Nowadays I spend probably as much time watching gaming content on YouTube than I actually do playing games myself, whether I am tidying up around the apartment or writing an essay, I always have something playing in the background. These are seven YouTube channels that have personally brought me joy and that I think you may be interested in. I am always looking for more unique content to dive into so if you have any suggestions on gaming-centric YouTube channels that I should check out feel free to drop links in the comment section below.
Brian Gilbert (Polygon)
Polygon’s content is not something that I have personally clicked with on the whole, but Brian Gilbert is a wonderful exception, as his Unravelled series is simply some of the best gaming content I have came across. Self-referenced as “absurdly comprehensive game lore”, if you want to have a complete breakdown of the Zelda timeline in fifteen minutes, figure out who is the best cuddler in the Mortal Kombat series, or even discover which monster in Castlevania is the hottest, Brian has you covered. If you have a spare thirty minutes, stop reading this and watch his live performance from PAX East in which he tries to create the perfect PokeRap, because it is one of the best things I have ever watched.
As per the name-sake, Jirard Khalil – The Completionist – takes a game and completes every possible task in it before writing a lengthy review on it from the perspective of a completionist, which leads to an incredibly comprehensive breakdown of the pros, the cons and the hidden surprises that a game has in store for you. His main episodes feature the same, concise formula discussing several different aspects of the game – the story, the presentation, the gameplay and the overall difficulty involved in reaching 100% completion – wrapping up with a rating ranging from “Complete It” to “Donate It”. Whilst he does not play every new release, often diving into retro titles, it is great delve into titles of present and past days and well worth a watch if there is a title you are interested in or want a lengthy discussion on a title you love.
BeatEmUps surprisingly features very little content about, y’know, BeatEmUps. Actually now that I think about it I cannot recall a single video that is about the genre. However, Wood does have a lot of content centred around Nintendo, bringing you all types of Switch related goodness, which makes subscribing to him a very good idea if you own one. It is hard to pinpoint his content to a singular style as he bounces effortlessly from reviews, gameplay and discussion videos on top of a number of regular series he has on the go. If you want something to check out first then my personal favourites are his series on the top ten recent indie games released or the videos of his girlfriend, Kim, and him buying one another weird Switch accessories.
People Make Games
Whilst Chris Bratt was mostly preoccupied with watching VR porn and giving awards to sandwich stands when he worked at Eurogamer, he also began working on Here’s a Thing, a semi-regular series which became a passion project of his. The content was fantastic, bringing you short mini-documentaries showcasing some of the more unique stories within the games industry, such as the Fallout sex formula, why Dwarf Fortress started randomly killing cats, or how a Kinect may have been used to stage an art heist. Creating content like this proved to be rather time-intensive, not to mention challenging whilst working full-time at Eurogamer, so he made the bold decision to start up his own channel. People Make Games is the result and if you would like to know how Neopets was sold to Scientologists… well, we have you covered.
Before I met my girlfriend it is fair to say that she was not all that enthusiastic about video games, but as time has gone on she has began to really enjoy watching me play through games like Resident Evil 7 or Celeste, and we do so regularly. Whilst there is an abundance of reviews that tackle what it is like to play a game, very few look at what it is like to be a passive participant in a game, and that is precisely what Girlfriend Reviews is tapping into. Most videos from Shelby and Matt are from Shelby’s perspective on what it is like to watch her boyfriend play through a game, occasionally with her jumping in and playing co-op, and with a very comedic, tongue-in-cheek approach to describing what she liked, disliked, and thought was interesting from the viewpoint of someone who is watching. If you are looking for reviews with a twist this is a channel to check out.
An outlier in this list, JackFrags is one of only a few channels I watch regularly that is primarily gameplay focused, and for good reason. Whilst he is definitely a very competitive gamer – his content revolving mostly around online first-person shooters – he has a very approachable, relaxed and friendly personality that really stands out among the crowd making him great to watch. He has a dedicated fanbase that is very much Battlefield focused but Jack has done regular content on a number of different games from Fortnite to Sea of Thieves to PUBG, alongside a couple of one-off videos on titles that are a little bit off the beat for his channel. Last year I had the pleasure of playing with Jack during the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta and as a big fan of his and the battle royale genre it was a pleasure to take on Blackout alongside him.
Oddheader is best described as peak late night YouTube. If I want to cuddle up under the covers, turn off all the lights, and veg out on YouTube this is definitely one of my channels to go to as list video after list video showcasing the creepiest secrets, most surprising glitches, or the best easter eggs found in video games. With a 90’s, retro skate-punk vibe coming from the visual style and voiceover, Oddheader’s videos feel somewhat unique among the backdrop of the highly curated content that we are used to watching nowadays.
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