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.

1
2,641 1,042
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

2
1,943 1,262
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pac-Man 1980

3
2,006 1,084
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

4
2,717 416
Super Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

5
1,692 914
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

6
2,340 411
Super Mario Bros. 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

7
1,765 619
Super Mario Kart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

8
1,331 1,021
Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

9
1,493 746
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Doom 1993

10
1,718 445
The Legend of Zelda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added The Legend of Zelda

11
1,600 675
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

12
1,683 394
Super Mario World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Super Mario World 1990

13
1,548 433
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

14
1,244 729
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

Retro Video Games That Were Guaranteed To Ruin Friendships

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1,127 730
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Galaga 1981

16
1,161 669
Contra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Contra 1987

17
1,217 573
Super Smash Bros. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

18
1,163 331
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
JoshuaMonson added Sonic the Hedgehog 1991

19
838 762
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Paperboy 1984

20
719 653
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Gauntlet 1987

21
838 824
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Dig Dug 1982

The Best Economic Simulation Games of All Time

22
1,026 449
Donkey Kong Country is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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1,173 632
Pokémon Red and Blue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

24
631 289
Metroid is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Metroid 1986

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973 568
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

26
733 636
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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806 562
NBA Jam is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
NBA Jam 1993

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889 529
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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

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843 312
Tetris is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tetris 1985

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801 467
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

31
505 364
SimCity is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 1989

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899 237
Mario Kart 64 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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506 626
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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577 412
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Final Fantasy VI 1994

35
594 492
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

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762 322
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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725 499
Grand Theft Auto is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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1,025 261
GoldenEye 007 is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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553 515
Mario Party is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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448 248
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Aw... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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506 427
Final Fantasy I-II is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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274 249
Prince of Persia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
The COCK added Prince of Persia 1989

15 Classic Nintendo Games You Forgot You Loved

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464 334
SimCity 2000 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
joakim742 added SimCity 2000 1993

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631 229
Duck Hunt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Tricia Psarreas-Murray added Duck Hunt 1984

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436 576
Defender is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Defender 1980

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903 290
Super Mario 64 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Video Games

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663 344
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
midnightq2 added Resident Evil 1996

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545 508
Pitfall! is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Pitfall! 1982

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269 224
Lemmings is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Video Games
Stargoose added Lemmings 1991

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570 283
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Video Games