The Most Popular Gaming Genres of the 21st Century (so far)

Have you tried more than one genre of video games?

Since video games were released, they’ve come a long way. When you look at the complex online games of today, the initial options look prehistoric. There’s no surprise that this is one of the most profitable industries.

But, do you know the most popular gaming genres of the 21st century? As this field rapidly expands, there’s a new option to play every week. We’ve taken a look at the most popular genres to help you decide on your next purchase.

Top video game genres this century

Here’s a countdown of the most popular gaming genres. From horror to sports, each genre offers different characteristics. If you see something new, consider giving it a go! Variety is the spice of life after all.


A consistently popular genre, horror will never go out of fashion. As humans, we secretly love the rush of being scared — even if it doesn’t feel great in the moment. Alongside an adrenaline rush, horror allows users to escape to strange worlds with different creatures. Many horror games have complex plots and storylines, allowing players to become immersed in a distant land each time they play. Plus, facing your fears feels good!

Online casinos

Are you feeling lucky today? A genre that’s seen an impressive leap in popularity is online casinos and gambling. Though gambling has been around for centuries, being able to gamble anywhere at any time is an exciting concept. The best online casinos offer various games, including slots, bingo and casino classics. Some even offer live dealers, bringing the authentic casino feel to your home.

Role-playing games

Perhaps one of the most notable gaming developments of the 21st century, RPGs allow users the freedom to move around in a digital world. From character customization and unique skins to playing with other online gamers, this method of playing enables you to be in complete control. No matter what you like, there’s an RPG fit for you.

Strategy games

Do you want to play a game that uses your mind? Strategy and tactic games might be the genre for you. This popular option forces players to think hard when playing. Whether you’re creating a battle plan or planning to beat your enemies, there’s more mental skill involved than in a generic shooter game. The wins are more satisfying here, but the losses are even more brutal. Time to put your thinking cap on!


Sports fans often live and breathe the game, so we’re not surprised that one of the most popular gaming genres is sports! Whether you’re a fan of basketball, football or golf, there’s a video game to match your passion. A vital example of this genre is the FIFA series, allowing players worldwide to become their favorite players. Many sports games offer an additional social aspect, allowing players to connect while they game.

First-person shooters

Unlike other options on this list, first-person shooter games were popular before the 21st century. This genre gained traction in the 90s, and interest has continued ever since. Like other options, first-person shooters offer an immersive gaming experience, putting you in the driving seat. This genre will be around forever, and we’re excited to see how it develops with future technology.

Retro classics

Though we’re examining the most popular games of the 21st century, classic retro games are still one of the most sought-after genres. From typical arcade games to the first editions of video games, players want the nostalgia that comes with retro formats. Modern editions of these games can also be found, adding extra complexity to the originals.

Casual gaming

A product of social media, the casual gaming genre has boomed in the 21st century. This type of gaming requires little skill or time, allowing players to thrive without dedication. Casual gaming found popularity through Facebook, with games such as Farmville. While many gamers wouldn’t consider casual games ‘serious’ gaming, it is an undeniably popular genre. These games tend to offer in-game purchases, and they’re popular in smartphone formats.

The bottom line

What do you think about the most popular gaming genres? We’re excited to see how these popular options develop as time moves on. Do you think these options will still be around in the next century? We certainly hope so!

Written by
Owen Singh

Owen Singh is a Tech, esports writer for Future Gaming that specializes in CSGO, Warzone, Apex, and Many other FPS Games esports scenes. He is also specialised in MMORPG and other similar genres.

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