From ‘Soulslikes’ to ‘Roguelites,’ 12 Video Game Genre Names That Make No Sense Every popular video game subgenre has a nickname, but the average player might not know what they mean. Elden Ring Image: Bandi Namco I believe anyone can get into video games , but aspects of the hobby can be unfriendly to newcomers. One such needless barrier to entry is the confusing way many players talk about video game genres. Unlike movie or book genres, which tend to describe the story’s content or setting—such as “sci-fi,” “historical non-fiction,” “mystery,” or “romance”— video game genres describe the gameplay experience. But while new players can likely point out common genres like racing, first-person shooter (FPS), and role-playing games (RPGs), they probably don’t know what “immersive sim,” “roguelite,” and “soulslike” mean, nor could they point out examples of these popular subgenres, or describe what makes one different from another. To help you navigate the often inscrutable world of video game genre nomenclature, let’s consider 12 popular video game genres and styles that could use some more explanation.