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.
list ordered by

1
1,751 625
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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2
1,355 888
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,449 749
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
1,873 277
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,226 635
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
1,552 270
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
971 709
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,166 442
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,209 280
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

10
1,000 521
Doom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

11
1,142 459
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,127 266
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
908 506
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,000 281
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
850 503
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

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16
831 457
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
837 407
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
643 595
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

19
730 208
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

20
497 443
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
587 548
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

22
683 325
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
798 477
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
687 413
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

25
566 445
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
354 141
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

27
573 393
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
637 390
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
394 434
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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30
459 335
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

31
537 198
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

32
293 221
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

33
367 260
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

34
364 282
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

35
515 329
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

36
521 156
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
512 346
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
383 128
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

39
451 198
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
392 382
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
338 417
Defender is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

42
134 84
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

43
568 195
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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44
629 168
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

45
245 143
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

46
427 358
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

47
268 211
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

48
388 185
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

49
352 275
Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
SpyroArjona added Chrono Trigger 1995

50
123 85
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991