Total Nerd 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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1
+ - 1,640 561
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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2
+ - 1,273 848
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
+ - 1,392 677
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
+ - 1,752 251
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
+ - 1,171 592
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
+ - 1,438 249
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
+ - 921 672
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
+ - 1,108 412
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
+ - 953 490
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
+ - 1,128 259
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

11
+ - 1,085 426
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
+ - 1,064 240
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

13
+ - 869 480
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
+ - 933 257
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
+ - 803 482
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

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16
+ - 785 434
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
+ - 796 386
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
+ - 617 569
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

19
+ - 563 521
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
+ - 687 191
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

21
+ - 455 428
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

22
+ - 653 305
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
+ - 760 456
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
+ - 659 391
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

25
+ - 540 428
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
+ - 314 129
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

27
+ - 554 368
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
+ - 613 370
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
+ - 382 410
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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30
+ - 432 317
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

31
+ - 498 182
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

32
+ - 260 203
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
SimCity 1989

33
+ - 334 243
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
+ - 335 267
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

35
+ - 495 320
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

36
+ - 495 314
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
+ - 361 111
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Duck Hunt 1984

38
+ - 486 141
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
+ - 379 363
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
+ - 425 181
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
+ - 323 399
Defender is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

42
+ - 533 174
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

43
+ - 596 159
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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44
+ - 109 68
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

45
+ - 409 346
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

46
+ - 216 126
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
+ - 231 195
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

48
+ - 367 175
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

49
+ - 329 262
Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
+ - 359 307
Pong is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pong 1972