Mon, 4 January 2021
This week on The Free Cheese, twenty twenty-one.
We look forward to what we expect in 2021 with our latest run of predictions after reflecting on what we expected from 2020.
We also take some time to share positive outlooks on Sonic Forces and hear all about brand new Game Gear games from M2. Finally, we get the final word on Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Mon, 28 December 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Matt writes Sonic fanfiction.
More of what you love: conversations about video games. We're talking Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Deep Rock Galactic, with a trip through some fighting games along the way. We also check out Umurangi Generations, slowly uncovering its layers beyond a simple photography game.
Mon, 21 December 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, money please!
We check out the demo for Bravely Default II and wave goodbye to Cyberpunk 2077. Matt takes over a small town in Yakuza: Like a Dragon while Marc finds the true successor to a 3D Sonic game in Crumble and Joe grabs the Wii Remote for Samus' final first-person adventure in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Mon, 14 December 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, and the award goes to...
We recap some of our favorite announcements from this year's Game Awards along with a rundown of headlines from the week including the new release timeline for Halo Infinite and an upcoming Digimon wearable.
Marc and Matt take the first steps into Cyberpunk 2077 and share the good, the bad, and the buggy. Meanwhile, Joe readies himself for Breath of the Wild 2.
Mon, 7 December 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Mario Paint.
Together, we discuss the stack of industry shakeups that were announced this week along with a brief and literal pulse check for the PlayStation Vita.
Catch up on what it means to complete your first palace in Persona 5 Royal, what it feels like to finish Demon's Souls, and how to survive on the Oregon Trail in 2020.
Mon, 30 November 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, excuse me, Princess!
Marc closes the curtains on Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity while opening a box of Digimon cards. Matt discovers the roots of FromSoftware as he edges deeper into Demon's Souls. Joe finally learns what it means to steal a heart with Persona 5 Royal's first dungeon.
We also make it to the end of our own dungeon as we wrap up another ongoing segment.
Mon, 23 November 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, don't give him Sonic.
During a slightly slower week of news we dive a bit deeper into Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Hades, and Pokémon Sword: The Crown Tundra.
We also share our first impressions with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and how it fits into the lore of The Legend of Zelda.
Mon, 16 November 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, push to puff!
It's new console week and we have Matt's first impressions with both as well as a series of rapid-fire questions that get to the bottom of what we really want to know.
We also talk about Marc's first week with Genshin Impact and Joe's time with Tekken 7 and its fourth season.
Mon, 9 November 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, did we find Brittfaceyo?
With the launch of next generation consoles only moments away we make sure to catch up on all of the vampire news you could ever ask for.
We also bring a close to our ongoing segment, "Who Would Win in a Fight?" and continue with the second round of "Another Night, Another Dream" in between a heavy week of news.
Finally we check in with Pokémon Sword's DLC and call the Chicken Police.
Mon, 2 November 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Happy Halloween!
We share our ideas for other game franchises that could learn from Breath of the Wild and try to figure out how to name new Final Fantasy characters.
Marc keeps things spooky with Phasmophobia and Handy Harry's Haunted House Services, Matt enters a Rocket League tournament, and Joe returns to the world of Pokémon.
Mon, 26 October 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, someone remembers to unmute his microphone.
A slower news week lets us explore some different topics. What's a positive example of a game that feels like its from the PS2 era? Name a game that was overshadowed by something when it initially released?
We also discuss Halloween events in video games and how to catch a ghost.
Mon, 19 October 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, where’s Okami?
Listen in as we talk PlayStation 5 UI and the new initiative from the Video Game History Foundation. We look back on where we were a year ago and close out on some of the games we’ve been playing recently.
Also, it’s the final round in the quarter finals of our ongoing segment chronicling the best of the bad in video game’s greatest villains.
Mon, 12 October 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we figure out how to save the Switch.
We talk about which purple character should have ended up in Mortal Kombat and run down all the PlayStation 5 news from the week. We also check in with the recently released Pikmin 3 Deluxe Demo.
Mon, 5 October 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Steve blocks the way!
Gather around and listen to tales of surviving when not playing video games. We talk about Super Mario Bros. 35 and checking in with the weird side of the 3DS library.
Mon, 28 September 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, taste the cumin!
We’re here to talk 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Mafia: Definitive Edition, and Rocket League’s entry into the free-to-play space. We check in with Tokyo Game Show 2020 and a new company from old Blizzard folks. Also, it turns out Microsoft bought something else.
Mon, 21 September 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we believe in generations.
It’s finally time to discuss the full launch details of the PlayStation 5 and the games launching alongside the new platform on November 12.
Matt checks out Hypnospace Outlaw, welcoming the comfort of a late 1990s internet in favor of a chilly campground. Joe continues with Xenoblade Chronicles while exploring Super Mario 64 as part of the 3D All-Stars collection.
May the fox be with you.
Mon, 14 September 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, tell me your tire fantasy.
We finally have a release date and details for the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. We weigh in on the best way to buy and our favorite designs of this generation’s new consoles.
We also check in with Mario Tennis Aces, step closer to the finale of our recurring segment “Who Would in in a Fight?”, and talk about the first tenth of a 100-hour JRPG.
Mon, 7 September 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, old is new is old again.
We’re excited by the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and with the announcement of Super Mario 3D All-Stars it feels like we’re back in the late 90’s all over again.
We also check out Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, get ready for the release of new video cards, and follow up to last week’s game recommendation.
All that and so much more awaits you inside.
Mon, 31 August 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, did Madden call Snoop Dogg a cop?
Another week, another Nintendo Direct mini brought to you by Lunchables. We finally get an official spill of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War details and Matt is fresh from the fields with a look at Madden NFL 21.
We recap some highlights from Gamescom, figure out what Joe will play next, and try to imagine what new Switch hardware will take the form of.
Mon, 24 August 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, oops! All superheroes!
We discuss the reveals of both Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights, along with some other excitement from DC Fandome.
We also check in with Microsoft Flight Simulator and Battletoads during their launch week and get ready for what’s next in Call of Duty and NHL.
Mon, 17 August 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, let’s celebrate Quake.
The days of not having any skateboard video games to play are long gone. We take a trip through time and go shopping, while planning the future of video game television.
We both lament the fun of PC gaming and weigh in on the battles of billionaires.
Mon, 10 August 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, unlock another episode when you buy the Battle Pass.
We share our first impressions of Fall Guys and detail the latest changes to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone.
Additionally, we close the book on A Plague Tale: Innocence and look forward to whatever Rocksteady is up to with Suicide Squad. We talk about this week’s State of Play and the news that cloud gaming isn’t making its way to all devices just yet.
Mon, 3 August 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we talk about good game feel.
We kick things off with news from Activision and a look at Modern Warfare just before the season ends. We compare and contrast it with Halo and discuss the move for Halo Infinite to have free multiplayer.
We travel back in time to France during the Black Plague and learn how to fight rats with fire, then further back to feudal Japan to follow the wind.
We check our pulse on a few titles, old and still coming. Then we close out with the first installment of a new segment.
Mon, 27 July 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, name your favorite 360 game, GO!
We reflect on the Xbox Games Showcase and the surprise Nintendo Direct mini from the week.
Matt shares his first thoughts on Ghost of Tsushima while Joe samples some of the Summer Game Fest demos.
Mon, 20 July 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, candy hurts.
As we ready for the Xbox Games Showcase this week, we get back into The Master Chief Collection and bring along a new, old friend. Matt takes third place in Motorsport Manager while Joe heads West of Dead for a little while.
We also talk about some news from the week and how Xbox is preparing for the future of video games. There’s a lot of Xbox on this week.
Mon, 13 July 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, this generation sucks.
We talk about how modern video games have fallen into a formula and how we’re finding ways to break the formula. We also look back at the Game of the Year so far.
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Satoru Iwata, recorded on the fifth anniversary of his death.
Fri, 10 July 2020
The Last of Us Part II is now a part of our memories but before we let it slip too far back we are here to talk openly about it. Inside, we’ll explore the themes and plot of The Last of Us Part II, share our favorite moments from the game, and ponder how the series might continue in the future.
Obviously, don’t listen to this unless you’ve completed the game.
Mon, 6 July 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, please. It’s okay.
We gather here again to talk about the new price of video games, how the video game industry has changed in a decade, and what life is like on the other side of The Last of Us Part II.
Matt goes into the Artifact 2.0 Beta while Joe plans a 2D version of Arms after playing Min Min in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Mon, 29 June 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, keep yourself wet.
After a week playing through two games that divided their audiences, we have some feelings about making your own opinions and approaching content with an open mind.
We talk about Microsoft saying goodbye to Mixer, a new sequel to Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, and how rollback netcode is being implemented into a nineteen year old game.
Mon, 22 June 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Matt predicts the utopian future of Pokémon.
We hear the latest in the ongoing record keeping of Donkey Kong high scores and the status of one man of hot sauce.
Matt shares his first impressions with The Last of Us 2 and how he ended up playing Motorsport Manager. Joe learns how much he agitated Matt while troubleshooting Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing.
Mon, 15 June 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, it’s time to talk about the future of video games.
We are in the wake of the PlayStation 5 event from the week and talk about what we saw, what we’re excited about, and what we still want to see more of next.
We also talk about the Destiny announcements from this week and where we both fall in with the future of Destiny.
Matt has completed Witcher 3 and found himself hopping into micro sessions with some of the newly acquired games from the massive itch.io bundle, while the updates to Call of Duty: Warzone set the path for the next season in the game. Joe played halfway through The Messenger before finding himself stageside at a Hatsune Miku concert and taking on a giant statue in a mech in Phantasy Star Online 2.
Mon, 8 June 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Go SEGA!
We share our memories and feelings surrounding SEGA on its 60th anniversary as a company. We talk about the Game Gear Micro and “fog gaming”.
Matt continues to wander the lands as Geralt and reaches close to a complete Gwent deck. Joe continues the hunt for monsters and finds himself back in Tokyo as a soon-to-be pop idol.
Mon, 1 June 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, decades of development for Dreams.
We ready ourselves for the first look at PlayStation 5 games with a few predictions of what we expect to see. We discuss the impact of EA releasing source code for Command & Conquer and get excited about Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.
Matt finds solid footing within Witcher 3 as its narrative builds and he creates new stories to tell at the pub. Joe finally gets Monster Hunter World to click and tells you how to kill dinosaurs.
Mon, 25 May 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Oops!...I’m a skateboarder again!
Matt enters the world of The Witcher as Joe meanders through Breath of the Wild again.
We talk about what Rocksteady is actually working on, how you can get into the beta for Artifact 2.0, and a lot of Justice League Dark.
Mon, 18 May 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, a/s/l?
We talk about the importance of emergent gameplay and its increasing importance in creating believable video game worlds, and how Unreal Engine 5 might help developers to create better worlds.
We celebrate the announcement of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater being remastered and induct another game into our Hall of Fame.
Matt closes the book on Gears Tactics and opens the bookshelf to the rest of the story. Joe goes to 3D shooter heaven with Sin & Punishment and Kid Icarus: Uprising
Tue, 12 May 2020
We’ve played Final Fantasy VII. You’ve played Final Fantasy VII. Or you should have if you’re going to listen to this episode.
It’s our full look into Final Fantasy VII Remake. We talk about what we loved, what we didn’t, and what we want to see in the next parts of the story.
Mon, 11 May 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we remember a Nintendo friend.
Learn about Dwayne ‘Tequila’ Johnson and magical shopping carts that stop you dead in your tracks. We also talk about the potential of new skateboarding video games (again), the future of Call of Duty: Warzone, and how Mortal Kombat might go up against the DC Universe yet again.
Matt has all of the details on Gears Tactics after a solid week with its campaign. Joe checked in with Streets of Rage 4 and The Wonderful 101 Remastered while getting lost in a flooded Hyrule on Wii U.
Mon, 4 May 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, no Vin Diesels allowed!
We give our final word (spoiler-free) on Final Fantasy VII Remake and talk about the future of summer games announcements. We talk Gears Tactics and Gran Turismo for PSP, and wonder about what games we’ll see at Inside Xbox this week.
Mon, 27 April 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we find out Sunsoft still exists?
We make recommendations for what to watch when you don’t want to play video games and we talk about some games to play when you’re looking for something different.
Joe played some of The Curse of Rabenstein and checked out Sunsoft’s Trip World for Game Boy. Matt stepped into the world of Picross with the latest Picross S4 from Jupiter.
We catch up on where we’re at with Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Final Fantasy VII Remake and report back on the updates to Super Mario Maker 2.
Finally, we discuss a report from Video Games Chronicle regarding a Horizon: Zero Dawn trilogy, yet again another Silent Hill rumor that’s totally real this time for sure just check, a new Crash Bandicoot game for your phone, and the return of the Splatfest next month.
Mon, 20 April 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, do you want a new robot friend?
We both continue with Final Fantasy VII Remake and continue to find reasons to love it. We talk about its impact on the franchise history and where it will find its place amongst the other titles.
Rumors of another Resident Evil remake kick off our news segment with stories of PS5 launch limits, eSports gambling, new tactics games and weird stories of game development.
Mon, 13 April 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, that cat ate my burrito!
We commemorate the launch of Final Fantasy VII Remake with our early impressions of the game and keep it spoiler-free.
We talk a little Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and sprinkle in some Dreamcast after a documentary stole the show this week.
Finally, we discuss the headlines from Inside Xbox, rumors of Resident Evil 8, and our feelings toward the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.
Mon, 6 April 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, why do people drink sparkling water?
Matt and Joe discuss Doom Eternal after having both finished it and where it falls on the spectrum of Doom. We continue documenting our time with Animal Crossing: New Horizons as the eggs attack and Matt learns the Stalk Market.
Matt played through The Foundation expansion of Control and talks about new gameplay mechanics. Joe defies the future and reverts to the past with Arc the Lad and other lost memories of the early days of PlayStation.
We catch up on rumors of new Resident Evil, the future of Artifact (yes, that Artifact), how a prefecture in Japan is limiting video game time for minors, and how IGN is stepping in for E3.
Finally, we talk about the rumors behind the 35th anniversary of Super Mario and a collection of 3D Mario games.
Mon, 30 March 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, the juice that divides our darkness.
We talk more Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons as we make our way through more of both.
A surprise Nintendo Direct mini capitalizes a lot of our news cycle amidst Konami responses to Silent Hill rumors and Epic Games publishing deals that work in favor of the creator.
We also catch up on Call of Duty: Warzone and the latest updates to Ring Fit Adventure.
Mon, 23 March 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, listen to the devil’s interval.
We gather to talk about Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as expected.
We also talk about the new details of both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. We check in with new Game Pass Ultimate perks, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, and broadcasting sports video games.
Mon, 16 March 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, it’s the final stretch.
Matt survives his worst fears as he edges closer to the sun and then straps his skates on to roll around the rink.
Joe keeps circling the tops of the castle in a classic while discovering what he missed by not becoming a Belmont sooner.
We talk about the future of GameStop, the potential of a new Tony Hawk game, Platinum Games’ newest studio and engine, and oh, E3 is canceled.
We also talk about gaming masks and add another source to the Silent Hill revival rumors.
Mon, 9 March 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we learn the age of hedgehogs.
Fresh from the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo, we share our equal and opposite reactions to what we played.
Matt becomes a detective in Hollywood with the greatest investigative tool: Picross.
Joe takes control of Dracula in the last major release in a line of pachinko machines.
We talk about Stadia a little longer than Google has this calendar year and what a Butterfinger can bring you.
Mon, 2 March 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we remember Miitomo friends.
As the Nintendo Switch reaches its third anniversary, we look back on our favorite memories with the console, make recommendations for the best of the library, and look to its future.
Matt is still swinging in the dark with no end in sight as he chases the shiny Dark Souls platinum. Joe gets back on the grind after a patch changes some of the challenge in Session.
We talk about the Xbox Series X and how we expect game publishers to treat multigenerational releases. We check in with the latest from Yacht Club Games and learn the identity of the second game tease from Platinum Games. Finally, we weigh in on some heavy hinting from Kojima Productions and one of Silent Hill’s original creators.
Mon, 24 February 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, your mama don’t dance.
We’re here to get excited and get you excited about Animal Crossing. We recap the Direct and talk about everything there is to do on a faraway, desert, island after you’ve been kidnapped.
Matt finds a victory and a bit of confidence as the third journey continues. Meanwhile, Joe rediscovers an old classic and finds new meaning in it.
Read about our Animal Crossing history with an old article we talked about this episode.
Mon, 17 February 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, which ports are left?
Matt cracks open another round for celebration after becoming a full ninja, plays some Xtreme football, and cuts to Camera 2.
Joe slashes his way through a sequel spin-off to a game he never finished and finds a new anime puzzle game to get lost in.
We talk about the future of E3 without its past, changes to Rockstar and The Coalition, and the long haul for Anthem.
Finally, we get the word from Matt on which Wii U ports are left and look into a rumor about DC Comics and its video games.
Mon, 3 February 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, Syndicate mobile.
Matt edges closer to the platinum trophy in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and spends a few hours creating religion in Frostpunk. Joe feels the beat in Patapon 2 and finds himself deep in the streets of Kamurocho in Yakuza Kiwami.
We talk about rumors of Silent Hill games and a new horror IP at Sony, check in with Nintendo’s financial briefing, and predict the 14 games that EA will release before next year.
Mon, 27 January 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, can I finish first?
Matt and Joe talk about Ninja Theory’s new projects and celebrate #Sonic2020 right along with you.
Joe failed to keep things going for long in Frostpunk but found better luck in Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2. Matt figured out the best way to get over finishing Sekiro is to play more Sekiro.
Mon, 20 January 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, we need a vowel.
We talk about the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster along with a recap of the recent string of game delays that struck this week.
Matt beat Sekiro and finds himself lost looking for the next thing. Marc pulls out the purple to play Phantasy Star Online while waiting on its sequel. Joe enters the depths of hell in Sigil after the recent updates to Doom.
Mon, 13 January 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, keep rollin’.
We have another week of GTA Online stories to share along with the debut of a new game that you can play along with at home.
Matt got through the wall in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Marc plays as someone else in Onimusha, and Joe got into Shovel Knight: King of Cards.
We hit some headlines from the week and recap the Pokémon Direct.
Mon, 6 January 2020
This week on The Free Cheese, learn the history of the year 2020.
We fell back into Grand Theft Auto Online and started to build our digital empire on the backs of Steve Winwood songs.
Marc learns the ways of Onimusha while Matt takes his special friend to the championship and Joe rolls credits on the world of dreams.
We tally up the scores of our 2019 predictions and etch in stone our declarations for 2020.
Mon, 30 December 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, it’s all about games.
With Game of the Year behind us we spend the podcast talking about everything we’ve been playing in the last few weeks.
We touch on Code Vein, Madden 20, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, Wattam, Shadows of the Damned, Demon’s Tilt, and so much more.
We learn some new phrases and prepare for our annual predictions show next week.
Fri, 27 December 2019
The conclusion to our Game of the Year 2019 Awards arrives with the induction of another game into The Free Cheese Hall of Fame and of course, our Game of the Year.
Listen in to hear our final day of deliberations and read below to see the winners. Thank you for spending your time with us this year. Enjoy your video games!
Hall of Fame - Super Metroid
We started inducting games into The Free Cheese Hall of Fame a few years back now and our process yields a new entry: Super Metroid.
We start with a list of 30 games (shown in the table below), each of us nominating 10 that we believe should be in The Free Cheese Hall of Fame. We write them down on sticky notes and place them on the table in front of us. We then remove one each and continue around the table until only one game remains.
For our full list of games in The Free Cheese Hall of Fame, check out the Hall of Fame page.
Game of the Year 2019
Resident Evil 2
The Free Cheese Game of the Year 2019 is Resident Evil 2. Capcom delivered an experience that captivated us and brought the franchise to new heights. With the difficult task of remaking a highly revered game, Capcom created something that stays true to its origins and remains wholly modern. The game propels our expectations for the franchise and for future remakes in different franchises. What we expect will be set against Resident Evil 2 as the barometer.
We loved most the sense of restriction that we felt with every shot we took and every bite we suffered. There were few moments of safety and even those were a short-term illusion. The constant fear of something dropping from the ceiling or slamming through a wall echoed through each playthrough.
What makes Resident Evil 2 more special is how much is waiting for you even after you finish it. A single playthrough shows you the story in full. A second is like hearing your favorite album recorded by another one of your favorite bands. It’s still got the same core to it but with a different sound that defines it yet again. Somehow, seeing both all the way through adds something to this game that outweighs either story individually.
2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
5. Devil May Cry 5
Thu, 26 December 2019
The fourth day of Game of the Year 2019 has arrived and with it another round of awards. Listen in to hear us deliberate and select our winners as we reminisce on the moments throughout the year in gaming. Read on below for the list of winners.
This game came out of nowhere. Sometimes this is actually true in the event of a surprise announcement and others the game was just not on our radar and suddenly became something to fall in love with.
Runners Up: Ring Fit Adventure, Kind Words
Favorite Free Cheese Moment
We create a lot of content over the course of a year between podcasts and videos. Of all of the little moments where we crack each other up, there’s always one that gets us the most even months later.
Ben predicts Shenmue 3 delay immediately after getting a point for a Shenmue 3 delay the previous year.
Runners Up: #WhereBritFaceGo, Whenever there is a new belt introduced in FCW
Can you imagine your favorite game without its soundtrack? Video game music is just as important to the game as what you’re looking at or playing or how you share it with your friends. This award celebrates the best compositions of the year.
Devil May Cry V
Runners Up: Death Stranding, Super Mario Maker 2
More than most years this category felt weighted. A lot of games we expected in 2019 slipped into 2020 and moreover we know that new consoles are on the way. With so much coming in the next calendar year, it was hard to narrow down our anticipation to just a few but this award goes to the game we just can’t wait for.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Runners Up: Cyberpunk 2077, Sequel to Breath of the Wild
Wed, 25 December 2019
Welcome to or third day of awards for 2019. Today we debut some categories and celebrate the best games that don’t stop. Listen in for our deliberations and read below for the winners.
We’re debuting this category despite the obvious need for it in previous years. What we do in a game is ultimately what hooks us in the first place. We can watch or read or do most things from a game in any other media but we can’t play our media like we can in a game. This celebrates the game that ultimately did something innovative and provided us with a new way to play.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Runners Up: Session, Devil May Cry V
Thankfully, video games are no longer confined to their original releases. Developers can expand upon them with new content and fix what might have needed a change. This category awards the game that added the most significant change to its core title and made it relevant beyond the original release date.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
Runners Up: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Favorite In-Game Moment
This award celebrates the one time in a game that made you want to tell everyone to play it. Every game has a moment where something clicks or comes out of nowhere and that surprise of it all makes it incredibly memorable.
Ashtray Maze (Control)
Runners Up: Nero vs Vergil (Devil May Cry V), Time jump (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)
Best Ongoing Game
Games as a service are so prevalent that we felt there should be an award for the one that does it the best. Separate from a single piece of content added or an expansion, this award goes to the games that make us want to come back regularly and not just for a single piece of content. Their continual changes and deployment make the content within significant and rewarding for us to keep playing all year long.
Runners Up: Magic: The Gathering Arena, Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Best Nintendo Game
2019 was a powerful year for Nintendo. While its American arm and the industry lost the force of Reggie Fils-Aime, the company continued to grow and expand its business. We saw the launch of a new model of the Switch and the premiere of massive franchises like Pokémon and Fire Emblem on the hardware. Beyond just first-party output, Nintendo partnered with third-party developers for exclusives like Astral Chain and Daemon X Machina that flesh out the library of the hybrid console and add even more reason to own one. While the other console manufacturers put out fewer games with new hardware on the horizon, Nintendo filled the calendar with games to play.
Super Mario Maker 2
Runners Up: Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ring Fit Adventure
Tue, 24 December 2019
2019’s awards continue with our next wave of awards. Once again we are gathered on a podcast to deliberate each award and grant one winner with two runners up. Listen in for the full debates and surprises, then read below for the winners.
You can also still vote for your Game of the Year 2019 in our Reader’s Choice Award.
This category awards the best use of multiplayer in a game this year. The way that a game can effectively bring us together is something that dates back to the beginning of video games and we love finding new ways to play with other people.
Runners Up: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Magic: The Gathering Arena
This category highlights a character from a game who became an integral part of what made that game special to us. Without them, the game could have still been great but with them it is so much more.
Fragile (Death Stranding)
Runners Up: Dante (Devil May Cry V), Raphael (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)
2019’s 2018 Game of the Year
We typically use this category to celebrate the game from the year before that might have made it into our top five had we played it. There were no games from 2018 that any of us went back to that we were compelled to nominate. Either we did a great job last year at playing everything great or we missed a lot. Stay tuned for 2020.
This award goes to the game that let us down the most. We had such high expectations because of its marketing, its developer, its franchise, or something else. In the end, the final output was not close to what we had hoped for and in some cases turned out pretty rotten.
Runners Up: Team Sonic Racing, Anthem
Best PlayStation Game
The edge of this generation is easy to peek over in 2019 and our glimpse at the future happened a few times as Sony officially announced the PlayStation 5 for next Holiday. With most of its first-party studios likely creating experiences for the new hardware and some working on games that slipped into 2020, it was a smaller year for PlayStation exclusives. It might feel a little like we’re just giving an award to give it but Death Stranding got us talking. Only one of us finished the game but each of us became infatuated with it in many different ways. Ultimately, the first production from Hideo Kojima and team post-Konami and without the Metal Gear name was something to revel in. It’s weird and beautiful, strange and maddening, and it all comes together in something that we’ll likely still talk about for years to come.
Mon, 23 December 2019
Welcome to the beginning of our Game of the Year 2019 awards. Each day this week, we’ll have a new podcast episode where we worked out the details of every award and agreed upon a winner and two runners up. You can listen in to go on the journey with us and read on to see the winners. You can also vote for your Game of the Year 2019 right now!
Out of Time
We wish we could play everything and that time was not finite. Yet it is and we must make choices for one reason or another. This category awards the game that we ran out of time to play. We wanted to, but something else got in the way. Once the calendar opens up a bit, the winner is our choice to hop into next.
Runners Up: Shenmue III, Judgement
Best Mobile Game
As mobile gaming continues to grow and becomes more aligned with what we can play on our consoles and PCs, there is still inherent value in a game designed for short sessions. This category celebrates the little ideas with a long lifespan.
Runners Up: HomeRuntaro, Mario Kart Tour
Favorite Industry Moment
We love when surprises happen and we love being excited about video games. Sometimes our dreams come true and sometimes we get caught off guard. The winner of this award is something that had an impact on us or the greater video game industry that signified a shift in gaming.
Runners Up: Final Fantasy coming to Game Pass, Banjo & Kazooie coming to Smash
This award goes to the game that provided us with a reason beyond gameplay to keep coming back. We were invested in its characters and its narrative shaped the way we engaged with it.
Runners Up: Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Devil May Cry 5
Best Xbox Game
We had originally nominated two games for this knowing that really only one game deserved the spot. 2019 was a transformative year for Xbox both in the gaming industry and at The Free Cheese. As we enter the final year of the Xbox One’s life (kind of) we each own and are active on the Xbox One, something we couldn’t say a year ago and definitely not at the start of this generation. While the first-party output might have been light, we recognize how strong Xbox has become as a brand and are excited for the future. To that end, the best in class for Xbox was Gears 5 which sung success for Xbox Game Pass as well, arguably just as important to the ecosystem as the accompanying hardware.
Mon, 16 December 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, a city above the sea.
Marc and Joe reconvene after The Game Awards to talk mostly about the Xbox Series X and what a new BioShock game could be. We recap the State of Play and highlight our favorite headlines of the week.
We also talk about Resident Evil 2, Magic: The Gathering Arena, Death Road to Canada, and Shovel Knight. We check in with a ™ game based on some creepypasta and sign off before our own Game of the Year awards debut next week.
Mon, 9 December 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we celebrate 25 years of PlayStation.
With our Game of the Year awards looming in the near future, Matt spends a week beating every game that came out this year. Marc plays a Kojima game about wandering in the woods and fighting monsters. Joe finally found the pinball game.
Our topic of the week has us thinking about what happens when creators lose control of their creations and what it means to truly have ownership over intellectual property.
Mon, 2 December 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, work it out.
We’ve still got a little more to say about the Sega Saturn after spending a week trying out its library.
As the year comes to its end, Matt is checking off the last few games from his list, Marc is exploring the black sheep catalogue of a favorite developer, and Joe is... trying new things.
We talk about the absence of VR on the next generation of Xbox, the next move for Hideo Kojima, and what a new Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater might look like.
Mon, 25 November 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, it’s a Sega console.
We celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sega Saturn by remembering its history and sharing the limited experience we had with it.
Matt watched several rounds of credits on the beaches of Norman. Marc can fly but doesn’t know where his brother went because a guy is looking at a fridge. Joe spent a long time wandering the fields but is flying high thanks to the Black Friday sale.
Mon, 18 November 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, pull my devil trigger.
We share stories about the weird stuff we did as kids and talk about game preservation.
Matt returns from Nashville only to walk back to it, connecting us all as Sam “Porter” Bridges. Marc brings three goths together to take down the devil, lest he cry. Joe skips the tutorials and heads right into the open fields to catch as many as he can find.
We share news from X019 and celebrate Lightning Returns coming to Game Pass.
Mon, 11 November 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, Runaway Toads.
Marc and Joe try out a new format centered around three topics. First, we talk about which games deserve the Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII remake treatment. Then, we discuss how we handle supporting games and developers we love when their publishers or others get in the way of the games. Finally, we close out talking about the best game of the decade.
We also highlight our continued time with Luigi’s Mansion 3, a return to Bloostained: Ritual of the Night, and talk about the corporate changes at PlayStation a year out from the PS5 launch.
Mon, 4 November 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, something about knuckles or something.
Matt spent Halloween with everybody’s favorite Italian cousin and returns with stories of Las Vegas. Marc tasted a handful of games and sold his soul for water. Joe has too much leftover candy to take with him into the Raccoon City Police Department.
Mon, 28 October 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, yeah, fried garlic.
Joe returns from the future with stories of subway gaming and the land of the rising sun. Marc learns how to listen to music and high five for bonus power. Matt brings combat to the current era once he can connect to the internet.
We discuss the possibilities of a new Swery and Suda 51 game, the future of Xbox controllers, and Diablo IV. We also have a followup from a listener email that brings us all together.
Mon, 21 October 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, can we count to three?
Marc vacuums the dust off his 3DS to explore new mansions. Matt is still seeking the answer to his question of the month.
We talk about next chapters for new and old games as well as admire Analogue's next retro product.
Mon, 14 October 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, whose voice would you put in your PlayStation?
Matt has reached the end of a Dreamcast era masterpiece and still finds himself asking one question. Marc can't get the boulder out of the house but he got the Luigi out of the mansion. Joe is back in 1998 chasing an opera singer through the sewers.
We talk about the PlayStation 5 and what game IO Interactive could be making with Warner Bros., as well as the new Halloween mode in Rocket League and the delay to Doom Eternal.
Mon, 7 October 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, like, Hey Scoob, what’s new?
We’re all together now to discuss the changeups at Sony, new Brain Age, and why pugs make great aliens.
Marc starts the month of spooky celebration with Luigi’s Mansion. Matt travels to a far away land to experience the Dreamcast. Joe ventures to the dark side of the moon with the latest Destiny 2 expansion.
Mon, 30 September 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we find out what sounds make our teeth hurt and share them with you.
We’re back with more talk about Link’s Awakening and Session as well as reports on our first week with Gears 5 playing through a co-op campaign.
We talk about The Last of Us Part II’s multiplayer campaign as well as what we learned from this week’s State of Play and Inside Xbox presentations.
Finally, we hear from you and answer questions about the Switch Lite, dinner with strangers, and more.
Mon, 23 September 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we campaign to get Frankie Muniz on the show.
We’re in the midst of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta and have reports from the battlefield. We also touch on the future of E3 and talk about the history of demo discs.
Matt edges deeper into the world of Alan Wake while Marc sees the beginnings of Link’s Awakening and Joe hits the streets in Session.
Mon, 16 September 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, speed run Sneak King!
Joe and Matt discover how to take care of spiders in the basement and what's worth $3.88 at a faraway Target.
We also put Astral Chain to bed and get excited about more Control. We stoke the fire of Gears 5 and hit the road toward professional Overwatch.
We cover Apple Arcade and the new horror of the Ring Fit Adventure ad before taking some emails about changing our minds on a game and a particular genre of games.
Mon, 9 September 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, oh, what you'll find on the boardwalk.
We talk about Astral Chain and the growth of Platinum Games along with the news from the Nintendo Direct this week.
Additionally, we checked out the Code Vein demo and saw the end of the annual Battle Pass.
We learn about changing laws for gambling in Japan and how it definitely has nothing to do with a changing Konami business plan.
Finally, we take questions from listeners and learn the true origin of The Free Cheese.
Mon, 2 September 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, can you name them all?
The video games have arrived and we have played them. We start things off with Blair Witch and talk about the ups and downs of getting lost in the woods. Then, we walk the line between two worlds in Control. Finally, we talk about Platinum’s latest with Astral Chain and why it’s good to play against your expectations.
We discuss some new game collections coming in the next few months, what Capcom could’ve made 19 million dollars on, and what we want in Overwatch on Switch.
Lastly, we close out with some listener questions regarding cheating in video games and fast-food mascots.
Mon, 26 August 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, who would eat a soft-shell crab?
We're here in the year of our Hideo to talk about Gamescom and the full roster coming to Mortal Kombat 11. We also talk about Insomniac Games joining the PlayStation family and concept art from the cancelled WB Montreal Damian Wayne Batman game.
Marc returns to Resident Evil 4 to prepare him to go further back into the original release of Resident Evil 2. Joe returns to Arkham on the tenth anniversary of Batman: Arkham Asylum to find that the game still stands tall. Matt learns the power of a battle rifle in the multiplayer of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
We also played through the rest of Halo 4 and started our journey through Halo 3: ODST and share our experiences with each as we near closer to Halo Infinite.
Mon, 19 August 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, the rapper returns.
Marc takes a dive into Ion Fury, a new game that uses the Duke Nukem 3D engine, while avoiding encounters with the fourth kind. Joe sees the end of one storyline in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and has some suggestions for approaching the game. Matt is grinning ear to ear despite his abnormal sleep schedule as The International 2019 is off to a start.
We discuss changes to the leadership working on Halo Infinite and Anthem, as well as what happened to that graphics upgrade for Minecraft from a few years ago.
We also started our group run of Halo 4 this week and we check in with where we stand on the return of Master Chief.
Mon, 12 August 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we went to the movies.
Join us for another episode where we talk about loot box percentages, full-time jobs, and what to do about WWE.
We hear from Matt on his week with Wolfenstein: Youngblood and the narrowing road of the world of DOTA. Marc takes us on another adventure in Pokémon GO (now with 100% more ghosts). Joe traveled through time in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and can't come back.
We also talk about the latest from hap, inc. in the form of Home Runtaro, and share our curiosity for the future of Destiny 2.
Mon, 5 August 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, you can pause us at any time. Marc survives a strange encounter in a parking lot with Team Rocket and maybe more. Joe starts to get heavy into tea time with his students in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Matt learns what video games look like on a new graphics card with Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
We talk about how many millions of PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold, what Hero is like in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where SEGA consoles live on today, and more during our News section.
Mon, 29 July 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, I found this in the backyard, you want it?
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is adding a bit of the Arkane flavor to the hallway shooter and we detail what we’re digging about the game so far. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is changing up the formula as well, adding in a whole lot of social elements to the game that are making us care about the characters even more. Finally, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is filled with what we knew from the first two games and the character combos are giving us reason to try different playstyles out.
We talk about potential returns to both the Monster Rancher and NiGHTS franchises as well as the latest addition to the roster of Overwatch. We hear what was announced at QuakeCon and how it was three Doom games coming to Switch.
All this and more on another exhilarating episode of The Free Cheese Podcast. Thanks for joining!
Mon, 22 July 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we go down the river. With six months behind us, we take a look at what we like this year so far and which games we believe will end up in our annual conversations this December. We also talk about the slew of announcements from Nintendo this week along with id Software departures, Comic-Con announcements, and news of Tetris Effect on PC.
Thankfully, the meta changed in Dota Underlords so Matt has a little bit more to talk about. Marc poked at the obligatory Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp while Joe started playing a decade-old MMO and learning when the Splatfest ended.
Mon, 15 July 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, what's after Mars?
Marc is away but Matt and Joe come together to talk about the Sega Genesis and how it lives on in 2019. With the announcement of the Vita 2, or "Nintendo Switch Lite", we talk about what we want in portable gaming and where we think Nintendo should take its family of hardware next. Another week of Dota 2 and Underlords is in Matt's play record while Joe spent some time exploring the star map in Warframe and trying to find ground in Super Mario Maker 2.
Mon, 8 July 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, you want job? We're here to talk about another round of Q&A from a Nintendo shareholder's meeting that includes discussion about the future of Nintendo Switch Online and whether or not these poor shareholders can get to an amusement park.
Matt only understands the ways of The Ancients these days as every screen must contain DOTA. Marc uses the absence of the internet to get immersed in Breath of the Wild. Joe opens up two screens to make maps in Etrian Odyssey. We talk about some Super Mario Maker 2 best practices and how to get started making levels, as well as what makes a good Zelda dungeon.
Mon, 1 July 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we walk like a dinosaur. It's the middle of the summer and we've got your tips on staying out of school and how to survive 6th grade. Marc dances through Hyrule a little bit more before getting engrossed in a childhood classic on the Nintendo 64. Joe finds his footing in the castle of Bloodstained leading up to the season of creation with the launch of Super Mario Maker 2.
We get into how much games are going to cost on Stadia, what video game television shows are on the way, and what happens when an alien invasion crashes into one of the world's biggest MMOs.
Mon, 24 June 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, that's a veteran catch! Marc returns from Chicago to tell us what it's like to catch Pokémon with thousands of other people across three parks, as well as share the experience of Rare Replay and the arcade edition of Battletoads. Matt is collecting ears with his motorcycle as he begins the wandering within Days Gone. Joe is looking for a way to make things turn upside down in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night after its long-awaited release.
We also talk a lot about Data Underlords and how it finally makes sense once you play it, as well as the longevity of that genre of games now cropping up.
With E3 in the rearview, there's only one news story worth talking about: Dr. Mario.
Mon, 17 June 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, you can do that in traffic? We're on the other side of E3 and we're tallying up the points to see who was the best at seeing into the future. After the dust settled, we also talk about the games that are still sticking with us that we're most anticipating.
For the week, Matt played the beta release of Valve's latest video game: Dota Underlords and some of Ubisoft's new Roller Champions. Joe fell back into Breath of the Wild after a smattering of start-and-stop attempts at several other games.
Wed, 12 June 2019
We bring E3 2019 to a close with Nintendo's presentation and what we loved from it. We talk about everything we saw in the Direct and some of the things we learned from the subsequent Treehouse stream afterward.
We talk about Banjo & Kazooie joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with The Hero from Dragon Quest. We check in with Luigi's Mansion 3 and Astral Chain, while taking our first look at Animal Crossing: New Horizons and learning that Tom Nook is a cop who controls your mobile plan.
Tue, 11 June 2019
E3 2019 continues as Ubisoft and Square Enix introduce the next year and beyond in video games. We talk about where we fall after the pair of press conferences have aired and the highlights of each show.
We fell in love with Final Fantasy VII all over again and are eager to take over London in Watch Dogs Legion. We find ourselves curious of what else Ubisoft is up to besides Tom Clancy's game and really scratching our heads at Marvel's Avengers debut.
All of this and more await you inside, including a breakdown of some of the other announcements out of Inside Xbox.
Mon, 10 June 2019
It's the start of E3 2019 and we've watched Xbox, Bethesda, and Devolver Digital show off some video games. We each share a bit of what we found most interesting from each presentation.
We talk about the next generation of Xbox and what that means for what we're currently playing on as well as what surprised us most out from the first day of E3 2019.
Sun, 9 June 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we welcome back that classic taste. We're recording this episode just hours before Xbox goes live with its E3 2019 announcements so we keep it a little light this time. We talk about what we've played this last week. Marc takes a trip to the swamp with Hunt: Showdown and tries World War Z's approach to the Left 4 Dead style of survival games. Matt climbs a few more levels in Rocket League and buys a few more in the Dota 2 Battle Pass. Joe explores a bit of the emptiness of space in Void Bastards to see if anyone can hear you scream.
Happy E3 2019!
Mon, 3 June 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we give you 45 reasons why this E3 will be the best E3. We switch things up a bit this time as we start the show with a bit of news from the last week before moving into what we've all been playing. Matt set sail in space as he completed Observation. Marc tried to find the meaning of life and how to escape it in Transference. Joe learned about biology and New York City in Parasite Eve.
Then, we each detail 5 predictions for Nintendo and Xbox, with another 5 that could happen at any point across the show. The bulk of this episode is celebrating the feeling of anticipation as we get closer to E3 2019.
Mon, 27 May 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we talk about movies for a while.
Matt spent some time fixing a PC this week so we could all play Sea of Thieves. Marc looked into the goggles again to take Astro Bot on a little adventure. Joe found a team of Sonic characters to go racing with in the latest in the series of Sonic kart racing games.
We talk about what Jack Tretton has to say about PlayStation 5, how long the Xbox E3 Briefing is expected to run, DC Universe Online coming to Switch, and how you can watch Pirates of the Caribbean on Twitch.
Mon, 20 May 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, the waffles might be burning. We induct another game into The Free Cheese Hall of Fame, bringing our total to three.
We also talk about Sony and Microsoft's partnership in the cloud and what it probably actually means. We find out what The Video Game History Foundation is doing at Game Informer. Additionally, we get the latest details on Treyarch's Black Ops IIIII.
Marc gets dancing with a bit of Beat Saber while Matt explores the wasteland without Andrew W.K. and Joe reads Netflix producer biographies in a Castlevania game.
Mon, 13 May 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we bring back the dead. Marc teaches you how to rig the arcade so you and your family can get switchblade combs. Matt maintains his status on Xbox Live without compromising his trash talking. Joe checks out a bunch of video tapes.
Without a lot that we've been playing recently to talk about, we instead look backwards and forwards in time to talk about video game remakes, reboots, and revivals. We talk about some of our favorite examples of each and share our dreams for games that could see new life somewhere in the future.
Then, we recap some news from the week and think a bit about how close we are to Electronic Three.
Mon, 6 May 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we’re not slowing down. Marc and Joe are excited for the future of Sonic the Hedgehog cinema and talk about our favorite live-action Pokémon so far. We also talk about how Microsoft thinks you should trash talk appropriately and how crunch is affecting the video game industry.
Marc spent some time this week waving a tiny ball at his screen while Joe continued to learn the art of the cards.
Mon, 29 April 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, should you go into someone’s van? We finally find out that Persona 5 is coming to Nintendo Switch and we talk about how you can make your own Overwatch games.
Matt spent the week being sad on ice, Marc took a sword to the 1980s, and Joe found a way to build a deck. With Mortal Kombat 11’s release, we detail a lot of what has changed since the last iteration of the game and celebrate how much we really love the game so far.
Mon, 22 April 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we get the good ones before they're gone. Matt and Joe gather to discuss the next generation of PlayStation and what to expect from Xbox at E3. We also talk about updates to Mario Tennis Aces and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as what we think of the full lineup coming to the Castlevania collection next month.
We've played a bit of Sekiro and some other games as the week kind of blurred by. Matt is lost in Rocket League while Joe discovers pinball games on Genesis. We also talk about Final Fantasy VII on Switch and detail our experience with Nintendo Labo VR.
Finally, we celebrate thirty years of the Nintendo Game Boy by reliving some of our memories of the first handheld console we'd ever owned and some of our favorite games.
Mon, 15 April 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, can you smell blood?
Marc travels through time going to Colorado and back, with his Switch and Undertale. Matt plays all the Matt games plus Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
We touch on what Sony name changes, what Respawn’s been up to, and Twitch getting karaoke. Plus much more.
Mon, 8 April 2019
This week on The Free Cheese, we realize we’re basically a TV news program. Marc is slicing his way through Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance while Matt continues to find his footing in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Joe tries to start a cult with cards.
We talk about the potential Switch releases coming out of a Best Buy listing, getting refunds on PlayStation Network, and the final big changes coming to Splatoon 2.