Weekend Hot Topic, Part 2: The Most Popular Video Game Genres

Super Metroid – everyone loves a good Metroidvania (Photo: Nintendo)

Readers discuss their favorite video game genres and how they think they will evolve on the next generation of consoles.

This week’s Hot Topic topic was suggested by reader Gannet, who asked what you traditionally consider to be your favorite genre and why? Which games do you think are the best examples and how do they compare to other famous entries in the genre?

Almost every type of game has been suggested at some point, but role-playing, open-world games, and 2D platforms were especially popular.

Same answer
It’s an interesting question but after some thought I have to say I think it’s the 2D platformer. Which is pretty wild because it’s a genre that barely changed from generation to generation and so it’s pretty much the same answer I would have given when I was a kid compared to now. .

Things have obviously changed a lot since Super Mario Bros. but I think 2D platformer is such a pure concept for video games that it will always be around. It’s something that would only exist in a game and while you can tell stories with it, in things like Celeste and Cave Story the emphasis is always on the action just because of the way it is. is presented and the way you move.

A lot of modern platform games tend to be Metroidvanias, which you might think of as a separate genre, but I love them just as much, from Ori And Will Of The Wisps to Super Metroid. I don’t know how the next gen will affect the genre, but as long as there are indie developers, I don’t think the idea will ever die.

Who is the formula anyway?
I’m a real fan of the Ubisoft formula and I’m not afraid to admit it. To be honest, I prefer it when Sony is using it, but I don’t mind admitting that it’s basically the same either. Like Days Gone really isn’t a great game, especially the story and the characters, but I love the freedom of the open world and the way you can get into your own thing instead of just following the story.

I think the best use of Ubisoft so far has probably been Far Cry 5 which again didn’t have a big story but the world was great and varied and all the different vehicles are performing great. I guess it’s debatable if Rockstar uses the formula or if they somehow helped create it, but I also love their open worlds.

What’s great about the new generation is that you know for sure that this will be something to focus on and only get better. I expect Fable to push the boundaries with this, but who knows what else we’ll see.

It’s participation
I’ve always been a huge fan of fighting games, which all of my friends find strange because I’m not particularly good at them (I’m better than most of them though, if you ask my opinion). I love to play online and solo though and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of learning a character’s moves and ending up using them instinctively during a match.

I think fighting games have focused a bit too much on competition and esports in recent years which makes them very inaccessible and I don’t know why they do that because they aren’t even particularly popular esports, when compared to other types of games. So I would like this to stop if possible.

There doesn’t seem to be much planned for the next gen just yet, but I’m eagerly awaiting Guilty Gear -Strive- and I suspect new Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter games will be coming sooner or later.

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Ad Astra
Role-playing games will always be my favorite. Which is surprising because before Skyrim I would have said that I didn’t like them at all. But it was mostly Japanese role-playing games and I much prefer the more modern genre. Now that Microsoft has bought Bethesda and Obsidian, we’re obviously going to have a lot more, on a much bigger budget, and that’s fine with me.

I just hope they don’t become too much like outright action games. It might sound a little strange to say to me, because that’s where I entered. But now I appreciate them as their own thing apart and wish they would stay that way.

Looks like Starfield might be the first great role player of the next generation, so I’m very excited to see what that looks like, hopefully this year. I’m also looking forward to the Mass Effect remasters.

Extinguishing strategy
One genre that I liked that no longer exists is real-time strategy games. I think the fact that they were difficult to play on consoles sealed their fate but still a shame as I loved games like Command & Conquer and Lord of the Rings games.

I really like any type of strategy game and luckily they’re actually more common on consoles, in general, than before. Civilization on Switch works surprisingly well and I love stuff like XCOM and Into The Breach. WarGroove is great too and I hope there will be a sequel soon.

I’m not sure if this counts as my favorite as there are so few, especially nowadays, but I still love space combat simulators. I was excited when Star Wars: Squadrons came out and it went well and I hope that means EA will make more games like this.

But I would also love to see Freespace and even Wing Commander return, as they were also very good and seem unlikely to have a new sequel these days. When it comes to video games, it’s hard to like something that isn’t generally popular, because there’s very little chance you’ll see more of it.

East vs. West
I would definitely say role-playing games are my all-time favorite genre, due to their huge worlds to explore, amid amazing scenery, sounds, and a soaring soundtrack wherever you go. With epic battles, emotional characters, and moments to realize your real self. It all started with the action-adventure title Zelda: A Link To The Past (I know it’s not a role-playing game), but it created my thirst for future ventures. There are a lot of different types of roleplayers out there, but turn-based was one that I followed for quite a while and still do occasionally now.

With so many Japanese RPGs consumed, and after finally getting used to experience point farming, I spent countless hours playing some of my most memorable titles ever! Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, Eternal Sonata, Skies Of Arcadia and Star Ocean, etc.

Beginning in the late 2000s, it was a mix of turn-based role-playing and action. With Oblivion and Skyrim from The Elder Scrolls series and modern Fallout games from the third title. They definitely kept me away from Japanese actors for a lot of my time.

Time spent with Western action gamers ended up eclipsing Japanese gamers, until a certain company called FromSoftware released a certain Demon’s Souls game! This game then took me to another kind of action role-playing game, which just got better and better with the Dark Souls series and, of course, one of my all-time favorites: Bloodborne.

Japan was therefore once again in the lead with the number of hours devoted to these very influential games. Although the Mass Effect series, as a Western action role-playing game, also took me to spend a lot of time in its worlds.

With Elder Scrolls 6 at some unknown future time, I can imagine my time will only be spent on this title alone, on PlayStation 5 without a doubt, and paired with a bug-free Cyberpunk 2077! Then western role-playing will be at the top again, at least until Bloodborne 2 maybe!

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The fine print
New inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic inboxes on weekends. Letters from the Readers are used on merit and may be changed for length.

You can also submit your own 500-600 word reading feature at any time, which, if used, will be displayed in the next available weekend slot.

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