In today’s world, the sheer volume of content at our fingertips is downright staggering, and nowhere is this clearer than within the vast landscape of YouTube. That’s why I’m always searching for YouTube creators that I deem truly special—the ones that set their channels apart.
As a tribute to these masterminds of video-making, I’ve decided to share a comprehensive list of my absolute favorite YouTube personalities. Each and every one of these creators deserves viewership, so I’m hoping that this article can, in some way, bring to them more love.
I’d like to note that this list does not contain any arcade content creators, because I already covered them in a separate article. This one instead goes out to all the home gaming (and animation) auteurs of the video-sphere. Enjoy!
Of all the YouTube creators on this list, I consider Arlo the most wholesome and fun by a wide margin. In the uncensored cesspool that is YouTube content, Arlo’s videos are delightfully profanity- and vulgarity-free. He’s just a furry blue monster talkin’ about games.
However, though Arlo’s videos may be “all-ages” in presentation, his content is anything but juvenile. Arlo takes a deeply thoughtful and reassuringly measured approach to video game reviews and news. While he may not like everything he sees or plays, I always know that his critique comes from a place of genuine passion for the medium.
Plus, the guy is really, really good to his fans. Not only does he make it clear in each video that he’s immensely grateful for his viewership, but he’s also previously held “Arlopalooza” events as a way to connect in person with said viewership. I can’t even imagine how cool it must be to play Splatoon and Smash Bros. with this guy. (I’m hoping I can attend someday if he brings it back.)
If you like easygoing gaming news, reviews, and commentary—with a particularly Nintendo-focused slant—Arlo is most definitely the YouTube personality for you.
Although many gaming YouTubers are known for reviews, I really appreciate it when a reviewer brings something special to the table. Nitro Rad brings what I can only describe as an “indie filmmaker’s perspective” to the genre. Each of his videos exuberate an intimately harmonic blend of attention to detail and personal testimony. (Erm, if that makes any sense.)
Part of what I love about Nitro Rad is that he’s exposed me to a wide variety of niche—or, as he might describe it, “B-grade”—games that I may have never experienced otherwise. He demonstrates a genuinely respectable willingness to give every game he plays a fair shake, no matter how underground or flawed it may be. Nitro Rad is an optimistic dude—no doubt about it.
I can even partially attribute my love of 3D platformers to watching Nitro Rad review just about every 3D platformer under the sun. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise: NitroRad is the 3D platformer guy, and by golly am I grateful for it. His annual April Fools’ specials, done in the style of the Eric Andre Show, are also great fun to watch.
If you’re looking for meticulously crafted video game reviews from a creator who’s not afraid to veer off the beaten path, you should absolutely consider checking out NitroRad’s content.
Once in a blue moon, I’ll stumble upon content so beautifully “out there” that I can’t help but keep watching. NakeyJakey’s combination of video essays, sick beats, childhood nostalgia, and exercise balls is decidedly very out there—and boy howdy do I love it.
In my experience with the genre, I’ve found many YouTube video essays to come off as pretentious or forced. NakeyJakey’s content, on the other hand, is truly a notch above the rest. He takes a subject that he loves—say, video game cheats, Scholastic book fairs, or Disney Channel original movies—and expresses that adoration to his audience through downright genius comedy and editing.
When Jakey plops down on his exercise ball and starts telling me why horror is a perfect match for video games, or why BioShock was once his only friend, I can’t help but listen. He’s got a real sense of style—something that’s become that much more evident as he’s delved into music production.
If you enjoy wonderfully wacky yet distinctly diarized video essays from a creator who soon comes to feel like a good friend, our favorite “hotboy”, NakeyJakey, should not be ignored.
When I sit down to write an article of this nature, I tend to break it down into manageable chunks. The last time I edited this document, I left myself a single word of reminder in this section. What was that word, you may ask? Analytical.
This is fitting, as the GamingBrit is one of the most intensely analytical YouTube personalities I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. Whether the video is five minutes long or over 100—I kid you not—the viewer is always guaranteed a level of depth that I’ve yet to see paralleled. This guy…well, quite frankly, he’s a mastermind.
I was first roped into TheGamingBritShow by his hugely popular “Ultimate Analysis” video comparing the 2002 original Ratchet Clank against its 2016 remake/reboot. Since then, I’ve tuned in for almost every dialectical video game autopsy, from character actions hits like Devil May (Brit’s favorite) to quirky one-offs like Star Wars: Yoda’s Challenge.
I almost have to wonder why he puts so much effort into the most random of subjects—until I remember that’s exactly what makes him so special. If you love thoughtful video game dissections with a side of cheeky humor, TheGamingBritShow is the channel to be.
Compared to some of the “bigger names” on this list, ChiGuy’s reach admittedly falls on the smaller side. Make no mistake: His content is every bit as robust. By “embracing the YouTube grind,” Johnny Zaccari brings a much-needed people’s perspective to his craft.
This mentality is immediately clear in all of ChiGuy’s work. No matter the video’s subject—be it a news update, a review, or an editorial—I can tell I’m getting the man’s unfettered, sometimes brutally honest opinion. Combine that with a tone that’s just as conversational as it professional, and you’ve got one heckuva listening experience.
Maybe this will sound silly, but I think a big part of why I enjoy ChiGuy’s content so much is that it feels like he and I have the same “mission”. We both want better for video games, so we’ll voice our concerns as loudly as necessary to attain that goal. I respect his dedication to the gamers, ya know?
If you tire of mainstream gaming journalism and want your weekly slice of gaming news to come straight from the heart, ChiGuy consistently delivers the goods. (Plus, any YouTube creator willing to respond to comments on Twitter snags a few bonus points, in my book.)
Among gaming news YouTubers aplenty, Jim Sterling is, without a shadow of a doubt, a standout talent. The man is a games journalist at heart, and he channels the best of that profession into…well, his channel.
As I chugged through the first semester of my own journalism degree, I was able to eagerly observe someone who I consider an exceptional journalist do his exceptional journalism thing. For that reason, I honestly believe I discovered Sterling’s content at the perfect moment in my life.
I absolutely adore Jim’s continuous tirade against corporations and their predatory video game monetization practices. While I sometimes get squeamish when he leverages name-calling and attacks at actual individuals, I still respect the heck out of the man for speaking out on the real issues without falter or hesitation.
If you want to see someone genuinely fight back against the scum of the “so-called ‘triple-A’” video game industry, Jim Sterling fits the bill to the infinite degree. Thank goodness for him.
Despite my usual disinterest in YouTube funny people, something about Joey Pockett’s content genuinely resonates with me. I think Joey’s tight balance between wacky antics and finely tuned comedic timing really works for me. Even if his uploads aren’t super regular, I’d argue he provides quality over quantity.
One thing that particularly sticks out to me about Joey’s library of videos is his ability to take a fairly standard subject and riff on it to hilarious effect. Sometimes, he’ll look at a game through a goofy lens. Other times, he’ll take a popular video format—for instance, “Can you beat x game without dying?”—and distort it into superb parody.
Even though JoeyPockett’s content primarily centers on gaming, he’s proven time and time again that he can go all over the proverbial map and still hit the mark. Some of my personal favorites of Joey’s deviations from his formula include giving us the top 10 reasons to date him, showcasing awful video ideas, and reacting to future videos.
If you’re bored of the usual YouTube comedy beat and looking to shake things up, JoeyPockett is the YouTuber you need. I, for one, think he would be perfect for the Switch. (Yes, that’s the first JoeyPockett video I watched. What of it?)
Scott the Woz
I may sound like a total heathen for saying this, but I’m gonna be real: It took me a long time to warm up to Scott the Woz. Yes, I knew he was awesome, but there was something that didn’t initially click with me. Fortunately, I kept watching—and watching—every Sunday for about two years until I finally came to love Scott the way the rest of the Internet does.
There’s not much more I can say about Scott the Woz that hasn’t already been said. The guy is a superb creator. He knows how to film, he knows how to edit, he know to write, and he sure as heck knows how to deliver a punchline. I mean, why else would over 900,000 of us want to watch a video on Wii accessories? Because it’s darn good content, of course.
Funnily enough, I’d say watching Scott’s video on Raid: Shadow Legends was what really hooked me after all this time. While that may sound like an arbitrary choice, there was something about that video that worked on every level for me. Honestly, I feel like it was a showcase of some of his tightest writing yet.
If you haven’t heard of Scott the Woz by now—and, believe me, I know you have—you simply must check him out. Scott is here to say.
Because my blog is so narrowly focused on arcades, people often don’t realize that I’ve been a fan of animation for much longer. Fortunately, there are good YouTube channels that cover this area—and RebelTaxi is one of the best.
The RebelTaxi channel, “driven” by host Pan-Pizza, has an amazing “vibe” to it, for lack of a better word. You know that special feeling you get watching old Cartoon Network bumpers or programming blocks like Toonami? That’s how RebelTaxi feels.
If you want to see some of the highest-quality cartoon content in all of YouTube—with a sprinkling of video games here and there—make sure not to miss RebelTaxi. He awaits your viewership.
The other animation YouTube creator I really enjoy is MarsReviews. Though his channel isn’t quite as big as RebelTaxi, Mars’s content is unique and personal enough to keep me coming back for each upload.
I think what Mars does particularly well is highlighting underappreciated or downright strange pieces of animation. Without his content, I’d have no idea shows like Tripping the Rift or The Stanley Dynamic even exist. His editorials—such as “What I Hate About the Cartoon Community” and “Cn Real in Retrospect”—are also great fun.
If you want well-delivered opinions on cartoons both good and not so good in your subscription box, I cannot recommend MarsReviews enough. The man doesn’t hold back—and you’ll be grateful for it.
In all honesty, the vast majority of YouTube content isn’t all that amazing, That’s why it’s so immensely satisfying to watch those who rise above the rest. And in my eyes, each of these YouTube creators far surpasses their respective contemporaries.
Although you may not agree with all of my picks, I genuinely think you should at least check these creators out. They all do wonderful work—and for that reason, they deserve support. I know I sure as heck wouldn't be creating online content of my own if I hadn't been inspired by the folks who came before me.
I hope you all enjoyed today’s article. I know it was a little different from the usual arcade nonsense I put out, but now felt like as good of a time as any for me to share something positive.
Keep it real, ya sweaty nerds.