What game genre is best for you?
It’s wild how much tastes can vary between two people, even if they both like video games. What might seem like a common interest could actually be an alienating one if the genres don’t line up. After all, someone who spends hours tending their farm in Story of Seasons might not necessarily want to queue up for a game of PUBG.
Different types of games attract different types of people. So you might wonder: What games suit my personality type? It’s common for people to like more than one kind of video game, but here are a few common archetypes. They might not encompass every type of genre or person, but they might help you discover a few more games worth playing.
I am competitive
You relish a good fight. There’s just something about competing with real people that lights a fire inside of you. Games with thriving esports scenes almost exclusively pit players against each other, so those will be your best bet.
Shooters and fighting games are just a few examples of genres that involve challenging others head to head. PUBG: Battlegrounds is the ultimate challenge, with 100 players battling each other across vast maps, hoping to be the single winner. Too much? Valorant could be a good fit if you’re looking for a more tactical battle. For fighting games, The King of Fighters XV is the latest in a popular series that even appeared at EVO 2023. Them’s Fightin’ Herds also stands out as a beginner-friendly and cartoon-inspired fighting game with a passionate community.
I am social
You prefer games that you can play with friends, whether that’s queuing up for a game of League of Legends (though that might put a strain on your friendships) or wailing on a boss with your guild in Tower of Fantasy. Some people have as much or more of a social life online than they do in real life.
Multiplayer isn’t limited to competition. You can play co-op games or MMOs, games that involve teaming with others to get through difficult content. In this case, co-op can be anything from roaming the world of Genshin Impact to platforming through It Takes Two. As for MMOs, you can play anything from the aforementioned free-to-play Tower of Fantasy to the farming sim beta Palia. All of these games foster team-building and communication between players—a perfect match for social gamers.
I am persistent
You don’t mind spending a little extra time on complex puzzles. Platformers (and the popular Metroidvania subcategory) cater to personalities that enjoy playing with environments almost as much as fighting. Roguelikes, another genre that could appeal to persistent people, involve randomly generated dungeons that reset each time you fail.
In short, these types of games push you to persevere in spite of failing over and over and over. Celeste stands out as an accessible platformer that will let you revive yourself at each section. It doesn’t have as many power-ups or mechanics to play with as a proper Metroidvania like Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, though.
As for roguelikes, Hades is an option with mainstream appeal, thanks to its riveting story and characters, myriad powers and abilities to experiment with, and a bevy of accessibility options that can help you fight your way through hell.
I am restless
You like mashing buttons. Action games typically emphasize combat, which relies heavily on hand-eye coordination and your ability to combo and dodge enemies in real-time. Twitch platformers, hack-and-slash games, fighting games, and more all test how well you can time your hits.
Which genre you pick depends on what you want in return. Is it about feeling like others are pushing you to improve your skills? Feeling like you’re part of a community? Or just wanting to compete with yourself and progress through a story?
Hi-Fi Rush, one of the most popular surprises to drop last year, is as much about rhythm as it is about action. Everything happens on the beat, so you’ll need to time your button presses accordingly. Meanwhile, an action-packed dating sim like Eternights has a more character-focused lens. You might also want to give a Metroidvania like Dead Cells a try, considering success revolves around timing your button presses just right.
I am a daydreamer
You love fantasy worlds. It doesn’t matter if it’s one based in a medieval setting like Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising or one based in a futuristic dystopia like Citizen Sleeper. Part of the fun in a game comes from experiencing another world. Bonus points if superpowers are involved. (I wouldn’t be surprised if you also enjoy a good book.)
RPGs and action-adventure games should be up your alley. Just be careful about games known for their difficulty–you might not be able to focus as much on the story or characters.
Visual novels might also be worth considering, a text-heavy genre that usually digs deep into meaningful themes, like in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist’s coming-of-age journey.
I am chill
You play games to relax. Maybe you just want to turn your brain off at the end of a long day or maybe it’s a way to distract yourself from a stressful situation. Either way, you might vibe well with what we call “cozy games,” which typically feature cutesy graphics and easy-but-rewarding gameplay loops.
Many of these end up being job simulators or farming sims. After all, it’s easy to get a kick out of getting rich off of crops and livestock—or maybe just taking pictures of dogs. Story of Seasons, formerly known as the Harvest Moon series, has a remaster tailored for modern audiences with the standard farming, caretaking, and dating mechanics that made it popular. Fae Farm is another great option, sprinkling just a bit of fairy dust on the typical formula to appeal to fantasy fans.
If you’d rather steer away from farming, Bear and Breakfast offers an equally satisfying gameplay loop without the manual labor. Pupperazzi, a unique cozy game that involves taking pictures of dogs, can also stave off stress with its silly premise and easygoing pace.
I am a jokester
You like chaos. Games that give you a good laugh are always at the top of your list, whether it’s an absurd premise or just fun to play with friends and goof off. Thankfully, a wide range of genres from puzzle to sandbox games fit into this category.
Untitled Goose Game puts you in the webbed feet of a silly goose whose mission is to annoy as many people as possible with small disruptions. A sandbox game like Goat Simulator 3—there is no Goat Simulator 2—can also be a great way to unwind with friends, putting you in an absurd environment where goats rocket into the air and shoot at each other. Think Grand Theft Auto, but with absolutely no plot or objectives. Just plain merriment. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention High On Life, the first-person shooter developed with Justin Roiland, creator of Rick and Morty.
I am meticulous
You’re a detail-oriented person that revels in layers of complex systems. Every small step forward feels rewarding, even if it’s just a slight stat buff on your equipment. You might also enjoy calculating the best builds for your characters, using your brain almost as much as your weapon.
RPGs and genres with similarly designed progression systems can help fill this void. These often feature a protagonist that gets stronger as you progress through the story. HoYoverse’s free-to-play RPGs like Honkai: Star Rail are good places to start.
If you'd rather not play a gacha game, you can play one of many other highly lauded RPGs or sims. There’s the famous Kingdom Hearts series, or you might enjoy indie strategy games like Dark Deity that have layers of progression to unfold.
I am inquisitive
You’re not afraid to experiment or ask questions. You love a good brain teaser, whether it’s a narrative supported with small puzzles or a proper whodunnit. Mysteries often become the focus of visual novels and adventure games, but other genres also pop up on occasion.
Curiosity and an eye for detail are a must for these types of games. You can start with something like Mediatonic’s lighthearted Murder by Numbers, or more mysterious puzzle games like Inscryption. Myst, a classic that’s been remade and adapted for modern platforms, also stands out in the Epic Games Store’s collection of puzzle games.
I am a weeb
I’m (mostly) joking. “Weeb” is the shorthand for the term weeaboo, something that used to exclusively describe those obsessed with Japanese culture but is also largely used as a self-deprecating term for anime lovers. Some people branch into video games from Japanese cartoons. Heck, some games are even based on popular series like Naruto.
You can scratch a similar itch with RPGs from Japan, or even games from studios inspired by anime. Typically, the types of people that enjoy these games appreciate a good story.
The long-running Trails series weaves together the lives of multiple characters across multiple games to build its world and overarching lore. Kingdom Hearts’ notoriously convoluted plot somehow endears it to fans and intrigues bystanders.
Anime-esque games don’t need to be a big series, either. A Space for the Unbound, a high school supernatural drama based in Indonesia, explores the lives of the main cast enough for it to feel like a larger story–one that has something meaningful to say about adolescence.