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The Most Amazing Video Game Speedruns

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
For those of you who don't follow the community, the best speedruns can be pretty spectacular. We poured over hundreds of videos for the best speedrun games to bring you a list of our absolute favourite, not just for their speed but historical significance.

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The Most Amazing Video Game Speedruns

OK, that’s really fast. Welcome to MojoPlays, and today we’re looking at the most impressive video game speed runs.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most incredible and unbelievable speedruns ever recorded.

“Portal” (2007) in 00:08:31
Z1mb0bw4y, Inexistence, Gocnak, & Xebaz

“Portal” is one of Valve’s most surprising hits, a puzzle game that somehow managed to both strain the brain and reach a mainstream audience. Most people will spend at least a couple of hours on the game, especially on first playthroughs. Not so for these players, who managed to pound out the game in a matter of eight and a half minutes. It’s simply breathtaking (and a little nauseating) to behold. Every portal has been meticulously planned, and they move with unbelievable speed and grace. Sometimes they are so fast that even the game can’t keep up. And you probably thought you were all that after beating it in an hour.

“Super Mario 64” (1996) in 01:39:19

“Super Mario 64” is a popular video game for speedrunning, and thousands of people have gone for the world record over the years. According to (which is where all the following times and rankings come from), the record is currently held by gamer cheese05, who gathered all 120 stars in one hour, thirty-nine minutes, and nineteen seconds. Watching cheese take advantage of shortcuts and level tricks is amazing, and his jumping and platforming skills are simply out of this world. And here we are, still trying to line up Bowser with those stupid bombs.

“Donkey Kong 64” (1999) 101% in 05:17:31

With this run, FalconXFalcon crushed the world record by over five minutes. For those who have never played it, “Donkey Kong 64” is a surprisingly massive game with a ton of collectibles, and a completionist run typically takes around thirty hours. FalconXFalcon showed the world how it was actually done, crushing the coveted 101% completion in just a little over five hours. Hearing the way he mashes the buttons gives you an idea of just how nimble and agile you have to be to complete the game in such a short amount of time.

“Super Metroid” (1994) in 00:49:35

This isn’t the world record, but damn if it isn’t entertaining. This speed run was accomplished at Awesome Games Done Quick, a series of video game marathons that help raise money for charity. What makes this speed run so much fun to watch is the dialogue and commentary. A running commentary is spoken throughout the video explaining to those in attendance what the player is doing or what he may have done wrong, and the audience often interacts with the player by offering encouragement or making jokes. It’s a ton of fun to watch, not only for the speedrun itself but for the personalities and knowledge involved.

“Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts” (1991) in 00:50:00

This is another Games Done Quick event, and it is just as entertaining. Player PJ accomplished a speed run of “Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts,” an old action side-scroller for the Super NES, in bang-on fifty minutes. However, this isn’t just any speed run. PJ decided to mix it up a little and do an All Weapons run, which means he had to pick up and use every weapon he came across. Whether you know the game or not, this is still an amazing speed run that deserves to be watched, especially for PJ’s informed and interesting commentary.

“Dark Souls” (2011) in 00:32:07

By this point, everyone knows how punishingly difficult “Dark Souls” can be. The original game can take up to fifty hours for players to beat, and that’s a little on the quick side. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when player Saastutin beat the game in thirty-two minutes and seven seconds. This is currently the world record, and if you have any interest in “Dark Souls,” you owe it to yourself to watch every last minute of this incredible speed run. He runs past dangerous enemies, utilizes countless shortcuts, switches items at blinding speed, and takes down bosses in a matter of seconds. Literally, seconds. We don’t know how he does it.

“Contra” (1987) in 00:09:52.050

“Contra” is another video game infamous for its relentless difficulty. In fact, its famous cheat code to grant extra lives has become synonymous with gaming, as many people simply could not beat the game without it. And here is world record holder AngryIanks beating the game in an astounding nine minutes, fifty-two seconds, and fifty milliseconds. What makes this speed run so fantastic is not just the inherent skill and knowledge on display, but the fact that he beat the previous record by just 800 milliseconds. Like the Olympics, “Contra” records often come down to the millisecond and watching them play out in real time is mesmerizing.

“Fallout 3” (2008) in 00:14:54

Yes, “Fallout 3” can indeed be beaten in under fifteen minutes. It was done by player Rydou, and you’ve probably never seen anything cooler in your “Fallout”-loving days. Granted, he exploits a few glitches and clips through various walls by quick saving and quick loading, but trust us, that takes some serious skill to pull off. An adventure that usually takes people hundreds of hours to finish was accomplished by Rydou in the time it takes you to eat breakfast. Even if you’re not big on speed running, there’s no denying this impressive feat.

“Grand Theft Auto V” (2013) 100% in 09:33:21

Ten hours may not seem like a world record time, but when you take the sheer size and scope of “Grand Theft Auto V” into account, you can see how impressive it really is. Gamer DarkViperAU somehow managed to beat the entire game in 9 hours and 33 minutes without loads, beating the previous world record by just over a minute. This may not seem like a game primed for speed running, but it’s unbelievable to watch. Whether he’s relentlessly spotting and shooting enemies, perfectly driving through traffic at high speeds, or executing numerous inventive shortcuts, this is gaming entertainment at its finest.

“Mirror’s Edge” (2008) in 00:28:20

Finally, we have this fantastic speed run of action platformer “Mirror’s Edge.” “Mirror’s Edge” isn’t a long game by any means, but, seeing it done in less than half an hour is simply amazing (and quite heart-pounding). Player Phillotrax currently holds the world record for “Mirror’s Edge” at twenty-eight minutes and twenty seconds, a record that has remained unbeaten for the better part of a year. If you want to witness some truly unbelievable platforming skills, then watch the entirety of Phillotrax’s exhilarating speed run of “Mirror’s Edge.”

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