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Top 5 Best Video Game Speedruns

Updated on August 19, 2011

The culture of video game speed runs is a wild one. Rather than simply trying to beat a game, people have taken upon themselves to beat a video game as quickly as possible.

The competition for speed runs are high; a run seconds shorter is enough to drop people from first place but that's just the nature of the game. People spend hundreds of hours perfecting their game play to shave off just seconds of their time; they have to understand every little detail of the video game in order to get the incredible times.

As it stands now, there are three types of speed runs:

  • Unassisted - No tools are used and it's purely based on skill.
  • Tool Assisted - A set of tools are used to aid the player.
  • Minimum Runs - People play fast but they aim to get the lowest score too.

Video game speed runs have also made their way into charity events where players will play games live to raise awareness and donations for charities!

Here are five videos that I believe you should see that will leave your jaw hanging ...

Super Mario Brothers (NES)

The first big game to catch the attention of people's imagination, in terms of speed runs, was Mario for Nintendo Entertainment System. The fact that nearly everyone that calls themselves a gamer (and those that have pretty much ever touched a video game) knows Mario and this classic title is one of the big reasons why it turns heads.

Here's a game that people would spend days playing to beat but then out comes a speed run that blows away your mind. There are moments in the game that will make you replay the video because you never knew it was possible to do some of the tricks.

Sonic 2 (Sega Genesis)

When you talk about speed, there's only one video game character that should come to mind: Sonic the Hedgehog. The entire Sonic series is built as a counterpart to Mario but rather than trying to collect all the coins and destroy enemies, you're racing as fast as possible through the levels; it's all about speed.

When this video game out, it blew me away because Sonic 2 is my all time favorite video game. I love classic platformers but to see someone beat the entire game in what would have taken me an afternoon is just mind boggling. You'd be amazed at what people can do when they're rushing through the game.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a timeless classic for the N64. Regarded as one of the best video games of all time, OOT has a special place for many of us gamers because it was one of the first to really open up the world of gaming because the story and world was so epic in size.

What would take someone nearly a month to beat (casually), here comes a guy that beats Ocarina of Time in less than three hours! For someone that spent a large amount of time playing the game during his childhood, I was completely floored to see that it would be possible but low and behold - it is. You've gotta see this video if you're a fan of the game or of the Zelda series.

Super Mario 3 (SNES)

The Super Mario 3 speed run was the game that caught literally everyone's attention. In terms of classic video games, SM3 is the biggest because it's one that was perfect at the time and is still hard to top in terms of enjoyability and game sales.

What got this speed run noticed was the tools used to assist the run. When the video first came out, everyone doubted it. There was a lot of people saying "cheat!" and so it did turn out that the player used tools to aid their run; this, however, launched an entirely new type of video game speed runs: the tool assisted run (TAS). Watch in amazement.

Super Mario 64 (N64)

At first I wasn't going to put another Mario title on this hub but let's face it: we all know Mario, we all have played these games and they're some of the most entertaining of the lot. Mario is often linear in game play but you still need skill in order to beat the game which is why we all love the series.

Here's Mario 64, a game where you need to gather stars in order to beat but glitched so hard that the player was able to beat it without any at all.

This video really shows how far gamers will go to make a wildly entertaining and fast speed run video on the net.

The Great Debate

There is a lot of debate about tool assisted and unassisted runs online but let's just drop the flaming and look at it this way: they're wildly entertaining.

It's amazing to see how fast a video game can be beaten tools or not; to see what would have taken someone dozens of hours to accomplish in just a few minutes really shows how dedicated and detailed a player can get when they push themselves to beat the clock.

That's what I love about video game speed runs; I hope you find these just as entertaining!

What do you think about video game speed runs?

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