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The Besties Podcast's Games of the Years

The Besties is a podcast about video games with a focus on a Game of Year format. Although episodes do cover new games like other podcasts, much of the content builds towards yearly Game of the Year shows, and head-to-head showdowns for best games in a series (Zelda, Grand Theft Auto and so on).

"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?"

This is a list of the games that they have picked for their final game of the year show from 2014 to 2021. In some cases we didn't have the game on the database, but generally this is a good representation of their picks over the time of the show.

This list includes 73 games from the last 30 years, with 3,411 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 3,411
 

 

Loop Hero

Release Date: 03/02/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Pieces: Cards

Loop Hero is a dungeon exploring adventure game where you use cards to create a world for your character to survive. Rather than control the hero yourself, you take the role of designer (or Dungeon Master) who use cards to create a world that is hard...

Hades

Release Date: 06/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hades is a fighting game where you battle your way through dungeons to escape hell and the clutches of Hades. You play as Zagreus, the son of Hades and through the game you'll meet many recognisable greek gods like Zeus, Athena and Posiedon who will try...

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

Super Mario Odyssey

Release Date: 27/10/2017

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Mario has stared in running and jumping Super Mario games on Nintendo hardware since the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80's. The formula remains unchanged. Explore a level, jump on enemies, collect coins and get to the flag at the end to inch...

Halo (Series)

Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Sea of Thieves is an online game where you are a pirate searching for treasure and adventure. Cast into a large open sea you work with other online players to crew your ship and find treasure. The game has a main story but really focuses on creating...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Series)

Release Date: 27/08/1992, updated in 2018

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Mario Kart is a go-kart racing game on Nintendo systems. You race against other Nintendo characters around different circuits, picking up power ups, attacks and speed boosts. It is frantic and chaotic, but still requires skills to do well at.

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Alto's Odyssey (Series)

Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS and iPhone, iPad

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Descend beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to worry about is tapping to jump to avoid chasms, rockfall and other hazards. It’s simple and moreish due to the stunning landscapes...

Marvel's Spider-Man (Series)

Release Date: 07/09/2018

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Marvel's Spider-Man is a series of superhero adventures where you swing through an open-world city fighting crime and advancing a film-like story. There are also many side quests and missions you can take along the way.

Stardew Valley

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

The Forgotten City

Release Date: 28/07/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure. You explore and relive the final days of a cursed Roman city, where if one person sins, everyone dies. It starts as a bewildering array of characters, locations and information but over multiple goes your...

Forza Horizon 5 (Series)

Release Date: 05/11/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Horizon 5 is a fast-paced racing game where you drive all manner of different vehicles in races and across the vast open landscape. Building on Forza Horizon 4, this fifth entry to the series is set in Mexico,...

The Witness

Release Date: 14/12/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

The Witness combines maze puzzles in an abandoned world with its own mythology, secrets, themes and story. It’s a game with puzzles at the core, but the real mystery is solving what has happened in the world you find yourself in.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Release Date: 05/10/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game set in the years 431–422 BCE during a mythological history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. You play as a male or female mercenary fighting on both sides and attempting to...

Inside

Release Date: 29/06/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Inside is from the same developer as Limbo. As such, you play another boy in a dark dream-light and horrific world. Here though, it's more modern-day and realistic.

Control

Release Date: 28/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

This game is an outlandish paranormal fantasy where you are swept into a role as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control agency of the ‘paranatural’. With impressive cinematic visuals and storytelling, your interactions involve exploring,...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date: 11/06/2021

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game. The latest in the series, Rift Apart focuses on jumping between parallel worlds.

Outer Wilds

Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time-loop. After 20 minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...

Paradise Killer

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series)

Release Date: 11/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps place you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. You run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do new powers are unlocked that allow you...

Among Us

Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their space ship for launch by completing tasks. However, one of the players is an impostor intent on sabotaging the ship and killing the crew. As the game progresses in real time the impostor...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Animal Crossing (Series)

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Overwatch

Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Overwatch is a shooting game but with the focus on teamwork and skill rather than violence. Along with games like Rocket League it has professional e-sports competitions where players compete for prizes.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Hollow Knight (Series)

Release Date: 12/06/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hollow Knight is a game where you run, jump, and battle your way through the underground kingdom of Hallownest. It’s not uncommon for platform games to invest in the environments through which you pass, but the haunting depths in this game contain...

Inscryption

Release Date: 19/10/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and PS5

Pieces: Cards

Inscryption starts as a card-based adventure where you build a deck of cards to take on adventures and battles. To this, it adds escape-room style puzzles, both in the card game and in the room in which you are playing. The result is a psychological...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

God of War

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

You play super-strong Norse fantasy hero Kratos as he takes his son Atreus on a brutal quest in the wake of his mother’s death. The exploration, puzzle solving, climbing and fighting gameplay intertwines with a mythological family drama played out in...

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Series)

Release Date: 18/05/2010, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Red Dead Redemption is a series of open world adventures with a wild west theme. The rich world offers many things to do along with a main story line. It's this living breathing world that attracts players, both in its diversity and beauty.

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Superhot

Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.

Battlefield (Series)

Release Date: 19/10/2018

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and Xbox One

Battlefield V is the latest in a series of first-person shooting games set in various locations, such as Norway, France and Germany, during World War II. Like Call of Duty this aims to recreate the adrenaline, excitement and...

Pokemon Go!

Release Date: 06/07/2016

Platforms: Android and iOS

Pokémon Go is a game you play by walking outside. You play on a smartphone so it can use the GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player's real-world location.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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