The Best Classic Video Games Video Games
Ultimate List
73  items 6,426 votes 450 voters 47,823 views more info

The Best Classic Video Games

List Criteria: Best video games released between the 1960s and the year 2000.

Top classic video games from the early years of gaming. This list contains the best games released in any format (arcade, home consoles, portable devices) from the 1960s through the year 2000 (which for this list would be considered the start of the "modern era" of gaming.) This includes all the essential games from the era of the arcade, as well as the original 8-bit consoles and their 16-bit follow-ups. Many of the retro games on this list have remained extremely popular to this present day, and are often still played by passionate fans on preserved consoles or on computers via emulator software. Some of these games are part of ongoing franchises that have remained vital to this day, such as the classic "Mario Bros." games, "Legend of Zelda" titles and fighting games like "Mortal Kombat."

Experimental video games have been around since the 1950s, but it was two game breakthroughs in the early 1970s that really brought games more mainstream attention. "Spacewar!," released in 191, became popular enough to generate about 1500 individual arcade machines, but was so complicated to learn that it failed to really develop mass appeal. The same was not true of 1972's "Pong," from the same creators, that recreated table tennis for arcades and eventually sold nearly 20,000 machines. By the late 1970s, video game consoles for the home were becoming more commonplace, with both the Intellivision and ColecoVision competing in toy stores and introducing many of the titles we're still familiar with today (including the original "Donkey Kong" and "Space Invaders.")

1978 is traditionally considered the start of the Golden Age of video games, particularly in terms of arcade games, with the introduction of numerous beloved retro titles (including "Frogger" and "Galaxian.") Finally, in 1985, Nintendo introduced the first Nintendo Entertainment System to stores, bundled with the game "Super Mario Bros.," a landmark release in console history.
  • 24 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 179
    Down 53

    the people's #1 & most listed 1980

    open
  2. 2
    Up 167
    Down 52

    open
  3. 3
    Up 177
    Down 38

    1983

    open
  4. 4
    Up 151
    Down 33

    1981

    open
  5. 5
    Up 100
    Down 54

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1982

    open
  6. 6
    Up 116
    Down 40

    1981

    open
  7. 7
    Up 141
    Down 47

    1998

    open
  8. 8
    Up 113
    Down 46

    1992

    open
  9. 9
    Up 116
    Down 28

    1978

    open
  10. 10
    Up 99
    Down 48

    1993

    open
  11. 11
    Up 91
    Down 49

    1992

    open
  12. 12
    Up 128
    Down 17

    ranked low on reranks 1985

    open
  13. 13
    Up 72
    Down 57

    1984

    open
  14. 14
    Up 97
    Down 33

    1981

    open
  15. 15
    Up 80
    Down 49

    1987

    open
  16. 16
    Up 65
    Down 35

    1980

    open
  17. 17
    Up 74
    Down 31

    1982

    open
  18. 18
    Up 76
    Down 47

    1999

    open
  19. 19
    Up 59
    Down 42

    1982

    open
  20. 20
    Up 77
    Down 40

    1987

    open
  21. 21
    Up 63
    Down 52

    1985

    open
  22. 22
    Up 98
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks 1988

    open
  23. 23
    Up 65
    Down 46

    1987

    open
  24. 24
    Up 54
    Down 20

    1979

    open
  25. 25
    Up 61
    Down 57

    open
  26. 26
    Up 56
    Down 32

    1982

    open
  27. 27
    Up 58
    Down 50

    1993

    open
  28. 28
    Up 47
    Down 47

    1998

    open
  29. 29
    Up 51
    Down 41

    1982

    open
  30. 30
    Up 56
    Down 25

    1972

    open
  31. 31
    Up 35
    Down 50

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1982

    open
  32. 32
    Up 48
    Down 23

    1994

    open
  33. 33
    Up 20
    Down 50

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1985

    open
  34. 34
    Up 27
    Down 47

    1987

    open
  35. 35
    Up 64
    Down 13

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2 1990

    open
  36. 36
    Up 60
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2

    open
  37. 37
    Up 25
    Down 47

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1986

    open
  38. 38
    Up 28
    Down 43

    1983

    open
  39. 39
    Up 49
    Down 36

    1997

    open
  40. 40
    Up 34
    Down 27

    1994

    open
  41. 41
    Up 43
    Down 22

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2 1991

    open
  42. 42
    Up 17
    Down 42

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1983

    open
  43. 43
    Up 35
    Down 36

    1998

    open
  44. 44
    Up 28
    Down 37

    2000

    open
  45. 45
    Up 15
    Down 26

    1981

    open
  46. 46
    Up 20
    Down 20

    1982

    open
  47. 47
    Up 11
    Down 46

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 2004

    open
  48. 48
    Up 18
    Down 28

    1980

    open
  49. 49
    Up 13
    Down 34

    2005

    open
  50. 50
    Up 15
    Down 33

    1983

    open
74 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists