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The Besties

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?

Episodes

Podcast: The Besties: It Is, Once Again, Pizza Time with Shredder's Revenge

We're serving up game criticism on a half shell and trashing like a million Foot Clan conscripts as we discuss TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, Tribute's modern take on Konami's classic beat-em-up series.Also: Mailbag's full! Let's dump it on out. Also discussed: Fall Guys, Fortnite, Yakuza 0, Rogue Legacy 2, Pokemon Shield, Five Dates [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 24 at 4:24 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Kicking it Super Hard with Mario Strikers: Battle League

You know Mario, from Mario? He's so much more than a jumping plumber, you know. He's doing soccer now, too. I mean, he's been doing soccer, and a lot of other stuff, and we're going to be talking about ALL that while we share some thoughts about Mario Strikers: Battle League. Games discussed: No Man's Sky, Rogue Legacy 2, Path of Exile, Fortnite, Vampire Survivor, Yakuza 0 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 21 at 2:42 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Whale Watching in Diablo Immortal

Join us as we bust out our phones and apply for a high interest personal loan with Diablo Immortal! How does Blizzard's hack and slash RPG hold up on phones, and how close has it brought us to abject financial ruin? Find out within. Games discussed: Diablo Immortal, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy XVI, Soda Crisis, Sniper Elite 5, Super Auto Pets, V Rising [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 13 at 3:42 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: The Ghost of E3s Past (And Present, And Also Future)

Sure, E3 isn't "officially" happening this year, but there's still a lot of hot, hot gaming news dropping over the next couple of weeks! Join us as we discuss the evolution (and de-evolution) of the industry's (former) big summer event, and what we can expect from The Triple in years to come. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 7 at 8:18 PM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Acting Like a Bunch of Draculas in V Rising

This week, we're chatting about an up-and-comer on the Steam charts — the vampire survival sim V Rising. Find out why we're so smitten; with special guest Travis McElroy! Games discussed: V Rising, Everquest TLP, Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus, Vampire Survivors, Stardew Valley. Direct Episode Link [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jun 3 at 7:55 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: The Sleeper Hits of Spring 2022

This week, we're circling back with some of the lil' guys you might have missed this Spring while you were traipsing in the bluebonnets, or collecting berries or whatever. Games discussed: Shotgun King, Vampire Survivors, Haiku the Robot, Mini Motorways on Switch, OlliOlli World, Dungeons of Dreadrock, Rogue Legacy 2, Peglin, Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?, Songpop Party, Forager, Fall Guys, Citizen Sleeper [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on May 20 at 1:02 PM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Definitive Power Ranking of Star Wars Games

In today's episode, we're exploring the absolutely pristine history of Star Wars video games, and assigning each of them a grade in an EXTREMELY scientific and deliberate manner. It's a journey, y'all. Also discussed: Nobody Saves the World on Switch, Death's Gambit: Ashes of Vados, Fortnite, Rogue Legacy 2 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on May 16 at 3:19 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Showcasing Our Athleticism with Nintendo Switch Sports

This week, we're tapping into the Old Ways of E-Bowling and Cyber-Tennis in Nintendo Switch Sports! It's like falling off a log, only the log is a sword, and we're using it to battle our children. Also discussed: Halo Infinite Season 2, Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe, Knotwords [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on May 6 at 8:47 AM - 2 comments

Podcast: The Besties: How to Keep a Child Entertained (and Other Impossibilities)

Today on the show we're answering a long-requested question: What sorts of games do you play with kids? The Besties weigh in on some of their chosen diversions. Games discussed include: Monster Legends, ABCYa/ABCMouse/PBSkids, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby and the Forgotten World, Roblox, The Room, Humongous Games, and Chuchel. Direct Episode Link [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on May 3 at 9:39 AM - 3 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Video Game Movie Canon with Kahlief Adams

With the McElboys on tour, Plante and Frushtick bring in a special guest, Kahlief Adams of the Spawn on Me podcast, to talk about just what makes a great video game movie, and whether we could narrow down five that best represent the medium. Also, what's up with those Goombas? [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 22 at 6:46 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Spoiling the Heck Out of Elden Ring

Look, we told you we'd be talking about Elden Ring for a very long time, and here we are, doing just that. We're going to be talking about the game's first half, and then, after a brief interlude, the second half! And then we're gonna talk about it less in the future, probably! Other media discussed: Sonic 2, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Old Enough, Perfect Tides, Minx [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 15 at 1:38 AM - 8 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Magical Butts of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

We're ditching the gruesome violence of the Borderlands franchise in exchange for the whimsical violence of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands; an exchange that then inspires us to reinvent Doom for an all-ages audience. Also discussed: The Afterparty, Dragon Quest V, Bloons TD 6+, All in the Timing [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 13 at 2:53 AM - 5 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Kirby and the Forgotten Stomach

This week we're diving into the latest installment of the long-running Kirby franchise, Kirby and the Forgotten Land. We'll also discuss Sony's attempt to take on the juggernaut that is Game Pass with its new PlayStation Plus service. Other games discussed: 13 Sentinels, Tunic. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 7 at 1:53 AM - 4 comments

Podcast: The Besties: How to play Elden Ring: a kind guide for beginners [The Resties]

Elden Ring is amazing, but it's also intimidating. Since we'll be talking about the game on The Besties throughout 2022, we wanted to help newcomers and lapsed Dark Souls fans take their first steps into this beautiful, but sometimes unforgiving world. Join us as we discuss the best starting class, where to invest upgrades, and the many unspoken rules you should know as you grow from a timid target to the one and only Elden Lord. Plus, more talk on Steam Deck and Valve's surprise, free Portal spin-off. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Mar 11 at 3:01 AM - 3 comments

Podcast: The Besties: We'll Be Talking About Elden Ring for a Long Time

Consider the title of this episode a warning: Elden Ring is a game that we're gonna be discussing A LOT for the foreseeable future, starting in this very episode. Join us as we discuss what works about From Software's new open-world Souls-like, which is to say, everything. Other games discussed: Puzzle Quest 3, Steam Deck, Colin Farrell [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Mar 4 at 3:55 AM - 3 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Fun with Robosaurs in Horizon: Forbidden West

It's feast or famine out there, games-wise, and this week's a FEAST: We're talking about Sony's newest first-party blockbuster, Horizon: Forbidden West. Also, Destiny 2's new expansion is out! And it's pretty good! Other games discussed: Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Magic the Gathering Arena, Hollow Knight, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Celeste, Terraria, The Room [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Mar 3 at 3:33 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Besties 10th Anniversary Game of the Decade Spectacular

To celebrate our tenth year of intractable debate over which video games are better than the other video games, we're doing EXACTLY THAT. For over an hour. We're pitting the best games of the last decade against one another, and only ONE survives. (One game, we mean. All the hosts are doing just fine.) Direct Episode Link [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 25 at 2:55 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Raging Against the Dying Light 2

This week we're discussing Dying Light 2, a game that poses a novel question: What if dead people turned into monsters and you had to hit them with pipes and stuff? Also, we calculate the precise amount of time games are allowed to not be fun before they get fun. Also discussed: OlliOlli World, Finding Drago, Vampire Survivors, Everyday Shooter. Direct Episode Link. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 13 at 4:08 AM - 4 comments

Podcast: The Besties: We Gotta Go Back in Time with Pokemon Legends Arceus

Wondering what's next for the Pokemon franchise? Just how many games could they put out that are basically the same thing? Well, we finally have something pretty dramatically different! The gang dives into Pokemon Legends: Arceus and whether this is finally the game to recommend to newcomers to the franchise. Also discussed: Vampire Survivors, Station Eleven and, yes, Roblox. Direct Episode Link. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 10 at 4:06 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The (Other) Best Games of the Last 10 Years

As we build towards our 10 year anniversary in February, we decided to look back at some of the winners of The Besties Game of the Year throughout the decade. Were we right? Were we wrong? Let's find out! Each year we'll take a look at the original winner and decide what we'd put up as an alternate to go against it. You won't believe what we have for 2017! Or maybe you will. Yeah, you probably will. Direct Episode Link. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 6 at 11:57 PM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Everybody Loves Nobody Saves the World

Things come full circle as we once again dip into the Drinkbox catalogue with their newest Action RPG title, Nobody Saves the World! Also, we discuss the enormous and dumb implications of Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard. Also discussed: A bunch of old Activision titles that will definitely never be revived, Station Eleven, Peacemaker, Hawkeye. Direct episode link. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 4 at 1:38 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: Fortnite Got Buckwild When We Weren't Looking

Direct episode link since FanFare doesn't love the feed. We like to think of ourselves as four cool dads who have their finger on the pulse of what's hip with young gamers. That's why, in the year of our lord 2022, we're spending a whole episode discussing Fortnite, a game that has gone COMPLETELY off the rails in the past few years. Other  media discussed include: Mario Paint, Illusion of Gaia, General Chaos, Haunting, Some Baby Mario Game Russ Can't Remember, How To With John Wilson, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, Keys and Kingdoms [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 1 at 7:35 AM - 2 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 2022's Most Anticipated Games

We're jumping into the next 12 months with gusto. These are the games we'll be watching, including some games that were on our 2021 list but didn't actually come out. Games discussed: Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, Rune Factory 5, Triangle Strategy, Elden Ring, Starfield, Skin Deep, Sonic Frontiers, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Stray, STALKER 2, Tunic, Cursed to Golf, Horizon Forbidden West, Wordle, Record of Lodoss War - Deelit in Wonder Labyrinth, Coral Island, After Life, Nine Days, Fortnite, the Analogue Pocket. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 28 at 5:30 AM - 2 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Besties Game of the Year Spectacular - Part Two

THE RITUAL IS COMPLETE. Once again, we've weighed the merits of EVERY VIDEO GAME released in 2021, and named one of them the ultimate victor. May the Gaming Gods bless us with an even richer crop in the coming year, and also happy holidays, or whatever. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 25 at 12:21 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Besties Game of the Year Spectacular - Part One

It's the day of the show, y'all! We've got a sweet sixteen games from this year up for the GOTY consideration, and by the end of the episode, we'll have whittled them down to an exquisite eight. Join us for a extra-long episode as we begin arbitrarily smashing these pieces of software together until only one survives! [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 20 at 1:36 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: The Grappling Hook Brings You Back to Halo Infinite

How much can a single device — one that's been present in video games as long as there's been video games — renovate the Halo formula? As it turns out: A whole bunch. Join us as we discuss Halo Infinite's campaign and multiplayer modes, and talk at length about where Chief's poop goes.Games discussed: Halo Infinite, Loop Hero on Switch, Binding of Isaac (again), Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker (briefly) [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 18 at 1:57 AM - 2 comments

Podcast: The Besties: Our Fall Favorites Leading into GOTY Season

As we near the thrilling climax of 2021, we're taking a seasonal approach to see what games stood out over the last three (or so) months. Joining us this week is Kirk Hamilton (of the Triple Click and Strong Songs podcasts) to dive into this giant leaf pile that is the fall release calendar. Games discussed: Metroid Dread, Resident Evil 4 VR, Deathloop, Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye, Death's Gambit Afterlife, Forza Horizon 5, Inscryption, Archvale, The Binding of Isaac Repentence, and Wildermyth. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 14 at 1:25 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 11 at 8:06 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 9 at 12:27 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: 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 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 5 at 6:09 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Jan 1 at 1:31 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 27, 2021 at 2:29 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 25, 2021 at 5:55 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 21, 2021 at 2:11 AM - 6 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [note: posting the backlog starting from 10/1/2021 at rate of one / three days, so the accessibility discussion will go up on Tuesday!] [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 18, 2021 at 12:36 AM - 0 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 15, 2021 at 7:24 AM - 5 comments

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 12, 2021 at 6:56 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: 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. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 9, 2021 at 12:03 AM - 1 comment

Podcast: The Besties: 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! [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:05 AM - 2 comments