The BEST episodes of Extra Credits

Every episode of Extra Credits ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Extra Credits!

Join James Portnow, Daniel Floyd and Allison Theus each week as they take a deeper look at games; how they are made, what they mean and how we can make them better.

Last Updated: 1/29/2023Network:YouTube
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Game AI - Funtelligence
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#1 - Game AI - Funtelligence

Season 2017 - Episode 30 - Aired 8/16/2017

Games often advertise their complex AI, but in truth, offering a wide variety of simple NPC behaviors unique to each enemy often feels more engaging AND challenging to the player than putting them through multiple hours of facing a bunch of NPCs operating on the same AI behavior tree.

Persona 5 and Jungian Psychology - Masks, Major Arcana, and Meaning
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#2 - Persona 5 and Jungian Psychology - Masks, Major Arcana, and Meaning

Season 2017 - Episode 22 - Aired 6/28/2017

Did you know Persona 5 is based on Jungian psychology? Learn about the symbolism behinds the masks and major arcana! These concepts can be surprising helpful when analyzing or even writing games.

Getting Started as a Game Journalist - Practice, Prepare, and Pitch
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#3 - Getting Started as a Game Journalist - Practice, Prepare, and Pitch

Season 2017 - Episode 23 - Aired 7/5/2017

So you want to be a game journalist! Where to start? Freelancer Rob Rath shares his experience and advice, from practicing writing on a personal blog to researching the types of articles sites publish and even how to write a good pitch.

Injustice 2: Trauma Survival - Harley Quinn's Greatest Fear
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#4 - Injustice 2: Trauma Survival - Harley Quinn's Greatest Fear

Season 2017 - Episode 25 - Aired 7/12/2017

Content Warning: Abusive Relationship. Harm doesn't end when physical or emotional abuse stops. In Injustice 2, Harley Quinn is a hero who's still dealing with the aftermath of her trauma - and neither of those aspects of her character detracts from the other.

Arts Funding - Helping Games that Help Us
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#5 - Arts Funding - Helping Games that Help Us

Season 2017 - Episode 26 - Aired 7/19/2017

Games have made great strides in the last few years towards public recognition and arts funding in the United States, but all that could fall apart unless we step up to support the programs like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities which make it possible.

How Games Speak - Learn the Language of Design
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#6 - How Games Speak - Learn the Language of Design

Season 2017 - Episode 27 - Aired 7/26/2017

Game design is a language and games speak to us in ways that we can understand. But how does that work? By understanding three simple ideas, we can both make better games and learn what makes the ones we play and love so special.

One Million Subs - Thank YOU for Supporting Extra Credits!
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#7 - One Million Subs - Thank YOU for Supporting Extra Credits!

Season 2017 - Episode 24 - Aired 7/6/2017

Whether you've been with us from the beginning or just found us on YouTube, you are what makes Extra Credits special. Your support and encouragement keep us going. And the conversations and questions you bring with you to your friends, your family, and your world are the reason we started this show in the first place.

Peace Games - Gaming for a Better Future
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#8 - Peace Games - Gaming for a Better Future

Season 2017 - Episode 28 - Aired 8/2/2017

Since the founding of the Olympics, games have been a tool to bring people together, allowing us to compete but also to recognize the humanity in our opponents. Although online games have become a breeding ground for toxicity, they still have the potential to teach us about each other and find role models in professional players.

Marginal Mechanics and Red Herrings - Why So Weak?
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#9 - Marginal Mechanics and Red Herrings - Why So Weak?

Season 2017 - Episode 29 - Aired 8/9/2017

Every game has some skills or abilities that are just weaker than other abilities. Players wind up ignoring them or resenting them, so why include these "red herring" mechanics? While it can be just lazy design, there are also some very good uses for these marginal mechanics!

Games You Might Not Have Tried #12 - Find New Console Games
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#10 - Games You Might Not Have Tried #12 - Find New Console Games

Season 2017 - Episode 21 - Aired 6/21/2017

If you want to try games that feel different, that always feel new and ambitious even if they're not necessarily the most polished experiences, then check out this list of Games You Might Not Have Tried - Console Edition! We review and recommend interesting but under appreciated console games for you to discover and enjoy.

Keep Cutting - Sunk Cost Fallacy and Game Development
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#11 - Keep Cutting - Sunk Cost Fallacy and Game Development

Season 2017 - Episode 31 - Aired 8/23/2017

Once development begins on a feature, game developers often get drawn into a sunk cost fallacy that compels them to keep working on that feature even when it's failing. Cutting those features is hard, but often the right choice to make the game better.

Accessibility - The Curb Cut Effect
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#12 - Accessibility - The Curb Cut Effect

Season 2017 - Episode 32 - Aired 8/30/2017

Accessibility design makes the game better for all players, not only the disabled. By planning ahead and making more options available, designers can give players the tools to customize their experience in a way that fits them best.

PAX WEST 2017 Extra Credits Panel
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#13 - PAX WEST 2017 Extra Credits Panel

Season 2017 - Episode 33 - Aired 9/20/2017

The Extra Credits crew gathered at PAX West in 2017 and did a panel! We hope you enjoy our answers to audience questions and the debut of Scott's yearly secret video.

The Anchoring Effect - Why Review Scores Matter
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#14 - The Anchoring Effect - Why Review Scores Matter

Season 2017 - Episode 34 - Aired 9/27/2017

The first data we see affects our opinion about everything afterwards - so a good review score makes us like the game more, and an apparent sale makes us more eager to buy a game with a higher price point. This anchoring effect is even built into game design itself.

The Problem with Power Fantasies - We're Not Always Right
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#15 - The Problem with Power Fantasies - We're Not Always Right

Season 2017 - Episode 35 - Aired 10/4/2017

Games embrace power fantasies that let the player do whatever they want, to whomever they want, without anyone questioning the morality of their actions. But questioning and re-evaluating our choices is an important part of life, and players don't need to be treated so delicately that we never address these issues in game.

Prey: The Enemy Inside - Testing You Softly
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#16 - Prey: The Enemy Inside - Testing You Softly

Season 2017 - Episode 36 - Aired 10/11/2017

What we want to believe about ourselves and what's actually true may be very different things. Prey: The Enemy Inside starts with a simple psychological test... and then puts you in situations that may reveal your answers to be lies.

One More Level - The Arbitrary Endpoint Trap
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#17 - One More Level - The Arbitrary Endpoint Trap

Season 2017 - Episode 37 - Aired 10/18/2017

When we stay up later than we wanted just to hit a progress point in our games, we have fallen into the arbitrary endpoint trap. Some games deliberately manipulate us to do one more level, but many times we're doing it to ourselves and making playtime a chore.

Games You Might Not Have Tried: Horror - Find New Games for Halloween
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#18 - Games You Might Not Have Tried: Horror - Find New Games for Halloween

Season 2017 - Episode 38 - Aired 10/25/2017

If you want to try games that feel different, that feel new and ambitious even if they're not necessarily the most polished experiences, then check out this list of Games You Might Not Have Tried - Halloween Edition! We review and recommend interesting but under appreciated games for you to discover and enjoy.

Perversion Subversion - Examining Hentai Sensibility
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#19 - Perversion Subversion - Examining Hentai Sensibility

Season 2017 - Episode 20 - Aired 6/14/2017

Some recent Japanese games have tried to examine the hentai sensibility, with varying degrees of success. Where Yakuza 0 succeeds in finding a new perspective through bawdy humor, Persona 5 tries a more serious look that falls flat when the game thoughtlessly engages in sexual objectification.

The Legality of Using Your Data - Games of Tomorrow
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#20 - The Legality of Using Your Data - Games of Tomorrow

Season 2017 - Episode 19 - Aired 6/7/2017

Games driven by personal data have the potential to change the medium in exciting new ways, but they also have the potential to cross boundaries. What laws regulate a game's ability to harness player data, and what responsibility do devs have to use that information wisely?

Indie Advice - Fire Early
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#21 - Indie Advice - Fire Early

Season 2017 - Episode 18 - Aired 5/24/2017

Firing somebody is hard, but if one team member isn't keeping up, it's better for everyone if the team leader fires them early before their part of the project falls behind. It's better for the team, better for the game, and often even better for the person being fired.

Why Do We Ship Buggy Games? - A Look Behind the Scenes
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#22 - Why Do We Ship Buggy Games? - A Look Behind the Scenes

Season 2017 - Episode 17 - Aired 5/17/2017

When launch day bugs ruin a game, why don't publishers just delay the release to fix everything? While it's definitely bad business for them to make such broken games, it's worth taking a look at how the problems get that bad instead of just blaming "lazy developers."

Lifestyle Games - The Play's the Thing
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#23 - Lifestyle Games - The Play's the Thing

Season 2017 - Episode 16 - Aired 5/3/2017

Sometimes a game is more than just a game: it's a lifestyle. You play it enough for it to become a part of your life. Often these games have different playstyle genres, but the way we play them makes them "lifestyle games."

Localize Everything - Finding Hardcore Fans Worldwide
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#24 - Localize Everything - Finding Hardcore Fans Worldwide

Season 2017 - Episode 15 - Aired 4/26/2017

Nothing feels worse than seeing a game you really like but can't play because it's only being released in another part of the world. But does it have to be that way? Here's why we think every console game should be published worldwide.

A Case for Cutscenes - Everything Old is New Again
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#25 - A Case for Cutscenes - Everything Old is New Again

Season 2017 - Episode 14 - Aired 4/18/2017

Cutscenes have long been the whipping boy of "bad" game design, but Yakuza 0 shows us they can still be amazing in a modern game if done well. What was Sega's secret?

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