Round Up: SGDQ 2023 - The Best Nintendo Speedruns 1
Image: Nintendo Life

Games Done Quick's second speedrun marathon of 2023 is over, and what an event it was.

Held much earlier than previous years, Summer Games Done Quick 2023 kicked off on 28th May and concluded on 4th June, raising a staggering $2,239,204 (and counting) for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. Jam-packed with hundreds of fantastic speedruns — from event favourites to some of the worst (and funniest) games ever.

To celebrate this achievement, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite event runs, along with the relevant VOD from the official GDQ YouTube (where available) or the official GamesDoneQuick Twitch channel. We've kept this list Nintendo-themed, though there are some multi-platform games that we just couldn't ignore. For the full line-up from last week's event, check out the official SGDQ 2023 schedule.

With that out of the way, let's speed through the best of the best from SGDQ 2023.

SGDQ 2023 - The Best Nintendo Speedruns

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Randomizer

spikevegeta is probably one of the most well-known speedrunners in the community, and his boundless enthusiasm is infectious. It's hard not to get hyped for a run when he's on the couch or doing the running. He only picked up The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask's Randomizer months ago, and this under-two-hour run is spectacular, showcasing all of the different strategies that you need to employ in order to get through this beloved game in a completely new fashion.

Majora's Mask's randomizer mixes up all of the items, masks, songs, and music, meaning you might be given the run around as you try to acquire all of the things you 100% need to reach the end of the game. spikevegeta, then, shows some impressive decision-making while under pressure. Randomizers always make for a good watch at GDQ, and Majora's Mask's is no exception.

Give Me Toilet Paper!

Remember when we covered Give Me Toilet Paper!? Well, it made such a splash (sorry) that it made it into SGDQ 2023.

Asuka424 brought Give me toilet paper!, the head-to-believe title, to the stage during the "Silly Block" along with her own roll of toiler paper, demonstrating just how ridiculous — but also how fun — this game can be. Putting a single Joy-Con inside the roll, Asuka424 must roll the roll on the table in order to get the roll in-game down to the man. It's short and sweet, but the bizarre premise of the game, complete with Asuka, danejerus, and nyobari's commentary, makes this a breezy, fun run.

Super Mario Maker 2 Relay Race

(run starts at 38:38:19)

Super Mario Maker has become a bit of a tradition at GDQ over the years, and this year's Super Mario Maker 2 relay race brought the goods once again in a nail-biting competition.

TheRileyC, Aurateur, PangaeaPanga, TanukiDan, Shoujo, Caspur189, LilKirbs and Thabeast721 duke it out in two teams of four and demonstrate some remarkable skills in a handful of extremely tough SMM2 levels. The commentary is on fire and the tension is palpable. Do we need reminding just how clever the level creators are for Super Mario Maker? No, but we always welcome it.

If you love the race as much as we did and fancy a go at the levels yourself, GDQ shared all of the level codes over on Twitter.


(run starts at 03:07:38)

The $5 platformer that charmed us at NL Towers last year, Lunistice's popularity as a speedrun game should be obvious to anyone given its platforming inspirations and retro aesthetic. Making its debut at the event this year, Nestani — the current world record holder — gives us a whistle-stop tour on platforming perfection.

The Lunistice run is full of corner-cutting, precision, and spin jumps in order to build up height and speed. It's a really clean run and highlights that this is a retro-style platformer developed with love. Couple that with some insightful commentary from Nestani and Jaxler and this is one of the biggest surprises of the event.


Banjo-Tooie may have featured at SGDQ 2022, but it's been four years since the first game — which turns 25 years old later this month — last appeared on the main stage. And the delightful duck returns to run one of NL's all-time favourites.

Because it's been so long since Banjo-Kazooie last appeared on the main stage, duck gets the chance to show off lots of new features for this debut GDQ showcase of a "100% No FFM" run. No FFM means that duck can't use the Furnace Fun Moves glitch to unlock every single ability right at the start of the game, meaning he has to manually learn every single move as he goes. Even with a slip-up at the end of the run, duck's positivity (and his very catchy Mr. Vile song) and knowledge of the game make this a highlight of SGDQ 2023 for us.

Kaizo Monkey Ball

(run starts at 12:54:58)

Like randomizers, Kaizo runs (runs of games with incredibly difficult custom levels) are always popular at speedrunning events, particularly Super Mario ones. But did you know that Super Monkey Ball also has its own Kaizo community? And the levels are terrifyingly tricky. Unless you're IkeSMB.

Kaizo Monkey Ball was released in 2019 and contains some of the hardest levels you can ever imagine. And even with multiple deaths, IkeSMB breezes through the stages, showcasing some impressive tricks that utilise gravity, high tilting, and perfect balancing. Some stages have you aiming for the tiniest piece of platform just to bounce into the goal, while others have you jumping across huge gaps. It'll make your head hurt just watching it.


Every GDQ brings about a new meme. With the ever-prevailing "ORB!" from 2019 to Untitled Goose Game spawning a week full of "honks", SGDQ 2023 brought us "yes, chef". The meme itself originated from the delightful Overcooked 2 run, but adef's Ratatouille run on the GameCube is what solidified this phrase as an event classic. adef starts the run by framing it for an audition for FX's hit show The Bear, naming his couch "sous chef" and "chef de partie". Even host char_bunny is dubbed "chef de donatíon". And what ensues is a 20+ minute run of hilarity as the trio on stage leads with fast-paced chef-based commentary. Just watch it. We promise it's worth it.

Our favourite moments come during cooking sections where you need to press button prompts to select the right ingredients for a dish. Some of the items are... barely recognisable, which results in some amusing dialogue between the runner and the couch.

"Uh, we need this, chefs."

"This... on the way, chef."

Pokémon Colosseum Race

(run starts at 08:24:44)

Somehow, Pokémon Colosseum has never been on the main stage at GDQ before (though it has been at Frost Fatales, another GDQ-related speedrunning event). But Swiftalu and Sparkle have finally resolved that issue, bringing an RPG head-to-head race to the forefront of the event.

We might have felt a bit nostalgic watching this one all the way through. Being a nearly four-hour speedrun, you'll need to carve out a chunk in your day to sit down and watch this, but it's absolutely worth it for some fun Pokémon commentary and some great audience and couch interactions, and a surprise appearance from Hastune Miku.

Super Mario Odyssey

A brilliant Super Mario Odyssey speedrun is a no-brainer. Every single run is a showcase of the range of movement options you have in this stellar Switch title. Runner Dangers, along with some excellent couch commentary from ganon and spikevegeta, showcases the delights of Mario Odyssey in just over an hour. And we almost didn't get this run, either, with the incentive just being met during the Majora's Mask Randomizer.

Even when things didn't go well, Dangers showed some real talent in quickly saving the slip-ups or correcting course. While this is a popular speedrun, there are lots of new techniques and routes that have been discovered since the last time Odyssey was ad a GDQ, so even if you've seen some Odyssey speedruns before, this is well worth a watch.

Wild Guns Co-op

(run starts at 02:27:43)

Another laugh-out-loud run features giygasblues and Crak Atak blasting through the SNES gallery shooter Wild Guns. If Ratatouille was all about chefs, Wild Guns is all about "rootin', tootin', and shootin'" with cowboy jokes and more infectious energy. The couch commentary for this one is brilliant, with moments like "are the horses robots?" and plenty of "yee-HAW"s. Sometimes you want the couch to know everything about the game. Other times, silliness is exactly what you need — and this run is an example of the latter.

It doesn't feel like a speedrun, more like a bunch of friends playing video games together in the best possible way. How giygasblues and Crak Atak got through the game without collapsing into a fit of laughter, we have no idea. Just the best kind of video game should food, and pure fun.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Blindfolded

(run starts at 41:49:21)

For many, Bubzia's blindfolded Breath of the Wild speedrun was the run to watch leading up to the event. And GDQ organisers seemed to recognise that as it held an extended break to allow for the donation incentive to be met. The wait was definitely worth it though, as what followed was a 1 hour 30 minute-ish masterclass in how to beat one of the most open games without seeing what's going on.

Bubzia's notoriety in the blindfolded speedrunning community exists for a reason, and if this is the only run you get to watch, know it's one of the best of the event. Full of skill and drama and so many jaw-dropping moments, it makes that time you fell off of the top of a mountain in BOTW feel even sillier. We're sure Tears of the Kingdom will be tearing up the speedrunning community over the coming months — it already is, really — so as a potential GDQ send-off to Breath of the Wild, we couldn't think of anything better.

Super Metroid Co-op

(run starts at 45:26:36)

Is it really A GDQ event without either Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night? Well, we got both this year (and you should totally go and watch the Symphony of the Night randomizer too), and Super Metroid closed out the show with a perfect co-op demonstration from two veteran speedrunners, ShinyZeni and Zoast.

Super Metroid co-op sees the two players play in two different "worlds", but bosses, items, and upgrades are shared between them both. So ShinyZeni and Zoast have meticulously planned a route which allows each of them to help the other out in the best possible way. There are few things better than an entertaining Super Metroid speedrun, and with this unique co-op twist, it's a lovely little closer to the event.

Did you catch any SGDQ 2023 speedruns? See any we missed and think they deserve a shout-out? Let us know in the comments.