Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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.

1
2,737 1,104
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
2,020 1,303
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
2,069 1,138
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,811 437
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,737 946
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,416 429
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,819 646
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,372 1,059
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,546 777
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,781 464
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,646 712
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,745 412
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,605 454
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,293 747
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,167 755
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,207 692
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,257 598
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,212 355
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
871 848
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

20
746 680
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
866 794
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

22
1,061 470
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,212 657
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
673 306
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
1,016 591
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
759 665
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
832 588
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
924 550
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
897 328
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
539 383
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

31
829 488
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
944 253
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
527 654
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
600 436
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
620 511
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

36
798 340
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
761 525
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,065 276
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
571 534
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
468 262
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
523 445
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
297 263
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

43
679 241
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

44
485 350
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

45
455 589
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
941 298
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
684 359
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

48
568 524
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
281 239
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

50
597 293
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games