Video games: how do you beat yours? When I play, I like to take my sweet time. I like to search every nook and cranny for collectibles, speak to every NPC, beat every challenge and, where I can (be bothered), unlock as many achievements as possible along the way.

But that’s just me. Did you know that there’s a whole community of gamers out there who are dedicated to completing the video game perfect speed run. Just for those of you not familiar with the concept (for those of you who are, please bear with me) speed runs involve the player basically beating either a level or an entire video game in the fastest time possible; sometimes using glitches, some times not, dependent on the game.

Thanks to YouTube (which allows players to post proof of their achievements) video game speed running now boasts a rich and interesting international community and often times these video clips attract millions of global views. Why? Because there’s something infinitely exciting and strangely cathartic about seeing your favourite video games vanquished in a fraction of the proper time. Nobody knows why. There just is.

So, I decided to scour YouTube to present you with some of the most awesome video game speed runs I’ve had the good fortune of witnessing. On your marks… get set…

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This article was first posted on November 11, 2012