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
2,696 1,076
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,989 1,286
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
2,045 1,110
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,769 427
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,718 930
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,376 424
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,797 636
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,353 1,048
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,523 765
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,756 455
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,627 695
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,710 405
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,578 446
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,268 741
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

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1,151 745
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,194 681
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,239 588
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,191 346
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
857 782
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
734 669
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
857 840
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The 8 Most Dangerous And Deadly Flowers in Video Games

22
1,050 461
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

23
1,192 651
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
655 302
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

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1,002 582
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
750 655
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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818 582
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

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909 542
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

The Most Nostalgia-Inducing '90s Toys

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872 322
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

30
527 375
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

31
821 478
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

32
924 247
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

33
521 642
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

34
592 430
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
611 507
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Asteroids 1979

The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

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782 336
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

37
747 516
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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1,048 271
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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564 528
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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461 255
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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516 440
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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660 234
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

The Best Gliders In 'Fortnite: Battle Royale,' Ranked

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285 257
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

44
477 342
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

45
449 583
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

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923 294
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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673 355
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

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558 517
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

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274 233
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

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584 288
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games