When I first got my Quest 2 and watched a 360° VR video for the first time I was shocked as to how good it was. Heck, I even created my own 360° video several months ago and didn’t realize how much better it was in VR vs. watching in a standard web browser.
Which brings up a fun question. What are the best 360° videos on YouTube right now? Let’s find out!
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 is going to be in the future (or the present). Also a quick tip when perusing this list.
Watch these videos using a VR Headset (like a Quest 2), using the highest quality settings in the YouTube app. It will be a dramatically different experience than viewing in 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 is going to trigger a large-ish subset of people. To those triggered I’d like to say the following.
- Get over yourself! This makes the list because it’s a great example of 360° video done well (it’s not political).
- This is probably the best tour of the whitehouse that you could possibly get. It was a very interesting 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.
The only reason I don’t rank this video (and many other scenic videos like this) higher, is because the resolution really needs to be higher. Far away things are blurry in VR unless you’re recording with modern cameras using the highest resolutions possible.
That said, in a few years videos like this are going to get so realistic it’s going to blow our minds!
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, if it weren’t about the pandemic I’d have ranked it higher.
7) Dubai Fireworks
A lot of 360 Fireworks displays exist on YouTube if you search for them. What makes this one stand out is that it was shot recently using a very high resolution camera. Making it the clearest fireworks display I could find on YouTube. It’s quite 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
A very 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 they got to a group of very 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 who’s 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 whose been a big fan of shark week for way too long now, I couldn’t leave here without including a good ol’ fashioned shark video. Short video, but pretty 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.