10 Forgotten Video Game Genres We’d Love To See Return

The gaming industry’s rise in prominence has seen numerous new genres grow into relevancy over the last few decades. Right now, Steam has over 500 different genres that players can tag and search by, including recently formed genres such as Souls-Like and Battle Royale. Although the consistent expansion of genres is a good thing for the gaming industry, some genres fall through the cracks.

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At some point or another, the ten games on this list were all in the gaming industry limelight. Still, either due to difficulty adapting to modern times or people simply losing interest in what they had to offer, they’ve all been brushed aside for current prominent genres like third-person action adventures and open-world RPGs. These ten genres all still have tons to offer, which is why we’re hoping that they’ll have a resurgence one day.

10 Text Adventure

The fall of the text adventure genre isn’t too surprising, as it isn’t difficult to understand why someone would rather play The Witcher 3 as it is now, rather than have the game presented in a text format.

Although text-only games are unlikely to return, there is a possibility that games with text-adventure elements could reemerge. No Code’s Stories Untold is an excellent example of how text-adventure games can work today, while Galactic Cafe’s The Stanley Parable recaptured the essence of text adventures in the form of an interactive story.

9 Point and Click

Point and click games were at the forefront of the gaming industry in the 90s, with titles like Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacleand The Secret of Monkey Island confusing players worldwide with their brutally difficult puzzles.

Much like text adventures, point and click games struggled to adapt to modern times. Moreover, many people were growing frustrated with the genre in the late 90s, as when it started to fall in relevancy, the games’ difficulty began to increase to frustrating levels as the publishers hoped to sell their tie-in guides and help-line services to make-up for the fall in revenue. However, games like Kentucky Route Zero have proven that the point and click genre still has a place in modern gaming and can be successful without excessively challenging puzzles.

8 Movie Tie-In

Like the point and click genre, the movie tie-in genre fell out of favor with gamers but is sorely missed now that it’s gone. The genre’s issues were apparent to see; the developers had to work tight schedules to ensure their game would release in line with its corresponding film, resulting in rushed products.

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Although numerous games fell under the unfinished category, a few gems are enough to suggest that the genre could still thrive today. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and King Kong were fantastic games that encapsulated the films they were based upon while still being great fun to play.

7 Beat ’em Up

The beat ’em up genre of gaming was prevalent in the 80s, particularly in the five years that followed 1987’s Double Dragonwhich became known as the genre’s “Golden Age.”

A few notable beat ’em up games have been released in recent years, such as the rebooted Battletoads and Dotemu’s Streets of Rage 4, which received a whopping 87 Metascore on Nintendo Switch. 2020’s Streets of Rage 4 has understandably given tremendous hope to beat ’em up fans that some of gaming’s most prevalent publishers may try to capitalize on the game’s success.

6 Run and Gun

Another genre that dominated arcades and early iterations of home consoles but hasn’t had much success since; Run and Gun games appealed to players who just wanted non-stop action in their games. DOOM (1993) and the first-person shooters that followed took the genre’s place, but the success of Studio MDHR’s Cuphead proved that it may still have a place in the modern-day.

There was a lot of hope from run and gun fans that Cuphead would reignite the genre once more, but sadly the game’s success hasn’t been enough to spur other publishers to sign-off on such games.

5 Tycoon

Tycoon games like RollerCoaster TycoonZoo Tycoonand even licensed titles like Legoland were enormous successes in the early 2000s. The games found a perfect balance of having detailed, layered gameplay but still being massively appealing to casual gamers.

There are still Tycoon titles releasing today, but games like Cities: Skylines and Planet Coaster have struggled to appeal to broad audiences. Although the games are of good quality, they’ve struggled to find the mix of both complex and enjoyable gameplay that made the early 2000s Tycoon titles special.

4 3D Mascot Platformers

3D mascot platformers are the most successful genre on this list today, but that’s mostly thanks to Mario almost single-handily carrying it on his back. It’s easy to forget just how big the genre was; throughout the 90s, having a marketable mascot and putting them in a colorful platforming world was not only key to selling games, but consoles too.

There are signs that the genre could thrive outside of Mario, as the recent Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was warmly received and even hinted at a return for Spyro The Dragon. However, the 3D platforming genre still has a long way to go if it wants to return to the forefront of gaming.

3 Unlicensed Sports

Although it may seem like EA and 2K have dominated the sports genre forever, there was a time when their licensed games lived side by side with numerous unlicensed sports games like Everybody’s Golf, SEGA Soccer Slam, and SSX TrickyUnlicensed sports games are a fantastic alternative to licensed ones, as they often prioritize enjoyable gameplay over strict realism.

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Much like the last entry, Mario is an exception to the rule when it comes to unlicensed sports with his frequent tennis, golf, and kart racing games; but when you’re the biggest gaming mascot on the planet, you can do whatever you like.

2 Real-Time Strategy

Company of Heroes, Total War, and Age of Empires are just three of the many iconic real-time strategy genres that make it difficult to understand why the genre has fallen in relevancy over the years. The genre has even proven to appeal to a broad audience, with The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-Earth series being a huge success commercially, showing that with the right marketing and IP, the genre can thrive.

The real-time strategy genre has carved itself a spot in the mobile side of gaming in recent years, but a grand return to the forefront of PC gaming still seems to be a long way off.

1 Street Racers

Racing games are still alive and well today, with the Formula 1, Forza Horizon and Dirt series’ still thriving today. The Dirt franchise, in particular, looks set to have a boost in prominence following Electronic Arts’ acquisition of Codemasters.

However, street racing fans can only watch as other forms of racing games thrive, like a student in detention watching their friends have fun outside. Burnout and Midnight Club are just two of the street racing franchises that were hugely successful during the early 2000s but haven’t had new main series iterations in over a decade. There’s no reason why the genre couldn’t be successful in the 2020s, so hopefully, a resurgence is just around the corner.

NEXT: 10 Forgotten Sci-Fi Games You Need To Play