In case you haven't noticed, I absolutely adore video games. Most of my friends don't, so to get my fix of knowledgable video game conversation I have turned to podcasts. They're free, they feature the smartest people in games journalism, and can be enjoyed while doing just about anything. Working. Walking the dog. Crying yourself to sleep. Whatever you're into.
I listen to podcasts three hours a day or more. After trying out 20 of the top video game podcasts, it has become clear that many of them are not very good. Most are quite long, running anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours, so to save you some time, I've compiled my 3 top favorites. All 3 are general games podcasts, so if you want something that covers a specific console, you'll have to do some digging. These will cover anything relevant that comes out for your hardware anyway.
These 3 podcasts have several important things in common: All have great audio quality, all maintain a level of focus absent from many other games podcasts, and all are hilarious.
- Best Pure Discussion of Games: Rebel FM
Born from the ashes of major layoffs at 1UP.com in 2009, Rebel FM has become the most consistent home of high-level video game discussion for free on the iTunes. It's the same four (three of whom are pictured above) witty brilliant guys every week in roughly the same format. They keep the random stories about their lives to a poignant minimum. I am in the process of catching up on all 60+ podcasts. They cover all consoles, including mobile games, and also respond to relationship advice letters at the end of the show. Whatever your stance is on the validity of video game journalists giving out relationship advice, it makes for great podcast material. Check out new episodes every Friday night.
- One-Stop Shopping For All Your Geeky Needs: The GeekBox
A rotating crew of 4-6 1UP / EGM / miscellaneous geeks discuss games, comics, Doctor Who, and other geeky topics. Their gaming discussion is solid, and their coverage of movies, TV, and comics are just deep enough for a game-centric geek like myself who dabbles in other geeky media. They also do a decent job of mocking each other for laughs. Check it out on Wednesday nights.
- Best News From The Japanese Heartland: 8-4 Play
This biweekly Friday podcast is hosted by industry vets Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, and Hiroko Minamoto from their home base of Tokyo, Japan. The hosts are funny and articulate, and it is the best podcast for discovering new Japanese games. The hosts manage to snag whatever industry people happen to be in Japan on business as guests, leading to several awesome podcasts with Mark MacDonald and Shane Bettenhausen in the same room—There aren't two guys I'd rather hear nerd out about Japanese games in the whole world.