The Best Classic Video Games Video Games

The Best Classic Video Games

28k votes 2.1k voters 157k views 273 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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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  • 36 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 684
    - 226

    the people's #1 & most listed
    1980

    ;
  2. 2
    + 599
    - 146


    1981

    ;
  3. 3
    + 670
    - 200


    1983

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  4. 4
    + 611
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    1985

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  5. 5
    + 484
    - 228
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  6. 6
    + 451
    - 121


    1978

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  7. 7
    + 395
    - 147


    1981

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  8. 8
    + 519
    - 203
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  9. 9
    + 410
    - 164


    1992

    ;
  10. 10
    + 445
    - 88


    1988

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  11. 11
    + 388
    - 152


    1992

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  12. 12
    + 322
    - 203


    1982

    ;
  13. 13
    + 298
    - 147


    1987

    ;
  14. 14
    + 325
    - 173


    1993

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  15. 15
    + 320
    - 84

    added by midnightq2
    1990

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  16. 16
    + 254
    - 176

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1984

    ;
  17. 17
    + 268
    - 150


    1999

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  18. 18
    + 278
    - 134


    1987

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  19. 19
    + 254
    - 124


    1982

    ;
  20. 20
    + 264
    - 131


    1987

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  21. 21
    + 329
    - 78

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2

    ;
  22. 22
    + 212
    - 103


    1994

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  23. 23
    + 191
    - 135


    1982

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  24. 24
    + 188
    - 130


    1980

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  25. 25
    + 179
    - 150


    1987

    ;
  26. 26
    + 229
    - 173

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  27. 27
    + 212
    - 94

    ranked low on reranks
    1979

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  28. 28
    + 196
    - 139

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1993

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  29. 29
    + 247
    - 92

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2
    1991

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  30. 30
    + 185
    - 42

    ranked low on reranks & added by JoshuaMonson
    1991

    ;
  31. 31
    + 196
    - 117


    1982

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  32. 32
    + 133
    - 28

    ranked low on reranks
    1985

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  33. 33
    + 191
    - 111


    1997

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  34. 34
    + 187
    - 97


    1972

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  35. 35
    + 169
    - 119


    1998

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  36. 36
    + 142
    - 143

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1998

    ;
  37. 37
    + 126
    - 124

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1982

    ;
  38. 38
    + 130
    - 79

    added by midnightq2
    1989

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  39. 39
    + 96
    - 127

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1987

    ;
  40. 40
    + 121
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2
    1996

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  41. 41
    + 96
    - 41


    1996

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  42. 42
    + 92
    - 36


    1992

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  43. 43
    + 177
    - 51

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2
    1992

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  44. 44
    + 56
    - 13


    1982

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  45. 45
    + 73
    - 65

    added by SpyroArjona
    1995

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  46. 46
    + 73
    - 145

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1982

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  47. 47
    + 68
    - 24

    added by armok
    1988

    ;
  48. 48
    + 126
    - 101


    1996

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  49. 49
    + 110
    - 130

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2000

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  50. 50
    + 63
    - 120

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1986

    ;
274 +

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