There are lots of different video games out there, so how do you know which kind is right for you? Ultimately playing them is best way to find out, but that can get real expensive. Here is a guide that will hopefully get you going in the right direction.
The first big hurdle you’ve got to jump is which device, or platform, you want to play on. For most, it’s going to be their smartphone.
It’s always handy, and most games designed for the phone usually designed to be played on the go, taking only bite sized chunks of time. For the more dedicated, more options are available. Microsoft and Sony make dedicated gaming computers called consoles for people to play on.
Microsoft’s current flagship console is the Xbox One. Despite being called the One, its actually their third Xbox console. They call it the One as its meant to be an all in one entertainment device, combining TV and gaming into one entity.
Sony’s baby is the Playstation 4, probably because its the 4th Playstation console they have created. It is meant to be solely a gaming device, and that has resonated well with many gamers.
The only real difference between the two is which controller you like better and the exclusive games in their roster.
Finally, you have the granddaddy of gaming, the personal computer. If you have money, its hard to beat a PC in performance or graphics. If you can’t afford the latest hardware, it can be better to go with a console as games will be designed to run optimally on the console.
The next big step is which genre of video game you want to play. Unlike books and movies, video games are defined by the type of gameplay rather than the story content (assuming the game even has a story!). Let’s have a look at some of the more popular genres.
First Person Shooters (FPS) -First person shooters are the best selling video games, and they are typically the ones you hear of breaking big sales records. The first person part of the title indicates how the world is perceived by the player. The game camera looks out from the perspective of the character in the game. The other perspective is known as third person, where the camera hovers over the shoulder looking at the game character and the world. The other part of the title is shooter, because you shoot things. These games generally feature a variety of different guns in order to provide a variety of choice in how one fills up bad guys with lead, lasers, or plasma. Popular games in this genre include Call of Duty series, Halo series, and Battlefield series.
Sports – Sports games are among the oldest type of video game, starting with the infamous Pong. These games are generally a simulation of a real sport, like football or soccer. Most of the bigger brands release new versions of the game yearly, mostly to update team rosters. Popular games in this category include Madden and FIFA.
Action/Adventure – Action and adventure used to be separate genres, but due to advances in technology they are almost always paired together. The action part refers to how one interacts with the game, usually involving real time inputs favoring a more “twitch” mode of play. The adventure refers to advancing the game via exploration of the game world. Popular games in this genre include the Legend of Zelda series, Assassins Creed series, and Grand Theft Auto series.
Strategy – Strategy games focus on combat and conflict on squad, army, or even national scale rather than a personal one. They come in two major flavors, turn based or real time. In a turn based game, time is frozen until a player activates a unit, allowing time for consideration. In a real time game, the action never stops and players have to think on their feet. Popular strategy games include the Starcraft Series, the XCOM series, and the Civilization series.
Simulation – Sim games are based around simulated, well, life. The most popular version is about creating houses and families, but they scale up to cities and even nations. Popular games in this franchise include the Sims series, and Simcity.
Racing – Racing games can break friendships if you aren’t careful. Two or more players hop on their best car, kart, or jetbike to race around the track at breakneck speeds for fame and glory. Racing games range from highly realistic simulation games like Forza, to more cartoonish affairs like Mario Kart. Popular games in this genre include the Mario Kart series, Forza series, and Need for Speed series.
Role Playing Game (RPG) – A role playing game is where the player takes on the role of a fictional character in order to interact with the game world and progress the story. Originally, RPGs were based off the pen and paper RPGs you play at the table. These days, RPGs are more like a supergenre as its elements are often just overlaid one of the other categories. Hallmarks of a RPG are role based classes, progression systems, and an interesting story. RPGs are generally divided between Western RPGs (WRPG) and Japanese RPGs (JRPG). Western RPGs typically favor character customization, open worlds, and player choice. Japanese RPGs are known for stylized characters and linear story lines. Popular games in this genre include the Final Fantasy series, the Elder Scrolls series, and the Mass Effect series.
Fighting – Two warriors enter, only one leaves. Fighting games usually involve two players going head to head trying to input the right button combinations to perform high power moves to destroy the opponent. Generally this leads to two newbie players mashing buttons at random hoping for a fatality. Popular games in this genre include the Mortal Kombat series, Street Fighter series, and Soul Caliber series.