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Must-watch AGDQ 2023 runs and record-breakers as $2.6 million raised

Check out the best AGDQ 2023 runs and world records as the charity event delights speedrun fans and raises over $2.6 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation

AGDQ 2023 - Games Done Quick founder Mike Uyama smiling. Credit: Games Done Quick

What are the best AGDQ 2023 runs? Charity speedrun event Awesome Games Done Quick is over, raising an incredible $2,642,493 for the Prevent Cancer foundation during its week-long celebration of speedrunning. From classic games and speedrunning staples like Portal and The Legend of Zelda to new games like Neon White and Powerwash Simulator, there are plenty of incredible runs to catch up on in the final event before GDQ founder Mike Uyama hands over the reins.

So what should you watch first? Of course, these things will always be somewhat down to personal taste, but there are certainly some must-see videos to catch up on. Otherwise, the whole event is an absolute delight so you can really jump in with anything that grabs your attention and you’ll be in good stead. Nevertheless, we’ve picked out some of our favourites from the show to get you going.

First and foremost, who doesn’t love a world record speedrun? We certainly do, and the Super Mario Galaxy 2 race is probably the run of the show. Featuring SuperViperT302, HardcoreGaming, ImJhay, and MutantsAbyss competing in a breakneck blitz with outstanding commentary from Spikevegeta and Rox, you’d be hard-pressed to top this run as one of the absolute standouts.

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A rather different game that saw a world record set is Powerwash Simulator, a six-player co-op run by Amyrlinn, Bullets, Biglaw, Enigma Requiem, AngelicKnight, and Acadiel is a fun time as the group spray their way through the levels in record time. There’s more multiplayer fun to be had in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge co-op race featuring General Andrews, Dospostmann, Benja, and Paul-Knives, which also sees a new record set.

Those in the mood for something new will want to see the Neon White run from Blaidan, which features a masterclass in what the speedrun game looks like at a high level and features helpful commentary on the techniques used from fellow runner Humps. Meanwhile, jason2890 shows off what Cuphead looks like with the introduction of DLC character Ms Chalice, and does so while delivering an unending barrage of puns.

If you’re a fan of the classics, then Dr4gonBlitz does a great job of talking through an impressive all-bosses run of CastleVania: Symphony of the Night. Another long-standing favourite is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which benstephens56 shows off in style – definitely a game you should see broken down at least once. On that note, Player 5 brings some ridiculous all-new tech to showcase in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

AGDQ 2023 - a group photo from the event. Credit: Games Done Quick

If you love some chaos, the Metroid Prime 1+2 co-op randomiser sees UncleReggie and BashPrime in a linked run that has them unlocking items in one another’s games. Yet more frantic action can be found in the Super Mario All-Stars shuffler by Skbilz, who has to deal with a run that constantly swaps between different entries in the series. Meanwhile, Msushi returns to Portal for a ridiculous ‘Airboat%’ run that replaces the eponymous portals with… an airboat.

The best indie games can make for really interesting runs, too. Among these, some of the standouts were Cultic by Kaos_Wulf featuring some dev insight from Jasozz, Frogun by dtraitor1 using some really fun grapple tech with informative commentary from thehellfridge and trihex, and boomer shooter Fashion Police Squad by Danejerus, which also features dev commentary from the couch.

Hearing from the devs is always a good time, and the Blade 2 run by Mattmatt features some really interesting developer anecdotes about how the art team struggled with the task of creating a main character that looked like Blade but didn’t resemble Wesley Snipes too closely. Elsewhere, Haboo shows off everything that’s changed in Terraria speedrunning since the introduction of the huge Terraria 1.4.4 update.

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Glitches and skips aplenty can be found in the likes of the Sonic Colours: Ultimate race between thebluemania, Subbaro, and Nyu with some excellent commentary by Auraace and Criticalcyd. There’s plenty more such trickery to be found in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal by Scottobozo, which features a really entertaining couch. Those who enjoy the group banter will likely also want to catch the The Simpsons: Hit & Run run from LiquidWiFi, who’s joined by Ticker and Axey in a very enjoyable group session.

To round out, a really clean run of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes by JosephJojestar316 is just a great example of excellent speedrunning, and features some great back-and-forth commentary with onecoolman. Finally, you should absolutely check out dimo playing StepMania, because it’s tough to beat an incredible dancing speedrun of one of the best rhythm games.

All the videos can be found on the Games Done Quick YouTube channel, though it may take a few days for the most recent ones to all be edited and uploaded. GDQ sent out a heartfelt thank you message to everyone who got involved and donated, and says fans can look forward to more when Summer Games Done Quick 2023 takes place on May 28 – June 4.

Photo credit: Games Done Quick.

That’s all for this year’s AGDQ, then. If you just can’t get enough speedrunning, check out our SGDQ 2022 roundup for more incredible feats. Once you’re done with that, take a look at the best upcoming games to see what 2023 holds – we’re already anticipating what weird and wonderful runs we’ll see once the Starfield release date finally arrives.