Most of us want our games to last. They cost actual money, so seeing the credits roll before a hot pocket’s done in the microwave is not good value for money. Unless you’re a speedrunner obviously. In which case you want the thing done before the hot pocket’s even out of the wrapper.
You may have seen recently that someone’s managed to finish Prey in a shade over 6 minutes. It’s not pretty - there are glitches, cheats and ways of breaking the game that would make most of its creators cry. But, when finishing the game as fast as possible is the only thing that matters, anything goes.
These are some of the fastest, dirtiest, do-whatever-it-takes speedruns gaming has ever seen. Obviously there’s a huge spoiler warning here if you don’t want to see the end of some of these sooner than anyone intended.
Prey in 6m06s
Open world games are rife for breaking because it’s so much easier to reach areas you shouldn’t be in yet. There’s a lot of wall glitching here, allowing the player to pretty much walk straight to the end of the game. And, if there’s no contingency for you being there a few minutes after hitting start, the game often can’t do much to stop you. Roll credits, have a Trophy.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 39m57s
Breath of the Wild’s been out for quite some time now and there are still loads of people who haven’t finished it. As well as plenty who don’t want it to end. And then there’s Ikkitrix, who’s clocked the entire game in a little under 40 minutes, with Link in pants. What’s more Ikkitrix thinks the run “still can be improved a lot from [the] castle onward.”
Morrowind in 3m14s
This is a classic example of a huge world rinsed in minutes and a great speedrun to watch if you want to learn more about how to game a game. Turn the captions on and you’ll get an explanation for every choice made - things like selecting the fastest race and class, walking diagonally because it’s slightly faster, tricking the cursor so you can still use it during cutscenes and so on. It’s an example of a game that’s been studied for years to learn every possible way to shave a second off every corner. I mean, you could play Morrowind for hundreds of hours, but where’s the fun in that?
Dishonored 2 in 25m33s
Most people aren’t happy unless they’ve finished Dishonored with both a high and low chaos run. And with Dishonored 2 you also have both Corvo and Emily to try out on top of that. Still, if you can get through the game in barely 25 minutes you’ll have all those combinations covered in an afternoon.
Skyrim's main quest in 29m56s
For some people, playing Skyrim is just a way of life - roleplaying different races, classes and loading up new games and combinations according to whim. Individually though, Elder Scroll quests have never exactly been long, but saving the world in less than half an hour is still an impressive feat. And if Morrowind is anything to go by this is a time that’s only going to fall over the years.
GTA 5 in 6h17m54s
Fun fact - there are various different kinds of speed run depending on whether you 100% the entire game, or use ways of skipping areas and so on. This is an any% which basically means just finishing the game is the main criteria. If you wanted to 100% GTA 5 then you’re looking more towards a time of 11h15m30s, which is the current record there.
Fallout 4 in 43m57s360ms
Like Prey, there’s a fair few wall clipping glitches here to cut Fallout 4 down to such a short time. Some speedruns end up as dirty as the player can make them if it saves a few seconds or, in some cases, hours. However, unlike Prey there are so many more options to consider here. It’s a much more expansive and populated world filled with companions, perks, routes - any combination of which could affect a run’s timing.
Final Fantasy 15 in 4h53m
What better way to enjoy a lavish, rich fantasy world like Final Fantasy 15 than to scream through it in a handful of hours. Playthroughs like this are always interesting because so much can go wrong. Boss fights, open world navigation - there are so many variables that there’s always the chance to gain or lose a few seconds here and there in all that scale. Don’t be surprised to see this completed even quicker before too long.
Dark Souls in 43m43s
Most people are happy to have a half decent sword and maybe a wooden helmet in the first 40 minutes of any Dark Souls game. Its difficulty and learning curve make a few hundred yards of road an insurmountable peak for the average gamer. So marvel at this 40 minute run with the player, Capitaine Toinon, in nothing but the loin cloth his corpse was reanimated in.