5. Extra Credits
Extra Credits is a bit of a different beast from some of the others on this list. Some of the people behind the channel have worked within the video game industry, giving them a lot of insight into how games work on the other end of the player-developer spectrum. They delve into narrative-based topics every now and again, like how character and world building work in video games. But, some of their most interesting content comes from the production end of things, such as the how-to videos for up and coming independent developers. It provides a window into the world beyond the game disc, a look into the hours and hours of time and effort (or lack thereof) some games have to go through to make it to the player. Extra Credits also dabble in videos on world history and more overtly “important” topics (such as the usage of video games in education). The simplistic yet detailed art style in the videos is just plain fun to boot. If you’ve ever been curious about game design or just like hearing what goes into your favorite games, give Extra Credits a watch.
SomecallmeJohnny is a channel that always leaves me eager for the next video. In some ways, it does what a lot of other channels do: some live streams, podcasts, game spotlights, etc. But what I really come to SomecallmeJohnny for is the “Johnny versus” series. In Johnny versus, SomecallmeJohnny faces off against a videogame series. Typically these videos are about 30 minutes. While Johnny gives some background information on the game and details of the plot in the first half, he provides critiques and discusses gameplay in the second half. Those of you can’t stand spoilers can take solace in the fact that each video includes the time to skip to if you don’t want to hear plot details. The most recent example of “Johnny versus” is Johnny versus the Metal Gear Solid franchise. He traces back to the 1987 original release all the way to the present. This specific series even included a holiday pit stop that examined a fan made Metal Gear Solid called Merry Gear Solid. SomecallmeJohnny consistently leaves viewers with deeper understandings of franchises and individual games; the content is as critical as it is entertaining. This is a channel you’re gonna want to check out.
There are plenty of channels out there that take some funny or impressive gameplay clips and match them up with some sort of comedic audio on top of them, however very few stand out like VideogameDunkey. Perhaps it’s Dunkeys’ goofy voice, troll-like ways or just the rather silly ways he carries himself. Whatever the case is, something manages to just click for some grade-A content. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that Dunkey found a lot of his success from producing League of Legends videos. And honestly, despite not being the biggest fan of the game, I always found some sort of enjoyment from the videos. However, Dunkey, a few months back, released a video saying that he was done with making Leauge of Legends content simply because he no longer enjoyed the game, even knowing that it was his popular content. The fact he was willing to abandon that popularity in order to do what he truly enjoys is very respectable. If you’re looking for a good laugh, I highly suggest Dunkey.
2. Game Grumps
The current YouTube gaming scene is full of let’s plays. In a place so full of them, there are a handful that stand out. Among them is the channel known as Game Grumps. The channel uploads a minimum of three videos a day. Two of these videos are the tried and true Game Grumps, the namesake of the channel, where two best buds, Egoraptor and Danny Sexbang, sit down and goof around while playing some video games. The chemistry between the two is genuine and often either result in hilarious, silly stories or even sob stories about their lives that many, myself included, find very deep and can draw inspiration from. No matter what the scenario is, I manage to come out of each video having taken something away, be it just a laugh or even some new philosophy of life. There is also a third video each day that bounces between Steam Train and Grumpcade, where any combination of the cast (Arin, Dan, Barry, Ross, Suzy,or Brian) may make an appearance. Grumpcade sometimes even invite other YouTubers as guests. Overall, the people who run the channel are just genuinely likeable and incredibly funny. That makes their videos well worth a watch.
While Northernlion is most known for his Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy let’s play videos, he reached the top of this list for so much more. Northernlion’s consistency in posting content and the sheer volume of that content is one thing that sets him apart from other YouTubers. There are literally thousands of videos already posted and the channel is always updated daily. The diversity present in Northernlion’s let’s plays, which range from triple-A titles like Fallout to indie games like Rogue Legacy, is a breath of fresh air. Northernlion’s “Let’s Look At” series offers some initial insights to new games released on PC/console—and even some games that haven’t been released. Lastly, his Live Super Show runs for 3 hours and can be watched at any time (if you missed the live stream on twitch). While the commentary during the “Let’s Play” series can get a bit goofy (bound to happen once you’re 300 episodes deep), Northernlion manages to be both knowledgeable and personable. And with so many different types of videos, posted so often, Northernlion offers something for everyone.