The fastest gamers in the world only gather twice a year.
Games Done Quick (GDQ) is a speedrunning event that only runs twice a year, hitting peaks of around 100,000 concurrent viewers—who in turn donate millions of dollars to charity. The runners come from all corners of the globe, and it’s easily the world’s biggest speedrunning event.
Few outside of this community know much about speedrunners and speedrunning in general but GDQs have attempted to bridge this gap and appeal to a wider audience by being informative and entertaining.
In this list, we will be looking at some of the most legendary speedruns that the livestreaming events have had to offer. Fire alarms, blindfolds, beverages, and more all come together to create a mix-match list of awesomeness.
We have decided to focus on GDQ runs that did not make our top 10 best speedruns of all time list, so if you don’t see a speedrun you felt should be a part of this list, chances are it will be there.
Super Mario Maker (Wii U)AGDQ and SGDQ 2016
The Super Mario Maker races have become a main attraction at GDQs in recent years.
Speedrunners face off against each other in custom-made levels that they have never seen before. The stages, created by other speedrunners to torment the runners, are quite difficult and some take up to half-an-hour to complete.
Pepsiman (PS1) SGDQ 2016
The Pepsiman run is one of GDQs most entertaining. The runner does a great job explaining the exact details of the speedrun while executing his commentary with precise comedic effect.
The speedrunner is able to pull off some of the hardest tricks in the game that require pixel perfect precision—which he does all while casually sipping a can of Pepsi.
Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) AGDQ 2013
At AGDQ 2013, Cosmo was one of the first speedrunners to hit the mainstream after sites like Kotaku and IGN using the speedrun to advertise speedrunning to the general gaming audience.
Since then, the speedrun has hit legendary status and is one of the most talked about GDQ moments in recent history.
Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube) SGDQ 2013
This was one of the defining speedruns at SGDQ 2013 because of the legendary “do-do-do crew.” This was a combination of legendary runners like Trihex and Bonesaw577 who, at the time, were legendary icons of the community who all came together to provide zany and comedic atmosphere in the background.
Even with all these distractions, the speedrunner does his best to keep composed and finish the run as fast as he can.
Tetris the Grandmaster (PC) AGDQ 2015
Tetris is the one of the world’s hardest speed games that mixes RNG with high octane action.
For the speed runner is a grueling test of endurance and willpower. For the viewer, it is a high octane slugfest that is breathtaking to watch. These two elements combine to create an exhilarating experience for players and fans alike.
Punch-Out! Blindfolded (NES) AGDQ 2014
Blindfold runs are exceptional.
Punch-Out! Is already a hard speed run game to master, by adding a blindfold, speedrunners have to rely on subtle vocal cues to time their punches. These speedruns can take years to learn in most cases.
The Punch-Out! blindfold run was a catalyst for other games to get blindfold runs, with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, famously having a blindfold run a few GDQs after this one.
Super Meat Boy (PC) AGDQ 2013
The GDQ staff went above and beyond the call of duty to have some of the developers of the game on a skype call while the speedrun was happening.
The reactions of the developers, seeing a game they worked on for many years, being destroyed before their eyes is not only entertaining but hilarious at the same time.
Zelda: Twilight Princess (Gamecube) AGDQ 2014
Precise frame jumps to get out of bounds, using enemy movements to jump over invisible barriers. and gaining access to areas players should not be able to get too in the early stages of the game are just some of the many technical tricks on show in this speedrun.
Add the great commentary from the insightful speedrunners and you have the makings of a great spectacle.
Yoshi’s Island (SNES) AGDQ 2014
Trihex’s AGDQ 2014 run of Yoshi’s Island is just one of those speedruns at GDQ that is remembered for both the best and worst reasons.
For starters, the run is the only GDQ speedrun to be stopped halfway through due to a fire alarm that was set off in the venue.
Second, it was one of the only runs of Yoshi’s Island to go bonus-less up until the final level, which was greeted by rapturous applause by the audience.
Lastly, the mechanical variety and tech execution was on point with great commentary to boot.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) SGDQ 2016
When you combine comedy with great commentary, you have a winning formula.
DrTChops and his casting couch work together in perfect synergy to give the audience a great viewing experience, all the while explaining the exact details of the run and involving viewers in an entertaining speedrun while doing it.