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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 2022. 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 90 games from the last 30 years, with 5,140 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .
Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Pixels and Weather
A Short Hike is an adventure traversal game where you play the 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...
Release Date: 16/11/2018, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made
Among Us is a strategy game where crew-mates prepare their spaceship 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...
Release Date: 25/04/2020
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where 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...
Release Date: 03/03/2017
Out Now: Switch and Wii U
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 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...
Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
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...
Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, 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...
Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Pixels
Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is inviting for young players to try their...
Release Date: 28/04/2017, updated in 2022
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a go-kart racing game where you race against 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.
Release Date: 20/03/2018, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Sea of Thieves is an online game where you play 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...
Release Date: 19/07/2022, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Stray is an adventure traversal game about a cat lost in a futuristic city where robots live. You guide your feline friend in and out of buildings, across roads and generally poke your nose in to see what is going on.
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
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. Play is a combination of exploration, taking on fights and collecting items. There are also many side...
Release Date: 27/10/2017
Super Mario Odyssey is a running and jumping game in the long-running Mario series where you save Princess Peach from Bowser. While it's a familiar setup, here you explore vast open worlds and use your hat to help you get around, fight, and even possess...
Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person
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...
Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made
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.
Release Date: 01/03/2017
Out Now: PC and PS4
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Horizon Zero Dawn and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, have 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...
Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. After twenty 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...
Release Date: 19/02/2015, updated in 2018
Out Now: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night and Weather
The Alto Collection is a series of games including Alto's Odyssey and Alto's Adventure. Both are action traversal games where you explore beautiful mountains, dunes and canyons on a snowboarding journey full of serenity and secrets. All you have to...
Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2023
Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels
Celeste 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 haunted by self-doubt at the scale of the task at hand. She presses on but is...
Release Date: 18/02/2022
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...
Release Date: 25/02/2022
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Elden Ring is a role-play game set in a fictional world created by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, with a focus on combat similar to Demon's Souls and an open world with real time and weather like Zelda Breath of the Wild.
Release Date: 03/02/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 2D Overhead, Cards, Grid, Hand-Made and Pixels
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 are tasked with playing cards to create a level that is hard enough to be rewarding without...
Release Date: 28/01/2022
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game in the longstanding Pokémon series of role-playing games where you collect and battle Pokémon. Like the other games, you compete in turn-based battles and try and collect as many Pokémon as you...
Release Date: 22/11/2013
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS
Components: 2D Overhead, Hand-Made and Open World
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an action-adventure game in the Zelda series. It's the seventeenth game and spiritual successor to the 1991 game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A more open adventure with a novel world-jumping...
Release Date: 15/06/2021
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made
Wildermyth is a medieval role-playing game about diverse heroes and themes. You take on evil in a number of stories, each with different heroes and settings. The focus is on the characters as much as their adventures, who are believable, diverse and...
Release Date: 13/03/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Baba is You requires some lateral thinking. Each level is controlled by rules written on the screen, such as ‘Lava is Hot’, ‘Wall is Stop’ and ‘Flag is Move’. By moving the words around with your pixelated character, you subvert the...
Release Date: 29/09/2020
Spelunky 2 is, like the classic Spelunky, a running and jumping game where you explore mysterious caves on the moon looking for your missing parents. On your journey, you will find unique environments, treasure, and people to join you as you delve...
Release Date: 13/10/2022, updated in 2023
Out Now: PC, Switch and Web
The Case of the Golden Idol is a point-and-click adventure set in the 18th century, where you attempt to solve 12 gruesome deaths. You play by investigating each scene to gather information in the form of words that you piece together to make statements...
Release Date: 05/05/2022
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon, Dice, Grid and Text
Citizen Sleeper is a role-play game set in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism. You are an escaped worker exploring a lawless space station, making friends, and (ultimately) trying to escape your past. Each cycle you roll dice and decide how to spend...
Release Date: 08/10/2021
Components: 2D Side-On
Metroid Dread, the latest Metroid game, is a running, jumping, exploring and fighting game where you progress through levels, fight challenging bosses and uncover secrets. It returns the franchise to the 2D side-scrolling style of...
Release Date: 31/10/2019
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Luigi's Mansion 3 is an adventure game where you explore the intricate rooms of a haunted hotel to find and capture ghosts. As in the first two games, you move through the rooms, finding secrets and treasures, and vacuuming up ghosts. It has the same...
Release Date: 05/05/2016, updated in 2023
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Apple TV, Mac, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Grid
Pocket Card Jockey is a horse racing game you participate in by playing a series of Solitaire card games. You race, breed and nurture a stable of horses for a range of owners, trainers and other interesting individuals. It stands out as both a brilliant...
Release Date: 24/05/2016, updated in 2022
Components: 3D First-Person
Overwatch 2 is a shooting game where the focus is on teamwork and skill rather than violence. In teams of five, you communicate and work together to take out the other team and complete your objective. Along with games like Rocket League, it has...
Release Date: 11/03/2020, updated in 2020
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an action platform game that places you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. As in the previous game, you run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do, new powers...
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
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...
Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon
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.
Release Date: 16/03/2022, updated in 2023
Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made
Tunic is an action-adventure game where you play a small fox who wakes with no memory of where he is. You push through trees, pick up weapons and learn new moves to discover an expanse of forests, caves and landscapes. You can do anything from the...
Release Date: 05/10/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia 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...
Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect...
Release Date: 28/07/2021
Components: 3D First-Person and Open World
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...
Release Date: 26/06/2014
Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a retro-style platform game where you play as a Knight whose primary weapon is a shovel. It can either be used to attack enemies head-on, dig up treasure, or aim below while jumping to bounce on enemies. You can get...