Total Nerd The Best Classic Video Games  

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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.
list ordered by

1
2,839 1,159
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
2,096 1,341
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

3
2,909 466
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,121 1,188
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,791 980
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,488 455
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,877 665
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,408 1,093
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,591 808
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

10
1,837 490
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

11
1,694 743
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,805 430
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

13
1,670 474
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,334 766
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,203 776
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,246 715
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,295 620
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,263 367
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
896 866
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

20
891 815
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

21
768 704
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

22
1,094 488
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,239 677
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
710 321
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,050 612
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
783 682
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

27
859 607
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

28
947 567
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

29
932 337
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1985

30
561 394
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1989

31
978 265
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
856 502
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
538 666
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
621 452
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1994

35
637 522
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1979

36
824 352
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
786 539
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

38
1,095 292
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

39
488 281
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

40
580 555
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

41
708 251
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added 1984

42
536 461
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

43
314 278
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added 1989

44
503 360
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added 1993

45
465 602
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

46
973 312
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

47
704 370
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1996

48
584 536
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

49
624 303
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

50
294 254
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added 1991