Who are the best freelance game critics in the biz?


Profuse apologies if I’ve missed this somewhere, but I wondered if you all could give me your nominations for the best freelance game critics in the business? I’m talking about people who are actively freelancing (to your knowledge) and who would be interested in talking if someone like me approached them and said “Hey, write for my outlet and I’ll pay you!”

I’d like names that are associated with quality reviews, strong analysis, a unique and interesting voice… the good ones. I know that there was an article about the most important game journalists some time ago on one site or another, but I couldn’t find that now and besides, it wasn’t my real area of interest. To me there is a difference between a stellar game critic and someone who produces fantastic journalism in general. Some people do both, but it’s the game criticism that I really am asking about at this time.

Thanks in advance to any who cares to share.


Tom “King of Writers” Chick?

John “Weepy” Walker?

Kieron “drunken Englishman who likes bad puns” Gillen?

Alan Au’s brother, Wanger James Au.

You’re looking to add paid contributors to Honest Gamers?

Troy “I sing showtunes” Goodfellow?

Julian “bearded rabbit” Murdoch?

Thanks for the names, folks! I’d love to hear reasons to go with the names that are being provided, if any of you care to provide them. Some of the names I’m already familiar with (like Tom Chick and Kieron Gillen), but I haven’t necessarily heard of some of the others except in passing.

Without making this a pitch: I’ve decided to start dipping into my piggy bank to spend more money on my site. In the months ahead, I am looking to expose my readers to a variety of quality writers from across the Internet, and hopefully to do so with increasing frequency as my limited budget permits and as the site’s reputation for quality reviews continues to grow. For now I can’t pay many of the big names their usual freelancing rates. When I do, though, I want to make sure that I’m getting the best possible value. I want to make sure that I’m paying people with a solid (and well-deserved reputation). Time will tell if it’s an impossible goal for an independent site, but I would like nothing more than to provide another solid option for talented freelancers who are looking for occasional work and for readers who are hoping to see more quality content from their favorite writers.

I’m asking here because I know from posting here on occasion that a lot of you have strong opinions on the various writers across the Internet. Some of you are those qualified writers, even. I figure that if there’s anywhere I can go to get solid information about who’s the best and why, it’s this forum right here. Plus, the good writers ought to get their props on occasion, right?

I don’t know what he’s doing nowadays but I enjoyed Chris Morris’s dispatches while he was doing the game column at CNN Money (!) a million years ago (2006-2007)

Chris Morris is nowadays writing Technotainment on Variety, which is pretty much the same column he used to write for CNN Money.

Oh, you’re paying!

In that case Hans ‘who?’ Lauring is pretty fucking fantastic. If the pay is good enough, I’ll even translate my words into English for you.

Oh, I was joking about Wanger James. Also, Wanger is a title like “Captain” or “Princess”.

Not to be confused with Jonah Falcon.

Yeah, I’ve heard that Dave Long guy is pretty decent. He even wrote for those decrepit print magazines.

… that Bill “unsung writer” Hiles ain’t no slouch either.

However, stay far away from Jeff “Cranky Old Fart” Lackey. All he’ll do is complain about how inferior today’s games are compared to Choplifter and Space Eggs. ;)

Freudian slip or comic comment? ;-)

How much did this post cost, and who paid for it?

Oh, that was part of my new freemium marketing scheme…

Gus Mustrapa is very good. So is Kyle Orland. Scott Jones is pretty awesome as well. Hell, just look up anyone that ever wrote for Crispy Gamer before it was handed off to monkeys.