a way, the entirety of gaming bases its foundations upon the idea of an RPG. And if that isn’t reason enough to enjoy the genre, then I don’t know what is.
Back when video games were first conceived, story wasn’t even something that was considered due to the technical limitations of the time. I mean, how do you write an epic tale of retribution about a yellow square? With improvements to technology however, story has become increasingly prominent in video games. And it’s awesome. Some of the best stories I’ve ever experienced have been in video games. There’s a world of difference between simply reading a story, watching it as a silent observer, and actually taking part in it. When you feel that you’re making a difference to the game’s world, even if it’s artificial, it makes the story that much more exciting, and the stakes feel a hell of a lot higher. Some game developers honestly underestimate how much a well-written story can enhance a gaming experience. Think of some of your favourite games and I guarantee that there is at least one that would be almost nothing without its story. What would be left if you took away the multi-layered characters and impressive story of the likes of the Persona series or some of the popular Telltale games? A mediocre JRPG and a boring decision-making simulator. That is the power of story in video games.
Yes, I know, it’s a bit cliche in this day and age but don’t be put off by the Minecraft image above. Minecraft used to be a simple, small, barely-known game a few years ago believe it or not. Despite the game’s community becoming somewhat bloated beyond belief, the community has good aspects too. Mainly, the wealth of additional content they provide. That’s exactly the point of a sandbox; to provide the means for people to construct their own gaming experience. In a way, it’s like a playable tool.
Moving away from Minecraft, there are plenty of other Sandbox games which have benefited from a large, dedicated community. Just look at Garry’s Mod or Don’t Starve or The Elder Scrolls series. Morrowind is now fifteen years old and it still has an extremely passionate community constantly tinkering with the game and giving birth to tons and tons of mods. Sandbox games are pretty much immortal thanks to their community. They never get old, and because of that, their replay value is incalculable. For that, the Sandbox genre is my second favourite gaming genre, second only to…
Yes, Indie is my favourite gaming genre. With its rapidly increasing popularity, it’s more of a market than a genre now. The Indie genre is my favourite genre simply because of the sheer variety of the games encapsulated under this single word. Indie means a lot of things. It can mean a frustrating, hardcore platformer where you play as a living hunk of meat. It can mean a turn-based/management create-your-own Power Rangers simulator. It can mean a life lesson on friendship from some simple geometric shapes or a deep look into the mechanics of gaming itself as a storytelling tool. Unlike all the other genres, you never know what to expect with Indie games. Each game is a fresh, new surprise, exploring mind-blowing concepts you never even knew existed. The ever-growing roster of Indie games is like space; mysterious, unknown and infinite in its potential. Whenever I’m looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, the Indie genre is the first place I look, and that’s why it’s my favourite video game genre.
Thank you once again for reading my blog and most likely this post too if you’re all the way down here. I have no plans to slow down so you can continue to expect a steady stream of content from me whether they be reviews, lists like these or my Unpopular Opinions series. As always, feel free to leave any criticism, feedback or praise in the comments below as well as your own mini-list if you like! I’m interested to hear what you have to say.