YouTube’s Top Video Games in 2015 May Surprise You

YouTube has released its list of top video games and top gaming videos of 2015, offering an interesting look at what games viewers craved most this year. While the list has plenty of AAA console games on it, you’ll also find a number of smaller indie and niche titles you might not have expected to see.

Perhaps even more surprising, instead of Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, or Grand Theft Auto V taking home the top prize of most trending video, that award goes to a mobile game. Read on for the details.

Top games overall

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  2. FIFA 16
  3. Five Nights at Freddy’s 3
  4. Ark: Survival Evolved
  5. Agar.io
  6. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4
  7. Fallout 4
  8. Mortal Kombat X
  9. Batman: Arkham Knight
  10. Until Dawn

The folks at YouTube compiled this list based on total views and total watch time of games released in 2015.

The top two slots don’t come as much of a surprise here, what with those games’ stratospheric sales numbers. The two spots taken up by Five Nights at Freddy’s games might surprise people who don’t pay much attention to “Let’s Play” videos, but that series has practically become an institution on YouTube.

Most Five Nights at Freddy’s games — which come out every few months — put you in the shoes of a night security guard doomed to watch security camera feeds in a dark, creepy building. As you cycle through the feeds, murderous animatronic creatures come closer when you’re not looking. As an added source of stress, you have a limited amount of battery power to view the feeds and close the doors. The games create a enormous amount of dread in the player, something YouTubers have harnessed by giving over-the-top reactions to the tension. Viewers eat this stuff up.

Other surprises on the list include Ark: Survival Evolved and Agar.io. The former is a sci-fi survival game set in a land of carnivorous dinosaurs, with other players potentially posing just as much of a threat. The game is currently available through Early Access on Steam.

Agar.io is a simple game you can play on mobile or in your browser for free. You control a cell that has to eat other cells to grow bigger. The trick is that other players are controlling the other cells, and you have to avoid being eaten to keep playing. It’s an easy game to understand, and it’s a lot of fun to play. It must also be a lot of fun to watch because it landed at No. 5 on the list.

Top trending gaming videos

  1. Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial)
  2. Real GTA
  3. Star Wars Battlefront Reveal Trailer
  4. Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 Teaser Trailer
  5. WARNING: YOU WILL DIE | Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – Part 1
  6. Discover Pokémon in the Real World with Pokémon GO!
  7. Fallout 4 – Official Trailer
  8. Elders Play Grand Theft Auto V (Elders React: Gaming)
  9. Halo VS Call of Duty
  10. Final Fantasy VII – E3 2015 Trailer | PS4

This list is based on views, shares, comments, likes, and other metrics. It contains a variety of videos based on games, from trailers and Let’s Play videos to mash-ups and more. These are lots of fun to watch, and they tell a different tale about what kinds of content gamers are interested in.

It’s not too shocking that the top trending video is a Super Bowl commercial, but it is surprising that the commercial isn’t for a blockbuster console hit; it’s for the mobile game Clash of Clans.

Next up is an exceptionally well-made video inspired by Grand Theft Auto V (you can see how it was made here). A similar fan-made video about Halo and Call of Duty comes in at No. 9.

Many of the top videos are trailers for high-profile games like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront. One other video that stands out is No. 8, in which the makers asked senior citizens to play Grand Theft Auto V and give an unfiltered reaction to it. Pretty hilarious.

While the majority of the games on these lists are big, popular games, there’s a surprising number of smaller games. That’s good news for game makers, as it proves that you don’t need a multi-million dollar budget to capture gamers’ attention. Then again, it sure doesn’t hurt.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
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