High speed internet has revolutionised our lives, from the way we work to the way we socialise. Gaming is an area that has seen profound changes in recent years, with almost every new game on the market geared in some way towards online play. The prevalence of high speed internet coupled with the increasing affordability of high end consoles and computers means that online gaming is available to a bigger market than ever before.
Due to the huge range of games and genres on offer, it may be surprising that a core of options remain universally popular. However, tastes do vary slightly from region to region, and we’ll be looking at some of the most popular online gaming options among UK users.
First Person Shooters
From originals like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom through to Overwatch and the modern Call of Duty games, first person shooters have always been a popular staple among UK gamers. As high speed internet became more widespread, the format perfectly leant itself to online play, allowing players to complete missions, play in teams or go all out in free combat.
First person shooters are so popular because they are extremely immersive – you experience the world of the game from the perspective of the protagonist. Some require stealth and skill – especially newer military based games, where there are always cunning snipers to pick you off. Others are aimed at the more trigger happy.
Although usually age restricted, they have sometimes caused controversy, with arguments that they glorify and promote violence, and can often be played by younger players. This aside, first person shooters and online gaming is a match made in heaven.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs)
MMOs have their origins in mainframe games, which although basic, created an immersive open world for gamers to play and interact within. It also has roots in role playing games, and many popular, modern MMOs feature some form of role playing, or have descended from it.
MMO is a bit of a catch all term, and can incorporate games from disparate genres such as sport, simulation, racing and more, but generally, games such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV Online are held up as the most popular in the UK. The appeal of these games lies in the interactivity – players compete or cooperate directly with one another, rather than against computer opponents.
In recent years online games have soared in popularity, becoming a powerful industry with a multi-billion dollar turnover. Countless options are available to players, with big brands from within the UK and beyond all setting up shop online. Players can choose between games at the card tables, such as blackjack and baccarat, taking their chances on the roulette wheel, or playing on the ever popular and iconic machines – all with real cash prizes and bonuses.
Better still, most online platforms offer variants of all these games, with enhanced graphics, different levels, storylines and themes and multiplayer activity. With the enormous selection of gaming available, it can seem a bit daunting for a new player. But luckily, UK players can check the Top 10 UK online games to choose the ideal place to play – and, hopefully win.
Ever since the dawn of video game technology, sports games have been popular – see Pong for example. And sports games are another type that lend themselves perfectly to the online environment. Team sports like soccer or basketball are big favourites, and car racing games also thrive online, perfect for multiple players to compete against one another.
It is testament to how far game development has come that in the absence of televised sport during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of viewers from the UK and around the world tuned into online events such as Grand Prix racing and other eSports.
Classic family games such as Monopoly, Risk and Cluedo are firm online favourites in the UK. With enhanced graphics and state of the art animations, these iconic games are brought to vivid life in a fresh and exciting way. And with the chance to play against real life opponents, be they family, friends or complete strangers, the internet has really pushed the boundaries of board games. Other games, such as Chess, Draughts, Go and Backgammon are also extremely popular – and these are games that lose their essence if played against a computer.
Online gaming is more popular than ever and development shows no sign of slowing down. UK gamers are spoilt for choice, whether they are playing to socialise, compete or win money.