It’s impossible to keep up with and play every video game out there. Each week, a handful of new games are released, along with a slew of news stories pertaining to the industry. One of the best ways to stay updated on everything is by listening to video game podcasts.
As we ramp up toward the next generation, staying informed is a great way to help make a decision on which new system to get. Or, maybe you’re on the fence about a recently released game and want an honest opinion on it. Video game podcasts can be invaluable to learn about the medium’s history and can help you when making purchase decisions.
Many large gaming sites have their own podcast, with panels made up of the outlet’s staff or freelancers. Other gaming podcasts feature hosts who were once a part of reputable gaming sites. The point is that the best podcasts often comprise knowledgeable panelists, featuring experts in many disciplines. With that in mind, there is a huge breadth of shows to choose from, many of which have their own shtick or focus. In this list, we’ll go through some of the internet’s best video game podcasts.
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If you’re in the gaming sphere, you’ve probably heard of IGN. The company actually has several different podcasts, each with their own focus, but Game Scoop! is the only one that encompasses all pillars of gaming — from PS4 to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile. You can check out IGN’s other shows if you want to stick to one platform, but if you’re looking for a more general podcast, with a knowledgeable crew, you might like Game Scoop! It combines general news and retro throwbacks, with fun little segments to keep things fresh. Every episode ends with Video Game 20 Questions, so you always have something to look forward to. This is definitely a great show to keep up with as we approach the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
IGN’s other platform-specific shows are as follows:
- Podcast Unlocked – Xbox
- Podcast Beyond – PlayStation
- Nintendo Voice Chat – Nintendo
What’s Good Games: A Video Game Podcast
The video game industry tends to focus a lot on men, which is why it’s refreshing to see What’s Good Games highlight some of the most talented women in games media. What’s Good Games is run by Andrea Rene, who you might have seen on GameStop TV and Kinda Funny Games; Brittney Brombacher of BlondeNerd.com; and Kristine Steimer of IGN and PlayStation. The three have vast knowledge of the industry, from PR to hosting and editorial work, all from the perspective of women — which let’s face it, is something we absolutely need more of in games. In terms of production quality, it doesn’t get much better than What’s Good Games.
Perhaps you want a hefty podcast that runs for close to three hours for many of its episodes. If so, the Giant Bombcast might be for you. Hosted by the crew over at Giant Bomb, this weekly podcast goes in-depth with news, recent releases, and messages from the audience. The Giant Bomb team is small, so the audience tends to connect with them much more than a site with a huge editorial staff. What you get with Giant Bombcast is a thoughtful, funny show, with less of a focus on the business side of the industry and more emphasis on playing games.
PS I Love You XOXO
Originally starting around the time Kinda Funny first began in 2015, PS I Love You XOXO was a lighthearted PlayStation-focused show, starring ex-IGN editors Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty. After Moriarty’s departure from the company in 2017, the show ended but was brought back in early 2020 with Blessing Adeoye serving as Miller’s co-host. The format of the show has changed slightly since its inception, but it still offers a mix of old and new PlayStation coverage, from the point of view of some of the industry’s most passionate professionals. The show tends to keep things light, but that doesn’t detract from the smart conversations the two hosts have with each other and the massive audience.
Kinda Funny also offers myriad other gaming (and non-gaming) shows:
- Kinda Funny Games Daily
- Kinda Funny Gamescast
Stemming after Colin Moriarty’s departure from Kinda Funny, Colin’s Last Stand (CLS) was born, giving the ex-IGN editor a platform for the most popular PlayStation podcast, Sacred Symbols. In it, Moriarty and YouTuber Chris “Ray Gun” Maldonado take a deep dive into all things PlayStation, covering the weekly news, current releases, and discussions with the audience. The show is informative, as its hosts have a long history with not just PlayStation, but video games in general. Throw in a little dark humor and you get one of the best video game podcasts on the internet. And they aren’t afraid to cover the lesser discussed pillars of PlayStation, from PS Vita to PSVR.
CLS also features Knockback, a retro podcast focusing on older pieces of media from games, movies, and TV.
Triple Click Podcast
In yet another podcast that has spawned from hosts who have hailed from a large gaming outlet, Triple Click features Maddy Myers, Kirk Hamilton, and Jason Schreier doing what they do best: Talk about video games. The hosts have all worked at Kotaku at one time and originally hosted on the company’s own podcast, Splitscreen. Following Hamilton’s departure from Kotaku and the eventual departure of Myers, along with Schreier earlier this year, the trio decided to begin a new show, in which they cover a specific topic on each episode, along with current gaming events and listener questions. Given the trio’s connections within the industry, it’s a smart show with lots of humor and, of course, discussions about the weather.
Spawn on Me
Spawn on Me is a video game podcast focused on people of color in the industry. Led by industry veteran Kahlief Adams, the show advocates for more inclusion of non-white individuals in game development and games media. Adams highlights important people of color in the games industry and gives them a platform to shine while highlighting their work. Many of the individuals who appear on the show offer insightful and interesting takes on topics including the editorial side of games coverage, development, and everything in between. It’s one of the smaller shows on this list, in terms of listenership, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Unlike most of the shows on this list, Retronauts is a history podcast mostly about retro games — hence the name. In it, the panel discusses important games of the past and how they’ve impacted the current games of today. They also feature guests who offer intelligent takes on the history of games, spanning 40 years. The show used to be affiliated with 1Up, but after the outlet went belly up, Retronauts continued. While the crew doesn’t exclusively talk about retro games, the topics are often tied to older games from the past in some way.
The hosts of Waypoint Radio are Vice staffers Austin Walker, Rob Zacny, Patrick Klepek, and Ricardo Contreras. With a healthy blend of video game discussion and industry news, the staffers keep things interesting. The podcast also covers the role of video games in the world. The crew isn’t afraid to discuss politics and other pressing real-world issues related to video games, so don’t expect to always listen to lighthearted topics. Still, the panel is immensely funny. With laughs and insightful video game discussions, Waypoint Radio makes an excellent choice when picking a podcast on Spotify. Many shows on this list tend to only stick within the realm of games. But since news events tend to blend into the video game industry, it’s often topical and informative to cover games the way Vice’s crew does.
GameSpot After Dark
A relatively new podcast compared to the others on this list, GameSpot After Dark is a product of GameSpot with host Jake Dekker. You’ll also hear from other notable personalities in the company, like Lucy James, Tamoor Hussain, and Michael Hingham. It may feel similar in format, but the real draw is GameSpot After Dark’s cast. The hosts bring on diverse and fascinating guests designed to highlight many aspects of the industry, with many focusing on different pillars of gaming. The result is a well-rounded show with a little something for everyone. Whether you favor anime games, Dark Souls, or Destiny, After Dark is worth a listen.
Axe of the Blood God
Axe of the Blood God is a welcome change from most gaming podcasts, most of which stick to discussions about gaming overall. Axe of the Blood God, the official role-playing game (RPG) podcast of USgamer, puts the spotlight on RPG territory alone.
RPGs are underrepresented in most podcasts. Hosts Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford are brilliant RPG scholars who cover everything from Pokémon to Fable and Fallout. These experts put out a friendly vibe that makes them easy to listen to. They explore all things RPG without getting aggressive. Add this one to your everyday podcast list and learn about an overlooked genre.
You’re busy enough playing your essential games, and it’s not always easy to find time to stay up to date on everything else happening in the gaming industry. We get it. But the proper balance of podcasts will update you on recent news, teach about theory, and inspire you. These podcasts have a ton to offer and cover a wide range of topics, so give each one a try and fine-tune your ideal lineup. Who knows, these reliable podcast hosts might even help you discover your new favorite game.
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