“Let’s-a Go!” Why are Nintendo games so attractive to speed runners?

My latest Nintendo addiction, in the absence of the ability to afford a switch, has been watching speed runs of Nintendo games online. Something fascinates me about why people feel the need to time trial Paper Mario like it’s Rainbow Road over and over again. It was during my time watching that I noticed something that set Nintendo games apart from most of the other speed running staples.

Nintendo makes challenging games (insert Dark Souls meme here) that somehow consistently manage to strike a balance where good players can finish a game but great players can finish it plus all the secrets and in half the time. Of course, speed running isn’t all skill, the famous Zelda barrier skip is a prime example of the many glitches required to achieve that world record time.

However, even outside of glitch-less runs, the majority of a players time in speed runs is spent showing off their talents. And nothing feels better than blitzing through a level of SMB2 or Metroid. The release of Odyssey has only reinvigorated the passion for Nintendo speed runs.

Let’s get to the important question of ‘Why?’ though… right after the break


Drew Miller Hyndman

No shame in admitting that I am a huge Nintendo fan. Never played a bad Nintendo game (honest!) and the only thing I love nearly as much as playing is writing about Nintendo.

21 year old Journalism Student based in Bournemouth, dream of games journalism but probably destined to report on school fairs.

Favourite Nintendo game: SMB2