videogame genre bannerThe wild, wonderful world of video games spans multiple platforms, with a variety of experiences across a plethora of genres. The depth of the gaming industry can be seen through all the unique journeys available to us. From scoring a Stanley Cup winning goal to saving the world from the clutches of evil aliens and more. I’m here to provide you with an overview of each genre, covering the classics, what’s trending and upcoming titles you should keep eye on.

Action genre

When I think “action” it conjures up images of Hollywood blockbuster films with big explosions and pulse pounding sequences. Action games are cut from the same cloth, testing your mettle, reaction times and your trigger finger. Some of the franchises that have become staples of the action genre are titles like Call of DutyDeath Loop and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

If you enjoy fast paced gameplay that will test your skill, you’ve arrived at the right spot, here are some of the best the genre has to offer:

Call of Duty Cold WarCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Release Date: Available Now
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.3/5 (86%)

Step into the Cold War era as the storied series takes you back to settings like East Berlin, Vietnam and other Soviet strongholds. You are part of a CIA team hunting a shadowy figure named Perseus, who is looking to destabilize global superpowers. Will you find him in time to prevent a global catastrophe?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Action-adventure genre

The action-adventure genre is far and away one of my favourites, melding high octane action with great stories and puzzle elements. Classic franchises like Assassin’s Creed, God of War and Uncharted are some best in class examples of action-adventure experiences. Modern blockbusters like The Last of Us Part 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury are stellar experiences, that are “must play” games.

The massive survival horror genre is a subcategory of the action-adventure realm, it’s not for the faint of heart! Games that will terrify like Alien: Isolation, Little Nightmares 2, The Medium and Resident Evil 3 will provide plenty of thrills and chills.

Ratchet Clank Rift ApartRatchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Release Date: Coming Soon – June 11th, 2021

An inter-dimensional adventure awaits with Ratchet and Clank as you take on an evil robotic empire. Take advantage of a new explosive arsenal, meet new characters and use dimension hopping mechanics to take down the baddies.

Pre-order Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Launch Edition (PS5)

ReturnalReturnal
Release Date: Coming Soon – April 30th, 2021

Explore an alien planet as a marooned astronaut in the upcoming third-person shooter Returnal. The roguelike will force you to fight for survival as you are stuck in a nightmarish time loop. Every “death” has you restart areas with the enemies and environment transforming each time.

Pre-order Returnal

DeathloopDeathloop
Release Date: Coming Soon – September 14, 2021

It’s up to you stop villains who are manipulating time travel. Every time you die the game hits reset and you are looped back through the experience. Learn from your mistakes or be doomed to repeat them over and over again.

Pre-order Deathloop (PS5)

Adventure games

These games are all about puzzles and plot, forgoing heavy action sequences that require hair-trigger reflexes. The name of the game here is the story and exploration experience, they come first and foremost. Games like Myst, The Secret of Monkey Island and The Walking Dead follow the adventure game formula.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange True Colors 
Release Date: September 10, 2021

Embrace your hidden powers to help reveal the dark truth behind a family tragedy. The popular Life is Strange series continues with new characters, settings and supernatural abilities. Your choices will shape the outcome of the game as you unravel mysteries around Haven Springs.

Pre-purchase Life is Strange: True Colors

Role-playing games

Role-playing games, or RPGs, let you build your own character to varying degrees, some let you pick a class or build your appearance from scratch. Based off the classic board game Dungeons & Dragons, RPGs use similar rules to put you in the shoes of a hero and their party.  You can use the unique attributes of characters like melee, magic and ranged attack skills to navigate through enemy encounters. RPGs traditionally have massive maps to explore with side quests and a sprawling main story. Like a great novel, if you are looking for an experience to lose yourself in, RPGs are the gaming equivalent.

Some of my most unforgettable adventures have come within the RPG genre. Games like Final Fantasy VII, Cyberpunk 2077, Skyrim, and The Witcher III are some of the best stories I’ve ever experienced.

Here are some highly anticipated upcoming RPGs to adventure through:

Legend of ZeldaThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Release Date: Coming Soon – July 16, 2021

The classic Wii title is making its return on the Nintendo Switch with enhanced graphics, smoother frame rate and new control options. Step back in time with Link’s earliest adventure in the series as he battles to save his childhood friend Zelda. New controller options let you wield Joy-Cons like a sword and shield or use button only options tailored for the Nintendo Switch Lite. Experience the legendary adventure in a whole new way!

Preorder The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Mass EffectMass Effect: Legendary Edition
Release Date: Coming Soon – May 14, 2021

One of the greatest space epics of all-time is returning with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The comprehensive collection includes Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 remastered in 4K Ultra HD along with all extra promotional items. Get ready to lead an elite squad to save humanity from an alien threat.

Preorder Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

Simulation games

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to fly a plane, run a city or control an entire country, the sim genre might be for you. Some of the most popular franchises out there like The Sims, Farming Simulator, Tropico and Microsoft Flight Simulator offer something for everyone.

This genre helps fulfill fantasies of being a pilot, farmer, chef and beyond!

Here are some fun sim experiences to check out:

Overcooked!Overcooked! All You Can Eat
Release Date: Available Now
Full Review | Overall Rating: 3.9/5 (78%)

Looking to simulate the frantic nature of a busy kitchen? Overcooked offers the culinary calamity you crave! This collection includes Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2 along with all other released content for both titles. It’s up to you to save the Onion Kingdom by serving up a 5-star meal in some of the world’s most dangerous and challenging kitchens.

Buy Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Animal Crossing NHAnimal Crossing: New Horizons
Release Date: Available Now
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.4/5 (88%)

Looking to carve out your own little piece of paradise? The sunny shores of Animal Crossing: New Horizons await! The simulation game takes you to a deserted island where you can personalize your own little utopia. Make it your new island home all your own by customizing your character, home, decorations, and more. Book your getaway today!

Purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Strategy games

The strategy genre is essentially a game of chess, you need to carefully plan your next move to outwit your opponent. This virtual chess board in video games comes in a variety of shapes and forms from ancient battle fields to those in the distant future. Sci-fi military titles like Starcraft, are all about resource management and massing your forces.

In games like Sid Meier’s Civilization series you can change the course of history. You can do this on the battlefield or by developing a civilization, if you enjoy carefully calculating your next move strategy games could be a great fit.

Gears TacticsGears Tactics
Release Date: Available Now

It’s Gears of War liked you’ve never experienced before with fast paced turn-based action. Battle back the Locust Horde as Gabe Diaz, humanity’s last hope against a ruthless, unforgiving enemy.

Purchase Gears Tactics

Pikmin 3Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Release Date: Available Now
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.1/5 (82%)

It’s a race against time as you strategize and command tiny plant-like Pikmin to explore a new world to find food for their home planet. Help the tiny creatures overcome obstacles, defeat hostile enemies and make it back to their ship before time runs out.

Buy Pikmin 3

Sports titles

Sports games are massively popular, carrying the thrill and excitement of the real life teams! If you are a fan of the NHL, NBA or NFL you’ll feel right at home with their virtual counterparts. Each year sports games go through a refresh adding better graphics, new gameplay mechanics and features that continue to get closer to the real thing. If you are hitting the ice, court or gridiron all your favourite players await.

NHL 21NHL 21
Release Date: Available Now
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.3/5 (85%)

Lace up your skates NHL 21 hits the ice with a host of new features. Establish your legacy with the totally revamped Be A Pro mode or earn even more Ultimate Team rewards in HUT RUSH. Line up for puck drop, the battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup is just beginning!

Purchase NHL 21

Mario GolfMario Golf: Super Rush
Release Date: Coming Soon – June 25, 2021

Get ready to hit the links with Mario and the rest of the gang! Play with up to 4 players locally or online in Standard Golf, Speed Golf, or RPG-like story mode. Shoot like a pro with the Joy Con controller and the adaptive shot gauge, meant to cater to both rookie and pro golfers.

Preorder Mario Golf: Super Rush

An experience for everyone!

No matter what type of experience you are looking for, the wide variety of gaming genres has something fun in store for you. From action to deep thinking strategy games there is something out there that will perfectly fit your style of play. I love to dabble in all of the genres experiencing the gems each has to offer. The best part of the video game industry is there is always a unique, new experience on the horizon looking to evolve the gaming landscape. I hope the overview above helps to get you started, or broadens your video game horizons.

Let us know what your favourite games and genres are in the comments below!

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Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter and instagram @dapper_tux

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great list of recent and upcoming games. I’m definitely looking forward to Skyward Sword HD. It is one of 2 Zelda games that I never actually finished, the other being Triforce Heroes.

    Thanks Matthew!

    • Thanks for reading Ian, Skyward Sword HD is definitely at the top of my list too! Those limited edition Zelda Joy Cons are looking pretty dapper, hoping I can find some before launch.

  2. My favourite genre is a sub-genre from Action, platformers. I love a good platformer.

    Action Adventure is probably my next favourite thanks to the Legend of Zelda series.

    I also love JRPGs, but often feel overwhelmed at starting a 60+ hour adventure.

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