The Besties is a video game discussion podcast, hosted by Griffin and Justin, together with their friends and former coworkers at Polygon, Chris and Russ. Justin generally introduces each episode as "a Game of the Year show that goes all year long", and signs off with, "Because shouldn't the world's best friends pick the world's best games?"
The show occasionally features guest hosts such as New York Giraffe, a talking giraffe from Brooklyn who sounds suspiciously like Russ.
Early Era (2012–2013)
The podcast originated in February 24, 2012, before Polygon had even been established out of "Vox Games". Episodes were released weekly, in which the initial premise that each of the four hosts would bring a game they wanted to talk about, and after discussing the games, the hosts would choose one as the best of the bunch.
The show switched from using "Little Marcus" as its theme music to an original theme song composed by Ian Dorsch on November 2, 2012.
Hiatus and Dark Ages (2014–2018)
In 2014, the podcast moved from releasing once-a-week to once-a-month, with each episode being a look back at the best games of the previous month. After August, the show went on a brief hiatus until December, when The Besties had its end-of-the-year discussion, in what was then presumed to be the last episode of the podcast ever.
In 2015 and 2016, episodes of the podcast were only released at the end of the year.
2017 and 2018 saw a return to the monthly format until April 2018, in which the show shifted back to only being an end-of-the-year special event.
Spotify and Independence (2019–present)
In late 2019, Spotify picked up exclusive distribution rights for The Besties, and the show returned to a weekly schedule, with each episode focused on a specific game or theme. During this time, the show was edited by Jelani Carter and the show's outro was read by Justin's daughter, Charlie.
At the end of 2020, Spotify chose not to renew their contract, and The Besties began searching for new sponsors.
The Besties Game of the Year
- 2012: Dishonored
- 2013: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- 2014: Dark Souls II (New York Giraffe put in the tiebreaker vote over Hearthstone)
- 2015: Inconclusive (Bloodborne won the initial vote, but Chris and Russ were willing to switch to Rocket League, and then New York Giraffe showed up to second Griffin's favorite, Undertale, which is where the discussion ended)
- 2016: Stardew Valley
- 2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- 2018: Return of the Obra Dinn
- 2019: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
- 2020: Hades
- 2021: Resident Evil Village
- The 2012 end-of-year discussion included a physical trophy (a Marcus Fenix statue, spray-painted gold by Plante) for the winner ("The Besties Supreme").
- The 2012 discussion also featured a consolation prize (a small plastic trophy cup) as a sort of editor's pick ("The Besties Mini"), which was awarded to The Walking Dead.
- In March 2021, the hosts spent two episodes deciding on the best Zelda game, eventually landing on A Link to the Past.
- In April 2021, the hosts spent two episodes deciding on the best Grand Theft Auto game, eventually landing on Grand Theft Auto 5.
- In June 2021, the hosts spent two episodes deciding on the best Resident Evil game, eventually landing on Resident Evil Village (although they conceded that the upcoming VR remake of RE4 may unseat it).
- Kentucky Route Zero was a nominee for the Game of the Year award in both 2013 and 2020.
- Hades was an honorable mention in 2018 and the winner in 2020.
References & Links
- @plante on Twitter
- @RussFrushtick on Twitter
- "The Besties Theme" on Soundcloud