Podcasts are great. Games are great. Combining the two is a no-brainer. But not all games lend themselves to the split focus of podcast play. That’s where this list comes in. Here lies the best games to accompany your aural interests, whether that be the insightful discussions of Patrick Klepek , or the bombastic back-and-forth of the Giant Bomb crew.
NOTE: I’ve started with my personal top 3, followed by a single recommendation (excluding those mentioned above) for the most common genres. Feel free to chime in below with your suggestions so we can update and expand this list further!
With a constantly compelling cycle of loot, plenty of variety in class builds and difficulty levels, and the endless entertainment of Adventure mode, Diablo 3 is the ideal podcast game. The story is totally disposable but thankfully unobtrusive, and your mission is never more complicated than ‘go there and kill monsters’. A perfect task for your hands while you absorb the news of the day in audio form.
Alternatives: Marvel Heroes, Path of Exile
Neither are quite as polished or compelling as Diablo 3, but they *are* free-to-play, and not in the usual nickel-and-dime sense. Both games play great, and Marvel Heroes is especially worth a look for fans of the franchise.
Space can be a lonely place, which makes it a prime candidate for podcasts. Rebel Galaxy is all about hunting bounties, blasting bandits, and salvaging cargo, all in the service of buying bigger and better ships. For a game developed by such a small team, there’s a lot to do, and the core gameplay loop is engaging enough to compensate for the humdrum story. With custom soundtrack support, the game seems almost made for podcast play.
Alternatives: Almost any space game
Elite: Dangerous, the X series, Space Engineers, Star Trek Online - there are countless games that fit the same mould of charting the depths of space. Since space is inherently very empty, you tend to spend a lot of time travelling and little engaged in plot-heavy exposition. Podcasts are quite helpful for combatting the inevitable space blues.
The rogue-like genre is particularly conducive to companion podcasts, since they’re typically focused on building muscle memory and learning patterns. These processes occur at the subconscious level, leaving the conscious mind free to drift into the land of internet radio. Rogue Legacy is my pick from the legion of similar perma-death games, as it is slightly more forgiving than the likes of Spelunky and La-Mulana. Plus, it’s available on portable devices, which work especially well in tandem with an iPod and a pair of headphones.
Alternatives: Spelunky, Binding of Isaac, FTL
THE LIST (awaiting your suggestions!)
Just Cause 2
Euro Truck Simulator
Super Meat Boy
Dynasty Warriors/Hyrule Warriors
Guild Wars 2
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