TOP 10 YouTubers Who SAVED Gaming

You know, playing video games is fun and all, but there is one problem: it’s so much work. You have to move your thumbs and sometimes even your fingers, and carpal tunnel is a real concern!

Fortunately, there is no shortage of YouTube channels willing to do the hard work of playing video games for you. Not only do you get to watch your favorite games unfold, but you also get the entertainment value of a humorous or knowledgeable personality along with it. 

Since the “let’s play” format really took off in the late 2000s, YouTubers like those on this list have made gaming a social, multimedia format and have even elevated certain games to a level of popularity they may not have achieved otherwise. 

While there are hundreds of great channels out there, today, Scarlett Media presents our top 10 YouTubers SAVED Gaming and awoke a new love for certain games or even entire genres. Before we jump in, don’t forget to be trending and smash the like and subscribe buttons or fistbump the dislike button if you disagree with our list and don’t mind being wrong.

Number ten: John Wolfe

Beginning his YouTube career in 2011 under the name “HarshlyCritical,” John Wolfe’s signature stoic personality and sarcastic jokes were clearly a hit with fans–since that time, he’s amassed nearly a million subscribers. 

Though you’ll find him playing games from major studios, he often prefers to scour the more obscure horror games the Internet has to offer. This provides some great exposure for indie developers–today, hundreds of previously unknown games have become popular thanks to John’s playthroughs. Some developers have even included direct references in their games!

Of course, some of John’s most popular videos involve compilations of very poorly-made games, which perfectly showcase John’s sardonic sense of humor. 

If you enjoy horror games but prefer thoughtful and sarcastic commentary to loud yelling and jumpscares, then make sure to “think critically” and look no further than John Wolfe.

Number nine: Taliesin & Evitel

Though they’re one of the youngest channels on this list, Taliesin and Evitel have grown rapidly since uploading their first video in 2016. 

Their channel was formed out of a mutual love for World of Warcraft, at a time when most YouTubers were not happy with the game’s direction. Rather than focusing on the negatives, they showed what they loved about the game. It helps that the duo never takes themselves too seriously, and they keep their opinions well-rounded. This pleasant perspective makes their videos fun and just plain enjoyable to watch. 

Plus, as it turns out, Taliesin and Evitel are living proof that the couple who plays together stays together. The couple were married in 2018 and even welcomed their first child in 2020. While they’ve never released an official statement on their first time changing a diaper, we’d like to think they’d describe it as “a shitshow, obviously.”

Number eight: Speedyw03

2012 was a great year for Call of Duty. Online multiplayer was gaining widespread popularity, and maps like Nuketown became cultural icons. 

Speedyw03–or simply “Speedy”–got his start uploading a series of “Camper Justice” videos, which are compilations of players dispatching so-called “campers” in funny and creative ways. 

Other series focus on the funny moments in COD and Counterstrike, like in-game pranks and over-the-top killcams. Between these series and his commentary, Speedy opened up a whole new world of hilarious gaming content in an otherwise serious game. He showed that gaming is more than having a good kill/death ratio. It’s about finding humor in every game. 

Though Speedy got his start with Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 3, he eventually branched off into other games, creating a second channel exclusively for Minecraft. Between the two channels, Speedy’s amassed nearly ten million subscribers and counting. 

Number seven: VanossGaming 

In case you haven’t heard of Garry’s Mod, let me give you a quick overview. It’s basically a sandbox game where you’re free to do whatever you want. Install mods, change physics, import characters, et cetera. 

Now, imagine sitting down to play this game with a group of rowdy friends. This is VanossGaming in a nutshell. 

Though Garry’s Mod has been out for years, their channel has not only skyrocketed its success, but sustained its popularity for well over a decade. Hundreds of channels now use the virtual sandbox for animation and skits as well. 

Their Garry’s Mod antics remain the most popular series on the channel, but VanossGaming also brings their signature style to GTA 5, Call of Duty, and Among Us, just to name a few. 

VanossGaming perfectly captures the feeling of a casual gaming session with your friends, while managing to be hilariously entertaining throughout the video. It’s just good, authentic fun. And with over 25 million subscribers, it seems that plenty of people agree. 

Number six: Jacksepticeye

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, laddies! Ahem, I may just leave that to our next YouTuber from now on. 

Sean McLoughlin, or jacksepticeye as he’s known to his nearly 26 million subscribers, hails from the green hills of Ireland. In fact, he has the most subscribers in the whole country and is one of the biggest channels worldwide. 

Back in 2012, he began his channel with a traditional “let’s play” style–just him and whatever game caught his fancy. Though he saw a huge jump in popularity after being mentioned in a Pewdiepie video, it was his down-to-earth style and energetic demeanor that truly racked up the subscriber count, and even today, he keeps things simple. 

Still, he’s come a long way from the early days of his channel. Interestingly, when he first began uploading, he adopted an American accent, thinking his own Irish lilt would be too hard to understand. He eventually grew in confidence and fully embraced his heritage, and he’s inspired millions not only for the love of video games, but in just being who you are. 

Number five: Ali-A 

Like many other YouTubers, Ali-A got his start by uploading videos of himself playing Call of Duty. The thing is, he’s really, really good at it. 

In fact, in 2015 he was awarded the Guinness World Record for the most popular Call of Duty channel–a record I didn’t even know existed–in both views and subscribers. With nearly 20 million subscribers on his first channel alone, it’s no wonder he holds that record. There’s just something about watching a British man expertly wipe the floor with his enemies in a classic COD team deathmatch. 

Though Call of Duty has always been popular, Ali-A’s skill and commentary put a spotlight on the game as a competitive sport, and has inspired millions of people to pursue gaming as a viable career. 

Nowadays, most of Ali-A’s videos center around Fortnite (another game he’s very good at). However, he did create another channel, called Ali-A Plays, dedicated solely to Call of Duty playthroughs. As the old saying goes, “you can take the YouTuber out of COD, but you can’t take COD out of the YouTuber.” Or something like that. 

Number four: Markiplier

For pure, energetic entertainment value, no one can compare to Markiplier. From his loud, confident voice to his brightly-dyed hair, everything about him screams. Literally. 

Despite being very easily frightened, Markiplier ironically got his start playing horror games. As it turns out, this combination is extremely fun to watch. You might even see some alternate personalities come out, like Wilfred Warstache, the pink-mustached talk-show host. 

By uploading playthroughs of the world’s scariest games, Markiplier has brought some truly excellent games into the public eye, and even people who don’t like horror are able to appreciate them for their stories and gameplay. One could even say that Markiplier, along with some of his peers on this very list, SAVED horror gaming. 

And with nearly 30 million subscribers and over 14 billion video views, his unique blend of comedy and scares doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. 

Number three: Ninja 

Ninja isn’t just one of the most popular channels on YouTube, he’s also one of the most iconic personalities in all of Internetdom. 

This blue-haired titan of streaming has over 24 million subscribers on YouTube and is the top all-time streamer on Twitch. 

He began his humble career in 2012, occasionally uploading Halo 3 matches to YouTube. Those now-ancient videos have zero production value–especially when compared to his recent videos–but Ninja’s signature energy has been there since day one. 

Though his career has been split between YouTube, Twitch, and even television and books, he is known best for his phenomenal Fortnite plays. In fact, some have gone so far as to say that he was responsible for Fortnite’s meteoric rise to popularity. Along with that, Ninja helped legitimize the public perception of eSports in general. 

If you haven’t watched Ninja play yet, then all I can say is “quit horsin’ around!

Number two: Pewdiepie

No list would be complete without the godfather of YouTube gaming himself: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg. I also hear that some people call him Pewdiepie. 

Love him or hate him, it’s undeniable that Pewdiepie helped pioneer the “let’s play” phenomenon and has influenced a generation of other YouTubers to begin channels of their own. He’s often even credited with catapulting Minecraft to the massive success it enjoys today. 

His unique brand of commentary is funny, sometimes loud, and always interesting. Like many other YouTubers on this list, Felix got his start playing horror games and, of course, Minecraft.

Nowadays, Pewdiepie’s channel encompasses skits, reactions, social experiments–you name it. No matter what you think of him, it goes without saying that his channel has made an impact on YouTube and gaming alike. 

Before we unveil our number one choice, make sure you SMASH that subscribe button and if there’s anyone you think should have been on this list, be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Number one: The Game Theorists

Taking the top spot, The Game Theorists is a long-running channel that focuses on what lies just beneath the surface of your favorite games. Could the Resident Evil virus be stopped? Is there a deeper lore to Among Us? Why are there giants in Super Mario Odyssey? These are the questions that plague gamers everywhere, and The Game Theorists are here to answer them. In theory, anyway. 

The channel was founded in 2009 by Matthew Patrick. Rather than adding to the saturated “Let’s Play” style channels, he wanted to present videos that were informative and even educational, while trying to bolster his acting career. The show explores aspects of games that no one had thought of before, and it makes those games all the more interesting. 

MatPat challenges his over 10 million subscribers to dive deeper, and by doing so, elevates gaming beyond simple entertainment. His channel hasn’t just saved gaming, it’s saved critical thinking.

Odds are, even your favorite game has a dark side you never considered. “But hey, that’s just a theory–a game theory.”

And with that, our top 10 list of YouTubers who saved gaming is complete! Who would you have voted for? You know, if this were a democracy. Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for watching. We’ll see you in the next one!

Writer: Laura Townsend
Editor: AB Scarlett
Voice: Scott |
Video: @_FearOK

#ScarlettMedia #SAVED #Youtube

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See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).