Gaming Podcasts - Good, Bad, and Nerdy

Recommend me some gaming podcasts.

We’ve had informal bunch of podcast referendums recently, but in several different threads, and I want a one-stop-shop place to get new gaming podcast recommendations. I will start another thread in EE soon about non-gaming podcasts, so save your This American Life love for that thread.

GFW Radio is my current favorite. They’re funny, smart, well-informed, and usually completely off topic. Best of all they get a big kick out of hanging out with each other and yakking, so you really get the sense of a bunch of buddies hanging out and jawing about shit they like.

Gamers With Jobs is great, too. It’s more ‘mature’ in the sense that they usually don’t stray into talking about sex fetishes and childhood pranks, but they’re still a cool group of guys with some good info and well-defined opinions on the news of the day. There’s a bit more PC gaming represented here, which I like, being more of a PC gamer than a console kid.

1up Yours is the industry standard podcast, I think, and is regularly great. They’ve got a good mix of perspectives, and though Garnett tends to get drunk too often it’s a great listen every week.

One Life Left is a great British podcast that KieronGillen turned me onto about 9 months ago, I think partly because they regularly mention him on it. It’s funny, regularly off-topic, and has a great way of not taking the gaming industry and hobby very seriously.

The PCGamer podcast and EGM Live are okay in a pinch, but tend to bug me, and the recent Giant BombCast from Giant Bomb was almost unlistenable. They talked about energy drinks and cars, and my brain almost jumped out of my body and ran into traffic.

1up yours can be annoying when they’re all wrong about the same thing and no one corrects each other, but I listen, anyway.

One Life Left is probably my favorite to listen to. It’s the most entertaining easily, and they make sure to hit everything worth talking about without settling on a “we’re going to talk about xxx thing that’s only relevant if you like the genre for an hour today”

PS3 Nation / now ps3 fanboy connected is pretty good, I’ve listened to them for awhile, they actually talk about a lot more than just sony stuff

I like the Joystiq podcast, it can get a bit nerdy sometimes though

EGM Live I probably actually like better than 1up yours, but it’s difficult to gauge because it depends what they’re talking about that week.

I don’t really like Player One Podcast though, although I keep listening waiting for it to get better

Game Theory is quite good

Mostly I listen to Retronauts, followed closely by Penny Arcade’s “Downloadable Content” podcast whenever they actually get around to making one. GfW’s podcast (whatever it’s going to be called now) is solid, 1UP Yours is good but overlong. I tried an episode of One Life Left and it did nothing for me but I’ll try another episode or two to be sure.

The funny thing about my love for Retronauts is that I only really have about ten years of PC history and 5 of console history under my belt - I go back and fiddle with older games now and then, but not regularly - and so a lot of the time I don’t have the nostalgia that would presumably be a driving force of retro-oriented coverage like Retronauts provides. And yet I enjoy it immensely.

I love Downloadable Content! Something about the way the Penny Arcade guys get off on each other is just awesome. The comic rarely does anything for me, but I love listening to their creative process. Now if only they did one more than every other month or so…

And Retronauts is hit or miss for me. I like it when I can relate to the game, or know something about the series, but when I can’t I get really, really distracted by how mean, snide, and misanthropic the guys are. I like it when people enjoy each other’s company, not try to out-knowledgise each other. It’s no mistake that I don’t have any friends like the Retronauts guys. That said, they can do some really good shows from time to time.

I don’t get anything like that from it, personally. They disagree sometimes on the merits of the games they’re talking about, but I don’t remember anyone actually getting genuinely upset or mean about it.

Worth stressing that “mention” normally means “insult”.


DoomMunky has 4/5 of my weekly podcast lineup there. Toss in Game Theory and I have 5 days worth of entertainment for the ride to and from work.

If I had to pick just one though, GFW Radio is by far my favorite.

Also, it’s not as much of a problem with the podcasts mentioned above, but I really really hate it when they can’t seem to normalize the volume of their voices. It’s very annoying to have one guy who sounds like he is always shouting and one guy I can barely hear.

After trying many podcasts the only one I still listen to is the CAGCast, which I think is kind of a dark-horse in the category of video game podcasts. I like how it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but can still go through all the hot topics. The only downside is there is no coverage of PC games, so I am still trying to find one that will fit that niche.

I have heard from CAGCast that Gerstmann’s new podcast for his site, Giant Bomb, is decent but I haven’t listened to it myself.

You hit the high notes. I can only offer the crowd in the back. I’ll give One Life Left a shot. So…

GDC Radio - I’m not sure what’s going on lately due to a lack of updates from their feed but they do have some GDC 2008 lectures. This one offers a pretty good mix of game industry lectures and interviews.

Played - This one is often hit or miss but often worth it in a pinch.

Gaming Steve - Steve used to have a great podcast. Now, it’s only ok. Apparently, having a kid takes a bit of your free time.

Blazing Prattles - This is the Crispy Gamer one. So far, I’ve only listened to a couple. It seems ok. We’ll see.

XPlay offers a video podcast, which is a nice way to avoid the stuff you don’t feel like watching.

The 1Up Show (a video podcast) is the best video game TV show available in any format.

I recommend Insomniac’s Full Moon Show, Bungie’s Podcast, and Tales of Heroes. All 3 are solid. Tales of Heroes and the companion video podcast are highly recomended if you play Company if Heroes even a little bit.

GFW is #1 if only for its unedited, conversational tone. It’s practically more of a pop culture podcast than anything else, but it’s my absolute favorite. It’s the one I look forward to every week.

EGM feels more structured than 1up Yours, though when they get Crispin on the mic, it quickly goes to hilarious hell. Which is for the best!

Game Theory is good, I like Colin and I like Gary, but for whatever reasons I almost always find their guests to be unbelievably boring. They also tend to favor Michael Pachter a hell of a lot more than I would.

OXM is okay. It’s what you might expect from an official X-Box magazine podcast. The hosts, Dan and Ryan, come across as fairly flat a lot of the time, but the interviews are generally pretty good and they’ve recently gotten some surprising scoops. (They were the source of the first 200 endings for Fallout story.)

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the PC Gamer podcast yet. I only like half of the cast and Gary Whitta hasn’t been on it in weeks, but I still DL it week after week and usually listen to it after everything else. I like Logan and Chuck enough that it balances out my dislike for Dan Stapleton, though Norm Chan is like having verbal cancer pumped directly into your ears.

I listen to Legendary Thread when it comes out, even though I no longer play WoW. It’s not a very good podcast. I just really like Sean Malloy and Jeff Green. Despite their presence, the conversation on it tends to be stilted and one comes away with the possible impression that none of them actually like WoW anymore.

I haven’t bothered with Major Nelson in a while, but it looks like the iTunes feed is dead. So I donno if the podcast is just plain gone or what.

Do they record the PC Gamer podcast over Skype or something? I really do enjoy it, but with that many people there’s a lot of talking over one another, which sounds awful over whatever they’re using.

I assume Game Theory and KOXM use Skype or something like that as well, but it sounds much better with the smaller casts.

EGM Live is decent, and I kinda like the direct they’re taking it in with multiple little discussions with various, smaller casts in each show. If they could structure it a little bit better and have it become more stable, I think it’s be more enjoyable.

I do like the Giant Bombcast, or whatever they’re calling it, but I could see how Gerstmann and Davis’ style would annoy some people. I sort of view them as hardcore-casual gamers. They don’t really seem lock themselves into a single game or genre (although that’s one thing I like about Shawn Elliot and Norm Chan), and they sort of approach games with an everyman point of view.

GFW Radio - great. 1UP Yours - great.

I’ve listened to a few of the Player One podcasts, and I like those guys (they’re all old EGM/GameNOW guys or something, right?) but I don’t care much for the games they cover. Also, there was an episode I listened to that had music playing in the background for much of it - I don’t know if they normally do that but if they do they have to cut it out.

360 Fanboy podcast isn’t great, but I still find it pretty enjoyable. I think if I played more Halo 3 I’d like it more - they do a really decent job covering the community content stuff.

The IGN Podcasts are all pretty weak, and I dunno why they only have one RSS feed for all of the shows. I don’t want all of the shows!

I’d listen to the MTV games podcast if they’d sort out they’re RSS feed - every show I download is the same redirect.mp4 which is an ad for the podcast.

Going to check out the GWJ and CAGcast this week, thanks.

Best: GFW or whatever the new name will be.

OK: OXM Radio, Giant Bomb. Both are capable of being tedious.

Meh: EGM, PC Gamer. Either not enough personality or personality I didn’t like.

Hated: Joystiq. The only time I never finished one I started.

This drives me nuts, but for me it’s a general podcast thing and not exclusive to 1up yours. I only wish I could pipe in at the opportune moment to set everyone straight.

I listen to:
GFW, 1up Yours, Retronaunts, Played, PCGamer, and Gaming Steve.

Best – GFW Radio, Game Theory

Very Good – Gamers With Jobs, CAGCast, 1Up Yours

Good – Legendary Thread, Retronauts, Giant Bombcast

Average – PC Gamer Podcast, Downloadable Content

Bad – Joystiq

GFW Radio and Game Theory probably tie for the best podcasts on the net right now, for me. The guys at GFW put on a damn good show every week, with all the cast members being extremely likable and just talking about whatever the fuck they feel like. It’s not really structured, all the guys have their own distinct personalities, and it just works.

On the other side of the spectrum, Game Theory is very structured, and hits most of the salient points of the gaming industry from that week with insightful commentary. I have to admit I liked the show a bit more when Jeremy Williams was still producing. He seemed to mesh better with Gary and Colin, but that’s not to say the new guy’s not doing a good job.

Other than that, I’d just like to say that the Joystiq podcast is the worst damn podcast I’ve ever tried to listen to. The hosts aren’t likable at all, and one of their voices is like fucking nails on a chalkboard. I made it through one episode, and to call it a chore would be understatement of the century. I was so sure it had to get better…

This is clearly impossible since Shane Bettenhausen is never wrong about anything, especially Sony.

To whoever asked: keeping the IGN podcasts in a single feed is convenient and also helps the feed seem more popular.

I subscribe to all of these listed here except “bad,” so all of them are at least that good.

Best: GFW
Great: Retronauts, IGN Game Scoop
Decent: 1up Yours, Player One Podcast, PC Gamer, IGN XBOX, IGN Nintendo, IGN PC, EGM Live, Game Theory, Gamespot’s Hotspot, Giant Bomb
Bad: Joystiq, Gamespy, IGN Sony, GoNintendo, OXM

I’ve also listened to a lot of smaller podcasts and just don’t feel like dissing them here.

I really like GfW and Game Theory. Whitta seems like a regular, decent person, quite unlike what this forum might think of him ;)

I was digging through podcasts (I hate that word!) in iTunes, and am scarred for life after listening to one of the Wii 'casts.
I even tried two episodes, and it was just a bunch of kids sounding pretty much like the off-topic threads on any teen forum. Ugh.

1up Yours and GFW are the two I most look forward too. I also adore Retronauts when it updates. EGM Live I generally dislike, but tune in for specific topics that pique my interest. Occasionally I am impressed and engaged, but most of the time I skip forward.

Back in the days when Luke was with 1up, Legendary Thread was one of my favorite podcasts. I wasn’t even playing WoW much anymore, but the banter between Jeff and Luke was comedy gold. It might liven up again when Lich King launches, but it’s really hit a dry spell for too long. Is Jeff Green even playing anymore?

I enjoy Player One Podcast, it’s not as charismatic as some other podcasts, and it is extremely console focused, but the banter can be enjoyable and the differing opinons provide a nice perspective on latest releases. Also the inclusion of ‘Game Club’ serves a nice filler for Retronauts when that show doesn’t update.

I tried Bungie and Insomniac’s shows during the hype maelstrom for Halo 3 and Ratchet last fall, neither took and I haven’t bothered since. Several episodes of Bungie and I felt completely lost amidst all the in-joke humor, it really seemed geared towards the diehard sect.

Giant Bombcast can be simultaneously awful as well as hilarious. I usually skip past all the energy drink and off-topic nonsense, but the industry discussion is quite good. I always enjoyed Jeff on Gamespot’s ‘Hotspot’ podcast way back, and he’s as informative and sometimes hilarious here, Ryan as well. But again there is a lot of white noise to sift through on the few episodes I’ve tested thus far.

IGN is often a giant miss for me. Discussion regarding major releases tends to be informative, but more often than not I never bother.