Over the last few years, speedrunning has exploded into one of gaming’s most popular niches. Humans (and sometimes robots) compete to complete video games of all genres, qualities, platforms, and popularities in as little time as possible while following particular rules set in place by a game’s respective speedrunning community. Most games will have numerous different categories, ranging from merely completing a game to achieving 100% completion, individual-level times, runs with particular feature or glitch restrictions, or straight-up meme categories. With each speedrun category comes a world record to chase, and we’ll show you where and how to find them.
How to Find a Speedrun World Record
To find the world record for a speedrun, go to Speedrun.com and search for any game you’re curious about. In other cases, Speedrun.com will provide a link in the left sidebar for the speedrun leaderboard you are searching for.
Whether you’re looking to get into speedrunning yourself, or you’re just a curious follower of the speedrun movement, you’re probably interested in finding videos of the top times in your favorite games. This can be tricky if you rely strictly on searching YouTube, as anyone and their grandmother can upload a faked speedrun, or even just fail to remove a “World Record” tag after it has been beaten. Not all world records can be found on YouTube, and newer records may be hard to find due to not sharing the same view count as a previous world record. Luckily, speedrun.com acts as the hub for all things related to speedrun leaderboards. You can easily find up-to-date world record videos across all sorts of games.
As an example, let’s take the game Myst. If you want to easily check out its world record, head over to the speedrun.com website and throw it into the search bar. At the top, it’ll return any series, in case you want to easily navigate through all of the other games in the franchise, then under that, it’ll list the games.
Click on the game to be taken to its page, where you’re immediately greeted by a list of times for a particular category. Whichever time sits at the top of the list (in this case, plank’s 0:37.586 time) is the current world record for that category. You can either press the username to be taken to their speedrun.com profile, where you can find their social media platforms, streams, all of their submitted runs across all games, etc., or you can press the camera icon to the right of each time.
Pressing the camera icon will take you to a separate page where you can watch the recorded speedrun on-site, regardless of if it’s a YouTube upload, Twitch VOD, or hosted elsewhere. Back to the image above, you can also explore the numerous other categories this game has to offer, using the tabs at the top. In the case of Myst, there are unique categories for each platform, but they all require you to just beat the game as fast as you can. Other games, like Grand Theft Auto V, can have multiple categories (Any%, 100%, All Stunt Jumps), and multiple subcategories for each. This is how individual level/segment times are often hosted. You can read the rules for every category (essential if you’re looking to run it yourself) by clicking the Rules button, or submit your own run using Submit Run.
What’s extremely important to note is that while speedrun.com is the site that most communities opt to use, some records will have to be found elsewhere. When you check a game’s leaderboard or a series page, always make sure to check the sidebar for a website link, identifiable by a little planet icon. These links will take you to a speedrun community’s own site, where the rankings are going to be much more accurate.
Games like GoldenEye 007, the Halo series, Super Metroid, and Mario Kart 64 individual-level records all take place on their own sites, and the ones you see on speedrun.com will either be for category extensions, won’t be there at all, or may not accurately portray the leaderboards. Taking Halo as an example, they only host the category extensions, while the main category leaderboards are found on haloruns.com. Similarly, speedrun.com only houses the records for the 60FPS version of Goldeneye 007. The standard game records are found on the-elite.net.
This should be everything you need to know to find out who holds the record in any game, what their time was, as well as how to find the video. Checking out the records for your favorite games is obviously a good place to start, but definitely take the time to watch the world record runs of some of the most popular games in speedrunning. Super Mario 64, Portal, Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bros, and the likes are all highly optimized and highly competitive, making for mind-blowing runs to watch, even if you’ve never played them. It may even spark your interest, and soon enough you’ll find your own name climbing up those leaderboards.