Thanks to modern streaming technology, countless video-related niches are able to flourish on the internet. One particular subset is video game speedrunning, in which players attempt to finish games in the quickest time possible and post video proof of their accomplishments online for bragging rights (and to entertain their subscribers, if they have a popular online following). The dexterity and motor skills that these runners display are nothing short of impressive, as these runs require near-perfection, especially when the online leaderboards are crowded with players vying for the top times. There are a ton of great speedrun videos online, but the following are some of the best, and really showcase the wonderfully exploits and techniques players have found to cut down their completion times to just a fraction of what it would take the average player to finish these games.
7. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Speedrunner Cosmo may have had his record for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time beaten recently, but his time of 18 mins, 10 seconds is still impressive. Cosmo also offers an informative voiceover during the video, explaining how he discovered some of his techniques. Frankly, any sub-20 minute run of this classic game is impressive, especially considering players don’t even take control of character Link until almost 4 minutes into the game!
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Tackling a speedrun of a Grand Theft Auto game is surely a massive undertaking, as these games are not exactly designed for quick completion (just getting through the story of these games takes about 30 hours alone). By this runner’s own admission, this is not the best completion time for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but it’s still just impressive to see the wild methods he and others have found to finish this game in around 1 hour, 15 minutes. The best part is how the game’s rules and exploits are taken full advantage of, as there’s really no “cheating” in speedrunning; as long as the game technically allows you to do something, it’s fair game to do it.
5. Three Megaman Games At The Same Time
There’s a term in speedrunning circles called TAS, or Tool-Assisted Speedruns, that are generally looked down upon because it essentially means that you program a computer to play the game for you. The reality is that there are some control inputs that are practically impossible for a human to do, so having a computer do them results in better times, but less impressive runs. That being said, programming a computer to play a game is still an impressive technical accomplishment, but figuring out that you can have the same program beat 3 different games — at the same time — is on a whole other level. This programmer solved a ridiculously complex puzzle and that’s an impressive feat regardless if he actually played the game or not.
4. Yoshi’s Island 100 % Run
A lot of games can either be finished by getting to the end credits, or by doing everything in the game and achieving 100 % completion. Doing a speedrun of the latter is definitely the more difficult of the two options. This speedrun of Yoshi’s Island is honestly mesmerizing. Runner Tri-Hex not only goes through the game at a blistering pace that seems inhuman, but does so for 3 hours in front of a huge audience! It would be hard to do anything in front of a crowd for 3 hours, let alone maintain this level of play for that long.
3. Solo Portal 2 Co-op
Success in Portal 2’s two player co-operative mode requires intricate teamwork, as both players need to work together to solve the game’s environmental puzzles. It’s hard enough trying to get two minds to work together on it, but beating the game in under an hour all by yourself is just crazy. Speedrunner Azorae controls both characters, sometimes simultaneously, to get through puzzles that require a lot of time-sensitive maneuvers that you would think would only work with two people. He does it by himself, in less time than most experienced teams would take.
2. F-Zero GX On Very Hard Difficulty
In terms of sheer, mind-boggling quick reflexes and skill, it’s hard to find a more impressive speedrun than this one by F Zero GX player CGN. F Zero GX is a notoriously difficult racing game for the Nintendo Gamecube requiring a great degree of skill just to get through normal races, let alone the inhuman feats CGN pulls off on the game’s highest difficulty level. What’s most impressive is that he accomplishes this run in front of a crowd, which seems like a ridiculous amount of pressure to put on yourself when playing a game as blisteringly fast and demanding as this.
1. Super Mario Bros. In Under Five Minutes
Super Mario Bros. probably the game that instantly comes to mind when you think of speedruns, simply because of how ridiculously fast the game can be beaten. This particular runner, LordSaradoc, comes as close to speedrunning perfection as seems humanly possible, as it’s difficult to see how this time could be bested when there are no visible mistakes made. This run is also a good entry point for anyone curious to see what speedrunning is, as unlike most runs, this one is easily digestible at only 4 minutes, 57.63 seconds long. It really has to be seen to believed.