When Civ 6 came out, there was understandable hype for a new game in the franchise. But it turns out that, while there are some Civ 6 fans, if anything, it’s Civ 5 that’s soared in popularity. And a lot of that can be seen in some of the most entertaining Civ 5 let’s plays– all of which you can stream right now.
The whole Civ 5 vs Civ 6 debate is one I have seen played over and over across beloved gaming franchises. But, over 5 years after the release of Civ 6, it’s Civ 5 that often gets the spotlight for a vibrant community and fantastic lets plays.
Exactly why Civ 5 is still more popular than Civ 6 is a topic of debate, and one explored back in 2018 by PC Gamer. The article showcased community clashes on Steam and included player surveys. Interestingly, some of those surveys indicated that it’s Civ 6 that’s more popular, though many reported bouncing back between the two games.
There’s always the problem of reporting bias, too– Civ 6 players may be more active on Steam and Reddit, but Civ 5 players may be lurking elsewhere. At the end of the day, the big story isn’t about if Civ 6 or Civ 5 is more popular– but that Civ 5, a game that was released over a decade commands a lively and engaged community, largely through steaming let’s plays.
There are more Civ 5 lets plays than you might imagine. And while let’s play is a great way to get excited about Civ 5 all over again, it’s also hard to find a great one to get hooked on. So today I’ll share with you my picks for the best Civ 5 let’s plays you can stream now, from narrative-based to humorous to modded and even tutorials.
What is a let’s play game?
A let’s play is a common term that’s not limited to Civ 5, or the Civilization franchise. It’s impossible to say when the term was coined, but many point to 2005, when Something Awful, a comedy hosting website, began posting walkthroughs of The Oregon Trail. Since then, Let’s Plays has soared in popularity.
A let’s play can be anything from a tutorial and walkthrough to an immersive gameplay video. The idea of let’s play is that you’re watching along as someone plays through a game and adds commentary.
Let’s play can include tips for strategy, storytelling and narrative elements, and more. While many lets plays include a video cam of the commentator, they don’t always. There are countless types of lets plays, from challenges to personal reflections and more.
Are let’s plays still popular?
Let’s play remains popular, but as is the case with all gaming trends, it fluctuates. As a content creator myself, I’ve witnessed ebbs and flows for how popular one type of content is– and that can also fluctuate greatly depending on the game.
In some communities, let’s plays are getting fewer views in favor of other types of content, while in others, let’s plays continue to thrive. For the most part, let’s play as a genre that remains vibrant.
Why are let’s plays so popular?
Many of the most popular let’s plays encourage audience engagement, even taking advice and recommendations from their audience. In this way, let’s play provides a sense of playing along with someone else– and sharing the love of the same games.
Let’s plays are a way to get to know others– and they can also be highly entertaining, funny, and even suspenseful. Many, including myself, watch let’s play the same way you’d watch a movie or favorite TV show.
Why watch a Civ 5 let’s play?
I get it– we’re all busy. But if you love Civ 5 and have never given Civ 5 a try, I recommend it. A Civ 5 let’s play can help you meet fellow Civ 5 players, get connected with the community, and inspire you to play again. You may learn new tips, tricks, and strategies.
Let’s play may inspire you to try a new civilization, challenge, or play in a way you’d never considered before. And the best lets plays are simply entertaining to watch. You may very well find yourself streaming them the way you’d stream a favorite Hulu or Netflix show.
Where can you stream Civ 5 let’s play?
The best place to find great Civ 5 let’s play is Youtube. Aside from ads on monetized videos, there’s no disruption, you can watch at any time, and you can easily save to a watch later list. Not only that but there are some highly entertaining lets plays– and current creators who are still releasing new Civ 5 let’s plays.
Those are where my top recommendations are from. However, I’ll also supply a few Twitch streamers you can follow if you prefer to see it being played live.
What types of Civ 5 lets plays are there?
A better question to ask is what type of Civ 5 lets plays aren’t there. Civ 5 players are creative and so are their lets plays. You can find modded and regular let’s play, challenges, specific campaigns, tutorials, and more.
How long are Civ 5 let’s play?
Civ 5 lets plays are usually compiled in a playlist (when completed) which can be anywhere from 5 or 10 videos to 100. The creator decides how to split these up—some favor shorter videos, about 15 to 20 minutes long, while others go for shorter playlists and videos at around 1 hour.
If you’ve ever played Civ 5, you can imagine that let’s play tends to be lengthy. But you can pause, save and revisit them at any point. And I’d also argue that entertaining Civ 5 lets games seem far shorter than they are.
How do you find the best Civ 5 let’s play?
There is no one best Civ 5 let’s play for everyone because personal preferences differ. At the same time, I look for a few things. For one, I look for lets plays that are either already completed or are actively being added to.
If a let’s play is unfinished and hasn’t been updated for over a month, chances are it may never be. I also am drawn to let’s play with a strong, clear focus–such as a challenge or civilization– and compelling descriptions and thumbnails. But above all, personality matters.
You and I won’t connect with the same personality on everything, but you want someone enthusiastic or intent on the game, and whose commentary adds some interest to the playthrough.
My Picks: Civ 5 Let’s Plays You Should Stream
These are some of my favorite picks for Civ 5 Let’s Plays. All of these you can stream now and are led by someone knowledgeable and charismatic. I’ve included different styles of let’s play to showcase the variety of the community’s creativity.
For my criteria, I select the most dynamic let’s plays available. Every Let’s Play I was looking for a blend of entertainment but also strategy. All of these options allow you to learn new tips, without it feeling too didactic. They are professionally recorded and produced and blend insight with humor. Sound quality and video quality are also excellent.
Drew Durnil’s Civ 5 Brave New World
This Civ 5 Let’s Play explores the Brave New World expansion. Playing as England, Drew‘s energy carries through 68 episodes, each roughly 18 minutes long- making it easy to stop and pick back up. Professional production and a lively presentation make this a great Let’s play to start with.
I also love how Drew provides insights into successful gameplay strategy, without it feeling like a tutorial. Then let’s play is nearly unmodded, and it’s being played on Emperor difficulty. While declaring domination of victory to be “impossible,” and a cultural victory to be “unlikely,” Drew reveals at the beginning that he’s considering both.
All told, if you’re interested in the Brave New World expansion pack, Drew does a fantastic job here of exploring it. The Brave New World expansion was one of the most popular for Civ 5 and brought a new culture victory feature, new policies and ideologies, international trade routes, and new wonders alongside nine civilizations. Stream Here.
Also Recommended from Drew:
Let’s Learn Civ 5: UnstableVoltage
New to Civ 5? I recommend this let’s play from UnstableVoltage. As the name suggests, this let’s play is all about learning how to play the game– while still keeping things engaging enough to watch.
UnstableVoltage divides this helpful let’s play tutorial series into different topics, so you can easily pick and choose what to watch. Each video averages around 30-40 minutes long– a great length for providing details you need, as well as tips and strategies, without being excessive.
Some tutorials tend to be dry and dull, but not so here. He presents everything with clarity and knowledge while keeping a personal tone. Viewer praise alone will show you I’m not alone in finding this series both informative and entertaining to watch.
Topics covered in the 23 part playlist include Brave New World and starting menu, dealing with barbarians, victory conditions, city-states, expansion, trading, religion and happiness, diplomacy, espionage, world congress, culture, unique bonuses, scouting, battle, war tactics, the space race, and victories. All told, it’s a comprehensive playlist without feeling didactic. Stream Here.
Quill 18’s Civ 5: Immortal Rome
Quill18 is also an excellent person to watch streaming live, and that’s not too hard to guess from this let’s play. With just 17 videos averaging 30-35 minutes each, this is one of the most fast-paced Civ 5 let’s plays you can find.
The narration is rapid, lively, and energetic. Then let’s play is focused on a militaristic victory, leaning to Rome’s strengths as a civilization. Quill18 does a nice job of sprinkling in insightful information and tips as he plays while wasting little time.
Something so engaging about this Civ 5 let’s play is just that: you feel as you’re playing right along with Quill, but you also can gather a handful of tips for strategy and understanding the strengths of this civilization, but even smaller aspects, such as terrain types, resources, religion and more. And if you aren’t too into Rome, this content creator has other options for Civ 5. This let’s play is being shown on Immortal difficulty, the second hardest mode. Stream Here.
Also Recommended from Quill18:
Civ 5: Mega Game(Official Civilization Channel)
While I love recommending individual content creators, I do need to point you to the official Civilization channel– which not everyone knows about.
The official channel has several lets plays for Civ5 and Civ 6, and many of them are presented with energy and enthusiasm. If you’re looking for a chaotic, fun take, the Mega Game let’s play maybe just for you.
While a bit less focused in some ways– with many people adding commentary, there’s plenty of personality, jokes, and added commentary that shows how passionate these players are. Some won’t love the comedic format, while others will find this type of let’s play right up their alley.
You’ll get to know the team in this 15 part playlist, with videos averaging 20 minutes long. It gives you a look at multiplayer mode- and many civilizations at once. Do note that the language isn’t always PG/ kid-friendly. Stream Here.
Like the chaos and their sense of humor? There are many other Civ 5 let’s plays you can check out on their channel. Check out Civ 5 World Peace, Civ 5 Forever War Battle Arena, Civ 5 Teams, as well their Twitch Channel.
Civ 5: Let’s Play China
Berg787 sadly doesn’t look like he’s posting content anymore, but I love his style for Civ 5 let’s play. This smaller channel is surely underrated, with an intelligent, thoughtful approach. While he leads with energetic and upbeat narration, it’s not the chaotic energy but relaxing and enlightening to listen to.
The Let’s Play China playlist is one of his best, showcasing his approachable personality and focus. He reveals his tips but also his failures– making him relatable to other Civ 5 players. He sprinkles in bits of subtle humor, narrating through a playthrough before you know it. The series is 5 parts, each around half an hour long. Stream Here.
Also Recommended for Berg787:
Love Beg787’s style? Check out all his previous Civ 5 Let’s Plays Here.
Marbozir’s Civ 5 Deity: Let’s Play Sweden
In Civ 5, the hardest possible mode to play in is Deity. Expert player Marbozir doesn’t disappoint in this challenging, immersive Civ 5 let’s play. He does talk quickly– so be prepared to pay close attention to this beloved let’s play.
He also includes the Events and Decisions mod, which creates a ripple effect of more events, some with choices and some without. There are unique sets of decisions for each civilization, adding even more complexity to this let’s play.
Playing as Sweden, this standard length game is played on a pangea world. He still offers insight into Swedish civilization, tips, and strategies– so you’ll learn as you watch. This full-fledged game includes 17 videos, around 30 to 40 minutes each. Stream Here.
Also Recommended for Marbozir:
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: CIV 5 has fairly low standards to run on a computer, and that isn’t too surprising, considering it was released more than a decade ago. Available for Windows and macOS as well as Linux, you’ll need a minimum of 2GB memory for Windows or 4GB for Mac. An Intel Duo 1.8 GHz or 1.8GHz Quad-Core processor is needed. Just 8 GB of free hard drive space will run CIv 5. Of course, you can read specification requirements on Steam.
Answer: While many have the opinion that Civ 5 was unpopular upon release, critics awarded it 90% ratings on average. Still, it’s a game that departed from past Civ games in many ways– thus splitting up the community wildly as to if Civ 4, Civ 5, or Civ 6 is best (or even older versions like Civ 3).
However, many now prefer Civ 5 for its deeper differences between cultures and other perks. Today, Civ 6 commands more steam players, but Civ 5 has its loyal fans. It’s a solid entry into the franchise, and worth giving a try if you’ve never played.
Answer: Becoming denounced in Civ 5 means you need to take a closer look at how you’re conducting diplomacy. Some players will choose to turn on you, but much of that has to do with the decisions you make. You may also get denounced if you’re perceived as either too weak or even too powerful. Overlapping territories can tip the scale if you don’t have strong diplomacy.
Final Thoughts & Twitch Streaming Let’s Plays
The Civ 5 community is alive and passionate– and you can see that through the many lets plays you can watch. From tutorials to chaotic gameplay, there’s a little of something for everyone.