Best Games To Watch Someone Else Play

With over 35 million users visiting Twitch monthly and YouTube Let’s Play channels accruing multimillion subscriber counts, it’s clear that there’s a huge market for people wanting to watch others play video games. And while streamers and YouTubers offer one venue for gamers to engage with content that they aren’t playing for themselves for one reason or another, online viewing is only one facet of backseat gaming.


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Sometimes, it’s an activity far closer to home that involves a couch, some snacks, and a partner or a roommate holding a controller. No matter the medium, here are some of the fun games to watch someone else play.

Updated June 8, 2023, by Avery Feyrer: While video games are fun to play ourselves, there is plenty of joy in watching others play too. Watching streamers or your friends play games can be relaxing after a long day and you’re too tired to play yourself, or it’s handy if you’re looking for a few tips on how to solve a puzzle. There are several games we can find beneficial in watching others play, so we’ve updated this list to include a few more games that fit the criteria.

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30 Madden

cleveland browns player juking baltimore ravens madden 23

Madden football has become an annual event in the games industry and its popularity has propelled the series to new heights. EA Sports has created online championship tournaments and leagues for hundreds of people, adding a new layer to competitive football.

If you don’t think your skills are up to snuff, you can keep up with the action by spectating games and watching streams. This is also a great way for you to learn tips on how to dominate the gridiron. There are many different offensive and defensive strategies to learn in Madden, so studying

29 Halo Infinite

halo infinite multiplayer

The half-surprise of Microsoft launching the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta early during the company’s 20-year anniversary stream elevated the game on people’s radar. Halo multiplayer held the competitive shooter genre in a vice grip, but since the changing of developers in 2012, Halo hasn’t experienced the same level of success.

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has garnered incredible praise for its solid structure and smooth gameplay, though the ranking system has come under fire. Although Halo Infinite didn’t meet the lofty expectations that fans had, it’s still Halo and that means it’s still a great multiplayer experience. With Forge mode finally on the horizon, Halo Infinite looks to, hopefully, get back in the good graces of gamers.

28 Minecraft

player sleeping in a bed

One of the most influential sandbox games in history, Minecraft opens the door to pure imagination. This vast world is full of precious resources to enable you to build, well, anything you want. Gamers have created iconic monuments from across pop culture in Minecraft.

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Although there isn’t a set objective in Minecraft, there are four difficulty settings that will affect how dangerous the enemies are in the game. Danger might be behind every corner in the form of zombies, spiders, skeletons, and other monstrosities. Many streamers have created their custom servers to freely explore and create with other people, making Minecraft one of the most watched games on Twitch.

27 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CSGO Source 2 s&Box

At the turn of the century, multiplayer shooters become more military-focused. Series like Call of Duty and Counter-Strike began to dominate the multiplayer front. Valve hit the jackpot with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the fourth installment in the series. Since 2012, Valve’s shooter has remained a premier in the competitive sphere.

The success of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive caused ripple effects throughout the industry and was influential in the development of subsequent games, like Valorant. Absolute precision and concentration are needed to win in Counter-Strike, so the style of gameplay might not be for everyone. Watching someone methodically take down the enemy team without blindly rushing guns blazing is harder than it looks.

26 Destiny 2

A Titan, Hunter, and Warlock standing together in Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 has evolved throughout the years becoming a free-to-play product and focusing on major content installments. Despite lulls in between expansions, Bungie has continued to craft a compelling universe.

The latest expansion for Destiny 2 is Beyond Light, taking Guardians to Neomuna, a mysterious place on Neptune. You’ll team up with the Cloudstriders to fight against Calus and the new Shadow Legion. Destiny has an extensive backstory, so watching someone play through earlier events could help you get caught up on the story.

25 Until Dawn (Or Any Supermassive Game)

Sam Giddings looking frustrated

Supermassive Games single-handedly created and conquered the Choose Your Own Horror Adventure genre with their 2015 breakout title Until Dawn. It featured a stacked cast of performers who motion captured every gasp of horror, every corny pickup line, and every gut-wrenching death sequence. For all intents and purposes, Until Dawn IS a playable horror movie.

That’s why it’s perfect to watch someone else play. It doesn’t matter if it’s an online celebrity or your best friend Gary, the reactions caused by Until Dawn are genuinely priceless. While every subsequent game that Supermassive has churned out will suffice for this particular brand of viewable entertainment Until Dawn is the ideal candidate for a mad dash emotional experience.

24 Super Smash Bros Ultimate

super smash bros fight on hyrule

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the pinnacle game of the series. It features over 80 characters from across the series, making it one of the largest rosters in the fighting genre.

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It’s always difficult learning new fighting characters, so being able to watch others demonstrate combos and techniques can be extremely helpful. Unfortunately, Nintendo elected to not have Super Smash Bros Ultimate featured at the prestigious EVO fighting tournament in 2022.

23 World Of Warcraft

Dragonflight World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft drastically impacted how gamers and developers viewed massive multiplayer online role-playing games. Filled with a multitude of dungeons and different terrains to explore, World of Warcraft takes you on magical adventures across beautiful environments as you work with other warlocks, paladins, and healers to find treasures and defeat high-powered enemies.

Since 2004, World of Warcraft has remained a staple in the multiplayer genre. Blizzard’s MMORPG has over ten million active players and the game continues to receive new content. Currently, World of Warcraft is among the top-watched games on Twitch.

22 Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy

Guy In Cauldron attempts to climb mountain with a hammer

The quickest litmus test to discern a person’s inner peace is to have them play Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy. It was released on Steam back in 2017 and the streaming/YouTube community immediately latched onto it, which was probably a bad idea, all things considered… here’s the deal: Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy is bonkers difficult.

Seriously, the controls are infuriating, the mechanics are unwieldy, and the inescapable running commentary from the game’s creator is enough to send most gamers to the ER for blood pressure issues. If you value your PC, never play it, but if you value your own joy, gift it to your best friend!

21 Baba Is You

A temple level with walls and Jelly

One of life’s great pleasures is watching someone play Baba Is You for the first time. Why is that, you may ask? Because it’s an FBI-grade torture activity disguised as a cutesy puzzle game. For the uninitiated, the crux of Baba Is you is that you, the player, manipulate word blocks to reshape the puzzle board, the obstacles, and even yourself, to succeed.

The puzzles start out easy enough, but the difficulty ramp is less of a gentle incline and more of a sheer cliff. It’s the kind of game that elicits extreme emotional reactions and, whether negative or positive, that’s the kind of thing that’s worth seeing unfold on another person’s face. In a word, it’s unforgettable.

20 The Uncharted Series

A photo depicting Nate in front of a crashed plane in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

An oldie but a goodie, the Uncharted series mashes together platforming, target practice, and a movie, basically. It’s this last facet that makes any Uncharted game fun to watch because, even outside the cutscenes, the characters are actively engaged in interesting, story/character-developing dialogue, which can be heightened or hilariously undercut, depending on the skill level of the person holding the controller.

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There are a number of games that fit this particular mold these days, but it’s arguable that Uncharted did it best or, at the very least, first. Can the same effect be achieved by just streaming National Treasure on Disney Plus? Sure, but then you risk missing Nathan Drake’s hilarious death squeals.

19 Rocket League

Rocket League Nike FC Cup

Since 2015, Rocket League has carved out a nice piece of gamers in its highly-competitive unique matches. Players control vehicles in a large soccer-like field trying to score opposing goals. You might think it sounds easy, but there’s a great level of strategy and concentration that goes into having success.

Watching other players can help you develop new tactics to use on your own, as well as see all sorts of interesting car designs. The Rocket League Championship Series is also one of the most watched tournaments in Esports.

18 Hades

Hades Heterochromia Shot

For the Percy Jackson fans that felt as though Riordan’s modern fairy tale was missing something, there are Hades. A wonderfully crafted and beautifully rendered rogue-like that goes the extra mile to ensure everyone leaves feeling a little confused.

The reason it’s so interesting to watch another person play is that the cyclical gameplay of a rogue-like is baked into the story, with an emphasis on the minutiae that differentiates every single run. Invisible choices (actionable events without specific in-game indicators) inform the dialogue, which makes each attempt to jailbreak Grecian Hell unique. Also, everyone’s hot. Pretty sure we mentioned that.

17 Lost Ark

lost ark

Initially released in South Korea in 2019, Lost Ark finally found its way to other countries with its launch in February 2022. In just a single day, Lost Ark became the second-most played game on Steam and among the highest-watched games on Twitch. Operating from a top-down viewpoint, Lost Ark is an RPG set in a magical world that’s full of dangerous foes around every corner.

There are five different classes to choose from in Lost Ark: Warrior, Martial Artist, Gunner, Mage, and Assassin. Each class has its own different routes to make them feel more comfortable to you. Lost Ark is the type of game in which players can benefit from watching others play by learning new tactics and abilities to help their own playthroughs.

16 The Kingdom Hearts Series

Sora holding the Ultima Weapon with Goofy and Donald beside him in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Its mere existence defies logic and sound reason and baffles even the sturdiest mind… and that hardly begins to cover how complex the Kingdom Hearts series truly is. The briefest explanation requires a PowerPoint presentation because the story is what happens if a Final Fantasy game (which isn’t exactly known for its brevity) paused every fifteen minutes to play an entire Disney movie before returning to the main plot.

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And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, that’s kind of the beauty of it. It’s patently ridiculous, sure, but it’s equally endearing, nostalgic, and surprisingly fun to play. Who hasn’t wanted to run around Beast’s castle, or give Frollo a good smack? It’s unbridled silliness that takes itself the right amount of seriousness and is far more enjoyable if shared with a friend.

15 Mario Kart

mario and yoshi dodging bananas in mario kart 8

Since 1992, friendships have been tested on the race tracks of Mario Kart. The Nintendo racer features many races based on iconic Mario locations and has peaked with Mario Kart 8.

With 32 courses in the game, there is plenty for you to sit back and watch others make their way through while you take notes. Mario Kart 8 is one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo Switch and the ultimate kart racer of the series.

14 It Takes Two

The It Takes Two Cody and May Flee An Explosion

Recipient of the Game of the Year award in 2021, It Takes Two is a touching game that dives into the difficulties of a failing marriage and how to rekindle a dying flame. With one person playing as Cody and the other as May, you must work together throughout the game in solving a variety of puzzles to save their marriage.

Whether you played the game or not, seeing others experience its joy will bring a smile to your face. It’s not a common game that you might find people playing, but if you do, we recommend tuning in. It Takes Two’s runtime is a little over ten hours, so finishing the game might take a few sessions.

13 Dead By Daylight

Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed Dead By Daylight Trapper

Whether it’s spooky season or not, Dead By Daylight is an adrenaline-inducing multiplayer experience that’ll leave you, possibly, quivering in fear. One player assumes the role of a bloodthirsty killer, while the other four players must survive by repairing various generators scattered around the map.

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There are a total of 28 different killers in the game, each with its own unique set of powers and abilities. Watching others play the game is a great way to see how each killer performs in the game, but also, it’s a blast to watch people get terrified and scream to death.

12 Rust

Main character fighting off other player while aiming a bow and arrow in Rust.

Developed by Facepunch Studios, Rust fully launched in 2018 following a five-year stint in early access. Available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, Rust is a tactical survivor game that you can play alone or with other people. You must wander the map and search for any materials that you can use to build shelter, craft armor, or use as weapons.

The most common way to stay safe in Rust is by building bases. Constructing bases can be as simple as a four-by-four hut or as elaborate as a massive fortress. It’s recommended to watch streamers play Rust to get tips on where certain items can be found and how to get the upper hand on other players.

11 Grand Theft Auto Online

gta online

It’s a running joke about how impressive Grand Theft Auto 5’s overall sales are and how often Rockstar launches “new iterations” of the same game, just on new consoles. While Grand Theft Auto 5 has a compelling story with a cast of interesting characters, the real money-maker is its online component.

Launching in 2013, Grand Theft Auto Online presents a plethora of activities and missions for you to partake in, but mostly playing online just means doing all the nonsense you’d do in the game but with other people. Eventually, Rockstar added high-quality events to the experience, like the Online Heists. Streamers of Grand Theft Auto Online has also heightened the experience by introducing a role-playing aspect to the game, some even going as far as using voice mods.

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