Okay, we know. It’s ‘Serial’. It’s been around since 2014. But this podcast is an absolute unadulterated cult classic, and for good reason. Series one changed the scope of the podcast world forever, paving the way for every brilliant investigative true crime podcast you’ve listened to this year. The first season delves into a murder case, for which the victim’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted. Following the podcast and subsequent media attention, in 2022, he was released. Season three was equally as groundbreaking, exploring the day-to-day happenings of an American courthouse. The best part? Season four is reportedly on its way. Find us a podcast as influential as ‘Serial’ – we’ll wait.
So 2023 is in full swing, and podcast releases are showing no sign of slowing down. And us? We're keeping up the demand. BBC Three’s April 2023 release, the fascinating ‘A Very British Cult’, has taken the world by storm (and made it to our top ten), while 2022’s ‘Unreal’ has claimed our fourth spot for being equal parts fun and nostalgic. But hey, there’s got to be room for the golden oldies, too – as we await its fourth series, notorious investigative podcast ‘Serial’ is our number one.
In our list of the best podcasts right now, we've got political podcasts that look behind the news, comedy podcasts with your favourite funny people, and plenty of those all-important investigative whodunnits to keep you up at night. Whatever you’re into, it’s all here. And if you’re looking to dig deeper into one genre, try our specialist lists on for size (you’ll find them below). Happy listening.
Contributors: Anna Rahmanan, Eddy Frankel, Andy Kryza, Phil de Semlyen, Alex Plim, Dave Calhoun, Andrzej Lukowski, Cass Knowlton, Dalia Barth, Isabelle Aron, Alexandra Sims and Matthew Singer, Joe Mackertich, Huw Oliver, Ella Doyle, Rose Johnstone, Jess Phillips, Charlie Liddington.
🎧 The best podcasts on Spotify
🔪 The best true crime podcasts
🎶 The best music podcasts