video games The Best Classic Video Games  

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List Rules Video games released between 1960 to 2000.

Top classic video games from the early years of gaming. This list contains the best games released on any system (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 1961, 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.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

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Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Doom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

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Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

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Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

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Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

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Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

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Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

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Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Metroid is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

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Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

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Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

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Tetris is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
SimCity 1989

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Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Defender is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

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Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Duck Hunt 1984

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Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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Pong is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pong 1972

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Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games