*This list was original posted on 01/01/2019, updated on 08/07/2019 and updated again on 14/12/2019 to include new entries which have made it onto my Top 10 List.
This Top 10 breaks down my favourite extended playthroughs from Jon era Game Grumps. If you want to check out my favourite Jon era One-offs then click here and if you want to check out my favourite Dan era extended playthroughs and One-offs then click here and here respectively. Also I recently made a Top 10 for my favourite moments from Game Grumps, that you can check here.
If you are a fan of Game Grumps, I would also strongly recommend you check out KittyKatGaming, a channel by Suzy Berhow (also known as Mortem3r) who is Arin Hanson’s wife, and if you like that then you can check out my Top 10 KittyKatGaming extended playthroughs and One-offs by clicking here and here respectively.
Okay next up, let me tell you a little about the Game Grumps. They are a Let’s Play channel established in July 2012 by co-hosts Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) and Jon Jafari (also known as Jontron) who played the characters ‘Grump’ and ‘Not So Grump’ respectively, and while I’m talking about Jon, you can click here to find out my Top 10 Jontron videos (from his own personal channel). Arin and Jon ran the channel together, with their editor Barry Kramer (also known as razzadoop) until Jon left in June 2013 to focus on his own channel. During Jon’s tenure on the show, which as mentioned above lasted from 18th July 2012 to 24th June 2013 they released approximately 619 episodes, and it is this period that I will be handpicking my personal favourites from today. So now that I’ve successfully overloaded you with way too much information, check out my Top 10 below.
1. Sonic ’06 (108 Episodes)
Sonic 06′ is for many fans the iconic playthrough during Jon’s tenure on Game Grumps, it started the trend of the Grumps playing Sonic games, which has brought countless hours of fun to the Lovelies over the years. In my opinion this series had everything that made the Game Grumps great, from the glitches, to the insane plot, to a whole lot of ‘real talk’. I’m also a huge fan of the music in Sonic 06′ which Arin famously called ‘Butt Rock’ when playing another Sonic game. Throughout the playthrough songs such as ‘Escape from the City’ are sung by the Game Grumps, often with improvised lyrics or with the music played at different speeds. Sadly, Jon left before they completed Sonic 06′ and the Grumps have said they have no intention of finishing it without him.
2. Nintendo Land (8 episodes)
I guess I’m just super susceptible to advertising/product placement because despite hearing largely bad things about the console/platform, watching Arin and Jon playing Nintendo Land on the Wii U made me want to get a Wii U for myself. I guess it’s because they made it look so fun, the Animal Crossing and Legend of Zelda parts especially looked great. But overall it was just one of those fun, classic playthroughs that seemed like two dudes having fun playing games rather than them actively hosting a show.
Interesting side note, and for legal reasons I have to say this is a joke, but if you watch this video by Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’? (HAWP) then you’ll totally see that they came up with the Nintendo Land concept first, so where are those royalty checks for Ashly Burch, Nintendo? Hmm?
3. Joe & Mac (4 Episodes)
Joe & Mac is a game that I remembered playing from childhood but couldn’t remember the name, so when I watched it on Game Grumps, a whole lot of nostalgia and memories came flooding back as well. I also suggest that if you haven’t played this game at least once, that you put down whatever device you are reading this on (although please do come back and finish it later) and find and/or purchase yourself a copy of Joe & Mac which is available on a variety of retro and modern consoles such as Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Amiga, Zeebo, Nintendo Switch, and PC because you won’t regret it. This game is another fan favourite among the Lovelies, and is one of the few games which crossed the barrier between the Jon and Dan eras of the show, with Dan and Arin playing it again in September 2017 on an episode of Guest Grumps (a spin-off to the main show, where they play and commentate alongside a special guest star) with Jesse Cox and Michele Morrow, the creators and co-stars of the YouTube Red series Good Game, which also featured Dan and Arin, and you can check out what I thought of that by clicking here. Anyway, on the original playthrough with Jon we were treated to excerpts from the musicals, Rent and Wicked performed by Jon, who according to the Game Grumps wiki is educated in musical theatre, and he is certainly a talented performer, in fact if you haven’t already you should check out his cover of Firework by Katy Perry which is not only a strong performance and uniquely Jontron but also is animated by passionate and talented fans. Continuing on the music track, see what I did there? The finale of the series ends with a music video featuring Mimi and Mochi (Arin and Suzy’s Napoleon Munchkin Kittens).
4. Shenmue (3 Episodes)
Shenmue is and I say this without irony, a really good game, and I’m super excited to get a copy of Shenmue III at Christmas this year and continue the adventures of Ryo Hazuki as he seeks revenge/justice for his father’s killer. I’ll admit especially playing this today you’ve probably been spoiled by games like Grand Theft Auto, Yakuza and Sleeping Dogs, which have a similar style, setting or core gameplay but it still has a lot to offer including great attention to detail in really strange ways and especially for a game released in 1999 it has a whole lot to do and introduces concepts that games have been copying or improving for roughly two decades now. So that was a whole lot about the game itself, but one of the reasons I liked this series was that I am a fan of Shenmue, and while it’s a slower paced game that the Grumps usually tackle it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable series, although because Jon left I doubt they’ll return to it, but I would relish seeing Dan and Arin, who have a different dynamic to Jon and Arin playing Shenmue.
5. Glover (3 Episodes)
This is another playthrough that I probably liked a lot more because I enjoyed the game as a kid, but that doesn’t mean that the playthrough itself isn’t good. Although the Lovelies either really dislike this game and want rid of it, or desperately wanted the Grumps to play it because they received at least 7 different copies of Glover from the fans, a fact that led to this awesome advert from the Game Grumps back in August 2013, where the Grumps were working with the charity, Child’s Play to improve the lives of children by giving them access to awesome toys and games. If you’d like to donate to Child’s Play then you can do so by clicking here. Anyway, Glover is a really good playthrough that’s funny and exposes a whole bunch of people to an awesome game, also if you happen to have a Glover plushie you no longer want I will happily buy it from you (as long as it’s not crazy expensive) just reach out via the contact section of the site.
6. Pokemon Emerald Version (20 Episodes)
I think this opinion will probably be one that splits the Lovelies but what I enjoy most about the Game Grumps is that you can enjoy their content even if they make little to no progress in terms of gameplay. I feel like they aren’t concerned with completing a game, but instead focus on getting as much enjoyment out of the game as possible even if it’s in ways the game didn’t intend. In this playthrough the end up spending so much time backtracking and coming up with creative names for the Pokemon that there are several episodes where you can honestly claim they make no significant progress at all, but despite that you can still enjoy it because of the commentary between Arin and Jon and the stream of consciousness nature of the show which feels very real, and is in fact why I feel they attract so many fans. Something else I liked, which also feels kinda relatable is that one person likes the game/franchise while the other does not, in this case we have Arin, who is a fan of Pokemon trying to explain why he enjoys the series to Jon who just finds it dull and repetitive, it honestly feels just like two friends playing a game and that for me is part of the appeal.
7. Donkey Kong Country (12 Episodes)
If I am completely honest despite coming from a household that enjoys gaming, I mean we ended up getting all the popular consoles at one point or another, I just wasn’t a fan of Donkey Kong Country, I especially didn’t like it compared to other contemporary side-scrolling platformers like Pac-Land or Super Mario World which were released around the same time but I enjoyed this playthrough anyway, particularly since Jon said that this is one of his personal favourites, and I enjoy being shown something through the eyes of someone who is really passionate about or enjoys something. I also liked that Arin made a concerted effort to not speak too negatively about this game because Jon liked it, that felt again, like something real friends would do, and it’s especially impressive since through his Sequelitis videos (which you can check out on his YouTube channel) and his extreme reactions to games such as Sonic 06′ Arin has gotten a reputation for being somewhat negative regarding certain games or franchises. I also liked how they played together and traded off playing, it felt more balanced and at least for me added more to this series.
8. Animal Crossing: City Folk (3 Episodes)
A solidly nice playthrough that takes place in one of my personal favourite franchises, It’s especially nice since the Animal Crossing games are this nice blend of quirkiness and random encounters and the sweet wholesomeness of anthropomorphic animals inviting you to go fishing or shopping or just to hang out. I was excited to see what the Game Grumps would make of this, how they’d handle this type of game and I wasn’t disappointed because the three episodes that they did play were a lot of fun to watch. It’s just a shame that Arin’s wife Suzy (also known as Mortem3r, the host of KittyKatGaming) played their save off screen and basically completed the game because this one had a lot of potential, still I’m happy with what we ended up getting.
9. Chulip (8 Episodes)
I recently returned to this video after watching the Game Grumps play Marvel’s Spider-Man because in that series Arin keeps offering/threatening to kiss random characters as Spider-Man, this relates to Chulip because the game is rather quirky and surreal and one of the main objectives involves trying to kiss and therefore ingratiate yourself with random townsfolk, so you can impress the girl of your dreams. Anyway other than Spider-Man connections several years after it’s release, this series was a fun watch, I really enjoyed it, and also it marks an important moment in Game Grumps history, for those that follow such things, because it confirm for certain that Barry Kramer, then the editor for the channel, and at that point somewhat of an unknown quantity, does in fact poop.
10. Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure (3 Episodes)
I remember this game from back when I was a kid, I also remember not enjoying it, I can’t say the same for the Game Grumps playthrough however which was fun, if brief. It’s also very human and honest because they stopped playing entirely because they got stuck on the Universal Studios Quiz. A lesser channel might have used editing and tricks, played off screen to complete it or even cheated and looked up the answers but not the Grumps, they tried, they failed, the called it quits and moved onto greener pastures and other equally terrible games.
So that was my Top 10 favourite Game Grumps extended playthroughs during the Jon era of the channel and if you want to check out their channel for yourself and maybe find some favourites of you own then you can head on over to YouTube and check out the main channel, Game Grumps, their new channel, The Grumps and their misfit channel for random things, Grump Out.
Make sure and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from Game Grumps. Also if you’re in the mood for Game Grumps but have no idea what to watch then use this neat little site, RandomGrump, which you can use to find a completely random episode or series from the backlog of Grumps content.
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