In this article, we take a look at the best responsive WordPress gaming themes. If you’re building a gaming magazine, gaming portal, or game review site on the WordPress platform, and want to save a bit of money by using a theme instead of an expensive custom design, these themes are good place to start.
Most of the themes in this round-up were designed for use as magazine or review themes. As such, the most basic requirements are mostly covered by WordPress itself, but a built-in rating systems and support for reviews is a nice feature. Most of the themes on this list include review capability of some kind. A few of these themes integrate bbPress and BuddyPress, which will be worth having if you intend to build a gaming community as well. Finally, a few support gaming directly on the site, with the help of the MyArcade plugin.
We picked these themes out by hand, and made our decisions based on design first, and features second.
If you’re still on the look out for a good hosting solution for your gaming site, we recommend Bluehost.
Although it has lots of great things going for it, the Youplay gaming theme for WordPress earns our top spot for one reason: we just love the design. A lot. It’s minimal, in it’s own way, but maintains a unique, niche-appropriate character. The usability is top-notch. Visually engaging touches like parallax scrolling are implemented expertly & tastefully. Designers sometimes have a habit of throwing every trend at the wall and seeing what sticks, but that’s not the case here. All design choices work together to form one cohesive aesthetic and UX. Performance is speedy, and nothing ever gets bogged down or feels lagged by the jQuery tricks or unnecessary animations.
Of course, great design wouldn’t mean much if the features were substandard, so we’re happy to report plenty of value on that end. WooCommerce is supported, for setting up a storefront and selling merchandise. bbPress is integrated, to help you build and grow and thriving gaming community. Or you can just use it for it’s awesome blogging features.
Site owners will enjoy the codeless creation and editing of layouts thanks to the bundled Visual Composer plugin (the best solutions for front-end, drag & drop page building). The ubiquitous Slider Revolution is bundled free, too, for assembling impressive homepage slideshows. (I never actually have the patience to do this. But hey, lots of people seem to dig it. What do I know?)
A smorgasbord of back-end options gives you plenty of buttons to push and knobs to toggle, and if you’re not happy with color presets you can use the unlimited color options to design your own schemes. Built with the might Bootstrap framework, Youplay is 100% responsive for flawless display and functionality on mobile gizmos, and it’s retina-ready to boot, so you can count on crisp graphics on high-resolution devices. SEO ready! Highly Recommended.More Info/Download
Kappa is an understated gaming theme featuring a straight-forward, traditional blog layout. It’s light-weight, fast, and familiar, guaranteeing an above average user experience.
Kappa comes with its own integrated review system, allowing you to create detailed reviews, not only for games, but for any sort of product you want. And the theme is WooCommerce ready, so you can set up a storefront and sell your wares without any additional coding or styling.
Five custom widgets and four layout styles are provided out of the box allowing for even more flexibility, and a useful theme options panel on the back-end gives you some control over fonts and typography.
Other notable secondary features included with this responsive theme are Contact Form 7 support, Jetpack compatibility, and a visually engaging (but easy to use) homepage slider. Kappa is translation ready and WPML compatible.More Info/Download
Unlike the Kappa theme, primarily intended for building blogs and gaming magazines, Blackfyre was developed and designed with gaming communities in mind. The Skywarrior team has provided a complete clan war system. Users can create and manage clans, create profiles, and take advantage of a full range of community-oriented features (provided by excellent BuddyPress & bbPress integration). User-friendly, front-end forms are built-in to improve UX.
The design is perfectly matched to its intended use. Classic high-contrast design, dark gradients, and subtle textures add depth and visual interest. Flourishes like parallax backgrounds and video backgrounds offer an extra touch of contemporary flair.
Site owners and admins will appreciate the popular Visual Composer plugin (bundled free) for building and editing layouts (on the front-end). The theme is responsive, built on the robust Bootstrap framework, and SEO ready. Theme options are included for tweaking and customizing colors and fonts, and extensive documentation (as well as XML demo data) that will ensure a stress-free installation and setup is available.More Info/Download
Our top spot goes to the Games Zone theme. Games Zone was designed with gaming magazines and gaming blogs in mind, and the sleek, modern, but familiar aesthetic will make your visitors feel right home. Extended theme options give you even more control over frontend appearance, with color selection, font choices, and more.
On the features end, Games Zone makes it easy to create and publish reviews, and includes a built-in events calendar. The theme is reponsive and retina-ready, so it’ll look equally sharp on whatever mobile device you view it on. The theme is advertising ready, and comes with a selection of useful shortcodes that add even more flexibility to the theme.
The theme is regularly updated and well supported by the excellent team at ThemeFuse.More Info/Download
Gameleon is another theme that was developed and designed specifically for video game oriented websites. It’s one of the older selections on our list, but the strong, contemporary design and frequent updates keep it at the top of the list.
Gameleon includes a variety of useful features. It’s compatible with the MyArcade plugin. It’s also BuddyPress and bbPress ready, which will help you to build and manage an engaging community.
Highly customizable, with a huge theme options panel, Gameleon will give you plenty control over the frontend appearance of your site. A number of bonuses are bundled in, like Slider Revolution and the WordPress Review plugin for adding reviews and ratings to your posts and pages.
Gameleon is responsive and SEO optimized.More Info/Download
We liked Gauge so much that it appears on another Siteturner round-up, too. This is promoted as a review theme, but its design is clearly well matched for building game-related online magazines. Gauge is retina-ready and responsive, and provides lots of settings in the admin that allow for additional customization.
Some lovely features like a review system will come in handy, and extras like AJAX filtering and video headers will help to provide your visitors with an excellent user experience. Support for other popular third party plugins is included too: WooCommerce, BuddyPress and bbPress.
Demo data is made available to ensure a quick & painless installation, and the theme is SEO optimized and translation ready.More Info/Download
Explicit is our second selection from the team at IndustrialThemes. While the developer may not market it as a WordPress gaming theme, there’s no mistaking that familiar, bold design. Of course, it could work equally well for a site covering other sorts of entertainment, too – movies, television, gadgets, whatever you like.
There’s lots of features and options to play with here. Support for the best third party plugins, like WooCommerce and BuddyPress, are provided. Modern flourishes like infinite scrolling, AJAX powered mega menus and touch sliders add even more value and bang-for-your-buck. The ratings system itself is a real stand-out, allowing unlimited criteria and selective ratings.
Explicit is responsive, high resolution and built on Bootstrap 3.1. This is a good choice if you want a full featured magazine solution, though it could be overkill for those with a simplier blog style in mind. Be sure to take a look at the lengthy features list on the product page if you have a few minutes to spare.More Info/Download
GameOn is a WordPress arcade and gaming theme that’s bold, bright and fun. Not just a run of the mill gaming magazine theme, GameOn comes with support for the MyArcade plugin. The theme also provides support for both BuddyPress and bbPress, so you’ll have no trouble building and managing a large gaming community on your website.
There’s no shortage of options on the backend, with unlimited color schemes to choose from, custom typography settings, and shortcodes for additional flexibility. A couple of popular premium plugins are bundled in, too: Slider Revolution, Mega Posts and Custom Posts Display.
The theme is translation ready, and supports Google Analytics integration out of the box. Definitely worth a closer look.More Info/Download
A very specific type of WordPress gaming theme, Game Addict is a theme made for clan war gaming. You can create and manage maps, teams and games.
Beyond this built-in clan war system, Game Addict also provides users with some standard features like WooCommerce, BuddyPress and bbPress support. A bit of visual flare is provided by CSS animations and transitions, parallax blocks and video blocks. The theme is WPML ready, and includes a full-features ratings system.
LayerSlider and Isotope Gallery are included as free bonuses. Extensive options and a drag & drop layout build make Game Addict easy to further customize and tweak.More Info/Download
Gametime is an HTML5, CSS3 powered WordPress gaming theme developed for use as a gaming magazine. It allows custom reviews based on a built-in ratings system. The theme is responsive, having been built on the powerful Twitter Bootstrap framework.
The game has additional built-in support for advertising, so you can monetize the site, and provides widgets for gaming hints and tips. Lightbox is smartly integrated to give visitors browsing videos and walk-throughs a better user experience.
Users can change the appearance of the theme quickly and easily using the options panel in the backend, choosing from a wide selection of Google fonts and colors. And lazier users might want to go with one of the four colour presets and layouts.More Info/Download
SevenMag, though not necessarily designed for gaming, has an aesthetic that can be easily pushed in that direction. It’s fairly new, evidenced by the modern, flat design. SevenMag wisely chooses user experience over visual flashiness and gimmicks, making it a stronger product overall. Subtle animations and rollovers add just enough pizazz.
On the features end, a page builder is provided, and advanced theme options to give you full control of how things are going to look to your visitors on the frontend. SevenMag comes will all sorts of magazine specific functionality, including a star-based review system, news ticker, and a touch slideshow.
The theme is retina-ready and responsive, as you’d expect, and also provides PSDs, just in case you’re a narcissist who really wants to get in there and wreck an otherwise lovely design. Just kidding! We know you’re a brilliant designer too.More Info/Download
Much of the strength of the Game theme from GavickPro lies in its bold, high-contrast design. The deep blacks and rich reds will make a big impression on your site’s visitors. The design is tasteful and modern without overdoing it, making for a speedy, pleasant user experience.
The features of Game provide a lot of magazine-related functionality: reviews, editorials, previews and more all get their own space on the homepage. A large, homepage slider that greets your visitors makes a immediate impact. There’s also Joomla version of this theme available, if anyone cares about that.More Info/Download
Our second selection from GavickPro, GameNews, also provides you with everything you’ll need to build a robust gaming magazine and website. Extraneous bells & whistles are minimized in favor of clean, responsive design that puts content first and makes for an excellent user experience.
This responsive theme is easy to use and supports a wide range of content, with a variety of content templates that allow you to post everything from full-width videos to galleries of screenshots. It’s also a breeze to categorize and display content on the homepage in just the way you want. Dynamic homepages are made possible by the featured-packed News Show Pro and Tabs plugins that are included with the theme.More Info/Download
The Orizon theme by Skywarrior brings something of an old-school design aesthetic to the table, making great use of tasteful gradients, rich colors and vibrant background images. You could also most describe this theme as having ‘graphics’, which is certainly appropriate for its intended use as a gaming theme.
Aside from a powerful options panel that will give you plenty of knobs to fiddle with on the backend, Orizon comes with a few other noteworthy features. A premium parallax slider is included, to add visual interest to the homepage, and the theme is compatible with both BuddyPress and bbPress. You’ll be able to manage and nurture your own growing community with ease.
Detailed instructions are included (including video tutorials), and a support forum is available should you get stuck.More Info/Download
Oblivion is simple, straight-forward and a pleasure to use. The understated, elegant design makes for fast, pleasant UX. The additional features like bbPress and BuddyPress support, a rating system, and a drag & drop page builder add even more value.
WooCommerce is supported, so you’ll be able to hawk your wares without any fuss. The theme is built on a solid HTML5/CSS3 codebase (thanks to Bootstrap 3), and it’s SEO ready and translation ready. The theme options panel on the backend gives you control over colors, typography, backgrounds and more. Good stuff.More Info/Download
This simple, easy to use WordPress gaming theme from CSSIgniter is perfect for building a straight-foward game review site. With three homepage layouts to choose from, users can create and publish reviews using the built-in ratings system. IndieGamer is responsive and includes an advanced options panel.
The theme is translation ready, coded with best practices and includes a handy shortcodes plugin for adding extended functionality to the theme and your posts. And the background is all pretty-like.More Info/Download
Truth be told, we almost overlooked the NewsSetter theme by ThemeFuse. At first glance, the screenshot doesn’t seem like much to look at – but closer inspection of the demo reveals so much more. This is a surprisingly effective design, which sets itself apart from recent WordPress theming trends.
NewsSetter is responsive, retina-ready and includes four pre-made styles. An elegant HTML5 slider is included, which the developer describes as “all you will need”, and we’re inclined to agree. New webmasters might be inclined to opt for as many flashing, whirling gimmicks as they can, but we strong urge people toward the”less is more” direction.
A mega menu is included here, and a variety of custom post types for sensibly organizing content. The theme also includes a powerful contact form module, tons of shortcodes, and advanced SEO options.More Info/Download
Another theme that almost snuck by us somehow is GamesTheme. And it would have been a shame not to include it: it might actually be one of the more feature rich selections on our list.
The design of the theme hits the mark, and GamesTheme supports WooCommerce and bbPress out of the box. The Mail Subscription manager is also nicely integrated, which will help you to grow your mailing list and keep in touch with your audience.
Extended documentation and video tutorials are provided.More Info/Download
Score is the oldest theme on our list, but the clean, classic design earns it a spot regardless. BuddyPress and bbPress are fully integrated, and Score includes an advanced, built-in review system.
This is a good option for WordPress beginners who might be intimidated by the endless options, plugins, and slideshows bundled with some of the ‘bigger’ themes, and just want a simple solution for publishing their reviews and other gaming-related content.
Almost one thousand sales and a 4.5 rating on ThemeForest means that Score is an expertly developed, easy to use product with an above average support team.More Info/Download
And that concludes our round-up of the best WordPress gaming themes. If you’ve got any suggestions or additions, feel free to let us know in the comments.