This brought up a fun question for me. What are the best 360° videos on YouTube right now? Here are the videos I liked the best!
1) Elton John – Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Legacy (VR360)
This video is a bit CGI’d in that it’s computer-animated vs. being filmed with a 360° camera. That said, it perfectly highlights just how crazy VR video will be in the future (or the present).
Note: Make sure you’re watching these videos with a VR Headset (like a Quest 2)! Use the highest quality settings in the Quest’s YouTube app. A VR headset will be a dramatically better experience than viewing with your web browser. An easy way to import the links into your YouTube app is to move these videos to your watch later list, then sign into YouTube and find them there in the VR app.
2) Elephant Encounter in 360 – Ep. 2 | The Okavango Experience
This is a four-part series by National Geographic (see playlist here), and it is absolutely wild! I skipped to episode 2 because you get to the elephants right away. That said, it’s really worth watching the entire thing. This is probably the best pure 360° video on YouTube right now (not including CGI’d stuff)
3) The People’s House – Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama
I struggled with how high to put this one on the list because I know something narrated by the Obamas will trigger a large-ish subset of people. To those triggered, I’d like to say the following.
- No-one cares, get over yourself! This makes the list because it’s a great example of a well-done 360° video (it’s not political).
- This is probably the best tour of the Whitehouse that you could possibly get. It was a fascinating watch that I highly recommend.
4) Experience the Blue Angels in 360-degree video | USA TODAY
Ever wonder what it’s like to fly a freaking jet? While you won’t be pulling any G’s while watching this, it’s still a pretty awesome experience.
I don’t rank this video (and many other scenic videos like this) higher because the resolution really needs to be better. Far away objects become blurry in VR if you’re not recording with a modern camera using the highest resolutions possible.
That said, in a few years, videos like this will become so realistic it’s going to blow your mind!
5) Everest VR – The Movie Experience Trailer
This video just gives some stunning views of Everest. Escapism at its finest.
6) Inside COVID19 – A 3D|360° pandemic experience
Nobody is more sick of pandemic-related content than me. And I know this is another thing that may trigger you (you fragile egomaniac).
That said, it’s perhaps the most well-done 360° video I’ve seen to date. Bravo to the creators; I’d have ranked it higher if it weren’t about the pandemic.
7) Dubai Fireworks
Many 360 Fireworks displays exist on YouTube if you search for them. This one stands out because it was shot recently using a high-resolution camera. Making it the clearest fireworks display I could find on YouTube. It’s pretty cool to watch.
That said, check back in 2023 or later; I’m sure better fireworks displays will exist on YouTube by then.
8) Always Sunny Project Badass VR Experience
Not the craziest VR experience out there (as it was shot several years ago). But, I love Always Sunny, and it’s funny. Worth a watch even without a VR headset.
9) Internet Surfer (VR video!) ft. Zach King & Corridor
An impressive VR video put together by a small creator over 4 years ago. I was very impressed with what he was able to do in this video as I can assure you, none of this was easy to film.
10) In 360: Gorillas of the Congo – BBC News
This was filmed with a high-res camera. And it’s worth watching simply because of how astoundingly close people got to a group of large gorillas. I’d have pooped my pants.
11) Game Theory Presents: MY SECRET PROJECT…MatPat’s GLOBAL GAMER! (Part 1 of 2)
This is another small creator doing some really compelling work with 360° video. It’s worth checking out if you’re trying to figure out how to incorporate 360° videos into your projects.
12) Great White Sharks 360 Video 4K!! – Close encounter on Amazing Virtual Dive
As somebody who’s been a big fan of shark week, I couldn’t leave here without including a good ol’ fashioned shark video. A short video but breathtaking to watch. I believe they use 360 audio as well, which is a nice touch!
Those are my favorite 360° VR videos that are currently on YouTube.