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Mario 64 Is the Perfect Game for New Speedrunners

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Players interested in speedrunning might wonder which games they should run. For prospective runners, Super Mario 64 is a great starting point.


Speedrunning is becoming an increasingly popular subset of the gaming community, due in large part to exciting speedrunning events like Games Done Quick, which show off the best parts of the hobby. Many players hoping to get into speedrunning love the idea of running a game but have no clue where to start or which game to pick.


The most common and solid advice for prospective runners is to play a game they love because they will need to spend hundreds of hours playing it without getting bored. Though that advice is solid, some great games can be obnoxious to speedrun or have small communities that are harder to get into. For anyone looking to start speedrunning, it’s impossible to go wrong with Super Mario 64.

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Super Mario 64’s Community Is Large and Beginner-Friendly

Chain Chomp Attacks Mario In Super Mario 64

As one of the most popular speedrun games of all time, it’s no surprise that Super Mario 64‘s community has produced top-of-the-line, beginner-friendly resources, with hundreds of tutorials on anything a new speedrunner could need help with, from setting up the game to performing difficult tricks.

The importance of an active community for speedrunning can’t be overstated, as complicated routes and tricks are hard enough to learn without the added hurdle of not being able to find guides. Another advantage of Mario 64‘s large community can be seen in its many categories of speedruns, with routes where players collect 120, 70, 16 and even 0 stars before beating Bowser. This is great for beginners, as they can choose to run extremely short categories or categories that can last up to two hours. Mario 64 has a run suitable for everyone, no matter how much free time they have.

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Super Mario 64 Allows for Constant Improvement

Peach's Castle Super Mario 64

Another reason Super Mario 64 is great for beginner runners is that the game has a nearly infinite skill ceiling. When players start running the game, there are routes with less execution-intensive tricks and stars specifically designed for beginners to acclimate themselves and get used to moving around as Mario.

As players get better at the fundamentals of the game, there are dozens of hard tricks that they can slowly incorporate into their runs, all the while constantly being rewarded with the true appeal of speedrunning games: seeing their personal best time go down. Additionally, if players get bored with the tricks in the category they’re running, there is always the possibility of switching to a different run to keep things fresh.

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Mario 64 Is Just Incredibly Fun in General

Eel From Jolly Roger Bay In Super Mario 64 Attacks

Above all technical and convenience reasons, the game is simply fun enough to pour hundreds of hours into without getting bored. Somehow, despite being released over 25 years ago, Super Mario 64 holds up beautifully. The movement system alone is reason enough to play the game, as it has arguably yet to be topped in the genre. This is extraordinarily impressive considering it’s essentially the first 3D platformer ever made.

The freedom of movement, the iconic hub world, impeccable level design and the ridiculous number of fun tricks and glitches to learn make Super Mario 64 infinitely replayable — the most important ingredient for any speedrun game. With a fun core gameplay loop and no barrage of long unskippable cutscenes, speedrunners can easily play Mario 64 for years without getting bored, and it’s the perfect game for prospective runners to play to learn about this rewarding hobby.

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