The Twenty Most Famous Gamers on YouTube

famous gamers

Who would’ve thought that watching others play video games is almost as fun—and sometimes even more fun—as playing them yourself? It didn’t take long for gaming channels to take over YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing site. From doleful Minecraft Let’s Play videos to virtual-blood-soaked Call of Duty competitions, there are literally millions of hours of free content out there thanks to legions of famous gamers on YouTube. 

Source: DepositPhotos © tomeversley

Today we’re looking at twenty of the most famous YouTube gaming channels, and highlighting the entertaining—and occasionally controversial—personalities behind them. Without these YouTube celebrities leading the pack, gaming culture wouldn’t be breaking into the mainstream the way it is right now. So take a look through our list and remember why these great gamers got so famous in the first place.

20. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Zero Punctuation (1.15M Subscribers)

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/Escapist

All right, well, right off the bat, we’re cheating here a little bit because it’s not Zero Punctuation that has 1.15 million subscribers but rather The Escapist that has those subscribers. Zero Punctuation is just one show on the Escapist channel, which is owned by Canadian video game network Enthusiast Gaming (TSXV:EGLX).

Source: YouTube/Escapist

Nevertheless, Zero Punctuation (Benjamin Richard “Yahtzee” Croshaw) is the standout show of that channel, and this list would be seriously lacking without his inclusion. Yahtzee masterfully (and brutally) dissects games, packing an essay-worth of analysis and jokes into remarkably short videos. His ability to speed through his thoughts is only parallelled by how few games he really seems to enjoy playing.

19. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Shane Gill of DidYouKnowGaming? (2.29M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/DidYouKnowGaming?

DidYouKnowGaming? is the brainchild of Shane Gill, who is a well-known gaming personality and game developer in his own right. Through the channel, which is a part of the Normal Boots network, Gill has developed a sizable following by providing a seemingly endless supply of video game history and trivia. 

Source: YouTube/DidYouKnowGaming?

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about your favorite games, characters, franchises, creators, and studios, this channel is guaranteed to have everything you could want. While Gill doesn’t actually play games on the channel, DidYouKnowGaming? is the best way to supplement your gaming knowledge when watching other YouTube gamers.

18. Famous Gamers on YouTube: GameGrumps (5.18M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/GameGrumps

Most of the channels on this list became popular based on the personality, charisma, and gaming ability of individual creators. But for the GameGrumps (Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan), two heads are better than one. Together, they guide viewers through some of the best (and worst) games on the market, intermittently making fun of each other, themselves, the games, and whatever else strikes their fancy.

Source: YouTube/GameGrumps

Arin and Dan have leveraged their channel’s 5 billion total views into a veritable media empire. They’ve launched a series of shows, have multiple sold-out North American tours, and are merchandising all of their success. Not bad for two guys who spend all day goofing off. 

17. Famous Gamers on YouTube: JonTronShow (5.67M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/JonTronShow

JonTron (Jonathan Aryan Jafari) is a former GameGrump, having co-hosted the Let’s Play web series until 2013 when he left to focus on his own channel and co-found video game entertainment website Normal Boots. Since then, he’s surpassed the Grumps in total subscribers, though still trails far behind them in terms of total video views. 

Source: YouTube/JonTronShow

Since breaking out on his own, JonTron has become a YouTube celebrity known for his skits, his smart video game commentary wit, and his rather controversial opinions on race and immigration. He still uploads gaming videos to his channel and is a featured part of Normal Boots, but his subscriber count has somewhat stalled in light of his comments.

16. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Videogamedunkey (5.78M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/H3 Podcast

Videogamedunkey, or “Dunkey” for short (Jason Gastrow), is probably the greatest satirist in the gaming community today. Everything from the way he edits his videos to the voice he uses in his narration lampoons the idea of a “gamer” that takes himself and his gaming too seriously, and even that’s just scratching the surface of what his channel does.

Source: YouTube/videogamedunkey

Unlike many of the other channels here, he rarely does a full play-through of a game, and he almost never appears on camera. Instead, he tightly edits his footage down to just a couple of minutes and shows you only the best moments. He also provides a comedic commentary that, more often than not, is parodying or satirizing some element of the game, the developers, the community, or himself.

15. Famous Gamers on YouTube: TobyGames (6.45M subscribers)

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/TobyGames

TobyGames is run by Tobuscus (Toby Joseph Turner), who has two other highly subscribed channels that aren’t related to gaming. TobyGames is the best of his channels, though, for gaming fans and non-gamers alike. His playthroughs of Skyrim, TellTale’s The Walking Dead, Happy Wheels, Slender, and Minecraft are incredibly addicting to watch due to Toby’s entertaining commentary. 

Source: YouTube/TobyGames

The popularity of TobyGames and his two other channels has led to collaborations with HarperCollins for a children’s book and Paramount Pictures to promote the film Terminator Genisys. He’s even appeared in a number of TV and film roles, making him one of YouTube’s breakout stars. Not bad for a career that all began with gaming.

14. Famous Gamers on YouTube: iHasCupquake (6.63M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/iHasCupquake

iHasCupquake is the online persona of Tiffany Herrera, who’s best known for her gaming tutorial videos. Her channel is a great way for new gamers to get a start on a certain game, or to check out a title they’re interested in but not quite sure they’ll enjoy. She’s most associated with World of Warcraft, but also plays Minecraft and a host of other popular games.

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/iHasCupquake

While you’ll find a lot of content on her channel, like challenge videos, react videos, and DIY art, her gaming commentary is certainly the most compelling. Her adorable/dorky persona is a perfect contrast to some of the louder, potentially more obnoxious gamers, so if you’ve ever wanted a sweet-natured YouTube gamer, she’s the one for you.

13. Famous Gamers on YouTube: The Team from Rooster Teeth (9.58M subscribers)

Source: Rooster Teeth

Like the Grumps, Rooster Teeth is a somewhat atypical gaming channel. Rather than being the vehicle for a solo YouTube celebrity, Rooster Teeth is made up of an entire entertainment company. That company is a subsidiary of Otter Media, which itself is a subsidiary of WarnerMedia Entertainment, a division of WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T. 

Source: YouTube/Rooster Teeth

At the heart of the channel, though, is a handful of video-game-loving AV club dorks. They produce skits, animations, and video series inspired by great games like Halo. The channel’s best series, Red vs. Blue, is currently the longest-running web series of all time. 

12. Famous Gamers on YouTube: CaptainSparklez (10.6M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/CaptainSparklez

CaptainSparklez (Jordan Maron) is known for the Let’s Play series he’s done of games like Happy Wheels, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal, and Call of Duty, but by far, he’s best known for playing Minecraft. In particular, he makes Minecraft machinimas, covering pop songs in the distinctly cubed and low-fi style.

Source: YouTube/CaptainSparklez

CaptainSparklez has leveraged his online popularity into a partnership with the former CEO of Activision, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc. The two created a mobile gaming company, XREAL, which released its first title, Fortress Fury, to great success in 2015. Luckily, CaptainSparklez still has plenty of gaming content and is updated regularly.

11. Famous Gamers on YouTube: LazarBeam (11.6M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/LazarBeam

LazarBeam (Lannan Eacott) is an Australian gamer who originally rose to fame due to the eminently watchable nature of his Madden challenge videos. His followers really enjoyed watching LazarBeam create the tiniest, most hopeless players, and throwing them into the game. It was clear right from then that this gamer was meant to be on YouTube.

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/LazarBeam

Since growing in popularity, LazarBeam has added a host of other popular games to his channel, including GTA V (heavily modded for optimum enjoyment), Minecraft, Fortnite BeamNG, and Happy Wheels. Unlike some of the biggest names on that list who upload videos to both YouTube and Twitch, LazarBeam has a passionate hatred for Twitch Streamers and prefers to stick to YouTube and Reddit.

10. Famous Gamers on YouTube: SSundee (12.3M subscribers)

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/SSundee

SSundee (Ian Markus Stapleton) is a former member of famed Minecraft team Vision Squad back when it was still known as Team Crafted. At 31, he’s one of the older names on this list, which just goes to show you how successful young people can be these days, even if all they have is an internet connection, a webcam, a game system, and an entertaining personality.

Source: YouTube/SSundee

SSundee began his YouTube career in 2009 with a series called Minecraft Cave Adventure. Back then, he was still a member of the US Air Force and would upload videos during his service. He’s since left the military and runs his channel full-time, mostly making Fortnite videos these days. Thus far, his channel has 5.05 billion total views.

9. Famous Gamers on YouTube: TheWillyrex (15.8M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/TheWillyrex

Willyrex (Augusto Allende Pinochet) is one of many popular Spanish gaming personalities on YouTube. With 15.8 million subscribers and more than 5 billion views, TheWillyrex is one of the most subscribed Spanish-language channels in the world. And that’s only one of his channels! Another channel, simply titled Willyrex, has nearly as many followers.

Source: YouTube/TheWillyrex

Since 2010, TheWillyrex has uploaded at least one video a day to YouTube. Like many of the gamers on this list, he’s most associated with Minecraft, though he’s got an eclectic taste outside of that. If you enjoy YouTube gamers but prefer a Latino bent, Willyrex’s channel is the one to check out.

8. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Ali-A (16.5M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/Ali-A

Ali-A (Alastair Aiken) is a British YouTuber whose featured games are Call of Duty and Fortnite. He’s also been expanding into Overwatch, which is a good fit for him considering his skills at FPS and team combat games. Ali-A is great at discussing the minutiae of a game and relating what makes it good or flawed to the viewer, all while maintaining impressive scores.

Source: YouTube/Ali-A

He holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Popular Call of Duty Channel by subscribers,” making him perhaps the most famous personality associated with the franchise. He’s also amassed a few lucrative sponsorships from brands like Kontrol Freek, Monster, Elgato Gaming, G2A, and Scuf Gaming.

7. Famous Gamers on YouTube: KSI (20.4M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/KSI

KSI (Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji) is known for having an irreverent sense of humor through his gameplay commentary. He’s at his best when calling either FIFA or EA Sports Games, though he’s pretty great no matter what game he’s playing or commenting on. 

Famous gamers
Source: YouTube/KSI

Like a lot of the other most popular YouTube gamers, he’s expanded his channel to include tangentially or non-gaming related content like skits, pranks, and challenges, but that hasn’t detracted from his gaming uploads. He has been named one of the most influential media personalities in the world, occasionally beating out any other name on this list. So you best believe he’s worth checking out.

6. Famous Gamers on YouTube: DanTDM (22.1M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/DanTDM

Hailing from the UK, DanTDM (formerly known as The DiamondMinecart, real name Daniel Middleton) is one of the highest-profile YouTubers out there. The late-twentysomething gamer is reportedly worth $16.5 million, which he’s earned almost entirely from his YouTube Minecraft videos. DanTDM is almost certainly the person who’s made the most money off of Minecraft, outside of the Mojing developers themselves. 

Source: YouTube/DanTDM

DanTDM is married to fellow Minecraft devotee JemPlaysMC and has toured around the world playing the renowned sandbox game live for his millions of followers. His world tour even included four sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House. If you love Minecraft and want to hear a friendly voice talk about it, make sure to check his channel out. 

5. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Jacksepticeye (22.8M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/Jacksepticeye

Jacksepticeye (Seán William McLoughlin) is best known for his addictive Let’s Play vids, which bring viewers along on long-form explorations of games like GTA 5, Happy Wheels, and indie darling Undertale. Collectively, his YouTube channel has more than 10 billion views, which makes him the most popular channel from his home country of Ireland.

Source: YouTube/Jacksepticeye

Jacksepticeye got his start with help from Swedish gaming celebrity Pewdiepie, who mentioned the YouTube newcomer on his channel and told his fans to check him out. Since then, he’s exploded in popularity and continues to climb up the list of most subscribed channels on YouTube. If you enjoy funny, engaging commentary, don’t miss his videos

4. Famous Gamers on YouTube: Markiplier (24.4M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/Markiplier

When it comes to scary games, it can be a lot easier to stomach the suspense and the dread and the gore with someone else manning the controls. That way, you can use both hands to shield your eyes from the inevitable horror.

Source: YouTube/Markiplier

Equal parts aplomb and hysterical terror, Markiplier (Mark Edward Fischbach) is the perfect guide through all nightmarish video games. His Let’s Play series exploring smash indie horror franchise Five Nights at Freddy’s is undoubtedly the best. Markiplier’s shenanigans have earned his channel over 11.7 billion total video views and allowed him to tour around the world as a gamer, improviser, and even as a philanthropist. Don’t miss out on all the great content from his channel.

3. Famous Gamers on YouTube: VanossGaming (24.8M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/pigeon

Vanoss (Evan Fong) is one of the most talented creators on YouTube. He’s known not only for his compilation-heavy video game uploads but also for his work as a music producer. These skills made him the second-highest paid YouTuber back in 2017.

Famous gamers
Source: Vanoss Gaming Fandom

His channel is also popular, in part, for the antics of his friends and collaborators who sit in with Vanoss. Together, they joke, laugh, and generally mess around in the games they play. In total, his videos have been watched more than 10 billion times. If you’re into Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty games, or just hanging out with fun people and having a laugh, VanossGaming is a channel worth checking out.

2. Famous Gamers on YouTube: JuegaGerman (36.6M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/JuegaGerman

Like TheWillyrex, JuegaGerman (Germán Garmendia) is a Spanish-language YouTube gaming celebrity. The Spanish market for gaming channels is almost as big as the English one, and other massive YouTube gaming celebrities that aren’t on this list include Vegetta777, Fernanfloo, and ElRubiusOMG, who are all worth checking out. 

Source: YouTube/JuegaGerman

Garmendia’s original channel, which was less about gaming and more of a general vlog, also has around 33 million subscribers. In addition to being a gamer, he’s also a member of alt-rock band Ancud. But it’s through his commentaries of games like Minecraft that his personality can really shine. He reportedly earns as much as $1.8 million USD per month through his two channels.

1. Famous Gamers on YouTube: PewDiePie (101M subscribers)

Source: YouTube/PewDiePie

It’s probably not a big surprise to you that Swedish gaming celebrity PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) topped our YouTuber gamer list. The man is the only gamer on YouTube to have more than 100 million subscribers, and his channel has around 23 billion video views. With numbers like that, it’s safe to say that, for better or worse, he’s become the face of the gaming boom.

Source: YouTube/PewDiePie

Of course, you don’t get to 100 million subscribers without making a few embarrassing comments along the way. He’s been criticized for his comments about women, gay people, Jewish people, and people of color, which many in the media have considered offensive. Still, that hasn’t prevented him from becoming the most popular gaming celebrity alive.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © eranicle

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