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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 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 5,144 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

 

A Short Hike

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...

Among Us

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...

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild

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...

Subnautica

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

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Journey

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...

Stardew Valley

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

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Release Date: 28/04/2017, updated in 2022

Out Now: Switch

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.

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: 20/03/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Stray

Release Date: 19/07/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

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.

Marvel's Spider-Man

Release Date: 07/09/2018

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

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...

Super Mario Odyssey

Release Date: 27/10/2017

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

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...

Halo (Series)

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

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Cuphead

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

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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.

Horizon Zero Dawn

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...

Outer Wilds

Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

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...

The Alto Collection

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...

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Horizon Forbidden West

Release Date: 18/02/2022

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

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...

Elden Ring

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

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.

Loop Hero

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

Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

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...

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Release Date: 28/01/2022

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

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...

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Release Date: 22/11/2013

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Wildermyth

Release Date: 15/06/2021

Out Now: PC

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Baba is You

Release Date: 13/03/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

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...

Spelunky 2

Release Date: 29/09/2020

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

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...

The Case of the Golden Idol

Release Date: 13/10/2022, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Switch and Web

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

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...

Citizen Sleeper

Release Date: 05/05/2022

Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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...

Metroid Dread

Release Date: 08/10/2021

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Luigi's Mansion 3

Release Date: 31/10/2019

Out Now: Switch

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

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...

Pocket Card Jockey

Release Date: 05/05/2016, updated in 2023

Out Now: 3DS and 2DS, Apple TV, Mac, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

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...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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

Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

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...

Hades

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

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

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 Poseidon who will...

Inscryption

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

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cards and Hand-Made

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...

Paradise Killer

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

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...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Out Now: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Shadow Of The Colossus is an action-adventure game where 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...

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Release Date: 11/06/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC and PS5

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a running, jumping and shooting game that lets the heroic duo jump between parallel worlds. Play is similar to other Ratchet & Clank games, retaining the dodging, gunplay, bold collection and upgrading weapons. Here...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Pixels

Return of the Obra Dinn is a narrative puzzle game where you play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the...

Superhot

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

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

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.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release Date: 26/10/2018, updated in 2019

Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an adventure game with a wild west theme and a prequel to Red Dead Redemption. As you explore a vast and varied open world, you partake in shootouts, heists, and elaborate chases across the...

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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