Unfortunately this is one of those threads where a good question is asked but I'm not certain that there is any one answer that would satisfy the needs and/or wants of all. What one user likes about a given player might be unimportant or not liked by others.
This is a perfect topic for one of those Software Review Shootouts
that were once fairly common here at DC. That way a group of video players could be reviewed and all features, all pros and cons could be spelled out clearly giving users good, solid info to help them find a video player that suits their own desires. It's a shame that they are so time consuming to write. I would give it a try but I'm afraid that like most I don’t really have the time to test/try out a lot of different players and then write detailed reviews of each. Sure, personal opinions probably shade some of those reviews but they are still a great resource for our readers!
All that said, I am still using VLC for watching videos on my computer. I can't really compare it to others because I haven't really tried many others; again, I don’t have time to line up a half dozen and test them. Since Windows Media Player - which is actually a very good player otherwise - often refuses to play some videos (and audio tracks for that matter) if it reads them as files that should have a license and can't find a license to load. It has done that here on a few occasions where the file has no DRM and should be able to play freely. That makes it "player-non-grata" to me! I downloaded VLC to see if it would play those files and it worked fine without a peep. Also it doesn’t install a boatload of codecs and I like that. Some players load so many darned codecs and then I CAN'T easily remove them if I uninstall the player. In some cases they replace needed codecs and removing them screws everything up. Real bad if you are not especially versed in what codecs Windows needs and where to get them.
So I'll probably keep using VLC until it stops working for me or until something comes along that I try because it is touted as "all that" by users here. That would most likely make me give it a try.
Anyway thanks for listening!