The Besties

By Justin McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Chris Plante, Russ Frushtick

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Category: Video Games

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Subscribers: 1252
Reviews: 39

 Nov 25, 2021
Love their banter, thoughtfulness, and fun they bring to video game conversation. There's a million plus one video game podcasts out there but I can't imagine listening any other one than this.

 Oct 1, 2021
good stuff

 Aug 23, 2021

 Aug 15, 2021
I enjoy listening to these boys talk about vidya james. It's a cozy cast that settles my nerves, and I love the different perspectives they all bring to the show. Thank you!

 Jul 22, 2021
Far and away my favorite video game podcast. They have a great mixture of humor and insight that always leaves me smiling and playing great games. Listening feels like talking games with my friends. Listen to this podcast!


It's Game of the Year meets King of the Hill as four of Earth's best friends – Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Chris Plante, and Russ Frushtick – rank and review their favorite video games. Because shouldn't the world's best friends pick the world's best games?

Episode Date
We overlooked Unsighted, a brilliant Zelda-style indie [Resties]

Unsighted appeared on consoles and PC earlier this year, but we missed it. What a mistake! Frushtick and Plante talk about this brilliant indie game that blends Zelda and Metroidvanias into something new and thrilling. In the back half of the episode, the Resties discuss their favorite new additions to Xbox Game Pass, particularly the intergalactic space exploration chill-out game, Exo One.

Nov 30, 2021
Staying Faithful to Pokemon Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond

In which we discuss, with equal levels of enthusiasm, the latest remake from the world of Pokémon, and also the franchise as a whole. Then we take a deep dive into the mailbag, and share a blue million honorable mentions! 

Other games discussed include: Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Unite, Pokémon Let's Go, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Forza Horizon 5, Unsighted, Pony Island, Halo Infinite Multiplayer, Binding of Isaac: Repentance, Minecraft's Magic Kingdom Pack.

Nov 26, 2021
Gotta Exorcise 'Em All with Shin Megami Tensei V

Today, we're cracking into the oftentimes impenetrable Shin Megami Tensei series' fifth major installment, and share some thoughts on the masterful GTA Trilogy remasters, which are terrible. 

Other media discussed: Halo Infinite Multiplayer, Resident Evil 4 VR, Cape Fear 1962 and Moonlighter.

Nov 19, 2021
Forza Horizon 5 is GotY material [Resties]

On this episode of Resties, Plante and Frushtick dance in the pouring rain of Video Game Season 2021. Forza Horizon 5 and Riders Republic are both a delight, so the Resties compare and contrast the two open-world racing adventures to help you find the right fit. In the second half of the episode, the pair discuss the first year of the Xbox Series X and PS5. Is now the right time to buy a new console... if you can even find one? Plus, the Resties share their recommendations of the week and open the AMA mailbag! Other stuff discussed in this episode: Demon's Souls, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Xbox Game Pass, The French Dispatch, Unpacking, Portal, Mario Kart, the films of Michael Haneke, The Last of Us 2, the Discworld series, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Speed Racer (2008), The Night of the Hunter, High & Low (1963).

Nov 16, 2021
The Obligatory Annual Call of Duty Episode

This week, we're breaking down two great tastes that taste great together: The many faces of Call of Duty: Vanguard, and the newly expanded Animal Crossing: New Horizons. We also give a metric ton of iOS recommendations, and argue about the Mario Bros' Mushroom Kingdom citizenship. 

Other games discussed: Inscryption, Devil's Gambit, The Binding of Isaac: Repentence, Bloodshore, Nickelodeon All Stars Brawl, Super Stickman Golf 3+, Clap Hanz Golf, Solitarica, SNKRX, Fire Emblem Heroes

Nov 12, 2021
The Card-ians of the Galaxy

In our worst-titled episode to date, we're doing double duty! Join us for a discussion of the extra-creepy deckbuilder Inscryption and the surprisingly charming Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Other media discussed: Hearthstone, Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy, Death's Gambit Afterlife, lots of Godzilla films, Doom Patrol, Nightmare Alley

Nov 05, 2021
The 10 best games on Nintendo Switch Online [Resties]

On this episode of Resties, Plante and Frushtick countdown their top 10 games on Nintendo Switch Online. Of course, Chris has chosen a ridiculous #1. In the back half of the episode, they talk about the Outer Wilds DLC, Echoes of the Eye. Spoilers are limited to the first couple hours of the game and kept as vague as possible. Discussed on this episode: a metric ton of retro games, Outer Wilds, Death's Gambit Afterlife, Universal Paperclips, and Dune.

Nov 02, 2021
3 Besties Are Here 2 Discuss Back 4 Blood

We're without Chris Plante this week, but we're not without a surplus of zombie-based video games to discuss, because, wow, there's a LOT of them coming out right now. 


Games discussed include: Back 4 Blood, Resident Evil 4 VR, ElecHead, Inscryption, Metroid Dread, Dying Light on Switch, Final Fantasy X on Switch

Oct 29, 2021
Accessible Gaming with Steven Spohn

This week, we're joined by AbleGamers' chief development officer to talk about the complexity and importance of including accessibility features in games, and also, pizza. Really, lots and lots of pizza talk. We also discuss Far Cry 6 for a few minutes!

Other games discussed: Metroid Dread, Final Fantasy 14, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Satisfactory, Inscryption


Steven Spohn on Twitter:

Oct 22, 2021
Take a Skeleton Road Trip with Spookware [Resties]

On this episode of The Resties, Plante and Frushtick hit the road with a trio of skeletons in Spookware. Finally the dream of a horror-themed WarioWare is realized! Other things discussed: Tales of Arise, Tres-Bashers, Dracula on the Criterion Collection, and Cowboy Bebop. If you're looking for our follow-up discussion on accessibility with Steven Spohn of Able Gamers, that episode will drop on October 22, 2021. 

Oct 19, 2021
Metroid Dread is Here to Save Us All

It only took 19 years for a true 2D sequel to Metroid Fusion, and now that it's here, we're basking in the glow of what may be the best Metroid game ever made. We know Russ is on board, but how do some of the other Besties handle the greatness that has been placed before them? We also discuss the tricky balance of accessibility and difficulty, and whether there's an obligation on the part of the developer to include certain features. 

Other games discussed: Tetris Effect Connected, The Artful Escape, Farm RPG. Also some fun scary movies: Slaxx, The Boys from County Hell, The Columnist, and 13 Ghosts.

Oct 15, 2021
The Golden Age of Sega is Upon Us

This week, we're sorta discussing Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, but to be honest, it's more of a table setter for Chris' thesis that it's never been a better time to be a Sega fan. Which is, to put it lightly, a divisive position to take. 

Other games discussed include: Sonic Mania and Sonic Colors, Phantasy Star Online, Shenmue, Yakuza, Farm RPG, Box One, Jenny LeClue, Diablo 2 Resurrected, and The Exorcist.

Oct 08, 2021
Alan Wake vs. the best JRPG of the year [Resties]

In this, the first official episode of The Besties Resties: Alan Wake Remastered, Tales of Arise, and The Artful Escape are great games. And yet you may have missed them because there are so many new releases hitting all at once. Don't worry, we'll catch you up on the fall's OTHER great games. New episodes of The Besties Resties will drop on every other Tuesday through the rest of 2021.

Oct 05, 2021
The Hidden Gems of the Past 200-ish Episodes!

We're celebrating our 200th episode, or at least the episode we assume is somewhere around our 200th, by talking about hidden gems of this year and the past decade, which is how long we've been doing this show, which is ... man. We need to go lie down for a while. 

Games discussed include: TOEM, Eastward, Beast Breaker, Crusin Blast, Antichamber, Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, Tiny Wings, Jazzpunk, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, Walkabout Mini Golf and Cookie Clicker!

Oct 01, 2021
Doing the Time Warp Yet Again with Deathloop

This week, we're discussing Arkane's time-traveling Groundhog Day-meets-creative murder sandbox Deathloop! And boy howdy, is there a lot to discuss. We also break down the glut of time looping games that have come out this year, which we've definitely done before, but, hey, it feels appropriate, right?

Other games discussed include: Destiny 2, Elsinore, The Forgotten City, Overboard, Zelda: Majora's Mask, Returnal, Outer Wilds, World Flipper, Prey: Mooncrash, and Eastward.

Sep 24, 2021
WarioWare-ing with Ron Funches

Honorary Besties Ron Funches joins us once again to discuss the latest opus from Mario's pungent counterpart, WarioWare: Get It Together. Other games discussed include: Splitgate, Final Fantasy V, The Forgotten City, Deathloop (briefly!) and a whole mess of other WarioWare games!

Sep 17, 2021
A Very Merry Holiday Season Preview Plus Time-looping Romans

This week we're giving you all a preview of what to expect this holiday season, from the Halos to the Metroids and everything in between. We also discuss The Forgotten City, a wild time-looping narrative game that's guarenteed to get you a minor in philosophy. 

Other games discussed: Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Monster Train: The Last Divinity, Spookware, and Dungeon Village 2.

Sep 10, 2021
No More Heroes and the Power of Egg Steam

No More Heroes 3 explores the question of whether toilet jokes can get old. We also dive into the challenging topic of auteur games, and whether a single person's creative vision can make magic or mayhem in the world of video games. 

Also discussed: Out of this World, Cibele, How Do You Do It?, Dys4ia, Might Jill Off, Death Stranding, Spelunky 2, The Forgotten City, Wildermyth, and 100 Foot Wave (which is a show, not a game).

Sep 03, 2021
Speaking sequels with Axiom Verge 2 and Psychonauts 2

This week, we’re breaking down two sequels that couldn’t be more different from each other: The unique metroidvania romp known as Axiom Verge 2, and the throwback action-platformer Psychonauts 2. 

Other games discussed include Spelunky 1 and 2 on Switch, The Vale and Twelve Minutes.

Aug 27, 2021
Living the Dorm Life with Multiplayer Classics

We’re back, and we’re talking about the multiplayer games that defined our college dorm experience, despite the fact that half of us never lived in a college dorm, and also some of the games we discuss came out like, last year. 


Games discussed include: Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, Secret of Mana, Castle Crashers, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Destiny 2, NBA Jam, NCAA Football, Dropmix, Slime Rancher, Garden Story, Islanders, Spelunky 1&2, Axiom Verge 2, Forgotten City, Wildermyth and, naturally, Final Fantasy XIV.

Aug 20, 2021
Why Zelda: Breath of the Wild could still be GotY in 2021

Griffin and Justin are off galavanting for a week, leaving the rest of the podcast, Plante and Frushtick, to carry on The Besties name. In honor of that, we're doing a deeper dive into one of the greatest games ever discussed on the podcast: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What were some of its best ideas and how do we expect things to play out in the still-unnamed sequel? 

Other games discussed: Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X, Curse of the Dead Gods on Game Pass, and Wildermyth.

Aug 13, 2021
Prosecuting Kirby's Crimes with The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

This week on The Besties, we're OBJECTION! talking about the latest entry in the Ace Attorney series, and also OBJECTION! deciding if Kirby is a murderer. 

Other games discussed on the show include: Ender Lillies, SNKRX, Final Fantasy XIV, and Out of the Loop.

Aug 06, 2021
Having a Playdate with Death's Door

This week on The Besties we've got a stellar indie action adventure, Death's Door, from the creators of Titan Souls. We're also diving into the unique handheld with a crank, the Playdate. It's yellow! Other games discussed on the show include: Zelda: Skyward Sword, NEO The World Ends with You, Tangle Tower, and The Ascent.

Jul 30, 2021
Can Zelda: Skyward Sword be Saved?

This week on The Besties, we're jumping into the HD remake of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Yes, it's a game that didn't make it very far in our Best Zelda bracket, but maybe some upgrades (and no mandatory motion controls) will pull it up by its own boostraps? There's also the Switch Pr- errr Steam Deck to discuss!

Games discussed on this episode: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Clap Hanz Golf, Beat Saber Custom, Township Tale, Progress to 100, and the films of Brian de Palma, specifically Blow Out and Body Double.

Next week: Death's Door

Jul 23, 2021
The Amazing Indie Games of the Summer

Looking for something new to play this summer? Might we interest you in some incredible indie games? This week, we spotlight Chicory, Overboard, Phantom Abyss, Demeo, and more! Plus, we have a very special guest in the second half!

Jul 16, 2021
Scarlet Nexus is 2021's Overlooked Gem

You might not have heard about Scarlet Nexus, the anime-forward action-roleplaying game released this month. Let's change that. The world's best friends discuss one of the best games of the summer. Then they make time to brainstorm an ideal Nintendo Switch 2 and answer your questions, like, "What is the Breath of the Wild of movies?"

Jul 09, 2021
Mario Golf Raises the Question: What About Golf-Hims?

Mario Golf: Super Rush divides the world's best friends. Yes, the game Plante has hyped for weeks isn't a unanimous hit, but the crew still discusses at length what they love about Nintendo's oddball entry into the plumber's sports series. Justin, Griffin, and Plante also speculate on where Mario sports should go from here. Three words: Ultimate Mario Ultimate.

Jul 02, 2021
The Best Games of 2021's First Half

What are the best games of 2021 at the year's midpoint? With Frushtick away, we agreed to create an unofficial Top 8. We revisited some of our favorite games from previous episodes and also turned to y'all for recommendations. You didn't disappoint, providing tons of cool indie surprises. From Resident Evil 8 to Clap Hanz Golf, these are the top candidates for Bestie 2021.

Jun 25, 2021
Ratchet Versus the E Triple

In a grand confluence, we've got a major event in the gaming year, E3, matched with a legit game release, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on PS5 (codes provided by Sony). Somehow we'll talk about the highs and lows of both of these major events in one absolutely stuffed episode. Get in here, people!

Jun 18, 2021
Still Deciding the Best Resident Evil Game

Last week we narrowed down the the best Resident Evil games to the final four, and now we're having them duke it out. We've got some truly classic zombie gems going at it this week, and you won't guess what we decide! (Well, you might guess it. In the grand scheme of things there aren't that many options left. But act surprised.)

Jun 11, 2021
The Best Resident Evil Game DECIDED! (Almost)

With the fervor over Resident Evil Village, the gang gathers to figure out whether they can narrow down the very best Resident Evil game of all time. Sure, there's a lot of crud to sift through, but there's gold in these hills! And they're gonna buy shotgun upgrades with this gold!

Jun 04, 2021
You, Mii, and Chris P

Now that we've entered the peak video game release season, it's time to dive into ... a Switch re-release of a 3DS exclusive featuring Hank Hill. Griffin, Russ, and Chris take a trip back in time to the early 2010s for some 3DS reminicence while discussing Miitopia on Nintendo Switch.

May 28, 2021
All The Games We Loved This Spring

With Frushtick on vacation, the gang shares some of their favorite games from the past couple months, including Subnautic: Below Zero, Nier Replicant, the Masst Effect remaster, and Clap Hanz Golf. If you've finished Resident Evil 8: Village and need something to play next, this episode is for you.

May 21, 2021
Resident Evil 8-age and the Briefcase of Fun

The gang's all together to celebrate yet another actual video game release! Today we're diving into Resident Evil Village, with the first-half dedicated to first impressions and the second half diving into the first half of the game. We know, it's confusing. But at least the property values are low!

May 14, 2021
New Pokémon Snap and Returnal, a Mash-up for the Ages

This week we welcome back the long-wandering Griffin McElroy. And what a week it is! On the docket: two actual, major game releases, New Pokémon Snap and Returnal. They may be about as different as you could imagine, but they do both require you to play the same levels over and over again, so maybe not?

May 07, 2021
Still Picking the Best GTA Game Ever

We've narrowed it down to the final four, and now special guest Evan Narcisse (@EvNarc) has joined the club to decide the best GTA game of all time, between Vice City, San Andreas, GTA 4, and GTA 5. Four may enter but only one will leave.

Apr 23, 2021
Picking the Best GTA Game Ever

You find yourself in a city. Your only option? Crime! This week we have special guest Jordan Morris (@Jordan_Morris) filling in for Griffin as we attempt to tackle a tough question: What is the greatest Grand Theft Auto game of all time? And yes, the randomized bracket has returned with a vengeance!

Apr 16, 2021
The Dawn of CyberWar is Upon Us (Also Outriders)

This week we're diving into Outriders, a game that sounds about as generic as is possible within the confines of the English language. And yet, we all think it's pretty damn fun! We also attempt to one-up its generic efforts with a new title of our own.

Apr 09, 2021
Monster Hunter Rise and Shine

Just when you thought it was safe to buy property in Kamura Village, all these monsters show up and wreck the joint! Justin and Russ team up after a last-minute bug fells Chris Plante (and Griffin deals with a new human child situation). Is this finally the Monster Hunter game to not make you hate Monster Hunter games? Hmm ... hard to say, but worth a shot!

Apr 02, 2021
Just the Two of Us . . .

Who better to tackle a mandatory co-op game about divorce than the duo of Plante and Frushtick? The pair take on It Takes Two, the new release from the creators of A Way Out. And with Griffin out in preparation for a forthcoming child and Justin out because divorce makes him sad, it's a complete takeover!

Mar 26, 2021
Loops and Loots with Loop Hero

Just one more loop? The boys jump into the indie darling that's got the nation abuzz: Loop Hero. They also dive into some more review songs and explore whether Griffin and his computer are best friends.

Mar 19, 2021
Still Deciding The Best Zelda Game of All Time

It's all down to this! We've narrowed down the greatest Zelda games of all time to a perfect 8, and now we've got to bring it all the way to number one. Sorry Link's Target Practice fans, this one is just for the big 'uns.

Mar 12, 2021
Deciding The Best Zelda Game of All Time

We thought we'd take some time to dive into a very scientific study: What is the best Zelda game of all time? To determine this, we've started with all 16 main games and, well, stuck them in a randomized bracket for true chaos. We've got some spicy match-ups coming your way, so buckle up!

Mar 05, 2021
Mario 3D World and the Infinite Sadness (of Bowser)

After a week of total chaos, most of the boys from your favorite video game club are back, joined by special guest Elyse Willems of Rooster Teeth & Fun Haus fame. At issue this week: Super Mario 3D World and prescisely the right way to say the name Mario (which is still up for debate!).

Feb 26, 2021
The Nightmare Before March

The gents hop into the scary and tiny world of Little Nightmares 2. They also explore the existential and impossible to answer questions of: Is Luigi's Mansion 3 a horror game, and can kites be scary?

Feb 12, 2021
Waking Up Early with the Boys

This week on The Besties, the gang is diving into some incredible Early Access games, including Teardown, Ender Lilies, Subnautica: Below Zero and Everspace 2. They also introduce a brand new listener appreciation segment that truly stretches the definition of music.

Feb 05, 2021
Hitman 3 and the Great Muffin Assasination

You find yourself in an assassination gone wrong. All you have? A muffin. The boys journey into the World of Assassination with Hitman 3 this week, discovering whether they have what it takes to fill the mighty soles of Agent 47. Join them, won't you?

Jan 29, 2021
The Deepest Cuts of Winter

January may not be known for a rollicking time for major new releases, but that's cool, we'll find a way to keep you busy! Today we dive into a bunch of games that you may have missed while you were busy trying to get Cyberpunk to not crash. 

A full rundown of all the games listed: Noita, MO:Astray, Death Stranding, Spiritfairer, Jackbox 7, and Call of the Sea. Also Griffin tries to make a prank phone call. 

Jan 22, 2021
Cyberpunking with Ron Funches

We're a bit late to the Cyberpunk 2077 party, but better late than never! Chris Plante will be back soon, but the world-renowned @RonFunches has stepped in to fill his shoes this week. Is Cyberpunk truly that heinous, or is it all a ruse? And can we possibly find a way to make hacking minigames fun? All will be revealed.

Jan 15, 2021
2021's Most Anticipated Games

The Besties gang are back for a brand new year, thanks for sticking with us! In today's episode, we'll each bring 3 games (ahem, Justin) that we're pumped about in the new year. We're talking Breath of the Wild 2, Resident Evil 8age, God of War Ragnanok, Hollow Knight Silksong, and much, much more.

Jan 08, 2021
2020 Game of the Year Part 2

We’ve gone from 16 and we’re down to 8 of the best games of 2020. Now we’re going to cull down these sweet, adorable baby calves until there’s just one golden cow remaining for the year. The final eight are: Animal Crossing: NH, Paradise Killer, Among Us, Ori 2, Spelunky 2, Monster Train, Kentucky Route Zero, and Hades.

Dec 18, 2020
2020 Game of the Year Part 1

It’s all been building to this! The boys come together with 16 games duking it out for the best games of 2020 (including 4 listener selections!). Who will live? Who will die? Who will cry? There’s only one way to find out! For the full bracket, check out TheBestiesPod on Twitter.

Dec 11, 2020
Whose Souls? Demon's Souls

The boys brave the fetid swamps and fiery dragons of the prettiest dang PS5 game around, Demon's Souls. Will they survive the Valley of Defilement? Will they find a lovely two bedroom in the Tower of Latria? Only one way to find out!

Nov 27, 2020
PlayStation 5 Launch Extravaganza

The new console launches continue with the debut of the PlayStation 5! The Besties break down all the upgraded design features including the incredible DualSense controller.

Nov 20, 2020
Xbox Series X Launch Spectacular ... Also Vikings!

Just days after the official launch of the Xbox Series X, the gang offers a comprehensive evaluation including how this generational leap compared to the last and upcoming exclusives. Then they enter the Animus and are transported back to the age of Vikings with their review of the new Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Nov 13, 2020
Those Adorable Watch Dogs

The Besties rode on a drone and hacked their way into the mainframe for this week’s new game: Watch Dogs: Legion! They discuss the impressive open world design of the futuristic post-Brexit London. Critique the play as any character feature. And question if a game release has ever been less fit for the moment? Plus, their review of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope.

Nov 06, 2020
We Have a PS5, It's Big

Huge news! Russ previews the new sizable PS5 including demonstrating its eject. Then the gang reviews the visual novel real-time strategy game 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.

Oct 30, 2020
Games That Make Us Go AHHH!

It's October so it must be time to give you the straight up willies. The Besties dive into Twitch phenomenon Phasmophobia, and Justin burns matches in Amnesia: Rebirth. We also explore some of our favorite scary games from throughout history. Join us ... unless you're scared? To be honest, we kinda are.

Oct 23, 2020
Open the Baldur's Gates! We Have an Xbox Series X!

The Besties have gathered at the digital tabletop to review Larian Studios’ recent launch in early access to Baldur's Gate 3! Plus, Chris gives an in-depth report on the Xbox Series X!

Oct 16, 2020
Won't Someone Think of Alderaan?

This week's topic of discussion is the new Star Wars: Squadrons! Together the Besties unpack the lineage of Star Wars flight games. Offer positive reviews for the multiplayer mode. And explore how the game expands into the franchise’s extended universe like never before. Plus, offer up some recent releases they’re playing and answer the fan submitted question of which spacecraft they would eat if forced to?

Oct 09, 2020
Hey Hades, Get Funky!

Join the Besties in their quest of the underworld with 2020’s Hades. They explore the incredibly designed and nuanced gameplay. Discuss the mythological themes. And cannot ignore the fact that all of the characters are very hot. Plus, special guest New York Giraffe discusses their goal to become the God of West 23rd Street!

Oct 02, 2020
Begun These Pre-Order Wars Have (also Spelunky 2 is good)

The gang reviews the sequel to the 2008 original, Spelunky 2. Discuss the recent pre-order madness. Explore Microsoft’s acquisition of game publisher Bethesda Softworks for $7.5 billion. And check in on the state of the console wars.

Sep 25, 2020
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 with Miles Luna

The iconic skateboarding game is back and newly remastered, my dudes! Animation writer and director, Miles Luna, joins The Besties this week to discuss Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2! They explore the influence of the original 1999 release, play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater trivia, and review the improvements and new features. Plus they discuss the updated soundtrack and come up with their own EPIC original tricks!

Sep 18, 2020
Can Any of Us Beat Up an Avenger?

This week the boys offer an in-depth review of the new Marvel's Avengers! They examine the original storyline with Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel at the center of the story. Discuss the similarities of the multiplayer gameplay with the Destiny series. And breakdown the upcoming releases of the Xbox Series X and the recently announced Xbox Series S.

Sep 11, 2020
What Have You Done To Us, Dear Listeners

The Besties let the listeners decide what games to discuss this week. So hope you're all happy! First, Griffin offers a lackluster review of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered. Then the gang tackles Madden NFL 21, the recent release from the long-running franchise. And finally, they examine the twisted post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland 3.

Sep 04, 2020
Thank You for Flying Besties Airlines, Enjoy Your Tomato

Join the gang in the virtual cockpit as they fly through the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020! Together, they examine the pros and cons of the ultra realistic gameplay and discuss exploring the Earth with the live streaming map technology. Plus, Griffin, Justin and Chris show off their newly learned piloting skills while Russ demonstrates his grasp of altitude.

Aug 28, 2020
The Boys Enter Early Access

Join the Besties’ quest through Rogue Legacy 2, which is now available in early access on Steam. Plus, they offer other titles to check out like Heroes of Hammerwatch. And read fan mail which includes an in-depth look into what Russ has done with all his muscle money.

Aug 21, 2020
A Letter to the Fall Guys Guys

In this episode of The Besties, the boys review the hit online multiplayer battle royale Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Plus, pitch their own Fall Guys mini games based on other existing games shows. And answer listener-submitted questions including what other genres, specific games or franchises would they want to have a battle royale mode added to?

Aug 14, 2020
The Best Ideas in Bad Games

Sometimes the worst games do have some redeeming qualities. This week, the gang looks at the best game mechanics, unique story ideas, console technology integration featured in sub-par releases over the years.

Aug 07, 2020
The Best Summer Games You're Not Playing

The Besties recommend some of their favorite games that have come out this summer, including Carrion, The Under Presents, Zach Gage’s Good Sudoku, the updated Noita, and more! Plus, they discuss what upcoming releases they are excited for in the rest of 2020.

Jul 31, 2020
Rolling Paper Mario

This week The Besties take a critical look at Paper Mario: The Origami King, the sixth installment of the Mario Paper series, and explore which power-up items in the Mario franchise they genuinely would want to eat. Plus, they read fan letters and answer who is the better Doctor: Mario or Waluigi? If you’d like to contact the show please reach out to

Jul 24, 2020
The Ghost with the Most of Tsushima

The gang reviews Ghost of Tsushima, the recently released open world action-adventure game set in 13th century feudal Japan. Topics include the Samurai code of honor, the sometimes glacial story pacing, the design of the "Kurosawa mode" and the lackluster mini games. Early copies of Ghost of Tsushima were provided by Sony.

Jul 17, 2020
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: We Pick a Winner!

In honor of National Video Game Day, The Besties decide the best new console of 2020: the PlayStation 5 vs. Xbox Series X! Using a highly advanced voting system they weighed the tech specs, upcoming video game releases, pricing, and announce their winner. May the best console win.

Jul 08, 2020
Spoilers Ahoy! The Last of Us Part 2

*SPOILER ALERT* This week’s episode goes all-in on The Last of Us Part II and leaves no virtual corpse unturned. Together, The Besties break down the plot, discuss the controversy and explore in-depth the failings of this game’s bleak view on justice.

Jul 03, 2020
No Spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2

The Besties kick off a two-part series on The Last of Us Part II with a no spoilers episode. They explore the punishing gameplay, consider the pleasure of headshotting infected pseudo-zombies, and explain the trouble with scavenging Seattle for dirty bandages. Plus, they compete in a zombie apocalypse RPG that tests the gang’s survival skills. 

Jun 26, 2020
Justin LOVES Clubhouse Games

That's right Justin absolutely lives for the compilation Clubhouse Games on Nintendo Switch. He can’t get enough of the 51 classic board games, card games, sports stuff and even a piano keyboard! Somehow they manage to shift gears and also discuss the Playstation 5 box design aesthetics and answer fan mail. But it wasn’t easy to stop Justin from talkin’ club.

Jun 19, 2020
The Super Mario Galaxy Isn't Big Enough for the Four of Them

The gang reviews Super Mario Galaxy and picks their best game of the 2007 mini-series. Plus, Uncle Jake Nintendo Plante makes a special appearance to ask for the next great Mario spinoff?

Jun 12, 2020
Nathan Drake and Kratos, best friends forever

In their on-going mini-series on the greatest games of 2007, The Besties this week discuss Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and God of War II. Together they comment on the trappings of Nathan Drake’s problem solving, why Kratos has no chill and explore fringe Playstation exclusives including the “When I'm Cleaning Windows” song from window washing mini-game Wishi Washi on the EyeToy: Play collection. Plus, answer fan mail for entry level gamers!

May 29, 2020
If You Like Halo 3 You Should Put a Ring on it

This week The Besties are discussing Halo 3! Together they look back to its highly anticipated release in 2007. The criticism around the infamous cliffhanger ending. Their favorite vehicles, weapons and campaigns. Plus, get nostalgic for H3’s limited edition gaming soda.

May 22, 2020
BioShock: Wet and Wild Fun!

Would you kindly join The Besties as they revisit the dystopian RPG shooter BioShock? Together they discuss the influence of Objectivism and environmentalism on its storytelling. The design aesthetic that incorporates Art Deco and steampunk. And critique the effectiveness of the plot twist (spoiler alert!)

May 15, 2020
COD4: Should We Feel Bad?

OORAH! Stand at attention and listen to this week's discussion of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare you maggots. In the second episode of their mini-series on games from 2007, The Besties examine the franchise's first foray into contemporary battle. Plus, Russ tests his co-host's knowledge with some Call of Duty trivia.

May 08, 2020
Y'all, Portal Still Rocks

This week starts off the new series on the best year for video games. Now with the spotlight on 2007, the gang of course had to discuss Portal and game developer Valve! Plus, the boys pitch Portal 3 concepts to a very special guest.

May 01, 2020
What Was the Best Year for Video Games Ever?

Today’s special episode takes The Besties into a new direction. With newer releases being put on hold, the gang is looking back at what was the best year for video games ever. Each present cases for why the year stood out and examine all the variables. Listeners can get in on the action by heading over to and cast their vote to help pick a winner!

Apr 24, 2020
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Feat. a Hunkier Cloud

This week The Besties are covering the remake of the hit RPG from 1997, Final Fantasy VII. Together they discuss its influential legacy and how the creators have reimagined the original story and evolved its characters. Plus, Plante presents his thesis on why video games as a medium may have entered into a postmodern phase.

Apr 17, 2020
Resident Evil 3: Missing the Large Detective

The gang survives the remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis to tell listeners about the bizarre world design of Racoon City (including a train museum and a very normal toy store with a giant hovering baby head). They also explore why Justin finds watching game character’s heads explode less fun than ever before and how Russ decided to bestow Mr. X his new name, “the Large Detective.”

Apr 10, 2020
How to save a dead franchise, or: Old men play Half-Life Alyx

After 15+ years, the influential game franchise is back with Half-Life: Alyx! Follow along for an extremely nerdy conversation about The Besties' experience playing the VR first person shooter and what other franchises they would like to see return.

Apr 03, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will save us all!

This week, the Besties discuss the highly anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons! Is this the most important game possibly in the history of humanity? Will this be the biggest game release on the Nintendo Switch of all time? Together they explore the game play, bug curation and how important the opportunity to virtually go outside is in the this time of the coronavirus.

Mar 27, 2020
DOOM Eternal with Elyse Willems

Elyse Willems (Funhaus) joins The Besties for an in-depth conversation on the newly released Doom Eternal! Topics include ripping of arms and limbs, the world-building of hell on earth and space castles.

Mar 20, 2020
The Best Games You're Not Playing

Before the big game release storm rolls in, The Besties wanted to cover some of the latest smaller titles you might have missed. Including action platformer Bloodroots, mobile game Crossy Road Castle, the third installment in the Ben There, Dan That! series Lair of the Clockwork God and the manga artist Junji Ito influenced WORLD OF HORROR. Plus, they examine the upcoming PS5 versus Xbox Series X and the promise of HDMI 2.1,

Mar 13, 2020
The Besties go to the Farm!

Today's episode examines Rune Factory 4 Special Nintendo Switch edition plus Russ challenges the gang to a test if any of the farming simulators they've played over the years have translated into real world knowledge.

Mar 06, 2020

This week the boys explore Dreams, the follow up to LittleBigPlanet from developer Media Molecule and discuss their other favorite user-generated content games.

Feb 28, 2020
Sonic the Hedgehog: THE MOVIE

The gang heads to the theaters to see the latest and greatest video game movie adaptation: Sonic the Hedgehog. But what happens if it's actually...good?

Feb 21, 2020
Mario 3 & The Wizard Reboot

Plante ditches the rest of the gang, leaving them with an ancient game that came out around the dawn of time. (Thankfully it was pretty good.) The remaining gang try to reboot the 1989 film, The Wizard, for a new generation.

Feb 14, 2020
Journey to the Savage Planet

The boys head into space and gather a heck of a lot of resources...and laughs? Russ somehow justifies his love for Jojamart, which may be the true good guy of the Stardew Valley universe.

Feb 07, 2020
Kentucky Route Zero / AI Dungeon

After nearly a decade, Kentucky Route Zero (a game first released during the first year of The Besties!) is finally completed. The boys also take a journey into an AI Dungeon to solve a horrible dragon crime.

Jan 31, 2020
The Witcher Special

Because the world has been captured by the magic of Geralt of Rivia, The Besties are diving into Netflix's The Witcher and also The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (newly released on Switch). Toss a coin to them!

Jan 24, 2020
The Greatest Vaporware + Half-Life's Black Mesa

Some games take a year to come out. But some games? Decades. This week The Besties are looking at some of their favorite vaporware, including a project that's been in the works since the mid 2000s: Black Mesa, a fan-made Half-Life recreation.

Jan 17, 2020
The Best Video Game Kings + Shovel Knight: King of Cards

In this episode of The Besties, the boys debate which are the very best video game kings of all time. They'll also dive in to the latest addition to the Shovel Knight franchise, King of Cards.

Jan 10, 2020
Most Anticipated Video Games of 2020

The Besties are looking ahead at the coming year and asking themselves: Which are the true bangers of 2020? They'll even look ahead and make some prognostications about what to expect from the coming year. Will they be right? Probably not!

Jan 03, 2020
2019 Recap Special

The Besties bid farewell to 2019 with the highs and lows of some of the biggest trends of the year. NOTE: This will be the last full episode on the wide feed. Starting on January 3, 2020, The Besties weekly can only be found on Spotify. Follow and listen for free!

Dec 27, 2019
Game of the Year Part 2

Time to decide the best video game of 2019. We've tabulated our votes, and we're even including a surprise bracket, as voted on by the fans. Here we go, folks. It's all led to this.

The full list of contenders in this year's GOTY special include: 

Round 1 -

A Short Hike

What the Golf

Hypnospace Outlaw

Outer Wilds (Part 1 winner)

Round 2 -

Outer Worlds

Luigi's Mansion (Part 1 winner)

Astral Chain

Pokémon Sword and Shield 

Round 3 -


Baba is You


Disco Elysium

Dec 20, 2019
Game of the Year Part 1

Who better to pick the world's best games than the world's best friends? The Besties kick off the 2019 Game of the Year special with an intense melee of the greatest video games to walk the Earth in the last 12 months. Got a submission? Send it to

Dec 13, 2019
Death Stranding

Who likes walking? Justin likes walking! Hideo Kojima's long-awaited walking epic captures Justin's heart, but will the other Besties be as charmed? Also: What other games would be well-served by entering the "Strand" genre?

Dec 06, 2019
Pokémon Sword and Shield

Griffin loves his adorable little pocket monsters and tries his very best to convince the boys that they are truly creatures of god. This is generally ineffectual. Also: Pokémon that get far, far worse the more they evolve.

Dec 06, 2019
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

The Besties are back! This week they're discussing Respawn's Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order, and diving into the weird world of deep cut Star Wars lore, from Yaddle to jizz (literally the official term for the genre of music in the cantina scene) .

Dec 06, 2019
Best Games of 2018

Wondering what the best games of 2018 were? Join Justin McElroy, Griffin McElory, Chris Plante and Russ Frushtick as they venture forth and discuss the cream of the crop. Will it be the last Besties episode ever? Yes! Maybe! I don't know! We just hope you enjoy it.

Dec 25, 2018
April 2018 and a Status Update on the Future

Hello Besties fans! First off, we love all of you! Secondly, we wanted to let you know that we'll be shifting back to just having The Besties as an end-of-year special. You can hear all about it in the episode, but this was the solution we were able to make work with everyone's schedules. While we know you'll miss hearing from us each month, know that we'll do our absolute best to make the end-of-year episode a true banger. But before that, please enjoy this episode where we discuss the very best games of April 2018.

May 14, 2018
March 2018

There were a ton of games trying to beat the Q1 deadline, but as The Besties soon learned, some of those titles may have needed a little more time in the oven. Or maybe they were beyond hope? Who’s to say? Not us, we have no idea. Listen, we don’t know what we’re talking about, OK? We thought you knew.

Games Discussed: Deep Town, Alto’s Odyssey, Vermintide 2, FarCry 5, Ni No Kuni 2, Sea of Thieves, Fortnite

Apr 09, 2018
February 2018

February is the month of love and we’ve got a crop of games that ... well, we like them. Maybe not like like them, but we regular like them a great deal.

Games discussed: Lemon drinks, Almost a Hero, Monster Hunter World, Slay the Spire, Bayonetta 2, Membrane, The Fall Part 2: Unbound, Xbox One X Backwards Compatibility, Into the Breach, Owlboy.

Mar 07, 2018
January 2018

Games discussed: Iconoclasts, SOS, Sea of Thieves, Celeste, Subnautica, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Colossus.

Feb 09, 2018
The Best Game of 2017

In defiance of reason, good taste and the laws of both god and man, your pals The Besties sat down and recorded a two-hour-and-forty-five-minute battle royale to decide the best game of 2017. Get comfy, get hydrated. 

Jan 03, 2018
November and December 2017

Since they waited so ding dang long to record their November and because December is a crummy month for releases, The Besties have combined both months into one big (OK, so it’s regular-length) episode. Enjoy!

Games discussed: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC, Solitairica, Call of Duty: WW2, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Hearthstone: Kobolds and Catacombs, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, Universal Paperclips, Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris, Battle Chef Brigade, Endless Space 2.

Dec 14, 2017
October 2017

There may be be a bigger month for video game releases in recent memory, but we sure can’t think of one. Join us for a whirlwind tour of October 2017, capped off by an only slightly predictable finale.

Games discussed: Assassin’s Creed Origins, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Super Mario Odyssey.

Nov 09, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of September 2017

September was one of the most jam-packed months of 2017 until ... well, next month. But worry not, dear listener. The Besties are here to filter out all the disgusting chaff and leave you with a heaping plate of gaming wheat. Delicious, delicious wheat.

Games discussed: SteamWorld Dig 2, Danganronpa 3, Heat Signature, Divinity: Original Sin 2, SNES Classic, Metroid: Samus Returns, Cuphead, Golf Story, Destiny 2.

Oct 04, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of August 2017

We know, we know, it’s late, and it’s really, really hard not to just talk about Destiny 2, but you know what? We don’t. Because we’re true professionals with a vague recollection of games that came out before Destiny 2.

Games discussed: Everybody’s Golf, Absolver, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Nidhogg 2, Agents of Mayhem, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Sonic Mania, Tacoma, Lone Echo.

Sep 15, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of July 2017

It’s a hot one After a slow June, things have picked back up considerably for July. We’ve got a ton of great games to talk about and, most excitingly, one of Russ’ classic characters makes an extremely unexpected return. Games discussed: Destiny 2 Beta, Hidden My Game By Mom, Flipping Legend, Vostok Inc., Mass Effect Andromeda, Miitopia, The End is Nigh, Splatoon 2, Pyre. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3 Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Aug 15, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of June 2017

It’s gotten a little slow, but we’re still here OK, things have slowed down for game releases in June. How slow? Well, one of our games was released in May. But, we’re still here picking the best games of the month, just for you. Games discussed: Final Fantasy 14, Nier: Automata, Wolfenstein: The New Blood, Caveblazers, Cave Story +, Arms, The Surge. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3" Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Jul 10, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of May 2017

April showers bring good games We’re back with another surprisingly great month of games. This May brings us a few out-of-nowhere surprises and a couple of big releases. A happy May to us all! Games discussed: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Card Thief, Nier Automata, The Surge, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Injustice 2, Dead Cells, Prey. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3" Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Jun 09, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of April 2017

It’s only APRIL? Remember when good games only came out after Madden? That’s out the window. It’s been a stunner of a year already for game releases, and the streak continues in April with everything from JRPG/dating games to idle games. Join the Besties as they pick the month’s best. Games discussed: Puyo Puyo Tetris, Office Space: Idle Profits, Flinthook, Kubb, Nier: Automata, The Sexy Brutale, Persona 5, What Remains of Edith Finch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3" Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

May 09, 2017
The Besties are picking the best games of March 2017

You probably guessed it already Just because you almost certainly know what game we picked as the best of March 2017, doesn’t mean you can’t listen and enjoy hearing about all the games that aren’t the best game of March 2017. It’s about the journey, folks. Not the destination. GAMES DISCUSSED: Mass Effect Andromeda, 1-2 Switch, Robo Recall, Nier Automata, Typeshift, Everything, Snipperclips, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3" Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Apr 07, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of February 2017

At least the games have been good in 2017! Though we still don’t have a great explanation as to why, the first ever Polygon podcast has returned on a monthly basis. Join The Besties (Russ Frushtick, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy and Chris Plante) as they nonsensically attempt to pick the “best” game released in January 2017. GAMES DISCUSSED: Dandy Dungeon, Chess (again), Fire Emblem Heroes, For Honor, Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3" Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Mar 06, 2017
The Besties pick the best games of January 2017

Yes, they’re back. OK? Though we still don’t have a great explanation as to why, the first ever Polygon podcast has returned on a monthly basis. Join The Besties (Russ Frushtick, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy and Chris Plante) as they nonsensically attempt to pick the “best” game released in January 2017. GAMES DISCUSSED: Dragon Quest Builders, Chess, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone, Final Fantasy XV, Gravity Rush 2, Resident Evil 7, Yakuza 0 and Astroneer. Also, the Nintendo Switch. Theme song by Ian Dorsch Download MP3 Subscribe? Sure, you can subscribe.

Feb 09, 2017
The Besties podcast: Best of 2016

Yes, it's true, we've returned for yet another round of nobody's favorite video game podcast, The Besties. Join your hosts Justin McElroy, Chris Plante, Russ Frushtick and Griffin McElroy as they pick the year's best game with a methodology that ranges from "non-sensical" to "utterly, destructively haphazard." Please enjoy this year's edition before The Besties are once again enveloped by fog and trapped in oblivion for 12 calendar months.

0:07 -- Honorable Mentions
0:24 -- Round 1

Hyper Light Drifter
Battlefield 1

0:53 -- Round 2

Pokemon Go
Dishonored 2
Watchdogs 2
Stardew Valley

1:53 -- Round 3

Forza Horizon 3
Dark Souls 3
The Witness

2:31 -- Round 4

Fire Emblem Fates
Quadrilateral Cowboy
Titanfall 2

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 13, 2016
The Besties Game of the Year special for 2015 is now available, you monster

Last year, we published a post called "The Final Besties Ever." We're sorry that we lied about that, but we're even sorrier for those of you who made it happen by constantly demanding that we do it. We can't imagine what dark hole is embedded in your heart that you require one of the most universally maligned video game podcasts in history in order for your year to be complete, but that's your cross to bear. True story: If Russ Frushtick's audio sounds odd during this episode, it's because he literally talked into the wrong side of his mic for the whole show, I shit you not. This is the podcast you demanded. This. This is on you. If you'd like to subscribe to The Besties, you still can, believe it or not.

7:00 - Honorable Mentions
31:20 - Round One
1:09:50 - Round Two
1:45:20 - Round Three
2:25:25 - Final Decision
Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 28, 2015
The Final Besties Ever: 2014's best games battle it out

This is it. The Besties have been on hiatus — which intimates a brief pause in an otherwise regular schedule, so let's call it a "temporary cancellation" — for a few months now, but we've gathered the crew back together for one last hurrah. We're going to talk about video games for a very, very long time, y'all. In this four-hour series finale, we're pitting 2014's best games against one another in unyielding combat to the death. (This isn't Polygon's official Game of the Year lineup, though — those will be announced soon!) For those that have stuck with us from the beginning, through the exploratory episodes, the Chris Grant-a-Tron period, the video specials and countless horrible, imaginary special guests — thank you. Sorry it got so weird there, in the middle. Now: Let's close this out right.

The Games

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Mario Kart 8
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Far Cry 4
Dark Souls 2
Bayonetta 2
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Sunset Overdrive
Shovel Knight

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 22, 2014
Best games of July 2014 - The Besties

It's fair to say that July 2014 will not go down as the most active month in video game history. There were so few major releases this July that we decided the best way to cope was to go into the deep, dark past. Each Bestie was asked to select one game from their childhood that they love. The rule, though, was that at least two of the remaining three Besties had to have not played that game, so some of us would be playing them with fresh eyes. It was an enlightening experience. Despite coming up with a whole backup plan for the lack of July games, it actually did end up as a pretty solid month, so we spend the top half of the show on some of the new releases, if that's your bag. (Oh, and Justin couldn't make this episode because babies. Don't worry, he'll be back next month!)

5:00 - Some actually good games from July 2014!
31:00 - Actraiser (Frushtick)
43:30 - Quest for Glory (Griffin)
58:00 - Half Time
1:03:00 - News
1:16:00 - River City Ransom (Plante)
1:24:30 - The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (Justin)
1:43:00 - Resties!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Aug 06, 2014
The best games of June 2014 according to The Besties

Remember last month when a surprise cloud of quality games rained down upon us, soaking us in the joys of kart racing and nazi shooting? Those warm rains of spring have passed and what remains is the scorched, dry earth of summer. Sure, a couple of nice games appeared, like oases ready to quench our thirst. But after completing Shovel Knight and Valiant Hearts we returned to our slog, counting the days till the fall deluge. How have you been passing the summer drought?

5:00 - 1001 Spikes
22:00 - Shovel Knight
36:00 - News of the month, E3 Edition
56:00 - Valiant Hearts
1:14:00 - Pixel Junk Shooter Ultimate
1:18:00 - The Resties!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jul 08, 2014
The Besties: The Best Games of May 2014

What a peculiar May. Typically, I think of spring as a dumping ground, the soft, warm land where publishers unceremoniously bury games that failed to meet internal creative expectations or sales projections. The past few years have changed that, partly because publishers have learned to tie a AAA game's release to the incoming hype of E3, and partly because many games are released each year that every month is all but guaranteed to have one stand out. There were a lot of games this month that deserve to be on a best of list. And we do our darndest to talk about most of them. Let's continue the conversation in the comments, because I'm sure we missed something.

5:00 - Watch Dogs

41:00 - Transistor

56:00 - News of the month
1:18:00 - Wolfenstein

1:32:00 - Mario Kart 8

1:39:00 - The Resties!

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Jun 05, 2014
The Besties: The Best Games of April 2014

The ides of March were nothing compared to this! Yes, April is upon us and it seems many game companies are just holding their collective breath in order to make it all the way to May, which happens to be so packed with video games that we can't even deal. April is another story. Knowing that it was going to be a dry month, we held off on Dark Souls 2 until its far-superior PC version came out. Kinda cheating, but hey, who's counting? And besides, there are still a few legitimately April releases to discuss. Some of which we sorta liked!

4:30 - Dark Souls 2
53:00 - Wayward Souls
1:00:30 - News of the month
1:21:00 - Half-time!
1:25:00 - Elder Scrolls Online
1:40:00 - Broforce
1:51:30 - The Resties!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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May 09, 2014
The Besties: The Best Games of March 2014

I hope you enjoyed March. The month full of big game releases may be the last of its kind for the foreseeable future. Looking at the calendar, we won't see four weeks so full of hyped AAA and indie games until fall. That's why we chose to withhold Dark Souls 2 from this month's Besties. We can discuss its release on PC next month. April, after all, looks slim by comparison. Anyway, let's live in the now! This month we have four good games, a bag full of reader favorites and some big news involving a certain Lawnmower Man knockoff.

8:30 - Titanfall
25:00 - Mercenary Kings
37:00 - Halftime!
48:00 - Infamous: Second Son
1:14:00 - News of the month
1:24:00 - Luftrausers
1:34:40 - Reader emails

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Apr 10, 2014
The Besties: The Best Games of February 2014

February came and went. The shortest month of the year was practically a wasteland in terms of major game releases. The standout AAA game, Thief, left many of us feeling robbed. And Fable's anniversary wasn't quite worth celebrating. Then again, maybe we were just looking for fun in all the wrong places. Bravely Default, The Last of Us' DLC and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze all got lavished with praise by our reviews team. And hey, I'm always happy to shout my love for Earth Defense Force 2025. You know, maybe it wasn't a bad slate of games, so much as it was a strange one. Just look at the four we chose to discuss: a remake in the mode of Metroidvania, an anthropomorphic number puzzler, an asburdist espionage comedy and a third-person shooter spin-off of a family-friendly real-time strategy game.

5:30 - Thief
14:30 - Jazzpunk
26:00 - Threes!
36:15 - Halftime!
56:00 - Strider
1:08:00 - News of the month
1:25:45 - Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
1:41:30 - Reader emails

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Mar 07, 2014
The Besties: The Best Games of January 2014

The Besties are back! At the end of 2013, the fate of the show was unclear. We were unsure what the podcast would look like in 2014. But after hearing positive feedback from many of our listeners, we buckled down and came up with a new format. We really like it; we hope you do, too. This year, we will record one extended episode at the end of each month, discussing the best games of the previous 30 or so days. With the new format, we can ensure all four hosts have had time to play the selected games. We think that change alone will produce better conversations. If all goes well, the show will feel more like our end-of-the-year specials. Also, we'll be reading listener mail. So send your thoughts, feelings, questions and deepest, darkest secrets to besties at polygon dot com! We also want to know your favorite games of February and why they're so special. Thanks again to everyone who asked for more Besties. You are why we do the show.

9:20 - Rust
29:00 - Hearthstone
49:00 - Halftime!
55:00 - Loadout
1:05:00 - News of the month
1:23:00 - The Banner Saga

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Feb 12, 2014
The Besties Game of the Year 2013 Video Special - Part 2 (Audio only)

In the words of 2 Unlimited, "Y'all ready for this?" The Besties return to finish the fight. Eight games emerged from last week's battle royal, but only one has the grit to claim the title of Besty. Will it be Gone Home? Or Towerfall? Or maybe Zelda? What about The Last of Us, people seemed to like that game, right? The tension is killing me and I already know who takes the title! Stay tuned. We'll notify the winner of the bracket contest shortly!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 30, 2013
The Besties Game of the Year 2013 Video Special - Part 1 (Audio Only)

The time has come! Just like last year, The Besties have come together to celebrate the holidays and decide, once and for all, which game will be crowned the very best of 2013. We narrowed it down to 16 games (four of which came direct from the audience) and pit them against one another in ultimate combat. Who will win? Who will lose? Only one way to find out! (By the way, Part 2 will go live next Monday, December 30. Soon after that, we'll notify the winner of the bracket contest.)

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 30, 2013
The Besties 81: 'Twas the night before Besty

I can't believe we're about to film another end of the year Besties Besty Special. But I shouldn't let the excitement spoil this week's episode. Live in the present, Plante! Be here now. Okay, so what do we have? Oh, just a number of heartfelt, respectfully designed video games that challenge our conceptions of the medium. You know, that's all.

3:30 - Best Gachapon machine of 2013 (Heroes of Dragon Age)
19:10 - Best interlude (The Entertainment, Kentucky Route Zero)
30:30 - Halftime!
35:00 - Best reason to reload (Teleglitch: Die More Edition)
41:00 - Best educational game (The Novelist)

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 14, 2013
The Besties 80: Thanksgiving surprise

We couldn't let you brave the long trip home all alone. Earlier this week, The Besties recorded a special, pre-holiday episode. Thank goodness, because we'd missed a number of great games during launch month madness. There's so much left to hit before the end of the year! How have you kept up with the holiday releases? Or are you just hoarding a backlog for the long winter ahead? Give us some tips!

3:30 - Best sequel (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds)
19:10 - Best/worst camera (Tearaway)
33:30 - Halftime!
38:00 - Best Mario game (Super Mario 3D World)
49:00 - Best collectibles (Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag)

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Nov 28, 2013
The Besties 79: Left Behind

We know, it's PS4 launch week, but aren't you burnt out on our coverage already? Seriously, between the packed-to-brim StoryStream and 12-hour live video stream, we wager you've had your fill. That's why, this week, we're talking about decidedly not-next-gen stuff. Okay, some talk of PS4 and Wii U slips in there, but we think you'll find it appropriately non-informative. This is, as you've probably discovered, how we do.

4:28 - Best brief tour of Rapture (BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea: Part One)
21:05 - Best PS4 distraction (Rayman Fiesta Run)
26:48 - Halftime - WobbleGate, The Walking Dead Continuity
33:24 - Best Game of This Year, Next Year (Towerfall on PS4)
41:00 - Best Reason Not to Sleep on Nintendo (New Zelda, New Mario)

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Nov 16, 2013
The Besties 78: Our fondest memories of the generation

To send off the current generation of consoles, we decided to do something a little special. There are no winners or losers this week, just our fondest memories from one of gaming's longest console cycles. I had a nice time recording this episode. Like Justin and Griffin, I started covering games professionally during this generation. I can plot my entire career alongside its big releases, studio openings, studio closures, small conferences, big conferences and comic conferences. When the Xbox 360 came out, I was still in college. That's strange to think about. Share a few of your best memories from this generation in the comments. Let's have an old-fashioned reminiscence.

4:00 - Watching Nintendo reveal the Wii

13:15 - Being an early adopter of Rock Band

25:00 - Halftime - Call of Duty: Ghosts

37:00 - Finishing Portal 2

42:00 - Playing through Oblivion with the McElroy clan
1:01:00 - The winner is everyone!

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Nov 09, 2013
The Besties 77: A kid-shaped pile of rats

It's almost here. The calamity of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch month can be heard in the distance; the vibrations can be felt if you stand still enough. Are you ready? Enjoy these final couple Besties of the current generation. We'll see you on the other side.

2:40 - Best controller upgrade (The PS4 controller)
9:30 - Best book of the week (Device 6)
16:00 - Halftime!
20:00 - Best sail (The Wind Waker HD)
25:30 - Best improvement upon Battlefield 3's miserable single-player campaign (Battlefield 4)
34:00 - The winner is everyone!

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Nov 01, 2013
The Besties 76: Poor, poor Sonic

I come here to praise Sonic, not to bury him. Wait, that's wrong. I come here to bury him — or at least the happy memories I once had of him. Fortunately, my besties Justin and Griffin have positive things to talk about, like the surprises of The Stanley Parable and oh my gosh Candy Box 2 is out! So yes, while I'm sad to see the mascot of my childhood continue to struggle through my adult years, I can take solace in the cornucopia of other good games being released on a weekly basis.

3:20 - Best first level of a not-so-good game (Sonic: Lost World)
15:15 - Best tutorial (How to Survive)
22:20 - Halftime!
26:00 - Best endings (The Stanley Parable)
37:00 - The winner is everyone!

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Oct 26, 2013
The Besties 75: A very merry Pokémon special

Last week we promised an all Pokémon episode. This week we deliver. The Besties discuss pocket monsters on a level of granularity that ultimately drives Justin to the brink of insanity. Can you handle that? Maybe you're not the sort of person who wants to know about min-maxing Ghastly mating. And maybe weighing the benefits of Grass and Dragon types isn't your cup of tea. Well, to you I say, good riddance and good day! Now that it's just us super fans, let's gather close and tell stories of Squirtle battles long past.

3:31 - Best way to force breed Pokémon (day care)
8:14 - Best item (Exp. Share)
17:15 - Halftime!
20:33 - Best way to make a Pokémon feel real (feed it cupcakes)
24:59 - Best mobile multiplayer of the year so far (Player Search System)
37:43 - The Winner Is!

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Oct 18, 2013
The Besties 74 - GD Ritzy's

Russ is gone. We know, we'd thought we'd be thrilled about it too, but damned if we don't miss the little guy. But hey, he'll be back next week, right? Until we're doing our best to cheer ourselves up with video games. Play the pain away.

4:13 - Best Board Game iPad Adaptation (Pandemic)
14:05 - Best Performance by a Supporting Willem Dafoe (Beyond: Two Souls)
24:08 - Halftime!
30:43 - Best Load Screen (GTA Online)
45:58 - The Winner Is!

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Oct 12, 2013
The Besties 73 - A bowl of SteamOS

The whole gang is back together! Griffin returns from Japan to regale us with amazing stories of vegetables and video games and video games starring vegetables. By the end of the episode, we get to the big topic of the week: SteamOS. Valve has decided to take down video game consoles! Or are they targeting Windows? Or is their plan something else entirely? With the power of our four noggins, we're bound to uncover the truth in this week's episode of The Besties!

3:00 - Best example of Buyer's Remorse (Grand Theft Auto 5's Social Club)
10:10 - Best talking mask (Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death)
19:30 - Halftime!
32:30 - Healthiest game (Food Practice Shooter)
40:00 - Best alternative to the absurdly long HDMI cable connecting my PC to my TV (SteamOS)
X:XX - The winner is ...

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Sep 27, 2013
The Besties 72 - GTYay

This week, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto 5 and the rest of the games industry politely gave it and its hype plenty of space to do their thing. Justin, Frushtick and I (sadly Griffin is busy covering Tokyo Game Show in Japan) talk about the things we love, like, don't understand and find painfully dull in Grand Theft Auto 5. It's a long conversation, and while we tried to talk about specifics, the conversation moves quickly from one topic to the next. That explains why there's no beat sheet below the audio file today. How are you enjoying GTA 5? Or, did you pass? And if so, why? Let's talk in the comments!

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Sep 20, 2013
The Besties 71 - Three's company

Due to technical difficulties only three Besties were able to record this week. Frushtick, Griffin and I try to make magic without the magician, Justin McElroy. Do we succeed? You of course will be the judge. It's been a slow news week, what with the entire games industry trying to distance itself from the media magnet that is Grand Theft Auto 5's upcoming release. So, we stir together a few oddities from the gameosphere into a stew of conversation. Will people remember this episode ever happened a week from now, when citizens have abandoned their earthly duties to roam the virtual world of San Andreas? I sure hope so.

5:50 - Best 2D Minecraft (Junk Jack X)
13:00 - Best byproduct of Microsoft's reverse nefariousness (Steam family sharing program)
21:00 - Halftime!
30:30 - Best effort to make people sort of care about Vita (Vita TV)
40:20 - The winner is...

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Sep 13, 2013
The Besties 70 - The avuncular episode

Frushtick is an uncle! Yes, the man of a thousand roles has a new one: the grown-up responsible for introducing a child to video games. Congratulations to Russ and the Frushtick clan. We return after a holiday hiatus to discuss everything from a life-affirming platformer to a bowel-purging horror simulator. We apologize upfront for any and all bathroom humor. How did you spend your final days of summer? What did you eat? I ate southern fried food for five consecutive days and my internal organs are now at war with one another. Whoever wins, I lose!

3:23 - Best dose of untarnished joy (the music levels in Rayman Legends)
12:40 - Best virtual colonic (Outlast)
21:24 - Halftime!
26:22 - Best Gauntlet reboot (Hammerwatch)
31:12 - Best tie-in surprise (Splinter Cell: Spider-Bot)
38:15 - The winner is...

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Sep 06, 2013
The Besties 69 - Live-ish from New York!

You ask for more Grant. You get more Grant. That's how things work here with The Besties. We give the people what they want. But what's this? Zounds! It appears your wish was made on a cursed monkey's paw. You know not what you've done! You see, in exchange for Grant, Griffin McElroy has been expelled to the land of Germany. Though I must say, the curse could not have happened at a more helpful time, what with Gamescom. Any who, somehow Frushtick, Hoops, Grant and myself all happened to be in the New York office this week, so we decided to record the episode the old-fashioned way: sitting uncomfortably in four wheely chairs, waiting for the others to snap under the pressure of extended eye contact.

0:00 - Broadway!
3:10 - The best transition of a video game series from offensive to progressive (Saints Row 4)
16:00 - Best ghost and / or panther simulator (Splinter Cell: Blacklist)
27:30 - Halftime!
34:30 - Best XCOM game of the month (The Bureau: XCOM Declassified)
50:00 - Best free-to-play game ever (Plants vs. Zombies 2)
57:45 - The winner is...

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Aug 23, 2013
The Besties 68 - Down in a hole

The gang gets back together before being dashed apart once more. This week on The Besties, the whole gang is back together, which is exciting because the next few weeks will be rife with missing members. So enjoy it while you can! We also get a glimpse into what it takes to drive Griffin mad.

4:05 - Best MetroidVania Spelunky Minecraft (SteamWorld Dig)
13:45 - Best broken piece of shit that oh my god I love please don't leave me (PayDay 2)
27:50 - Halftime!
33:45 - Best way to feel like a monster (Papers, Please)
41:15 - Best example of a forever runner that doesn't feel cheap (Knightmare Tower)
48:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Aug 16, 2013
The Besties 67 - A wild Grant appears

This week there is no me. Yes, due to a mysterious stomach virus, I, your Besties poster was unable to attend the weekly podcast. But don't worry, because another, balder and smarter Chris filled the vacancy. This week, I hope you enjoy the silky smooth tones of Polygon Editor-in-Chief Chris Grant.

4:05 - The best use of consonants (Rymdkapsel)
15:25 - The best reason to not listen to Russ Frushtick (Earthbound)
24:40 - Halftime!
38:00 - The best career move (John Carmack becomes CTO of Oculus)
48:55 - The best single-player co-op game of the year (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons)
58:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Aug 09, 2013
The Besties 66 - Rise of the Sun

What's that sound? Well I'll be! It's the dulcet tones of Mr. David Tach. Yes, this week Dave "Sweet Sweet Butter Voice" Tach fills in for Justin "Hoops" McElroy. We discuss the rising of a triad, the setting of a sun, the returning of a shadow and the escaping of a zero. Won't you join us on this audio expedition?

4:05 - The best new old game (Rise of the Triad)
13:20 - The best old new game (Shadowrun Returns)
21:20 - Halftime!
32:10 - The best PC game that could be a mobile game (Race the Sun)
36:50 - The best game that was on PS+ but isn't anymore (Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward)
43:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Aug 05, 2013
The Besties 65 - Attack of the Giant Monsters from Outer Space

The theme of this week's Besties is giant monsters. The gang discusses kaiju, space ants and malevolent monolithic mega corps from the not-so-distant future. Like the summer's big films, a number of recent game releases are sci-fi allegories about the way we live now. Or in the case of Attack of the Friday Monsters, the way we lived way back when. We also talk about the week's big news: Microsoft's indie marketplace strategy. But the monsters are the thrust of the episode. I should probably mention there's another large monster that makes an appearance. It's possible you've met him before. He's from New York and has a long neck. I'll let him introduce himself.

3:30 - Best latest strategy update from Microsoft (Xbox One indie self-publishing)
15:00 - Best game you can't buy in the US (Earth Defense Force 4)
22:15 - Halftime!
28:20 - Best game you can buy in the US, unexpectedly (Attack of the Friday Monsters)
37:05 - Best mechanic with the worst implementation (Remember Me)
45:15 - The winner is ...

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Jul 26, 2013
The Besties 64 - Best of the first half of 2013

It's that time of the year. The Besties gather around the digital fire to share fond memories of their favorite games, some as old as January itself. Yes, it's the middle of July and we're recounting the best games of the year, so far. Some of you might be surprised to know one of the games is Animal Crossing. But what are the others? To know, you'll have to listen. Or I guess you could read the notes below, but why spoil the magic?

3:45 - Griffin (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)
12:20 - Plante (Towerfall)
19:00 - Halftime!
24:00 - Frushtick (The Last of Us)
33:00 - Justin (Gunpoint)
37:00 - The winner is ...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jul 19, 2013
The Besties 63 - The Last of Russ

It's possible you've never noticed this odd bit of Besties trivia. Each week, we invite a new clone of the original Russ Frushtick to discuss the week's best things. The new clone is cloned from the previous week's clone, Multiplicity style. Surely, you've assumed as much. The strange characters. The shrill introduction. The clues have been on the proverbial bottom of the mug all along. This week, we invited the 63rd member of the Frushtick bloodline to discuss Rogue Legacy. After the podcast, we repeated the weekly chore, locking the clone in a tank full of water and filing that tank into the back of a theater alongside its 62 brothers. This will be the last of Russ. Join us next week when the original Russ Frushtick returns to the show for the first time since episode one!

2:20 - Best family tree in gaming (Rogue Legacy)
14:40 - Best turning point of the week (The Last of Us)
30:00 - Halftime!
35:20 - Best way to play a stealth game (Dishonored, Deus Ex: Human Revolution)
42:00 - Best anniversary of the week (App Store's 5th anniversary)
49:00 - The winner is ...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jul 12, 2013
The Besties 62 - All Animal Crossing, all the time

Welcome to the end of days. It's rare that all four Besties find themselves smitten by a single game, let alone one for weeks on end. And yet, that's just what has happened with Animal Crossing: New Leaf on 3DS. It has taken the quartet by storm, sucking up every day with talk of turnip prices and furniture sets. And it seems they're not alone. There have been more than a few requests for an all-Animal Crossing episode, and now we're delivering. Brace yourselves.

3:30 - Best example that Justin is a masochist
13:00 - Best heart-pounding moment of E3
19:00 - Halftime!
23:54 - Best boat ride
30:15- Best narrative in a video game ever

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Jun 28, 2013
The Besties 61 - Welcome back for the first time

Allow me one moment to welcome any new listeners who were introduced to The Besties by our recent E3 video spectacular. The podcast is a little different than what you saw last week. For one, it's not filmed. For two, the rules and structure tend to change — regularly. For three, there are, how do I put this, special guests. Yes, this week, Milton Bradley, the grandfather of board games himself, graced The Besties recording studio to inform us of the games he failed to sneak onto store shelves. These games sure are something, and by something I mean morally repugnant! We also talked about the big news of the week: Griffin bought an Android phone! Oh, and Microsoft changed its controversial policy. And Griffin bought an Android phone. You'll hear all that and more on this week's Besties!

4:35 - Best "switcherooniski" (Xbox One game licensing policy)
21:45 - Best gaming device I've bought this year (HTC One)
29:00 - Halftime!
35:40 - Best screenwriting gig for a popular game designer (Ken Levine is writing the Logan's Run remake (and I predict it will take longer than three months to write, despite what Frushtick says, because Hollywood is Hollyweird))
40:10- Best flashback to shop class (Bridgy Jones)
49:15- The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jun 21, 2013
The Besties 60 - An embarrassment of riches

Is it Christmas in June? Usually the period around E3 is like a desert in which the year's worst games are left to rot under the sweltering summer sun. But as you may have gleamed from the carousel of review scores on the Polygon homepage, we have been submerged by a flood of excellence: Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, The Swapper, Gunpoint, The Last of Us, Don't Starve, Remember Me, State of Decay and the list goes on and on. We discuss a few of those games this week, saving others for later this month. What about next week, you ask? Lean closer and I'll tell you a secret: next Friday we're streaming a special E3 video episode of the Besties live from Los Angeles. Before you run out the door and scream thanks to the heavens, be sure to listen to this week's episode. We'd hate for it to go to waste.

3:40 - Best pocket-sized daily vacation (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)
18:40 - Best sound effect of the year (Gunpoint)
26:23 - Halftime!
30:43 - Best way to start a forest fire (Don't Starve)
38:20 - Best way to die (The Swapper)
43:54 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jun 07, 2013
The Besties Podcast 59 — Griffin buys a Wii U

I take a break from the podcast to fulfill my civic duty and Griffin McElroy buys a Wii U. I'm genuinely curious what our listeners think about this decision. At first, I was befuddled. It's like when a man buys an expensive umbrella in the middle of a drought. But I've come to see his point. The logic's charming in a really expensive sort of way. What do you think? Would you buy a console to better enjoy a hype train that may or may not arrive at the station?

03:30 - Best unreliable narration in games this year (Call of Juarez: Gunslinger)
14:00 - Best killer app for the Wii U that I purchased over the weekend for some reason (Super Metroid)

23:20 - Half time: E3 hype and a case of the barfs
33:30 - Best mask simulation in video game history (Metro: Last Light)
38:50 - Best use of life's mondernity mundisnus mundanity to build tension in a video game (Metro: Last Light)
43:20 - The winner is...

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May 31, 2013
The Besties Podcast 58 — The best of Xbox One

Throw us an Xbone, why don't you? We're not sure if you heard, maybe you didn't, but there's a new Xbox coming soon. Well, not soon, but this year, for sure. On The Besties this week, we dive deep and come back with the pearls.

07:30 - Best cell phone feature we're excited to use
17:25 - Best use of FMV that may not be
19:00 - Half time: Ghost dog
29:30 - Best news for publishers in the next generation
38:50 - Best feature that only Russ Frushtick cares about
47:30 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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May 24, 2013
The Besties Podcast 57 - The talking helicopter

The gang is back in action. On this week's episode of The Besties, there's some derisive Snoopy talk, as well as an anthropomorphic helicopter. Griffin has his doubts and Justin changes his pick at the last minute, much to the chagrin of the other Besties.

03:50 - Best reason to hate Snoopy (Sid Meier's Ace Patrol)
10:25 - Best way to waste $20 (Injustice on iOS)
19:00 - Half time: Daft Punk and a new car
24:00 - Best gaming news story of the decade that is getting worse and worse with every passing day (Shadow of the Eternals)
38:40 - Best way to remake a retro franchise (Thunder Wolves)
41:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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May 17, 2013
The Besties Podcast 56 - The backhanded compliment

Mr. Dave Tach fills in for the absent Griffin McElroy this week. His dulcet tones could melt an ice cap, but are they enough to warm our hearts in Brother M's absence? This episode's a hodgepodge, in which the good is bad, the bad is good and Kickstarter is mediocre. We discuss a handful of video gaming anomalies, like "good bad" games and good games with bad titles. We debate whether rough edges are beauty marks or flaws waiting to be smoothed. We also rap on the reality of Kickstarter projects and the practicality of AAA licensing deals. Whether you prefer one to the other, it's clear that all the money and creative freedom in the world can't guarantee a great game. Also, we talk Canada. Did you know Vancouver is the perfect city? All that and more on this week's Besties.

2:10 - Best reason to be wary of supporting games on Kickstarter (Star Command)
14:30 - Best worst game of the week (Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut)
29:30 - Half time: Chris goes to Canada
33:30 - Best game with worst title (Mars: War Logs)
43:40 - Best billion dollar partnership for things I probably won't end up caring about (The EA/Disney Star Wars contract)
52:10 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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May 10, 2013
The Besties Podcast 55 - A mouthful of candies

I love Candy Box. I'd hate to spoil what Candy Box is. So trust me. Before you press that play button, click this link. Play Candy Box for a few minutes, then leave it open on a browser tab and return for the podcast. Follow these instructions precisely. Fun, right? Confusing, right? Great, let's get to the show. This week, we offend chiropractors, slay mystical beasts, fix the industry's piracy problem and Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box, Candy Box. Also, Candy Box.

3:00 - Best use of Blood Dragons (Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon)
9:50 - Best piracy prevention that is also ironic (Game Dev Tycoon)
19:50 - Half time: Chris goes back to school
26:10 - Best value of the week and also of all time (Neverwinter)
33:30 - Best something something Candy Box (Candy Box)
41:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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May 03, 2013
The Besties Podcast 54 - The awkward episode

Griffin couldn't help himself. Drunk off back to back wins, the Brother McElroy brought one of the most awkward topics to date. This business. I believe we discussed the topic with the greatest amount of grace and respect afforded a podcast that occassionally stars a talking giraffe. Speaking of, a certain Long Island zoo animal made an unexpected experience, uncovering Microsoft's elaborate plan to run his uncle out of business. I talk Monaco. Justin talks Star Trek. And Frushtick talks talking blocks. All that and more on this week's Besties.

2:30 - Best Star Trek game of the month (Star Trek)
13:15 - Best acting by a rectangle (Thomas Was Alone)
20:20 - Half time: The Pizza Hut app and special guest
26:30 - Best REDACTED ever (Dragon's Crown)
39:50 - Best love letter to Bonanza Bros. (Monaco)
46:30 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Apr 27, 2013
The Besties Podcast 53 - Let's finish this week

Boy, am I happy to end this week. Over the past few days, I've struggled to write, think or care about video games. I've struggled to really do anything. Surely I'm not alone. What an awful week. What an absolutely awful week. And yet, some really amazing things have happened this week. Like this and this and this. Many people are really stepping up. So this weekend I hope you will join me in doing what we love: playing games. And I also hope you'll lend a hand. You could donate blood or money or anything. It's been an awful week, but I believe we can help to make next week better. That's all. This week's Besties doesn't talk about "this week." We tried to focus on the good, which has been the unspoken goal of the show since its creation. I hope you enjoy it. Let's talk about some video games.

4:30 - Best Nintendo Direct

14:30 - Best way to remind yourself how difficult Dishonored was (The Knife of Dunwall DLC)
21:30 - Half time - The recently canceled Ready for Love

25:45 - The best example that in-app purchasing will bring the end of the world (Dungeon Hunter 4)
31:00 - Best reason to throw a controller though a PC monitor (La Mulana)
39:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Apr 19, 2013
The Besties Podcast 52 - Life choices

Why hello there. This week on The Besties, we've decided to stick with the rules set forth in last week's episode because, hey, consistency has to rear its ugly head once in a while. And if Justin sounds quiet this week, it's because his internet is crap and he only heard about half of every conversation. Either that or he walked away from the mic for a really, really long time without telling anyone.

2:50 - Best reason that Russ Frushtick is an obsessive maniac (BioShock Infinite)
23:30 - Best mash-up of two genres you wouldn't think work well together but do (Guacamelee)
30:30 - Half time - Beard!
33:15 - Best Easter Egg that is better than the actual game it's in (Soda Drinker Pro)
41:00 - Best multiplayer mode for ruining friendships (BattleBlock Theater)
50:00 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Apr 12, 2013
The Besties Podcast 51 - New rules

We've read your comments. You miss the original concept of four best friends battling to the death to decide the best game of the week. Or maybe you want less nitty-gritty mechanic talk. Or you're the one soul on Planet Earth that yearns to hear the squeaky pitches of a certain European independent game design counterfeiter. We understand. After 50 episodes, we've decided to fiddle with the rules one (possibly) last time. As of today, four best friends will battle to the death to decide the best game thing of the week. That's right. We're no longer limited to games. We can bring news, songs, artwork, European independent game design counterfeiters, anything! All that matters is we genuinely believe our submission is the best. That way, when the show concludes a battle can be waged to determine the week's winner. Is this the best Besties yet? We sure hope so.

06:30 - Best ATV stunting (Defiance)

16:30 - Best local adversarial game at GDC 2013 (Samurai Gunn)

23:30 - Half time - A very special guest
31:30 - Best rumor that is probably not a rumor, but maybe it is a rumor (Always online Xbox)
43:30 - Best awards show in video games (2013 Game Developers Choice Awards)
50:30 - The winner is...

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Apr 05, 2013
The Besties Podcast 50 - Gears of War: Judgment and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Let's hear it for the supporting character! This week, we discuss two games based off the less popular sidekicks of major franchises. First, we have the Ballad of Baird, also known as Gears of War: Judgment. The fourth game in the Gears of War franchise has more of what you've come to expect from the franchise, which means hours of carefree body mutilation. Speaking of dead stuff, Justin leans over the campfire to tell us a scary story about the time he reviewed The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Sticking to the ghastly theme, we finish the show with a Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the second game in a series about the lesser-loved plumber turned ghost hunter. Is Dark Moon the 3DS's killer app? Does anyone care about 3DS when we have Super Stickman Golf 2 on our cellphones? Does the video game industry have a morbid fascination with our mutual fleeting mortality? Find out on this week's Besties!

03:00 - Gears of War: Judgment
16:30 - Half Time - The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
29:30 - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
46:00 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Mar 22, 2013
The Besties Podcast 49 - Ridiculous Fishing and Super Stickman Golf 2

All mobile all the time. In the history of The Besties, when the gents end up bringing mobile games to the table, it doesn't bode well for the quality of said games. This week is the exception to the rule, as they're talking about two of the best games of 2013 (mobile or beyond!). In other news, Chris Plante literally got off a flight from Japan and recorded the podcast, so if he sounds drowsy, it's probably the sleeping meds coursing through his veins.

04:00 - Ridiculous Fishing
20:00 - Half Time
27:00 - Super Stickman Golf 2
47:00 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Mar 15, 2013
The Besties Podcast 48 - Tomb Raider and SimCity

Two big games, including one that works! This week on The Besties, Chris Plante is galavanting out in Japan for work (probably), so we've gone and found his temporary replacement: the incomparable Phil Kollar. Phil authored the Polygon review of Tomb Raider, so who better to detail the highs and lows of Lara's latest adventure. Speaking of Lara, one of her relatives calls in to discuss some qualms he has with her renewed success. And lastly, there's SimCity. Not a whole lot to say on that one. Pretty much controversy-free, that game.

04:00 - Tomb Raider
22:00 - Half Time
28:00 - SimCity
49:00 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Mar 08, 2013
The Besties Podcast 47 - Proteus and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Call it a sick day. Griffin succumbed to the Andromeda Strain this week, leaving Frushtick, Hoops and myself to brave The Besties without him. I confess, it was tough. Fortunately, we had two very different, very unusual games to discuss in the forms of Proteus and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Proteus is what you might call an art game. Drawn in colorful and simple polygons, the game lacks traditional goals and rules. When Proteus was released a few weeks ago, a band of perturbed critics claimed Proteus wasn't a game at all. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on the other hand is the stereotypical action video game. The neo-future world is chock-full of robots and foot soldiers that can be sliced like a watermelon in Fruit Ninja. The game has a clear goal and that's KILL, KILL, KILL! To kill or chase a frog: that is the question.

03:00 - Proteus
16:30 - Half Time / The spread of the Andromeda Strain
20:30 - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
40:30 - What's next? Tomb Raider and SimCity

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Mar 01, 2013
The Besties Podcast 46 - Crysis 3 and Bit.Trip Runner 2

The Besties enter the next generation! This week on The Besties, we talk about the mysterious ghost man living above Griffin's garage. If you think that's grim, just wait till you hear our recap of the PlayStation 4 launch event. Justin does his best to turn our frowns upside down, but is that enough? One of this week's games already looks like it belongs on a next-generation console — and basically demands a next-generation PC. The other game has a long title and a beat we can dance to. Let us know your opinions of this week's games in the comments. And convince Justin why Proteus is good now, before it's too late.

04:30 - Crysis 3
20:30 - Half Time / PlayStation 4 announcement talk
40:00 - Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
49:30 - What's next? Proteus and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Feb 22, 2013
The Besties Podcast 45 - Fire Emblem: Awakening and Dead Space 3

The Besties are back! This week on The Besties, we discuss babies having babies and then having those babies fight for their baby parents. There's also talk of the thrills and chills of space combat, with an emphasis on the thrills. Hey, look at this, two solid games this week! We're on a roll! Warning: This episode contains spoilers for the movie, Safe Haven. If learning that makes you not want to listen, this probably isn't the podcast for you.

03:00 - Fire Emblem: Awakening
15:00 - Half Time
30:00 - Dead Space 3
48:30 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Feb 15, 2013
The Besties Podcast 44 - Antichamber and Ni No Kuni

Long live The Besties! This week's episode revolves around the mysteries of Doritos, Taco Bell and much, much more. Also Plante takes the opportunity to not say anything for the longest time in Besties history. Where was he? What was he thinking? We may never know.

03:00 - Antichamber
15:00 - Half Time
26:00 - Ni No Kuni
42:20 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Feb 01, 2013
The Besties Podcast 43 - Temple Run 2 and DMC: Devil May Cry

The march of The Besties continues! This week on The Besties, an old friend stops by for a visit and there's some examination of the latest free-to-play game burning up the charts. Oh yes, and Dante's resurrection is making some people grumpy.

03:00 - Temple Run 2
21:50 - Half Time: THQ
32:35 - DMC: Devil May Cry
48:20 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jan 25, 2013
The Besties Podcast 42 - Kentucky Route Zero and Dark Souls

Oh ye of little faith! The Besties are back for 2013 to warm your hearths and hearts. As per usual, the rules have been changed, but don't worry, it's only to protect the innocent. We've got some new games, we've got some old games and we've got a time machine. Let's get crackin'.

03:00 - Kentucky Route Zero
18:00 - Half Time Battle Royale
23:40- Dark Souls
40:00 - What's next?

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jan 18, 2013
The Besties 41 - End of 2012 Special Part 2

This is the audio-only version of Part 2 of our end of year video special. Enjoy!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jan 18, 2013
The Besties 40 - End of 2012 Special Part 1

This is the audio-only version of Part 1 of our end of year video special. Enjoy!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Jan 18, 2013
The Besties Podcast 39

This week on The Besties, we take a look back at all the games that have made it into our Hall of Fame of 2012. We also decide which three games from the fan vote are getting resurrected for next week's finals. And, what's this, one of our very first HOF selections gets the boot at the 11th hour? Incredible!

03:00 - Playing catch-up!
20:30 - The user picks!
30:00- Halftime: VGA thoughts!
40:15 - The full HOF list!
51:15 - THE NEXT STEP!

Help The Besties build their Sweet 16 bracket!

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 15, 2012
The Besties Podcast 38

In what is basically the last week of the year in terms of big video game releases, The Besties are concerned with one thing and one thing only: holiday cookies. Oh, what the heck, we'll talk about some games as well! Far Cry 3 is the heavy hitter of the week, but there seem to be some surprising contenders going up against it.

07:00 - Far Cry 3
21:00 - Skyrim: Dragonborn
34:30 - Halftime: The dark corners of Xbox Live
43:00 - Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Dec 07, 2012
The Besties Podcast 37

This week, The Besties examine just how humble you need to be for the Humble Bundle. Also, Griffin tries to explain Persona, much to the chagrin of all involved. There's also a question of how Agent 47 manages to hide in the middle of Chinatown, even as a very tall, very pale white guy.

08:30 - Hitman: Absolution
21:00 - Planetside 2
30:30 - Halftime: Thanksgiving and gambling
34:35 - Persona 4 Golden

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Nov 30, 2012
The Besties Podcast 36

The Besties all trekked off for Thanksgiving last week, but before did, they wanted to share their thoughts on the Wii U! Yes, it's an entire episode dedicated to Nintendo's latest gaming console. Oh, and there's also a special guest who hasn't shown his neck in a while.

01:20 - The Console
11:20 - Nintendo Land
33:50 - Halftime: NYG is going home for the holidays
40:35 - ZombiU

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Nov 26, 2012
The Besties Podcast 35

The Besties are back in fine form, discussing the merits of Michael Crichton and examining the mysteries of frogs and fractions. There's also some talk about a little-known game called Black Ops 2 and some Halo 4 fatigue begins to set in.

03:00 - Halo 4 and Black Ops 2
29:20 - Chip Chain
35:27- Halftime: Griffin hates his cat
40:15 - Frog Fractions

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Nov 16, 2012
The Besties Podcast 34

After a night of heavy drinking, some of The Besties aren't quite up to fighting form. And yet, they press on! In this episode, Assassin's Creed 3 makes its second appearance, and we give some props to some unhappy birds. There's also some mention of a horrifying juice cleanse. Oh yeah, and Halo 4.

05:20 - Assassin's Creed 3
21:00 - Knights of Pen & Paper
29:35 - Halftime: Polygon launch party
33:30 - Angry Birds Star Wars
39:30 - Halo 4

Theme song by Ian Dorsch
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Nov 09, 2012
The Besties Podcast 33

So it turns out that we don't actually know how to count to 33 in roman numerals, so we're going with tried-and-true 'Merican numbers from now on. Other changes include a new theme song by the talented Ian Dorsch and we're no longer bleeping out cuss words, so tread carefully! With that out of the way, after an unfortunate delay, The Besties are back. Half of them were slammed by Hurricane Sandy while the other half basked with mai tais and sangria. Weather or no, many games were played this week and a new game of the week was crowned.

06:00 - Assassin's Creed 3
15:00 - Hotline Miami
20:45 - Halftime: Hurricane Sandy and Dracula
28:40 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted
38:30 - Punch Quest

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Nov 02, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXXII

Besties! Those stunning changes you were expecting?'ll have to wait on those. The Besties are back, in pretty much the form you remember them in. But the changes! They're coming! We swear! And no, the changes don't involve us stopping the podcast. Sorry to disappoint! Ran into a few audio issues this week, so if you hear us talking over each other more than normal, blame evil, evil technology.

04:00 - Retro City Rampage
12:15 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown
18:30 - Halftime: Denpa Men & Spycraft
29:50 - Dishonored

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Oct 19, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXXI (archive)

Special thanks to Salivation Army for recovering this episode from the archives!

Oct 07, 2012
The Besties Podcast xXx

Besties! Here's our State of the Union: We love video games. Much like Vin Diesel or (to a lesser extent) Ice Cube before us. Won't your join us for our 30th show-ebration? We certainly hope you will.

04:30 - Griffin McElroy - Little Big Planet Vita (PS Vita)
13:00 - Chris Plante - Torchlight 2 (PC)
26:00 - Halftime: Mr. Frushtick Goes to Japan
31:45 - Justin McElroy - The Testament of Sherlock Holmes (PC, 360, PS3)
39:30 - THE DECISION by Russ Frushtick

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Sep 28, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXIX (archive)

Special thanks to Salivation Army for recovering this episode from the archive!

Sep 20, 2012
The Besties Podcast: Wii U special

Besties! Straight up: We didn't play anything this week. There. We said it. Also, Russ Frushtick is in Japan, so we thought that we'd talk about yesterday's big Wii U event where pricing, dates and much more was revealed. So, what'd we think? Well, you'll have to listen, it took us like a half hour to make. Straight up: We didn't play anything this week. There. We said it. Also, Russ Frushtick is in Japan, so we thought that we'd talk about yesterday's big Wii U event where pricing, dates and much more was revealed. So, what'd we think? Well, you'll have to listen, it took us like a half hour to make. Also, our boss, Chris Grant is there. In closing: Funky Barn.

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Sep 14, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXVII

Besties! Besties! An old friend visits the show, proclaiming a love for the mightiest shape of them all. There's also some talk about overly complicated board games and the importance of maintaining one's composure when being a ninja. Also, Plante worries about pumpkin-spiced lattes. Welcome, once again, to The Besties.

05:00 - Griffin McElroy - Borderlands 2 (360, PC, PS3)
16:30 - Chris Plante - Rayman Jungle Run (iOS)
26:15 - Halftime: iOS 6 is a snore
31:15 - Justin McElroy - FTL (PC/Mac)
50:30 - THE DECISION by Chris Grant

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Sep 07, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXVI

Besties! This week on The Besties, Griffiin returns from his escapades. What do the Mannequin movies and Pokemon have in common? So, so much. This week on The Besties, Griffin returns from travelling around the world and Justin attempts to take control of the insanity. We also learn all about the magic of Mexican poop worms.

5:30 - Chris Plante - McPixel (iOS/Android/PC/Mac/Linnux)
11:30 - Griffin McElroy - New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
21:40 - Halftime: Mexico!
26:00 - Russ Frushtick - Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (360/PS3/PC)
39:50 - THE DECISION by Justin McElroy

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Aug 31, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXV (archive)

Special thanks to Salivation Army for recovering this episode from the archive!

Aug 25, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXIV

Besties! You know you want to spend the weekend with The Besties. How could you not? Another week has come and gone, and The Besties are here to let you know what games you should be playing. This week, Griffin is in Germany, so the honey-voiced Dave Tach fills in with a seriously depressing game. We also have our very first non-human guest. And Justin eats a pear. Breaking boundaries, wherever we go.

3:10 Dave Tach - Papo and Yo (PSN)
11:30 Justin McElroy - Sleeping Dogs (360/PS3)
24:00 Halftime: Plante likes iOS games
26:10 Russ Frushtick - Dust: The Elysian Tail (XBLA)
33:45 THE DECISION by Chris Plante

Music: "Little Marcus" by George & Jonathan
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Aug 17, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXIII

Besties! Your friends The Besties are back with the audio security blanket you need to help snuggle you into the weekend. This week on The Besties, we continue to deal with the staggering lack of releases during the summer months. We get a blast from the past with an unfortunate guest and examine the importance of breakfast in Germany. Also, in a shocking turn, Justin likes FMV games.


Aug 10, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXII (archive)

Special thanks to Salivation Army for recovering this episode from the archives!

Jul 28, 2012
The Besties Podcast XXI

In a week of mediocre games, the Besties turns to gas station sandwiches for entertainment.

This week on The Besties, Griffin's request for bombast is delivered by a mysterious figure from the South. Meanwhile, Dave Tach, the man with cherrywood vocal chords, fills in for a vacationing Justin McElroy. Will Spelunky remain the standing champion? Which demographic will Russ Frushtick offend? Can you find good food at a pitstop? There's only one way to find out!

Jul 27, 2012
The Besties Podcast XX

This week on The Besties, Griffin returns and demands bombast from a fellow co-host. There's also some discussion about whether dolphins can survive in space.

Jul 20, 2012
The Besties Podcast XIX

Your friends The Besties are back with the only reason you get out of bed on Fridays. Join us as we pit the new games of the week against each other to find out which one reigns supreme. Also: Tiny Wings 2! And the epic conclusion of the Mousepocalypse!

Jul 13, 2012
The Besties Podcast XVIII

This week doesn't seem like a fair fight, but at least your buddies The Besties are still getting along. This week: Hear how honestly terrified Justin is of mice, walk the exotic wasteland that is Huntington, WV and be there when a new king game is crowned!

Jul 06, 2012
The Besties Podcast XVII

In this time and political and Today Show-centric turmoil, it's comforting to know your friends The Besties are constant. Some iOS game you've never heard of? Check. Russ Frushtick doing a terrible European accent. You betcha. Come, bask in our stability.

Jun 29, 2012
The Besties Podcast XVI

The Besties settle in for a long summer which may not be the most robust in terms of quality game releases. Justin describes the woes of Steel Battalion, Griffin gives some advice to Wizards of the Coast and there's some discussion over whether Gravity Rush should have actually beaten out Max Payne 3 last week. Also yuks.

Jun 22, 2012
The Besties Podcast XV

The Besties are back from their E3 sojourn and they've been playing all the latest games so they can talk about them, for that is the social contract you and they have entered into. Also, Russ Frushtick shares the sad, sad story of attempting to do a pull-up.

Jun 15, 2012
The Besties Podcast XIV

The Besties square off on Ghost Recon, Dragon's Dogma and Resistance: Burning Skies.

The Commish returns to dole out more Besties justice. This week we've got three big games, but a special nod to a fourth game, Slingshot Racing, which offers up single-touch iOS racing enjoyment with grappling hooks. Plus we're introduced to Special Boy, Justin's ward.

Jun 01, 2012
The Besties Podcast XIII

The Besties square off on Diablo 3, Max Payne 3 and Quest for Glory.

In what they hope will be the final rule change for at least a few weeks, The Besties introduce a commissioner to help them select the best game of the week. Also, Russ does a Max Payne impression, Justin infuriates Diablo 3 fans and Chris Plante whisks you away to Europe.

May 25, 2012
The Besties Podcast XII

The Besties return with their most unusual rule change yet: They've completely forgone making any sort of decision an instead created an robot version of their editor-in-chief Chris Grant to choose a winner for them.

... Yeah, it's one of those kinds of episodes.

May 11, 2012
The Besties Podcast XI

The Besties return with what's likely to be the most comprehensive discussion of flume and flume-adjacent theme park rides you've ever heard in a podcast. Also? Video games! (Note: You may notice a little audio weirdness: Take heart, we've corrected the problem, and it won't happen again!)

May 04, 2012
The Besties Podcast X

This week on The Besties, we've promised to dethrone Journey as the Game of the Year, but will we actually deliver? Can Journey bring about world peace before the show ends? Also, we welcome world-renowned indie developer Jean Baptiste. It's a profound moment.

This week on The Besties, we've promised to dethrone Journey as the Game of the Year, but will we actually deliver? Or can Journey bring about world peace before the show ends? Also, we welcome world-renowned indie developer Jean Baptiste into the studio, which we predict will be a ... divisive moment.

Apr 27, 2012
The Besties Podcast IX

This week on the Besties podcast, Chris Plante expresses his love of pig-related games and talks about his romantic physical therapy experience. We also answer the question: Can a motorcycle single-handedly win World War II? The answer: Yes. Finally, the clock is ticking on Journey, which has thus far failed to achieve true world peace.

Apr 20, 2012
The Besties Podcast VIII

We're all slowly recuperating from the emotional and physical gauntlet which is PAX East, but that didn't stop us from playing the latest games and forcing them to fight each other in an epic, heart-wrenching battle. Be there as Griffin mistakes a human man for a trashcan and we give Journey a deadline for bringing about peace in the Middle East.

Apr 13, 2012
The Besties go to PAX East 2012: A Video Spectacular

Typically, your friends The Besties are hunched like so many scurvy-ridden sailors over their laptops as they pit the week's best games against each other in a fight to the death. But since they were all in one zip code for a change at PAX East, they figured, "Hey, let's take this fight to the streets."

So join Chris Plante, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy and Russ Frushtick as they scream, run, cajole and Johann Sebastian Joust their way to a new champion.

Apr 11, 2012
The Besties Podcast VII

We're a little late but no less passionate for our favorite games of the week. Be there when Griffin makes a case for a game he, in fact, quantifiably does not like. Enjoy Chris' realization that his game is wholly inappropriate for our program. Enjoy a lovely, yet impossible to safely describe adventure game from Justin and Frushtick gives it his all with Hunters 2 and yet falls tragically short.

Apr 08, 2012
The Besties Podcast - VI

This week on The Besties: Plante goes on a safari for the wild "cereal gorilla," Russ tries to convince us that Ouch, My Balls should be the best game of the week, Justin waxes poetic about Sherlock Holmes and Betamax and Griffin refuses to share his secret video game pie.

Mar 30, 2012
The Besties Podcast - V

Last week, we decided that Journey had the ability to bring about peace in the Middle East, what's gonna have even half a shot at beating a game like that? You buddies The Besties are trying to find out! Won't you join them? We hope you will.

Mar 23, 2012
The Besties Podcast IV

We've welcomed Griffin back to our bosom after his absence last week, and he's brought a pretty darn heavy hitter with him: Mass Effect 3. We've had plenty of predictions that Commander Shepard will take the top slot and ride it to December, is that how it all shakes out? Will Russ' dumb marshmallow game thwart his plans? Is anything in Mass Effect 3 better than current favorite SSX's feature that lets you race against the ghost times of your dead father ... and in doing so keep him alive in perpetuity?

Mar 16, 2012
The Besties Podcast III (from the archive)

This episode of The Besties was recorded in a hotel room in San Francisco (hence the garbage audio). But hey, that's what happens when we all (except for Griffin) have to travel for GDC 2012!

Mar 09, 2012
The Besties Podcast III (Live from GDC 2012)

If the audio sounds weird it's because we recorded this, the third ever Besties episode, in a hotel room in San Francisco.

Mar 09, 2012
The Besties Podcast — II

Justin McElroy, Russ Frushtick, Chris Plante and Griffin McElroy return with a new batch of contenders for the world's most prestigious honor: The Bestie. Which of their top picks of the week will reign supreme? And will it be enough to take the top slot from current champion Ziggurat? Listen and find out!

Mar 03, 2012
The Besties: Game of the Year, all year long

It's Game of the Year meets King of the Hill as four of Earth's best friends discuss the week's new releases and decide if any will topple whatever game currently holds the honor. Will Killstroke 4: The Bloodening dethrone your favorite and claim the coveted Bestie award? How long can Professor Wigglebottom's Puzzle Bordello keep hold of the top spot? The choice is in the capable hands of Vox Games' Chris Plante, Justin McElroy, Russ Frushtick and Griffin McElroy. The Besties: Because shouldn't the best of games be chosen by the best of friends?

Feb 24, 2012