There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to the 10 best games to speedrun. From classics like Super Mario 64 to new gems like Celeste, you have a lot of games to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below!
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 is a fantastic game from the Nintendo 64 era and a Mario title many often play for speedrunning purposes. One of the main reasons Super Mario 64 excels in this regard is due to its innovative and fluid movement system.
Mario’s range of acrobatic moves, like triple, long, and wall jumps allow skilled speedrunners to navigate the game’s vast levels with precision and speed. This results in players discovering creative shortcuts and optimal routes that’ll aid them in completing the game quicker.
Moreover, Super Mario 64’s level design is incredible. Each level is crafted with a mix of platforming challenges, secrets, and open areas, providing ample opportunities for speedrunners to showcase their expertise.
Whether it’s executing complex maneuvers or striving for the fastest completion time, Super Mario 64 provides a rewarding experience for speedrunners of all skill levels.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out is a classic game that has gained a devoted speedrunning following over the years. The game’ design, challenging gameplay, and tight mechanics make it a thrilling choice for speedrunning. Its emphasis on pattern recognition and precision lends itself to being a great title for speedrunning.
Each enemy you face in the game has distinct attack patterns, requiring players to learn and react accordingly. Speedrunners utilize their knowledge of these patterns to execute skillful dodges, counters, and attacks. This results in performances you never knew were possible. Some speedrunners go the extra mile and play the game blindfolded as shown during some events like Summer Games Done Quick.
If you’re into boxing and love speedrunning, consider giving Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out a go.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a fabulous entry in The Legend of Zelda franchise. Not only was it a big leap for the franchise from a graphical standpoint but this game’s a fantastic title to speedrun. One of the reasons why it’s a great speedrun-worthy game to play is because of its intricate glitches and sequence breaks.
For example, the “Wrong Warp” glitch enables speedrunners to teleport to later parts of the game. Another famous glitch, the “Door of Time Skip,” allows players to get the Master Sword early, allowing them to complete the game at faster speeds. Furthermore, Ocarina of Time’s open world provides speedrunners with chances to develop different traversal techniques.
Such techniques like the “Navi Dive” or “Bomb Boost” are used to help players gain speed and reach distinct areas swifter. These strategies allow players to retrieve essential items that would’ve been more challenging to receive if they had played the game as intended.
With these strategies in mind, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a game that many will continue to speedrun for years to come.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a vast open-world RPG with multiple quests and rich lore. Despite its extensive content, Skyrim has become a popular game to speedrun over the years. One aspect that helps it achieve this purpose is its non-linear nature. Its decision to let players complete quests in any order they choose gives players immense freedom.
Speedrunners use this to their advantage and devise optimal routes that allow them to bypass unnecessary content and focus on essential objectives. For instance, speedrunners learned how to skip entire storylines by exploiting shortcuts to acquire important equipment or spells.
With Skyrim’s fast travel options and robust skill system in their palms, Speedrunners will enjoy blitzing through the wonderful world Bethesda laid out for them.
Pokémon Red & Blue
Pokémon Red & Blue started it all for The Pokémon Company, Game Freak, and Nintendo. Without their success, fans wouldn’t be playing titles like Pokémon Go, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, and others like them today. While many of the Pokémon games are a blast to speedrun, many enjoy returning to these classics the most.
These games give speedrunners a variety of options to assemble their teams. Speedrunners must carefully consider which Pokémon is the right one to catch and train, as well as which moves to teach to optimize battles and shorten time-consuming encounters. For instance, choosing Squirtle can aid a speedrunner in triumphing over the game’s early gyms.
Speedrunners can also count on the game’s glitches to get through the game quicker. Glitches like the “Mew glitch” or the “Item underflow glitch” allow for sequence-breaking routing, letting speedrunners skip certain game sections or access powerful equipment early.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a pair of handheld retro games to speedrun, you’ll adore your time with Pokémon Red & Blue.
Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is a fast-paced and challenging platformer that lends itself well to speedrunning. For instance, speedrunners adore this title for its emphasis on precision and quick reflexes. In it, speedrunners must navigate through a series of challenging levels, avoiding deadly obstacles and enemies. The game’s responsive controls allow speedrunners to execute precise movements, wall jumps, and mid-air saves, providing an intense and exhilarating experience.
Moreover, Super Meat Boys’ bite-sized levels and instant respawn system serves players well. Speedrunners can utilize the game’s different routes, learn optimal movement patterns, and develop clever strategies to achieve faster completion times. Sometimes, speedrunners can exploit some of the game’s mechanics to gain advantages.
In addition to having a built-in replay feature that records each of the players’ play-throughs of the game, Super Meat Boy is a great game to consider speedrunning.
Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon that lends itself to different forms of play. With its open-world environment, diverse gameplay mechanics, and near-infinite possibilities, Minecraft provides speedrunners with thrilling challenges and creative opportunities.
For starters, Minecraft’s procedurally generated content lends itself to speedrunning fun. Every time a new world is created, the layout, biomes, and structures change. Speedrunners will adore having to adapt to the ever-changing environments presented in the game. For example, some speedrunners may aim to find a village or temple early on for essential supplies. Others may opt to locate useful resources in the environment they’re dropped into.
It’s these different ways of tackling the game that makes it a refreshing experience for all speedrunners and gamers alike.
Super Metroid is an incredible sci-fi platformer with spooky visuals, an eerie atmosphere, and a phenomenal gameplay loop. As with other platformers listed here, Super Metroid lends itself to being a fantastic game to speedrun. Its emphasis on sequence breaking and route optimization is one factor that makes it an incredible speedrunning endeavor.
Speedrunners can exploit the game’s mechanics to reach areas and acquire power-ups out of order, resulting in alternate routes that challenge traditional progression. For example, the “climb” glitch allows speedrunners to scale virtual walls without using the intended equipment. It’s glitches like these that give players a chance to fully explore the game to their liking.
In conjunction with the game’s precise movement options and epic boss battles, Super Metroid is a fabulous game worth speedrunning.
Celeste is a fairly new and popular indie platformer with an excellent narrative, immersive world, and calm atmosphere. One of Celeste’s best aspects lies in its well-designed levels. Each level introduces new mechanics, such as dashing and wall jumping. These gradually build upon each other, giving players room for experimentation and creativity.
For instance, some speedrunners might use the game’s movement options to zoom through levels at intense speeds. The game’s levels also contain useful shortcuts and alternate paths, allowing players to complete it faster too. Furthermore, Celeste’s unique Assist Mode feature gives speedrunners a chance to practice their techniques before a run.
If you happen to like platformers with depth, Celeste is worth playing.
Portal is an iconic puzzle game developed by Valve. This game contains rich storytelling, fantastic thought-provoking gameplay, and excellent sci-fi-inspired visuals. For speedrunners, they’ll enjoy Portal’s versatile movement options the most. Speedrunners will love utilizing the game’s “portal bumps” and “120 strats” to gain extra speed to skip sections entirely.
Additionally, the game features “save glitch” mechanics, which enables speedrunners to bypass intended progressions by triggering loading saves in strategic locations. These strategies and movement options encourage runners to look for innovative ways to shave off precious seconds.
Furthermore, some puzzles don’t have particular solutions. This allows speedrunners to formulate new strategies that’ll assist them in completing them faster. On that note, Portal’s not a long game and its objectives are straightforward at best. This makes it easily accessible for all speedrunners, regardless if they’re a professional or a novice.
Ultimately, Portal’s innovative mechanics, fun puzzles, and accessible structure make it a great game to blitz through.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best video games to speedrun through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!