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Top ten video game podcasts

Podcasts don't compete for gaming time -- you can listen on your walk to work -- and there are some talented UK journalists and gamers creating them. Here's our top ten

Podcasts might seem a bit old-hat nowadays -- people seem to prefer 140-character micro-blogging rather than settling down to listen to an hour-long radio-style show. But there's still a thriving podcast scene, particularly for gaming.

Why? It might be because podcasts don't compete for gaming time -- you can have them on in the background while playing, or while you're walking to work or school. Or it might just be because there are some talented journalists and gamers creating podcasts about the hobby they love.

Either way, read on for our pick of the ten gaming podcasts you should be subscribing to (besides our sister site's very own GameSpot UK podcast, which is totally amazing, but we can't very well include), along with links to their iTunes Store listings.

10. PC Gamer

This is the UK's premier podcast for PC gamers, promising a mix of "news, opinion and c*** jokes". It doesn't disappoint on all three counts. Produced by the team at PC Gamer magazine, it's got just the right blend of chat and info -- and is clearly made by people who know their subject inside out.
iTunes link

9. TalkRadar

Although there's a UK version, the US edition of GamesRadar's TalkRadar is the one to go for. It's been going longer, and has built up a rapt audience of gamers looking for knowledgable yet never po-faced chat. Guest hosts add variety, but the core material is good enough to reward subscribers.
iTunes link

8. Pocket Gamer

The world of iPhone gaming is a fast-moving place -- every week sees new games and technical innovations on the App Store. Pocket Gamer's podcast does a good job of covering the news, but also finds time to analyse trends with a measured, often wry viewpoint.
iTunes link

(Disclaimer: the author of this piece used to work for Pocket Gamer, but doesn't any more.)

7. The Instance

Many of the podcasts in this list are general in topic, but The Instance is at the other end of the scale, focusing purely on MMO World of Warcraft. The presenters clearly know their WoW onions, but don't bore you with it -- and the flood of 5-star iTunes ratings from their hard-to-please audience shows they're succeeding.
iTunes link

6. Major Nelson Radio

Who needs impartiality when you've got access? Major Nelson is the Xbox Live gamertag of Microsoft's Larry Hryb, who also produces this podcast. He gets in all the big hitters from the Xbox 360 world as a result -- the interviews make this a must-have for anyone who owns the console.
iTunes link

5. 4 Guys 1UP

The 1UP Network has been in this gaming podcast business longer than most, and it shines through in this insightful and interesting show. Formerly Listen UP, it recently relaunched. Like many of the podcasts on this list, it's never over-formal, and blends humour, analysis and hard news to excellent effect.
iTunes link

4. Giant Bombcast

More games podcasting veterans take the mic on Giant Bomb's Giant Bombcast, which is often at its best when veering off the topic of games. Not that the games content is lacking -- while news is in there, it's the analysis and guest spots that make it worth subscribing to.
iTunes link

3. Official PlayStation Magazine UK

The most popular games podcast on the UK iTunes Store is also one of the best. Being based on an official magazine means there's plenty of access to the latest PS3 games, not to mention interviews with industry bigwigs. And if the humour of some of the US podcasts in this list grates on you, OPSM-UK may be more to your taste.
iTunes link

2. One Life Left

You can't take yourself too seriously in podcastland, so One Life Left's promise of "99 per cent nonsense and 1 per cent heart-stopping brilliance" is a fine pitch. This is another podcast at its best and funniest when thinking around games, with regular features and diversions off-topic always delighting.
iTunes link

1. CO-OP

A video show produced by people who used to do 1UP's podcasts, CO-OP has built up a dedicated fanbase, and justifiably so. It's less about news and reviews, and more about chewing over the big issues in the gaming world. Well, sometimes the silly ones too. An excellently skewed view on games.
iTunes link