Action games are games in which the player is in charge of and at the center of the action, mostly of physical tasks that the player must conquer. Most early video games, such as Donkey Kong and Galaga, are action games.
Because action games are usually simple to pick up and play, they are still the most popular video games.
Subgenres of action films include:
Platformer games acquire their name because the game’s protagonist interacts with platforms throughout the game (typically by running, leaping, or falling). Platform games come in various forms; Super Mario Bros. is arguably the most well-known, while Donkey Kong was one of the first.
Shooters allow players to combat with weapons to eliminate enemies or oppose players.
Shooters are classified according to the player’s point of view:
First-person shooters (FPS) are video games played from the perspective of the main character; examples include Call of Duty, Half-Life, and Halo.
The action in third-person shooters like Fortnite and Splatoon takes place from a viewpoint that allows the user to observe the main character from slightly above and behind.
Galaga, Space Invaders, and Raiden V: Director’s Cut is examples of top-down shooters that provide a complete overhead experience. Top-down shooters are typically based on sets of lives, with players reaching a “game over” when that stash of lives runs out. Whereas third-person shooters may display health bars or meters that get worse or better depending on the character’s health or condition, top-down shooters are typically based on sets of lives, with players reaching a “game over” when that stash of lives runs out.
Fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II emphasize combat, almost always hand-to-hand. Most fighting games include a cast of characters to choose from, each with their specific skills or fighting style. In most classic fighting games, players fight to the top by facing harder opponents.
One of the first playable female characters in video games, Chun-Li debuted in Street Fighter II. (In the 1985 Taito arcade game Typhoon Gal, the first playable human female video game character was discovered.)
In beat-em-up games, also known as brawlers, players face waves upon waves of enemies rather than a single opponent. Double Dragon was one of the first beat-em-ups, whereas God of War, Castle Crashers, and Bayonetta are more modern examples.
While other action or combat games, such as Dishonored, may help players achieve their goals, stealth games usually covertly encourage players to engage in the action. Metal Gear has made a name for itself in this subgenre.