Top 10 Retro Gaming YouTube Critics

Script written by Kurt Hvorup Hello and welcome to TopX, where we count down the very best of YouTube. Today we’re donning our vintage gaming T-shirts and plugging in our SNESes to bring you the top 10 Retro Gaming YouTube Critics. These fine channels and hosts have been selected based on a number of different factors, including subscriber counts, monthly views and personal preference. We do have to limit the list to channels that mainly deal with retro gaming and that are English-speaking; thus, we must unfortunately exclude the likes of The Game Theorists and Joueur du grenier. Special thanks to our user Daniel Kingston for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Hello and welcome to TopX, where we count down the very best of YouTube. Today we’re donning our vintage gaming T-shirts and plugging in our SNESes to bring you the top 10 Retro Gaming YouTube Critics.

These fine channels and hosts have been selected based on a number of different factors, including subscriber counts, monthly views and personal preference. We do have to limit the list to channels that mainly deal with retro gaming and that are English-speaking; thus, we must unfortunately exclude the likes of The Game Theorists and Joueur du grenier.

#10: Ahoy
youtube.com/XboxAhoy


Let’s go on a journey into the heart of gaming. Ahoy seems to have that kind of exploratory attitude in mind for his videos, given his interest in explaining and analyzing the intricate details of a game’s creation. Ranging from 20 minutes to an hour in length, his reviews and other content are part critical think-pieces, part documentary, and entirely impressive in their scope. On top of that, Ahoy’s videos boast a tight production technique, from their good pacing to the use of clear, colourful infographics.


#9: Happy Console Gamer
youtube.com/HappyConsoleGame



How can you go wrong with an optimistic outlook? This cheerful game critic opts to infuse his reviews with a more personal touch than most. He goes into detail about how he obtained certain games, what he thought of them as a kid, and so forth – which works as a way to connect with his audience. Happy Console Gamer taps into that all-too-familiar sense of awe and wonder associated with childhood gaming, with every point he makes clearly coming from a place of love. Of course, he doesn’t shy away from some deprecating humour here and there.


#8: Game Sack
youtube.com/MrGameSack



A two-host show run by Joe Redifer and Dave White, Game Sack is very much a balance of personality and theme. Reviews feature the duo going back and forth in justifying what games they’ve chosen for the episode, with their individual preferences and quirks shining in the commentary. Moreover, each lineup of games is chosen based on a common element – being from a particular genre, being launch titles for consoles – with each host then justifying their choice. It’s a fun dynamic made better by the hosts’ chemistry and the clever end-of-episode skits.


#7: The Gaming Historian
youtube.com/mcfrosticles


Sometimes, to know what the future holds, it’s important to look back. Enter Norman Caruso, a game enthusiast with a degree in history who’s not afraid to dive deep into gaming’s storied past. His work as the Gaming Historian definitely has some of the most range of any retro game critic; Caruso has discussed specific developers, inter-company conflicts, and even the historical basis of certain games. Whatever the subject, the Gaming Historian remains calm and fair in his analysis, even when contextualizing some of the games industry’s most divisive and controversial moments.


#6: Metal Jesus Rocks
youtube.com/MetalJesusRocks


Get ready to bang your fists, thrash your hair and… enjoy some delightful criticism. Metal Jesus Rocks has an unspoken focus on the early-to-mid 1990s in terms of retro game critique, with the spotlight often landing on obscure or forgotten titles. What’s disarming, but absolutely welcome, is how open-minded and affable Metal Jesus seems to be. He gets along well with his co-hosts and guests, talks candidly about the aesthetic choices and experimental games of the 90s, and maintains a healthy amount of curiosity about the medium.


#5: Lazy Game Reviews
youtube.com/phreakindee


Trust us, the name’s not indicative of the quality. Lazy Game Reviews – hosted by Clint Basinger – tackles the wide world of early PC gaming, with particular attention paid to the 1980s and 90s. Clint’s greatest strength as a critic is his in-depth understanding of the era; he navigates the minutia of older computing technology with ease and never ceases to impress with his surplus of facts. It’s also clear right off the bat that Clint prides himself on seeing the good and noteworthy elements of games, even while thoroughly critiquing them. Balanced and insightful – a winning combo.


#4: Pat the NES Punk
youtube.com/PatTheNESpunk


Well, he certainly has his priorities in order. Based in New Jersey, Pat the NES Punk mostly reviews significantly flawed or atrocious Nintendo Entertainment System games, though the creations of other Golden Age game companies occasionally rear their head. Pat approaches reviews from an informative Let’s Play-esque manner, taking the audience through the experience of playing this or that game. It’s a solid angle that makes grasping how a game does or doesn’t work easy, and it leave Pat room to squeeze in amusing asides and double entendres aplenty.


#3: Classic Game Room
youtube.com/InecomCompany


Talk about a channel with an interesting history. Appearing initially in 1999, Classic Game Room only ran for about a year before cancellation but was revived in 2008 in its YouTube-based form. The show has regularly dedicated time and energy to reviewing older games and gaming-themed paraphernalia, though it doesn’t stray away from modern titles either. Its big draw is host Mark Bussler, who exudes confidence when speaking about games and manages to capture the youthful whimsy that older games inspire in people. That the show proved popular enough to inspire the creation of the CGRundertow spin-off channel isn’t surprising.


#2: JonTron
youtube.com/JonTronShow


Anyone looking for a conventional content creator would do well to turn back now. For you see, JonTron directs much of his energy into producing surreal and unorthodox video reviews. His videos have included the likes of skeletons with guns, the ghosts of still-living celebrities, living Garfield phones and that’s before you get into the often-obscure games Jon tackles. Fortunately, the sheer absurdity of JonTron is held together by excellent production values and Jon’s whole-hearted embrace of his character’s slightly unhinged persona. It’s wacky and weird material of the best variety.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Continue?
youtube.com/continueshow

Samination – Taco-Man
youtube.com/ebolaworld

Super Bunnyhop Reviews/Critical Close up
youtube.com/bunnyhopshow


#1: Angry Video Game Nerd / Cinemassacre
youtube.com/JamesNintendoNerd


He’s angry, he’s a nerd, and in the early days of criticism-as-entertainment he was a major trend-setter. James Rolfe, the Nerd of the title, published his first review in May 2004, with the scatological humour and elaborate skits that defined the show coming later. However, what’s remained consistently part of AVGN – and the production company Cinemassacre as a whole – is the underlying creativity of Rolfe and his team. The jokes are lowbrow but well handled, the Nerd character manages to be entertainingly pessimistic, and there’s been an increasing effort made to deliver heartfelt, thoughtful commentary on games.

That's our list, but there are probably more praise-worthy retro gaming critics out there – so tell us about them in the comments below. Be sure to check us out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and for more top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com
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