Going back to that Let's Play article that was posted up not too long ago, I couldn't help but put together this list of game playthroughs that are really worth watching. Of course, this list will only consist of longplays or speedruns or whatever falls in between. Because seriously, Let's Plays suck.
Unless they're super hilarious (in which case you watch to hear what the players say) or very informative (in which case you watch so you can have a guide on how to beat a level), Let's Plays are not ideal for really experiencing a game. Of course, nothing beats actually PLAYING a game but sometimes watching someone else play will suffice.
So here are just a few of the videos I'd recommend checking out.
Speedruns (with speedruns, I try to pick games that are quick on action and light on story because the story is going to get skipped anyway... unless it's God of War):
(To avoid cluttering my post with links, just go to http://speeddemosarchive.com and look up the following speedruns.)
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Actraiser (specifically Professional! mode)
Super Castlevania IV
Contra: Hard Corps
Legend of Zelda: OoT
Super Mario 64
Contra: Shattered Soldier
God of War
God of War II
I suppose some of the other quicker-paced platformers, some racing games, and some shooters are also fair game. Games like Mega Man, the Super Mario Bros. side-scrollers, Metal Slug, or F-Zero.
Longplays (with longplays, I try to pick games that are the most cinematic so that I really get that movie experience so I prefer that the games have voice acting):
(To avoid clutter, just go to http://longplays.org and look up the following longplays. The site usually links to a youtube video. If the video hasn't been uploaded to youtube, check out archive.org)
Half-Life (Blue Shift/Opposing Force)
Half-Life 2 (Episode 1/Episode 2)
Dead Space 2 (or watch the Xbox 360 version)
Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid 2
Metal Gear Solid 3
Shadow of the Colossus
Metal Gear Solid 4
Dead Space: Extraction
Alan Wake's American Nightmare
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham City
Full playthroughs found on youtube:
Alan Wake: The Signal:
Alan Wake: The Writer:
Other: (full playthroughs with large chunks of gameplay cut out to reduce repetition and tediousness)
When it comes to watching someone else play, I typically avoid RPGs and point-and-click adventure games. RPGs are typically not fun to watch. Watching someone play Final Fantasy IV is like watching someone complete a sudoku puzzle. I'd rather just do the puzzle myself. Adventure games are like interactive movies with puzzles so if you're watching someone else play a point-and-click adventure game, you must hate playing games. Again, I'd rather play it myself. I also avoid Metroidvania games because they can be long, repetitive, and tedious to watch.