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What makes a good game?

Written on

Feb 10, 2022

There are at least millions of online games - and new ones are added every day. We from the Gameservercheck editorial team have thought about what makes a really good (online) game for this article.

There are countless online games for every taste and genre on the web. Most of them are exciting, challenging and you can lose yourself in them for hours with like-minded people, exchange ideas and of course gamble. At this point, we don't want to deny that there are also some pretty lame and lousy games. But what actually makes a really good MMO or MMORPG? We have excluded card and gambling games from this article - for good reasons.

It all comes down to taste

In short, a really good game for most people comes down to three criteria: Story, scope, playability, and as a bonus factor, the scope of the world. In addition, there is the quality (!) and the originality of the game.

A gamer who prefers to play fantasy online role-playing games will probably pay attention to other details than a gamer who mainly plays Counter Strike, i.e. a first-person shooter.

These genres exist

Online games can be roughly divided into three categories.

First-person shooters

Let's start with the most controversial category: first-person shooters. In this type of game, you shoot your way through various worlds right from your couch. This can be outer space, the "Wild West" or a very banal war scene. The best known representatives are Doom, Battlefield, Call of Duty or Counter-Strike. However, first-person shooters are not always just about mindless shooting to kill the opponent as quickly as possible. The range is huge, from fast shooters where you need a lot of skills to infinitely large worlds and maps where you can only defeat the opponent together and with tactics. Battle royale games are a subcategory of first-person shooters. The best-known representative here is certainly Fortnite.

Sandbox games

This type of games is sometimes referred to as non-games. Sandbox games are not about pursuing a concrete goal, to put it in flowery terms. Quests and stories tend to take a back seat in this category of games. Rather, you can let your creativity run free and let off steam in this type of game. The basis for this is usually an open world. The best-known sandbox game is certainly Minecraft. Black Desert Online, on the other hand, is beautiful to look at. Here you can fight epic battles, simply explore the world or pursue a career as a craftsman. One of the classics is the space MMO EVE Online, where the world is virtually completely in the player's hands. You can often find sandbox elements in games of other categories as well, for example in GTA V.

Role-playing games

This is probably the best-known category among MMORPGs. They originated from pen & paper role-playing games (for the younger readers: Yes, in the past, people actually played such games manually with dice and fantasy). Alone or together (keyword: guild) you can experience exciting adventures, fight epic battles and build your chosen character into a powerful hero*. The best-known representatives of MMORPGs are World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls. In recent years, however, countless new games have been added.

Action Adventure Games

As the name suggests, this game category combines the two genres of action and adventure. These games can be very different in structure. Sometimes they offer you a gigantic open world, sometimes a cinematic story and often you can find role-playing elements in them. A subgenre of action adventure games are survival games. Here your main task is to ensure the survival of your avatar. Most of the time, these games don't have a clear beginning and end. Rather, they are meant to encourage you to experiment. Well-known survival games are: ARK, Fallout 76 or Conan Exiles.

But what actually makes a really good game?

This is where we get to the crux of our question. What makes a really good game is still based on your personal taste. There are people who prefer plowing fields in Farming Simulator, while others prefer throwing themselves into epic battles.

Important for a good game is, for example, a good tutorial - that is, the introduction to the game. A coherent game design is also extremely important. It is said that there are people for whom the soundtrack of a game is important.

Whether a game is good or not always depends on your personal feeling. If it has a high fun factor for you, you have definitely found a good game.

The aspect game server

Especially for multiplayer games it is a good idea to use a game server. In MMO's such servers are even a must, because here daily enormous numbers of players from all countries of the world networked with each other zocken - whether free-to-play or paid game. The server itself consists of two components, the software and hardware part. When you start your game, the software establishes the connection and provides you with the game logic.

Public vs. Private

In principle, you can distinguish between two different types of servers: public and private.

Public servers

As the name suggests, these servers are public, which means that anyone can log in. Accordingly, the load is high. In addition, you cannot expand the memory there - which can be difficult, especially with mods.


With a rented, i.e. private server that you host yourself, you have much more possibilities, for example, you can install mods much more easily. If the storage space is not sufficient, you can book some.

The costs for such a game server depend, among other things, on the number of player slots and the performance that your server should have.

Other advantages of a private game server are that you have full control over the game environment. You decide who gets access to your server. If you have cheaters or unfriendly gamers, you can easily kick them out of the game.

If you like to play older games, often the official servers no longer exist - because they are no longer financially profitable for the developer studios. You can still continue to play multiplayer on your server.

The basic requirement for a private server, however, is that the studio or the developers of the game also provide the server software.

You are not forced to rent a server when you have found your perfect MMO. But it is a good idea to do so.

Game cucumbers

Let's move on to another category of "what makes a good game". We'll call them game gurks. These are games that are so bad that you regret having spent a single Euro on them - or games that are so buggy that you want to throw the controller/keyboard against the wall.

What can I do, so that I don't buy a game cucumber?

On the one hand, of course, read the reviews and reviews of the game or look on YouTube/Twitch. Secondly, you should also take a look at the studio that developed your game. How are the games that were developed there before? Are they any good or are they total garbage?