Seeking recommendations for best media players running under Windows 8

Newly registered for these forums. I have a ~4-year-old Toshiba laptop. I have suffered with Windows Vista ever since. I recently considered converting to Ubuntu, but in view of the amount of extra work that entailed, instead for $40 I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro. Over the last 10 years or so that we've been accumulating PCs for business and household, I have had on my computers, at various times -- in addition to Windows Media Player -- Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player Classic, Cyberlink, RealPlayer, Winamp, iTunes/Quicktime, VLC media player, UPlayer, MPlayer, UMPlayer, KMPlayer, SMPlayer, Daum PotPlayer, and various others too numerous to recall. I would like to keep the number of media players to a minimum under the new OS. Question no. 1: Are any media players particularly suited to Windows 8, or are all Windows OSs about the same when it comes to media players? and no. 2: Any recommendations based on forum members' experience re the best two or three free players available out there? Thank you.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.