Gaming Revealed: Top Non-Traditional Genres & Subgenres for Men

When it comes to gaming, the vast majority of the industry is composed of male professionals. To be fair, this is a generalization, as women have been involved in the gaming industry in a variety of ways for decades. However, there’s an undeniable tilt toward male interests in just about every video game release on the market.

For the most part, this focus reflects the industry’s primary consumers; men tend to game more frequently than women when it comes to non-casual titles. Once again, it’s worth pointing out that women have greatly contributed to the rise of casual games, from word puzzles to simulations. But when it comes to the realm of competitive and large-scale gaming, male gamers remain more interested and engaged. 

Still, that doesn’t mean that every guy grew up playing FIFA or Halo. In fact, it’s quite common for men to get into gaming later on in life once they have more free time and more funds to target the gaming hardware they like. But what sorts of genres should they start out playing? Is it best to go with a sports simulation like football or basketball—or is it better to venture into FPS territory? 

Let’s skip both popular genres. Instead, we’re going to focus on more niche genres and subgenres that will bring out any man’s inner game (and possibly inner nerd).

Poker

For decades, poker has been one of the most popular card games in the world. Just about everyone remembers the era of watching WSOP Main Events in the 90s and early 2000s—but have you tried out playing poker online? Globally, it’s estimated around 100 million players are active via virtual platforms where they compete for real money in tournaments and table games.

If you’ve dabbled with Texas Hold’em or Omaha before, then consider this a sign to dive back in. There are dozens of quality platforms to play on. Plus, you can start off playing for free before you’re ready to get your bankroll involved.  

Survival

There’s nothing quite like getting out of a tough situation unscathed. If high-risk sports adventures aren’t your thing, then consider trying out survival games. You can tackle highly realistic outdoor survival games, such as Rust or Green Hell, or more fantastical takes on horror like The Forest and Dying Light. If you want something even more relaxed, try out Minecraft or even Subnautica.

One reason why survival games are so appealing is that they tend to offer multiplayer modes. That allows you to tackle some truly trying situations with your friends at your side—virtually, at least.

RTS

In case you don’t have a friend who’s really into the Age of Empires series, RTS stands for real-time strategy. These games require players to take on others to build a strong fortress or empire at the same time, rather than in a turn-based game. The goal is to establish a strong settlement, then expand quickly and efficiently. 

Once again, you have options about playing solo, battling friends, or working cooperatively with them. But take a close look at each game before downloading, as not all focus on cooperative play. Two of the most popular genres within RTS games are medieval fantasy settings, like in Northgard and Driftland: The Magic Revival, or sci-fi themes, like Supreme Commander and Starcraft 2.  

Roguelikes

Let’s close this list off with one of the more unique subgenres out there: roguelikes. Roguelikes are games that include various levels (often in a dungeon) that are randomized for added challenge. Most games don’t allow respawns; those that do still shake up each level so that you’re never playing the same game twice. 

While many roguelikes include retro-style graphics, that’s not always the case for top hits. Hades is a hit with incredible graphics and a great storyline. Crypto of the NecroDancer, by contrast, is a rhythm-based roguelike that will have you bopping in your chair while you play. Keep in mind that these types of games aren’t usually multiplayer, so you’ll be on a solo mission.