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The best games for YouTube in 2023

The 23 Best Games for YouTube in 2023

With a ton of titles and only so much time, it can be hard for a YouTube gamer to figure out what to play.

Maybe you’re looking for games that people want to watch more than others? Maybe you’re looking for upcoming games? Maybe you want mini-games for your channel (or a channel that you’re about to create)?

Whatever it is, this list should be able to help you.

A Note About Having Fun

While picking a good game is important, the standard rule of thumb is to pick one that you want to play and that you can have fun with. If you’re having fun, it’s easy to do your best commentary and make your best videos. The legendary PewDiePie says it best, “Keep having fun with it and don’t try too hard.”

This list has a lot of great titles, old and new. Pick the ones that you think you’ll like most.

Goat Simulator 3

Windows, PS5, Xbox Series X/S – Action

It’s hard to go wrong with Goat Simulator. In fact, Goat Simulator 3 is so hilarious and entertaining I had trouble not binging on videos so I could focus on this article. In the game, you control a goat and cause chaos in various environments. There are wacky physics, absurd scenarios, and challenges to complete. The goal is literally to have fun and cause as much mayhem as possible – perfect for YouTube.

Hot Wheels Unleashed

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch – Racing

Build your car, build your track, or just go with the premade, Hot Wheels Unleashed is ideal for YouTube with it’s bright, vibrant, and adrenaline-fueled gameplay. Fast-paced and exciting, it’s perfect for capturing the attention of viewers. The game gives you scroll-stopping thumbnails, and the occasional bugs make for very funny moments.

League of Legends

Windows, macOS – Multiplayer online battle arena

League of Legends is still one of the most popular games in the world. Its massive tournaments get huge amounts of passionate fans, and the game always seems to have a ton of players online at once. The fun will come from the intense games you get into, great escapes, outplays, and general interactions with other players. If you haven’t tried LoL yet, it’s not too late.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Nintendo Switch – Action role-playing
This entry should really be about any game in the Pokémon franchise. I even had a no commentary playthrough (which is very popular now) of Pokémon FireRed on my external monitor as I wrote this. However, since Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the newest game in the series, and it is actually pretty “legendary,” it has to be included. We have been waiting forever for an open-world Pokémon game, and we finally got it. This game is great for YouTube because of its exploration, discovery, soundtrack, throwbacks, and Easter eggs.

Halo Infinite

Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One – First-person shooter

Halo Infinite marks the latest installment in a hugely popular franchise so there’s likely to be an audience for you. Like any Halo game, there are fun glitches to exploit, competitive multiplayer, and great modding. However, this entry can really apply to any Halo game, especially Halo 3. Halo is still a beloved enough franchise that there will be an audience for the playing of any of its games.

Elden Ring

Microsoft Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One – Action role-playing

Famously, Elon Musk’s favorite game, Elden Ring is a Dark Souls type game set in a hyper-fantastical world. You play as a custom character on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious Elden Ring and restore balance to the lands. The game features a combination of very hard battles, immersive storytelling, and stunning graphics, making it great to play and watch on YouTube. You also explore curiosity-provoking open worlds and interact with various characters to find secrets and solve puzzles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo Switch – Fighting

Though it was released at the end of 2018 and all the DLC is out, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is far from old. It has every Super Smash Bros. fighter ever and tons more. Its online works very well. The range of characters and universes provides constant, interesting content. There remains an active competitive scene. There’s just so much to do in this game, and the franchise is so popular, there’s no doubt Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a solid choice to play and entertain with.

Roblox

Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One – Game creation system, MMO

Roblox is an awesomely popular game creation platform. Users design, share, and play games and virtual experiences. It’s excellent for streaming because it has an active community, a constantly updated library of content, and the ability to go viral sharing your own games. Fans are passionate, and videos are abundant in comedy. Roblox gives a rich source of material, and its wide appeal to players of all ages and interests will help grow your subscribers.

Hogwarts Legacy

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch – Action role-playing

Hogwarts Legacy has surprised many by how good it is. It’s the most realistic Harry Potter game to date, and you can do things like fly around Hogwarts’ premises on a broom, get into wand fights, and ride on fantastical creatures through the Forbidden Forest. Harry Potter, with its blockbuster books and movies, gives you an enormous global fanbase to leverage – so your videos can tap into an existing faucet of views. Finally, this game isn’t only fun to watch, but fun to play. It’s the ideal combination for a videogame to play on YouTube.

FIFA 23

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia – Sports

The 30th FIFA installment and the last one to be called FIFA, FIFA 23 is possibly the best soccer game to stream. It has an enormous player base, hyper-realistic gameplay, and tons of features. Given soccer’s global appeal, if you want to play a sports game, you can’t go wrong with FIFA 23. Can’t neglect to mention that opening packs can also make for some good times.

God of War Ragnarök

PS5, PS4 – Action-adventure, hack and slash

Many AAA videogames these days are buggy, slow, and disappointing. Not God of War Ragnarök. Many would call this an “ideal” game. The God of War series has been around for a long time now, but it has aged oh, so well. Its combat is still exciting, Norse mythology stories are still immersive, and visuals are still of the highest caliber. There are so many ways to enjoy this game or niche up your videos that if you have a Playstation, this is a great one to play.

Among Us

Pretty much every platform – Party, social deduction

Among Us is a super popular multiplayer game. Players do tasks and small puzzles while identifying and eliminating the “imposters” among them. You can also play as the imposter, giving you abilities to cause chaos and eliminate other players. Among Us is a favorite among YouTubers because it focuses so well on the single-core imposter mechanic, creating loads of speculation and tension. Everybody analyzes everything. Jokes are made. Memes are flowing. Oh, and you can even play it in VR.

Fortnite

Pretty much every platform – Survival, battle royal, sandbox

The games that are on all platforms usually have the largest amounts of players, which also makes them good games to play for YouTube. Fortnite is no exception – it has a ton of fans around the world. Not only do people have deep relationships with this game, but it’s also fun to watch as it has vibrant and colorful graphics, fast-paced gameplay, tons of items and skins, and regular updates to keep it fresh.

Stray

Windows, PS5, PS4 – Adventure

If cats are catnip for the Internet then Stray is the perfect game for YouTube. Jokes aside, the game is very fun to watch. The graphics are brilliant, and story intriguing. Stray’s physics are great, and the game really captures the way a cat moves. Unlike many indie games, Stray isn’t slow with overly-long puzzles, either. The pacing is fast, especially when the cat is traversing the moody scenescapes. This is a great game to play and to watch.

Grand Theft Auto V

Pretty much every platform, except Nintendo – Third-person shooter, first-person shooter, action-adventure

Though certainly not a new game, Grand Theft Auto V is still one of the most popular games to make videos of and this list would be remiss without it. GTA 5’s very fun physics, massive sandbox, and enthusiastic modding community have led to some very click-worthy thumbnails, very interesting Let’s Play videos, and a maintained level of freshness that most games don’t have.

Super Mario Maker 2

Nintendo Switch – Level editor, platform

Super Mario Maker 2 is an endless well of creativity. In it, you build custom 2D side-scrolling Mario levels and play other people’s levels. You can play as a variety of characters, even playing as Link from The Legend of Zelda! The game has a massive speedrunning community, but the fun and mayhem that comes from playing ridiculous levels alone are enough to entertain your viewers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One – First-person shooter

Though certainly not the highest rated game in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II brings back the state-of-the-art gunplay that so many players know and love. This game’s community is so large and passionate it’s hard not to carve out a piece of the pie if you’re making videos on it. Also, the game’s attention to detail is hard to miss – the graphics and thoroughness of the development teams are appreciated. Enjoy the hyper-competitive nature of CoD, be loud, and have fun!

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Nintendo Switch – Action-adventure

With a release date set to May 2023, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the highly anticipated follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Breath of the Wild was one of the most successful games of all time – and with reason. It’s a brilliantly creative game with tons to do, see, and hear. YouTube videos on it of all types are extremely popular and legitimately fun to watch. This is why there’s no doubt that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be one of the top games on YouTube in 2023. I, for one, cannot wait.

Overwatch 2

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch – First-person shooter

Overwatch is another one of those franchises that it’s hard to go wrong with and Overwatch 2, recently released, is no exception. Overwatch 2 is a game that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. There’s a diverse set of characters, each with unique abilities, to play with. The art style is vibrant and colorful. The energy is frenetic and fast-paced. The communities are zealous – especially on Discord. Give Overwatch 2 a try for your gaming channel.

Nightmare Reaper

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch – First-person shooter

Nightmare Reaper has been out for a while, but as it’s heading to consoles, it’s about to blow up. It features retro and modern elements. There are elements of a looter shooter and a rogue-lite, but with structured progression. There are hand-crafted levels and levels that are procedurally generated. There’s a heavy emphasis on story and character development. This is one of those games you’ll have so much fun playing that your subscribers will automatically have fun watching.

Sonic Frontiers

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch – Platform, action-adventure

The gaming community is loving Sonic Frontiers. Though probably not one of those games to have a tremendously long shelf life, it’ll definitely be hot through at least 2023. It’s an actual open-world Sonic game, and Sonic’s speed makes it fun and addicting to watch. You sprint through diverse environments like cities and fields. There’s more character development than in previous Sonic games. Finally, Sonic Frontiers offers many homages to the beloved Sonic franchise.

NBA 2K23

Windows, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade – Sports

There are so many updates to previous NBA 2K games that if you’re a fan of basketball, you should get in on this. Incredible graphics as always, but improved hooping mechanics, new shot meters, more skill moves, a more realistic sprinting system, badges, and more make this a worthy addition to the franchise. NBA 2K players are some of the most fun to watch, which is why NBA 2K23, the newest game in the series, has to be included on this list. If you love being loud and boisterous, this is for you.

Minecraft

Pretty much every platform – Adventure, sandbox, survival
Saving the most popular for last. Minecraft helped to define gaming videos on YouTube and is still played by the top YouTube gamers every day. It has a rich history of being entertaining to watch and entertaining to play. It’s highly customizable, highly explorable, packed with surprises, faultless for any age, and has a very good online so you can play with friends. It even has VR! It’s pretty much perfect for making gaming videos.

Agame.com

What if you don’t want to play titles that everybody else is playing? Mini-games are the perfect solution for giving your channel variety while staying fresh compared to other gaming channels. Agame is a solid place because it has a diverse wealth of mini-games that are updated frequently. Lots of creativity on this site.

The front page of Agame.com shows a wide variety of mini games to use for YouTube Videos

Games You Frequently See Appearing on Reddit.com/r/gaming

Need even more variety? Check the front page of Reddit’s Gaming subreddit for trending games. These are games that have elements that aren’t only fun to play, but fun to watch. If they weren’t fun to watch, they wouldn’t be on this website. It’s a good place to start if you’re stuck.

The front page of Reddit.com/r/gaming - a long list of very entertaining videogame GIFs, videos, and images

Popular Reviews from IGN

Another good place to find ideas for games, if this list isn’t enough for you, is IGN. By looking at popular reviews, you can find a solid list of games in demand. While all of these aren’t inherently perfect for gaming videos, they have a trending relevance, which means people will be searching for them and will want to watch them.

Use popular reviews from IGN to find a good game to play

Upcoming Games from IGN

Finally, to know what games to play right when they’re released, when they have the most amount of hype, use IGN’s “Upcoming Games.” Play these games right when they come out, and you can be one of the first with a Let’s Play video for a particular hyped-up game.

IGN's Upcoming Games section - always make sure to stay on top of the latest releases so your content is fresh

Sharing Content on Other Platforms

What if you want your videos to appear on more than only YouTube? If you’re not putting your videos onto other platforms, you’re leaving viewers and subscribers on the table.

Here are some of the platforms you can also share your gaming videos on:

  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The downside to trying to be everywhere at once is uploading to each platform takes a lot of time and energy. You have to upload the video and paste in the title, description, and tags. You may be better off spending this time and energy on content creation instead.

I personally am a power user of Repurpose.io, which allows me to upload a video to one platform and have it automatically go to all the other platforms – along with my titles and tags. There aren’t even any watermarks.

For example, here’s what happens whenever my Build in Public brand puts a video out on TikTok:

What it looks like to implement repurposing of your videos to other platforms

Something like this is ideal for short gaming clips and occasionally longer videos. YouTube is definitely still a top place for being a gaming influencer, but these other platforms are worth paying attention to.

Conclusion

The games on this list are games that are sure to entertain you while also entertaining your audience. While some of the older games still make for great online content, there are lots of new titles constantly being released that are replacing the old. There’s a huge variety in 2023, and it’s looking like a good time to be a YouTube gamer.

Anything you’d like to see added to this list? Any questions or feedback? Let me know what you think in the comments and if you liked this article, maybe consider sharing it with friends.

Bonus!

This list is pretty good too.

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