The Best Classic Video Games Video Games
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The Best Classic Video Games

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18,989 views 74 items 4,508 votes 284 voters 25 followers 24reranks
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 Criteria: Best video games released between the 1960s and the year 2000.

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 129
    Down 32

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Pac-Man

    May 22 1980 More
    100
  2. 2
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    98
  3. 3
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    Down 30
    Jan 01 1983 More
    95
  4. 4
    Up 108
    Down 25
    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
    Up 95
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    Nov 21 1998 More
    79
  7. 7
    Up 79
    Down 31
    Jan 01 1981 More
    79
  8. 8
    Up 80
    Down 22
    Jun 01 1978 More
    78
  9. 9
    Up 77
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    Jan 01 1992 More
    77
  10. 10
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    Dec 10 1993 More
    75
  11. 11
    Up 75
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    Sep 13 1985 More
    73
  12. 12
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    Jan 01 1981 More
    71
  13. 13
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    Aug 01 1992 More
    71
  14. 14
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    Jan 01 1984 More
    70
  15. 15
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    Jan 01 1980 More
    68
  16. 16
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    Jan 01 1987 More
    68
  17. 17
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    Jan 01 1985 More
    67
  18. 18
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    66
  19. 19
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    Aug 01 1987 More
    66
  20. 20
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    Jan 01 1982 More
    66
  21. 21
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    Jan 21 1999 More
    63
  22. 22
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    Jan 01 1987 More
    62
  23. 23
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    ranked low on reranks &niche appeal
    Super Mario Bros. 3

    Oct 23 1988 More
    61
  24. 24
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    Jan 01 1979 More
    61
  25. 25
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    60
  26. 26
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    Down 21
    Apr 20 1982 More
    59
  27. 27
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    Jan 01 1993 More
    58
  28. 28
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    niche appeal
    Pong

    Nov 29 1972 More
    58
  29. 29
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    Down 13
    Jan 01 1991 More
    57
    added by: midnightq2
  30. 30
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    Down 27
    Jan 01 1982 More
    57
  31. 31
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    1986 More
    56
    added by: midnightq2
  32. 32
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    Down 11
    Jan 01 1990 More
    55
    added by: midnightq2
  33. 33
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Mario Party

    Jan 01 1998 More
    52
  34. 34
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    niche appeal
    Donkey Kong Country

    Nov 21 1994 More
    52
  35. 35
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    niche appeal
    Final Fantasy I-II

    Jan 01 1994 More
    51
  36. 36
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    niche appeal
    Grand Theft Auto

    Oct 01 1997 More
    51
  37. 37
    Up 17
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    Jan 01 1985 More
    50
  38. 38
    Up 24
    Down 40
    Jan 01 1982 More
    50
  39. 39
    Up 21
    Down 36
    Jan 01 1987 More
    49
  40. 40
    Up 20
    Down 34
    Jan 01 1986 More
    48
  41. 41
    Up 20
    Down 28
    Jan 01 1983 More
    47
  42. 42
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    niche appeal
    Gorf

    Jan 01 1981 More
    46
  43. 43
    Up 10
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    niche appeal
    Zaxxon

    Jan 01 1982 More
    46
  44. 44
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    Oct 14 2000 More
    45
  45. 45
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    Down 26
    Sep 03 1998 More
    45
  46. 46
    Up 11
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    Jan 01 1980 More
    44
  47. 47
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    Jan 01 1983 More
    44
  48. 48
    Up 3
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    May 17 2009 More
    44
  49. 49
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    No image

    Techmo Bowl

    44
  50. 50
    Up 20
    Down 19
    Nov 15 1996 More
    42
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