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.
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list ordered by

1
3,093 1,335
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
2,352 1,473
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1980

3
3,276 514
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,261 1,294
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,965 1,054
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,708 500
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
2,048 736
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,544 1,171
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,991 559
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added

10
1,736 887
Doom is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1993

11
1,818 534
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,823 828
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

13
1,989 471
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added 1990

14
1,467 817
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

15
1,319 829
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1981

16
1,365 774
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

17
1,406 676
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,392 417
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added 1991

19
973 929
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1982

20
1,209 530
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

21
962 885
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1984

22
823 766
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1987

23
1,358 734
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
800 366
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
1986

25
1,159 648
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games