large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What are AAA games?

Whether you’re a veteran gamer or just stepping into the world for the first time, you have probably heard of AAA (pronounced triple-A) games. But what are they, and what does a AAA game usually entail?

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about AAA games.

What are AAA games?

AAA games are games that are produced with a high budget, usually by a large and well-known publisher, such as EA, Ubisoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Xbox Game Studios, Nintendo and more.

The term was originally coined in the 90’s and now refers to hundreds of games on the market.

While there is not a set limit on how much money needs to be spent on a AAA game, they usually cost a lot to produce and a lot to market, with many recent examples, such as Elden Ring or Horizon Forbidden West, with high fiedelity visuals and huge interactive worlds.

AAA games usually have huge teams working on them, while an indie game (such as Hollow Knight or Stardew Valley) may only have one to two people creating the game. It’s important to remember that a AAA game isn’t a guaranted sign of quality though, as they can still launch with underwhelming visuals and lots of performance issues, as Cyberpunk 2077 recently proved.

And while AAA games may have a far bigger budget and larger team of developers, they have also have less creative freedom than an indie title. This is one of many reasons why a game with a smaller budget may well offer a more enjoyable experience than a AAA game.

AAA games also usually require a powerful CPU and GPU to perform effectively, often supporting high-end features such as ray tracing. AAA games often cost a lot of money too, usually around £50 and £70 for a standard edition.

What other sorts of games are there?

The two main types of games are AAA and indies. AAA games have a huge team of developers and big budget, while indies titles have the opposite.

But there are also games that sit somewhere in the middle. The term ‘AA game’ was coined faierly recently, and has been used to refer to the likes of Life Is Strange and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. These titles have major publishers and a sizable budget, but nowhere on the same scale as the likes of God of War, Halo Infinite and Call of Duty.

There are no hard boundairies for such classifications, so it’s all very subjective. It’s also worth pointing out that acquisitions can blur the lines of a game’s classification. One of the most popular indie games ever made is Minecraft, and was originally created by a single person. However, Minecraft has since been acquired by Minecraft, and now has access to more money and developers.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.