In any VideoGame, your primary goal is to survive to the end. How much else you need to do between here and there, on the other hand, is entirely up to the game developer.

Objectives in a Video Game or TabletopRPG may be described in a variable amount of detail; the variety of such specificity goes along a sliding scale thusly:

'''Win''' - The most basic type of Objective, this is when the only objective is to survive the level to the end. Since "Win" is the basic goal of every game ''ever'', that makes it essentially a MetaGame.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' -- just run through the game, shooting anything that gets in your way, and reach the exit.
* ''VideoGame/{{Flower}}''. Although since you can't die, it's really only "reach the end of the level."

'''Broad''' - One step up from "Win", this is a mission objective which is so broad in scope or definition that it may seem to lose all practical meaning. For more recent games, this is usually tempered by morphing into a Sequential Objective; in most cases, you may have to accomplish specific tasks in order to proceed, but these will not be listed as actual Objectives.
* ''VideoGame/JediOutcast'' had mission objectives like "Investigate the Outpost". Ooookay. There were usually specific tasks you had to accomplish, but you had to figure out for yourself exactly what those tasks might be.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' literally drops you into a new universe without any instructions whatsoever. ''VideoGame/IIIExile'' and ''VideoGame/{{Uru}}'' (from later in the story) function in much the same way.
* Some sports games might fall into this, if you're in a "league" and your orverarching goal is some kind of tournament; your base objective is still "Win".
* {{Boss Battle}}s would probably fall under this tent.
* [[VideoGame/{{STALKER}} FIND STRELOK. KILL STRELOK.]] [[spoiler: You can do this in the first couple of minutes of the game if you wish.]]

'''Task-Based''' - The game actually gives the player something to do, and tells you ''what'' to do (though usually not ''how'' to do it). These can typically be fulfilled in any order, unlike Sequential Objectives, but failure of any one Objective usually results in a NonStandardGameOver.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997''
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark''
* ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter''
* ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'' (the sequel to Myst) falls in this category ("Find Katherine, capture Gehn using this book, signal Atrus"). So does ''VideoGame/MystIVRevelation'' ("Keep an eye on Yeesha"), although in this case the instructions are not only vague but actively misleading...
* The SNES version of ''Videogame/{{Alien 3}}''.

'''Sequential''' - Related to Task-Based, Sequential Objectives are, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as the name implies]], a series of tasks in which one action leads directly to the next, or a given task may not be possible until certain other tasks are completed. This is not necessarily (and, indeed, rarely is) because the sequence of objectives together forms a story arc; typically, it's just a case of a newer, unrelated objective appearing [[{{Railroading}} only after previous tasks have been fulfilled.]] Often a sign of a PinballProtagonist.
* Most ''Franchise/JamesBond''-inspired games following ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'' take the "sequentially revealed objectives" route.
* So does ''StarWars Battlefront 2''
* ''[[StarWars Revenge Of The Sith]]'' features specific objectives which pop up at just the moment you need to accomplish them.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' combines this with a "sequential map". As objectives are completed, new ones will appear in an area of map that is suddenly made available that the player could not see before.
* The ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' series regularly had objectives that didn't show up until you completed other, earlier objectives, combined with objectives that didn't occur until something happened in the world outside of your mission, which your MissionControl reacted to.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''.
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''. "Thanks for fixing X, Isaac, but now Y is broken! Fix it!"
* The Assault gamemode of ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' is based around a mixture of this and Win: the attackers have to accomplish several objectives in the specified order to win while the defenders merely have to hold them off until time's up. Then the roles are reversed and the former defenders have to beat the time of the former attackers and/or (in ''[=UT2004=]'') accomplish more objectives than the former attackers.
* ''VideoGame/LANoire'' gives the player specific objectives only when/if the player finds specific, relevant clues during an investigation. Mostly of the "Find [Person X]" or "Investigate [Location Z]" variety.

'''Quest''' - Standard in [=RPGs=]. There is one large overarching goal (other than "Win", that is), and several sub-quests, which may or may not directly relate to the Quest at first glance; or, the overarching Objective may be split into several "tasks". Quest-style Objectives, especially sub-quests/tasks, often overlap with Sequential Objectives.
* of course, [=RPGs=]
* ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Tron 2.0]]''
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx''

'''Optional''' - again, ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. These are objectives which will prove worthwhile in the end, but are not game breakers if they are not achieved. They can fall into any of the categories listed above.
* ''VideoGame/ProjectSnowblind''
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDarkZero''
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' was notable because almost ''the entire game'' was optional. If you could avoid having your level 2 Chosen One's [[YourHeadAsplode head squished like a grape]] from the enemies you find there, you can go straight from the tutorial level to the Enclave bases.
* In ''VideoGame/{{ARMA}} 2'', objectives will present themselves in missions and you can choose right then and there to accept or ignore them. Completing them effects how the campaign does overall, especially in regards to the disposition of the locals.
* Each level in ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' has an optional sub-objective specific to that level, which rewards the player with a new card in the Black Tarot deck. These objectives generally range from weapon restrictions (beat the level using only the Painkiller or the Stake Gun) to combat challenges (beat the level while keeping your HP above 50, or don't collect any armor in the level) to fetch quests (find every ammo drop or secret in the level).
* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' does have objectives (which can be done in almost any order) and an ending, but these are basically incidental to the game's true appeal: [[WideOpenSandbox wandering around aimlessly]] through the protagonist's [[SceneryGorn creepy, depressing]] [[MentalWorld dream world]].
* Most missions in ''VideoGame/AceCombat3Electrosphere'' had a hidden optional objective, which was needed for a "Mission Accomplished" result (otherwise, it would be "Mission Over" or "[[GameOver Mission Failed]]"). [[DoWellButNotPerfect "MA" wasn't always a desired outcome]], however, as some missions were only available if the respective previous mission was completed with an "MO".
* Most of the memories in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' have an optional objective needed for "full synchronization" (100% as opposed to 50%). 100% synch of an entire memory sequence unlocked cheat codes, while a full synch in all sequences earned you an achievement.

This trope can also show up in other media, normally in a MissionBriefing.

For those that cannot be won at all, see EndlessGame.