How to Discover New Games to Speedrun

With so many options to choose from, figuring out what game to start speedrunning can be a headache.

“Which console should I choose?”…”What type of game should I play?”…”Which category should I try first?”

Thankfully, there are some great resources out there to help you decide. Throughout this article, I aim to cover all the basics for pinpointing what type of games you can get started speedrunning with.

Let’s get started!

Steps to Discovering New Speed Games

How to Search for a Game on is the most popular leaderboard for speedrunners to post their personal bests and compete with one another. The website features a whole host of filters that you can use to further categorize the games featured there.

With the option to filter by system, you can discover all sorts of consoles you’ve never even heard of before. You can also use a plethora of other filtering tools too which we will expand upon below.

Some further filters you can sort by are:

  • How many players a given game has: This is useful for finding out what games are all-time most popular, even if they aren’t currently seeing as much attention as they have in the past
  • The latest game added: This highlights games that have only just been given a speedrun and have a fresh community
  • Games with the fewest runs: This will show you what the least run games are, which is helpful if you want to find obscure/underloved games’s filtering system shows the currently most active Sega Genesis games.

Consider Games You Would Enjoy Grinding

What childhood game can you see yourself playing for hundreds of hours?

Sometimes the best bet is to go with what you know best. You can try using a childhood game as inspiration for what to speedrun next. You are likely going to be committing hundreds of hours to your chosen game, so it’s a good idea to pick something you already get great enjoyment from and don’t mind replaying over and over.

This can help with motivation too. Really go all-out for that one game you love that no one else seems to remember, in the hopes of giving it the speedrun it deserves!

Scouring Compilations for Hidden Gems

Another way that you can deep dive into a console’s game library is by watching gameplay compilations. A lot of consoles have dedicated videos showing snippets of gameplay from every game on that system. This is particularly useful for getting an overview of how many gameplay styles you enjoy are available on that system, and if it is worth delving into further.

Channels Such as Virtual Gaming Library are a comprehensive resource for viewing any given game in a console’s library. There are hundreds of Super Nintendo games alone with zero speedrunning presence, sitting waiting for a new speedrunner to come and give them some love. The possibilities are near-endless!

Figuring out Your Gaming Niche

Sometimes, games you enjoy casually might not actually be the best choice for speedrunning. The way you play that game is going to fundamentally change, for better or for worse. In taking on a childhood game as a speedrun, you forfeit the chance to ever play that game “casually” again.

It’s good to experiment with different types of games (Platformers, RPGs, FPS games) and see what style best fits you. I have personally been surprised at how much enjoyment I’ve gotten out of puzzle games by looking at them through a speedrunning lens. It’s worth giving new things a go!

Another thing worth considering is how accessible your prospective game/system is. Some games can be laborious to practice, whilst others are extremely expensive to purchase physical copies of. It would suck to invest so much money into a game that you weren’t invested enough in to make it worthwhile.

Do you enjoy discovering new things? If so, lesser run games might be the best option for you. Smaller speedrunning communities and their games typically are a lot less optimized than large speedrun games are. Learning how to find new strategies isn’t always straightforward, so check out our How to Practice Speedruns Effectively article!

Useful Documentation and Resources

There are many useful lists to aid speedrunners in choosing their next games to speedrun.

One such example is the Short NES Speedruns list by speedrunning veteran Toad22484. Here, Toad categorizes 100’s of various Nintendo games by how long they each take to complete without restrictions (Any%). You can filter from runs taking under 30 minutes, to under just 60 seconds.

Toad22484’s Short NES Speedruns List.

Another extremely helpful resource within a games page on are the “Guides” and “Resources” tabs. These serve as a great aid in performing your first speedruns and help you to better understand the game – ultimately determining if it’s the right one for you.

Super Mario Bros. “Guides” section on

Additionally, there’s always Games Done Quick runs to sift through too. These runs typically reveal all kinds of useful information as they play through; details about the game, the strategies, and what the community for the game is like. GDQ always publishes runs in full to their Youtube channel after an event has ended, so there are hundreds of potential speedrun games for you to sift through there.

Searching for a Community

Communities are a powerful force and are integral in pushing a game to its absolute limit, as well as being the make-or-break reason for new players to join.

Having others there playing/routing a game alongside you can be a huge boost, especially when you are new to speedrunning and looking for assistance. Having other active players around can help you to learn more quickly, and they can explain how troublesome tricks work.

Games that are popular will have a large community by proxy. Therefore if a community is what you are looking for, those are one of the best places to start. Using and its filters, as mentioned earlier, is the simplest way to figure out what communities are the most active at the moment.

On the flip side, you can make the moves to form your own community around a game. It’s tough building from the ground up, but it’s no small secret that the absolute best thing for optimizing a speedrun is a deep field of passionate players.

Concluding How You Can Discover New Games to Speedrun

In the end, it’s entirely up to you what direction you choose to go with speedrunning. From playing childhood games where nostalgia is the driving factor, to playing a game you’ve only just heard about to challenge yourself – it’s all fair game.

So experiment and try these different approaches to see which works best for you!

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