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
2,325 873
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,695 1,124
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,795 944
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,409 363
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,501 814
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,066 353
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,573 542
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,194 907
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,331 648
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,523 389
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,446 592
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,488 344
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,356 375
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,113 654
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Most Violent Classic Video Games

15
1,007 646
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,037 585
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,086 506
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,006 277
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
650 570
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

20
760 673
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

21
918 393
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Best Economic Simulation Games of All Time

22
759 746
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

23
1,050 567
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
550 230
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
880 504
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
661 568
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
738 495
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
812 463
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18 Amazing Classic Video Games You Can Totally Play On Your Phone Right Now

29
736 270
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
719 409
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
439 310
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

32
468 552
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
779 205
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
504 351
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
534 435
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans

36
667 266
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
656 437
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
923 218
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
460 372
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
487 466
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
231 183
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

42
372 209
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15 Classic Nintendo Games You Forgot You Loved

43
402 287
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

44
534 197
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
389 518
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
782 259
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
505 454
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

48
233 170
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

49
589 301
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

50
509 243
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games