Parkour vs. Video Games: 5 Incredible Viral Videos You Need to Watch
These edits have over 100 million views between them
As a pastime that encourages jumping across rooftops, scaling walls and generally defying gravity, freerunning is the closest that most human beings will come to living in a computer game (apart from joining the army, but who wants to do that? In real life you don't get extra lives).
Many creative freerunners have realised this and taken to making real life parkour versions of video games with fairly spectacular results. So put down that controller, pull up a chair and wrap your peepers around these spectactular parkour showcases!
Super Mario Bros Parkour
Starting way back in 1985 Super Mario Brothers is the undisputed king of platform games. Featuring a pair of energetic Italian plumbers, the franchise focused on running and jumping across colourful worlds making it the perfect candidate for a parkour remake.
Featuring the athletic talents of Christian Russell as Mario and Ronnie Shalvis as Luigi this makeover has all the elements you'd expect from the series including green turtle shells, bonus boxes, fireballs and a classic ending that gamers will know and love.
Watch Dogs Parkour
Sandbox games create a massive open world, packed with different opportunities for players to explore. 2014's Watch Dogs did that in spades, building a highly detailed version of Chicago full of hacking, car chases, realistic cityscapes, gunfights and characters. And they still managed to throw a dose of freerunning in for good measure.
The free running in Watch Dogs wasn't bad but if it had been half as good as the stuff in this clip then the game's hero, Aiden Pearce, would have had a much easier job of things!
8 bit Free Running
Freerunning legend Jason Paul put this great little edit together. Paying homage to the golden era of side scrolling platform games this slick production really pulls off the blocky, pixelated look and sliding background physics of 8 bit gaming.
As you'd expect from visual trickster Jason there's more to this edit than meets the eye - keep watching 'til the very end to really appreciate the time and effort that's gone into it.
Assassin's Creed Unity
As one of the first ever games to feature both climbing and freerunning the Assassin's Creed franchise paved the way for the sport's inclusion in numerous other titles.
Taking on the role of Altaïr, a hooded assassin hanging out in the middle East during the third Crusade, players scramble across rooftops, hunting down their prey from above using the game's effortless freerunning mechanic.
Later episodes in the series have jumped around through history from Renaissance Italy to the Carribbean during the Golden age of piracy.
Assassin's Creed Unity plumped for Paris on the eve of the French Revolution and here Youtube maestro Devin Supertramp brings the series bang up to date, dropping our historical heroes into the middle of a chase through the modern day French capital.
This one was our favourite, but it certainly wasn't the only Assassin's Creed Parkour video...
In Mirror's Edge free running is not just an idea tacked on to help the game sell a few more copies, it's the reason the game exists. Unlike other games, Mirror's Edge lets you see through the eyes of traceur Faith as she freeruns non-stop through a super stylised world, facing off against the henchmen of an evil corporate empire.
Scrambling up drain pipes and leaping between skyscrapers from a first person perspective can get genuinely dizzying, but it puts you right in the heart of the action as you flow from roof top to roof top across the city.
Reach films has captured that feeling perfectly in this edit where seamless cutting and some epic jumps really get you on the edge of your seat.