The Best Classic Video Games Video Games
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24  reranks 4,931 votes 318 voters 28,921 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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 140
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    the people's #1 &most listed
    Pac-Man

    May 22 1980 More
    100
  2. 2
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    98
  3. 3
    Up 139
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    Jan 01 1983 More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 117
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    Jan 01 1981 More
    90
  5. 5
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dig Dug

    Jan 01 1982 More
    81
  6. 6
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    Jan 01 1981 More
    80
  7. 7
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    Nov 21 1998 More
    79
  8. 8
    Up 89
    Down 22
    Jun 01 1978 More
    78
  9. 9
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    Jan 01 1992 More
    78
  10. 10
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    Dec 10 1993 More
    76
  11. 11
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    Aug 01 1992 More
    72
  12. 12
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    Jan 01 1984 More
    71
  13. 13
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    Jan 01 1981 More
    70
  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks
    Super Mario Bros.

    Sep 13 1985 More
    69
  15. 15
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    Jan 01 1987 More
    68
  16. 16
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    Jan 01 1980 More
    68
  17. 17
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    Jan 01 1985 More
    66
  18. 18
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    66
  19. 19
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    66
  20. 20
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    Aug 01 1987 More
    65
  21. 21
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    Jan 21 1999 More
    64
  22. 22
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    Jan 01 1987 More
    59
  23. 23
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    58
  24. 24
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    Jan 01 1979 More
    58
  25. 25
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    Apr 20 1982 More
    57
  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks
    Super Mario Bros. 3

    Oct 23 1988 More
    56
  27. 27
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    Jan 01 1993 More
    56
  28. 28
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    53
  29. 29
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    Jan 01 1998 More
    52
  30. 30
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    Down 18
    Nov 29 1972 More
    52
  31. 31
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    49
  32. 32
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    Jan 01 1985 More
    49
  33. 33
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    Jan 01 1987 More
    48
  34. 34
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    ranked low on reranks
    Donkey Kong Country

    Nov 21 1994 More
    47
  35. 35
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rygar

    Jan 01 1986 More
    47
  36. 36
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    ranked low on reranks
    The Legend of Zelda

    1986 More
    46
    added by: midnightq2
  37. 37
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Elevator Action

    Jan 01 1983 More
    46
  38. 38
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    Jan 01 1990 More
    45
    added by: midnightq2
  39. 39
    Up 39
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    Oct 01 1997 More
    45
  40. 40
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    Down 18
    Jan 01 1994 More
    44
  41. 41
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    Down 15
    Jan 01 1991 More
    43
    added by: midnightq2
  42. 42
    Up 14
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    Jan 01 1983 More
    42
  43. 43
    Up 23
    Down 28
    Sep 03 1998 More
    41
  44. 44
    Up 21
    Down 25
    Oct 14 2000 More
    41
  45. 45
    Up 13
    Down 12
    Jan 01 1982 More
    41
  46. 46
    Up 9
    Down 17
    Jan 01 1981 More
    40
  47. 47
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    Jan 01 1980 More
    40
  48. 48
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Pokémon Colosseum

    Mar 22 2004 More
    40
  49. 49
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    Nov 15 1996 More
    38
  50. 50
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    No image

    Techmo Bowl

    37
  51. 75 +

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