Based on popularity trends seen in 2021, consumer data company Statista projects that 160 million people will be listening to podcasts by the year 2023. Given that so many new releases are competing to fill this growing demand, you’ll also need assistance deciding which new audio adventures are worthwhile of your time. Listeners always wait for the new release of podcasts and that’s why we bring the full list of the 15 best podcasts of all time.
The surviving Reply All co-hosts formally ended their run as one of the most well-known podcasts ever in May of this year. However, we also warmly welcomed several impressive newcomers.
We’ve selected a wide selection of fresh podcasts for you to check out while true crime once again dominates the online radio airways. Please be aware that this list only includes podcasts, seasons, and limited series that were released after December 2021. You’ll find yourself binge-listening to these astonishing series if you are aware of the best podcasts of all time, from Serial Productions’ investigative journalism with a personal touch to PRX’s audio virtual dating show to a fictional drama about real-life superhero vigilantes.
1. Kuper Island
The podcast’s focus is on the testimonies of four kids, one of whom perished in the horrors, but Duncan McCue, the host, also discusses the lasting impact that this eerie tragedy has had on every succeeding generation of first nation peoples. McCue, the son of a student who survived the facility, not only offers sharp reporting but also engrossing personal accounts based on his own experiences there.
Although it is difficult to listen to, our conveys much more than the suffering and sorrow that imperialist empires throughout the Americas inflicted on the continent’s indigenous populations. The protagonists in the novel learn to find some measure of peace by speaking out against these unforgivable atrocities rather than burying them, which demonstrates the wealth of collective communal resilience and an unbreakable spirit. The Kuper Island podcast is one of the best podcasts ever because of this.
2. This is Dating
Numerous people’s dating life fell apart as a result of the pandemic. This is Dating, a lovely, solitary, blind dating podcast from PRX, is intended to halt that downward trend and revive your optimism. Hiwote Getaneh and Jesse Baker, the hosts, gently guide those looking for love by frequently sending them on a series of first dates that are captured on camera after consulting with a relationship coach. The co-hosts, when necessary, direct the conversation as the couples go about their activities. This is Dating is a compelling piece of entertainment for everyone that combines a Netflix reality dating show with an Esther Perrel therapy session to paint an inspiring portrait of the contemporary dating environment with plenty of touching moments and lessons for all of us to learn.
3. Harsh Reality
As the star of the first transgender-focused dating reality TV show, Miriam stood for many different things to a wide spectrum of people. She was the first trans person that most people in mainstream heterosexual culture had ever met. She was a two-edged blade of transphobia and much deserved representation in the transgender community. Producer of the podcast Trace Lysette, however, emphasizes Miriam as a person in this series rather than just a famous or innovative television personality. In the devastating film Harsh Reality, a woman experiences some of the worst predatory television of the 2000s had to offer, including heartbreaking confrontations with transmisogyny as well as jubilant affirmations of her beauty.
4. Cover Story, Season 1: Power Trip
Investigative podcast season one from New York magazine, hosted by journalist iO Tillett Wright, is quite the voyage, figuratively speaking. The show’s thorough reporting injects the topic with much-needed skepticism in response to the psychedelic treatment’s explosion in popularity over the previous few years. The first episode of the season looks deeply into the movement’s early years of global underground operation. You hear the horrifying testimonies of several former supporters of psychedelic therapy, including co-host Lily Kay Ross, whose faith in a workable PTSD treatment made them vulnerable to emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of authorities. While the first half of the book is creepy enough, the second half makes the case that a reckless attempt to quickly incorporate these experimental psychiatric treatments into reputable institutions risks exposing many more individuals to similar traumas. Because of this, season 1 of this podcast is among the best ever.
5. Trojan Horse Affair
The Trojan Horse Affair upholds Serial Productions’ reputation for revealing the universal meaning hidden beneath an apparently self-contained true story. It examines a local school board scandal that gained international attention. An anonymous letter purportedly containing data revealing a complex Islamic terrorist plot to hack British educational institutions was mailed to a municipal counselor in Birmingham, England, in 2013. The letter’s charges against administrators and community members who had helped several schools with a Muslim majority start to succeed surprised the entire town. A budding Birmingham journalist named Hamza Syed was apprehensive after the accused administrators were fired because of the consequent moral panic, media frenzy, and counterterrorism investigation.
6. Will Be Wild
The Capitol rebellion on January 6, 2021, left many wondering how such a thing could have happened. This question is expertly and completely answered in this eight-part series by Pineapple Studios and Wondery. Ilya Marritz and Andrea Bernstein humanize the accounts of those who were present at the historic event. There are interviews with worried relatives who alerted the FBI to possible acts of violence, with government officials who listened and tried to issue warnings about the threat of domestic terrorism, and even with supporters of Trump rallies. Will Be Wild will show how much more there is to learn about what happened on that pivotal day and what it means for the future of American democracy if you think you know everything there is to know about this once-in-a-lifetime news story. Therefore, the Will be Wild podcast is one of the best podcasts ever.
7. Sorry About The Kid
When Alex McKinnon’s younger brother was killed by a police car three decades ago, he was too young to comprehend the anguish of losing his best friend. The little child in mourning resorted to covering up these horrible memories, not realizing that he was also burying all of his sibling’s happy memories. McKinnon concerns that he is forgetting his brother more and more each year as an adult, so he works to rediscover him with the help of counseling. He speaks with his therapist, parents, and friends in this agonizing four-part documentary in attempt to face the sadness he has shied away from since he was a young boy.
8. Wild Things
The Siegfried & Roy partner Roy, a German-born performer, was fatally killed by one of his own tigers during a live Las Vegas performance in 2003, and that incident dominated the news cycle. But when journalist Steven Leckart looked into the unanswered questions surrounding the historic occurrence decades later, he found how little was actually known about what happened that night. With the use of interviews with intimate associates, case investigators, and even eyewitnesses to the horrible night in question, this riveting eight-part exposé aims to reveal the hidden reality that lies underneath all the illusions.
9. Sweet Bobby
For years, radio personality Kirat thought she was a part of a terribly romantic love story that would last forever. She had a long-distance relationship with a lovely doctor named Bobby, and it had its ups and downs—most notably, the numerous illnesses and medical emergencies that kept them apart physically. However, nothing had prepared her (or her audience) for the startling reality hiding beneath the web of lies encircling her most important romantic relationship. We won’t reveal any additional information to prevent spoilers.
You should stick around for the resolution of this catfishing tale, which will put an end to all catfishing tales. Similar to Sympathy Pains, Sweet Bobby belongs to a fascinating new category of true crime podcasts that explores heinous crimes that the state is powerless to stop. The only possible way to bring criminals to justice is to raise awareness of the irreparable harm they have done.
10. Critical Role
It only seems appropriate to include this illustrious D&D podcast given the recent rise of Dungeons and Dragons in pop culture. We still count the web series Critical Role even though its audio is available as a podcast. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds to listen to professional voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons, and Matt Mercer, the dungeon master, does a fantastic job of weaving a story for his players.
However, because the episodes can be quite long, it might take some time to watch them all. The group is currently working on their second iteration of “The Mighty Nein”
11. Hardcore History
The best educational podcast, in our opinion, is Hardcore History. Even if Dan Carlin’s detailed discussion of a historical event lasts for five hours, listeners will undoubtedly learn something new. This podcast, which first aired in 2006, covers topics like the Asia-Pacific War and the Bubonic Plague.
New listeners can pick a topic or start with any episode because the podcast is episodic. Some topics are covered over numerous episodes, therefore listeners should make sure they start with part 1 of a topic. You are aware of the factors that make the Hardcore History podcast one of the best podcasts ever, we are confident in saying.
12. Pod Save America
Our top pick for the finest political podcast has grown into a true media powerhouse. In 2017, a group of former Obama staff employees established Crooked Media. Along with writing articles and giving speeches across the nation, they have also produced a number of podcasts on subjects ranging from pop culture to activism. The cast of Pod Save America has figured out how to properly talk politics with disillusioned millennials.
The media company’s moniker suggests that they are not interested in delving into both sides of the argument. For those who are uninterested in the liberal argument, this may be a podcast to ignore.
This audio has an unpleasant quality as well. The emphasis is on gloomy tales and myths from our history, as implied by the title. After thorough research, each issue is presented in a depressing manner with ominous music playing in the background. Some episodes make viewers a little uneasy while also teaching them the history of famous creatures from movies. For the most eerie atmosphere, we suggest “Unboxed,” an episode from the show.
Although a television adaptation of Lore is available on Amazon Prime, there is something unsettling about hearing these stories rather than seeing them. It’s almost like we’re sitting around a campfire listening to ghost stories, but we’re not actually camping.
14. This American Life
The best podcast ever. The fact that This American Life was the first podcast gives it the #1 spot. It’s a one-hour radio show that frequently presents a tale in three acts. Every act is engaging and presents a different story. It is hardly surprising that Ira Glass and team have had plenty of time to hone their craft given that the show has been on since 1995.
Nearly all 600+ episodes are worthwhile to listen to. The Break-Up and The Feather Heist are a couple of our favorites, but new listeners should really just browse the episode list and choose one at random.
15. The Super Hero Complex
The fiction podcast Super Hero Complex brings the current golden age of realist superhero satires to audio storytelling. While The Boys on Prime Video and Deadpool are all considerably more PG, they all critique the current superhero craze in a similar manner.
While masked vigilantes who fight crime are becoming more common, superpowers may not exist in the universe of The Super Hero Complex (a Novel production). Journalist David Weinberg examines what this pattern implies about us as Americans by examining Seattle’s Phoenix Jones, one of the most well-known self-described heroes ever. While some, including the police, contend that drug charges expose a wider hoax behind his character, others contend that he is the sole real-life superhero in the entire world. Even if you don’t typically listen to fictitious podcasts, The Super Hero Complex is definitely worth a listen. The performances are among the best, most natural ones in fictional podcasting to date.