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
2,532 968
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,854 1,204
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
1,935 1,026
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,594 399
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,613 879
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,243 386
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,696 589
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,278 980
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,423 709
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,636 425
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,544 637
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,607 373
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,479 411
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,195 695
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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

15
1,083 697
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,111 637
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,168 546
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,110 313
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
695 625
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

20
806 732
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

21
981 430
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Best Las Vegas Casinos

22
807 799
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

23
1,133 604
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
600 264
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

25
933 541
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
706 609
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
776 538
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

28
856 506
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The 8 Most Dangerous And Deadly Flowers in Video Games

29
796 295
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
769 440
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
479 344
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

32
852 224
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
490 600
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
542 389
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
570 465
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
722 295
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
695 469
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
979 244
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
529 495
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
417 235
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
485 408
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

42
256 225
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

The Most Nostalgia-Inducing '90s Toys

43
436 321
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

44
588 223
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

45
411 557
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

46
849 278
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
627 330
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

48
529 487
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

49
256 204
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

50
539 269
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games