19 votes

What let's play channels are good nowadays?

So I really respect what can be done with the let's play format and think it can be great art in its own right, but I think it's in a bit of a rut. A lot of the older and more successful channels have gotten repetitive or otherwise stopped being worth watching, so I'd love some recommendations for creators who are currently putting out good work.

Who do you think is making good content or even pushing the format forward?

21 comments

  1. [3]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    Let's Plays are such a broad genre that suggestions really depend on the sort of games you like and style of LP you're looking for. None of my suggestions are going to be "groundbreaking" per se,...

    Let's Plays are such a broad genre that suggestions really depend on the sort of games you like and style of LP you're looking for. None of my suggestions are going to be "groundbreaking" per se, but all of them are still currently active, have huge back catalogues you can binge, and are pretty dependable quality, IMO. I subscribe to a fair few <250k sub ones too, so hopefully you will find something new you can enjoy here:


    Do you like Grand Strategy games (e.g. Paradox's Europa Universalis 4, Crusader Kings 2, etc)? Try Arumba.

    Do you like Paradox games but also want to see someone crush a random assortment of insanely difficult retro-ish games as well? Try DDRJake (who is the game director for Paradox's Europa Universalis 4) and his 2 hours of hell series. His punishment game series is hilarious as well. Whenever he loses a 2 hours of hell challenge he has to play a subscriber suggested game and they are typically the absolute most buggy/broken and/or difficult/frustrating games to play, which make them fun to watch him suffer through.

    Do you like Paradox games but also like Blood Bowl (Warhammer based tactical, turn-based, sports strategy game)? Try cKnoor (who is a marketing producer at Paradox).

    Do you like Blood Bowl but want to see it played by a God-tier player? Try Jimmy Fantastic (I used to mod his Twitch).

    Do you like watching massive battles in tactical RTS' like Total War? Try Invicta (who also does legit History documentaries as well) or JackieFish.

    Do like Total War but also like Mount & Blade (first person historical battle sim)? Try Pixelated Apollo.

    Do you like "immersive" RPGs like Skyrim/Fallout? Try Gopher or Many A True Nerd.

    Do you like Mil-sims like ARMA played by an absolutely legendary squad leader and ace helo pilot? Try Dslyecxi.

    Do you like Job Simulation games like Eurotruck/Spintires/Car Mechanic? Try Squirrel.

    Do you like a solid mix of games and mindless tomfoolery? Try videogamedunkey or Game Grumps (I know you and I have talked about them before... but someone else who reads this may not have heard of them).

    Want that done in a British accent? Try SovietWomble or NerdCubed.

    What about a "funny" Nordic accent? Try Killian Experience or Robbaz.

    Or perhaps a Slavic one? Try Life of Borris.

    And yes, I subscribe to an absolute ton of YouTube channels. It's kind of my thing. ;)


    p.s. If you want some suggestions for "no longer active" LPers that have a big back catalogue of videos/series you can binge watch (e.g. beagelrush's fantastic XCOM: Ironman Impossible, XCOM War Within: Live and Impossible and XCOM 2: Live and Legendary series), let me know. I have plenty of those, too.

    19 votes
    1. [2]
      Adys Link Parent
      That's a great list, lots of good channels in there I recognize. Do you know Volx? I've been watching his Don't Starve series. 150+ episodes of the vanilla game, 250+ episodes of RoG which I'm in...

      That's a great list, lots of good channels in there I recognize. Do you know Volx? I've been watching his Don't Starve series. 150+ episodes of the vanilla game, 250+ episodes of RoG which I'm in the middle of. It's super soothing.

      As an aside, it's not really a Let's Play but my absolute favourite playthrough series is Day9TV's "Mostly Walking" series, in which Day9, ifndef and funwithleigh (aka funwithbill) play through adventure games (mostly old, often-shitty ones). Their latest game "Unavowed" is actually fantastic and super addictive, it's a pretty recent one.

      1 vote
      1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        I have not heard of Volx, but I have about 70 hours played in Don't Starve and am actually currently playing Oxygen Not Included (the new space colony sim from Klei Entertainment) so that channel...

        I have not heard of Volx, but I have about 70 hours played in Don't Starve and am actually currently playing Oxygen Not Included (the new space colony sim from Klei Entertainment) so that channel looks right up my alley. Subscribed and thanks for the suggestion!

        And yeah I adore Day9 too. He seems like a genuinely swell guy and his personal story episodes are always amazingly heartfelt. I also used to be super in to Starcraft/Starcraft 2 (I was a Master ranked Zerg player) and he was the king of match commentary and coaching. I love that he has branched out to HearthStone, MTG, Dota and a bunch of other games now too though since I am pretty done with Starcraft by this point after so many years playing it.

        1 vote
  2. [3]
    Whom Link
    My taste leans toward channels which are multi-person and focused on storytelling / emergent comedy (old Yogscast), design commentary / podcast-like analysis (Spoiler Warning), and even a bit of...

    My taste leans toward channels which are multi-person and focused on storytelling / emergent comedy (old Yogscast), design commentary / podcast-like analysis (Spoiler Warning), and even a bit of high volume noise (Game Grumps), rather than the more reaction-focused ones or factual ones that act more like extremely complete walkthroughs. I'd appreciate some more personal recommendations. Including it here because I didn't want to make the OP suggest it's all for me personally.

    5 votes
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      Ah dang... I didn't see this comment last night when I made my initial suggestion comment. There are only a couple channels I can think of that are both multi-person and either emergent...

      Ah dang... I didn't see this comment last night when I made my initial suggestion comment. There are only a couple channels I can think of that are both multi-person and either emergent storytelling or comedy focused similar to GameGrumps and old Yogscast. I am sure you have probably heard of a lot of these though since they aren't exactly small channels:

      SuperMega - Made by Ryan and Matt from Game Grumps.

      Super Best Friends Play - Very similar to Game Grumps.

      Let's Play, Achievement Hunter and Funhaus - Red vs. Blue creator Rooster Teeth's gaming/LP channels.

      Birgirpall - Two hilarious Icelandic dudes who intentionally break games and laugh maniacally about it. Sadly they aren't very active anymore.

      Cinnemassacre and Cinemassacre Plays - AKA the Angry Video Game nerd and his friends... but thankfully their new stuff and alt channel is nothing like that obnoxious character he used to play.

      Node - RocketJump/Corridor Crew's air-soft battles and gaming channel, a bit like Rooster Teeth. It's not strictly LP but has tons of fun multiplayer series/sessions like VR and LAN Party.


      p.s. If you don't mind single player LPs with emergent storytelling then I would suggest Gopher and Many A True Nerd, both of whom I also suggested in the previous comment. They often roleplay their characters while playing in the RPG games, but they're not super strict about it and often include lots of fun meta-commentary too. Many A True Nerd's older videos are also really worth watching, IMO. He has some really amazing playthroughs where he imposes strict artificial limitations on himself:

      Fallout: New Vegas - You Only Live Once (no healing allowed + permadeath)
      F:NV - Kill Everything (that the game allows him to kill, including vital NPCs)
      F:NV - No Kill

      Fallout 3 - You Only Live Once
      F3 - Kill Everything

      Mass Effect - No Guns

      5 votes
    2. Adys Link Parent
      Oh yeah. Definitely Mostly Walking then as recommended in my other reply :)

      Oh yeah. Definitely Mostly Walking then as recommended in my other reply :)

      2 votes
  3. tunneljumper Link
    He mostly does twitch now, but I'm a big fan of Rockleesmile and his commentary on video game design.

    He mostly does twitch now, but I'm a big fan of Rockleesmile and his commentary on video game design.

    4 votes
  4. [2]
    yellow Link
    As cfabbro mentioned, Killian Experience and Dunkey are great channels. Killian does "garbage" guides, challenges, explanations of games; Dunkey does comedic yet accurate reviews along with some...

    As cfabbro mentioned, Killian Experience and Dunkey are great channels. Killian does "garbage" guides, challenges, explanations of games; Dunkey does comedic yet accurate reviews along with some compiled vs matches of games; and they both do excellent, miscellaneous bits about games. I would recommend at least checking out Killian's rant about the historical inaccuracy of potatoes in medieval games(specifically Dragon Quest XI).

    Some channels I haven't seen mentioned:

    Pikasprey: Has 2 channels, one does edited videos of trivia or challenges mostly about Pokemon, Castlevania, or weird fan games; the other does unedited play throughs of those videos. Has done a few videos on "soft-lock picking" out of 'inescapable' situations in games.

    GampChamp3000: Has a channel and streams(also uploads streams afterwards), does some reviews, but is most notable for carrying out seemingly impossible challenges with extreme enthusiasm. Such as beating Super Mario Odyssey without jumping.

    Jolly Wangcore: Mostly streams, but uploads edited videos afterwards (occasionally), typically subtitled though, so that's nice. Pretty much exclusively does mods for Half-life 2. Personally, I liked the "too many crates" video.

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      The too many crates video was absolutely hilarious, and the Super Mario Odyssey and soft lock picking videos were fascinating and their dedication to the respective games was impressive. The...

      The too many crates video was absolutely hilarious, and the Super Mario Odyssey and soft lock picking videos were fascinating and their dedication to the respective games was impressive. The editing on all three were perfect, too.

      I hadn't heard of any of those three YouTubers either, so thanks for introducing me to three new awesome channels I can sub to! :)

      2 votes
  5. [2]
    KernelPanic Link
    Keith ballard does really extensive slow let's plays, 100%ing almost every game he plays. He has a really large backlog too - I particularly recommend his witness series

    Keith ballard does really extensive slow let's plays, 100%ing almost every game he plays. He has a really large backlog too - I particularly recommend his witness series

    2 votes
  6. UntouchedWagons Link
    I quite like Stumpt, I found them through the Stardew Valley subreddit but they play other games usually as a team of 4. Oxhorn's good if you're interested in Fallout lore, he doesn't do regular...

    I quite like Stumpt, I found them through the Stardew Valley subreddit but they play other games usually as a team of 4.

    Oxhorn's good if you're interested in Fallout lore, he doesn't do regular let's plays but he does stream.

    EthosLab is still a solid Minecraft LP'er.

    I like Master Hellish's OpenTTD series.

    2 votes
  7. [2]
    rickdg Link
    Day9 when it's not Hearthstone... Or Magic... Or DotA... Basically those games he plays occasionally.

    Day9 when it's not Hearthstone... Or Magic... Or DotA... Basically those games he plays occasionally.

    1 vote
    1. Whom Link Parent
      I love me some DayJ, but even though I realize it's silly I always feel weird watching him do anything other than StarCraft. I've got too much emotion wrapped up in Daily #100.

      I love me some DayJ, but even though I realize it's silly I always feel weird watching him do anything other than StarCraft. I've got too much emotion wrapped up in Daily #100.

      1 vote
  8. frickindeal Link
    If you want someone who's really good at a lot of games (it can be frustrating to watch LP'ers who suck at the game they're trying to play), check out Christopher Odd. He generally plays...

    If you want someone who's really good at a lot of games (it can be frustrating to watch LP'ers who suck at the game they're trying to play), check out Christopher Odd. He generally plays big-budget games, but he's one of the few who I consistently find watchable, and it can be fun watching him find weird stuff in games (he does every game blind, or mostly-blind). He's Canadian, which I always forget until he says certain words. Seems like a really good guy as well. I've been watching him for years.

    1 vote
  9. annadane Link
    Dilandau3000 is a personal favorite of mine.

    Dilandau3000 is a personal favorite of mine.

    1 vote
  10. DanBC Link
    I'm enjoying IBXToyCat at the moment. He mostly does Minecraft, and mostly console edition. I particularly enjoy his superflat challenges - he picks some weird settings for superflat survival and...

    I'm enjoying IBXToyCat at the moment. He mostly does Minecraft, and mostly console edition. I particularly enjoy his superflat challenges - he picks some weird settings for superflat survival and does a few hours of survival.

    Here are some examples.
    Magma Superflat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHoJdewKzYU
    TNT Superflat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66fsad7ywX4

    Note that he talks a lot, and he talks fast. Some people watch his videos on 75% speed.

    I also enjoy Up Is Not Jump. I'm particularly enjoying "I ruined Fallout 3 with mods": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E90q9bB97n8

    1 vote
  11. Akir Link
    There is only one LPer I watch, and it's because he is very different from most of them. I'm talking about Un, from Un Plays a Thing. His Lets Play videos are more like a documentary on a game...

    There is only one LPer I watch, and it's because he is very different from most of them. I'm talking about Un, from Un Plays a Thing. His Lets Play videos are more like a documentary on a game than the fun conversational playthroughs most other LP channels tend to do.

    1 vote
  12. Porpkork Link
    CallMeKevin, if you like comedic style. He never plays a game how it was meant to be played. He just does everything he wants and he breaks almost every game.

    CallMeKevin, if you like comedic style. He never plays a game how it was meant to be played. He just does everything he wants and he breaks almost every game.

    1 vote
  13. teaearlgraycold Link
    Are you asking for live channels or only pre-recorded?

    Are you asking for live channels or only pre-recorded?

  14. Whom Link
    I don't think this is important enough for its own thread so I'll bump an old related one...anyone have thoughts on the current state of Game Grumps? I don't care about the different thumbnails or...

    I don't think this is important enough for its own thread so I'll bump an old related one...anyone have thoughts on the current state of Game Grumps? I don't care about the different thumbnails or schedule change personally, but between the new naming scheme, the continued move toward shorter series and one-offs, and generally just feeling a little forced, I'm really worried about the direction they're going in.

    I imagine they're having to bend to "The Algorithm" but I don't want the Grumps format to slip away :(